How To Make Oatmeal Taste Amazing: 20 Recipes To Try
Making oatmeal taste as good as it is for you is certainly a question of personal preference. Are you a sweet or savory fan? Do you believe in chocolate for breakfast, or are you more likely to reach for fresh fruit? Do you like a hot breakfast or cold (don't sleep on chilled overnight oats)?
Here, we round up some of our favorite oatmeal recipes, offering something for everyone looking to make their morning oatmeal a meal they seriously look forward to.
Keep things classic: Lean on fruit or nuts (or both!).
Making a classic oatmeal topped with fruit and nuts isn't just a tasty way to prepare the breakfast staple; it's also a great way to pack in extra nutrients. Walnuts, pistachios, raspberries, and blueberries are always good places to start for nutrient-dense toppings, but you can truly follow your heart (or your farmers market haul) toward whatever toppings feel right. If you're in need of some inspiration, these recipes start with the basics:
Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats
There's hardly a more classic pairing than apples and cinnamon, except maybe cinnamon and oatmeal. This overnight oats recipe will satisfy any indulgent breakfast craving you may have thanks to the pairing of apples with walnuts and the flavors of fall.
Overnight Oats With Strawberry Chia Jam
This recipe uses only six ingredients, including the first step of making your own healthy jam: in this case, a strawberry chia jam that you'll likely want to make in advance. From there, it's a simple recipe for overnight oats that you can then stir the jam into. Not a strawberry fan? There are plenty of other fruits that are great for making homemade jam.
Orange Overnight Oats
Citrus fruits maybe aren't the first thing you think of when you're reaching for oatmeal toppings and flavors, but allow this orange recipe to convince you otherwise. Fresh orange juice, paired with bananas and dates, gives a perfect texture and balanced flavor. Garnish with coconut and almonds for crunch.
Tropical Overnight Oats
Another fruit you may not think to reach for with your oats? Mango—but pair it with full-fat coconut milk and a bit of a banana and you'll have a perfect tropical inspired breakfast waiting for you in the morning. And there's enough fruit in it to sweeten it without any additions.
Baked Oatmeal With Pluots and Marcona Almonds
While overnight oats may seem like the easiest route to oatmeal, there are plenty of baked oatmeal options for when you're cooking for a crowd or when you don't want to stand over the stove but do want hot oatmeal. This recipe calls for pluots, a type of stone fruit, but does say other varieties of these summer fruits can be used.
Blueberry and Fig Oatmeal
This recipe is a perfect storm of a.m. nutrients. Figs are a great source of fiber, B6, potassium, and manganese. The latter can also be found in blueberries and plays an important role in supporting our body's1 breakdown of carbohydrates and fats.
Though it may not be on all the lists, oatmeal is technically something of a superfood—and this recipe takes full advantage of that. If you have 20 minutes in the morning, you can make this breakfast, which includes a whole banana for sweetness and pepitas and almonds for nuttiness.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal
A perfect reminder that oatmeal isn't just for breakfast, this recipe takes inspiration from the classic American sandwich, the PB&J. The author opts for this as a post-yoga treat and pairs steel-cut oats with almond butter, banana, and papaya—a bit of an upgrade on the flavors of the childhood treat.
Take inspiration from desserts: Add chocolate.
While most classic oatmeal recipes call for sweetener, they don't necessarily always cross over the line toward dessert. But we're here to say that chocolate isn't just for dessert, and green tea isn't just for drinking—both can be used in an extra-sweet oatmeal that will definitely have you excited for breakfast.
Beyond just adding a handful of your favorite dark chocolate to a bowl of oatmeal, these recipes pair fruits and spices with chocolate for perfectly indulgent breakfasts:
Chocolate Oatmeal Bowls
The author of this recipe freely admits she hasn't been an oatmeal fan herself. But add a few tablespoons of cocoa powder and some high-quality bittersweet chocolate, and even an oatmeal hater can enjoy it—which is just what this hot-chocolate-inspired recipe does.
Golden Milk Hot Chocolate Oats
Take those hot chocolate oats one step further with the addition of turmeric. It's anti-inflammatory benefits and warming flavor pair perfectly with a hearty (and tasty) bowl of golden chocolaty oats, which also incorporates a bit of ginger to round out the full flavor.
Chocolate + Strawberry Overnight Oats
This one is for not only the chocolate lovers but also those who don't always get out of bed early enough to prepare a whole bowl of oatmeal in the morning. The perfect pairing of chocolate and strawberry makes this overnight oat recipe the ideal way to add oatmeal to your morning routine.
Chocolate Chip and Banana Baked Oatmeal
Another recipe that skips the stovetop preparation and pairs chocolate with fruit, this recipe is reminiscent of your favorite banana bread (the recipe even says they're similar to a bread pudding, and who doesn't like that?). They get an extra protein boost from chocolate protein powder, too.
Black and Orange Oatmeal
This fall-inspired recipe pairs chocolate with pumpkin, which not only gives the oats their color but also adds a boost of fiber and vitamin A. For the black color, the recipe calls for black cocoa powder—ultra-Dutch-processed cocoa, which has been processed with potassium to reduce its acidity, neutralizing its pH and giving it a deep black color that still has the benefits of other cocoas.
Mocha Raspberry Overnight Oats
Wake up to a bowl of oats that won't just fuel your need for food but will also support your a.m. coffee craving, thanks to the inclusion of cold-brew coffee in the liquid mix of this overnight recipe. The final addition of fresh raspberries pairs perfectly with chocolate, of course, but also helps bring out some of the flavors in the coffee as well.
Green Tea Latte Overnight Oats
The first non-chocolate recipe on this sweet list, this green bowl of oats doesn't just get its hue from green tea—baby spinach is blended in as well. A perfect way to incorporate some morning greens, the recipe is sweetened with Medjool dates and also incorporates chia and flaxseeds for bonus protein.
Lemon Meringue Pie Overnight Oats
Inspired by the idea of adding acid to your oats to reduce phytic acid, which impairs the absorption2 of nutrients, this recipe leans into the flavor of lemon juice for a dessert-inspired final recipe. If you're now worried about phytic acid in your other oat options, there's good news: You can always soak the oats overnight before rinsing them if you don't want to add lemon juice or ACV to your dish.
Let more surprising flavors guide the way: Go savory.
Feeling a bit daring, or maybe just not an a.m. sweets person? While it may be associated with sweeter finishes, oatmeal can be made to be savory too.
It's important to note that the notion of savory porridge dishes isn't novel—congee, a style of rice porridge, is reported to date back to 1000 B.C., and similar porridges are found across Asia. And while it's sometimes sweet, it's more often savory.
Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN, says we should all be stirring an egg into our oatmeal, whether we're adding sweet or savory toppings—but it's definitely a good place to start if you want to try savory oatmeal. "Adding in an egg makes for a fluffy, filling bowl of oats that won't make you want to go back to sleep," she explains. From there, spices like turmeric, ginger, or garlic, are a good start for a simple savory bowl.
Miso Oats With Scallions and Sesame Oil
Miso is a fermented paste that has been used for millenniums in Japan. It adds a depth of umami flavor and the benefits of fermented foods to any dish, including this simple savory oatmeal dish. While the recipe calls for simple toppings of scallions and sesame, you can also add other vegetables.
Savory Breakfast Oats With Nutritional Yeast
For those looking for a more thorough guide to toppings on a bowl of savory oats, this dish flavors the oats with nutritional yeast, kale, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes. The final topping with your hot sauce of choice is up to your discretion and taste, but the recipe recommends sriracha.
Savory Mushroom Oatmeal
It seems mushrooms and oats are a perfect pair—this recipe calls for adding a topping of sliced cremini mushrooms cooked with spinach, garlic, and tamari. Along with the warm vegetable mixture, it recommends reaching for our favorite healthy fat, avocado, for the final flavor addition.
Regardless of what direction you choose to go with your oatmeal, the toppings can always just be guided by what you have in your pantry and finding combinations that make you excited to enjoy this healthy breakfast option.
Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine, TheTaste.ie, and SUITCASE magazine.