If you opt for oatmeal in the morning, there are oodles of options — think overnight oats, savory oats and proats (ie, protein oats), just to name a few. But one versatile version of oatmeal — baked oatmeal cups — takes convenience up a notch.
Because they’re made in muffin tins, oatmeal cups are, by definition, baked in bulk. That means they’re magnificent for meal prep. If you bake a big batch on the weekend, you’ll have perfectly portable breakfast bites for each day of the hectic workweek.
“Oatmeal cups work great for those who want quick options that they can easily take on the go,” says May Zhu, RDN, LDN, founder of Nutrition Happens. And because one cup supplies a single serving, they also come with built-in portion control, Zhu adds.
Plus, these pre-portioned cups also provide a whole host of perks. “With every 1/2 cup of rolled oats, you get 4 grams of fiber that helps slow down digestion [think: keeps you fuller for longer]provides energy and supports gut health,” Zhu says.
Start your day stress-free (and satiated) with these 10 tasty oatmeal cup recipes.
1. Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Muffins
These apple cinnamon oatmeal cups will put any bakery-bought muffins to shame (and make your kitchen smell amazing to boot).
Not just delicious, these baked breakfast bites are naturally nutritious too. “The fiber found in apples is considered a prebiotic fiber, which helps feed the good bacteria in our gut,” Zhu says. While this recipe recommends peeling your apples, “leaving the skin on will help you get the most out of the fiber content,” she says.
Pro tip: “Since most oatmeal cup recipes are lower on the protein end, pair it with a protein-rich option such as hard-boiled eggs or Greek yogurt to make it a complete, balanced meal,” Zhu says.
These baked make-ahead oatmeal cups, which are perfect for Sunday meal prep. The best part: These mouthwatering morsels are completely customizable. Incorporate your favorite flavors, such as fruit, nuts or chocolate chips.
To pump up the nutrient profile, Zhu suggests stirring in seeds such as chia, hemp or flax. “Seeds like chia, hemp and flaxseeds are packed with fiber to support digestion and omega-3 fatty acids that can help support skin [and heart] health,” she says.
3. Customizable Baked Oatmeal Muffins
If you’re the type who loves to put their personal touch on a recipe, these customizable baked oatmeal muffin cups are for you.
“Oatmeal is a great canvas for a variety of nutritious toppings,” Zhu says. And with these oatmeal cups, you can change up the add-ins and put your own palate-pleasing spin on the flavors. Craving coconut flakes but also pining for pecans? Make half a batch with one topping and the second half with the other using the same standard recipe.
Adding “fresh fruits such as strawberries, blueberries or raspberries can [also] be a great way to boost the overall fiber and nutrient content,” Zhu says.
4. Banana Oatmeal Muffins
Looking for a lower sugar breakfast choice? With just 5 grams of sugar per serving, these so-moist-they-melt-in-your-mouth banana oatmeal muffin cups fit the bill.
“Bananas and applesauce naturally add sweetness to this recipe, which reduces the overall need for added sugars,” Zhu says.
These whole-grain goodies are also a great option if you have a gluten sensitivity as they’re made with oat flour, which is naturally gluten-free. Still, “if you are allergic to gluten, you want to make sure the label specifically notes that the oats are certified gluten-free to avoid any gluten contamination during production,” Zhu says.
5. Banana Baked Oatmeal Cups
These baked banana oatmeal cups are the perfect breakfast solution for busy mornings (and banana bread lovers). Bake one big batch beforehand and enjoy an amazing am meal every day during the workweek. They even stay fresh in your freezer for up to three months.
To make these outstanding oatmeal cups even more satisfying for your tummy, try spreading a smear of peanut or almond butter. “An addition of a healthy fat helps us feel fuller and satiated for longer,” Zhu says. Not to mention nuts act as a consummate culinary complement to the banana flavor.
6. Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cups
Is there a more comforting (or fragrant) food combo than apples and cinnamon? These apple cinnamon oatmeal cups contain all the quintessential fall flavors you crave but come together in a whole new way to create a cross between baked oats and breakfast muffins.
Adding another layer of texture and flavor (as well as protein, healthy fats and fiber), pecans supply a satisfying crunch with every delicious bite.
“While this recipe calls for apples, a good seasonal swap would be pears or peaches, which also provide a variety of nutrients such as vitamin C to support healthy skin and bones,” Zhu says.
With no refined sugar, 3 grams of fat and a heaping of healthy pantry staples, these banana oatmeal cups are a convenient and nourishing way to jumpstart your day.
Not only do these nutritious nibbles make a great breakfast, but they can also pull double duty as a marvelous midday snack to beat the afternoon energy slump. “A satisfying snack contains a mix of protein, fiber and fat, and this recipe contains a little of all three,” Zhu says.
“Pairing it with an extra serving of nuts like pistachios can help add more plant-based protein, fats and fiber that help satisfy your hunger and manage your blood sugar,” she says.
8. Blueberry Oatmeal Cups
With a bountiful burst of blueberry (and ample antioxidants) in each bite, these oatmeal cups owe their sweet, earthy flavor to a generous amount of ground cinnamon and a hint of maple syrup.
Hemp hearts blend seamlessly into the batter (without overpowering the taste or texture) and offer an extra hit of muscle-building protein and heart-healthy omega-3s. Drizzle with nut butter or a dollop of Greek yogurt to pack even more protein into every mouthful.
9. Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins
Whenever a craving for baking strikes you, these pumpkin oatmeal muffin cups will quench your culinary thirst.
Made with whole oats (that are blended into oat flour in a food processor), these moist muffin cups are a seriously sweet and satisfying breakfast treat. Pumpkin puree and warm pumpkin pie spices supply a hint of sweetness minus all the refined sugar.
Mix in raisins, walnuts or pecans to create texture (think: chewy and crunchy) and top with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to add a delicious depth to the flavor palette.
These freezer oatmeal cups are bound to be a hit with your whole household. Incredibly customizable, simply divide the oats into single servings in your muffin tin, stir in any toppings that tickle your fancy and store them in the freezer until you need a quick, hot meal.
The bonus: Unlike the other oatmeal cups on this list, there’s no baking involved. Just pop out one portion of oats from your freezer and stick it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Voila, breakfast is served.