What to do with Leftover Cranberry Sauce

Uses for Leftover Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving is over, but the cranberry sauce may have lived on. Speaking just in shelf life terms, cranberry sauce will last at least twice as long as the leftover turkey. Where can leftover cranberry sauce be used to add a splash of flavor in the weeks following the big holiday? We have a few ideas that might even inspire making some more sauce after the leftovers are gone!

Cranberry Sauce Uses

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Recipes

Cranberry Sauce Cocktails

Try a Cranberry cocktail… perhaps this Cran-Vod?

1) Mix 3 T Cranberry Sauce with 2 shots Vodka and ice in a cocktail shaker.
2) Pour into 2 glasses and then top with Sparkling soda (regular or flavored with lemon or lime).
3) Garnish with a sprig of Rosemary.
This makes a Christmassy looking cocktail if ever there was one!

Cranberry Sauce Uses

Cranberry Sauce Appetizers

Try this cranberry bruschetta for a festive touch.

1) Thinly slice a crusty baguette and then spray or brush the slices with some olive oil.
2) Broil or bake them for a few minutes till golden brown on top.
3) Spread some cream cheese, goat cheese or Boisin on top of each slice.
4) Put a dab of leftover cranberry sauce in the center of each appetizer and garnish with a bit of rosemary or orange zest.
This makes a Christmassy looking appetizer that pairs perfectly with the above Cran-Vod cocktail.
Cranberry Sauce Uses

Cranberry Sauce Spreads & Dips

  • Cranberry Spread/Dip
    Make a tasty sandwich spread or veggie/pretzel dip.
    Mix together equal parts of cranberry sauce with country-style dijon mustard or honey mustard for a tasty dip or spread. Dip in pretzels or spread it on a leftover turkey and cheddar sandwich. It also sits well on a charcuterie board since sausages and other deli meats and cheeses will be enhanced with a little spread of this.
  • Cranberry Butter.
    Mix equal parts cranberry sauce with softened butter and then add a little orange zest and even a dash of almond extract. Spread this mixture on your waffle, pancake or French toast at breakfast to add a new twist.
  • Cranberry Cream Cheese.
    Mix equal parts cranberry sauce with softened cream cheese. Spread this on a bagel or on some whole grain bread when making a turkey sandwich. Make sure to try this one on some pumpkin bread too (if there’s any of that also leftover) or a fresh gingerbread cake in anticipation of the next holiday.

  • Leftover Cranberry Sauce Recipes

    Cranberry Sauce Glazes & Additions

  • Cranberry glaze for roasted meats or veggies.
    Make a savory cranberry glaze by simmering the sauce with some sherry (or leftover wine) and some shallots until it reduces. Brush this glaze onto chicken parts or pork prior to roasting and add more as a finishing sauce.
  • Create a cranberry glazed dessert.
    Simmer the sauce with a sweeter red wine and a cinnamon stick (add some sugar to taste). Pour this glaze over a bread pudding or ice cream… yum!
  • Lift some basic bowls.
    Add cranberry sauce to oatmeal, cream of wheat, rice pudding or yogurt. The chunky kind of cranberry sauce adds a nice presence and works best for these dishes.
  • Flavor-up a main dish.
    Cranberry sauce can even be added main dishes like chili, pasta sauce or even meatballs for an added sweet/tart zing.

  • Cranberry Sauce Cheesecake

    Cranberry cheesecake anyone?
    When making a cheesecake place spoonfuls of leftover cranberry sauce on top of the batter in random spots. Give each of the spots a quick twist when placing them into the batter to leave a red swirl imprint that will elevate the cheesecake to the next holiday. Even though you know better, use a chunky sauce and you’ll swear the cheesecake incorporates tart cherries (which are pricier and harder to find than leftover cranberry sauce). This cheesecake doesn’t even need a topping!

    Cranberry Sauce Uses

    The only problem we found with this idea is that we did not add enough cranberry sauce to the cheesecake pictured above. The comment as people asked for seconds was that they wish we had “put more cherries”. We should have gone with a larger pan so that we could have placed a cranberry in every bite of the cake.

    Since leftover cranberry sauce will outlast leftover turkey, take this dessert to the the next holiday party to look Christmassy.

    What to do with Leftover Cranberry Sauce

    Additional Information

    To find out how long cranberry sauce lasts, see our cranberry sauce page.

    For more recipes using leftovers from the holiday, see our Thanksgiving leftovers for breakfast post.

    To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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