Updated: Apr 11
When your schedule is busy with work, family, school, and whatnot, it can be hard to find time to make--let alone eat--breakfast. But the reality is that this is when nourishing your body is critical. If you're stressed out and not eating well, it can weaken your immune response, worsen recovery after a workout, trigger digestive problems, disrupt your sleep, and raise the risk of mood disorders like depression and anxiety. So, if you're in the middle of a busy season, this delicious, healthy make-ahead breakfast is for you! And even if you're not, an easy, high-protein breakfast is an ideal way to get your day off to the right start!
Breakfast meal prep ideas are one of my top tips for making mornings less chaotic. A healthy make-ahead breakfast is an effortless way to start the day on a nutritious note by loading up on protein, fiber, and healthy fats to give you the energy you need to fuel your day--not to mention it can save you heaps of time.
One of my go-to breakfast meal prep ideas is baked oats--a great option if you’re looking for an easy, high-protein breakfast option. And that’s exactly what I am sharing with you today, my go-to healthy baked oats recipe!
Why should you eat breakfast, anyway?
First, let's address why you should eat breakfast. Here's some breaking news: A recent study found that compared to eating more of your calories at dinner, front-loading them at breakfast resulted in better appetite control throughout the day. Translation: Eating a satisfying breakfast results in a reduced appetite and less hunger, so you may be naturally inclined to eat less later on. Although you can lose weight by skipping breakfast or doing intermittent fasting, there are numerous studies pointing to the appetite-regulating benefits of breakfast, and breakfast eating may also help guard against type 2 diabetes as it's been shown that breakfast skipping is tied to a higher risk of this disorder. (Now that you know a protein-rich breakfast is critical, discover more high-protein breakfast foods.)
What are Baked Oats?
Essentially, baked oats are just blended oats mixed together with eggs, milk, spices, and flavorings and baked to create a cake-like breakfast. The finished product has a delicious light and fluffy texture. What I love about baked oats are the endless flavor combinations, meaning that you mix and match different flavors depending on what you are in the mood for!
How to store baked oats?
If you’re making this recipe to last you a few days, bake the oats, leave to cool fully, and place in the fridge in an airtight container. When you’re ready to serve, warm a piece of the oatmeal in the microwave for 1-2 minutes and serve with a dollop of yogurt (if using). It's as easy as that! Be sure to only reheat the pieces you are eating that day as you definitely want to avoid reheating baked oats over and over again.
How long do baked oats last?
Baked oats will last in the fridge for up to 5 days. I haven't tried freezing them before, but I suspect it will be fine if you freeze them in single portions and reheat them in the microwave.. If you try it, I would love to hear how it goes!
What makes this a high-protein Baked Oats recipe?
Similar to high-protein oatmeal, the protein content of baked oats will vary depending on the ingredients you include. Just like a high-protein oatmeal recipe, baked oats can be tweaked to up the protein content. Lucky for you, I have done exactly that–created a high-protein baked oats recipe. This recipe offers about 20 grams of protein per serving, which is a good amount to aim for at each meal, particularly breakfast.
Protein is important for stabilizing blood sugar levels, helping you fill up and stay full for longer periods, and can help to curb cravings later in the day. It’s also helpful in the morning because your body naturally breaks down muscle tissue at night, and protein is needed to repair and rebuild muscle. If you skip protein in the morning, you miss a chance to rebuild your muscle tissue, which can result in lessening muscle mass over time. Not only will you not be as strong as you want, but lowering muscle mass translates to a slower metabolism, which can make it harder to manage your weight over time.
This recipe offers protein through the eggs, almond butter, and the dollop of greek yogurt that you add on top. (In the mood for pancakes? Try my protein-packed pancake recipe!)
Ingredient Swaps + Substitutions
Banana: If the banana isn't doing it for you, try swapping with applesauce.
Eggs: Make this recipe vegan by replacing the eggs with 2 chia eggs. See below for plant-based protein swaps to have instead of yogurt.
Yogurt: For a dairy-free version, swap in silken tofu for the yogurt, or have it with a plant-based protein shake to hit that 20 grams of protein.
Almond Butter: A nut-free version would work if you used sunflower seed butter instead.!
Tips + Tricks
Use a high-powered blender: The fluffy and light texture really shines through when you add the mixture to a powerful blender at high speed.
Double the recipe: You can absolutely double (or triple) the recipe if you’re wanting to have more servings. This recipe only serves 2, so doubling the recipe is a good idea if you want to meal prep it for the week ahead.
Can you use steel-cut oats?: You can substitute steel-cut oats but expect the baked oats to have a slightly different taste and texture. Steel-cut oats have a nuttier texture but are still really tasty.
Cook baked oats in the microwave: If you want to cook baked oats in the microwave, be sure to use a microwave-safe bowl, and use a bowl that gives enough room for the baked oats to rise. Start with 90 seconds, and if it hasn't cooked enough, place it back in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time until it is ready. Keep a close eye on it!
Baked Oats Recipe (serves 2)
1 cup rolled oats
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp almond butter
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup frozen blueberries
Spiced Yogurt (to serve)
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a blender, add all the ingredients (except for the blueberries) and blend until a smooth and creamy mixture forms. Pour the baked oats mixture into one large ovenproof baking dish, spreading out evenly. Top with frozen blueberries. Bake for 40-45 min (or until fully cooked through). While your oats are cooking, make the spiced yogurt topping by mixing together greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Serve the baked oats hot with a dollop of greek yogurt on top.