Holiday Leftovers: Three Unique Ways to Use Up Cranberry SauceLeftover cranberry sauce (we’re talking homemade, not that canned gunk) can seem so hopeless. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, holiday after holiday there’s always a container of it that goes to waste because it can be such a tough dish to want to revisit once it’s off the dinner table. But much like its beloved table-mates like mashed potatoes and turkey, it’s actually really easy to give new life to cranberry sauce with a little creativity.

Blueberry Cranberry Muffins: A box of the ol’ Jiffy Blueberry Muffin Mix that costs less than a buck is an easy way to use that remaining cranberry sauce without much effort. If you’re feeling fancy, homemade muffins aren’t too tough either, and the sauce makes a nice moist, fresh add-in to complement the from-scratch appeal. I also tried making cranberry brownies after Thanksgiving but they didn’t turn out too great. Maybe with some tweaking, a greater culinary mind than me can perfect that one? Please feel free to share in the comments if you have any ideas!

Spicy Cranberry Relish: For Thanksgiving, I tried out a hearty homemade apple cranberry sauce for a nice twist on the traditional recipe, but I also put together a spicy cranberry relish for those of us who can’t get enough heat and have a tough time finding accommodating condiments at holiday meals. I experimented with adding Pico di Gallo‘s tasty citrus-tinged Pico Limon seasoning, chipotle, pepper flakes,  black pepper, freshly grated ginger, and, of course, Sriracha chili sauce.

Making it from scratch for a meal was easy, but it’s also a great way to use up already prepared cranberry sauce and experiment with seasoning. Not only will a spoonful give those turkey and ham leftovers a kick when you’re starting to grow bored a few days later, think on sandwiches or in wraps, but pairing this piquant relish with cheese plate leftovers is a killer contrast for an indulgent snack. A little spoonful of rich goat cheese or creamy brie on a cracker topped with a dab of spicy cranberry relish is divine, trust me. It might work the same on a bagel too.

Cranberry Oatmeal: Another way that bright, bold cranberry sauce can really shine is paired with ordinary oatmeal. The tangy taste can make breakfast a lot more lively and since cranberry sauce contains “significant amount of vitamins A, C, E and K,” according to, it’s also a nice nutritional boost whether you’re going the steel-cut oats route or opting for instant oatmeal. Remember the apple cranberry sauce I mentioned? Chunky homemade applesauce is so simple to make and stirs right into cranberry sauce for a great holiday dish, and then that becomes an extra delicious oatmeal add-in as well. Perhaps pancakes might be another way to start your day with cranberry sauce too?

What’s your favorite way to keep leftover holiday cranberry sauce from going to waste? Casandra Armour

One thought on “Holiday Leftovers: Three Unique Ways To Use Up Cranberry Sauce

  1. I haven’t tried putting cranberry sauce in brownies. However, if you want to try again, I would suggest that you use the (soupy) cranberry sauce as the thing that is moist, to either totally or almost totally replace whatever you use to make the mix turn into batter. For example, if the directions or recipe calls for putting milk or water in the mix or dry ingredients, if it’s a recipe; replace the milk or water with just your cranberry sauce. (While you’re at it, this is probably a good way to use up the cranberry juice too; in case you are tired of that, too. I believe that would make the brownies have a really GOOD flavor to them!) Have fun experimenting with this!

    By the way, I just have joined the website tonight; so, while I’m new here, I’m definitely NOT new to cooking and trying new ideas for it. =D

Leave a reply

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>