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5 Great Ways to Use Leftover Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauces

I always have cranberry sauce leftover after Thanksgiving. I usually make a batch or two of homemade sauce, and I often buy a jar or two just in case I need some more. It’s not that I think that anyone is going to gorge themselves on cranberry sauce at dinner and I’ll run out, I just like to have the leftover sauce around for other things. For instance, you can’t serve a plate of reheated turkey and stuffing without a little cranberry on the side, can you? But there are many other great ways to use up that sauce, so if you’re like me and still have a half of a container sitting in the fridge, try one of these:

  • Cranberry Swirl Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting. These easy to make pumpkin bars have cranberry sauce swirled throughout to give them extra moistness and lend a sweet-tart taste to the spicy cake bars. It’s a great overall contrast and a nice new way to enjoy the cranberry sauce.
  • Turkey Cranberry and Brie Panini. Although it is also a good way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers, this toasted sandwich is so delicious that you might crack open a jar of cranberry sauce just to make it. The brie is rich and creamy, and the cranberries are the perfect contrast to that flavor.
  • Cranberry Sauce Cobbler. Add a little bit of cranberry sauce to your favorite cobbler recipe – whether it is cherry, apple, pear or Blackberry Cranberry Sauce Cobbler – to mix things up a bit. There are so many other fruits that go well with cranberries and fruit cobbler recipes are very forgiving about the exact quantity of fruit that goes into their fillings. Try adding a half cup of cranberry sauce to start with, bringing in color and flavor!
  • Cranberry Swirl Bread. No recipe needed for this idea, because you start with whatever your favorite muffin or quick bread recipe is. Make your regular banana bread loaf (or try mine) and instead of pouring all of the batter into a loaf pan, pour half in and then add a layer of cranberry sauce before adding the rest of the batter. This will give you a great swirl that is tasty with banana breads, ginger breads and all kinds of coffee cake.
  • Cranberry Barbecue Sauce. Again, this is a recipe where that sweet-tart flavor can really shine. I usually make this cranberry barbecue sauce with fresh cranberries, but you can start with the sauce instead of using fresh berries and sugar (which just makes more sauce!) and create a very flavorful, seasonal base for a homemade barbecue sauce that is tasty on just about anything.

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  • the blissful baker
    November 28, 2010

    great ideas! i especially want to try the cranberry swirl pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting – they sounds sooo yummy. of course, i would just love to eat cranberry sauce straight out of the bowl too 🙂

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