About This Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole
This Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole is vegan and gluten-free and works for breakfast, brunch, or dessert (yes dessert!). And there is also an overnight version!
It’s a gauranteed crowd-pleaser (REALLY!), is easy to put together, and requires no special equipment.
I originally came up with a version of this Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole for a brunch potluck. Then I made it again and again and again. Now I make it on the weekend, divide into portions and breakfast is ready to go for the rest of the week.
I made this one on a lazy Sunday and smothered in Almond Butter Caramel from The Plant-Based Cookbook for dessert and then had it re-heated in the oven with and fresh blueberries for breakfast the next morning. I’m working on different variations of this bake and have some dedicated recipe testers helping me out.
Note that I like this Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole to be warm and a little gooey on the inside. It may seem like the batter is too loose when you pop it in the oven, but it will work out. If you want a firmer finished product, reduce the almond milk by 1/2 cup.
How To Make This Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole
- Peel and chop apples.
- Make the flax egg.
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Mix the wet ingredients together.
- Add wet to dry.
- Fold in chopped apples.
- Transfer to a casserole dish and bake!
- See the Notes section of the recipe for an Overnight Version!
I love this easy oatmeal breakfast casserole because it is loaded with fibre and healthy essential fatty acids thanks to the super-seeds – chia and hemp – and walnuts.
The whole casserole only has 1/2 cup of maple syrup as well, making it an incredible upgrade from traditional breakfast casseroles. I like to thin out some nut butter to use as a sauce or the outrageously popular Almond Butter Caramel from The Plant-Based Cookbook. This creamy, sweet and nutty sauce is sweetened with dates and is so addictive and delicious!
This is a bit dated but I like to keep it here as an FYI!
An update for Canadians on some gluten free labelling:
Canadian friends, you may have noticed that somewhere between 2015 and 2016 oats went from being labelled “wheat free” to “gluten free”. In May of 2015, after consultation with scientific experts, Health Canada registered a Marketing Authorization allowing gluten free claims for specially produced oats and products containing these oats.
Over the last 10 years it’s been shown that individuals with celiac disease can tolerate oats grown and harvesting without exposure to other glutinous grains. Oats that contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten can now be labelled as “gluten free”.
When I started buying gluten free oats and could only find wheat free oats, I got really confused and had to do some digging but now the oat conundrum is put to bed and Canadians can easily decipher gluten free oats from their potentially gluten contaminated counter parts.
If gluten isn’t an issue, use regular rolled oats (not instant or steel cut) for this uber healthy Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole.
Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole
- Casserole or Baking Dish
- 3 cups diced apple your favourite variety, about 2 large or 3 small apples
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- ¼ cup water
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats - not instant or steel cut (gluten-free if needed)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- ½ cup raisins or sultanas
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons hemp seeds , optional
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 3½ cups unsweetened almond milk
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Chop the apples and transfer to a large bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon (this prevents browning).
- In a small bowl, mix together the ground flaxseed and water. Set aside for 5 minutes to thicken.
- In a large bowl, mix the rolled oats, nuts, raisins, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and salt.
- In a separate bowl or glass measuring cup, mix together the almond milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the thickened flax mixture.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well using a spatula.
- Drain the apples well in a colander and stir into the oat mix. The mixture will seem loose – this is ok.
- Transfer the mix to an 9x9 inch casserole dish (or similar size). Cover with tinfoil and bake for 50 minutes.
- After 50 minutes remove the tinfoil, sprinkle the coconut sugar (if using) on top and continue to bake for another 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Slice or spoon out and serve! Top with Almond Caramel from The Plant-Based Cookbook, nut butters, maple syrup, additional nuts and/or fresh berries.
To make this dish into a dessert, serve warm with your favourite ice cream (coconut, soy or almond ice creams will work nicely).
This freezes well too. Wait for it to cool, separate it into individual portions, and then place in a freezer-safe baggie or container. OVERNIGHT VERSION
- Make the oatmeal breakfast casserole as is written except don't prepare or add the apples. You'll do this right before it goes in the oven. Cover the casserole with tinfoil and place it in the fridge overnight. You could also use fresh berries instead of apples and if you do, you can add those in the night before.
- In the morning remove the casserole from the fridge and take off the tinfoil. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Chop the apples and fold them into the casserole. Bake the casserole uncovered for 50 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Is there a substitute for the chia seeds or can they be omitted all together? Even a small amount of chia seeks will have me doubled over in stomach pain.
Hi Margaret! Thx for the questions, You can substitute 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed. The intention of adding the chia seeds is to help bind the bake, but honestly, I think the difference would be negligible if you left them out too! So use flax (also a binder) or omit! I hope this works for you!
Perfect! Thank you for the quick reply. I’m looking forward to making it this weekend.
I made this last weekend and it’s wonderful. My husband loved it as well and raved about it to his brother.
It made a wonderful breakfast. The leftovers, I cut into squares and ate as dessert in the evenings. After reheating and adding a little almond milk it tastes very much like a cobbler.
I just ordered your book which is supposed to arrive today and I’m anxious to try more recipes.
Margaret, I’m so glad you loved it and shared your feedback! We love to reheat it too for dessert 🙂 I hope you enjoy the cookbook! Stay in touch!
Ashley, I made this for breakfast this morning, and have to say it’s delicious. Ive got enough for leftovers too! Thanks so much for making these recipes available. Eleanor
Amazing, Eleanor! Thanks for the feedback! We make this one A LOT too 🙂 So happy you enjoyed it and came back to let me know!
Hi, can i use any fruit or frozen fruit instead of apples?
Yes, you can! I would either stick with frozen berries (raspberry, blueberry, or blackberry) or pears instead of apples. Frozen (pitted) cherries might be wonderful as well! I hope it works out!
This looks and sounds delicious! If I leave the raisins out of the recipe do I need to modify anything? Maybe add fresh or frozen blueberries instead? Thanks!!
Hi Wanda! This recipe is so forgiving that you can totally leave them out if this is the simplest solution. I love adding berries to everything, so yes blueberries would be a fantastic substitute too if you have them! You could also do another dried fruit (the same amount as raisins, chopped), if you like.
I hope you enjoy it!
I am a new subscriber and just found this new recipe. I wish that you would recommend organic oats in this and any other oat recipes you have. It is common knowledge that the farming industry in the US is heavily dependent upon glysophate and oats that are not labeled as organic are contaminated with this deadly pesticide. This includes oat products such as snack bars and cereals.
Thank you for that feedback Suzanne and for that information! I’m not currently in the USA but organic, if one can afford it, is always a great choice! I will keep this in mind and be sure to bring this up if ever asked about organic oat options! Thanks again!
Perfect recipe for prepping breakfast! Thanks a lot! I made it many times as is, but recently tried it with grated carrot instead of apples, and added some more spices to make a carrot cake version, it was truly delicious!
Thanks for the feedback, Elise! I love this carrot cake version idea! I’ll have to try it 🙂
Hi! Do you think this would work well prepped the night before and baked in the morning? Looking for a new Christmas morning breakfast. Thank you!
Hi Sara! This is a great idea. Yes I think you can easily make this the night before and let it soak. I would wait to add the fruit (apples or berries) until right before it goes in the oven. I have made this “ahead of time” by adding all the dry ingredients to the casserole dish and just pouring the wet ingredients in right before baking in the morning. But I think complete assembly will also work! I might even give this a go this week and report back 🙂
I’ve tried it with an overnight version and it was a success! I’ve added a note to the recipe for the Overnight Version!
Thanks for the question and inspiring this easy, holiday version!
Mine is currently in the oven so I don’t know how it tastes yet – but heads up the recipe says 9×9 and mine filled a 9×13.
Hi Rachel! I hope you like it! It also depends on how deep your pan is. I make it in a 9×9, 3-inch deep pan or 7×11! But also great if it works in your 9×13! Let me know how it turns out 🙂