Spicy Cranberry Mayo Spread Recipe: Homemade & Store-Bought

The holiday season brings a flurry of gatherings, from hearty Thanksgiving feasts to festive Christmas celebrations. With carefully-crafted menus, every ingredient plays a part in creating a memorable meal. One versatile and delicious way to transform leftover cranberry sauce into a unique recipe is to whip up a batch of spicy cranberry mayonnaise.


Spicy Cranberry Mayo Spread

I’ve always loved finding ways to add a touch of the unexpected to traditional dishes. During a recent Thanksgiving, a spoonful of leftover cranberry sauce had me thinking – how can I make this even better? A dollop of mayo, some spices, and the result was fantastic!

This cranberry mayonnaise brings a sweet and tangy element to sandwiches or wraps. Imagine the boldness of the cranberry cutting through the richness of the mayo, with a slight kick to keep things interesting. It’s surprisingly easy to make, too, and adds a vibrant touch to your holiday spread.

What to Make with Cranberry Mayo

Now that you’ve got your batch of spicy cranberry mayo, let’s explore how this versatile condiment can elevate so many dishes. Its unique blend of sweet and tangy flavor adds personality to everything it touches. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Sandwiches & Wraps: Obviously, the first place to use cranberry mayo is as a spread. It’s phenomenal on leftover turkey sandwiches, but also pairs beautifully with chicken.
  • Salad Dressings & Dips: Whisk a bit of cranberry mayo into a vinaigrette for a creamy, flavorful dressing. Or use it as a zingy dip for roasted vegetables or even fries!
  • Burgers & Beyond: Upgrade your next burger by ditching ketchup and swapping in cranberry mayo. It’s also a fantastic condiment for grilled meats, adding a distinct taste that blends the savory and sweet profiles.
  • Holiday Appetizers: Cranberry mayo is a secret weapon for festive bites. Think crostini topped with a dab of it, a dollop of brie, and a sprinkle of shredded turkey.

A Whisk and Nibble’s Tip: If you want the easiest crostini recipe ever, toss some cubed bread with olive oil and herbs, then bake until crispy. Top those golden bites with the cranberry mayo mixture for a simple, delicious holiday appetizer.

Bonus: To make this recipe even more adaptable, you can substitute homemade mayonnaise with a vegan option if desired.

You’ll Love This Make-Ahead Cranberry Mayo Recipe

There are so many reasons to fall in love with this simple make-ahead Cranberry Mayo recipe. Here’s a breakdown of why it’s a winner:

  • Flavorful Twist: The combination of tart cranberries and creamy mayonnaise creates a unique and delightful taste, adding a subtle gourmet touch to everyday dishes.
  • Versatility: This cranberry mayo is incredibly adaptable, finding its place in a variety of uses. Use it as a straightforward sandwich spread, a base for flavorful dressings, a vibrant dip, or even a glaze for roasted meats. It’s a fantastic addition to your culinary toolkit.
  • Time Saver: Making it ahead of time means you have a ready-to-use, flavorful condiment on hand. This saves valuable time and effort, especially during busy meal preparations or unexpected gatherings.
  • Holiday Perfection: Cranberry mayo boasts a festive flavor profile, making it a perfect addition to holiday meals. It complements traditional dishes like turkey or ham beautifully.
  • Customizable: This recipe is a starting point; you can adjust it to your taste.  Make it sweeter, tangier, or experiment with different spices and herbs.

Overall, this cranberry mayo is a true multipurpose kitchen staple. It offers a burst of flavor, enhances numerous dishes, and lends a festive twist to any occasion.

Nutritional Information

NutrientAmount per Serving (1 sandwich)
Calories590 kcal
Total Fat36g
Saturated Fat15g
Cholesterol100 mg
Sodium1232 mg
Potassium205 mg
Total Carbohydrate47g
Dietary Fiber11g

Spicy Cranberry Mayo Spread Recipe

Recipe by Whisk and NibbleCourse: AppetizersCuisine: American


Prep time





Sweet and tangy cranberry sauce meets creamy mayo with a kick of spice in this delicious twist on a classic condiment.


  • 1/2 cup of cranberry sauce, whole or jellied will work

  • 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard

  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise

  • 1 tsp of chili powder (optional)


  • Gather Ingredients: Make sure you have cranberry sauce (homemade or store bought), mayonnaise, mustard (I prefer Dijon for a touch of zest), chili powder, and a pinch of salt for balance.
  • Combine: In a small bowl, combine the cranberry sauce, mustard, mayo, and chili powder. Add a pinch of salt and adjust the seasoning level to your liking.
  • Whisk: Whisk everything together until well-blended and smooth. For an extra-smooth texture, you can even blend it briefly in a food processor.


  • Cranberry Sauce: You can use either homemade or store-bought cranberry sauce. Whole berry or jellied cranberry sauce will work for this recipe.
  • Adjust the Spice: The chili powder is optional. Start with a smaller amount and gradually increase it to suit your heat preference. You could also swap the chili powder for a pinch of cayenne or your favorite spice blend.
  • Sweetness Factor: If you prefer a sweeter cranberry mayo, add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
  • Make it Herby: Elevate the flavor by adding a tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs like chives or parsley.
  • Storage: The cranberry mayo will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Ways to Use Cranberry Mayo

Let’s get creative! Here are a few delicious ways to use your cranberry mayo:

  • Turkey Sandwich Spread: Elevate your turkey sandwiches (or wraps!) by ditching plain mayo. Spread cranberry mayo on your favorite bread for a unique twist. The tartness of the cranberry and the creaminess of the mayo are a perfect match, especially with post-Thanksgiving leftovers.
  • Salad Dressing Base: Mix cranberry mayo with a bit of vinegar and olive oil, and you’ve got a delightful salad dressing. It pairs well with salads that include nuts, cheese, and bold leafy greens.
  • Grilled Chicken Glaze: Brush cranberry mayo on grilled chicken during the last few minutes of cooking. It caramelizes beautifully and adds a sweet and tangy flavor that compliments the smokiness of the grill.
  • Dipping Sauce: Cranberry mayo makes a surprisingly addictive dipping sauce for fried foods like chicken tenders, fries, and veggie fritters. It adds a festive touch and a burst of flavor.
  • Vegetable Spread: Spread cranberry mayo on roasted or grilled vegetables like Brussels sprouts, carrots, or asparagus. It provides an added layer of flavor; the tartness of the cranberry cuts through the earthiness of the veggies.

Variations for Flavor Exploration

  • Spice It Up: Mention that a touch of warmth can be incredible in cranberry mayo. We suggest a pinch of cinnamon, ground ginger, or even a tiny bit of cayenne pepper for those who like a touch of heat.
  • Herbaceous Twist: Offer that chopped fresh herbs like chives or parsley add brightness and a savory note.

Serving Inspiration

  • Beyond the Bread: Cranberry mayo is a perfect dip for sweet potato fries or other fried snacks.
  • Appetizer Upgrade: Whisk and Nibble suggests using cranberry mayo as a topping on crostini. A spoonful of the mayo, a sprinkle of crumbled cheese (brie, feta, etc.), and a festive garnish make an easy yet impressive holiday appetizer.

Troubleshooting Your Cranberry Mayo

  • Texture Adjustments: If the mayo seems too thick, a touch of lemon juice or a splash of water can thin it out. If too runny, suggest whisking in a bit more mayonnaise.
  • Flavor Balance: The taste is subjective. Encourage yourself to add a bit more sweetness (if desired) with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, or even whipped honey, or boost the tanginess with additional lemon juice.

How to Make Homemade Mayonnaise

What you need to make homemade mayo

  • 1 large egg (room temperature is best)
  • 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 tsp of white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp of dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of canola oil (or a neutral-flavored oil like light olive oil)

Steps to Make Homemade Mayo

  1. Equipment: You can use a blender, food processor, or even whisk by hand. A blender or food processor makes the process quicker.
  2. Combine Ingredients: Add the lemon juice, egg, vinegar, mustard, and salt to your chosen blending container.
  3. Blend: Start blending on a low setting. While blending, gradually drizzle in the olive oil in a very thin stream.
  4. Emulsify: Keep blending until the mixture has thickened and become creamy. This indicates it has emulsified.
  5. Store: Transfer homemade mayonnaise to a clean, airtight container or jar. Refrigerate and use within a week.

How Long Will Cranberry Mayonnaise Last

Homemade cranberry mayonnaise will usually last about a week if you store it properly in the refrigerator. Use an airtight container and make sure it stays consistently chilled. Before using it, always look for signs of spoilage. Look for odor or noticeable changes in texture.

It’s important to note that if you use store-bought mayonnaise as a base, the cranberry mayo’s shelf life might be shorter than the original expiration date of the mayonnaise.

How to Store Cranberry Mayonnaise

To maintain the freshness of your cranberry mayonnaise, follow these steps for proper storage:

  • Airtight Container: Thoroughly mix your cranberry mayo and then transfer it to a clean, airtight container. This helps prevent it from absorbing odors or flavors from other foods in your refrigerator.
  • Refrigeration: Always store cranberry mayonnaise in the refrigerator to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Label and Date: It’s a good idea to label the container with the date you made the homemade mayonnaise. Typically, it should last a week. If you used store-bought mayonnaise, check its expiration date and consider the impact of additional ingredients.
  • Check Consistency and Smell: Before using your cranberry mayo, always inspect it for signs of spoilage. Look for an off smell or any noticeable changes in the texture.

Can You Freeze Cranberry Mayonnaise?

Unfortunately, freezing cranberry mayonnaise isn’t a great idea. Mayonnaise generally does not freeze well because the emulsion (the mixture of oil and water-based ingredients) tends to separate. When thawed, you might end up with a watery, oily, and unappealing mess. So, while you might technically be able to freeze it, the texture and quality will be significantly compromised. It’s best to make and enjoy your cranberry mayonnaise fresh!

Health Considerations

While undeniably tasty, Spicy Cranberry Mayo Spread shouldn’t be considered a health food primarily due to the presence of mayonnaise. However, cranberries themselves do offer some potential benefits, being a source of antioxidants and vitamins. It’s also worth considering the type of mayonnaise you use. Opting for a healthier mayonnaise made with olive or avocado oil can provide beneficial fats. As with any condiment, moderation is key. Enjoy the flavor burst it offers, but be mindful of overall portion sizes.

Wrapping It Up

This Spicy Cranberry Mayo Spread is a simple yet transformative recipe that will quickly become a favorite. Its vibrant blend of sweet and tangy complements so many dishes, bringing a touch of the unexpected to your everyday meals and holiday feasts. Whether you’re using it to level up a turkey sandwich or whipping up a quick dip for an impromptu gathering, this versatile condiment delivers on flavor and convenience. Give it a try, and you might just find yourself adding a touch of cranberry mayo to everything!

RELATED: Cranberry Simple Syrup

RELATED: How to Make a Cranberry Martini


Frequently Asked Questions

How to jazz up cranberry sauce?

There are easy ways to transform cranberry sauce! Here are a few ideas:

  • Citrus Boost: A teaspoon of fresh lemon or orange zest will brighten flavors.
  • Candied Touch: Add a tablespoon of chopped mixed candied peel for texture and sweetness.
  • Splash of Flavor: A splash of your favorite juice (apple, grape, etc.) adds depth.
  • Ditch the Can: If you’re using canned sauce, these simple additions make it taste homemade.

How do you serve canned jellied cranberry sauce?

Here are two options:

  • Classic: The traditional way is to open the can and slice the cylinder of cranberry sauce into rounds. Arrange nicely on a platter.
  • Next Level: Take it a step further by adding a festive garnish. Think sugared rosemary sprigs or a sprinkle of candied ginger. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, cook the cranberry with orange juice and zest for a citrusy take on this holiday standby.

Is cranberry sauce a condiment?

Yes! Cranberry sauce (or cranberry jam, relish, etc.) is made from cranberries and commonly served as both a condiment and a side dish. It’s particularly popular during Thanksgiving dinner in North America and Christmas dinner in the United Kingdom and Canada.

What to pair with cranberry sauce?

Cranberry sauce is surprisingly versatile!  Here are some tasty pairings:

  • Braised pork with a five-spice cranberry glaze
  • Turkey cranberry burgers
  • Turkey and roast vegetable patties with cranberry dressing
  • Turkey, brie, and cranberry sandwiches
  • Pork, cranberry & pistachio rissoles with a warm potato salad

Can cranberry sauce go bad?

Yes, cranberry sauce can spoil.

  • General Rule: Toss anything left sitting at room temperature for more than two hours
  • Homemade: Homemade cranberry sauce lasts around 10–14 days in the fridge.
  • Canned: Opened canned cranberry sauce can keep for up to a week in the fridge.

Can I freeze cranberry mayonnaise?

A: It’s not recommended to freeze cranberry mayonnaise. Mayonnaise, in general, doesn’t handle freezing well as the emulsion tends to break. This can lead to a separated and unappealing texture when thawed. Stick to using your cranberry mayo fresh for the best results.

What can I substitute for cranberry mayonnaise?

There are a few options for those seeking alternatives to mayonnaise:

  • Greek yogurt: Use plain, full-fat Greek yogurt for a tangy and creamy base.
  • Vegan mayonnaise: Many great vegan mayonnaise options exist on the market.
  • Sour cream: This will add a tangy flavor similar to Greek yogurt, with a slightly thinner consistency.

Can I use dried cranberries to make cranberry mayo?

It’s best to use fresh or canned cranberry sauce. Dried cranberries are too concentrated in sweetness and lack the necessary moisture. However, you could rehydrate dried cranberries by simmering them in water or juice before mixing into the mayo.

Are there any health benefits to cranberry mayo?

While cranberry mayo shouldn’t be considered a health food due to the mayonnaise, there are some potential benefits.  Cranberries themselves are a source of antioxidants and vitamins. Choosing a healthier mayonnaise base (like ones made with olive or avocado oil) can also provide some beneficial fats.

Whisk and Nibble

Whisk & Nibble is a blog devoted to all things related to food - from sharing recipes for meals and drinks to highlighting the latest dessert trends and culinary lifestyle content. Visitors can find ideas and inspiration for all eating occasions while enjoying engaging writing about food culture. Whisk & Nibble aims to bring readers together over the shared joy of cooking and dining.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button