This Baked Oatmeal is the best meal prep breakfast recipe. With only 275 calories for a large piece, this cozy make ahead breakfast is healthy, gluten free, dairy free, and delicious.
Ok. So I KNOW oatmeal doesn’t sound that interesting or exciting. But I’m telling you. THIS baked oatmeal recipe is interesting AND exciting.
What is baked oatmeal?
Baked oatmeal is a warm breakfast dish made with old fashioned oats, milk, eggs, and a variety of other mix-ins that add both texture and flavor. Oats are commonly made on the stove which produces a soft, creamy texture, but today’s baked oatmeal recipe creates a firmer almost casserole-like texture that can be sliced and cut into bars.
Baked oatmeal can be eaten cold, but is preferably served warm topped with maple syrup, brown sugar, honey, fruit, greek yogurt, and/or a splash of milk.
The best part about this recipe is that you likely have these ingredients in your fridge and pantry already.
- Milk – helps create a creamy texture. Feel free to use any milk you’d like, dairy or non-dairy, depending on what you have on hand. Milk with a higher fat content, like whole milk, will create a creamier texture. Using a flavored milk like vanilla almond milk will add additional sweetness and flavor.
- Eggs – add protein and structure to the oatmeal by binding the casserole together. This recipe calls for 2 large eggs. Eggs come in sizes ranging from small to jumbo, so be sure to check the carton!
- Coconut Oil – provides healthy fats and keeps this oatmeal moist. Unrefined coconut oil will add a slight coconut flavor. Use refined coconut oil for a milder flavor. Feel free to use any neutral tasting oil or even butter. If you’d like to keep this oil free, replace with additional applesauce.
- Applesauce – is a great way to keep the fat content of this baked oatmeal lower while still providing moisture and sweetness. Use an unsweetened variety to keep the sugar low.
- Sweetener of Choice – the recipe calls for brown sugar, because it adds a rich, molasses flavor that’s classic with oatmeal, but honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar should work just fine.
- Vanilla Extract – adds depth of flavor and enhances the other flavors in the oatmeal. Pure vanilla extract is preferred for the best flavor, but in a recipe such as baked oats, imitation vanilla will also work.
- Old Fashioned Oats – are the best for baked oatmeal, because of their hearty, chewy texture. Quick or instant oats would be too mushy and steel cut oats are too hard and would require more liquid and additional cook time.
- Baking Powder – is used to lighten the texture of any baked good and keeps the oats from becoming too dense.
- Cinnamon – is not only great for adding a warm, spicy flavor, it can also lower blood sugar levels and can reduce heart disease risk factors.
- Salt – enhances the other flavors in the recipe and balances out the sweetness from the sugar.
- Mix-ins – add flavor and texture. The original recipe calls for raisins and chopped pecans. Raisins add sweetness and a chewy texture. Other dried fruit may be substituted. If using a larger dried fruit like dates, chop into bite sized pieces before stirring them into the mixture. Chocolate chips would also be a great addition. Any chopped nut can be used to replace the pecans if preferred.
How to make
Stir, pour, bake, and slice! This easy meal prep breakfast couldn’t be easier!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8×8 inch non stick square pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together milk, coconut oil, applesauce, brown sugar (or sweetener of choice), eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined. Stir in oats, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, raisins, and chopped pecans, then pour into prepared pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
- Remove from oven, cool slightly, then cut and serve warm.
How do i make vegan baked oatmeal with banana?
To make this recipe vegan with the addition of bananas, replace the 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup applesauce with 1/2 cup mashed bananas and replace the 2 large eggs with 2 chia or flax “eggs”. (*not tested)
To make 2 chia or flax eggs:
- Stir together 2 tablespoons chia seeds or 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal with 1/3 cup water.
- Let sit in the fridge for 15 minutes to gel.
- Proceed with recipe as written.
- Use certified gluten free oats. If you’re looking to make this truly gluten free; check your labels!
- Make this dairy free. If desired, any non-dairy milk, flavored or unflavored will work just fine.
- Lighten it up. Replace with oil with additional applesauce or even a nut butter (peanut, almond, etc.)
- Have fun! Use maple syrup instead of the brown sugar, pumpkin instead of the applesauce, and chocolate chips instead of the raisins. The options are endless!
What to serve with baked oatmeal
Serve alone with a few toppings or bulk it up with some other breakfast dishes:
- Topping Ideas: greek yogurt (dairy or non-dairy), sweetener of choice (honey, maple syrup, brown sugar), fruit, milk (this baked oatmeal is pretty dense, so if you like your oatmeal more liquid-y, just splash in some milk)
- Eggs: Healthy Egg Muffin Cups or Instant Pot Egg Bites
- Breakfast Potatoes
- Fruit Salad
How to store
Baked oatmeal is great made ahead of time. After cooling completely, oatmeal will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Before freezing, cut the oatmeal into individual portions, wrap in plastic, then place into a freezer safe bag to make reheating easier.
To reheat, bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven or microwave with optional splash of milk until warm.
Baked Oatmeal Recipe
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 cup skim milk room temperature - could also use any milk you have on hand dairy or non dairy
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce room temperature
- 1/4 cup brown sugar packed - could also use honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups old fashioned oats certified gluten free if necessary
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup raisins or dried fruit of choice - could even use chocolate
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or nuts of choice
- Honey or maple syrup this oatmeal is not very sweet, so I LOVE it with honey
- Greek yogurt plain, vanilla, non-dairy, it adds a nice tang
- Milk if you like your oatmeal more liquid-y, just splash in some milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8x8 inch non stick square pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together milk, coconut oil, applesauce, brown sugar (or sweetener of choice), eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Stir in oats, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, raisins, and chopped pecans.
- Pour into prepared pan.
- Use a spoon to gently press mixture down and smooth out the top.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until baked oatmeal is baked through and cooked to your liking.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before cutting into 9 pieces and serving warm with optional toppings!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.
This post was originally published Feb 19, 2019 and has been updated to provide more detailed content.