Oatmeal is such a great breakfast. It's filling, nutritious, and super cheap. But, lots of kids don't really like oatmeal. Lots of adults don't really like oatmeal. And yeah, when oatmeal isn't prepared well it tastes like flavorless goopy mush. You can manage some pretty tasty stovetop oatmeal, but baked oatmeal, well, it tastes like an oatmeal cookie, and I can't imagine many kids or adults complaining about that.
I figured I'd share my basic baked oatmeal recipe and then suggest a couple variations - and then you can just go to your cupboard, see what you have, and make whichever version of it that you want!
basic baked oatmeal
serves 4 (can easily be doubled)
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups milk
1 egg (can use 2 for more custardy oatmeal, plus more protein!)
2 Tbsp butter, melted (or oil of choice)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x8 pan.
In a large bowl, combine oats, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
In a smaller bowl, beat together the milk, egg, butter/oil, and vanilla.
Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir just until everything is moistened. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until set and browned on top.
If I make this basic version, I serve it with any or all of the following as toppings: cream/whole milk, dried fruit, chopped fresh fruit, coconut, nuts, chocolate chips, nut butters. My people like it this way so they can have it to their taste.
Alternatively, try these variations (or come up with your own!):
Banana bread baked oatmeal: Add a mashed banana to the wet ingredients and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. And a handful of chocolate chips.
Apple cinnamon raisin baked oatmeal: Thinly slice two small apples and layer the bottom of the pan before poured in the oatmeal mixture. Add 1/2 cup raisins to oatmeal mixture and up the cinnamon to 1 tsp.
Almond joy baked oatmeal: Add 1/2 cup coconut, 1/2 cup chopped or slivered almonds, 1/2 tsp almond extract and 1/2 cup chocolate chips to the baked oatmeal.
Make your own baked oatmeal: Add 1/4 cup cocoa to make it chocolate; add any chopped fruit you desire; add nuts or dried fruit; use a different extract (or even a liquor!). Adding another egg will make it more custardy. Using more liquid will make it more wet and creamy. You can swap out some milk for applesauce, or swap in some yogurt to make it thicker and creamier and more substantial. The possibilities are endless!