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 bet 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 and tart taste, cranberry sauce can be used in a variety of recipes.
I’m going to share some 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’s A Video With Six Simple Uses For Cranberry Sauce (Plus, More Below…)
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) Add leftover cranberry sauce to homemade or bottled barbecue sauce. (This is my favorite use for leftover cranberry sauce.) Use it wherever you normally use barbecue sauce to instantly add an autumnal twist to your summer favorites.
7) Mix with mayonnaise. Then you have a festive condiment to go on your leftover turkey sandwich!
8) Freeze in ice cube molds. Have cranberry ice cubes in your seltzer or freeze in a ring mold and add to your holiday punch.
9) Serve with pancakes or waffles. Day after Thanksgiving brunch? Put a spoonful on your pancakes or waffles in the morning.
Recipes That Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce
Snacks and Treats
How about cranberry with your breakfast? Or, the cranberry meatballs make a great party appetizer.
Entrees and Sides
Bring cranberries to the dinner table in a new way. Turning it into a variety of glazes and sauces open up so many delicious opportunities.
Finally, try some cranberries in your beverage with these amazing ideas.
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.
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.
This post originally appeared in November 2013 and was revised and republished in October 2021.