This delicious vegan baked steel cut oatmeal recipe is an easy way to meal-prep a healthy breakfast for busy mornings! Cinnamon, maple syrup, and apples make it irresistible.

vegan baked steel cut oats
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Why I Love This Recipe

I love making oatmeal in the morning because it’s a breakfast that keeps me full until lunchtime. Lately I’ve been making baked steel cut oats. I love the hearty texture and even my toddler enjoys these! It’s a great make ahead breakfast because you can prepare a batch and then reheat individual portions throughout the week.

I adapted my regular baked steel cut oatmeal and made this recipe vegan. Rather than using bananas, I used applesauce and apple chunks to add texture and sweetness. The applesauce also helps bind the oatmeal together without the need for eggs.

What are steel cut oats?

Oats that you see at the grocery store start out as oat kernels that had their tough outer shell, also known as the hull, removed. From there, oats are split up into categories based on how much they’ve been processed.

Steel cut oats are the least-processed version of oats. They have a little more texture and flavor than rolled or quick oats and also take the longest to cook. I don’t typically use these oats for a quick bowl of oatmeal in the morning because of their longer cook time, but they’re great for baked oats!

Old-fashioned oats, also called rolled oats, have been steamed or flattened ahead of time. This is why they cook faster compared to steel cut oats. Instant oats are rolled oats that have been processed even further so they’ll cook more quickly. 

Steel cut oats are neither steamed nor flattened ahead of time. The advantage of using steel cut oats is that they retain the most nutritional value! And they have a more firm texture which I really love in this baked oatmeal recipe! If you have leftover steel cut oats, try these steel cut oatmeal cookies!

vegan baked steel cut oats

Benefits of Oats

If you need a healthy breakfast that will give you energy and keep you full until lunchtime, oats are a fantastic choice! They’re a whole grain, which means they’re a good source of both protein and fiber. This combination of nutrients is what makes a bowl of oatmeal so satisfying.

Oats are also a great budget-friendly breakfast. A container of steel cut oats only costs a couple of dollars and it will last for a long time! You can find steel cut oats at most major grocery stores.

vegan baked steel cut oats ingredients

Ingredients & Substitution Ideas

  • Fruit — I used a combination of applesauce and diced apples for maximum sweetness and texture.
  • Sweetener — Feel free to swap honey, agave, brown rice syrup, or another sticky sweetener for the maple syrup. Keep in mind that honey is not considered vegan.
  • Milk —You can use any kind of milk. I like to make this recipe with almond milk, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand whether that’s coconut milk or soy milk. If you’re using sweetened milk, you may want to reduce the sweetener.

How to Make Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal