Turn on Your Oven for 35 Minutes, Have Breakfast for the Whole Week

July 23, 2015

Oatmeal is by far my favorite breakfast. I love a good chia pudding, a savory tostada or breakfast burrito, or a simple serving of avocado toast. But no matter how humble or predictable a warm bowl oats may be, nothing can take their place.

Which leaves me with the conundrum of finding a way to enjoy oats when it’s 99 degrees and humid outside. Muesli is one appealing option, but it doesn’t quite have the heartiness as a warm bowl of oats does—at least not for me. So, one of my favorite and flexible summertime oat solutions is to make baked oatmeal. Thirty-five minutes of seemingly insane oven use creates a dish of oats that can be cut and served either hot or cold, depending on what temperature it is outside. As an added bonus, baked oats are tasty enough to double as dessert (albeit a super-healthy one). 

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In this recipe, rolled oats meet sweet berries and vanilla to create a breakfast that’s both easy and special. If you can use vanilla paste, fresh vanilla bean, or vanilla powder, I strongly recommend it. It’ll create more flavor (and cooking aroma). The berries could be traded for chopped peaches or plums, or for chopped apple or pear in the fall. If you love hand-picking your oatmeal toppings as much as I do, you’ll find it equally fun to hand-pick the mix-ins for this dish. Add some dried fruit, different kinds of nuts or seeds, or different baking spices to transform the dish into something new. 

Vegan Vanilla Berry Baked Oatmeal

Makes 4 generous or 6 small servings

1 tablespoon ground flax meal
3 tablespoons warm water
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean, scraped (or substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1/3 cup maple syrup, plus more for serving
2 1/4 cups almond or soy milk, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon canola oil or melted coconut oil
1 1/2 cups fresh mixed berries, plus a few extra for topping
1/4 cup sliced almonds or chopped pecans
2 tablespoons organic brown sugar
Jam and/or nut butter, for serving (optional)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Mark Weinberg

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The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).

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Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.


JAH July 8, 2016
I've made something simpler but similar with pumpkin. Never thought of putting fruit inside. Can't wait for breakfast tomorrow.
Jenna M. April 21, 2016
I have made this a bazillion times. Thank you so much for this recipe, Gena!! I've made the recipe as is and also doubled it to make a 9x13 to share with larger gatherings of family and friends. I've made it with raspberries, blackberries, and/or blueberries. Diced (peeled) apples have worked well too. I love to add a little cardamom and dash of ginger when I make it with apple. It is so yummy and one of husband's favorite things :) This will be a staple recipe in our family indefinitely.
Linda November 23, 2015
This has been my go to breakfast. I make a batch on Sunday and my finicky teenage daughter eats a serving for lunch each day. I have made it with ripe bananas (2-3) or apples and cranberries (2 apples chopped). I usually omit the maple syrup and oil, and add protein powder, chia seeds and nuts. All come out great. Freezes well, too.
Lillian August 27, 2015
Can i make this without the sugar and maple? Should I add more milk to replace the maple syrup or do you think it would be okay without it?
RoastedBeet August 7, 2015
Think this could be made in a muffin pan to create oat cakes? If so, how would you adjust the cooking temp/time?
emily August 3, 2015
do you think you could make it with a different fruit than berries? i'm thinking mashed bananas maybe?
AntoniaJames July 23, 2015
And while you're at it with that oven turned on, slice or cube a few blocks of tofu and throw into onto a parchment covered baking sheet to bake at the same time. Don't worry about pressing it first. ;o)
Gena H. July 24, 2015
Ha! AntoniaJames, we think alike :-D