10 Cranberry Recipes plus a Turkey Cranberry and Grilled Brie Cheese Sandwich

by heidi on November 21, 2012

This year’s Thanksgiving dinner table conversation could turn from a mild meet-up to a combative melee depending on one’s beliefs. Why? Here’s one reason why.

Turkey Cranberry and Brie Grilled Cheese from foodicrush.com

Thanks for the stimulating conversation but I’ll be staying far from the fracas.

Thanksgiving brings out opinions aplenty in areas other than current events or whether the Redskins or Cowboys will take the turkey honors. Some of the strongest are tied to food and the stalwart stands we each take when it comes to defending our turkey day dinners.

I suppose we all take it so seriously because it’s a hallmark dinner, a noble meal where tradition rules and YOU like best eating what YOU grew up with: what grandma made resulting in what mom made because grandma did and now you make because it’s in your genes and you do what mom says.

So what about those perennial stand-offs for the lovers and the haters? Which camp do you fall into?

  • Light meat or dark? (light, please although I’ve become a bit of a dark meat novice in the past few years)
  • Stuffing: In the bird or cooked separately? (in the bird, mushy!) Savory or sweet? (I’m a stuffing purist, don’t be messing with my stuffing by adding dried apricots to my perfect, moist, sage-ified bread chunks)
  • Sweet potatoes with or without marshmallows? Or just plain gross? (spiced up with chipotle puhhhhllleeez)
  • Gravy with or without giblets? (wihout, thank you very much)
  • Homemade rolls (I am coveting this recipe) or storebought? (homemade by someone other than me)
  • Pumpkin or pecan? (I’ll take both)

Turkey Cranberry and Brie Grilled Cheese from foodicrush.com
The one item that is the simplest on the table—besides the butter that’s not so simple after being molded into a turkey— the one item that has no business outshining the turkey or mixing in with the mashed potatoes, is also the one that places a cavernous divide as unwavering within family lore as the line that divided the back seat between siblings on family vacations.

Cranberry sauce.

I’m with Jessica on this one (see #4)  and am happy to go with the canned—full berry please, not the gelatinous jelly version—although I certainly enjoy the homemade recipe and covet it when it’s in my oh so happy if that happens midst.

But sometimes it’s all about convenience. And time. And cravings.

Want to know an easy way to spruce up the canned variety? With a few zests of orange added to the mix, canned takes on a whole new flavor-flav level. Like good!

So what to do with the extra cranberry sauce once the day is done? I specifically buy an extra can just for sandwiches. And just like my Turkey and White Cheddar with Caramelized Onion and Grape Grilled Cheese, this sandwich has moved into my favorite turkey creation rotation.

You won’t find any more arguments here.

Turkey Cranberry and Grilled Brie Cheese Sandwich

Turkey Cranberry and Grilled Brie Cheese Sandwich


4 slices cranberry walnut bread
6 slices brie, rind removed
4 slices turkey breast, about 6 ounces
1/4 cup cranberry sauce
1/2 avocado
2-3 tablespoons butter


  1. Heat a skillet on medium. Butter one side of each piece of bread. On unbuttered side of 2 slices of bread layer half of brie, half of cranberry sauce, 2 slices of turkey and a few avocado slices. Place slice of bread on top, buttered side up, cover with a lid and grill in skillet until bread becomes golden. Flip sandwich once, cover again with lid and cook until cheese melts and bottom piece of bread becomes golden. Cut in half and serve hot.

Following are a few stellar homemade cranberry recipes, plus adaptations on how to put them to work in every arena of dinner. And dessert. Duh!

Alton Brown’s Cranberry Sauce (Only Better) from Kelley of Mountain Mama Cooks has my number: She’s making a double batch for turkey sandwiches.

Jezebel’s Cranberry Sauce from Sandy of The Reluctant Entertainer is perfectly poised as a DIY hostess gift or holiday party favor.

Cranberry Chutney from Maya of Alaska from Scratch is so worth the few extra ingredients that creates it’s complex flavor.

Quick Sparkling Cranberry Sangria by Marina of Yummy Mummy showcases fall’s best: wine, cranberries and sliced apple.

Cranberry Bliss Cookies by Ali of Gimme Some Oven has put Starbuck’s Cranberry Bliss straight into the corner thanks to a white chocolate cream cheese frosting draping tart cranberries.

Cranberry Almond Wedges from Naomi of Baker’s Royale puts a BHG recipe to the test and it looks like a complete success.

Fresh Cranberry Tea Cake made by Liren of Kitchen Confidante is simple and delightful and I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a photo of cranberries sliced in half more!

Cranberry Apple Stuffing from Elsie of A Beautiful Mess  is veggie friendly but can easily be adapted for meat lovers.

Rosemary Pork Chops with a Cranberry Juniper Glaze from Eva of Adventures In Cooking kicks turkey to the curb thanks to her enhanced pine-ey flavored sauce.

Cranberry Wild Rice from Taylor of the appropirately named Taylor Takes a Taste blends basmati and wild rice with apple juice and fragrant aromatics. And yes, cranberries.

Friday I have some news on what’s up with FoodieCrush, a new holiday eCookbook launching on Cyber Monday and my usual Friday Favorites. In between stuffing your face and doing some damage at the mall, make sure to check back in, would ya’? XOOX

Make sure to subscribe to FoodieCrush for sneak peeks and the first reveal of the Holiday issue. Follow me on TwitterFacebookPinterest and Instagram too.


Posted in: chicken and turkey,entrees,recipes,sauces and condiments

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Averie @ Averie Cooks November 21, 2012 at 1:30 am

I made cranberries today! But the post isn’t up yet. I made Cranberry Bliss Bars a few weeks ago and have been so into cranberries with my holiday baking already this year – great post!


Courtney November 21, 2012 at 7:53 am

BEST blog post on my Reader this week! I LOOOOOOOVE cranberries. Couldn’t pin this fast enough!

Happy Thanksgiving~


Kathryn November 21, 2012 at 7:56 am

I so love reading about all your thanksgiving food traditions – it’s making me so excited for Christmas!


JulieD November 21, 2012 at 8:21 am

Love your grilled cheese OMG, it’s beautiful!! And all of these cranberry recipes look amazing!!


Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet November 21, 2012 at 8:33 am

I love cranberry sauce ( homemade of course ) but the leftovers are even better! Your grilled cheese looks out-of-this-world!!


Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom November 21, 2012 at 9:17 am

OMG, that grilled brie and turkey sandwich looks DELICIOUS!!! I can’t wait for Thanksgiving so I can have leftover turkey and make myself one!!! LOVE!!!! Happy Thanksgiving!


Laura (Tutti Dolci) November 21, 2012 at 10:16 am

Love that sandwich! Yes to grilled brie!


Art & Lemons November 21, 2012 at 11:05 am

Grilled Cranberry Brie Sandwiches (spiked with a bit of chiles) are my all time favorite post Thanksgiving leftover feast! Love the avocado addition in yours. Happy Thanksgiving!


Karista @Karista's Kitchen November 21, 2012 at 11:25 am

These all look so divine Heidi. Sadly, I’m allergic to the beautifully tart cranberry. :( Although I still cook with them, just don’t eat much of them. Or I’ll end up looking as red as the cranberry! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your beautiful family.


Cassie | Bake Your Day November 21, 2012 at 11:32 am

This is beyond gorgeous, Heidi! I love this post. Definitely white meat, sweet potatoes with no marshmallows, savory stuffing outside of the bird (I like the crispy edges), gravy without giblets, pecan pie and pumpkin cheesecake, and definitely homemade rolls! Happy Thanksgiving!


Elizabeth @Mango_Queen November 21, 2012 at 11:37 am

That turkey-cranberry-brie grilled cheese sandwich? It just killed. Omg, it is unbelievable. I must make this. Can’t wait for the day after when I can indulge on the leftovers! Thanks for sharing & Happy Thanksgiving! I love your site :-)


Annalise November 21, 2012 at 12:40 pm

That sandwich has my name written all over it. Cranberry sauce is probably my favorite condiment, well that or fry sauce. Thanks also for the link!


Maria November 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Love the sandwich…well, as long as you take off the turkey:) Happy Thanksgiving my friend!


Martyna@WholesomeCook November 21, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Loved this list and learning about all of the different twists and traditions of this uniquely American holiday which has made this sandwich famous world over. Great post!


Elizabeth Pruyn November 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Thanks for some yummy new cranberry ideas. One of our favorites is to take 1 cup cranberries and 2 cups maple syrup and gently boil them together until the cranberries burst and color the syrup. It’s lovely on pumpkin & cornmeal pancakes/waffles on Christmas morning.


Cara November 25, 2012 at 7:23 am

That sandwich is the #1 reason I wish we didn’t travel for Thanksgiving. I miss having leftovers!


John Proestakes January 26, 2013 at 7:16 pm

Your photos are unbelievable… making me so hungry right now.


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