How to Make Baked Oatmeal
Hello! How have you been? It’s still pouring rain every day here in Oregon, even though we are in the middle of June. Where is summer already?! I’m creating my own summer vibes with fresh strawberries topped on this delicious vegan baked oatmeal with caramel sauce. I like to think of baked oatmeal as the ultimate breakfast hack. They are super quick to mix up and then you can go about your morning getting ready while they bake in the oven. Then in less than one hour, you have a dish of healthy baked oatmeal ready to be devoured!
Can I Bake Instant Oats?
There are so many types of oats out there. For this particular vegan baked oatmeal recipe, I used rolled oats. This type of oats (also called old-fashioned oats) have been rolled into flakes. They are bigger than instant oats, so they maintain a more chewy texture after being cooked. Instant oats (sometimes referred to as quick-cooking oats) are cut into smaller pieces. Therefore instant oats cook faster, but they can become mushy. You can certainly use instant oats to make baked oatmeal, like I did for this apple and hazelnut baked oatmeal.
Do You Need to Cook Oats Before Baking?
One of the many great things about baked oatmeal recipes is that you don’t have to soak or pre-cook the oats. Just mix everything together and spread it out in a greased casserole dish. After about 40 minutes in the oven, it’s party time!
How Do You Tell if Baked Oats are Done Cooking?
Normally with baking recipes, you’d insert a toothpick or knife into the center. If it comes out clean, your baked good is done. But baked oatmeal is different. The easiest way to tell if your vegan baked oatmeal with caramel is done cooking is with a quick visual test. If the sides of the oatmeal are golden brown and pulling away from the edges of the baking dish, then it’s done!
Caramel and Strawberry Vegan Baked Oatmeal
I recently experimented with making homemade vegan caramel sauce, and it turned out amazing. So I’ve been playing around with adding it to some new recipes. I seriously can’t tell the difference between traditional and vegan caramel sauce. It’s thick, sweet, and highly addicting. Best of all, vegan caramel tastes incredible paired with strawberry baked oatmeal.
What to Add to Oatmeal to Make it Taste Sweet?
Oatmeal has a very mild grainy taste, kind of like plain rice. It’s more like the sheet music on which you can write a symphony, rather than the music notes themselves. Normally I add raw organic honey to my oatmeal to sweeten it up. But to keep your breakfast vegan, you can add maple syrup, brown sugar or my current favorite, vegan caramel sauce.
Caramel drizzled onto baked oatmeal is the equivalent of pouring syrup onto pancakes. Once you try it, you just can’t have one without the other. It’s like a match made in heaven. Caramel oatmeal heaven. Just note that most caramel is not vegan, since it often contains butter and heavy cream. You’ll want to buy or make vegan caramel if you want to keep your bake oatmeal plant-based.
What Fruit is Best for Oatmeal?
I’ve been craving summer which is why I added strawberries to this vegan baked oatmeal with caramel. Other great fruit to have with oatmeal is fresh or dried berries, apples, pears, and bananas. I didn’t bake the strawberries with the oats, since I wanted them to maintain their beautiful color and texture. But feel free to chop up the strawberries and mix them into the baked oatmeal batter to bake it all together. The world is your oat-ster! (like oyster, but oats, get it?) 😜
Vegan Baked Oatmeal with Caramel
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil, plus more for greasing your baking dish
- ½ cup nut butter or seed butter, of your choice (I use peanut butter)
- 2 Tbsp vegan caramel sauce or maple syrup, plus more for drizzling on top
- 1½ cups non-dairy milk, of your choice (I use oat milk)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 2⅓ cups rolled oats or quick-cooking oats
- ⅓ cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- fresh strawberries, sliced, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.Grease an 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish by pouring a tiny bit of olive oil or coconut oil in it and swirling the oil around with your fingers to cover the bottom and sides of the dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, peanut butter, vegan caramel sauce or maple syrup, milk, and vanilla.Add the baking powder, cinnamon, salt, oats and chocolate chips and mix it all together until the oats are completely covered in the mixture.
- Spread the mixture evenly into the greased baking dish. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the sides of the oats begin are golden brown and begin to pull away from the edges of the baking dish.Allow it to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. The longer it cools, the better it will hold its shape when sliced. Top with sliced strawberries and extra caramel sauce. Enjoy!