I love baked oatmeal.  I saw this on the Kitchen Opera’s blog a few weeks back and had to make it. While this is not the first time I’ve made something like this, recently Lindsay’s posts just keep pushing me into the kitchen and in this case reminded me of a lost recipe from a long time ago.  In my version below, I used pears instead of apples and frozen sweet cherries in place of dried cranberries.  Next time I would like to try different grains, the breakfast bake I remember had whole wheat berries along with oats and millet.  Using all oats makes for a gluten-free breakfast.

I was a bit concerned about the ratio of oats and water in this recipe.  It just did not look like there was a enough water to cook the steel cut oats.  Turns out – I would not change a thing. This was perfect.

This recipe makes more of a loaf than a bowl of oatmeal.  Once cooled it cuts easily into squares, perfect for packing in lunch boxes or stashing in the freezer for a quick warm up during the week.

I often go to the gym early in the mornings, way to early to have breakfast before I go, and I will grab one of these squares and warm it up a work for a good hearty breakfast at work.  I pour a little soy or almond milk on top before reheating, the milk soaks right in and gives it a fresh, just out of the oven feeling.

I call these my instant steel cut oats.

baked oatmeal with pears and cherries

Baked Pear and Cherry Oatmeal Squares

adapted From the KitchenOperas

Makes 16 squares

  • 4 c. steel cut oats
  • 4 c. boiling water
  • 2 c. frozen cherries
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 pears, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons  ground chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

Preheat the oven to 375F and spray a 9” x 11” glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Cover the steel-cut oats with boiling water and let sit for 20 minutes.  This pre-cooks the oats a little and I was surprised at how much this little step softens them. They will soak up the liquid quickly after 20 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Pour into the baking dish.

Bake 50 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. At this point the squares can be frozen for later.

To serve, place a frozen square in a microwave safe bowl and add some milk – soy or almond — and microwave for 2-3 minutes until heated through.  Top with brown sugar or a bit of maple syrup if you need it.