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Easter Leftovers

Easter Leftovers

Is it Okay to Eat That?

Holidays like Easter bring families together and refrigerators full of leftovers. How long should you keep your aunt’s leftover green bean casserole?

Here are some tips for leftovers:

  1. Refrigerate promptly after the meal is over. Food should not sit around at room temperature.
  2. Hot food can be refrigerated-place in shallow containers for quicker cooling.
  3. Leftovers need to be reheated to 165 degrees.
  4. Leftovers need to be eaten within 3-4 days.
  5. Leftovers that have been frozen can last from 1- 6 months, depending on what it is.

If you are not sure how long the food has been left out or has been in the back of the fridge, remember “when in doubt, throw it out!”

For a free Cold Storage Chart, visit

(Sources: Food Safety and Inspection Service

Consult your doctor before making changes in your diet. If you have a medical condition certain items may need to be reduced or eliminated. Seek the advice of your physician and Registered Dietitian before making any changes in your diet or lifestyle. Email questions on NUTRITION KNOW-HOW to

Leftover Ham? Make Asparagus-and-Ham Casserole!

This speedy Asparagus-and-Ham Casserole is pure comfort food and needs only 10 minutes to bake. That’s because most of the prep work (cooking pasta and making a light cream sauce) is done on the stovetop. Simply bake to brown the breadcrumbs and make the filling bubbly. Because of the delicate flavors in this dish, we preferred using a mild baked ham to a smoked one.


  • 1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
  • 3 3/4 cups uncooked extra-broad egg noodles
  • 2 1/2 cups (1 1/2-inch) sliced asparagus
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed ham (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese


  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Place bread in a food processor, and pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form to measure 1/2 cup.
  • Cook pasta in boiling water 7 minutes, omitting salt and fat. Add asparagus; cook 1 minute. Drain.
  • Lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Place flour, thyme, salt, and pepper in medium bowl; gradually add milk and broth, stirring with a whisk until well-blended. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion; saute 4 minutes. Add milk mixture; cook until thick (about 4 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in juice. Combine the pasta mixture, milk mixture, ham, and parsley in large bowl; spoon into a 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese.
  • Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden.

Recipe from

Submitted by:

Mia Gibson Mia Gibson RD, LD, CDE
Dietitian at Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab
MCHS Center for Health & Wellness