12+ Ways to Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce

Learn how to use leftover cranberry in a variety of everyday ways (like as jam on toast) and in a whole bunch of delicious recipes.

Learn how to use leftover cranberry in a variety of everyday ways (like as jam on toast) and in a whole bunch of delicious recipes.I originally posted this in November of 2013. Since then it has become one of the most popular posts on my site, especially during the holiday season. It’s probably because so many of us have a bowl of plastic-wrap-covered cranberry sauce in the fridge right around now and we’re googling to find out what we can do with it.

We tend to think of Cranberry Sauce as a condiment for turkey and not much else. But actually, with its sweet tart taste cranberry sauce can be used in a variety of recipes.

I’m going to share six basic uses for cranberry sauce below. In addition, I have a bunch of recipes to point you to that use cranberry sauce. See, since originally posting about leftover cranberry sauce I got a bit obsessed and started using it in all kinds of things. The list of recipes I’ve made with cranberry sauce is now part of this post too and you’ll find it below with pictures and links. Enjoy!

Here are six simple uses for cranberry sauce:

1) Pretend it’s jam and spread it on toast. Cranberry sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Store it in a jam jar in the fridge and then pull it out in the mornings to add a festive feel to your toast. It tastes amazing with peanut butter or with cream cheese or on its own.

2) Flavor plain yogurt with cranberry sauce. Simply add cranberry sauce a tablespoon or so at a time to your plain yogurt until you get the intensity of flavor that you’d like.

3) Use it as a warm sauce for sweets. When cranberry sauce is warmed up it’s not as thick as when cold. It then makes a festive and fun sauce for ice cream and cakes.

4) Use it to make pink and pretty whipped cream. Cranberry sauce is a delicious addition to whipped cream. Whip the cream as normal until it forms stiff peaks. Fold some of the whipped cream into the cranberry sauce. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Use the cranberry whipped cream to top fruitcake and other holiday desserts or use it on hot chocolate.

5) Use it as a glaze for poultry and meats. We know that cranberry sauce goes with turkey. But it also goes with chicken, pork and beef. Try baking chicken breasts or pork chops and then brush with cranberry sauce 5 minutes before they’re done, longer for a more caramelized exterior. You can also use cranberry sauce as a glaze for meatloaf (think turkey meatloaf with cranberry sauce glaze).

6) This is my favorite use for leftover cranberry sauce: Add leftover cranberry sauce to homemade or bottled barbecue sauce. Use it wherever you normally use barbecue sauce to instantly add a autumnal twist to your summer favorites.

Here are a bunch of recipes that use leftover cranberry sauce:

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars

Cranberry Oatmeal Bars: A delicious, easy dessert and a great way to use up leftover cranberry sauce after Thanksgiving

Cranberry-Basil Baked Brie

Cranberry-Basil Baked Brie Recipe

Cranberry Stuffing in Muffin Tins

Cranberry Stuffing in Muffin Tins

Cranberry Sauce Muffins

If you have leftover cranberry sauce on Black Friday, you have GOT TO try these cranberry sauce muffins.

Cranberry Mustard Pretzel Dip

Cranberry Mustard Sauce

Brie, Pear and Cranberry Pizza Bread

Brie and Cranberry Bread

Cranberry Horseradish Pan-Fried Steak

Cranberry Horseradish Pan-Fried Steak

 

 Cranberry Sauce Smoothie

12 Ways To Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce, ideas and recipes

 

Here are a few other leftover cranberry sauce recipes that I’ve found on other blogs:

Cranberry Black Pepper Sweet Rolls by Daily Waffle

Bite Size Cranberry Walnut Tarts by Good Life Eats

Cranberry Sauce Muffins by Kitchen Treaty

Cranberry and Cheddar Grilled Cheese by Oh My Veggies (includes more great ways to use leftover cranberry sauce as well)

There are also some really fantastic ideas in the comment section below. Thank you to everyone who has already added their recipe or tip and thank you to advance to anyone else who adds something. I love that the comment section becomes an ongoing growing resource for people who visit this site. You guys are the best!

Oh, and on the off chance that you’ve been reading this and you actually don’t have cranberry sauce in your fridge, here’s my recipe for homemade cranberry orange sauce.

Cranberry Sauce with Orange

It’s ridiculously easy to make and tastes so good. You’ll definitely be wanting to use the leftovers in as many of the above ways as possible.

Christine :-)

This post originally appeared in November, 2013 and was revised and republished in December, 2016.

30 Responses to “12+ Ways to Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce”

  1. Debbie Neville — December 24, 2016 @ 7:56 am (#)

    It’s great in Palmieri with puff pastry and goat cheese. I’ve even mixed in spinach and it’s great. With spinach I like to add nutmeg. Usually mix in pinch of chili flakes or jalapeño minced to give it a kick.
    I’m going to try the smoothie idea.
    Happy Holidays!

    • Christine Pittman — December 28, 2016 @ 10:27 am (#)

      Debbie, I love the palmieri idea. And yes, I think cranberry sauce and goat cheese sound amazing together. Trying that soon. Happy Holidays to you as well!

  2. Diane Strong — December 23, 2016 @ 8:08 am (#)

    I am going to heat it and make cranberry old fashions.

    • Christine Pittman — December 28, 2016 @ 10:26 am (#)

      Diane, Great idea!

  3. Sandra Trotta — December 15, 2016 @ 2:39 pm (#)

    Super easy Pour 2 cups whole cranberry sauce or a can prepared in 8″ or 9″ round baking pan. add pre cooked sausage links in a spiked design so each slice will have a sausage link. Prepare a box of Jiffy cornbread mix and pour over. Bake as directed on box. When finished turn upside down and serve. I make my own cornbread. But this is easier. Great for Christmas brunch. Everyone loves it.

    • Christine Pittman — December 16, 2016 @ 8:56 am (#)

      Sandra, This sounds really interesting and delicious. Thanks for the great idea!

  4. Denise — December 6, 2015 @ 8:50 pm (#)

    I’m going to use my leftovers on my waffles!!

    • Christine Pittman — December 10, 2015 @ 9:56 am (#)

      Denise, Such a great idea. I love it!!

  5. Ellen lindgren — November 29, 2015 @ 9:45 pm (#)

    It’s great on crostini or crackers with goat cheese.

    • Christine Pittman — December 1, 2015 @ 9:23 am (#)

      Ellen, That sounds delicious!!

  6. Natalie — November 25, 2015 @ 1:28 pm (#)

    Thanks for the ideas :)

    • Christine Pittman — November 25, 2015 @ 6:29 pm (#)

      You’re welcome!

  7. Kate — August 27, 2015 @ 1:59 am (#)

    I just loved the whip cream idea. I am surely going to click a selfie with my new cranberry whip cream mustache and post it in my Instagram….how’s that?

  8. o sollo — December 24, 2013 @ 1:04 am (#)

    cranberry sauce made with fresh cranberries is a delicious flavor for cheese cake. (better than strawberry or cherry cheese cake).

  9. Madeleine Baier — December 2, 2013 @ 10:17 am (#)

    I got adventurous a while back, decided to use some of my cranberry relish as a simmer sauce for chicken and it turned out surprisingly well!

    • Christine Pittman — December 10, 2013 @ 11:28 am (#)

      Madeleine, Isn’t it amazing how versatile cranberry sauce is? I think it’s because it’s got both sweet and tang. It then can go into both sweet and savory things and be delicious in them all.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 30+ Homemade Recipes for Cranberry Sauce — December 15, 2015
  2. 21+ Uses for Leftover Gravy — December 14, 2015
  3. CHRISTMAS DINNER DOESN’T HAVE TO COST A FORTUNE – READ THESE 10 TIPS! | DGWGO — December 13, 2015
  4. Brie, Pear and Cranberry Pizza Bread — December 9, 2015
  5. Chunky Cranberry Sauce - Dig In With Dana — November 23, 2015
  6. Homemade Cranberry Orange Sauce — November 16, 2015
  7. 19 Creative Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes - — November 4, 2015
  8. Pan-Fried Steak with Cranberry Horseradish Glaze — January 19, 2015
  9. Cranberry Oatmeal Bars: A Very Easy Dessert Recipe — October 26, 2014
  10. 20 Baked Brie Recipes Including Baked Brie with Cranberry & Basil — October 26, 2014
  11. A Smoothie Recipe Made With Leftover Cranberry Sauce — October 26, 2014
  12. Cranberry Tapioca | RecipeReminiscing — December 19, 2013
  13. 30 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes | Kitchen Treaty — December 1, 2013
  14. Canning the Thanksgiving Leftovers | Prepper Podcast Radio Network — November 30, 2013

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