Pack the Perfect Picnic with Cranberries

Updated: 05/21/2014 7:19 AM
Created: 05/19/2014 2:37 PM

A patriotic super-fruit, the cranberry, is native to America and typically, cranberries are thought to be a fall fruit to be enjoyed at the holidays.  But, it’s time to enjoy cranberries year round!  Hy-Vee registered dietitian Jen Haugen, will share two unique ways to incorporate cranberries into Memorial Day celebrations.

Cranberry Potato Cucumber Salad


6 Servings

All you need

  • 8 oz. small red or yellow-skinned potatoes
  • 1/2 cup non-fat plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 T reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 T white balsamic or cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. hot red pepper sauce
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup diced seedless cucumber
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

All you do 

  1. Wash potatoes and boil with skin on for 15-20 minutes or until almost tender. Remove from heat and drain. Cool. Cube and hold. In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar and pepper sauce. Stir in cranberries and let stand 20 minutes to soften cranberries slightly.  Stir potatoes, cucumber and scallions into yogurt-cranberry mixture and toss to coat. Adjust seasoning as needed. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
  2. Variations: Diced crisp apple or pear may be substituted for cucumber. Try sprinkling with chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts to garnish, if desired.

Cranberry BBQ Chicken Sandwich 

Makes 6 sandwiches 


All you need

Cranberry BBQ Sauce (makes 1 cup): 

  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup minced yellow onions 
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic 
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard 
  • 1 tsp. chili powder 
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. tomato paste 
  • 1 ½ cups cranberry sauce 
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar 
  • 1 Tbsp. dark molasses 
  • ¼-½ cup water, if needed 


  • 10 oz. cooked white chicken meat, diced or shredded 
  • 1 cup Cranberry BBQ Sauce 
  • 6 whole-grain buns, split 
  • 1 ½ cups prepared creamy coleslaw

All you do

For Cranberry BBQ Sauce: 

  1. In a sauce pan, heat oil over medium-high heat; add onions and sauté 2 minutes. Mix in garlic, mustard and chili powder and continue cooking 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 more minute. 
  2. Add cranberry sauce, vinegar and molasses and bring to a simmer, whisking often until mixture becomes smooth. Lower heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until mixture reduces and thickens. Add water to mixture if it gets too thick. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Place in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to use. Reheat before using. 

For Sandwich Filling: 

  1. Heat prepared Cranberry BBQ Sauce. Add chicken and bring to a simmer. Keep warm. 

To Assemble Sandwich: 

  1. For each sandwich, scoop ½ cup BBQ chicken onto a bun and top with ¼ cup coleslaw. Replace bun top on sandwich and serve accompanied by cut raw vegetables and/or fresh apple wedges.