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Freezer-Friendly Baked Oatmeal Recipe

So many of you requested more specific directions on how I froze the Baked Oatmeal recipe that I made for my Freezer-Cooking-In-An-Hour session last week that I figured it might be good to share the adapted recipe. But I wanted to make sure it turned out okay after being frozen, thawed and then baked.

We tested it this week and, as I suspected, it worked beautifully to freeze. It was so, so easy to pull out, thaw overnight and bake. And my husband and children raved about it all during breakfast. I almost felt guilty that it was so simple to pull off. 🙂

It was definitely a hit — and something I’ll be including more often in our regular breakfast line up now that I’ve found a way to make it ahead and freeze it!


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  • Jenny says:

    Thanks for sharing! Sounds delicious and I’ve never tried one of your recipes that wasn’t. 🙂 We like to put cut up apple chunks in our oatmeal, do you think it would work to add that before I freeze it?

    • Jenny says:

      I should specify- we put in cooked apple chunks, not raw. 🙂 But maybe I wouldn’t have to cook them first if I was going to bake the pan of oatmeal?

      • Crystal says:

        I’ve not tried it with apple chunks. Let me know if you do and how it turns out.

      • Starla says:

        I’ve put raw apples in and baked as usual. I’ve never done it with the freezer version, but if you use raw apples it wouldn’t take long to add before baking.

        My SIL adds frozen or fresh blueberries, fresh or canned peaches… the options are many! I’ve added chocolate or butterscotch chips.

      • Lindsay says:

        We use this same recipe, although I have never tried freezing it before cooking it, we just freeze individual servings after it is cooked. Raw apple slices in it are great. Adding some applesauce too is even better to get more flavor. I’m going to try freezing some pans ahead of time now!

  • Casey says:

    I noticed you often use “raw sugar” what is the benefit to this? Is it in more of a natural form than regular sugar? Are calories and such the same? Do you ever use other sweeteners such as Stevia (Truvia) or Splenda?

    • Crystal says:

      It’s more natural and less refined than traditional sugar. We also just plain like it more. And it’s more expensive so I’m more careful in using it — which isn’t a bad thing. 🙂

      We don’t care for Stevia or Splenda.

      • kj says:

        My question is kind of the same-is brown sugar better than white sugar? We are trying to use less sugar in things (I’m replacing it with honey) but I seem to notice that brown sugar doesn’t have a bad name for itself like white sugar does. 🙂 Any thoughts?

        • Heather says:

          White sugar is just brown sugar that has had the molasses taken out. In fact, you can make your own brown sugar by mixing white sugar and molasses. Nutritionally, you’re not any better off with brown sugar.
          It’s not same as white rice/brown rice, where the latter is nutritious.

        • Aberline says:

          Brown sugar is just white sugar with the molasses and some anti-caking agents added back in. It’s actually more processed than white sugar, if anything.

        • michelle says:

          brown sugar is simply white sugar mixed with molasses. it’s definitely not any ‘better’ or less calories or less processed.

        • Brown sugar is just white sugar with molasses.

        • Crystal says:

          It depends upon how the brown sugar is processed as to whether it’s better or not. From what I understand (someone else more knowledgeable please correct me if I’m wrong!), many brown sugars are just regular white sugar with coloring added.

        • Anna says:

          Brown sugar is better for you. Brown sugar is in it more natural state. It has more minerals in it than white sugar and is less processed. White sugar is more processed. It is white because it has the molasses removed which is where the healthier minerals are.

      • Dana says:

        If you’re looking for an easy breakdown of what sweetners are good and bad, I’d recommend Laura’s guide over at Heavenly Homemakers.

  • Tanya says:

    If it’s not going in the freezer do you cook it right away or let it sit in the fridge overnight? Would like to try it 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      Let it sit in the fridge overnight and then bake.

    • Lenetta says:

      For what it’s worth, I make a very similar recipe, and I bake it right away. It’s one of my favorites! I like it with blueberries and strawberries, so I eat the heck out of it during summer berry season. :>)

      • Michelle says:

        I also bake mine right away. Then, whatever won’t be eaten right away gets divided into single serving sizes and frozen for future use. 20 seconds in the microwave is all it needs to heat up and enjoy. I don’t even put it in milk. I just eat it like a big breakfast bar! So yummy!

  • Amy L says:

    Could you substitute regular sugar or brown sugar? It sounds yummy – I really want to try this one!

  • JC. says:

    I made this the night I read your post about the baked oatmeal for breakfast the next morning. Yummy! Next time, I think I’m going to substitute applesauce for at least part of the butter & add raisins since my family really loves raisins in our oatmeal. Do you think this would work with steel cut oats? I love the way they taste better & was thinking that if it’s soaking all night that it might work but wouldn’t know how much to use. I am also curious why the recipe asks for that additional 2T milk–such an odd addition (then again, I’m certainly no baker, so maybe this is common). At any rate, I’m definitely making this again soon & might have to double the recipe since everyone wanted seconds (& thirds)!

    • I made this withe steel cut oats the other day and it did not turn out as yummy as this one sounds! I would suggest using more liquid if using steel cut, or perhaps a chunky applesauce… something to add more moisture because it turned out very dry. On the up side, I used my dried out oatmeal as the base for some super yummy and extra hearty banana blueberry oatmeal muffins! If you make it with steel cut and figure out the secret, please let me know.

    • Jess says:

      If you try it with Steel Cut oats please post an update! We prefer the taste of them too! Thanks!

    • cindy says:

      We make baked oatmeal with steel cut oats all the time, and we love the heartier texture it gives the baked oatmeal. We have not tried it only with steel cut – we typically use 2 cups of regular oats and one cup of steel cut. One thing with the steel cut is that it does need time to soak a bit before cooking (usually 30 minutes is sufficient for us, but overnight might be even better). Depending on your taste, you may need to add additional liquid if you use steel cut, or cut the quantity a bit.

  • Renee says:

    My husband loves oatmeal. I’m looking forward to trying a version I can freeze as well.


  • Jenni says:

    Wow, this looks great! I want to incorporate oatmeal into our breakfast routine more, but my boys don’t always like it, but this seems easy to do in advance and still produces a nice, high-quality breakfast.

    • Starla says:

      My boys did not like oatmeal until I made BAKED oatmeal. Crystal’s recipe is very similar to mine and when baked in a 9 x 13 pan as she recommends, you can bake it until it is almost crunchy. That has made all the difference for my family – they love this stuff! I bake mine at 375 until it’s nicely browned.

  • Diane says:

    I’ve made it twice since you posted it Saturday! Double batches, too, so it’s a big hit in our household!

  • KC in KS says:

    I’ve been making this for years, and I can’t believe I’ve never thought to try freezing it! Doh!

    BTW, you can experiment will all sorts of mix-ins. Dried cranberries are a favorite around here. We also like blueberries and a touch of lemon zest. Chocolate chips are yummy, but they work best sprinkled on top rather than stirred into the oatmeal.

    Can anyone tell me what the baking powder accomplishes? I’ve been leaving it out, because I can’t see any purpose to it (and haven’t noticed any real change).

    Yes to steel-cut oats. You just have to stove-top simmer it until they’re soft before baking (45 minutes-ish). I usually go right from stovetop to oven.

    One last thought — this is my #1 dish to take to a new mom. Reheats easily for a snack, the fiber’s good to getting her digestion moving, and the oatmeal is a good support to milk supply.

    • Rachel says:

      That’s what I thought…what purpose could the baking powder serve? I’ll try leaving it out next time and see what I think.

      • Sarah says:

        Usually, you want to leave it in. This recipe might be fine without it, but baking powder is a leavener. It can lighten the texture. It can also sort of seem to give things lift since it can increase volume.

        You might not notice a difference if you’ve been using old baking soda.

        Two keys with baking soda: make sure it is fresh (no more than 6 months to a year old — test by seeing if it fizzes a lot in hot water) and make sure it really gets mixed in. Sometimes you will see recipes call for the dry ingredients to be sifted or mixed before the liquid. This is for many reasons, one of which is it allows you to better distribute your baking soda, salt, and other small-amount dry ingredients. This is important with things like brownies, pancakes, or other things were over-mixing is a no-no. Plus, if you don’t thoroughly mix in the soda, you could get a bite that tastes really bitter.

  • Thanks, Crystal! I plan to make a triple batch this weekend to have for Sunday AM and the freezer…will be great for when the baby comes.

  • Rachel says:

    I didn’t see that you had changed the recipe to bake in a 9X13 pan. I will have to try that since I like my oatmeal crispy. I have made it with less butter (4 T.) and less sugar (2/3 c.) without a noticeable difference, then people can sweeten it further with honey or maple syrup for a different flavor. I also want to try it with FRESH nutmeg, I bet the flavor difference would be very noticeable.

    I have a couple of questions though:
    1) Is there enough liquid in here to soak the oats for “soaking grains” purposes, to make them more digestible?
    2) Maybe I’m missing something, but this recipe is so easy to put together fresh the night before, why would you freeze it? You’re taking up (valuable) freezer space…is it to use up milk/eggs that you got on special or that are nearing expiration?

    • Crystal says:

      I’m not an expert on soaking grains, so I can’t tell you anything about that. As far as why I’m excited I can freeze it: because I can make it up whenever I have time and stick it in the freezer, instead of having to do it the night before we want to eat it. Plus, you can make up a triple batch to save time! I’m usually dog tired by the evenings, so whipping up breakfast to put in the fridge is not something I’m really excited to do. But if you’re not like that, than more power to you! 🙂

  • Stacey says:

    In the oven right now. My very very picky 6 yr old thinks I’m making breakfast cookies! hope he likes them. I may add carrot puree and flax seed next time to boost the nutritional value. thanks for recipe, never thought of this for breakfast.

  • Maggie says:

    I tried it this weekend and we loved it! I am NOT an oatmeal person, but this is so good! And super easy!

  • Gretchen says:

    I freeze baked oatmeal too. I cut it into individual pieces and wrap with plastic wrap and freeze. Then we reheat in the microwave and pour some milk on it to serve. I really like the peanut butter baked oatmeal from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures. Thanks for sharing!

    • cindy says:

      We’ve also frozen baked oatmeal in individual pieces, and i agree that it works great! I often heat through in the microwave, then put it in the toaster oven to crisp up a bit. Crumble in a bowl, pour milk over it, and it’s a yummy and filling breakfast at home, or just grabbing a bar and heading out the door is super easy.

  • CZ says:

    Anyone does this recipe without eggs? Half my family has egg allergies.

  • Becky says:

    Slim chance, but has anyone tried this without eggs? Using flax or Ener-G egg replacer? We’ve got an egg allergy, but I would love to find a good baked oatmeal recipe!

  • Jules says:

    Not to be too picky, but I have noticed on this recipe and past recipes that when you stated that you adapted them from others, there was not a difference or a minimal difference from the original. For example, this recipe is the same as the original with a different name and instructions on how to freeze it. I guess I don’t consider this adapted or changed from the original. Just some food for thought!

    • Crystal says:

      Recipes aren’t copyrighted, but the directions are. So copying and pasting and posting a recipe directly off of another site is violating copyright. I’ve never posted a recipe that wasn’t somewhat adapted, because that’s just how I cook — always tweaking a little. 🙂 If I followed a recipe straight up, I’d just link over to the recipe as it is because it would be pointless for me to re-write the directions and re-post it.

      This recipe is very similar, but it’s adapted to freeze, something not included in the original recipe. Since many people asked how I froze it, I went ahead and posted it my adapted-for-freezer-cooking version. It might not seem very adapted to you, but many people are new to freezer cooking here and wouldn’t know how to adapt the recipe I posted to make it freezer-friendly.

      Thanks for your concern and wanting to make sure that I wasn’t violating copyright or plagiarizing. I hope this sets your mind at ease!

      • Charlene says:

        I’m taking a masters class on Copyright as we speak (in fact I should be doing my homework), so this was interesting info. Do you know of any cases where this has been an issue? This particular issue wasn’t covered in class, but is very good to know.

  • Lisa says:

    I love this recipe. It’s so easy and my family loves oatmeal. I did not refrigerate it but baked it right after mixing it together. Also used maple extract instead of vanilla. There is so many possiblities with this. Next time I will try it in a 9×13.

  • Lindsay says:

    Crystal, I saw that your French Toast Casserole recipe is also frozen. Do you do the same thing with that and freeze it before cooking? Or do you cook it, freeze it, and then reheat it?

  • Elizabeth Sue says:

    Just made this with a few subs to lower the carb count…but either way it smells heavenly!

  • larinda says:

    I grew up eating baked oatmeal and so did my hubby. It is one of his favorite breakfasts. he leaves for work to early to take the time to bake it, so i mix it up the night before and do it in the microwave in the morning. It only takes 7 minutes and i think it tastes basicly the same. you can bake it in glass altho it may take a little longer. I use one of tupperware’s microwave containers w/ a lid. It works great and you don’t have to wait on your oven to preheat at 5 in the morning.

  • amber says:

    I made this today for breakfast. It is very good. I did not have any brown sugar so I used white. I think that next time I will try to make it with honey.

  • Ruth says:

    My family has recently begun eating more oatmeal in our diets. The recipe states that it serves between 6-8 people. Is that true? Does your family of 5 finish the pan for breakfast?

    • Crystal says:

      We finished off half a pan (I froze it in two pans and only served one pan for breakfast), but we could have eaten more. If you have really big eaters, it might not serve 6-8, but you should get 6-8 regular bowls of cereal out of this recipe.

      I hope that helps!

  • Sm says:

    Hey, crystal. I made this last night and we had it this morning and it was a huge hit! Veery yummy! Just FYI, if you’re looking for slightly healthier versions, the blog Cooking with My Kid has several baked oatmeal variations that are super yummy! They have much less butter and sugar because she uses applesauce and raisins and other fruit, etc to add sweetness and moisture. The apple one is our favorite (and Ive put the apples on top the night before and never had any issues), but the peach one is very good and so is the banana one! I’m sure they would freeze beautifully as well.

    Don’t get me wrong, this recipe was way good, but for our family it would have to be more of an occasional treat than a regular breakfast, so if you’re interested definitely check those out. But I think I’ll try freezing some of the variations on CWMK, that’s stellar advice, and would be so convenient!

  • T2Nashville says:

    Crystal – I made this last night after you posted on it in your menu plan, and it’s fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing it!

  • lpreb says:

    Do you use the whole cup of milk and 2 teaspoons when you freeze it , then add more milk when you eat it?

  • Stacey Tufts says:

    Hi! How exactly did you freeze it? Just pour the mixture into a freezer bag, freeze it flat, and then take it out, thaw, and place the mixture into a 9×13?

  • Becky says:

    Made this last night in practically no time, baked it this morning. My 2-year-old boy and I really liked it! I think Daddy will like it, too, once he has a chance to try it. I used a combination of white sugar, molasses, and honey for the sweetener, and it turned out great. Thanks for posting this recipe! I’ve already added it to my personal menu rotation cookbook. 🙂

  • Blaire Ruch says:

    I make this ALL the time. I got it from your website a few years ago. Delish!

  • Casey says:

    Reading your blog really sparkled my interests in freezer cooking. I always thought cooking fresh is better, but with two kids running around in the house all day, it has been harder and harder. I’m going to try this starting next month (accumulate some knowledge here:-)

    I also ran into another sites sees very interesting with free ebooks on freezer cooking and couponing. You probably already knew about it:

    Thanks for sharing your receipes!

  • Amy says:

    I was looking at your original recipe and it calls for 6 cups oatmeal and this one is only 3 cups but you use a 9 x 13 pan in both. Just was wondering if this recipe would be better in a smaller pan.

    • Crystal says:

      This is the original recipe:

      It only calls for 3 cups oatmeal, but it’s in a smaller pan. I put it in a larger pan because we like ours a little crispier.

      • Amy says:

        Thank you for replying. That is what I was thinking. When I said original recipe, I meant your original. When you search on your site a recipe comes up from 2008. That one has 6 cups. I made this recipe last night with the 3 cups and put it in a 9 x 13 and is in the oven right now. We will see how my kids like it. I hope it is a winner because it is pretty easy.

        • Crystal says:

          Ah, that makes sense — I didn’t even know that Baked Oatmeal recipe was on my site! I think we like this recipe better, though I should make both in order to compare them side by side!

  • Amy L says:

    Ok – I made up a batch of this last night… because I wanted to make sure that my kids would eat it before making a bunch and freezing it! WHOOOAAAA Nelly… they LOVED LOVED LOVED it! Definetly something I will be making and freezing!!! Thank you so much for sharing this one!
    We also tried the French Toast Casserole (did not freeze it) and it was a keeper as well!!! Thanks Crystal!!

  • Sam says:

    You might have already answered this, but is there any way you could substitute out the butter for something else?

  • Ana says:

    I recently found a recipe that is very similar and we LOVE it. I’ve actually never let it sit overnight like you’re supposed to… Just baked it right away and it turns out well.

    One suggestion I have is to add fruit and bake it in. I often use blueberries (around a cup), but I also made a batch this weekend with sliced rhubarb that needed to be used, and it was delish! I use applesauce instead of butter, and sometimes use less sugar, then drizzle with honey before serving. All around a really good recipe!

  • Cambria says:

    Thanks for posting this. I made it with unsweetened applesauce in place of butter and lower the sugar to 1/2 cup. It turned out great but next time I think I am going to try with even less sugar because it was still pretty sweet. It was a great idea to freeze it =)

  • I am so making this recipe next week! It look yummy!

  • B says:

    I tried using quick cook steel cut oats in this–worked great and made it have a chewier consistency. I increased the milk to 1 1/2 cups and used coconut sugar instead of what is listed. The other thing I did differently is I let the mixture sit in the 9×13 pan for 15-20 minutes before cooking. (I rarely put this in the freezer but usually cook right away.)
    This original recipe works great as a topping for fruit so that you have a new way to make a cobbler-type recipe. (I always use coconut sugar or a combination of 1/2 cup coconut sugar and 1/2 tsp liquid stevia.)

  • Jennifer says:

    This sounds good but I wonder if honey could be substituted? I do an overnight oatmeal in the crockpot with steel cut oats. So easy with just half and half and water (sometimes I’ll add apple pieces or frozen blueberries), then just add cinnamon and honey in the morning. Done!

  • Melanie says:

    Do you cover this when you bake it? Or leave it uncovered? Thanks!

  • Milissa says:

    I’ve made this a few times, and it’s delicious, makes a good, hearty, yet light breakfast. I made a batch today, tweaked it just a bit and added some natural peanut butter and some chocolate chips. I baked it on a cookie sheet to create thinner, more bar-like consistency. Turned out perfectly! Thanks for this great, versatile, cost-savvy recipe!

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