Baked Vanilla Protein Oatmeal (Soft Breakfast Bars)

It’s easy to get stuck in a breakfast cereal rut. But we’ve got a healthy, make-ahead, high-protein breakfast you’re going to love! Our Baked Protein Oatmeal is nutritious, filling, and delicious! And it’s not just a great option for breakfast. Enjoy a serving as a post-workout fuel that helps with optimal muscle recovery and repair.

Recipe Highlights

  • This easy recipe comes together quickly all in one bowl!
  • Each serving contains 14 grams of protein, thanks to the addition of a fantastic tasting, clean, and high-quality protein powder
  • The protein powder also contributes a subtle vanilla flavor that pairs nicely with the endless topping options you have for this high-protein oatmeal
  • You can also turn this recipe into high-protein grab-and-go oatmeal muffins (see the recipe card notes for muffin directions)

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Serve It As A Breakfast Or Snack. Eat It With A Fork Or By Hand. You Get To Choose!

The simplicity and versatility of this high-protein breakfast recipe makes it even more of a must-try. Are you looking for a delicious breakfast you can really tuck into and enjoy with all of your favorite oatmeal toppings? Or, maybe you’re looking for a breakfast that is quick and healthy that you can grab while you’re running out the door? Either way, this recipe is a true winner. It’s great for all seasons of the year, perfect for meal prep, and it’s something that both kids and adults will love.

Ingredients To Make Baked Protein Oatmeal Recipe (Also Known As “Proats”) 

This recipe is fun to make from staple ingredients that you likely already have on hand. Here’s what you need to make a batch today: 

  • Old-fashioned rolled oats – if needed, use certified gluten-free oats
  • Flax meal and chia seeds – these nutritious seeds add healthy fats and fiber
  • Baking powder 
  • Salt
  • Eggs – we used a combo of whole eggs and egg whites for added protein and the right texture
  • Milk – use any dairy or nondairy milk of choice
  • Greek yogurt – use plain or vanilla Greek yogurt. We love to use Siggi’s plain or vanilla skyr in this recipe because it has less sugar and more protein than other brands
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Maple syrup – may substitute honey
  • Puori Vanilla Protein Powder (PW1) – our whole team loves this high-quality whey protein powder, which doesn’t contain any low-calorie or artificial sweeteners and is made from only five quality ingredients

Ingredient Spotlight: Puori Pasture Raised Whey Protein Powder

We absolutely love this whey protein powder for its ultimate quality, clean ingredient list, and flavor. Puori whey protein is made from protein concentrate harvested from pasture-raised cows and flavored with real bourbon vanilla. Puori PW1 Vanilla is 3rd party tested and recently ranked #1 in Clean Label Project’s test of 133 protein powder products from 52 brands. We also love that it’s minimally processed, made from only natural ingredients, sweetened with coconut sugar (no mon fruit, Stevia, or other calorie-free sweeteners that tend to leave an unpleasant aftertaste), and it contains 21 gram of high-quality protein. We were thrilled to come across this protein powder as we analyzed the Top Dietitian Recommended Whey Protein Powders. We use Puori in our homes (for smoothies and baked goods), and recommend it often.

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How To Make Baked Vanilla Protein Oats 

You are going to love how easy this recipe comes together with just three simple steps. 

  1. Combine the ingredients: In a bowl combine all ingredients, except for the protein powder, and mix well. Allow the mixture to set for 10 minutes before stirring in the protein powder. Tip: We found that by waiting 10 minutes to stir in the protein powder, it helps to evenly distribute the protein powder throughout the batter as opposed to sinking to the bottom. 
  2. Transfer the batter to a baking dish: Next, transfer the batter to an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish and bake until the center is set. 
  3. Serve with your favorite toppings: Here’s what you’ve been waiting for. Cut the baked protein oatmeal into squares and serve with your favorite toppings, such as yogurt, nut butter, chopped nuts, fresh fruit, a drizzle of maple syrup, and more. 

For the complete directions, ingredient amounts, and nutrition analysis that lists calories, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, sodium, and more per serving, scroll down to the recipe card below.

Our Favorite Baking Dish

A beautiful 9×9 inch baking dish is essential for a well-stocked kitchen. It’s the perfect vessel for baking this Baking Protein Oatmeal.

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Glass storage container with lids stacked on each other.

How to Store and Reheat Baked Protein Oats

Store the baked and cooled oat protein bars in a single layer in a covered storage container for up to 5 days in the fridge. Can be served cold but are best when reheated in the microwave for 30-40 seconds.

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What are “Proats”?

Fun Fact: Did you know that recipes like this one are sometimes called “Proats”? That’s an abbreviation created by combining protein and oats, and it can be used to reference overnight oats with added protein, higher-protein oatmeal, or a high-protein baked oatmeal like this one.

Tip!

Yes, this recipe can be made ahead!

We love meal prepping and this recipe is a perfect meal-prep breakfast (aka, a “made-ahead breakfast”) because it stores and reheats well. Like our other baked oatmeal recipes, these baked “proats” are an easy, delicious, and nutritious breakfast or snack that you can make on the weekend and enjoy throughout the week.

Tip!

This recipe is freezer-friendly, too!

Another benefit to Baked Protein Oatmeal is that you can make an extra batch and store it in the freezer to enjoy weeks or months down the road. It’s nice to have on hand when you just need something quick and healthy, but don’t have time to prepare something that day.

Here’s how to freeze a batch: Cut the baked and cool protein oatmeal into individual servings and remove them from the baking dish (or, if you baked them in a disposable aluminum baking dish, you can keep them right inside of that). Freeze (without toppings) in an airtight storage container for up to 3 months. To serve, remove from the freezer and reheat a frozen serving in the microwave until heated through, about 45-50 seconds. Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is oatmeal high in protein?

No, on its own, oatmeal does not contain a considerably high amount of protein. Compared to some other grains, such as rice or cornmeal, oats are naturally a little higher in plant-based protein. One cup of cooked oatmeal contains 6 grams of protein. However, to make this a true high-protein breakfast, we’ve added other high-protein foods including protein powder, eggs, egg whites, and Greek yogurt. These ingredients really give this recipe a boost of protein, resulting in 14 grams of protein per serving. Nutritionally, this breakfast has a good balance of protein, carbs, and fat, which is why it can help you feel full and satisfied through the morning. 

Can I use a plant-based protein powder in this recipe?

You can! We tested and LOVE this recipe using high-quality Puori whey protein. If you use a different protein powder, especially a plant-based protein powder or a protein powder that has an alternative sweetener in it like Stevia or monkfruit, your result will likely be baked oatmeal with a more gritty texture and maybe some bitterness or aftertaste from the sweetener. It can be done, but beware that this recipe was tested primarily with Puori whey protein powder. If you do use a different protein powder, we recommend you use a scant ⅔ cup (measure out ⅔ cup and then remove 1-2 tablespoons).  

What if I don’t have a 9-inch pan? What else can I use?

You can use any baking dish or pan that holds approximately 2.5 quarts, such as a 9-inch round dish with tall sides or an 8-inch pan with taller sides.

Can I bake this recipe into muffins instead?

Yes, you can make this recipe into baked oatmeal muffins that are easy to grab and go! To do so, prepare the batter as directed, then divide the batter among 12 standard muffin cups. The cups will be full, but that’s OK since these muffins won’t dome so much that they would spill over. Bake the muffins at 350ºF for 25 minutes (a silicone muffin pan works well for this). When baked into muffins, each one provides 176 calories and 11 grams of protein. Top the muffins with your favorite nut butter or enjoy with yogurt or fruit for a well-rounded and filling breakfast. 

Favorite toppings for this baked protein oats recipe

This recipe makes a perfect base for whatever flavors you like to enjoy with your oatmeal. We purposely kept the flavor profile of this baked oatmeal recipe simple and subtle so that you can make it your own. For example, in these photos, we’ve shown one serving topped with yogurt, fresh berries, almond butter, and sliced almonds. As another option, we’ve shown a serving topped with yogurt, pomegranate seeds, and pistachios. Get creative and use whatever you love and have on hand. Here are some of our favorite toppings for this Baked Protein Oatmeal recipe:

  • Fresh fruit: use any kind and opt for what’s in season
  • Nuts and seeds: try pecans, walnuts, cashews, pistachios, or pumpkin seeds 
  • Nut butter: drizzle some almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter, or sunflower seed butter over top
  • Yogurt, milk, or kefir
  • Honey or maple syrup 
  • Granola: add some crunch to the top with our Pumpkin Spice Granola or Maple Cinnamon Granola

Learn More About Puori

PW1 is third-party tested against 130+ industrial contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals. The test results are published on http://cleanlabelproject.org/. Simply scan the QR code on the back of the PW1 packaging and see for yourself.

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All About Puori




Recipe


Baked Vanilla Protein Oatmeal Breakfast Bars




This delicious baked oatmeal is a healthy high-protein breakfast that is a canvas for whatever toppings you would like to add! With 14 grams of protein per serving, this is a recipe that will satisfy whether you’re enjoying it for breakfast, a snack, or post-workout. 




Prep: 10 minsCook: 35 minsTotal: 45 mins




Servings: 9 servings 1x


Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats (240 g)
  • ⅓ cup flax meal (30 g)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (10 g)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 eggs*
  • ¼ cup egg whites (whites of about 2 eggs, may sub an additional whole egg) 
  • 2 cups milk of choice (16 oz)
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (125-130 g)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (73 g)
  • 2 servings Puori Vanilla Protein Powder (about 2/3 cup or 60 g if using Puori)**


Instructions



  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9×9 baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, flax meal, chia seeds, baking powder, salt, whole eggs, egg whites, milk, yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir well. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the liquid to absorb into the dry ingredients.
  3. After 10 minutes, add the protein powder and stir until well combined (See Notes)
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 34-38 minutes. After 20 minutes of baking, cover loosely with foil so the edges don’t get too dark.
  5. Remove from the oven once the center of the baked oatmeal is slightly firm to touch or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove the baked oatmeal when the center is firm to the touch or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting into 9 squares.
  8. Serve with desired toppings of choice.
  9. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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Notes

*May use 1 additional whole egg in place of the ¼ cup of egg whites

**We tested and LOVE this recipe using high-quality Purori whey protein. However, you can use a different protein powder if you’d like. This however may affect the texture and taste, especially if you use a plant-based protein powder or a protein powder that has an alternative sweetener in it like Stevia or monkfruit. Your result will likely be baked oatmeal with a more gritty texture and maybe some bitterness or aftertaste from the sweetener. It can be done, but beware that this recipe was tested primarily with Purori whey protein powder, which doesn’t have any alternative sweeteners and results in a great non-gritty texture in baked goods. If you do use a different protein powder, we recommend you use a scant ⅔ cup (measure out ⅔ cup and then remove 1-2 tablespoons).  

Why wait to add the protein powder? It is beneficial to allow the oats, flax meal, and chia to absorb some of the liquid in the batter before adding the protein powder. That way, the protein powder can distribute more evenly through the baked oatmeal, rather than sinking to the bottom. 

Bake these into high-protein oatmeal muffins! To do so, prepare the batter as directed, then divide the batter among 12 standard muffin cups. The cups will be full, but that’s OK since these muffins won’t dome so much that they would spill over. Bake at 350ºF for 25 minutes (a silicone muffin pan works well for this). When baked into muffins, each one provides 176 calories and 11 grams of protein. Top the muffins with your favorite nut butter or serve alongside some yogurt or fruit for a well-rounded and nice, filling breakfast. 

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 240
  • Fat: 6 g
  • (Sat Fat: 1 g)
  • Sodium: 323 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 32 g
  • (Fiber: 4 g
  • Sugar: 12 g)
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Cholesterol: 48 mg

Dietary

© The Real Food Dietitians

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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel of Half Acre House

For ultimate success, we highly recommend reading the tips in the full blog post above. All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words. Link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

This post was made possible by Puori. Although we received compensation for this post, the opinions expresses here are – as always – 100% our own. Thank you for supporting the great companies we work with thereby allowing us to continue creating great recipes and content for you.



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