Oatmeal is a heart-healthy food that’s long been a breakfast favorite. But it’s not just for morning — it can be eaten for lunch, dinner, dessert, and as a snack, too. Whether you like your oats on the sweet or savory side of the spectrum, it’s easy to incorporate them into a healthy diet, and we’re highlighting recipes that will show you how to do it. You’ll love these delicious renditions of the comfort food.
1. Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a superfood, but when you opt for the sweetened packets, you’re getting a sugar rush for breakfast. This maple brown sugar oatmeal from This Gal Cooks is so much healthier and it tastes way better than the packaged kind. You’ll get 4 servings of breakfast (or dessert) from this hearty oatmeal formula, so you’ll have breakfast for nearly the whole week.
- 1¾ cups water
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats or quick cooking oats
- ½ tablespoon half and half
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1½ tablespoons brown sugar
- ⅓ cup pecan halves, chopped
- 2 heaping teaspoons of mini chocolate chips, plus more, if desired
- Pinch of cinnamon for sprinkling, optional
Directions: Combine the water and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the oats, then reduce the heat to medium. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in half-and-half, syrup, and brown sugar.
Divide oatmeal among four bowls and top each serving with pecans, chocolate chips, and a pinch of cinnamon. Serve.
2. Banana Zucchini Oatmeal Cups
For oatmeal on-the-go, try these banana zucchini oatmeal cups from Hummusapien. These oatmeal cups are vegan and gluten-free, and clock in at 150 calories per serving. The recipe also yields 12 oatmeal cups, so you’ll have breakfast and snacks for days. Naturally sweetened and packed with fiber, these banana zucchini oatmeal cups will give you the energy you need without weighing you down.
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed or chia seeds plus 6 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup almond butter
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 3 medium to large over-ripe bananas
- 2 small-medium zucchini, grated
- ½ cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup chocolate chips and/or walnuts
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or with a bit of coconut oil. Alternatively, line with muffin liners.
Combine flax or chia and water in a small bowl and let thicken. Meanwhile, heat almond butter and maple syrup in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, stirring to combine.
Add bananas to a large bowl and mash until smooth using a fork. Add zucchini, almond milk, vanilla, almond butter mixture, thickened flax or chia, then stir everything to combine. Fold in oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and add-ins- if desired. Divide mixture among muffin cups, filling all the way to the top. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until set. Let cool, then store in an air-tight food storage container in the fridge.
3. Savory Oatmeal and Soft-Cooked Egg
Here’s another oatmeal recipe from Martha Stewart that you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s a savory dish that requires only six ingredients and serves 1. You’ll first make a bowl of oats, then top with an egg, cheese, and scallions. If you want to take your oatmeal up a sophisticated (and savory) notch, this is your recipe.
- ½ cup quick-cooking rolled oats
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallion greens
Directions: In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add oats and pinch of salt; stir, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a small nonstick pan over medium. Coat lightly with cooking spray. Add egg and cook until white is set and yolk is still runny, about 3 minutes. Season egg to taste with salt and pepper. Serve oatmeal in a bowl topped with cheese, egg, and scallion greens.
4. Chickpea Oat Veggie Burger
Oats also perform well in patties, which these veggie burgers from Whole Living Lauren prove. These burgers are made with oats, ground walnuts, chickpeas, milk, and some additional seasonings. We like to serve these on whole-wheat buns with mustard, lettuce, tomato, and avocado.
- 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small to medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups oats
- ½ cup ground walnuts
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ¾ cup almond milk or other milk
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon salt
Combine chickpeas, almond milk, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and sage in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in onions, oats, and walnuts. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken. Form into six to eight patties, using your fingers to flatten.
Heat the same skillet over medium-low heat, adding a drizzle of oil if needed. Cook burgers for 5 to 7 minutes per side. Serve on buns with your choice of toppings.
5. Blueberry Oatmeal Bread
This blueberry oatmeal bread from Foodie Crush is healthier than your average quick bread thanks to the addition of oats, blueberries, and Greek yogurt. The yogurt adds moisture and we love the slightly tangy flavor it delivers. While it’s delicious room temperature, we love it when still warm from the oven.
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup oats
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang. Alternatively, grease and flour the pan, tapping to remove excess flour.
Toss blueberries with 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla to combine. Pour we ingredients into dry, and stir just to combine. Carefully fold in blueberries and oats.
Transfer batter to prepared ban, and smooth top. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool. Serve.
6. Oatmeal Baked Chicken
Back to the savory side of things, we come to this oatmeal baked chicken from Taste of Home. It’s a healthier take on fried chicken that is still satisfying. Plus, it will take you less than one hour to make. This oatmeal baked chicken is tasty and even comes with a kick thanks to the chili powder and cumin. This will become a fast favorite.
- 1½ cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, optional
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 (3½- to 4-pound) chicken, cut up
- ½ cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. In a shallow bowl or large resealable plastic bag, combine oats, paprika, chili powder, salt if desired, garlic powder, cumin and pepper. Dip chicken in milk, then coat with oat mixture. Place in prepared baking dish. Drizzle with butter. Bake, uncovered, for 45 to 50 minutes or until juices run clear.
7. Chocolate Caramel Oatmeal Bars
Last but definitely not least are chocolate caramel oatmeal bars from Pinch of Yum. These bars are rich and delicious enough that you’ll be satisfied after. If you’re going to appease your sweet tooth, you might as well make it worth it, and these chocolate caramel oatmeal bars definitely are.
- 1½ cup all purpose flour
- 1⅓ cup rolled oats
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 9 tablespoons salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 40 soft caramel candies
- 6 tablespoons milk or cream
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir together flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, ans alt in a large bowl. Combine the flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add butter and stir just to combine. Mixture will be crumbly. You man need to add a bit more flour if it’s too wet.
Press three-quarters of the dough into a 9-by-13 baking dish using your fingers. Transfer to oven and bake for about 13 minutes, or until top is just beginning to turn golden. Meanwhile, melt caramels in the microwave with the cream, stopping to stir every 30 seconds or so, until smooth.
Remove crust from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over top, then drizzle with the caramel. Crumble remaining oat dough over the top, return to the oven, and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden on top. Let stand for at least a few hours to let the caramel cool. Cut into bars and serve.