Thursday, March 10, 2022

Cranberry Orange Baked Oatmeal


I know a recipe is a keeper when my 80-year-old mom asks, “Are you going to make it again anytime soon?”

The one she requested this week was for Cranberry Orange Baked Oatmeal. 

Do you horde fresh cranberries during the holidays? I do. Bags of those little red flavor bombs are primarily stored in the freezer to make my favorite Cranberry Orange Walnut Bread well beyond Christmas.

One cold morning in January, I wondered if I could take those same flavors and put them in baked oatmeal, which is one of our favorite breakfast dishes. After a couple of tries, I came up with this version. I enjoy it with a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt on the side.

Don’t have a stash of fresh cranberries? No worries. This dish tastes lovely using either fresh or dried cranberries. 

Don’t like cranberries? No problem. Earlier this week, I made the recipe by swapping out the cranberries for blueberries and the orange zest and juice for lemon. The result was equally tasty! 

Cranberry Orange Baked Oatmeal

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce

2 large eggs

Zest from one large orange

Juice from 1/2 large orange (2-3 tablespoons)

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup milk of choice (I use unsweetened almond milk)

1 cup fresh cranberries or 3/4 cup dried cranberries

2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush the inside of a casserole dish with about half of the melted butter. Set the remaining butter aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, eggs, orange zest, orange juice, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, baking powder, and milk. Stir in the cranberries, oatmeal, and nuts. Finally, mix in the remaining melted butter.

Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes until the surface is lightly golden brown and the center is set. Serve warm and refrigerate any leftovers. 

Option: Swap out cranberries for blueberries and orange zest/juice for lemon.