Adventures in Healthier Eating with 2 Kids and a Picky Husband

Grilled Cheese and Turkey With a Homemade Cranberry Sauce Challenge

9 WWPP Posted by 11 months ago 3 Comments

This year I perfected my Thanksgiving menu, and for the third time I made my own homemade cranberry sauce. Normally no one enjoys it (or even tries it) but me but this year, I converted my father-in-law who actually chose it over the canned stuff!

My mission is to slowly convert everyone… baby steps!

Anyway, I’ve never shared a recipe for Homemade Cranberry Sauce on the blog because, frankly, I never measure anything and I make it a little different every year using whatever I have on hand. Sometimes stopping to weigh or photograph takes the fun out of cooking for me. I really love intuitively cooking. It makes me happy.

If you are recipe follower, a homemade cranberry sauce is a great nudge-you-out of your comfort zone dish. It’s easy. It’s forgiving. And really, you can’t mess it up!

I mean it — you can’t mess it up.

Now I’m sure if you do a quick search online you’ll find countless cranberry sauce recipe, but I want to challenge you to try a more intuitive approach. It’s fun! And having fresh cranberry sauce in the fridge is great to have around the holidays. You can use it like jelly, mix it in yogurt, pair it with pork or chicken, use it as a base or a whole bunch of sauces, eat it with granola, I mean, really, the options are endless!

Here’s the gist of what I did Thanksgiving morning to make mine this year…

I placed an entire bag fresh of cranberries in a small pot with a splash of water and started to cook them over medium-high heat. Every once in a while I squished them with a wooden spoon. Then I peeled 2 clementines and added the segments with a tiny pinch of salt. Once the cranberries started to get mushy I added maple syrup, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg. I honestly have no idea how much. I just do a dash and then taste. As everything started to combine together I remembered I had some frozen blueberries so I added a handful and squished those in as well.

Twenty minutes later I had a pot of fresh cranberry sauce!

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture because it was Thanksgiving morning and I was cooking 10 other things at the same time. However, here is the finished product spread on a slice of bread.

Fresh Cranberry Sauce Smeared on bread

Which brings me to my ultimate leftover Thanksgiving grilled cheese!

I’ve recently been obsessed with grilled cheese, especially for breakfast. I really can’t tell you why — I just am — and this combo is my favorite.

Grilled Cheese and Turkey with a Homemade Cranberry SauceThe sweet-tart cranberry sauce combined with a smoky cheese is the perfect marriage. I use this combo in my harvest salad, too but it’s even better with some meaty turkey in the middle.

This is how I made the Grilled Cheese and Turkey With a Homemade Cranberry Sauce, but really this is my technique for all grilled cheese sandwiches. I always use a bit of coconut oil for the fat but you could use butter or olive oil or even a spritz of non-stick cooking spray if you really want to. I just love touch of sweetness the coconut oil adds.

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread
  • ~2 tbsp homemade cranberry sauce
  • 2 oz of leftover turkey breast (chicken or deli turkey would also work)
  • 1 oz smoked cheddar cheese, sliced thin (or gouda)

Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the oil.

While the skillet is heating, spread the cranberry sauce on one slice of bread. Top it with the turkey, cheese, and then the other slice of bread.

Place the sandwich in the skillet, cover, and lower the heat just a touch — this is my secret to the perfect grilled cheese.

cooking grilled cheese

Leave it alone for 4-5 minutes then check the bottom slice for toastyness. Once golden brown, flip and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes or until the second slice of bread is toasted and the cheese is melted in the middle.

Cut in half and enjoy!

Grilled Cheese and Turkey with a Homemade Cranberry Sauce Challenge

I hope you give homemade cranberry sauce a chance this holiday season. I know it’s a little late for Thanksgiving but it a fun addition for the Christmas table, too!

(I used  generic “homemade cranberry” sauce to calculate the NI.)

Approx Nutritional Information per serving
Servings Amt per Serving
1 Entire Recipe
Calories Fat Fiber WWPs
320 12g 4g old: 7 new: 9
Sugar Sat Fat Carbs Protein
3g 10g 29g 31g

See other recipes using: cranberries, maple syrup

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There are 3 comments so far. Join in on the conversation.


    December 3, 2015

    I bet that cranberry sauce was amazing! I love the combo of cranberries and blueberries. Raspberries mixed in with cranberries is really nice as well. I love putting leftover cranberry sauce into plain Greek yogurt. It's so tart and yummy. I also think grilled cheese is the perfect anytime food.

    Karen Z

    December 4, 2015

    This looks delicious! I love cranberry sauce on turkey sandwiches. Will have to try this recipe. Thanks Roni

    Jeri Lyn

    December 9, 2015

    I made homemade cranberry cherry sauce for the first time this year. It turns out neither my hubby or I is a big fan, but I did mix it in my Greek yogurt & that was pretty good. :)