I'm a Dietitian & These Are 12 Recipes I Make with a Box of Oats
I love oats for many reasons: they're super nutritious, usually pretty inexpensive and last a long time in your pantry. They are my breakfast almost daily, either as our simple overnight oats formula, or meal prepped as our Apple Pie Baked Oats (a recipe I actually developed for EatingWell because I love it so much). Oats also make great snacks like Cranberry-Almond Energy Balls (though you could make energy balls in basically any flavor) or a post-workout Chocolate Milk Recovery Drink. And since they're packed with fiber, they will actually help you feel full until your next meal. But I think the most underrated use for oats is in savory recipes. They're a binding agent for our Old Fashioned Meatloaf and our Salmon & Crab Cakes, and sometimes I'll even blitz them in the food processor to mimic the texture of breadcrumbs for things like meatballs and breadings. Oats are even blended into our Use-It-Up Vegetable Soup recipe for a dairy-free creaminess. And with how nutritious oats are, I try to add them to my eating pattern wherever possible. I hope these recipes inspire you to get creative with your box of oats. For more budget- and beginner-friendly cooking tips, check out Thrifty.
Apple-Pie Baked Oats
Slices of these apple-pie baked oats make a great snack or midday pick-me-up, with an added energy boost coming from vanilla protein powder. If you individually wrap the slices, they make an excellent grab-and-go breakfast. Servings may also be reheated in a toaster oven or microwave.
Cranberry-Almond Energy Balls
These energy balls are the perfect make-ahead snack. Filled with cranberries, almonds, oats and dates, these energy balls come together in minutes. Maple syrup and tahini help bind everything together while adding a touch of sweetness and bitterness.
Salmon & Crab Cakes
These craveworthy fish cakes are made with a blend of crabmeat and pink salmon and coated with a panko-oat crust. Served on a bed of lemony arugula with a yogurt dip, this 45-minute entree is a great choice for a healthy family dinner.
No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies
Creamy natural peanut butter and chocolate team up in these easy and healthy no-bake cookies! Whip up a batch for after-school snacks, dessert or anytime your sweet tooth comes calling.
Savory Oatmeal with Cheddar, Collards & Eggs
Have you tried savory oats yet? It's a nice change-up from the sweet way oatmeal is typically served, plus you get a full serving of vegetables. Serve with hot sauce, if desired.
Mushrooms, garlic and oats sneak some extra nutrients into this hearty and easy meatloaf. Serve with sweet potatoes and your favorite green vegetables for a super-satisfying comfort food dinner.
Healthy Chocolate Milk Recovery Drink
Recover from your next workout with this healthy chocolate milk recovery drink. Avocado adds creaminess while chocolate and peanut butter give it a satisfying salty-sweet flavor. Oats will fill you up with their added boost of fiber.
Cinnamon-Roll Overnight Oats
It takes just minutes to assemble this healthy no-cook breakfast, and you'll have meal-prepped grab-and-go breakfasts on hand for the rest of the week. Top these delicious vegan oats—inspired by classic cinnamon bun flavors—with fresh or frozen fruit and your favorite nuts and seeds.
Apple Crisp for One
If you have an apple in your refrigerator, then you're just a few steps away from a simple, delicious dessert. We like green apples for their tart flavor and firmness, but Honeycrisp, Jonagold or Braeburn apples will work too.
Use-It-Up Vegetable Soup
For the best results, choose one "star" vegetable and no more than 3 supporting ones to prevent the flavors from getting muddy—go green with a mixture of broccoli stems, cauliflower leaves and core, wilted kale and spinach, or get a beta carotene boost with leftover winter squash, wrinkly carrots and a parsnip. The addition of potato (perhaps an old one that's growing roots?) and a scoop of oats give the soup a luxurious mouthfeel without cream, while lemon juice brightens the flavor.
Breakfast Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cakes
Peanut butter is the star ingredient in these oatmeal cakes, providing not only flavor, but a boost of plant-based protein too. Hiding a bit in the center of each muffin is a fun way to ensure that peanut butter makes it into every bite.
Pumpkin Pie Crisp
This cozy dessert features all the flavors you know and love in a pumpkin pie, but without the hassle of rolling a crust. The creamy pumpkin filling is complemented by the warm spices in the pumpkin pie spice blend and maple syrup. Oats and pecans add a lovely crunch to the topping. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.