Banana oatmeal has never been more delicious with this creamy banana oatmeal recipe. It’s slightly sweet, spiced and features mashed banana in the base and caramelized banana slices on top. It’s a healthy breakfast that’s ready in just 20 minutes, and is absolutely delicious!
This banana oatmeal is one of our favorite breakfast recipes. The base of the oatmeal is made with caramelized mashed banana and is topped with caramelized banana slices. It truly tastes like banana bread in a bowl—but way healthier.
This healthy banana oatmeal recipe is 100% naturally sweetened with maple syrup and bananas, full of whole grains and fiber, and can easily be modified to be vegan, if needed. Plus, it’s a great way to use up spotty bananas!
Bananas: Any level of ripeness will do. The more ripe the bananas are, the sweeter the oatmeal will be. Use the ripest banana for the base of the oatmeal (mashed) and use the less-ripe banana for the caramelized slices.
Butter: butter adds a nice decadent flavor without being “too much.” As it cooks it slightly browns and adds nuttiness to the entire dish. Opt for unsalted butter so you can season to your liking.
Maple Syrup: pure maple syrup is key here! Not only is it more flavorful, but it’s thinner than imitation maple syrup and will act differently in the cooking process.
Milk: whole milk is the best here, but any non-dairy milk of choice will work.
Oats: be sure to use old-fashioned rolled oats as opposed to quick or instant oats. This recipe was developed with old-fashioned oats and the cook time and milk measurement reflects that.
Spices and Flavorings: we like to use a combination of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla in the oatmeal. It’s the perfect blend of spices to give this oatmeal “banana bread” vibes. Feel free to use whatever warm spices you like—pumpkin pie and apple pie are great spice blend options. And as for the vanilla—we recommend using pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
How to Make Banana Oatmeal
- Mash 1 banana (we prefer a pretty ripe, speckled banana for this).
- Slice 1 banana (we prefer a firm, non-speckled banana for this).
- Make a “banana caramel” in a saucepan by cooking together butter, maple syrup and mashed banana.
- Add milk, oats and spices to “caramel” mixture.
- Bring oat mixture to a boil and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add a splash of water and vanilla, remove pan from heat, cover and let stand (this helps the oats adequately absorb the liquid and soften).
- Combine remaining butter and maple syrup in a skillet and cook until bubbling.
- Add sliced bananas to mixture and cook until caramelized.
- Serve oatmeal with caramelized bananas and desired toppings.
Test Kitchen Tips
- Keep an eye on the banana slices as they caramelize in the skillet. You may need to stir/flip the slices frequently to encourage even browning.
- We like to use a nonstick skillet for cooking the banana slices—these are our favorite nonstick pans.
We like to top this quick and easy banana oatmeal with toasted nuts, additional maple syrup, heavy cream and flaky sea salt. But here are some addition topping ideas:
- Seeds: in addition to nuts, top this banana oatmeal with chia seeds or flax seeds.
- Nut butter: Warm your favorite nut butter (such as almond butter, cashew butter or peanut butter) in the microwave until loose enough to drizzle over the oatmeal. We like almond butter but use peanut butter to make peanut butter banana oatmeal!
- Coconut: top each serving with toasted shredded coconut flakes.
- Chocolate: chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips add a touch of decadence to this oatmeal.
- Yogurt: instead of cream, dollop some Greek yogurt over top for creamy tang.
Storage and Reheating
This oatmeal is best enjoyed immediately after making. However, you can make the oatmeal ahead of time.
- Store cooked and cooled oatmeal in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Reheat the oatmeal in the microwave on high for 1–2 minutes or on the stove-top over medium-low until warm and creamy. Add a splash of additional milk or water to thin as needed.
- To serve, wait to cook the caramelized banana slices until ready to eat.
To make this recipe vegan or dairy-free, use non-dairy milk such as unsweetened almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk or macadamia nut milk. Swap the butter out for vegan butter.
This oatmeal is gluten-free.
This recipe is for stove-top banana oatmeal, but if you’re looking for a baked oatmeal we have that too! Check out our Baked Irish Oatmeal. Add mashed bananas to the base of the recipe and top each serving with caramelized banana slices if you’d like it to be a baked banana oatmeal.
This recipe is cooked on the stove top, but if you’re looking for a meal-prep recipe try this overnight oats recipe. You can add mashed banana to the recipe as well.
We like fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts and seeds, nut butter, yogurt, maple syrup or honey, and jam. You can also go the savory route—check out this oatmeal recipe we developed for Sir Kensington’s!
More Oatmeal Recipes to Try
- Looking for something more hands-off? Try our Monster Cookie Overnight Oats!
- Our Baked Irish Oatmeal (using steel cut oats) is the perfect brunch recipe for a crowd.
- Blend oats into a flour to make another breakfast staple—oat pancakes!
- Make our Monster Cookie Bars for a healthy-ish dessert!
Banana Oatmeal Recipe
- 2 large ripe bananas, divided
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided
- 1 cup whole milk, or non-dairy milk of choice
- ¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch kosher salt
- Pinch each nutmeg and ginger, optional
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Chopped toasted pecans or walnuts, optional
- Pure maple syrup
- Heavy cream or milk
- Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
- Mash 1 banana in a small bowl.
- Slice 1 banana into ½-inch thick slices.
- Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon maple syrup and cook, stirring occasionally until mixture bubbles and starts to turn dark amber brown, about 1 ½ minutes. Add mashed banana and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Stir in 1 cup milk, ¾ cup oats, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, pinch salt, and pinch ginger and nutmeg, if using. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons water and ½ teaspoon vanilla, cover, remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons maple syrup in a skillet over medium-high until bubbly and starting to turn golden brown. Add banana slices in a single layer, reduce heat to medium, and cook until golden brown and caramelized, about 3 minutes per side.
- Divide oatmeal between 2 bowls and top with caramelized bananas.
- Top bowls with desired toppings such as toasted and chopped nuts, additional maple syrup, a splash of cream or milk and flaky sea salt.