Happy National Oatmeal Day! I’m a huge fan of oats and oatmeal, so I’ve gathered up the best PBF oatmeal recipes all in one place. There are so many different ways to enjoy them – baked, overnight, regular oatmeal, steel cut…all the good stuff!
What’s the difference between different types of oats?
There are 3 main types of oats that you’ll usually find in the store:
Quick cooking oats – I don’t usually use quick oats, but they are really great for mug cakes.
Rolled oats – Like the name suggests, these ones rolled flat and are quicker to cook than steel cut oats. They’re also called old fashioned oats and are considered a whole grain. I like using them in my overnight oats recipes because they maintain some chew even after a few nights in the fridge. Quick cooking oats turn to mush and steel cut oats have too much bite (even if you use the quick cooking kind).
Steel cut oats – These ones are basically a less processed version of the rolled or quick oats you might be used to. Instead of being rolled flat, the grain is just cut up using a steel blade. This means they absorb less liquid and maintain more texture than the other types of oats. And because they’re less processed, they take longer to cook. You generally can’t sub out another type of oats for steel cut ones.
The name would suggest that you need to make them the night before you eat them, but I’ve made them up to 6 days in advance and haven’t had any issues. For most overnight oats recipes, the texture starts to change slightly after about 3 days in the refrigerator. People worry a lot about oats getting mushy if they don’t eat them within a day or two, but I find they get more creamy than anything. You may also find that some of the liquid separates or that they seem to dry out – just give them a stir and add more of your milk of choice to revive them!
If you’re worried about whether you’ll still like them after a few days, I’d recommend 2 things: 1) make a test batch and give it a try on day 4 and 5 to see if you like it. Don’t put all of your proverbial eggs in that breakfast basket on those days – have a backup ready to avoid any frustration or disappointment if you don’t like them. And 2) if you find you don’t like their texture on days 4, 5, 6, etc. – mix up the dry ingredients in a jar ahead of time and stash it on your counter. Then all you’ll have to do is add the wet ingredients and stick it in the fridge overnight when you’re ready for it!
Another pro tip: always be sure to use the regular or thick rolled oats/old fashioned oats. There are quick cooking rolled oats out there that will lose their chew way faster than the thicker ones. Bob’s Red Mill actually makes these Extra Thick Rolled Oats that are perfect for overnight oats!
Peanut Butter Cup Protein Overnight Oats
Fudgy chocolate overnight oats are layered with a thick and creamy peanut butter Greek yogurt and topped with a crunchy chocolate shell.
Strawberry Cheesecake Overnight Oats
These oats are a must try for cheesecake lovers – they taste incredibly decadent but are surprisingly healthy! Add in any fruits you like.
Espresso Chocolate Chip Protein Overnight Oats
Mix your shot of espresso right into your oats for an incredible mocha-like flavor that’s sure to help you wake up!
Lemon Blueberry Overnight Oats
I’m a huge blueberry fan, and I love pairing them up with lemon especially in warmer weather for a really bright and fresh flavor combo. I skipped the protein powder in this recipe and opted instead for Greek yogurt to make these oats really creamy and allow the lemon flavor to shine through.
Black Forest Protein Overnight Oats
Another decadent tasting, but surprisingly healthy option, these Black Forest oats get their chocolate flavor from a bit of dutch cocoa. The fudgy oats are layered with vanilla Greek yogurt and cherry compote to evoke that classic flavor combo.
Birthday Cake Protein Overnight Oats
These overnight oats are exceedingly simple, as long as you have some birthday cake/cake batter/cupcake/funfetti flavored whey protein hanging around. And sprinkles, of course!
Cherry Chocolate Chunk Protein Overnight Oats
Inspired by cherry Garcia ice cream, these oats are a great way to make the most of cherry season!
PB&J Protein Overnight Oats
One of my favorite classic flavor combos, but make it high protein!
Pumpkin Pie Protein Overnight Oats
I have literally topped these off with whipped cream and eaten them as dessert. They are so yummy and the creamy, cool texture isn’t entirely unlike pumpkin pie.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Overnight Oats
Although very similar to the other PB&J recipe above, this one was my first overnight oats love and does not include any protein powder. It’s a great option for anyone who can’t/doesn’t want to eat as much dairy, or just doesn’t want to buy a tub of protein.
Peanut Butter and Banana Protein Overnight Oats
Fudgy Chocolate Protein Overnight Oats
This is a chocolate-for-breakfast indulgence that’s not too sweet…so you won’t feel even a little bit guilty about it, especially if you top it all off with fresh fruit like raspberries.
Mixed Berry Protein Overnight Oats
If you’ve been around a while, you know I love baking oatmeal into muffins, but with a few little tweaks it can be turned into a delicious, slice-able baked oatmeal too. Perfect for a Sunday brunch crowd or meal prepped breakfasts all week! I love serving baked oatmeal with a little bit of syrup, some fresh fruit, and maybe even a dollop of whipped cream for some extra indulgence.
Baked oats are a bit different from baked oatmeal and you may have heard of them when they went viral on TikTok. Instead of baking up a batter made while whole oats, you instead either buzz those oats up in a blender or use store bought oat flour. The oat flour bakes up more like regular flour than whole oats and totally gives you a cake-for-breakfast texture. They’re a lot of fun to play with different flavor combos and mix-ins, but are still really healthy (depending on what you add in of course)!
Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal
Strawberry Pop Tart Protein Baked Oats
These baked oats are made with a layer of strawberry jam and topped with Greek yogurt based frosting for a classic Pop Tart vibe. I added a bit of protein powder to be sure they hold me over until lunch, and each serving has 20 grams of protein.
Mixed Berry Baked Oatmeal
One of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of fresh, juicy berries, so I put them to work in this Mixed Berry Oatmeal Bake. Of course, frozen berries will work just fine too!
S’mores Protein Baked Oats
These viral Tik Tok baked oats are so easy to whip up and I like to underbake mine just a bit so there’s a little bit of a chocolate lava cake effect going on inside.
Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
This healthier baked oatmeal is perfect for spring and features carrots, spices, and raisins, plus an extra boost of protein.
I am totally an oatmeal muffin fiend. They’re so easy to meal prep for the week and are seriously yummy, which make them my favorite breakfast item to prep. That’s also why you see so many different flavor combos on my site! Just be sure to use silicone baking cups or non-stick parchment muffin liners to avoid a headache…because most of these have lower fat content than your average muffins, they can be prone to sticking. I like using these jumbo silicone muffin cups or these jumbo parchment paper liners.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Muffins
Hearty muffins with warm pumpkin spices and gooey dark chocolate. With 13 grams of protein, they’re great for breakfast in the fall!
Mixed Berry Oatmeal Muffins
These muffins are currently my favorite breakfast to prep and I literally have the recipe memorized because I’ve made it so many times (plus it’s super easy). I always just add in whatever berries I have on hand, and I always keep a stash of frozen blueberries around just in case I don’t have enough fresh berries hanging around my fridge.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Oatmeal Muffins
Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins
Zucchini Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Muffins
Skinny Monkey Oatmeal Muffins
This is another fun combo that’s reminiscent of the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor “Chunky Monkey” – except this one is healthier.
I saved the most classic of oatmeal varieties for last, but these recipes are anything but boring! Steel cut oats are great for meal prep, but regular oatmeal tends to be best if enjoyed right away.
Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats with Blueberries
I love using my Instant Pot to make quick work of cooking steel cut oats for this hearty, meal prep friendly breakfast. This recipe is made with cinnamon and blueberries and served with eggs.
Instant Pot Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats
These oats have good bite to them, the pumpkin flavor shines through, and they’re lightly sweet. I’ve made them a bunch of times and have found that my favorite toppings after reheating are a bit of brown sugar, raisins, and roughly chopped pecans.
Savory Steel Cut Oats
I took these ones in a little bit of an Asian direction with a little bit of miso mixed into the cooking liquid, plus some sautéed shiitake mushrooms. Don’t forget the bacon and egg on top!
Gingerbread Protein Oatmeal
Like your favorite gingerbread cookies, this oatmeal has that classic combination of spices and the dark sweetness of molasses thanks to the gingerbread syrup you see drizzled on top (and mixed in). Pair that with the creamy goodness of oatmeal and you’ve got a breakfast winner!
Banana Pecan Pie Protein Oatmeal