Who wouldn’t feel fancy enjoying this fancy oatmeal with caramelized bananas and hazelnuts?! It’s quick, cheap, and dairy-free making it the perfect breakfast!
Our reader Michael had this to say, "This is so good and way easier than I expected!" ★★★★★
- featured comment
- why you need this oatmeal!
- ingredients and substitutions
- recipe testing notes
- how to make this - step by step
- watch how to make this - step by step
- how to make really, really good microwave oatmeal
- common questions
- allergy swaps
- recipe variations
- storage tips
- fun fact
- more quick bowl recipes
why you need this oatmeal!
Humble oatmeal is often seen as a quick and nutritious breakfast, but not “fancy”. Well, if you’re like me and frequent the online menus of trendy breakfast restaurants, you're sure to see some oatmeals that seem very, very fancy. I’m talking poached pears on top, creme fraiche, hazelnut whip, or mango puree.
Oatmeal makes a fantastic base for so many healthy and trendy toppings, plus it's quick to make in the microwave or on the stove. In this post, I am going to show you how to quickly make oatmeal that feels fancy and like it came from a trendy brunch restaurant!
And if learning to make the perfect fancy oatmeal wasn’t enough, here are a few more reasons why this recipe is a winner!
- Quick and cheap: Oatmeal is one of the cheapest breakfast ingredients. Plus, it can be made in the microwave in minutes or on the stove in about 10 minutes!
- Flavorful with pantry staples: This recipe elevates the humble banana and oatmeal with the use of nuts, cinnamon, and maple syrup. These are also all things I bet you already have in your pantry!
- Creamy but allergen-friendly: This oatmeal is creamy and decadent, but not because of added heavy cream. It’s all in how you cook it!
ingredients and substitutions
All substitutions are a 1:1 substitute unless otherwise noted. See recipe card for quantities.
Quick Oats: I like to use quick oats for this recipe because, well, they’re quick! They're also labeled as instant oats sometimes.
Substitutions: Feel free to use old-fashioned rolled oats or even steel-cut oats, just cook as directed by the packaging.
Oat Milk: If cooking the oats on the stovetop, you will need milk to cook it in. It’s also nice to top your oats with a little milk for added creaminess.
Substitutions: You can use any milk you like, unsweetened almond milk, cow’s milk, vanilla soy milk, coconut milk, or others will all work!
Oil: I love using coconut oil for this recipe because it adds more flavor, adds some natural sweetness, we always have it on hand, and it makes things extra creamy.
Substitutions: You can use olive oil, avocado oil, butter, or a butter substitute in place of coconut oil.
Banana: 1 ripe or slightly under-ripe banana is perfect for this recipe.
Substitutions: You could try another creamy fresh fruit like mango or pears in place of banana here but I would highly recommend banana!
Maple Syrup: This adds natural sweetness, just make sure it’s pure maple syrup. If you don’t have pure maple syrup, see below for substitution options!
Substitutions: If you don’t have pure maple syrup, you can use brown sugar, coconut sugar, honey, or agave in place of the syrup.
Hazelnuts: I found hazelnuts to be the perfect nut for this oatmeal because of their buttery texture. Just make sure they are chopped into small pieces.
Substitutions: This oatmeal is also super tasty with pistachios, brazil nuts, and cashews!
Spices: I like to keep it simple with 3 main spices, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt.
Substitutions: Sorry, there are no substitutions for these spices.
Additional toppings: While the caramelized bananas are perfect on their own, you could also add some additional oatmeal toppings. Some of my favorite toppings are:
- Cashew butter (or similar like almond butter)
- Coconut cream
- Coconut flakes
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
recipe testing notes
Throughout our testing of this fancy oatmeal recipe, we learned what worked and didn't work. Here are the key takeaways!
- Microwave vs. Stovetop: I made this oatmeal both on the stovetop and in the microwave. The stove top produces a much better texture, but the microwave is much easier and can have a pretty good texture with some tips (keep scrolling for those!). It really is a matter of the time you have that will determine which method you use.
- Cooking the Bananas: When cooking the bananas, they will get soft so you can use a slightly underripe banana. I also learned that it's helpful to leave the bananas alone for a good couple of minutes to develop the golden color before flipping.
how to make this - step by step
Be sure to scroll to the recipe card for the full easy oatmeal recipe!
Step one: make the oatmeal
You can either make it on the stovetop or in the microwave. If making it on the stovetop, follow the package instructions but use milk rather than water.
Expert tip for creamy microwave oatmeal: If making it in the microwave, heat for 45 seconds, then add 1 egg white and mix it in, then microwave another 45 seconds. This adds protein and makes it extra creamy without adding milk!
Step two: start the bananas
Add oil to a saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add in the hazelnuts, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and maple syrup. Give this a stir and let it cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add in the sliced bananas and let them cook for about 3 minutes until softened and the sauce is sticky and bubbling.
Step three: flip the bananas
Once the bananas have softened and the maple syrup is sticky and bubbling, gently flip each banana to cook the other side for another 1-2 minutes.
Step four: combine
Transfer oatmeal to a bowl, top the oatmeal bowls with caramelized bananas, and then drizzle with a splash of oat milk or coconut whip if desired. And for serving suggestions, check out our post on 25 sides to serve with oatmeal!
watch how to make this - step by step
how to make really, really good microwave oatmeal
I love making oatmeal in the microwave. It’s the best way to make oatmeal quick. But, to make actually good-tasting microwave oatmeal, I implore you to follow these steps!
- Add oats and water (quantity per container) to a deep, microwave-safe bowl. Add a pinch of salt and stir.
- Microwave for 45 seconds. While it’s microwaving, separate an egg white from an egg. Carton egg whites will work too.
- Remove the oatmeal and add 1 egg white or ⅛th of a cup of egg whites to the oatmeal. Stir to thoroughly combine.
- Return the microwave for 45 more seconds.
- Enjoy the most creamy, restaurant-quality oatmeal that’s ready in under 2 minutes!
Try adding fun toppings like these caramelized bananas! You could also try adding seeds, nut butter, yogurt, or mixed berries. Or, check out our variations for more unique oatmeal recipes.
To make truly creamy oatmeal, cook your oats on the stovetop in a milk of your choice. If making them in the microwave, using egg whites is a great way to make them extra creamy and restaurant quality!
You can sweeten oatmeal using fruit, nut butter, maple syrup, honey, or agave. You could also use monk fruit syrup or date syrup.
If you have specific dietary needs, no worries! Here are a few easy swaps so anyone can enjoy this fancy oatmeal.
- Vegan: To make this vegan, make it on the stovetop and use oil rather than butter.
- Nut-free: To make this nut-free, leave out the hazelnuts and cook the bananas in olive oil or avocado oil rather than coconut oil.
- Gluten-free: Just make sure your oats are gluten-free to make this recipe gluten-free!
If you want more ways to enjoy fancy oatmeal, try these other fun and healthy oatmeal recipes!
- Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal: To make this version, mix in a drizzle of peanut butter to the oatmeal before adding the bananas.
- Banana Blueberry Baked Oats: To make this version, follow this recipe for Cookie Baked Oatmeal and then top with caramelized bananas and fresh blueberries.
- Banana Cheesecake Overnight Oats: For overnight oats, add everything but the bananas and nuts to a jar with coconut milk and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. Leave it to sit overnight. In the morning top with banana slices and chopped hazelnuts.
- Chocolate Berry Morning Oatmeal: For this variation, replace the bananas with fresh berries or frozen mixed berries and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
- Savory Oatmeal: For a savory take on oatmeal, head over to our Avocado Oatmeal to enjoy oats with a fried egg and Greek Yogurt on top!
This oatmeal saves great in the fridge but should not be frozen. To keep in the fridge, store in an air-tight container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To reheat, heat in the microwave for 45 seconds with a splash of milk or reheat on the stovetop, stirring constantly and adding a splash of milk to help rehydrate it.
Did you know that oats used to be thought of as weeds? Now, more than half of the world's oats are grown in the US and Canada. 95% of which is used for animal feed. (source)
more quick bowl recipes
Did you try this and love it? Leave us a ⭐️ rating, we would love to hear from you!
- 1.5 cup quick cook oats gluten free as needed
- 2 cups oat milk or favorite milk
- ½ tablespoon oil we prefer coconut
- 1 banana sliced
- ¼ cup chopped hazelnuts
- 4 tablespoon maple syrup pure
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla pure extract
Additional Topping Options
- Cashew butter
- Yogurt or coconut whip
Make the oats
- Combine milk with a pinch of salt in a pot. Bring to a boil. Stir in the oats and reduce to medium heat; cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 2-3 minutes.If using rolled oats or other kind, follow the package instructions for making the oats. If you want to make this in the microwave, check out the post above for instructions.
Make the caramelized bananas
- Add oil to a sauce pan or skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add in the hazelnuts, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and maple syrup. Give this a stir and let it cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add in the sliced bananas, ensuring that they are all in one layer and laying on the flat side. Let this cook for 3-5 minutes until the sauce is sticky and bubbling and the bananas have softened. Do not try to move the bananas yet!
- Gently flip the bananas, making sure they are mostly golden brown. Let them cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Plate up the oatmeal in bowls and top with caramelized bananas. This recipe makes 2 large servings of oatmeal!