Eating oatmeal is one of the best ways to start your day. Alas, weekday mornings can be hectic, and making oatmeal takes time. That’s why I love this warm, comforting make-ahead baked oatmeal, which can be prepped a night or two in advance.
Oats are a whole grain, and the steel-cut kind is one of the least processed types sold, containing more fiber and protein than other ready-to-cook varieties. If you can’t find steel-cut oats, old-fashioned rolled oats are the next best choice. Chopped walnuts add crunch to this dish, plus extra fiber and protein to fill you up. A touch of brown sugar sweetens things up.
You have several options here when it comes to preparing and baking this dish. You can assemble, bake, and serve immediately, then store any leftovers in the refrigerator and reheat individual servings to eat within three days. Or, you can assemble the oatmeal casserole, cover it, and refrigerate it overnight. The next morning, just remove the cover and bake as directed.
Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
2 cups steel-cut oats
4 Tbsp brown sugar, divided
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk or skim milk
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large apples, cored and chopped
¼ cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Combine oats, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a mixing bowl.
3. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk eggs. Add milk, applesauce, and vanilla, stirring to combine. Add wet ingredients to oat mixture and stir to combine. Gently fold in apples and raisins.
4. Pour oat mixture into prepared pan. In a small bowl, combine walnuts, melted butter, and the remaining 1 Tbsp brown sugar. Sprinkle the walnut mixture over the oat mixture.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and the center is set.
NUTRITION FACTS (per 1/9 of casserole): Calories 310; Total Fat 8g (Saturated Fat 2g); Cholesterol 50mg; Sodium 270mg; Total Carbs 54g (Dietary Fiber 7g, Total Sugars 18g, Added Sugars 7g); Protein 8g.
CAROLYN WILLIAMS, PHD, RD