This easy cherry baked oatmeal comes together in one dish and is naturally sweetened with bananas and frozen cherries. It’s the perfect make-ahead breakfast and is vegan + gluten-free.
I have a ton of baked oatmeal recipes on the site from peach and apple to chocolate and birthday cake, but surprisingly I didn’t have a cherry version… until today!
Cherries are one of my favorite summer fruits. Besides tasting amazing, they’re portable, perfectly bite-sized and packed with lots of nutritional health benefits. I made this baked oatmeal with frozen cherries for ease but using fresh cherries when in season would also be delicious. Nothing is better than a fresh cherry, am I right?!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Cherries are filled with naturally sweet flavor and loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber.
It’s made in one bowl so fewer dishes to clean!
It can be meal-prepped for healthy breakfasts all week long or made for a fancy brunch.
ripebananas – to help naturally sweeten and add moisture to this recipe. Make sure your bananas are ripe with some brown spots on them! If you’re not a fan of bananas or don’t have any ripe ones on hand 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce will work as a substitute.
flaxseed – instead of an egg we’re using ground flaxseed to help bind the dish together. If you don’t need this recipe to be vegan, you can swap the flaxseed for 1 regular egg.
baking powder – helps the baked oatmeal rise.
cinnamon – for just a hint of spice.
sea salt – to bring all the flavors together.
unsweetened vanilla almond milk – any dairy-free milk works but I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk. You can make your own following my homemade almond milk recipe.
vanilla extract – a flavor enhancer
almond extract – for more flavor. Almond extract and cherries pair well together.
cherries – the star of this baked oatmeal! I used frozen but, when in season, fresh would work (just a little extra work to remove the pits!).
toppings of choice – I love topping this baked oatmeal with fresh, chopped cherries, some maple syrup and/or a little nut butter, but feel free to use your favorite toppings!
How to Make
In a large bowl, mash the bananas until smooth. Add in the rolled oats, flaxseed, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, almond milk, vanilla extract and almond extract and stir to combine. Fold in 1 cup of frozen cherries and top with additional ½ cup frozen cherries.
Pour the mixture into a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 375ºF for 45-55 minutes or until the middle of the oatmeal is set and the top is golden brown. Allow the baked oatmeal to cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!
What to Serve With Cherry Baked Oatmeal
I find that I either make baked oatmeal for a fancy brunch or just as meal prep for healthy breakfasts all week long! Either way, it could be a meal on its own but if you want to serve it with some sides, here are some ideas that pair well:
This baked oatmeal is a great meal prep recipe. You can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. When freezing, I recommend cutting the oatmeal into portions, wrapping each in plastic wrap and placing the portions in a large freezer bag. The individual servings make it easier for reheating.
To reheat the entire pan of baked oatmeal: cover with foil and reheat in the oven at 350ºF for about 20 minutes or until warm.
To reheat individual portions: set oven or toaster oven to 350ºF and bake for 5-10 minutes. You can also reheat in the microwave for 1 minute. Once warm, add your toppings and enjoy!
What kind of cherries are good for baking?
Sweet cherries are probably the most common and easiest to find, but tart cherries or a combo of the two will work perfectly fine! I like using these Private Selection Mixed Variety Frozen Cherries for baking. It’s a blend of dark tart and dark sweet cherries.
Can I use fresh cherries instead of frozen?
Fresh cherries, when in season, work perfectly for this recipe! Using fresh cherries will just require some more work to pit them and I definitely recommend using a cherry pitter tool to make things easier.
Is baked oatmeal healthy?
Oats are whole grain and a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, so baked oatmeal is usually healthy, but it of course depends on what additional ingredients are in the recipe.
Can you swap rolled oats for steel cut oats or quick oats?
You can use steel cut or quick/instant oats for baked oatmeal, but you need to follow a recipe that calls for those oats because the liquid ratio is different. I do have an apple cinnamon baked steel cut oatmeal recipe I would suggest if you’re looking for a recipe that calls for steel cut oats.
Can I add protein powder to baked oatmeal?
I’ve added a scoop of protein powder without adding in more liquid and it turned out just fine! If you’re adding more than one scoop of protein powder you might want to add more liquid.
My baked oatmeal turned out soggy. What happened?
This recipe is a bit soft, but shouldn’t be too soggy. Make sure the mashed bananas aren’t overly ripe or that could add extra liquid. If yours turns out gooey or soggy, you might need to cook it longer.