Healthy recipe ideas for leftover cranberry sauce after Thanksgiving

Jamie Miller is back in the studio with some healthy recipes for cranberry.
Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 12:37 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — The Village Health Clubs & Spas’ resident dietitian Jamie Miller has some healthy ideas for any leftover cranberry sauce you might have after Thanksgiving.

Cranberry Sauce Leftovers Recipes

Base Recipe: Cranberry Sauce with Orange and cinnamon
  • 1 12-oz. bag of fresh cranberries (approx. 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated orange zest
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. As the cranberries cook, they will start to pop. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes until you no longer hear the cranberries popping and it appears the sauce is thickening. Allow to cool and then refrigerate until cool. As the sauce cools, it will thicken more and more. If you prefer a sweeter sauce, add more honey to taste, as this recipe makes a slightly tart cranberry sauce.

Thanksgiving Leftovers Salad with Cranberry Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 6 oz shredded or cubed leftover turkey
  • 4 cups baby spinach, arugula, or greens of choice
  • 1 cup of cubed roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp toasted nuts of choice (pecan, walnuts, pepitas, etc)
  • 2 tbsp goat cheese (or gorgonzola, parmesan, etc)
  • ½ cup sliced apple, pear, or grapes
  • Optional: Cracked pepper to taste
Cranberry Dijon Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (or plain yogurt for lower calorie, creamy version
  • 2 tbsp apple cider or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup prepared cranberry sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • Optional: 1-2 tsp honey, monk fruit, or stevia to sweeten
  • Optional: 2 tbsp. water to thin

To make the dressing, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until well incorporated. Taste as adjusted to the preference of salt and sweetness. If you prefer a thinner dressing, add 1/2 tbsp of water at a time til you reach your desired consistency. Set dressing aside. Place all salad ingredients in a bowl and toss with 3 tbsp of the dressing and toss. Taste and add dressing if preferred. Store any leftover dressing in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

Cranberry Almond Protein Smoothie

  • ¼ cup cranberry sauce
  • ½ frozen medium banana
  • ½ cup frozen riced cauliflower
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • Optional: stevia, monk fruit, or honey to taste
  • Optional: ¼ tsp cinnamon and a few drops tsp vanilla or almond extract

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Apple Red Cabbage

  • 1/2 medium head red cabbage, coarsely chopped (4 cups)
  • 1/2 can or 1 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

Add all ingredients into a slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low until cabbage is tender, 3-4 hours. Serve with a slotted spoon to drain the liquid.

Whole Wheat Cranberry Muffins

  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice
  • 1/3 cup monk fruit, maple syrup, or honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of cranberry sauce
  • Optional: ½ cup chopped walnuts or almonds

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line or grease a 12-cup muffin tray. In a medium bowl, mash a banana well with the back of a fork. Then add milk, sweetener of choice syrup, and extract. Stir together. In a separate bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet mixture. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Halfway through, add the cranberry sauce and optional chopped nuts, then fold together, being sure not to overmix. Fill 12 muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

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