Here Are the Thanksgiving Leftovers You Can Actually Take on a Plane

All components of the Thanksgiving dinner plate mix well together, making it the perfect meal to put in one Tupperware container and stick in your carry-on bag to survive on until the next holiday's Tupperware container. But things can get a bit complicated when you want to, for example, sip some leftover gravy during your flight home. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has rules, and grandma's famous cooked meat juices are no exception.

If you're worried about liquids being too liquid-y you can always blend all of the plate components into a very thick bisque, just like Taco Bell recently suggested you do with their chicken tacos. But if you for some strange, pretentious reason have a problem with that, you can follow these guidelines from the TSA. 

First thing's first: You can put almost anything into a checked bag, but carry-on bag regulations get complicated, for both domestic and international travel. Solids are fair game, but food liquid rules are the same as those of toiletries -- a container in a carry-on can't contain more than 3.4 ounces (100mL) of liquid. If the liquid blends so that it becomes a part of the solid food item you're fine, but a separate, watery food (like dip) is a no-no.

As TSA puts it, "[I]f you can spill it, spray it, spread it, pump it or pour it, (say that three times fast) then it’s not a solid and should be packed in a checked bag," according to its list of 10 travel tips for Thanksgiving

Based on your Thanksgiving table, here's what you can't bring in your carry-on:

  • Cranberry sauce
  • Very soft cheeses, like Camembert
  • Gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Thin soups
  • Dressing
  • Pudding
  • Creamed spinach
  • Canned vegetables with liquid in the can
  • Wine

And here's what you can:

  • All the roasted veggies 
  • Turkey and other meats
  • Rolls
  • Mac & cheese
  • Stuffing mix
  • Casserole
  • Cookies and cakes
  • Pies 

You get the picture (if not, TSA also offers an exhaustive list of rules for food items). Now let's talk about how you should actually contain the items. Make sure everything's sealed up in some way, but keep in mind that if you vacuum seal something, the TSA might ask you to open it while you're going through security. To avoid this problem, don't bring Aunt Deborah's questionable meatloaf or other sketchy, unidentifiable foods.

As I said earlier, almost anything can go in a checked bag. Alcohol over 140 proof is not allowed, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables if you're flying from Puerto Rico or internationally. Oh, and don't pack your cooking spray, because transporting aerosol is some risky business

h/t The Takeout

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Ruby Anderson is a News Writer for Thrillist.