3 Unexpected (But Brilliant!) Uses for Leftover Cranberry Sauce

Everyone says that leftovers are “the best part of Thanksgiving,” but your leftovers can be so much more than dry meat on bread with mayonnaise. My new book Kitchen Matrix has 20 recipes for leftover turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce, along with a slew of tantalizing uses for extra veggies (and if you’re anything like me, you’ll have a lot of those). You’ll have to buy the book if you want all the recipes, but here are a few clever uses for leftover cranberry sauce. These are universal enough to accommodate almost whatever kind of cranberry sauce you’re starting with (even the canned kind).

Cranberry-Yogurt Parfaits

In individual glasses, alternate layers of cranberry sauce, plain Greek yogurt, honey, and chopped pecans. Garnish: fresh mint.

Cranberry Negroni

Mix equal parts gin, Campari, vermouth, and cranberry sauce in a cocktail shaker with ice. Garnish: orange or lemon peel.

Cranberry-Braised Chicken

Cook chicken parts in butter, rotating and turning as necessary, until browned on all sides; remove from the pan. Add chopped onion, garlic, and fresh ginger and cook until soft. Stir in cranberry sauce and a little chicken or turkey stock or white wine; add the chicken. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, turning the chicken occasionally until it’s cooked through. Garnish: grated orange zest.

Posted in Recipes


  1. Kayla said...

    I love finding new “leftovers” recipes to use and this cranberry-braised chicken one sounds fantastic…but I think I will use leftover turkey instead of chicken

  2. Betty Rhodes said...

    Always, always enjoy receiving your emails, and your generosity in sharing your delicious recipes and cooking hints.
    I have most of your books, and am determined to ‘get it right’, but lacking tons of confidence…..not a very good, inspirational cook, but, Man, the desire is So there.
    Celebrating my 88th next month, and I’m determined to crash through that wall.
    Happy Holidays – Betty

  3. Melody Curtis said...

    To Betty Rhodes: Your comment is the best one I’ve ever read! I am a Mark Bittman fan too. Betty, just claim your confidence, and carry on! You are awesome and I love that you are still inspired and learning at almost 88.
    And thanks for your great work, Mark.

  4. Sheila Greenwald said...

    Chicken recipe sounds good. Thanks

  5. kay said...

    I will try the cranberry braised chicken, thanks for the input

  6. Connie said...

    Cranberry parfait? That’s sounds dreamy. I’ll have to try the chicken recipe also…

  7. love these tips! I’m really interested in trying the cranberry braised chicken, cant wait to see how it comes out


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