There’s nothing better than a breakfast that basically makes itself! This baked oatmeal recipe comes together in a snap and tastes amazing.
I don’t use the term “the best” lightly, but this baked oatmeal? It really is the best. I have tried so many basic baked oatmeal versions and pretty much all of them were mediocre at best: Too thin, too mushy, too much fuss, too sweet, not sweet enough…
In the end, I decided to create my own recipe combining all the features I want in my baked oatmeal, and of course I had to share it with you here.
This baked oatmeal
- comes out thick, fluffy and cake-like
- is sweet enough to be delicious, but not too sweet – definitely still breakfast appropriate (I mean it is for me, if you’re very cathartic about your breakfast… maybe try my blueberry baked oatmeal without any refined sugar?)
- has just the right texture – not dry, not mushy, nope… just right, like the little bear’s bowl in the Goldilocks story
- is definitely 100% fuss-free to make, pinky promise
Ingredients you’ll need
Here is an overview of the ingredients in the recipe (great to use as a visual grocery list at the store!). Jump to Recipe for quantities.
- Oats: This recipe works best with regular rolled oats. If you’re using old-fashioned, I recommend to let them soak for at least one hour. Quick oats come out too mushy. Please do NOT make this with steel cut oats, they need a lot more liquid and this recipe will not work. (Seriously, it doesn’t. If you try and it fails… You’ve been appropriately warned.)
- Milk: Use whatever milk your heart desires. Whole, 2%, 1%, skim, almond, giraffe… Well, maybe the giraffe milk is a bit too difficult to find, but I’m assuming it would actually work.
- Butter: You can use oil instead of the melted butter. The butter definitely makes it taste more luxurious though. And a little luxury for breakfast makes all the difference for those not-so-morning people among us.
Step by step photos
Ok, got all of your ingredients? Then let’s get this party started. (And yes, baked oatmeal is indeed a reason to party.)
First, you’ll add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl. Really, use a bowl large enough or you’ll curse yourself and the mess you made on your counter later.
Then, stir them well. This is important so you evenly distribute both the salt and the baking powder.
P.S: I definitely posed this “stirring” photo and I’m not actually stirring but holding the spatula very still. My husband says I’m crazy, but I prefer to call myself normalcy challenged.
Anyways, moving on:
Add all remaining ingredients (aka the “wet ingredients”) to the bowl. Yep, you can just add them all to the dry ingredients without needing to combine them in a separate bowl first. Less dishes, always.
Finally, stir the mix very well. It’s going to take a little bit of effort to break up those egg yolks and distribute them evenly.
(This is where the “large enough bowl” comes into play – if you’re cursing yourself right now because your counter is covered in unbaked oatmeal? Sorry to say, but I told you so).
Last but not least, pour everything into a greased baking dish and… Well, bake your oatmeal. You can also cover and refrigerate it up to overnight at this point, if you want to make your oatmeal ahead and bake it later!
And once it’s baked and cooled a little (yes, you do need to let it cool it a little… sorry, I know, it’s the hardest part of this recipe)… Slice it…
… and serve with all the fixin’s!
While you can just slap a bar of this into your kids’ hands (and call it an oatmeal breakfast bar) while you’re hurrying them out of the house in the morning… You can also be classy about it and make it a sit-down breakfast.
Serve the oatmeal slices in bowls with extra milk, fresh fruit and maple syrup for everyone to add themselves.
(This exact classy scenario is also how my 3 year old once dumped an entire bottle of maple syrup over a single slice of oatmeal while I was trying to wrangle the baby into his carrier. Ah, the joys of motherhood.)
Make ahead instructions
In case you skipped over the step by step photos (come on, we both know 95% of you did)… here are the make ahead instructions again, plus some more:
To prep the oatmeal now and bake later:
Make the oatmeal up to adding the mixture to the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate up to overnight.
Bake in the morning, uncovered, as directed in the recipe. You’ll need to add around 10 minutes to the baking time because the oatmeal is very cold from being in the fridge all night.
To store the baked oatmeal:
Let the oatmeal cool to room temperature, then cover (or place the sliced oatmeal in a container with a lid). Place in the fridge for up to 3 days. Gently reheat in the microwave, if you like.
To freeze the baked oatmeal:
Let the oatmeal cool to room temperature. Slice into bars and wrap each well in plastic wrap. Either place in freezer bags or in freezer-friendly containers. Label with the name and use-by date (freeze for up to 3 months).
To defrost, remove the oatmeal from the freezer bag or container. Let sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes, until you can remove the plastic wrap. Place the oatmeal bars on a wire rack and defrost on the counter for a couple of hours. Reheat in the microwave, if you like.
And that, my friends… Is the very lengthy story of my baked oatmeal recipe.
tl;dr: Stir everything together in a bowl. Add to a baking dish and bake. Eat way too hot, burning the roof of your mouth, because you can’t resist the delicious smell. Or maybe that’s just me… The end.
(Just in case it wasn’t perfectly clear, this is humor in the sentence above. Obviously, do not eat the oatmeal way too hot. Eat it at a safe temperature for your precious mouth. Please.)
More baked oatmeal recipes
PS If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram. Sign up for my email list, too!
The Best Baked Oatmeal
- 6 cups rolled oats uncooked
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 large eggs
- 4 cups milk
- 1 stick butter melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
- Combine oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla and mix very well.
- Spread in prepared pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until set. Let cool for 5 minutes, then slice into bars to serve.