For inspiration, take a little trip back in time with us to the middle of the 20th century! Not every idea will be new to you, but they all beat passing around a bowl with a plain can-shaped blob so people can chip off pieces with a spoon.
How to slice cranberry sauce: To make round slices, open the can at both ends, and slide out the contents. Cut into even slices, anywhere from 1/4″ to 3/4″ thick, depending on your preference, and if you’re serving the slices whole or with cut-outs.
How to make shapes & cutouts: Slice as above, and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. (Be sure the slices are not so thick that the cutter can’t get all the way through.) Use a thin spatula to transfer your cranberry sauce shapes to a plate, as shown in some of the photos below.
No waste — use the inverted portions: If you cut your turkey or another shape out with a small enough cookie cutter, the remaining slice of cranberry sauce will also be decorative, just with the design element removed from the middle.
Any extra pieces that break off or are too small to be served as-is can be chopped up and served with a spoon from a bowl, or saved for leftovers.
PS: If you like these, you’re going to love this retro recipe: How to make edible cranberry candles as your holiday salad.
Make canned cranberry sauce cutouts shaped like little turkeys (1940s)
Serve 7 turkeys for Thanksgiving! One on a platter, and six made from cranberry sauce!
There’ll be oh’s and ah’s aplenty when you bring on the Thanksgiving cranberry sauce cut in turkey shapes… easy to do with the novel turkey cutter illustrated below. No other like it!
These “cranberry turkeys” will be the hit of your Thanksgiving dinner!
Make jellied cranberry sauce Christmas trees the 50s way
Jellied “trees”: Slice two cans of sauce lengthwise, shape, deck with cream cheese. (Serve with food-safe “leaves” and whole cranberry “ornaments.”)
Make a canned cranberry sauce porcupine and/or frozen molds (1956)
Open and serve it simply (as your mother did). Or surprise your family with one of the five gala gourmet twists shown here.
Thankgiving’s the day — of all days — for Ocean Spray cranberry sauce. The jellied sauce stands stiffly — supported by its own natural fruit pectins.
The canned cranberry sauce porcupine: Jellied sauce, studded with slivered almonds. (Also see some old-fashioned rice and beef porcupines.)
Frozen rings (bottom right): Crush one can of jellied cranberry sauce with one cupful of ginger ale. Freeze in molds.
Sherried sauce (bottom left): To a can of jellied sauce, fork-mixed (or one of whole berry), add a jigger of sherry or white wine.
Retro cranberry sauce cut-out bunnies for Easter (1956)
Canned jellied cranberry sauce stars with your Christmas ham (1961)
Canned cranberry sauce cut into heart shapes (1950s)
Serve jellied cranberry sauce slices with your Thanksgiving turkey (1961)
Juicy jellied cranberry sauce! Serve it sliced thick… folks love it so! Because no other sauce, condiment or flavoring can come close to the unique, natural taste and texture of cranberry sauce.
Cranberry sauce half-circle slices from 1960
Canned cranberry sauce cuts as bases & garnish for chicken salads (1952)
How to make individual chicken-cranberry salads
Open cans at both ends to slide out contents whole. Slice the contents of the cans into whole slices and half moons.
Arrange in any of the ways shown here. Garnish with a dressing of 3 tablespoons cream cheese and 1/3 cup mayonnaise… serve on crisp lettuce leaves.