How do you make low calorie baked oatmeal? Try my no sugar baked oatmeal recipe! This spin on Amish baked oatmeal uses apples, raisins, and mashed banana for plenty of sweetness with no sugar added. It’s delicious, comforting, and only 374 calories per serving! Keep reading to learn my favorite oatmeal recipes for weight loss and thoughts on healthy baked goods.
This no added sugar oatmeal recipe is an update from early 2020. I added more nutrition information, photos, and a recipe video. The recipe, however, is perfect as-is and remains unchanged. 😊
Happy National Oatmeal Month! January seems like the perfect month to celebrate this classic breakfast food. I know I love waking up to a warm baked oatmeal breakfast on cold mornings.
Many folks have New Year’s resolutions to adopt a healthier diet and to lose weight. One change they might make is switching up sugary breakfast cereals, muffins, and breakfast pastries for whole grain oatmeal.
Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to create an oatmeal bowl that is packed with added sugar and high in calories. The result is a bowl of oats that is not much better nutritionally than your typical cold breakfast cereal. That is where my no sugar baked oatmeal recipe comes in.
If you’ve been reading here a while, you probably know I’m not a big fan of baked goods in terms of healthy weight management. Most recipes for baked goods are loaded with added sugar, refined grains, and added oils. Many of us could benefit from cutting back on these high calorie and low nutrient ingredients.
- But are there any healthy baked goods?
- Baked Oatmeal (No Sugar) Benefits
- Ingredients for No Sugar Baked Oatmeal
- How to Make Low Calorie Baked Oats
- Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- What to Serve with Baked Oatmeal
- What are some other oatmeal recipes for weight loss?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Other Low Calorie Oatmeal Recipes That You May Enjoy
- And now for the disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- What to Serve with Baked Oatmeal
- 💬 Comments
But are there any healthy baked goods?
My answer might surprise you, but I’m going to say yes. Healthier versions of baked goods may help those who want to gain weight. High calorie whole grain flours, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc., provide essential nutrients while supporting weight gain.
It’s also possible to make a healthy low calorie baked oatmeal. In today’s recipe, I’m going to take a fantastic chef-created baked oatmeal recipe and put my dietitian spin on it. The changes I’m going to suggest will make baked oatmeal a better choice for an everyday meal.
Though this is a low calorie oatmeal recipe, this is not a low fat baked oatmeal. I felt that this no sugar added baked apple oatmeal really benefits from the richness a touch of butter provides.
That’s one of the great things about cooking for yourself. You can make adjustments to create a healthier breakfast without doing things that compromise taste.
Feel free to take some of the tips here and apply them to your other recipes for baked goods. I think you’ll find it’s not too difficult to make better-for-you versions of many of your favorite foods.
So, how about I give you the deets on this no flour, no sugar baked oatmeal?
Baked Oatmeal (No Sugar) Benefits
As I mentioned above, this recipe was adapted from one of my favorite oatmeal recipes, Amish-style baked oatmeal with apples, raisins, and walnuts. Both versions are pretty delicious, if I do say so myself.
That said, the swaps I made provide some health advantages depending on what your personal goals are. Here are the benefits of this no sugar baked oatmeal recipe:
Zero Added Sugar Content
When I say this is a “no sugar” oatmeal, keep in mind what I mean is no added sugar. That means no refined sugar (such as white table sugar) but also no unrefined added sugars like honey or maple syrup.
The original baked oatmeal recipe calls for ¾-cup of brown sugar or two tablespoons of sugar per serving. For some people, this is the recommended limit for added sugar for an entire day.
(FYI- The American Heart Association recommends that women and children limit their added sugar intake to two tablespoons (six teaspoons) daily. For men, the limit is three tablespoons (nine teaspoons).)
Instead of brown sugar, I used mashed ripe bananas as a sweetener. My baked oatmeal has zero sugar added, increases your fruit intake, and provides more nutrients.
Bananas are my go-to swap when I want to cut the added sugar in a recipe. This is also a great way to use up bananas that became over-ripe before you got to use them.
Check out the FAQ section for more on the nutrient difference between brown sugar and bananas! I cut 24 grams of added sugar (per serving) from the original recipe, but that is not the only difference!
This swap made the dish taste like a cross between the original apple baked oatmeal and banana bread. (Yum!) If you don’t want the banana flavor, you could experiment with applesauce or pureed dates in place of the bananas.
Lower in Saturated Fat (and Total Fat)
Aside from the sugar swap, I also cut the amount of walnuts and butter used in half. This was an easy way to lighten up the dish by lowering the fat. Since I did not completely cut out these ingredients, I did not sacrifice flavor.
Most of the calorie reduction in my version of this recipe comes from using less butter and walnuts. While carbs and protein contain four calories per gram, fat contains nine calories per gram. Reducing the sources of fat in a recipe is a simple way to cut calories while maintaining volume.
That said, I do not want people to be afraid of cooking with some fat. As I’ve said many times, some fat is essential in the diet.
Using full-fat dairy and other whole foods does feel more satisfying for some compared to low-fat versions. Even though it seems counterintuitive, choosing the full-fat version may help these people to eat less and maintain a healthy weight.
However, large amounts of added sugar and added fat makes baked goods hyper-palatable in addition to being high calorie. Another issue affecting satiety is that many baked goods are lacking in protein.
Wondering about the calorie breakdown between my no sugar baked oatmeal recipe and the original? With just a few small tweaks, I cut 137 calories (per serving) from the original recipe. 100 calories were from reducing the walnuts and butter, while 37 calories were from swapping brown sugar for bananas.
Reducing the added sugars in recipes and getting most of your fats from whole food sources instead of baked goods is a smart move. By whole food sources, I mean items such as meats, dairy, eggs, fish, avocado, olives, nuts, and seeds. Foods that are more fat than protein (nuts, seeds, avocado, etc.) are high in calories and have small portion sizes.
Understanding these principles may make it easier for you to eat healthier AND meet your weight loss goals.
Ingredients for No Sugar Baked Oatmeal
Here's the roundup of what you need to make this low calorie oatmeal recipe. You might already have all of these ingredients in your kitchen:
- Dry Rolled Oatmeal (AKA Old Fashioned Oats; use gluten free oats for gluten free baked oatmeal)
- Very Ripe Bananas (mashed)
- Chopped Walnuts
- Baking Powder
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Large Eggs
- 2% Milk
- Vanilla Extract
- Melted Butter
- Peeled and Chopped Apples (Cortland apples are my favorites)
- Cooking Oil Spray
IMVHO, slightly green bananas are the ones that taste the best. Fully ripe bananas are a bit too sweet and mushy for my taste. Since I don’t like to waste food, I love having recipes such as this one to use them up.
The main pieces of kitchen equipment I’d have on hand is an 8-inch by 8-inch glass baking dish, a potato masher, and an apple peeler. Of course, you’ll also need an oven for this low calorie baked oatmeal. Haha
How to Make Low Calorie Baked Oats
Here’s how I make a healthy baked oatmeal recipe. I promise it’s not difficult at all!
Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Mist your glass baking dish with the cooking oil spray.
If you haven’t already, mash your bananas with the potato masher. A fork can also be used, but it takes a little longer.
Peel your apples, core them, and chop them into ½-inch pieces. Now you’re done with the hardest parts of the recipe!
Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. I like to stir everything but the walnuts and raisins together first, stirring in the raisins and walnuts at the end.
Make sure the ingredients are well combined. The mixture will be quite liquid-y, but will firm up nicely while baking.
Pour the oats mixture into the oiled baking dish. Put the dish in the top third of the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Let your no sugar baked oatmeal cool slightly before cutting into it.
Keep leftover oatmeal refrigerated. You can reheat it in the microwave or serve it at room temperature. This is a great healthy breakfast recipe for meal prep!
Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). This recipe gets a bump to level 3 because it contains dried fruit in the form of raisins. Additionally, other foods should be added to this oatmeal to make it a complete meal.
I don’t get too hung up on macros, but I do try to make sure each of my meals contains a significant amount of protein. The RDA for protein for adult males is 56 grams per day. For adult females who are not pregnant or lactating, it is 46 grams per day.
These numbers should be thought of as bare minimum intakes; many can potentially benefit from eating more protein. One of the reasons for this is protein’s satiating effects, which may help to promote healthy weight management. Calories and food volume are not the only things to consider when talking about diets for weight loss!
The original Amish-style baked oatmeal that I adapted this recipe from has 10 grams of protein per serving. I calculated my version to have 12.5 grams. This is not enough protein for an entrée!
Aiming for at least 25-30 grams of protein per meal may help you include sufficient protein in your diet more easily. Most of the meals I post on this site do meet this target, even recipes that appear to contain little protein.
What to Serve with Baked Oatmeal
I recommend adding more protein in the form of Greek yogurt, skyr, or hard-boiled eggs to this dish to create a more satiating meal. Adding a (standard) 5.3-ounce cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt to your meal won't bump things above 500 calories.
Are you wondering why I don’t just add more nuts to this dish for protein? Nuts count more as a healthy fat than a protein. Trying to get enough protein from nuts bumps the calories through the roof and is not great for healthy weight management.
Need an example? For 15 grams of protein, you’d need to consume about 90 calories of non-fat Greek yogurt or about 600 calories of walnuts! Nuts are not a protein dense food compared to most of the other protein group options.
What are some other oatmeal recipes for weight loss?
Are you looking for more healthy oatmeal recipes to lose weight? Don’t miss my high protein and low calorie oats recipes for weight loss. Most of these are in the 500-600 calorie range, but can easily be adjusted to be lower calorie if needed:
- Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Raspberry Overnight Oats: 28 grams of protein per serving
- Carrot Cake Overnight Oatmeal: 29 grams of protein per serving
- Banana Cinnamon Overnight Oats with Tahini: 26 grams of protein per serving
My overnight oats recipes usually contain plain Greek yogurt to boost the protein content and promote satiety. I provided the protein per serving for the oatmeal recipes so you can see how they stack up.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many calories in oatmeal?
One half cup of dry old fashioned rolled oats provides 150 calories. One fourth cup of dry steel cut oats provides 150 calories. A serving of this baked oatmeal without sugar recipe provides 374 calories.
Does oatmeal contain sugar?
Oatmeal is a starchy food, and my oat containers list oatmeal as having 0 grams of total sugar. A quick peek on Cronometer shows that ½-cup of plain dry rolled oats has 0.8 grams of sugar. Almost all foods have a little natural sugar in them.
If the sugar in fruit is ok due to the presence of fiber, does that mean eating candy with oatmeal is ok as well?
This is such a great question because it highlights a really common misconception! Both fruit and candy contain sugar, but fruit is superior not only due to fiber content. Fruit is also rich in beneficial phytonutrients as well as essential vitamins and minerals not present in table sugar.
Additionally, the nutrients in fruit are packaged within their natural food matrix. Nutrients from supplements and fortified foods do not necessarily act in the same way in the body as nutrients provided in their whole food form. In other words, you could fortify candy with the same nutrients as in an apple, but the apple is still going to (generally) be the better option.
Bananas Versus Sugar: Nutrient Comparison
To further illustrate my answer to the question above, I’m going to compare bananas to brown sugar nutritionally. Using bananas in this recipe instead of brown sugar only saves a measly 37 calories per serving. Why bother?
Eating at an appropriate calorie level to maintain a healthy weight is not the only important thing in nutrition! Far from it.
It is also critical to eat nutrient-dense foods so that we get adequate amounts of essential vitamins and minerals. We need these micronutrients not only for basic life functions but also to thrive.
Here is the micronutrient profile of three medium bananas (the amount used in this recipe) compared to ¾-cup brown sugar. Bananas also provide other beneficial components not listed here, such as fiber. (Information per Cronometer.)
- Magnesium: bananas 30%DV, brown sugar 5%DV
- Manganese: bananas 53%DV, brown sugar 6%DV
- Phosphorus: bananas 11%DV, brown sugar 1%DV
- Potassium: bananas 27%DV, brown sugar 5%DV
- Thiamin: bananas 10%DV, brown sugar 0%DV
- Riboflavin: bananas 23%DV, brown sugar 0%DV
- Niacin: bananas 17%DV, brown sugar 1%DV
- Pantothenic Acid: bananas 24%DV, brown sugar 4%DV
- Vitamin B6: bananas 100%DV, brown sugar 5%DV
- Folate: bananas 18%DV, brown sugar 0%DV
- Vitamin A: bananas 10%DV, brown sugar 0%DV
- Vitamin C: bananas 41%DV, brown sugar 0%DV
Keep in mind that I am showing you the nutrient amounts present from these ingredients in the entire recipe. A person having one serving of this healthy baked oatmeal recipe is getting ⅙ of what is listed above.
You’re getting a decent amount of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and manganese from the bananas with each serving of this recipe. The brown sugar is mostly empty calories.
In general, replacing white and brown sugar with pureed fruit is going to be a good move. Adding candy to oatmeal doesn’t cut it!
Is it healthy to avoid sugar completely?
Remember that “sugar” is in lots of nutrient-dense foods, including the apples and bananas in this recipe. It may be hard to believe, but one large egg contains 0.6 grams of sugar!
It may be perfectly healthy for you to completely avoid added sugar. This includes white table sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and honey. However, I do not recommend trying to get your total sugar intake down to zero.
That said, no single food or ingredient is an essential component of a healthy diet. That includes less healthful options, such as white sugar, as well as healthier options like bananas and oatmeal.
Added sugars (including unrefined sugars like maple syrup) don’t contain any essential nutrients that cannot be obtained from other foods. You don’t have to eat them if you do not want to.
Some of us want to occasionally include added sugars (including refined sugars) in the diet, and that is OK too. I choose to enjoy some sugary treats on holidays and certain other special days.
Completely removing foods with added sugar from my diet would feel too restricting to me. I do understand that others are able to completely avoid added sugar without feeling restricted. Ultimately, there is no one right way to eat, though some ways of eating may be more health-promoting than others.
How do you make vegan baked oatmeal without sugar?
With some simple swaps, you can morph this recipe into a vegan apple baked oatmeal. First, use an unsweetened calcium-fortified soy milk in place of the dairy milk.
Soy milk is one of the best non-dairy milk alternatives for protein. Almond milk is typically very low in protein.
The eggs in this recipe are used for binding, not so much for leavening. Your favorite flax seed egg replacer should work fine in place of the eggs.
Finally, try using your favorite cooking oil instead of the butter. I would try avocado oil here as it has a more neutral flavor than olive oil. Or use coconut oil if you want that flavor.
Voila! Sugar free vegan baked oatmeal is all yours.
How do you make low carb baked oatmeal?
I am most concerned with improving the health of individuals, not loyalty to a particular diet tribe. If you are doing well with a low-carb diet, oatmeal dishes are probably not your best option. Oatmeal is a high carbohydrate starchy food.
To make baked “oatmeal” that is low carb, I would try Power Hungry’s Grain Free Blueberry Baked Porridge. They use a mixture of coconut flour and flax seeds in place of the oatmeal, and offer an option for substituting the banana in the recipe. I’ve also seen low carb oatmeal recipes using hemp seeds.
(P.S. I have plenty of low-carb recipes on this site as well if that is what you are looking for.)
Before we move on though, I wanted to mention a few things. Some people, like myself, do achieve permanent fat loss without completely giving up high-carb foods. Others find they can manage their weight and blood sugar better when they eliminate these foods.
Unfortunately, some folks on a low-carb diet pattern were not offered this strategy that ultimately helped them to improve their health. Instead of suggesting a low-carb pattern, health professionals often recommend that people start their day with whole grain cereals and fruit. In some cases, individuals struggle for years to follow this advice, unable to manage their glycemia or reach a healthier weight.
After finding low-carb and doing well with it, these people are unhappy that their physician or dietitian never gave them the option. Specifically, high-carb cereals and fruit (typical major health organization breakfast recommendations) have come under fire. I don’t feel that any weight management discussion is complete without mentioning that low carb is an evidence-based weight loss strategy.
Other Low Calorie Oatmeal Recipes That You May Enjoy
Are you looking for more oatmeal recipes that are low calorie? Here are a few more low cal oatmeal recipes to check out:
- Proats Recipe: Egg White Oatmeal
- Baked Protein Oatmeal (with a Secret Ingredient!)
- Cinnamon Apple Steel Cut Oats (Crock Pot)
- Overnight Oats with Frozen Fruit
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats with yogurt post. Let's get cooking!
No Sugar Baked Oatmeal | Low Calorie Baked Oatmeal Recipe
- 2 cups rolled oatmeal, dry (use GF oats for gluten-free baked oatmeal)
- 3 medium ripe bananas, mashed (about 1½ cups)
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups milk, 2%
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup peeled and chopped apples (I prefer Cortland apples for this recipe; you'll need 1-2 apples depending on size)
- cooking oil spray of choice
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Mist an 8"x8" glass baking dish with cooking oil spray.
- Mash the bananas with a potato masher or fork. Peel, core, and chop your apples. The apples should be in ½" pieces.
- Mix all of the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl until well incorporated. Pour mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Put the dish into the top third of the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Leftovers should be refrigerated then reheated or served at room temperature.
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). This recipe gets a bump to level 3 because it contains dried fruit in the form of raisins. Additionally, other foods should be added to this oatmeal to make it a complete meal. I don’t get too hung up on macros, but I do try to make sure each of my meals contains a significant amount of protein. The RDA for protein for adult males is 56 grams per day. For adult females who are not pregnant or lactating, it is 46 grams per day. These numbers should be thought of as bare minimum intakes; many can potentially benefit from eating more protein. One of the reasons for this is protein’s satiating effects, which may help to promote healthy weight management. Calories and food volume are not the only things to consider when talking about diets for weight loss! The original Amish-style baked oatmeal that I adapted this recipe from has 10 grams of protein per serving. I calculated my version to have 12.5 grams. This is not enough protein for an entrée! Aiming for at least 25-30 grams of protein per meal may help you include sufficient protein in your diet more easily. Most of the meals I post on this site do meet this target, even recipes that appear to contain little protein.