When the day after Thanksgiving rolls around, an all-too-familiar scene unfolds: We stare into our refrigerators, overwhelmed by the copious amount of leftovers — especially the large tupperware jam-packed with cranberry sauce. So sweet, so delicious, yet so much of it — and not many ways to use it. But if you think of your cranberry sauce like you do your jams and compotes, you'll realize that it can do a lot in your kitchen — without reminding you of yesterday’s big holiday meal.
Whether it's in the form of a can or a sweet spoon-able topping, here are five ways to use up your leftover cranberry sauce:
1. Eat it for breakfast
Although cranberries are tart by nature, cranberry sauce is usually quite sweet. This means it's excellent when paired with something tangy. For an easy breakfast, try a making parfait by layering extra sauce with some yogurt and granola, or nuts. In this case, the cranberry sauce acts as a great replacement for — or complement to -- fresh fruit. And if you have leftover whipped cream (you just ate pie, after all), stir it in and call it a fool.
2. Swirl it
Take a pint of ice cream and scoop half of it into a baking pan or tupperware. Smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon, and then proceed to wildly plop down mounds of sauce, creating a Pollock-esque piece of art. Top with the remaining ice cream — no need to worry about covering it all. Swirl the layers together with a knife to create a marble effect. If you happen to have extra pie on hand, you'd be smart to serve this on top of it.
3. Sandwich it
Here's the best alternative to your leftover turkey sandwich: A grilled cheese made with sharp cheddar and sweet cranberry sauce, sandwiched between two pieces of crusty, crunchy, buttery bread.
For a twist on the classic peanut butter and jelly, try swapping out the standard grape or strawberry jam for some cranberry sauce. Use almond butter or add a few sliced bananas to really kick it up.
If you want to stick to the classic day-after-Thanksgiving tradition, make yourself a leftover sandwich. Start with two slices of bread – think challah, rye, or even cornbread – give one side a good smear of sauce, and pile on the leftovers. Turkey, potatoes, gravy, Brussels sprouts – leave no leftover behind.
4. Use it as a garnish, on everything
The post-Thanksgiving breakfast is almost every bit as important as the holiday meal itself. For that reason, we highly recommend using cranberry sauce as a compote on fruit-friendly French toastand pancakes, or spreading it thick on a piece of maple cinnamon toast. If your sauce has thickened overnight, simmer it with orange juice, or another liquid of your choosing, until it's thin enough to drizzle.
If you're looking for something a little more savory, make some latkes and swap in cranberry sauce for the traditional applesauce. Or turn it into a glaze for a meaty main dish — slow-roasted duck and pork tenderloin are both great options. Add a dash of vinegar to balance out the sweetness, or some red wine to bring out the full, fruity flavors. Sprinkle on the zest of an orange and a pinch of thyme (or mint), and you're all set.
5. Stuff it
Cranberry sauce works wonders in sufganiyot, or jelly-filled doughnuts. If you're intimidated by frying, consider this cake, or these muffins, filled with a tablespoon of sauce pre-baking. Or just go for a classic pound cake – topped with cranberry sauce and whipped cream, of course.
Live.Love.Lux Tip: The Electrolux induction range allows you to hold heat at a precise temperature – helping maintain the perfect simmer – thanks to its exceptional temperature control.
Photo by James Ransom