Cranberry Apple Baked Oatmeal packed with fresh cranberries, apples, oatmeal, and cinnamon makes the perfect fall inspired healthy breakfast.
This Baked Oatmeal is loaded with all the fall flavors – crisp apples, tart cranberries, cinnamon, brown sugar, and maple syrup. It makes an amazing holiday breakfast dish and can even be made in advance. Served alongside this Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Frittata, it’s an amazing breakfast or brunch spread.
It’s time to get in the holiday spirit and what better way than with this Cranberry Apple Baked Oatmeal. It’s the perfect Thanksgiving breakfast dish and since it is packed with good for you ingredients, it is a great way to start the day in a healthy way before the big holiday meal starts. And truth be told, I served it to my family for dessert once with some vanilla frozen yogurt and everyone was thrilled.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe Thanksgiving is here already. As much as I love it, I feel like we were just saying goodbye to summer last week. Where did the last couple months go? But even though it feels like it is way too early for Thanksgiving, I couldn’t be more excited about it. We are hosting a Friendsgiving this weekend and I am making way too many dishes. It’s just too hard to decide.
Luckily, I can make this apple cranberry baked oatmeal ahead of time and have one less thing to think about. It is so much easier to prep and get ready when you don’t have a house full of hungry people wondering about their first meal of the day.
What is baked oatmeal?
Baked oatmeal is exactly what it sounds like – oatmeal that is combined with milk, eggs, sweetener, and usually fruit and then baked in the oven. Baking oatmeal gives you a different texture than traditionally prepared oats that soften into a porridge-like cereal. Baked oats come out more like a bar and have some extra texture and nuttiness from the baking process. One important thing to note, depending on the recipe and the amount of liquid used, baked oatmeal may come out more like a baked oatmeal bar or can be a looser oatmeal that needs to be eaten with a spoon.
How can I prep this in advance?
There are two options for making baked oatmeal in advance. If you know you will be baking it the next day, you can mix together all the ingredients and place the baked oatmeal dish covered in the fridge overnight. Then in the morning, take it out of the fridge and pop it into the oven. Add an extra 10 minutes to the baking time.
Alternatively, you can bake this ahead of time and then warm individual portions in the microwave, oven, or toaster oven. Individual portions can also be frozen and then reheated for a quick breakfast. When reheating in the microwave, I like to add a little milk or almond milk to the oats to ensure they don’t dry out.
Some commonly asked questions about Baked Apple Cranberry Oatmeal
This post was originally shared in 2014 and since originally sharing it, here are some of the questions that come up most often.
- Can I use craisins instead of cranberries? Absolutely! It can be hard to find fresh cranberries outside of the holiday season. Craisins will work but I would only use about 1/3-1/2 cup. You could also substitute blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries.
- Can I add nuts? Nuts are a great addition to baked oatmeal and add some texture and crunch. You can either mix them right into the oatmeal mixture or sprinkle them on top. Pecans, walnuts, and almonds are the ones I add most often. You can also spread some nut butter right on top once it is cooked.
- Would pears work instead of apples? Pears are a great alternative to apples and work great for this recipe. Just make sure to use fresh pears, not canned pears.
- Can this be baked in individual servings? This recipe works great for muffin tins. Just divide the oatmeal mixture into prepared muffin tins and reduced the baking time. They will take about 18-22 minutes to bake. This is a great option if you plan on freezing individual portions for later use.
- What can I do with the leftover fresh cranberries? Unless you are making cranberry sauce, sometimes it is hard to use up a whole bag of cranberries. Normally I will freeze any leftover cranberries and pull them out to use in oatmeal, berry jams, and with chicken or pork.