Get a nutritious head start on your mornings with this easy baked oatmeal recipe! The flavor variations guarantee that it won’t get boring.
Why you’ll love it: A nutritious, flavorful, and easy breakfast – it doesn’t get much better than that!
How long it takes: 10 minutes to prep, 30 minutes in the oven.
Equipment you’ll need: mixing bowl, baking dish, oven
I’m sitting at a coffee shop writing this blog post right now and yawning. I can’t stop yawning. All the coffee in the world will not help me today.
I read a really great article (from Sarah Von Bargen) about how the things that make you busy/stressed/tired are often the same exact things that make you happy. It really hit home for me because it’s so true.
Would my life be less stressful and less busy without this corner of the internet that I call home? Certainly. But would I be as happy if I wasn’t constantly trying to improve this site and my skills? Most likely not.
Is it sometimes exhausting hearing a 4-year-old call down, “Is it wake-up time?” before 6 AM? YES. Yes, it is. Would I change it for the world? Never ever.
It really hit home and gave me a good dose of perspective that I needed this morning. I’m tired and yawning because I woke up at 4:45 AM to work out today. But I’m so thankful for a healthy body and the ability to get up and work out. Yes, it’s one more thing on my schedule but it makes my life better and happier.
From now on, I’m really going to take a minute to consider what it is that’s making me feel busy or tired before I start grumping about it. Anyone care to hold me to that?
About This Recipe
What does all of this have to do with baked oatmeal? I’m simplifying those early mornings with make-ahead breakfasts that are nutritious and tasty.
A couple of my favorites are Cinnamon Swirl Breakfast Cheesecake made with protein-packed cottage cheese, or Chocolate Protein Pancakes (make ahead and freeze). I’m adding this baked oatmeal recipe to my favorites list.
It’s unbelievably easy to prepare (SO SO SO easy!), You can make a big batch and eat it all week if you want. It’s great warmed up for a minute in the microwave and topped with milk or a dollop of yogurt.
What You’ll Need
- Oats: The recipe is written for old-fashioned rolled oats. You can substitute quick oats but the baked oats will have a slightly different texture. Don’t use steel-cut oats or instant oats for this recipe.
- Milk: Any type of milk is fine whether it’s dairy or dairy-free nut milk.
- Sweetener: Adding a bit of natural sweetness (just a quarter cup!) to the oats makes them taste so good. Try coconut sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey.
- Egg: An egg works as a binder but if you prefer a vegan breakfast casserole, use ground flaxseed instead.
- Coconut Oil or Butter: Just one tablespoon! Other mild-tasting oils can be substituted.
- Baking Powder: A leavening agent, baking powder will make the oats just a bit fluffier.
- Pinch of Salt: Some of you may want to leave the salt out. That’s okay but it’s amazing how much that pinch of salt adds. The oatmeal just tastes a little flat without it.
- Ground Cinnamon and Vanilla Extract: Two of my favorite flavorings! Please feel free to Make It Your Own with any flavoring you like.
- Variations: Apples, berries, nuts, and bananas. And so much more! Keep reading for more ideas.
How To Make Baked Oatmeal
It’s pretty simple. Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl.
Pour the mixture into the pan.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or the oatmeal looks set and golden brown. Cut into squares and serve right away or refrigerate for breakfast tomorrow or the next day.
If you like, serve baked oatmeal with a dollop of Greek yogurt, either plain or vanilla flavored, and additional fresh fruit. That’s a breakfast that will stick to your ribs!
Let’s all try to enjoy the busy a little more but simplify where we can, maybe at breakfast with our oatmeal. If you’re an oatmeal fan like me, try it in all its forms! Slow cooker steel cut oats cook while you sleep (hooray!). Instant Pot steel cut oats are almost completely hands-off.
Have you ever had pan-seared oatmeal? Pour cooked oatmeal into a pan, let it cool, and then cut it out and pan-sear it. The partnering of a crunchy outside and soft inside is irresistible. If you’re feeling extra motivated, you can even use cookie cutters to cut it into fun shapes – I did heart-shaped strawberry steel cut oatmeal for Valentine’s Day!
If you’d rather have your oatmeal in cookie form, try crispy coconut oatmeal cookies, soft and chewy iced oatmeal cookies, or whole wheat oatmeal cookies with raisins. We also love no bake energy balls which are made with oats. Try cranberry oatmeal energy balls or apple cinnamon energy bites.
According to Healthline, oatmeal is one of the healthiest grains you can eat. It has loads of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. It’s helpful for weight loss, and reduces blood sugar levels and the risk of heart disease. Oats are gluten-free.
The method of preparation doesn’t matter as much as what you add to the oats. Avoid adding lots of sugar or fats to your bowl of oats.
For this recipe, the oats take 30 to 40 minutes. It depends on what size pan you choose. If the pan is smaller, the oats will be thicker and take longer to bake. In larger pans, the oats will be more spread out and cook more quickly.
Old-fashioned oats take a bit longer to cook than quick oats. Steel cut oats take the longest and I wouldn’t recommend using them for baked oats.
Yes, definitely. This recipe contains both milk and eggs and should be refrigerated. It will keep up to 6 days.
Make It Your Own
You’ll find several variations on the recipe card below. Baked oatmeal is good just plain but adding fruit, nuts and spices to your oats is healthy and delicious. I think my favorite is with apples and cinnamon. Don’t be limited by the list I’ve given you. Have fun trying all sorts of flavor combinations.
Some ideas I’ve seen but haven’t tried: peanut butter, applesauce, sliced peaches, canned pumpkin, raisins, dates, finely shredded carrots, canned crushed pineapple, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, orange zest, and more. Try adding cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or cardamom. Apple pie spice or pumpkin pie spice blends are wonderful too.
The best make-ahead idea? Make a double batch of these healthy oven oats and either refrigerate or freeze for easy breakfasts all week long. Simply warm up a piece in the microwave and breakfast is ready!
If you want fresh-baked oats in the morning, get a head start by mixing together the dry ingredients (oats, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt) in a mixing bowl, Cover and set aside on counter. In a large measuring cup, mix the milk, egg, vanilla, and butter or oil. Cover and refrigerate.
In the morning, while the oven preheats, simply spray your baking dish, combine the dry and wet ingredients, pour into the dish and bake. Take your shower, make lunches, have a cup of coffee, catch up on email, and breakfast will be ready in no time!
Storage & Reheating Tips
Baked oatmeal can be refrigerated for up to six days or frozen for up to 6 months. I usually cut it into serving sized squares before freezing so I can easily take out what I want to use. If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Gently reheat the baked oatmeal in the microwave in 30 second intervals or until heated through.
- 2 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned)
- 2 cups milk (cow’s milk, almond milk, or oat milk)
- ¼ cup coconut sugar, brown sugar, or maple syrup
- 1 large egg or 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (flax meal)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted or butter
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Apple Spice: add 1 large apple, chopped (about 1 cup) + ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Berry: add 1 cup berries
- Banana Nut: add 1 cup sliced banana and ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Maple Pecan: add ½ cup chopped pecans and use maple syrup as sweetener
- Preheat oven to 375°F and grease a 8×8, 9×9, or 11×7 pan with nonstick baking spray or coconut oil spray.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until set and golden brown. Serve warm with milk or yogurt, if desired.
- Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. Reheat in the microwave in 30 second intervals or until warm.
- Nutrition information is based on using 2% milk, coconut sugar, egg, and coconut oil. It does not include variations.
- Vegan: Use non-dairy milk, coconut oil, and ground flax.
- Baked oatmeal can be frozen. Bake as directed, cut into pieces (if desired) wrap well, and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.