Is there anything more satisfying than making a big pot of turkey dinner and having loads of leftovers? Well, actually, there is: turning those leftovers into something new and delicious! If you’re stuck for ideas, check out these 10+ recipes that use leftover cranberry sauce. From breakfast to dessert, there’s something for everyone!
When the holiday feasting is done, there are always so many leftovers. While turkey sandwiches and leftover mashed potatoes are great for a few meals, it can require a little creativity to finish off the other sides, and keep them from going to waste.
Cranberry sauce is an essential Thanksgiving side, but because it’s a special seasonal dish, we sometimes need a little inspiration to use the leftovers. Here’s a list of some amazing ways to use leftover cranberry sauce in some unique, and delicious ways.
1. Condiment for an Amazing Turkey Sandwich
The first thing many people make with Thanksgiving leftovers is a turkey sandwich, but did you think to add cranberry sauce to it? Lots of high-end sandwich shops make holiday sandwich that features tart, sweet, and delicious sauce. All you need is bread, turkey, cheese, mayo, and cranberry sauce and you’ll have an unforgettable meal! And the best part is it takes just a few minutes and doesn’t require any cooking!
And while this isn’t a turkey sandwich, a monte cristo is always delicious and you could use cranberry sauce instead of jam for dipping.
2. Thumbprint Cookie
One of the best holiday cookies is the thumbprint cookie. It’s gorgeous, tasty, easy to make, and stores well. If you replace the jam in the center of the cookie with cranberry sauce, you’ll have a zippy, sweet treat that reuses cranberry sauce in such a unique way no one will notice they’re eating leftovers!
Here’s a link to the thumbprint cookie, and all you have to do is swap the jam for cranberry sauce. So easy!
3. Berry Crumble
Another take on a tried and true recipe is using cranberry sauce in this delicious and flexible recipe. The tartness of the cranberry pairs so well with brown sugar, it’s like a match made in holiday heaven. Simply swap out the raspberry or fruit pie filling with cranberry sauce and you’re on your way.
This dessert, with the brown sugar, hearty oats, and cranberries, feels like a dessert absolutely meant for fall or winter. It’s a perfect dessert for the season, and will bring you comfort on a chilly day, for sure.
4. Cranberry Sauce and Cream Cheese Appetizer
The holidays often have days of entertaining or family gatherings, and they all feature lots of food. So, if you need to put out a dish for snacking or grazing, make this appetizer. With just two ingredient, and no cooking at all, this can be done in less than five minutes, and it will be eaten just as fast!
Simply put a block of cream cheese on a plate or platter, pour a generous amount of cranberry sauce on top, and serve with crackers such as Ritz, Triscuit, or toasted baguette slices, or even carrots and celery. This appetizer is especially appealing when you use the jalapeño cranberry sauce (LINK) recipe here. I like to put a few slices of pepper on top to make sure people know it has a little heat.
5. Cranberry Muffins
If you’re trying to get through all your leftovers, why not start at breakfast? Using this cranberry muffin recipe, you can use up a lot of leftover sauce at once. Follow the recipe as directed, but instead of adding cranberries, scoop out the batter into the tins, and add a tablespoon of sauce in the center of each, pushing it down with a spoon or fork into the center of the batter. As it bakes, the batter will rise around the sauce and you’ll have a sweet muffin with a tangy, jammy surprise center!
If you don’t have a lot of sauce but still want to make this, just half the recipe, or add some whole berries if you have those lying around, and add a smaller amount of sauce to each center.
6. Chicken or Pork Sauce
From breakfast to dinner, you can find lots of uses for leftover cranberry sauce. If you are tired of turkey, just whip up some chicken or pork, and top with a garnish of cranberry sauce. If you pan cook the meat with a little thyme or rosemary, then plate and add the cranberry sauce, you’ll have a restaurant-quality dinner in no time and with no extra effort.
7. Healthy Yogurt Breakfast or Snack
If you like to eat yogurt for breakfast or a snack, adding a dollop of cranberry sauce is a great way to incorporate extra holiday spirit into your dining, and make a healthy choice at the same time.
Cranberries are a superfood, and pairing them with a plain or vanilla yogurt is amazing. And you’ll be happy to skip heavy gravies, stuffings, and pies for at least one leftover meal.
Add a garnish of granola or oatmeal, and you’ll have a healthy, well-rounded meal that will reset your appetite and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time.
8. Baked Brie with Cranberry Sauce
Holidays are full of parties, and a baked brie is one of the best dishes to serve. The rich, savory cheese and delicate buttery pastry, plus the sweet and tart sauce will be a memorable dish at any gathering. Here is a great recipe for baked brie.
Simply replace the honey, cranberries and nuts with the cranberry sauce, and you’ll have a classic holiday dish and use some leftovers at the same time.
9. Linzer Cookies
Linzer cookies are a classic Christmas cookie, and are as beautiful as they are tasty. Two shortbread cookies placed together with jam, they are bright and cheerful, and a welcome dessert at any holiday event.
If you want a quick and resourceful recipe hack to this cookie recipe LINK, simply swap out the jam in this recipe for sweet cranberry sauce, and you’ll have a new favorite holiday treat. The almond in the cookie is perfectly paired with the flavor of cranberries, making it a perfect combination.
If your sauce is on the chunky side, you can mash it with a fork, or even puree it with an immersion blender and a tablespoon or two of water.
10. Ham Glaze
Lots of people eat ham around the holidays, and using cranberries as a sauce is an excellent, and tasty, way to use the leftovers. Simply prepare the ham as you like, whether in the oven or the Instant Pot.
To prepare the glaze, simply boil the sauce with a half cup of water, and mash the berries to thin the sauce. If you’re cooking the ham in the oven, add the glaze about 20 minutes from the end. If you’re cooking the ham in the Instant Pot, simply add it when you remove the meat and plate it for serving, or serve it as a glaze on the side.
11. Brie Sandwich
After a big meal, no one wants to do more cooking, so quick and easy recipes are really helpful. Brie is a soft, pleasant cheese that people love to eat around the holidays. It pairs so well with fruit, and melts beautifully, so people love it in sandwiches.
This delicious brie and blackberry sandwich recipe LINK can be modified with cranberry sauce in place of the jam, and you’ll look forward to leftovers like you’ve never done before.
Cranberry Sauce Recipes
Looking for some good cranberry sauce recipes just so you can even have leftovers? We’ve got you covered:
- Easy Jalapeño Cranberry Sauce
- The Best Crock Pot Cranberry Sauce Recipe
- 4-Ingredient Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce
- How to Make Canned Cranberry Sauce Taste Homemade!
These eleven ways to use leftover cranberries will clear our your fridge, and give you something to look forward to as soon as you’re done enjoying your holiday feast. They may even give you an excuse to make extra sauce, or try more than one recipe just to have enough to try some of these suggestions.
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