Use leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving on top of basic overnight oats to make this delicious Cranberry Oatmeal. Transform your leftovers into an exciting twist on breakfast porridge.
What are overnight oats?
Overnight oats are only my favorite way to eat oatmeal!
They aren't a cooked oat porridge. Instead of the stove, it is time and the fridge that soften the rolled oats and turn them into a delicious, healthy breakfast.
Here is why I LOVE overnight oats:
- They are made ahead!
Stir them up at night and all you have to do in the morning is open the fridge to have a breakfast ready to eat
- Perfect texture!
Overnight oats are soft but still have a chewy bite. No gooey, slimy mush here
- Easy breakfast meal prep option!
You can prep ahead 4-5 servings at a time because refrigerator oatmeal lasts a good work week.
- Endless flavor varieties!
Aside from this cranberry oatmeal I have 7 more overnight oat recipes on this blog. All of them are incredibly delicious and they ensure that I never get bored with my oats.
How to Make Basic Overnight Oats
The most basic overnight oats recipe would be a simple combination of rolled oats and a liquid.
The liquid could be water, juice, any type of milk, yogurt. Personally I like unsweetened almond milk the best.
Of course, plain oats and milk are not exactly a great sell. So even before adding in flavorings, my basic fridge oats have a few more ingredients to make the overnight oats more delicious.
Basic Overnight Oat Recipe:
- ½ cup rolled oats: don't use quick or instant oats
- ¾ cup almond milk: or any other liquid of choice, but I like almond milk the best
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds: they give the overnight oats a thicker texture and add some protein
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract & pinch of salt: these give an extra flavor touch and to bring out natural sweetness
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup: I like to sweeten my overnight oats naturally with maple syrup, honey, or agave syrup
- Optional protein powder: You can easily make protein overnight oats by adding 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite protein powder
Canned or Homemade Cranberry Sauce?
Now that you have the basic overnight oat recipe from above, it is easy to make different flavor variations with fruit, nut butter, seasonings, and more. Let your creativity run wild and free!
In today's cranberry overnight oats recipe they only other ingredient we need is cranberry sauce! You can add as much or as little as you like, but 2 tablespoons of cranberry sauce on top of the basic oats recipe is a good starting point.
Personally, I only like homemade cranberry sauce. So of course I have only tried this cranberry oats recipe with my own cranberry sauce.
And even if you like canned cranberry sauce for your turkey, I am inclined to say that the jellied cranberry sauce from a can might not incorporate as well into the oatmeal. Unless you warm the cranberry sauce up first? Maybe?
So feel free to try it with canned cranberry sauce if that is what you have left over. But I can only vouch for this recipe with homemade sauce.
What container to use for Cranberry Oatmeal?
Any sealable container that holds about 2 cups will work well for making overnight oats. Mason jars are very popular, but plastic tupperware is fine too. (I only don't recommend reheating any food in plastic containers in the microwave).
The glass containers I used in the pictures are from the Borgonovo IGLOO line. I bought them in Mexico but can’t find a place that sells them in the US. However these Anchor containers are very similar.
Are Overnight Oats eaten cold?
This is another thing I love about overnight oatmeal. You can eat them cold straight from the fridge. This is especially great on days when you are short on time or in the summer when it's just too hot for warm porridge.
But if the idea of cold oats doesn't excite you, you can totally warm them up! If you are using a glass container, you can place it straight in the microwave. Or you can transfer the oats into a small saucepan and gently heat them on the stove.
Hot or cold? It's completely up to you!
How long will overnight oats last in the fridge?
Overnight oats last up to 5 days in the fridge.
That's why I love them for healthy, easy breakfast meal prep. You can stir up 5 servings on Sunday night, and breakfast is taken care of for the entire work week!
Is that convenient or what?
More Leftover Thanksgiving recipes
If you are here because you are looking for exciting ways to transform Thanksgiving leftovers, then you'll love these recipes too:
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup milk any kind (dairy or plant-based)
- 2 tablespoons cranberry sauce or more to taste
- To a sealable container (like a mason jar) add the rolled oats, chia seeds, salt, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and fill up with milk. Stir everything to combine, or close the container and shake to combine.
- Refrigerate the overnight oats base overnight or up to 4 days.
- In the morning, warm the oats if desired. Top with 2 tablespoons of leftover cranberry sauce (or more to taste). Stir in the cranberries and enjoy.
Pin for later
You can enhance the flavor of oatmeal with various ingredients like fruits, nuts, seeds, spices, and sweeteners. In the case of cranberry oatmeal, adding cranberry sauce is a delicious option.
Oatmeal pairs wonderfully with a variety of toppings such as fresh berries, sliced bananas, chopped nuts, honey, maple syrup, yogurt, and in this case, cranberry sauce.
To make oatmeal healthier, you can use whole grains like rolled oats, incorporate fruits and nuts for added nutrients, choose natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, and add superfoods like chia seeds. Cranberry oatmeal is a nutritious choice with the benefits of cranberries.
You can make oatmeal taste great without fruit by using alternative toppings such as nuts, seeds, spices (like cinnamon or nutmeg), and sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. The cranberry oatmeal recipe offers a unique and tasty twist that doesn't rely on traditional fruit toppings.