The Best Baked Oatmeal + 7 Recipes
Transform old-fashioned oatmeal into a comforting oatmeal breakfast bake and get EXCITED about breakfast again! Hearty & satisfying like a bowl of oatmeal, with the fluffy, creamy texture of a bread pudding. Learn how to make baked oatmeal in the oven—including plain baked oatmeal + 6 healthy oatmeal bake recipes full of fun flavor.
Quick Tips for the Best Oatmeal Bake
- Prep for how you like to eat. For a versatile breakfast you can customize with toppings, try the plain baked oatmeal recipe. For more flavorful options that you can just reheat and eat, try one of my easy baked oatmeal flavors!
- Use rolled oats, not quick-cooking or steel cut. When baking oats in the oven, old-fashioned rolled oats retain their texture, but quick-cooking oats will turn to mush. Steel cut oats take significantly longer to cook, so they can’t be substituted in these recipes.
- Meal prep your oatmeal breakfast casserole ahead of time so it’s ready when you want it! Once you’ve baked the oatmeal, you can store the whole casserole or individual portions in the fridge or freezer.
What is baked oatmeal?
Yes, you can bake oatmeal! Baked oatmeal is like a hearty oatmeal breakfast casserole made with rolled oats, milk, and flavorings—plus eggs and baking powder. The main difference between baked & classic oatmeal is the texture. Instant or stovetop oatmeal is like a creamy porridge, but an oatmeal bake is fluffy, chewy, & bready like a baked good! (For quicker no-bake breakfast options, try my No Bake Oatmeal Breakfast Bars & Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars.)
What does baked oatmeal taste like?
Baked oatmeal tastes like a mix between a fluffy breakfast muffin and a creamy bread pudding that’s crispy on top! It’s a unique taste & texture you can’t get in stovetop or microwave oatmeal. Customize with different tasty mix-ins to make your ultimate breakfast casserole!
Is baked oatmeal healthy?
Much like oatmeal, these oatmeal bakes are excellent healthy breakfast options! Rolled oats are a great source of gut-friendly fiber, energizing complex carbs, and essential nutrients like manganese, zinc, & vitamin B1! Plus, baked oats are an easy, satisfying, and flavorful breakfast that I actually enjoy eating—which is key in cultivating a healthy relationship with food.
Easy Baked Oatmeal Ingredients
- Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats. Again, the best baked oatmeal is made with rolled oats—you can’t substitute with quick oats or steel cut oats here. Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats if needed.
- Baking Powder. An essential leavening agent that helps the casserole rise and fluff up!
- Seasonings. Keep things simple with cinnamon and a dash of salt, or get creative incorporating more flavors.
- Eggs or Flax Eggs. You’ll need eggs to bind the oatmeal bake together and maintain the structure, or you can make a vegan oatmeal bake using flax eggs instead.
- Milk of Choice. Any variety of dairy milk or non-dairy milk can work in this recipe. Just be aware that fat-rich options like full-fat coconut milk will produce a thicker texture.
- Sweetener of Choice. Maple syrup, honey, or granulated sweeteners like coconut sugar, brown sugar, or white sugar can all work in these oatmeal breakfast bake recipes. Depending on your preferred sweetness levels, you can start out using less sweetener and sweeten to taste as needed.
- Butter or Coconut Oil. A bit of melted butter can add loads of richness, flavor, and comfort—or use coconut oil for a vegan option! If preferred, you can skip the butter/oil altogether—although your oat bake will likely be a bit less fluffy and comforting.
- Vanilla Extract. A subtle addition for flavor, but feel free to omit if you don’t like the taste.
- Optional Mix-Ins. Have fun adding mix-ins like fruit or nuts to the plain base recipe and create new flavors! For some flavor inspiration, check out the baked oatmeal recipes below.
Substitutions for Vegan Baked Oatmeal
You don’t have to use eggs in these baked oats recipes! Per 1 egg, substitute 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax + 2.5 Tbsp water) or ¼ cup fruit puree—like mashed banana, applesauce, canned pumpkin, or sweet potato puree. For a totally vegan oatmeal bake, also be sure to use a plant-based sweetener like maple syrup, a non-dairy milk, and melted coconut oil instead of butter.
How to Make Baked Oatmeal in the Oven
- Prepare the batter. First, mix the dry and wet ingredients separately. Then, add the dry oat mixture into the wet mixture, stirring well until they’re integrated. Finally, fold in any optional mix-ins that you want baked into your oatmeal casserole.
- Transfer the batter to a baking dish. Prepare a baking dish with cooking spray—either an 8-inch (1.5-qt) round baking dish or a 9×9-inch square baking dish. Then pour the oatmeal mixture into the greased dish.
- Bake oats at 350°F (180°C) for 40-50 minutes. The oatmeal bake should be lightly browned and deliciously crisped around the edges. You’ll know it’s done when a knife comes out mostly clean. (The casserole can be a bit moist inside, but it shouldn’t be soggy—if it is, it needs to bake longer).
- Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Before storing in the fridge or freezer, be sure to let the entire breakfast casserole cool completely!
Watch how to make baked oats in 7 deliciously different flavors in my Oatmeal Bakes video!
How to Store Baked Oatmeal
Store baked oatmeal in the fridge and it can last for 4-7 days. First, let the casserole cool completely. Then, cover the entire dish with a lid, or cut it into individual portions and store those in sealed containers.
Freezing Baked Oatmeal
Yes, you can freeze baked oatmeal for up to 3 months! Once cooled completely, cover and store the entire casserole in a freezer-safe container. Or, store individual portions in freezer-safe containers or wrapped in plastic.
Reheat baked oats in the microwave or in the oven. To reheat an entire oatmeal casserole, bake at 350°F (180°C) for 15-20 minutes—or a bit longer if reheating straight from frozen. For individual portions, microwave for 60-90 seconds or reheat in the oven or toaster oven for 5-10 minutes at 350°F. It helps to thaw frozen portions in the fridge overnight for easier reheating and to prevent sogginess.
Instructions for Meal Prep & Make Ahead Breakfasts
- Method 1: Bake & Store. Bake your oatmeal casserole on meal prep day, let it cool completely, then refrigerate or freeze. Reheat whenever you want to eat and enjoy the deliciousness of your baked oatmeal all over again!
- Method 2: Wait to Bake. To prep baked oatmeal the night before, you can store the dry and wet ingredients separately, but wait to combine them until you’re ready to bake. Mix the dry ingredients in a sealed container on the counter, and the wet ingredients in a separate container in the fridge. In the morning, combine the two mixtures, fold in any mix-ins, and bake. I don’t recommend prepping an entire unbaked casserole to sit in the fridge overnight—if the oats soak in the liquid for too long, you can end up with a too-thick batter and mushy baked oats.
- Method 3: More Servings at Once. For a larger oatmeal breakfast bake that serves 10-12, double the ingredient amounts and bake in a 9×13-inch dish for 10-15 minutes longer. Make it ahead of time using method #1 or #2 and store as desired. An excellent option for family meals, feeding a crowd, or breakfast meal prep for the week!
The Best Baked Oatmeal Recipe
For maximum variety with minimum effort, start with this plain baked oatmeal recipe! Jazz it up with different fun toppings each morning, and you get to enjoy a new breakfast experience every day. I’ll reheat a piece of this healthy oatmeal bake and add a dollop of yogurt, some sliced fruit, or a sprinkle of nuts. Or, try one of my easy oatmeal bake recipes for some fun flavor inspiration—like banana peanut butter, carrot cake, cinnamon roll, & more!
The Best Baked Oatmeal Recipe
- 2½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 eggs or flax eggs, (or ½ cup applesauce or mashed banana)
- 1½ cups milk of choice
- ⅓ cup maple syrup, (or honey, coconut sugar, or brown sugar)
- 2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix-Ins & Toppings
- 1-2 cups mix-ins of choice, (nuts, berries, fresh fruit, dried fruit, chocolate chips)
- serve with any toppings you like!, (i.e., yogurt, nut butter, whipped cream, fruit)
- 8-inch (1.5-qt) round baking dish (or 9×9-inch baking dish)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Separately, add wet ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine. Add dry mixture into wet and mix well to integrate.
- If desired, fold in mix-ins of choice.
- Bake 40-50 minutes, until lightly browned and crisped on edges. (A knife should come out mostly clean—it can be a bit moist, but it shouldn’t be soggy. If it is, it needs to bake longer.)
- Cool 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve warm in a bowl on its own, or with toppings like yogurt, whipped cream, nut butter—whatever you like!
Storage & Reheating
- Allow dish to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate. Or cut cooled oatmeal bake into portions and store in airtight containers in the fridge.
- Baked oatmeal will last in the fridge for 4-7 days.
- Reheat individual portions in the microwave for 60-90 seconds, until warmed through. Or reheat in the oven at 350°F (180°C): 15-20 minutes for the full casserole, 5-10 minutes for individual portions.
- To freeze, store the entire casserole in a freezer-safe container, or store individual portions in freezer-safe containers or wrapped in plastic.
- Method 1: Prep and bake the entire casserole, then store as desired.
- Method 2: Mix and store the dry ingredients the night before, and mix and store the wet ingredients in the fridge so they’re ready. Then, the next day, combine the dry & wet ingredients at the time of baking.
- Don’t mix the dry and wet ingredients together and let the batter sit for too long! The oats will soak up too much of the liquid, which can result in mushy baked oats. Wait to combine the dry and wet mixtures until you’re ready to bake.
- For a larger oatmeal casserole that yields 10-12 servings, double the recipe ingredient amounts and bake in a 9×13-inch dish for 10-15 minutes longer.
- Eggs: Make this a vegan oatmeal bake by using 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp ground flax + 5 Tbsp water). Or, substitute with ½ cup fruit puree/mash, like applesauce, mashed banana, canned pumpkin, or sweet potato puree (¼ cup per 1 egg).
- Sweetener: Feel free to use maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, brown sugar, or regular granulated sugar. I typically start with less sweetener at first, then sweeten to taste at the time of eating if needed.
- Butter or Oil: A bit of melted butter or coconut oil adds richness, flavor, and a light, tender texture like a yummy baked good! If preferred, you can omit the butter/oil and the recipe will work just fine—although it will likely turn out a bit less fluffy and comforting.