Cranberry Baked Oatmeal Recipe

For many people, breakfast is the best meal of the day — a time to fuel up before moving on to daily tasks. That being said, festive breakfast ideas aren't always on the forefront of the menu when planning out your holiday spread. Mashed recipe developer and holistic dietitian Jaime Bachtell-Shelbert from Wholly Nourished is the mastermind behind this warm breakfast recipe that gives off all the cozy vibes. Oatmeal gets a makeover with this cranberry baked version, brimming with cinnamon, maple, and vanilla, and topped off with crunchy walnuts. 

Any guests staying overnight will appreciate a warm meal in the morning following celebrations. And your family will surely be equally on board once they taste this delicious cranberry baked oatmeal. Most importantly? It's a straightforward and versatile recipe that requires very little prep time. You'll mostly just be waiting for it to bake in the oven which gives you time to get the coffee and table ready. Once you taste this baked oatmeal, you'll understand why Bachtell-Shelbert describes it as "a cozy breakfast in the cooler months." Plus, oatmeal contains healthy nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and plenty of fiber to keep you full.

Gather the ingredients for this cranberry baked oatmeal

Before you get started, gather all of your ingredients to keep the process smooth. You'll need fresh cranberries, which add the perfect amount of tartness to balance out the sweet flavors in the dish. Bachtell-Shelbert explains, "I chose cranberry because of the time of year," adding, "They make dishes feel festive." We definitely agree but are eager to experiment. Bachtell-Shelbert is on board and notes, "I have tried with apples! I am sure other fruits would work as well."

Once you've sorted out the fruit, you'll need whole rolled oats. To avoid a mushy texture, skip the quick oats for this recipe. Baking powder helps give this dish a nice and fluffy consistency instead of a denser one. Cinnamon provides some warm spice, and salt is a common add-in to enhance overall flavors. To hydrate the oats, Bachtell-Shelbert uses almond milk, but any unsweetened non-dairy or dairy milk will work. You'll need an egg to mix in with the oats for optimal texture. 

Next on the list are maple syrup and vanilla for some added sweetness. To keep the taste interesting, Bachtell-Shelbert adds in a splash of orange juice and zest for a pop. Finally, chopped walnuts add a little bit of crunch, which is always welcome (unless it's from the egg shell). This recipe is a good one to customize, and Bachtell-Shelbert remarks that flaked coconut is another nice touch.

Prepare your equipment, and set up the base

First things first: You'll want to preheat your oven to 350 F so that it has time to come to temperature while you're doing the prep work. Next, spray a two-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray to prevent the oatmeal from sticking to the bottom. (Not only will it be easier to serve, but whoever is washing the dishes will appreciate it.) Once your setup is ready, pour ½ cup of cranberries into the baking dish, distributing them fairly evenly.

Whisk together the oat ingredients, and transfer them to the dish

Now it's time to get the bulk of the dish into the pan. First, stir the rolled oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a mixing bowl. Make sure that everything is uniformly combined — you definitely want cinnamon in every bite! Once the oat mixture is ready, carefully pour it into the baking dish in an even layer, covering the cranberries. If the fruit has been rolling around, you can take a moment to redistribute it.

Make the milk mixture, pour it in, and add the toppings

It's time to hydrate the oats so that they soften into chewy oatmeal once they're baked. First, set out a bowl, and add your milk of choice, an egg, maple syrup, vanilla, and finally the orange juice and zest. Whisk the ingredients in the bowl until they are smoothly combined. Then, gently pour the liquid over the oats, making sure to cover the contents of the baking dish. Add the remaining cranberries over top, and sprinkle the chopped walnuts across the surface.

Bake and serve this delicious oatmeal for breakfast

At this point, your oven should be at the right temperature so go ahead and pop the baking dish onto a rack. Set the timer for 30 minutes — it might need an extra five minutes to finish up. You'll know the dish is ready when the top of the oatmeal is golden and it has set. Cranberry baked oatmeal is a treat by itself, or follow one of Bachtell-Shelbert's recommendations: "For toppings, I would suggest cream, maple syrup, nut butter, pomegranate arils, or a dollop of yogurt."

Bachtell-Shelbert is a fan of baked oatmeal and indicates, "This is such a simple dish to make, and it reheats nicely for healthy breakfasts throughout the week." Whether you serve it for a group or make a batch at the start of the week, store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to five days, Bachtell-Shelbert explains.

Cranberry Baked Oatmeal Recipe
4.9 from 12 ratings
This cranberry baked oatmeal recipe is brimming with cinnamon, maple, and vanilla, and topped off with crunchy walnuts.
Prep Time
8
minutes
Cook Time
30
minutes
Servings
8
Servings
cranberry baked oatmeal dishes
Total time: 38 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 cups whole rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups unsweetened, non-dairy milk
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice, plus zest from an orange
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Pour ½ of the cranberries into the bottom of the baking dish.
  4. Stir the oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a small mixing bowl.
  5. Pour the mixture evenly over the cranberries.
  6. Whisk the milk, egg, maple syrup, vanilla, and orange juice and zest together in a bowl.
  7. Pour the mixture over the oats.
  8. Top it evenly with the remaining cranberries and walnuts.
  9. Place the dish in the preheated oven, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is golden brown and it has set.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 176
Total Fat 5.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 23.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.1 g
Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
Total Sugars 9.7 g
Sodium 232.8 mg
Protein 6.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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