Love oatmeal, but need to change it up a bit? The taste and smell of this baked oatmeal recipe is insanely delicious, plus it can be made ahead of time. This means you can have a healthy breakfast go-to all week long. It also makes a perfect weekend brunch option.
If you’re vegan or gluten-free, no worries! This recipe can easily be tweaked and customized to your diet and taste buds.
What is the healthiest way to cook oatmeal? There are many ways to cook oatmeal, but one of the healthiest ways to cook oatmeal is to bake it in the oven combined with other health-boosting ingredients like fruit and spices. I think the best baked oatmeal is both nourishing and flavorful (and this recipe definitely checks both of those boxes, big time).
Is Baked Oatmeal Healthy?
Oatmeal is considered a health food in and of itself. One of the most significant benefits of oatmeal is its association with lower cholesterol levels, not to mention how much fiber it brings to the (breakfast) table.
Baked oatmeal can be both healthy or unhealthy, depending on what you add to the base of oatmeal. Like instant oatmeal, many baked oatmeal recipes miss the “healthy” mark by majorly upping the sugar and empty carbohydrates content (think: milk chocolate chips and white or brown sugar).
On the other hand, this baked oatmeal is loaded with antioxidant powerhouses like cinnamon, potassium-rich banana, and beneficial oils like virgin coconut oil or olive oil. The spices, fruit, and maple syrup make this recipe naturally sweet in a very healthy way.
What is the texture of baked oatmeal? With a texture similar to bread pudding, baked oatmeal is often described as soft, chewy, and creamy. If this is your first time having baked oatmeal, get ready for a treat.
What about overnight oats? Is overnight oatmeal healthy? Overnight oatmeal can be very healthy if you add other healthy ingredients to the oatmeal.
Variations on My Baked Oatmeal Recipe
There are so many ways you can customize this baked oatmeal recipe. Feel free to get creative, but here are some tasty tweaks and additions you may want to consider:
Add in fresh fruit like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and/or blackberries (keep in mind, fresh fruit add-ins may dramatically change the final consistency and lead to mushiness)
Mix in some raisins, dried apricots, or dried cranberries
Opt for raw honey or coconut sugar as a sweetener instead of maple syrup, or leave out the maple syrup altogether
Throw in a tablespoon of flaxseed or chia seeds for a boost of omega-3 fatty acids
Substitute a tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter for the chopped nuts
Include a cup of diced apples (opt for green if you want less sweetness) or applesauce
For vegan baked oatmeal: Use flax eggs instead of regular eggs and virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil instead of butter
For gluten-free baked oatmeal: Choose a certified gluten-free oat flour or a mix of certified-gluten free, oat flour and certified gluten-free quick oats to use in place of the all-purpose flour. Oats are gluten-free by nature, however, they are typically stored with gluten-containing grains. Certified gluten-free oats will ensure there was no cross contamination.
When serving, feel free to add a splash of regular milk, oat milk, coconut milk, or almond milk to your oatmeal bake. This will make the square of oatmeal bake mushier, but you may be going for that. You can also add a little melted butter to top it off.
Storing & Reheating Oatmeal
One of the best things about baked oatmeal is that you can make it ahead of time (maybe a Sunday night) and reheat it for a quick breakfast during the week. There are no consistency issues with eating this oatmeal the next day.
Do I need to refrigerate baked oatmeal? This baked oatmeal keeps well covered at room temperature for 3 days. If you’re going to need more than 3 days to finish it up, feel free to pop it in the fridge for a couple more days. It also freezes well for up to 3 months.
Is Baking Powder Necessary?
Baking powder is a raising agent, so it gives this baked oatmeal a lighter texture. If you don’t have any baking powder on hand, it’s not a deal-breaker, but your final product will be noticeably denser. Either option is sure to be delish; it just depends on your texture preference.
Is Oatmeal Gluten-Free?
Technically, oats are naturally gluten-free whole grains. However, during processing, oats can sometimes become cross-contaminated. If you’re on a strict gluten-free diet, it’s a good idea to look for certified gluten-free oats.
What if you have celiac disease (a true gluten allergy)? The National Celiac Association recommends that “if you choose to eat GF oats, check the package for clear labeling that the product is labeled gluten-free. Then, NCA recommends that you assess each manufacturer individually regardless of whether they use purity protocol or mechanically sorted GF oats.”
This baked oatmeal is one of my favorite recipes to make because it is packed with nutrients and so delicious.
2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or any type of milk you prefer)
1/3 cup maple syrup (OR honey, or sweetener of your choice; more or less to taste)
1 large egg (or 1/4 cup apple sauce, or 1 flax egg if preferred)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups whole rolled oats
1 cup berries of your choice, fresh or frozen (we like blueberries)
Optional: 1/4 cup chopped nuts or seeds of your choice (we like slivered almonds or sunflower seeds)
Optional: 2 tablespoons melted butter of ghee, slightly cooled
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish (or equivalent) with extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the almond milk (or milk of your choice), egg, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt.
Stir in the oats and seeds/nuts and berries, if using.
Pour into the baking sheet.
Bake 25-35 minutes, until the oats have absorbed the liquid and the oatmeal is set.
Let cool 5-10 minutes and serve warm, room temperature, or cold. Keeps in the fridge up to 4 days.
Optional pre-step: Make your own oat flour by processing 1 cup of whole rolled old fashioned oats in a food processor for about two minutes, pausing every 30 seconds to let it settle. Process until milled into a fine flour. OR, buy oat flour in the bulk bins at your store.
Calories:188 (per serving WITH the walnuts)
Other Recipes You’ll Love:
If you like this oatmeal bake, here are some other yummy breakfast recipes you’re sure to love: