How To Properly Reheat Common Thanksgiving Dishes

With the onset of holiday season comes a seemingly never ending stream of feasts, family members, and perhaps most daunting of all, leftovers. At least when it comes to the latter, learning how to reheat Thanksgiving dishes for peak flavor will guarantee you’re well fed ahead of your Black Friday shopping and on through Cyber Monday.

As a general rule, all leftovers should be brought to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent foodbourne illness, according to the USDA (who recommends using a food thermometer to check). But the best way to reach this temperature varies by dish—below, we’ve rounded up how to reheat Thanksgiving dishes the right way so that you can safely enjoy second (or third) helpings safely.

Turkey

The USDA recommends zapping your cold turkey in a microwave, so we do, too. Just be sure to follow their best practices, which include placing your bird in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic dish, covering it but leaving a vent to let steam escape, and adding some extra liquid (think: gravy or water) so it doesn’t dry out. They also recommend checking the temp of your turkey in several places to ensure it’s fully heated all the way through.

Gravy

When it comes to gravy (as well and other sauces and soups), the USDA suggests brining your liquid leftovers to a rolling boiling on the stove top.

Mashed potatoes

Everyone’s favorite Thanksgiving side can be reheated several different ways. The easiest, of course, is the microwave—you’ll want to heat in short increments (in the range of 30 seconds) until it reaches 165 degrees F, and stir between each round. Alternatively, use your stovetop and reheat your mashed potatoes over low heat, stirring them every once in awhile until fully up to temperature. If your spuds are dry, add a bit of cream or butter to whip them back into shape.

Brussels sprouts

If you made crispy Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving, for the love of all that is delicious, do not reheat them in the microwave. Doing so will likely result in a soggy, greasy mess. Instead, turn to your trust air fryer or oven—be sure the greens are arranged in a single layer, and warm them up at 350 degrees.

Rolls

Dinner rolls are another no-no for the microwave; instead, set your oven to about 350 degrees, wrap your rolls in foil, and let them go for about 10 minutes or until they’re warm enough to melt butter.

Casserole

Casseroles are best reheated in the same way that they were made—in the oven. You’ll want a medium temperature for the reheating (somewhere between 325 and 350 degrees), and it’ll likely take a little longer depending on the amount that you’re reheating.

Pie

You’ll want to cover your pie with foil to prevent over-browning, and then pop it in the oven at 350 degrees. Save yourself some time be doing this while you’re reheating your other Thanksgiving dishes, and it’ll be warm when you’re ready for dessert.

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