Leftover Cranberry Sauce? Turn It Into The Easiest Dip Ever

No matter how much we like cranberry sauce, there's almost always some of the topping left over after dinner. But rather than toss it out, why not re-fashion it into a tasty dip while it's still good to eat? All it takes is the inclusion of a few simple ingredients to turn your plain leftover sauce into a creamy, crave-worthy appetizer that you can use for the rest of the weekend. 

Luckily, it's also incredibly simple to turn cranberry sauce into a dip. Essentially, you're going to want to add creamy cheese, the obvious choice being cream cheese, to turn the texture from a liquid to a spread. All you have to do is plop your hunk of fromage on a plate and use a spoon to create a shallow indent in the center. Then spoon your cranberry sauce on top and you've got a sweet, salty, tangy, creamy dip that goes perfectly with crackers or bread. 

Other ways to make dip with leftover cranberry sauce

If you go with a cream cheese dip, you can simply use a block straight out of the package, although you may want to let it come to room temperature first so it's soft enough to dig into. If you're not the biggest cream cheese fan, there are a few other fromage options you can pair with your leftover cranberry sauce. Stick to soft, white types, such as goat cheese, brie, or Camembert. 

If you go with either of the last two and don't mind an extra step, you can also bake your fromage wheel. Instead of making an indent with your spoon, remove the top rind of either cheese, scoop out a little of the center, and spoon your cranberry sauce in and around the hole. Then pop the whole thing in the oven until the sauce is heated and the cheese is gooey.

Whether you bake your dip or not, you can also add a few extra ingredients for a pop of flavor. Sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, orange zest, chopped pecans, or diced walnuts over the top — or go in a spicier direction and use minced jalapeño, chopped cilantro, sliced green onion, and a dash of lemon juice. Whether you go sweet or savory, making this easy dip is a tasty way to avoid food waste and repurpose your cranberry sauce.