Have a Very Cranberry Thanksgiving!

We checked in with several chefs around the Garden State to get the inside scoop on the best ways to use cranberries, both on Thanksgiving and—even better—on Friday, with leftovers. Thanks to the many chefs and restaurants who contributed! Mangia! 

Kick things off with a cocktail…

sparklingcranberrycosmoSparkling Cranberry Cosmo
Courtesy of Strip House at Westminster Hotel

1 oz Tito’s vodka
½ oz orange liqueur
¼ oz lemon juice
½ oz cranberry juice
4 oz Prosecco
Dry or fresh cranberries for garnish


Add vodka, orange liqueur, lemon and cranberry to champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with dry or fresh cranberries.


Cranberry Granola Bars
Courtesy of Blue Pig Tavern

2 cups oats
2 cups peanuts (chopped)
1½ cups wheat germ
1½ cups sunflower seeds
2 cups rice cereal
1⅓ cup brown sugar
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter
3½ cups dried cranberries


  1. Combined oats, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and chopped peanuts. Spread evenly onto a cookie sheet and toast them for 10 minutes in a oven preheated to 325°F. Let cool before adding to the remaining ingredients.
  2. In a very large bowl measure your rice cereal, dried cranberries and add your remaining toasted ingredients. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sauce pot, over medium heat, combine brown sugar, honey, vanilla, and salt. Bring this to a boil and remove from heat.
  4. Pour brown sugar syrup over your dry ingredients and carefully fold with a large serving spoon. (Be cautious, as this will be very hot, but will cool as you mix.)
  5. Once all is incorporated, into a prepared cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and greased with vegetable oil spray, pour the granola and with greased hands press down mixture until it is even and compact.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and let mixture chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Cut and enjoy! Best stored in the refrigerator.


Maple Orange Cranberry Sauce (pictured at top)
Courtesy of How to Feed a Loon

1 12-oz. package of fresh or frozen cranberries (3 cups)
1 cup pure maple syrup
⅓ cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
⅓ cup cranberry juice (not cocktail)
1 tablespoon orange zest, plus more for garnish


  1. Combine the cranberries, maple syrup, orange juice, cranberry juice and orange zest in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, just until the cranberries burst, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Turn down the heat to medium-low and continue cooking over lower heat until the juice is thick, about 10 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat. Allow to cool, and then chill in the fridge until ready to serve. It should have a nice jelly-like consistency.
  5. Garnish with extra orange zest.


deliboydeliveryRoasted Butternut Squash & Kale with Dried Cranberries and Pistachios
Courtesy of Deliboy Delivery

2 whole butternut squash (about 3 lbs), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, and cut into ½-inch chunks
1 bunch flat-leaf kale (about 12 ounces), tough stems removed, leaves cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup dry cranberries
1 cup shelled pistachios (lightly crushed)
Olive oil
Salt, Pepper


  1. Preheat over to 375°F.
  2. Arrange butternut squash on a sheet pan in a single layer.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped kale to the butternut and roast an additional 15 to 20 minutes until the butternut is cooked through.
  6. Once cooled, sprinkle the cranberries and pistachios over top and toss to serve.


Warm Goat in the Coat
Courtesy of Chef Mike’s Atlantic Bar & Grill


Goat Cheese
2 oz piece of goat cheese
1 oz olive oil
3 oz seasoned bread crumbs

Form the goat cheese in a pyramid then dip in olive oil then into the bread crumbs. Refrigerate for 5 hours.

Cranberry Pear Compote
1 small Asian pear, diced
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup cranberry juice
½ cup white sugar
½ cup apple pectin

Heat everything, except apple pectin, together until boiling. Slowly add apple pectin until thick, then chill.

Raspberry Vinaigrette
½ cup raspberry vinegar
1 cup olive oil
⅓ cup white sugar
3 basil leaves
1 small red onion diced
Salt and pepper

Place the vinegar, sugar, basil, and salt and pepper in a food processor on high. Slowly add the olive oil until thick. Add the onions at the end when the machine is off.

Top with frisee lettuce.


And on Friday…

sambaThe Best Turkey Sandwich 
Courtesy of Samba Brazilian Restaurant and Cafe


Layer sliced, leftover turkey breast with brie, cranberry sauce and honey mustard on Ciabatta Bread.