25 Ways to Use Cranberries

By: Contributor

So you made your own cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving (or maybe you’re now regretting skipping the homemade cranberry sauce and want to try some out — here and here — to pair with leftovers). Woop-dee-freaking-doo. If you’re only utilizing cranberries once a year, you’re doing it wrong. They're super tart and slightly sweet and contains tons of antioxidants and vitamin C.

Cranberries are in season throughout the winter, when most fruit is not, leaving you no excuses. Follow Maine and Wisconsin’s lead (the cranberry is celebrated as the official fruit of both states) and start figuring out why cranberries are your new best friend.

Tyler Florence - Sweet Potato Pie with Crunchy Cranberry Topping.

Photo by: Adrian Mueller ©2012, Adrian Mueller / AMueller.com, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Adrian Mueller, 2012, Adrian Mueller / AMueller.com, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

  1. Use leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving for Fully Festive Ham.
  2. A rustic Pear and Cranberry Crostata is exactly what you need: almond cream topped with sweet baked pears and fresh cranberries, all tucked into a freeform tart (pictured above.)
  3. If you’re like me (don’t judge!) you always have a secret stash of canned cranberry sauce; break it out for three-ingredient Cran Sorbet.
  4. Leftover pudding (it’s more fruitcake than pudding) plus leftover cranberry sauce equals Jamie's Leftover Christmas Pudding and Ice Cream Sundae.
  5. Try Michael Symon’s Cranberry Sauce with Bourbon and Vanilla Bean and Orange to make Michael Chiarello's Fresh Cran-Apple Crostata. If you’re short on time (or patience), substitute the tart dough with store-bought puff pastry dough.
  6. Kelsey Nixon and Chrissy Teigen paired up to make K and C Thumbprint Cookies: slightly savory Parmesan cookies filled with cranberry-orange marmalade with thyme.
  7. Giada utilizes store-bought cranberry sauce and wonton wrappers to make Turkey and Cranberry Ravioli.
  8. Tyler Florence tops his Sweet Potato Pie with Crunchy Cranberry Topping, meaning pecans, cranberries and amaretto cookies are added for extra crunch.
  1. Chuck Hughes cooks fresh cranberries for a few minutes with some sugar to sweeten up his Prosecco cocktail, Cranberry, Orange and Prosecco.
  2. Pickled Cranberries makes good use of fresh cranberries to keep around the house all season long, thanks to some simple canning. Use these cranberries on your winter cheese board, or mix into a gin/sparkling water cocktail; as always, you can pair these pickles with meat like turkey, ham or chicken.
  3. Or if you’re still feeling frenzied from the holiday, use that leftover cranberry sauce to make a delicious cocktail, Gin and Cranberry Sauced.

CRANBERRY SALAD Kelsey Nixon Kelsey’s Essentials/Mock Thanksgiving Cooking Channel Fresh Whole Cranberries, Sugar, Miniature Marshmallows, Crushed Pineapple, Heavy Whipping Cream, Powdered Sugar, Vanilla Extract, Pomegranate Seeds

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

  1. Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean we don’t want frozen treats. Break out that ice cream maker and get down with Mulled Wine and Cranberry Sorbet.
  2. Alex Guarnaschelli’s Sugar Cranberry Pie is a simple dessert, pairing the flavors of late fall (cranberries, pears, oranges and cloves) beautifully.
  3. Kick the bird habit and pair a quick cranberry sauce with steak: Hanger Steaks with Ginger Cranberry Sauce.
  4. Freeze fresh cranberries and use as ice cubes in a Ginger Cranberry Cocktail.
  5. A tray of Cranberry and Golden Raisin Cream Muffins (made with both heavy cream and sour cream to achieve the perfect moist texture) will satiate hungry holiday guests, but you may want to make a double batch if you want any of these guys for yourself.
  6. Pear-Cranberry-Ginger Cutie Pies are individual pies topped with a cinnamon-sugar oat crumble.
  7. The eight or ninth best part of Kelsey's ambrosia-inspired cranberry salad is that you can use the leftover cranberry juice in her Cranberry Apple Roasted Turkey Breast.
  8. Cranberry-Orange Trifle Shooters are a wonderful make-ahead party dessert. Don’t worry if the cranberry-orange sauce is too saucy when you’re done cooking. Cranberries naturally contain pectin, which will firm up the sauce as it cools in the fridge.
  9. The addition of vodka helps the Cranberry Granita from freezing fully and gives you a reason not to share with the under-21 crowd.
  10. Warm Autumn Cranberry Fruit Stew satisfies your sweet tooth in the warmest, coziest way possible.
  11. Michael Chiarello’s Cranberry Vinegar makes for a great salad topping and/or DIY holiday gift. Save the leftover vanilla-thyme syrup for tea or cocktails.
  12. Wassail is a hot mulled cider traditionally enjoyed in England. Try out Kelsey Nixon’s Slow Cooker Wassail. If it were me, I’d probably add a hearty ale to this or maybe a bit of whiskey — just saying.
  13. When you can stand the sight of turkey again, try out Michael Chiarello’s Turkey Scallopine Milanese with Mustard Cranberry Sauce.
  14. I don’t know if I can really classify Chuck Hughes’ Lemon Shortbread Cookies as cookies, but these lemony sweet bars with cranberries baked right into the base makes it all OK.
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