This super quick and easy creamy vinaigrette uses leftover cranberry sauce combined with fresh lime juice for a sweet and tangy salad dressing. The recipe has just 5 ingredients and mixes up in the blender or with an immersion blender. Use canned jellied, canned with whole cranberries or fresh homemade cranberry sauce.
This recipe has just five ingredients. I left out some of the traditional vinaigrette ingredients like shallots and mustard. When testing the recipe I found that the mustard almost completely blocked the flavor of the cranberry. I wanted to be sure that the flavor of the cranberry sauce is front and center.
Cranberry sauce – I tested this dressing with both fresh, chunky cranberry sauce and canned jellied cranberry sauce. The recipe worked equally well with all of them. If you use one with whole cranberries, you’ll need to blend it longer.
I prefer this vinaigrette with a neutral flavored oil like avocado, sunflower or canola oil. It allows the cranberry flavor to stand out more. But if you prefer, extra virgin olive oil can be used too. It’s traditional in vinaigrettes and with its slight bitter flavor profile, it does a good job of balancing the sweetness of cranberry sauce.
Vinegar – I tested the recipe with white wine vinegar and champagne vinegar. White balsamic can be used also. And the fruity flavor of apple cider vinegar makes it another good alternative.
Cranberry and lime is a classic combination and work so well in together in a vinaigrette. Just a tablespoon of fresh lime juice is all you need. And I definitely recommend using fresh squeezed. The prepared versions just don’t taste the same.
Finally just a few pinches of salt brings all the flavors together and provides some balance.
Salads with Cranberry Vinaigrette
This cranberry vinaigrette is pretty versatile and can top just about any green salad. But here are a few ideas for salads that will go great with this vinaigrette.
- butter lettuce with feta cheese, chopped walnuts and pomegranate seeds
- green leaf lettuce with tangerine sections, shaved cucumber and toasted slivered almonds
- chopped kale sliced red apple, shredded carrot, green onion and chopped pecans. I recommend chopping the kale and marinating it with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette before assembling the salad. This will tenderize the kale
5-Minute (Leftover) Cranberry Lime Vinaigrette
- ½ c cranberry sauce (canned or fresh)
- ⅓ c oil – avocado, sunflower, canola or other neutral flavored vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp white wine, white balsamic or champagne vinegar apple cider vinegar can be used too
- 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (1 lime)
- 3 pinches salt
- This vinaigrette can be mixed up in the blender, food processor or with an immersion blender.
- Blend all of the ingredients together, on high, until the cranberry sauce is completely liquefied and the vinaigrette is creamy. If using cranberry sauce with whole cranberries in it, you will need to blend it longer to create a smooth dressing.
- Taste. Feel free to adjust the flavor to your preference. If you want it a little more sour add a teaspoon of vinegar or lime juice. A little more salty? Add salt a couple of pinches at a time.
- This vinaigrette should be refrigerated and will stay fresh for at least 10 days.