I’m convinced that the cranberry sauce on the Thanksgiving table is there almost purely for color and decoration, because I only know a few people who actually eat it. Thus, many of us are left with 95% of it when dinner’s over. But no need to toss the sauce, as there are many ways you can turn these leftovers into something delicious. Here are a few of my favorite post-Thanksgiving uses for cranberry sauce:
- Grilled Turkey and Cheese Sandwich: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Lightly butter two slices of bread on one side. On the other side of one piece, spread a thick layer of cranberry sauce. On the other piece, spread a light layer of Dijon mustard. Add cheese (my favorites here are white cheddar, Gruyere, or Fontina) and thinly sliced leftover turkey breast and pan-cook like a regular grilled cheese. Let cool a few minutes before digging in, as the cranberry sauce gets very hot.
- Cran-Applesauce: Place leftover cranberry sauce in a medium pot over low heat. Stir in 4-5 peeled and diced apples, then cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until apples are very soft and have melded into the cranberry sauce, about 30 minutes. Eat warm, cold, or at room temperature.
- Fruit Compote. Follow this recipe for Pomegranate Pear Compote, but add the cranberry sauce to the pot as well. You can use any type of fruit juice you have on hand, and the pomegranate seeds are optional. This type of compote is delicious when stirred into yogurt, spooned over ice cream, or spread on toast with peanut butter.
Note: These recipes will work well regardless of whether you use homemade or store-bought cranberry sauce.