12 Exciting Oat Recipes to Spice Up Your Diet!

There are as many reasons to work more oats into your diet as there are groats in a canister. For one, this gluten-free whole grain is a great source of beta glucan soluble fiber, which can increase the growth of good bacteria in your digestive tract. This fiber also promotes regularity in those selfsame pipes as it works to keep things moving and prevents them from hardening and backing up.

Then there are the cardiovascular benefits: Oats work to reduce the risk of heart disease by bringing down your cholesterol and lowering blood pressure with avenathramide, a polyphenol found exclusively in oats.

Feeding oats to children under five decreases their risk of developing childhood asthma.

On top of all of that, one small serving of a half-cup of raw oats contains nearly twice your daily recommendation for manganese, 13 grams of protein, iron, and B vitamins, and more omega-3 fatty acids than other grains. Now that we’ve answered the why, here’s a bit about the how.

Here are some delicious and nutritious ways to integrate more oats into your diet, from sun-up to sun-down to sips and bites in between.

As Oats


Oatmeal for breakfast is an obvious way to make sure you have oats in your regular(ity) rotation, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bland or uninteresting. All varieties of oats lend themselves well to sweet and savory applications. Try making overnight oats and preparing them in milk instead of water. This method increases oats’ protein power and adds richness that can help you dial down the sugar.

Get the Recipes: Slow Cooker Overnight Oatmeal with Apples, Cranberries, and Walnuts; Savory Salsa Oatmeal; Berry Baked Oatmeal.

In Drinks


Oat milk is all the rage these days, frothing up beautifully for baristas and lending creamy full body to coffee drinks. It’s among the safest choices for those with food allergies, too.

Although it loses much of its fiber and protein content in this watered-down form, it still does offer some cholesterol-busting benefits. However, long before this became a non-dairy dairy section staple, people were blending whole rolled oats into smoothies to reap the benefits of this supergrain.

Get the Recipes: Banana Oatmeal Smoothie; Orange Peach Oat Smoothie; Chicha de Avena.

In Pancakes and Waffles

Chef John

Oats for breakfast don’t have to mean oatmeal. This grain is highly adaptable to hearty pancake and waffle recipes, and can be a great solution for those who can’t have gluten.

However, most commonly, oats are added to wheat flour bases to make for satisfying, satiating multigrain pancakes, which can be more filling as well as healthier options for a morning treat.

Get the Recipes: Scottish Oatcakes; Oat Cakes; Multigrain Pancakes; Garbanzo Oat Pancakes.

In Sweet Muffins


Oat flour is versatile and an easy enhancer for any favorite breakfast muffin recipe. It’s a bit heavier than wheat and will result in a denser product. It’s also thirstier, so requires more liquid.

On the upside, oats can also add sweetness to help you cut down on sugar, and contribute more nutritive value. If you don’t have oat flour on hand, powdering down whole-grain old-fashioned or instant oats in a food processor or coffee grinder can make quick work of it.

Get the Recipes: Double Oat Raisin Poppyseed Muffins; Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins; Strawberry Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins.

In Savory Muffins

Photo by cookin’mama.

If you thought muffins were just breakfast pastries, you haven’t lived. Muffins are delightful savory, and even better when oats are rolled into the recipe. Adding oats can make baked goods chewier and more toothsome; savory muffins with oats develop a texture that’s somewhere between cake and bread.

Feel free to swap out regular flour for more oats — you can get away with up to a ¼-cup switcheroo without having to tamper with the recipe. You can also top your baked good with more oats — after all, they’re more than just a decorative accent!

Get the Recipes: Thanksgiving Muffins; Savory Sausage Cheese & Oat Muffins; Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Muffins.

In Snack Bars

Oats in snack bars are a classic, timeless answer to adding more oats to your diet and enjoying the process. They’re portable, typically sweet, and often don’t even require baking, making them a much healthier and as easy of a midday pick-me-up option as, say, a Rice Krispies Treat.

Recipes to Try: Blueberry Oat Dream Bars; No Bake Chocolate Oat Bars; Apricot Ginger Crumble Gluten-Free Oat Bars.

In Scones

B Spradley

American scones are heavy, dense pastries with rich flavor, which makes them perfect vehicles for hardy oats. Scones on our side of the pond skew on the sweeter side and are often iced, while British versions are powdery on the outside and airier throughout. Irish scones are more American Southern biscuit-like, tender-crumbed beneath satisfying crunch. In any of these recipes, you can slice the dough into triangles or circles. The end result will be the same: delicious.

Get the Recipe: Scottish Oat Scones; Pumpkin Oat Scones; Berry Oatmeal Scones.

In Breads


There’s honestly not a lot of whole-grain oats per serving of oat bread. You need the wheat flour and gluten to make it rise right, knit together properly, and maintain moisture for a light, pocketed loaf. But just that little bit is usually enough to add a trace of sweetness to the finish and to enhance a white bread base or lighten up whole wheat.

A bread machine makes whipping up a loaf of hearty, rich, fragrant oat bread a lot easier. Crush up and scatter rolled groats on top of your loaf for that fancy artisanal effect and wow your dinner guests.

Get the Recipes: Apricot Oat Bread; Oatmeal Raisin Molasses Bread; Light Oat Bread.

In Quick Breads


No yeast? No problem. Oats do really well in quick bread recipes, yielding irresistible combinations with more subtle layers to its taste profile. The heartiness of oats is especially good with spiced breads like these.

Get the Recipes: Applesauce Raisin Bread; Cranberry Banana Oat Bread; Molasses Oat Bran Bread; Banana Strawberry Oat Bread.

In Granola


Sprinkling granola on your yogurt is probably one of the easiest, fuss-free ways to add oats to your diet, but did you know it’s actually really easy to make your own? This frees you up to reduce salt and sugar, add or omit ingredients based on your own preference, and bake the mix to your exact texture preference. You can even skip the oven entirely by toasting it on your stovetop!

Get the Recipes: Stovetop Granola; Mocha Granola; Honey-Lime Granola with Almonds;vMaple Pecan Granola.

In Entrees


Don’t relegate oats to just sweets, treats, and breakfast food. The beta-glucan that makes oatmeal thick and glutinous can also serve as a thickener for soups in place of bread or as a binding agent for meats. Substituting oats for bread crumbs can also turn those classic Italian meatballs or meatloaf gluten-free. Plus, you can use oats in place of grains we typically think of for dinner, such as rice for risotto.

Get the Recipes: Savory Oat Risotto; Meatloaf Muffins with Oats; Turkey Pesto Meatballs; Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs; Vegan Black Bean Burgers.

In Desserts

My Hot Southern Mess

Whether it’s as a crumb topping for a coffee cake or pie, as a cookie, or in a crust, there are lots of ways oats can make desserts.

Oat-based streusels are healthier for you than their butter-rich, flour-based counterparts, and add more crunch to each bite when toasted just right. Granola crusts are more dimensional than, say, pressed graham crackers, and easier to infuse with new and different flavors. And oats are tremendously sturdy bases that can hold heavy toppings, or absorb moisture — like syrups, custards, and melted butter — thirstily only to give the flavors back to you in measured, flavor-infused bites.

Get the Recipes:Banana Oat Bread Pudding; Mom’s Peach Crisp; Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies; Brownie Oat Cookies; Breakfast Cheesecake with Granola Crust; Oatmeal Jam Squares.


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