10 Easy, Delicious Canned Cranberry Recipes


Although I always make my mother's special recipe of fresh cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving, I am the only one who eats it. Everyone prefers canned. What to do with any leftover canned cranberry, though? Here are 10 delicious solutions.

1.The Cran-Turkey Sammich

Quite possibly in my Top Five Sandwiches list is this delicious cranberry-turkey sandwich. It's very simple. For each sandwich, spread bread with softened cream cheese. Add red onion or chopped shallot, leftover turkey, a couple slices of canned cranberry, and a lettuce leaf. We used whole wheat sourdough for a recent lunch, but I think they'd be extra-yummy on sliced brioche.

2. Better Bagels

The above sandwich can be turned into a fast breakfast with bagels, cream cheese, lunch-meat turkey, and cranberry sauce.

3. Cranberry Meatballs

Only requiring three ingredients, cranberry meatballs meet the "fast and easy" criteria. Simply combine a bag of frozen turkey meatballs, a can of cranberry sauce (not the whole berry type), and bottle of chili sauce in your Crock-Pot. People love them. You can assemble them at the office for a potluck around 10 a.m. and drive them crazy with the aroma. They're also great for a quick meal at home, over rice or egg noodles.

4. Cranberry Meatloaf

Not a fan of meatloaf, you say? Guess again. Here is something I whipped up:

Meatloaf Mixture

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ½ cup panko crumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 T shallots, finely minced
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • â…› cup half-and-half
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • ¼ cup bacon bits
  • ½ cup bleu cheese
  • Nonstick spray


  • ¼ can cranberry, mashed up with a fork
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 T Sriracha sauce (or to taste)


Combine sauce ingredients well and set aside.

Spray loaf pan with nonstick spray. Combine turkey burger, panko crumbs, eggs, ¼ cup ketchup, shallots, half-and-half, salt, and pepper. Place one-half of that mixture in bottom of loaf pan. Then, sprinkle bacon bits and bleu cheese over the mixture. Top with remaining turkey mixture and bake at 375 F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and spread sauce over top. Bake for another 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly. Remove from oven and let it "rest" for 10 minutes. Slice and serve with garlic mashed potatoes and spinach-pear salad. Leftovers make awesome sandwiches.

5. Fancier Chicken

Oven-baked chicken breasts for dinner? Those can be pretty boring. A sauce makes all the difference, though. Smash up some of that canned cranberry with a little brown sugar, a pat of butter, a spritz of lime, and a dash of bourbon. Heat until melted and pour over that formerly boring chicken.

6. Zip Up Some Pork Chops

Try a chunky berry sauce with your grilled pork chops. To a can of whole-berry sauce, add a teaspoon each of finely-minced jalapeno and freshly grated ginger, and a small can of crushed pineapple. Heat until bubbly and then serve with pork chops.

7. Fast Appetizers

If you like the contrast of creamy Brie and tart cranberries, experiment with making easy appetizers. Try pre-made tart shells filled with cheese, caramelized onions or shallots, and a teaspoon of cranberries. Even easier? Slather onto crostini. Pick up puff pastry in the freezer section, fill with the cheese and cranberry combo, and bake.

8. Make a Smoothie

Toss chunky cranberry sauce into the blender and make a really delicious smoothie with almond milk and a banana.

9. Easy Syrup

Cranberry syrup is delicious on pancakes, waffles, or crepes. Heat a can of the whole-berry sauce. To thicken, stir ½ teaspoon of cornstarch into ¼ cup of cold water. Stir well. Add to heated cranberry sauce and stir on low heat until thickened. Chill leftover syrup and and spoon over a plain cheesecake, angel-food cake, or into vanilla Greek yogurt.

10. Healthy Lunch

Leftover quinoa? Try mixing it with feta, a couple of spoonfuls of canned whole cranberry, and some leftover turkey or chicken. Top with toasted pecans.

See? Canned cranberry isn't just for Thanksgiving. Stock up and enjoy the goodness anytime!

What's your favorite canned cranberry recipe?

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