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Cranberry Sauce and What To Do With Your Christmas Leftovers

Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Port

A lovely recipe for cranberry sauce made with orange and a dash of port. You’ll also find a few hints and tips on what to do with any remaining cranberries as well as other vegetarian Christmas leftovers. Love Food Hate Waste.

Love Food Hate Waste

Christmas is a time of abundance. Most of us over stock on food and cook too much. We don’t want to run out or have anyone go hungry after all, and you just never know who might drop in unexpectedly. Luckily, the freezer is your friend and can help out with any leftovers.

Love Food Hate Waste

In the UK alone, we throw away over seven million tonnes of food and drink each year, it’s really quite shocking. Apart from the ethics involved, I have a thrifty streak and really hate throwing any food away; it really is such a waste. I’ve teamed up with the Love Food Hate Waste campaign to offer a few tips on how to love your freezer and use it to deal with any leftovers from your Christmas meal.

Cranberry Sauce

Even though I’m vegetarian, I’m very partial to some cranberry sauce to accompany my nut roast on the big day. I make my own every year with fresh cranberries. It’s so quick and easy and has the added bonus of being able to control the amount of sugar that goes into it. I like mine to be tart, but not overly so.

I also like to keep it simple so the cranberry flavour shines through. No spices needed, but I always use an orange. This compliments the cranberries well. A dash of port is optional, but hey, it is Christmas and it does give it a bit of extra pizazz. You’ll find the recipe at the bottom of the post.

Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Port

If you make your own cranberry sauce you’ll already know how easy it and and that it’s far more delicious than any you can buy. Unless you’re making a large batch for festive gifts, however, you’ll find you don’t need all of the fresh cranberries in a normal pack.


In my experience fresh cranberries come in rather large bags – anything from 250g to 350g. I don’t mind this as cranberries freeze exceedingly well and should be good to use for up to a year. All you need to do, is place the fruit in a single layer on a tray. Make sure it’s one that will fit in your freezer; I use a small baking sheet. Place the tray in the freezer for about an hour, then tip all of the berries into a freezer bag or freezer proof tub, date and label then pop them back in.

Freezing Leftover Cranberries

Frozen this way, you can take out as many or as few cranberries as you like. You can use them to make more cranberry sauce in the new year if you wish, but there’s so much more you can do with them. Most recipes using fresh cranberries will work well with frozen too. You can use them to add colour and flavour to smoothies and other drinks.

This vegan cranberry, walnut and apple smoothie from A Virtual Vegan sounds rather lush as does this cranberry mojito from Sandhya’s Kitchen. Here’s a Brussels sprout and cranberry pasta bake from Foodie Quine which has the added bonus of using up any leftover sprouts you have lurking in the fridge.

Cranberry Recipes

For something sweet you could try my chilli cardamom cranberry upside down cake. Alternatively, use half the quantities to make mini versions in silicone muffin moulds or tins. This cranberry tart with pecan pastry from Jen’s Food is one I have my eye on. For a decadent weekend breakfast, these crispy cranberry buttermilk pancakes form Rhubararians look rather scrumptious.

Frozen Stock Cubes

At the end of the Christmas meal, there is inevitably a load of leftovers. My mother always makes soup with them, but I prefer to make rich and flavoursome stock cubes that will last a bit longer. It’s very easy. Gather together any leftover gravy, wine, bread sauce and vegetables, although you might want to leave out the brussels sprouts and cabbage. Blitz everything in a blender. If it’s too thick add a little water. Spoon or pour into ice cube trays and freeze. You may need to do these a few at a time, depending on how much stock you have and how many ice cube trays. Once frozen, remove the stock cubes from the trays and place in a bag.

Frozen Stock Cubes

Freeze until needed or for up to 6 months. Add one or two stock cubes to soups, stews, pies, risottos and sauces for additional flavour. What a great way to keep the memory of Christmas alive for months to come.

Nut Roast

Call me old fashioned, but nut roast is my favourite main for Christmas dinner. I usually make something similar to this lentil & Brazil nut roast or Thinly Spread’s chestnut and cashew nut roast. It’s quite large, but you can bet your bottom dollar, that if I make a smaller one even the meat eaters will want some. I’m happy to take the risk, because actually I like leftover nut roast. I tend to have a slice for Boxing Day, then freeze the rest for quick and easy meals when I don’t have time to cook.

Nut Roast Recipes

Just slice the nut roast into suitable sized portions and freeze. This can be done in two ways:

  1. Lay the nut roast slices on a baking sheet and freeze for a couple of hours. Put the slices in a freezer bag and freeze until needed.
  2. Using a suitable sized freezer container, lay slices on top of each other with a piece of greaseproof paper in between each one. Cover and freeze until needed.

Alternatively, you could make individual nut roasts like these cute porcini and chestnut mini wreath roasts from The Veg Space or these mini bundt chestnut roasts from Veggie Desserts. You can then freeze any you don’t need on the actual day. The nut roasts will keep for up to three months in the freezer. When ready to eat, pop in the oven or microwave to heat up.

If you love food but hate waste, you’re bound to have a few tips of your own. We’d love to hear them.

Keep in Touch

Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this quick and easy cranberry sauce with orange and port, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos or thoughts on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.

For more delicious and nutritious recipes, follow me on TwitterFacebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

If you’re looking for more festive recipe ideas, I have you covered. Take a look at this vegetarian and vegan Christmas recipes post.

Easy Cranberry Sauce. PIN IT.

Cranberry Sauce with Orange & Port.

Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Port – The Recipe

Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Port
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5 from 2 votes

Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Port

Quick and easy cranberry sauce made with orange and a dash of port. Perfect for Christmas, Boxing Day and Thanksgiving.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Jams, Chutneys etc
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Christmas, cranberries, quick, sauce, Thanksgiving
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Choclette


  • 150 g fresh cranberries although you can substitute frozen - washed and drained
  • 60 g golden caster sugar
  • 1 organic orange
  • 1 tbsp port


  • Pour the cranberries and sugar into a medium sized saucepan and place over a medium heat.
  • Finely grate in the orange rind, then squeeze in the juice.
  • Allow to simmer for 5-8 minutes or until all the berries have burst. Stir occasionally.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the port.
  • Spoon into a sterilised jar. Cover and leave to cool.


Will keep in the fridge for a good two weeks.


I’m sending my cranberry sauce recipe and leftover tips to Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary for the No Waste Food Challenge.

Post commissioned by Love Food Hate Waste. I was not expected to write a positive review and all opinions are, as always, my own. Thanks to my readers for supporting the brands and organisations that help to keep Tin and Thyme blithe and blogging.



  1. Ren Behan

    17th December 2016 at 11:19 am

    You really can’t beat a lovely home-made cranberry sauce – especially with port in it! I love all your ideas for freezing things and using up leftovers. It’s so important not to waste food, especially when Christmas leftovers are SO very delicious!

    • Choclette

      17th December 2016 at 4:22 pm

      This is very true Ren. I adore Christmas leftovers and I absolutely had throwing food away.

  2. Nadia

    17th December 2016 at 12:56 pm

    It really is shocking how much food goes to waste 🙁 luckily we have people like you reminding us and giving us brilliant ideas of what to do with our leftovers 😀 great recipe ideas Choclette!

    PS nut roast is my favourite main for Christmas too 😉

    • Choclette

      17th December 2016 at 4:23 pm

      Yay, maybe we should start a nut roast fan club. Thanks for your lovely comment Nadia 😀

  3. Camilla Hawkins

    17th December 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Great tips for leftovers here and loving your Cranberry Sauce Recipe, must make my own this year as I usually cheat but worth the effort to make your own:-)

    • Choclette

      17th December 2016 at 4:25 pm

      It’s definitely worth the effort Camilla, especially as it really is very little effort at all 🙂

  4. Andrea @ The Petite Cook

    17th December 2016 at 4:57 pm

    So many brilliant ideas here! I love making my own cranberry sauce, and as you said it’s easier to control the sugar level. Thank you for sharing so many inspiring recipes!

    • Choclette

      17th December 2016 at 7:21 pm

      Thanks Andrea. The beauty of cranberry sauce is that it’s so quick and easy to make.

  5. Michelle Twin Mum

    17th December 2016 at 6:50 pm

    I love the idea of the stock cubes, I can easily do that but woudl never have thought of it. Thanks, Mich x

    • Choclette

      17th December 2016 at 7:23 pm

      Thanks Mich, Christmas stock cubes are great as their’s usually some nice sauces to liven things up.

  6. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    17th December 2016 at 7:23 pm

    The cranberry sauce looks fantastic and I love the leftover ideas!

    • Choclette

      17th December 2016 at 8:05 pm

      Thanks Angie. Christmas just isn’t quite Christmas without cranberry sauce 🙂

  7. Johanna @ Green Gourmet Giraffe

    18th December 2016 at 10:15 am

    I would love to make cranberry sauce but fresh cranberries are rare here (and usually imported) so we just stick to bought sauce. I always have leftover sauce and am always looking for ideas to use up the sauce as it usually sits around for far too long! On the other hand nut roast leftovers are a joy and always go too quickly – I really love it sliced cold in a salad sandwich.

    • Choclette

      18th December 2016 at 9:44 pm

      I don’t think I’ve ever had a nut roast sandwich and now feel I’m missing out. You could always add some sauce to that. Alternatively bung it in with all the other leftovers to make stock cubes 🙂

  8. Dom

    18th December 2016 at 4:54 pm

    what a brilliant collection recipes for left-overs… we tend not to cook huge amounts so the left-overs go into sandwiches which I prefer to the main meal anyway. Would be perfect with this cranberry sauce tho!

    • Choclette

      18th December 2016 at 9:41 pm

      Leftovers are usually the best bits I find Dom. I like the idea of Christmas leftovers sandwiches – yum!

  9. Mina Joshi

    18th December 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing your cranberry sauce recipe. It looks dlicious. I have always bought the ready made ones which often let you down. I like the idea of adding an orange to the cranberry sauce mixture.

    • Choclette

      18th December 2016 at 9:41 pm

      Thanks Mina, cranberries and orange go so well together. Do give it a try.

  10. Natalie Tamara @TheTofuDiaries

    18th December 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Great ideas for avoiding waste this Christmas. I tend to stick with only the veggies and potatoes for Christmas dinner as I used to find whatever I had to accompany it in the past left me with too many leftovers (nut roast doesn’t go down so well with the meat eaters in my family!).

    • Choclette

      19th December 2016 at 9:03 am

      Thanks Natalie. The good thing about Christmas dinner is that the veggies are often the best bit anyway 🙂

  11. Jen

    19th December 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Loads of great ideas for using up leftovers. Your cranberry sauce looks delicious, there really is nothing that beats homemade.

    • Choclette

      19th December 2016 at 9:09 pm

      Well you are the Cranberry Queen Jen, so I bow to your words of wisdom 🙂

  12. Alida @My Little Italian Kitchen

    20th December 2016 at 11:53 am

    This year I will make my own cranberry sauce too. I made it only once and it was totally different and definitely less sugary than the one out of a jar. Lots of lovely tips Choclette.
    I wish you a peaceful and relaxing Christmas and a new year full of surprises! xx

    • Choclette

      20th December 2016 at 5:56 pm

      Thank you very much Alida. I hope your cranberry sauce goes well and you have a wonderful Christmas too 😀

  13. Elizabeth

    31st December 2016 at 3:44 pm

    I do love a good homemade cranberry sauce, and I’m terrible for buying too many cranberries! I always freeze mine too, but usually just in the bags they came in, lol! Thank you for sharing your fab tips with the No Waste Food Challenge, and all the best for 2017! 🙂

    • Choclette

      1st January 2017 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth. Freezing cranberries in the bags they come in is an even better idea – less plastic waste too 😉 Happy New Year 🙂


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