Salted Date Oatmeal

Start your day on a sweet note with this Salted Date Oatmeal, made with hearty steel-cut oats, banana slices, dates, cinnamon and sea salt.

I was going to call this recipe salted caramel oatmeal, but I thought it was a little misleading since there’s no actual caramel involved so Salted Date Oatmeal it is!

Salted Date Oatmeal in a blue bowl topped with sliced dates.

That said, Medjool dates definitely have a caramel flavor and can totally pass for caramel in certain situations. Like in these chocolate turtles — you seriously can’t tell there’s no actual caramel involved.

And just because the name of this oatmeal doesn’t have caramel in it doesn’t mean it’s not packed with caramelly date goodness. <– I realize caramelly isn’t technically a word but I like it so I’m using it. 😉

Salted Date Oatmeal ingredients in a saucepan.

Both the bananas and dates sort of melt while you heat the oats so they get soft, gooey and extra sweet. Perfect for those of us that craving something warm and sweet for breakfast but still want it to be on the healthy side.

Overhead shot of Salted Date Steel Cut Oatmeal in a bowl with a silver spoon sitting on top.

All the sugar in this oatmeal comes from the dates and bananas so it’s 100% natural and the fruit also provides a good amount of nutrition (fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc). Obviously a much better choice than pure table sugar.

If you’re watching your sugar intake you can certainly use less of the fruit — maybe only use 1/2 of a banana or skip the banana all together. Just don’t skip the dates because they’re what make this Salted Date Oatmeal.

Salted Date Steel Cut Oatmeal in a blue bowl.

I should also note that I use the overnight cooking method for the steel-cut oats. It’s the same method I use for my creamy steel-cut oats recipe and it’s my absolute favorite way to cook steel-cut oats. It’s really simple and makes for quick reheating.

For this recipe you prep the oats the night before and simply add the banana, dates, cinnamon and salt the next morning. Cook the oats for about 5-7 minutes and you’re ready to portion into a bowl, top with your favorite toppings and dive in.

Close up shot of Salted Date Steel-Cut Oatmeal in a blue bowl.

If you’re a fan of salted caramel desserts and/or sweet and savory combos you will LOVE this oatmeal creation. I can’t wait for you to try it.

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Salted Date Oatmeal


Start your day on a sweet note with this Salted Date Oatmeal, made with hearty steel-cut oats, banana slices, dates, cinnamon and sea salt.


  • 1/2 cup steel-cut oatmeal
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/21 full banana, sliced
  • 2 medjool dates, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • almond butter, chopped dates, chia seeds and hemp seeds (for topping)


  1. Place oats and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil, watching carefully so the water doesn’t boil over. Turn down heat quickly and allow the oats to simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Cover with a lid and let stand overnight at room temperature.
  2. The next morning, uncover the saucepan and stir in banana slices, chopped dates, cinnamon and sea salt. Bring oats to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until the oatmeal is cooked and creamy, about 5-7 minutes. Portion the oatmeal into bowls. Dress with toppings of choice. I used almond butter, chopped dates, chia seeds and hemp seeds.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 274
  • Sugar: 25g
  • Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 60g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 5g
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Recipe rating

    1. Derek
      March 9, 2021 AT 8:13 am

      I don’t usually comment on recipes, but I felt the need to do it this time because the rating is skewed because of the bizarre “green slime” incident, which I think you could try to recreate 10,000 times and never succeed.

      This recipe is great! Steel-cut oats can be hard to eat without heaping mounds of sugar on top, and the combination of dates and bananas (I use overripe ones kept in the freezer) make for a decadent treat that is still packed with nutrition and low in sugar. I add a little dollop of almond butter at the end, and it complements the other flavors nicely. I haven’t tried it with hemp or flax seeds, but I will be sure to do so in the future.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 10, 2021 AT 12:10 am

        Ahh thank you so much for the review, Derek. I really appreciate that!! So glad you loved this recipe. 🙂

    2. Amy
      June 21, 2020 AT 1:21 pm

      Please don’t tell people to leave their steel cut oats out overnight at room temp. This morning, mine were covered with a green slime. I did some googling and it definitely appeared to be mold. Mine were pre-packaged and not from bulk bins. This is dangerous, and made me waste food, which I hate.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        June 21, 2020 AT 6:56 pm

        Hey Amy – So sorry to hear that your oats had mold on them in the morning. I’ve never had any issues or heard of anyone else having the same problem with the oats the next morning. Did you use water or milk to cook the oats? And did you leave the lid on overnight?

    3. Molly
      June 5, 2019 AT 12:08 pm

      This was my first time trying steel cut oats and I’m in LOVE! I made a single serving with 1/4 banana and added vanilla extract + a teaspoon of almond butter on top. Super tasty, filling, and the overnight cooking method is brilliant.

    4. Niki
      March 31, 2018 AT 12:02 am

      Looks yummo! ? I’m out of steel cut oats. Could I use oat bran instead?

    5. barbie lee
      December 21, 2017 AT 9:50 pm

      interesting combinations. will try this:)

    6. Sylvie
      November 4, 2016 AT 10:48 pm

      I am indeed a fan of salted caramel and date caramel as well!

    7. Amy Stafford
      November 3, 2016 AT 7:30 am

      Now this looks like a breakfast that will fuel me through my morning! Delicious!!

    8. Christine (Run Plant Based)
      March 1, 2016 AT 6:47 pm

      This looks amazing, great list of ingredients. Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 1, 2016 AT 6:57 pm

        Thanks Christine. I hope you get a chance to try it. 🙂

    9. Arianna
      March 1, 2016 AT 6:38 pm

      Hi Brittany. I plan on using regular old fashioned oats instead of steel cut……is the water to oats ratio the same or should I use less? This looks delish! Some of my favorite food flavors in one happy breakfast! Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 1, 2016 AT 6:57 pm

        Hi Arianna. Use less! If you’re going to do 1 cup of old fashioned oats you’ll only need 2 cups of water. Let me know how it turns out. 🙂

    10. Hillary
      February 29, 2016 AT 4:33 pm

      I love the combo of dates, almond butter & hemp together — one of my favorites for sure!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 1, 2016 AT 6:14 pm

        Thanks Hillary! <3

    11. Jennifer
      February 29, 2016 AT 1:37 pm

      Would it still work if I use quick oats?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 1, 2016 AT 6:14 pm

        Totally! Although you won’t need to cook the oats the night before and you won’t need to use as much water. Just follow the cooking and water instructions on the package and simply add the banana and dates while cooking. The banana slices and dates might not “melt” and get as creamy as they would with oats that take longer to cook, but they’ll still taste good.

    12. Lennae Stubbs
      February 28, 2016 AT 5:02 am

      Yum, this looks delicious! I’ll definitely be trying this recipe out!

      Lennae xxx

    13. Emilie @ Emilie Eats
      February 26, 2016 AT 6:55 pm

      Mmmm these look so creamy and delicious! Dates really are nature’s perfect candy. I love them in oatmeal!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 1, 2016 AT 6:21 pm

        Totally agree! Dates are like candy to me too! 🙂

    14. Heidi Kokborg
      February 26, 2016 AT 2:16 pm

      I need to make this! I love dates but I never thought of adding them to my oatmeal. Good thing you thought of it 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 1, 2016 AT 6:22 pm

        I’ve decided that dates can be added to just about anything!! 🙂

    15. Brie
      February 26, 2016 AT 9:23 am

      This Oatmeal looks crazy delicious! Love the combo of bananas and dates, you get a bananas fosters flavor without all the sugar 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 1, 2016 AT 6:22 pm

        YESS!! <3

    16. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
      February 26, 2016 AT 5:54 am

      Oh this looks heavenly! I love anything salted caramel. Add in oats and it’s even better!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 1, 2016 AT 6:23 pm

        You’ll LOVE these!

    17. Tammy
      February 25, 2016 AT 10:33 am

      I would devour this! Looks awesome!

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