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How to Meal Prep Oatmeal (4 Methods!)

Oatmeal is one of the most versatile meals and ingredients out there and learning how to meal prep oatmeal can be a game changer for those with busy schedules!

Whether you’re short on time, not sure what to eat for breakfast, or need a post-workout option, these oat meal prep techniques will improve your breakfast game.

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Meal prep is just something that is so helpful for our weeks, especially having little kids. Meal prep definitely doesn’t mean we do hours and hours of cooking on Sunday.

Actually for me, it’s never been like that. I’ve always preferred to utilize simple meal prep tips, which I break down in this meal prep for athletes post.

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Healthy oatmeal meal prep is part of our weekly to do list because there’s so much you can do with oats! Meal prep oats can look like baked oatmeal, overnight oats, snacks and so much more!

There is a time and place for meal delivery services for lunches and dinner, but breakfast can be so quick, there’s no need!

That’s a key reason why oatmeal was a staple in my meal prep for baby freezer meals and even one of my favorite healthy breakfast ideas during pregnancy.

chocolate baked oats in white baking pan with serving size in white bowl topped with peanut butter and raspberries

This post will walk you through all of our meal prep oats ideas and tips and can become your ultimate guide to using this healthy food to start your day.

Skipping breakfast is one of the worst things you can do, since breakfast is linked to improve cognition, blood sugar control, improved nutrient intake, and less cravings throughout the day!

These meal prep oatmeal recipes and methods can help keep you fueled and energized. I will also say that as a breastfeeding mom, oatmeal for milk supply is very helpful!

Meal Prep Oats 101

Can you prep oatmeal in advance? Absolutely! If you’ve never tried it, it’ll change your life.

When learning how to use oats for meal prep, remember that there’s no one right way and several different ways to use and prepare them.

For example, oats for meal prep may depend on if you like oatmeal warm vs cold, how much time you have, what your kids like, or whether you have a crockpot or instant pot to meal prep steel cut oats.

We always have oats on hand thanks to our Thrive Market orders. It truly is one of our best pantry staples!

Here are some of my favorite ways to meal prep oats and use oats in your meal prep to last all week:

  • baked oatmeal
  • overnight oats
  • warm oats
  • crockpot oats (or steel cut oats)
  • homemade granola (for snacks or toppings on yogurt parfaits)
  • oatmeal bites
  • leftover oatmeal cookies (my favorite way to use leftover oatmeal)

Oatmeal also fits into nearly every diet. So, whether you’re doing vegan breakfast prep, or any breakfast type, oats are a wonderful, nutritious choice.

leftover oatmeal cookies on baking sheet with toppings

Baked Oatmeal Meal Prep

Baked oatmeal is one of my favorite forms of meal prep oatmeal because it’s a blank canvas with infinite possibilities!

Whether you want it fruity, savory, sweet, peanut buttery, or something else, there are endless options for your baked oatmeal meal prep.

You can choose different fruits based on the season, you can use dried, fresh or frozen, and you can add fun add in’s, like chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, hemp seeds, spices and more.

You really can’t go wrong with baked oatmeal for your meal prep oatmeal. Here are some great recipes to get you started.

Baked Oatmeal Meal Prep

These baked oatmeal recipes can help streamline your oatmeal meal prep for the week.

How to Meal Prep Hot Oatmeal

If you don’t enjoy the texture or flavor of baked oatmeal, you can even speed up your morning bowl of hot oats. While it doesn’t take long to cook oatmeal anyway, you have a few options.

You can meal prep your breakfast oatmeal on the stove, in the microwave, or in the crockpot or instant pot.

With these oatmeal breakfast meal prep tips, just keep your ingredients out and pre-mixed and you’re all set for a quick, nutrient-dense morning snack!

When I make my favorite stovetop turmeric oatmeal, I premix the spices the night before, so in the morning I just add oats, milk, spices and banana!

container of oats in pantry

Here’s what you can do to streamline your hot oats:

  • Keep dry oats in a pantry container and pre-measure 1/2 cup-3/4 cup in individual tupperware containers or bags.
  • Then, in the morning, throw in a microwaveable-safe bowl and add a liquid. I usually do 1 cup of liquid for 1/2 cup of dry oats. Microwave for 1-3 minutes, depending on the type of oats and desired consistency.
  • Add your favorite toppings! I always use peanut butter, fruit, nuts and a dollap of greek yogurt.
oatmeal in white bowl topped with frozen berries, peanut butter and yogurt

Overnight Oats Meal Prep

Another method to enjoy the health benefits of oatmeal is overnight oats.

Overnight oats meal prep is perhaps one of the more common ways to meal prep oatmeal and is delicious and refreshing for hot, summer months.

Meal prepping overnight oats is simple and can be catered to all of your favorites. I love using meal prep oatmeal jars for these.

Overnight oats are great for on the go, too. Especially if you store them in portable oatmeal jars that you can take in the car, to the gym, to the office, etc. Then, wash and reuse.

Use these tips to streamline your overnight oats recipe meal prep.

mason jar with oats, cottage cheese, hemp seeds and cinnamon with spoon mixed in
  1. Pre-measure your oats – I usually do 1/2-3/4 cup of dry oats. Add to a glass container or mason jar for meal prep oatmeal jars.
  2. Add a liquid – Liquid is necessary for the oats to soak up. I usually use cow’s milk for extra protein, but soy milk or a milk substitute would also work.
  3. Add any add-in’s – Some ideas include fresh or frozen fruit, nuts, seeds, vanilla extract, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and turmeric all make great toppers!), or cocoa powder. I also always add chia seeds, flax seeds and/or hemp seeds for extra protein and nutrients.
  4. Add a creamy/thickness factor – For me, I love to use greek yogurt, but cottage cheese or a yogurt substitute would work also. This also helps to amplify the protein content in your overnight oats meal prep jars, as well as add probiotics, calcium and Vitamin D – important bone building nutrients. Another option is mashed sweet potato or pumpkin puree.
  5. Shake everything together and cover overnight – When you wake up in the morning, it’s ready to eat. Just grab a spoon and enjoy.

To streamline these, make a bunch at once and have your overnight oats meal prep done in 5-10 minutes of your time. My favorite are these high protein overnight oats.

Easy Meal Prep Snacks with Oats

Don’t forget about snacks. These meal prep snacks come together quickly thanks to the oats, many of which are healthy no bake snacks.

Snacks are one of my favorite ways to enjoy the health-promoting benefits of oats throughout the day, not just at breakfast!

Easy Meal Prep Snacks with Oats

These easy meal prep snacks come together quickly and are convenient to have on hand for busy weeks.

What to Add to Oatmeal for Protein

There are so many options and ways to add protein to oatmeal, depending on your taste preference and what you have on hand.

When thinking about prep ahead oats, you want to make sure there is adequate protein to keep them filling and satiating.

Here are some of my favorite ways to add protein to oats:

You can choose one or several of these to personalize meal prep oats to your liking.

Ingredients for greek yogurt smoothie on dark countertop

Health Benefits of Oatmeal

Oatmeal is very nutritious and has several essential vitamins and minerals that honor health. Some of these nutrients include:

  • Fiber – the fiber in oatmeal is great for gut health, and provides prebiotic fiber to diversify the flora and provide fuel for the probiotics (live bacteria). Fiber also helps with satiety and can help reduce cholesterol. There is about 4 grams of fiber per cup of oats.
  • B-Vitamins – B Vitamins, such as folate and B-6, are important for metabolism.
  • Iron – Iron is helpful for so many functions in the body, from oxygen delivery to blood, to cognitive function and immunity. A cup of oats provides about 2 mg of iron. More on iron for runners here.
  • Magnesium – As a whole grain, oatmeal is also a source of magnesium, a mineral that is involved in over 300 reactions in the body.
  • Protein – While oatmeal is not a high protein source, it does provide some protein, about 5 grams per cup.

These micronutrients are important to get in the diet for overall health and oats are a magnificent way to get several of them.

FAQ

Can you add protein to oatmeal?

Yes, it’s so easy to add protein sources to oatmeal! You can add nuts/seeds, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or dairy or soy milk.

Can you add protein powder to oatmeal?

Absolutely! Adding protein powder to oatmeal is so easy. I usually go with a vanilla or chocolate flavor, and you just mix it in your warm bowl of oats overnight oats, or even baked oatmeal.

Can you eat oatmeal from the day before?

If it’s baked oatmeal or overnight oats, absolutely! If it’s hot oatmeal, it may stick together. You could reheat it, but I prefer making leftover oatmeal cookies!

How to store meal prep oats

How to store your oats will depend on which form of oats you’re making. Baked oatmeal can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months. Overnight oats will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge. Hot oatmeal should usually be enjoyed immediately.

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