Leftover Cranberry Sauce Vinaigrette – 3 Ways!

These three easy recipes for Leftover Cranberry Sauce Vinaigrette are perfect for turning Thanksgiving leftovers into something special!

Choose from balsamic, ginger and lime, or maple dijon – or try all three!

They’re quick and simple to make and can be used in a lot of different ways: on salads, chicken, pork, smeared in sandwiches or grilled cheese, and more!

Plus, if you start with my healthy cranberry sauce, they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, Paleo and can easily be made Whole30 compatible!

salad dressings made with leftover Thanksgiving cranberry sauce in mason jars

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Leftover Cranberry Sauce Vinaigrette

Some people love cranberry sauce, some people hate it.

I personally love it. But even I can get bored with leftovers.

So these three recipes that turn leftover cranberry sauce into vibrant, zesty salad dressings are a great way to spice them up.

First, you can blend the leftover cranberry sauce with balsamic vinegar and a few other ingredients for a tangy, sweet and tart dressing.

Or blend it up with grated ginger and lime juice to add a little heat and freshness.

Or finally, you can mix it up with maple syrup and dijon mustard (or whole grain) for another sweet and tangy option.

See below for serving ideas.

 

What you need to make Leftover Cranberry Sauce Vinaigrette

Balsamic cranberry sauce vinaigrette ingredients:

Ginger lime cranberry sauce vinaigrette ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup leftover cranberry sauce
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons water (or more if desired)
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice (from 1-2 limes)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (from about 2-3 inches of fresh ginger root)
  • salt to taste, if necessary

Maple Dijon cranberry sauce vinaigrette ingredients:

Equipment:

  1. a cutting board
  2. measuring spoons
  3. a measuring glass
  4. a microplane grater or box grater (for the ginger)
  5. a paring knife (for the lime)
  6. a medium mixing bowl and whisk, or you can use a stick blender, regular blender or food processor

a salad in a bowl with kale, chicken, apples, pecans and Parmesan, topped with a cranberry dressing

How to make Leftover Cranberry Sauce Vinaigrette

The process is pretty much the same for all 3 dressings: just blend everything together!

The only variation is for the ginger lime version. You’ll have to juice 1-2 limes, plus peel and grate the ginger.

I like to peel fresh ginger root with the edge of a regular spoons (yes, really). Then you can use a microplane grater or the small holes on a box grater to grate it.

You can use a mixing bowl and whisk to blend everything together. But if you want a super-smooth dressing, you can use a stick blender, regular blender or food processor.

For any of the dressings, if you want them a bit thinner, add more water. If you want them thicker, start with less water.

 

How to use Leftover Cranberry Sauce Vinaigrette

  1. On a salad – I particular like any of them on a salad with some/all of the following ingredients:
    1. Your favorite greens
    2. Leftover chopped turkey or chicken
    3. Roasted cubed sweet potatoes or butternut squash
    4. A chopped apple or pear
    5. Some nuts or seeds for crunch
    6. Cooked and chopped bacon or pancetta
    7. Crumbled Parmesan, feta or goat cheese (if you can have dairy)
  2. Or used on my Kale and Granola Salad
  3. Drizzled or brushed over cooked proteins, such as:
    1. chicken
    2. pork
    3. salmon
    4. burgers (beef, chicken, turkey or pork)
  4. Used as a condiment in sandwiches or grilled cheese
  5. Tossed with warm or room temperature roasted root vegetables like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash, pumpkin, beets, etc.
  6. Swirled into plain yogurt
  7. Drizzled over avocado toast or ricotta toast

cranberry sauce drizzled over a kale salad, a blue platter of sliced roasted acorn squash and 2 salmon fillets on a white plate

Make ahead/storage

All three of the vinaigrettes can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

You can also freeze the vinaigrettes in an airtight container or freezer baggie for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.

 

Other recipes you might like:

  1. Date & Orange Cranberry Sauce
  2. Paleo Cranberry Bars (with leftover cranberry sauce)
  3. Cranberry Prosecco Chutney
  4. Arugula Pistachio Pesto
  5. 10 Sauces & Toppings You Can Make While Dinner is Cooking
a salad in a bowl with kale, chicken, apples, pecans and Parmesan, topped with a cranberry dressing
Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Vinaigrette - 3 Ways!

Leftover cranberry sauce is fine on its own, but why not make it more interesting? These 3 ways to add zesty, vibrant flavor are great for salads, sandwiches, burgers, chicken, pork and more!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: leftover cranberry sauce, salad dressings, Thanksgiving recipes, vinaigrette
Servings: 12 oz.
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

For Balsamic Cranberry Vinaigrette (makes 1½ cups):

  • ½ cup leftover cranberry sauce
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup water (or more, if desired)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • sea salt, if necessary

For Ginger Lime Cranberry Vinaigrette (makes 1½ cups):

  • ½ cup leftover cranberry sauce
  • ¼ cup water (or more, if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other neutral-flavored oil)
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice (from 1-2 limes)
  • 3 teaspoons freshly grated ginger (from about 2-3 inches fresh ginger root)
  • sea salt, if necessary

For Maple Dijon Cranberry Vinaigrette (makes 1½ cups):

  • ½ cup leftover cranberry sauce
  • ¼ cup water (or more, if desired)
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon or stone ground mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons pure maple syrup (see notes for Whole30)
  • sea salt, if necessary

Instructions

  • Simply blend all the ingredients (except the salt) together using a bowl and whisk, stick blender, regular blender or food processor. Taste and add salt or adjust flavors to your liking. Add more water if you'd like a thinner consistency.

Notes

Please note I used my Date & Orange Cranberry Sauce when testing all these recipes. If you use a different cranberry sauce, your results may vary.
Make ahead/storage
All three of the vinaigrettes can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
You can also freeze the vinaigrettes in an airtight container or freezer baggie for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
For Whole30: Omit the maple syrup from the Maple Mustard Cranberry Vinaigrette. Blend in 2 chopped pitted dates instead (if using a whisk, dice the dates very small).

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