How Long Does Cooked Ground Turkey Last In the Fridge?

How to store it. Where to store it. How long it lasts. All you ever wanted to know in one post!

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on How Long Does Cooked Ground Turkey Last In the Fridge

Cooked ground turkey meat is such a versatile foodstuff! You can serve it as it is with garnishes or sauces, make meatballs from it, or even use it for making homemade cutlets for burgers! No wonder that so many housewives prefer keeping it ready in batches until the next use.

However, here comes the question that bothers everyone who is concerned about their food quality and safety: how long does ground turkey last in the fridge after it is cooked? And how can we tell that it is already unsafe to consume?

Today we decided to make an article for you where we will do our best to answer these and a few other questions.

How Much Time Will Cooked Ground Turkey Last In the Fridge?

As we all know, the best way to keep our food safe and long lasting is to refrigerate it. Cold will preserve the products and make them stay edible longer than if we left them unchilled on the table or on the kitchen counter where bacteria can easily start growing in them.

As for the cooked ground turkey, this sort of meat will be able to stay edible from three to four days at most if you refrigerate it. However, it will last this long only if the foodstuff is properly packed and sealed!

On the other hand, if you want to extend its shelf life significantly more, we would recommend you think of freezing your cooked ground poultry!

How Much Time Will Cooked Ground Turkey Last In the Fridge
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Freezing will allow you to easily keep it for weeks and use it whenever you need it.

To make it easier for you to compare the duration of cooked ground turkey lifespan when it is stored in different ways, we prepared a comparative chart for you:

Fridge 3-4 days
Freezer 2-3 months
Counter 2 hours maximum

Nevertheless, your cooked ground turkey will last this long only if you pack it right.

How Much Time Will Cooked Ground Turkey Last In the Fridge
Credits: Timolina, via

How to Seal Cooked Ground Turkey For Longer Storage?

If you want your meaty food to last longer and remain safe for your stomach, it is important to store it properly packed and sealed. You can’t just shove it into the fridge uncovered and expect it to remain edible after a few days of storage!

So if you need to keep your cooked ground turkey longer and you are planning to either refrigerate it or freeze, follow these easy tips when packing your food:

  • When refrigerating it, place the turkey meat into a shallow airtight tank with a tight lead. As an option, you can make use of a heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap that is used for wrapping foods.
  • For freezing it long term, place your cooked ground turkey into the airtight container and cover it. Or, as a variant, use one of those heavy-duty freezer bags. Also, you can opt for a wrap, either foil or aluminum one, that is designed for being used in the freezer specifically.

Only under such conditions cooked ground turkey will be able to stay consumable for the period of time mentioned above in a chart.

How to Seal Cooked Ground Turkey For Longer Storage
Credits: Timolina, via

Is It OK to Store It In the Freezer?

If you happen to make too much cooked ground turkey, and now you have no idea what to do with it (since you won’t be able to finish it on your own!), the only way out is to keep it in the freezer.

And if you are worried about how this foodstuff will survive such a cold, we can assure you that there is nothing to worry about at all.

Cooked ground turkey can withstand the temperature in your freezer perfectly well. Besides, it is very easy to thaw later!

Is It OK to Store It In the Freezer
Credits: Timolina, via

To defrost this meaty foodstuff, you can make use of one of the alternative methods:

  • defrost it in your microwave for 2 minutes using the defrost setting or 3% power level
  • thaw it by keeping the turkey under the cold running water
  • remove it into the fridge from the freezer for a day

Of course, microwaving is the fastest method, but no matter which one of them you choose, remember that defrosted cooked ground turkey can last for additional three or four days refrigerated after you thaw it!

How long should you keep leftovers in your fridge?How long should you keep leftovers in your fridge?

How to Tell That Your Ground Cooked Turkey Has Gone Bad?

This is the biggest (we would even say huge!) point of concern for everyone who tends to store foods in batches for future use, as well as for those who have kids and thus have to prepare foods in advance to avoid cooking all the time!

Cooked ground turkey is not an exception. Since this food is pretty versatile and can be used in many different dishes, those who store it long term may wonder how they can define that the foodstuff has turned bad.

How to Tell That Your Ground Cooked Turkey Has Gone Bad
Credits: Justin Smith, via

This makes sense since eating spoiled meat may cause severe food poisoning unlike certain foods that are not that harmful even when being out of date.

So, regarding this meaty food, you need to look for the following signs that will clearly indicate your turkey is not edible anymore:

  1. Its color has changed to gray or even discolored
  2. It smells bad (sharp and sulfur-like smell will be easy to recognize!)
  3. You see changes in its consistency which is slimy and/or tacky

Did you notice any of these indicators? Then better throw your ground turkey away since the one you have right now must not be consumed unless you want to end up with a severe food poisoning!

How to Tell That Your Ground Cooked Turkey Has Gone Bad
Credits: Timolina, via

How to Use Cooked Ground Turkey Leftovers?

Have you cooked too much of it, and now you can’t even imagine what you can do with those meaty leftovers?

This is not a seldom thing to happen, to be honest. And of course, discarding the leftovers is not an option if they are still possible to consume!

Fortunately, cooked ground turkey is really versatile!

There are plenty of different recipes that you can use it for, and if you can’t think of anything else except for a gravy, here are a few more alternative variants for you to take into consideration for the future!

  1. ground turkey and potato skillet
  2. ground turkey with rice
  3. lasagna
  4. tacos
  5. turkey pasta with spinach
  6. turkey meatballs
  7. stuffed peppers
  8. shepherd’s pie
  9. ground turkey ground casserole
  10. turkey burgers
  11. stir fry
  12. enchiladas

With these options, you will be able to easily pick up the recipe you will cook next time you have cooked ground turkey leftovers.

How to Use Cooked Ground Turkey Leftovers
Credits: Justin Smith, via

Is Turkey a Healthy Food?

All of us want to eat healthy which is why so many people are concerned about their food quality today. And of course, when it comes to meat, different opinions can be heard.

Some say that any meat is not good for our bodies since they are too heavy on our stomachs, and so on, and so on. Others state that certain kinds of meat can be consumed and they even have a beneficial impact on our health.

As for the turkey meat, it is indeed healthy.

Is Turkey a Healthy Food
Credits: PeteerS, via

This poultry is very rich in protein, niacin, vitamins B6 and B12, and the amino acid tryptophan. Also, turkey is a rich source of zinc, and since its white and skinless meat is low on fat and is a perfect source of high protein, this meat can be included into a dietary menu easily.

So, like this, you are now aware of the basics of proper storage of the cooked ground turkey at home. We told you how much time this meat will last in the fridge and in the freezer, and how you should pack it for further storage as well.

In addition, now you know what makes this poultry so beneficial and healthy, and what delicious meals you can cook with it!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Does reheating cooked turkey kill bacteria?

Yes, reheating does kill bacteria if there are any.

⭐ Can you eat a week-old leftover turkey?

No, meat that’s this old must be discarded.

⭐ Can I get food poisoning from eating old turkey meat?

Yes, if the meat is spoiled.

⭐ How long should I cook ground turkey?

Cook it for 14-16 minutes.

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
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Ask the Test Kitchen: How Long Will Meat Last in the Fridge?Ask the Test Kitchen: How Long Will Meat Last in the Fridge?