Apple cinnamon oatmeal is the perfect fall breakfast. It’s packed with cooked apples and warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger then topped with maple syrup sautéed apple slices and chopped pecans. Serve with an extra splash of milk for a creamy and decadent breakfast that’s good for you too!
If you’re a fan of apple pie or apple crisp (and who the heck isn’t?!), you’re going to love this apple cinnamon oatmeal.
It’s an easy stove-top recipe that also happens to make a great meal-prep breakfast option.
I make a batch and we enjoy it a couple days that week for breakfast as it keeps perfectly in the fridge.
It’s gluten-free (if you use gluten-free oats obviously) and even has a delicious maple syrup sautéed apple topping making it that much more similar to apple pie.
But, these stove-top apple cinnamon oats have quickly risen to the top of my list this year for their flavor and ease.
HOW TO MAKE APPLE CINNAMON OATMEAL
If you haven’t already, make sure to watch the video in this post to see me make this recipe!
The first step is to gather the ingredients needed for the oatmeal as everything goes quickly once you start cooking.
For the apple cinnamon oatmeal you’ll need:
- rolled oats
- ground flax seed
- chia seeds
- chopped pecans
- grated apple
- vanilla extract
- spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)
- coconut oil
- maple syrup
To a sauce pot over medium heat, add the coconut oil. Once it melts, add the grated apple, spices and salt. Stir and cook for a few minutes.
Next, add the milk and turn the heat up to high until the mixture simmers.
Add the oats, chia seeds and flax seeds next and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low.
Cook the oats, stirring frequently until thickened and creamy, about 5 minutes.
Add the pecans, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir and turn the heat off.
Set the apple cinnamon oatmeal aside while you make the sautéed apple topping.
HOW TO MAKE THE APPLE CINNAMON TOPPING
Arguably the best part of this apple cinnamon oatmeal is the easy sautéed apple topping. This pear oatmeal has the same type of delicious topping just with pears instead of apples!
To make the sautéed apples you’ll need:
- 1 apple, peeled and sliced
- coconut oil
- maple syrup
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the apples.
Add the spices and maple syrup to the pan. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook stirring frequently until the apples are softened and the maple syrup has coated them in syrupy glaze.
HOW TO SERVE APPLE CINNAMON OATMEAL
Divide the prepared apple cinnamon oatmeal into bowls and spoon the maple syrup cinnamon apple slices on top.
I like to add a splash of milk to the bowl for extra creaminess right before serving as well as some extra chopped pecans.
VARIATIONS TO TRY
Oatmeal is a bit of a blank slate.
Like smoothie bowls, I have a tendency to go a bit crazy with toppings in my bowl of oats.
Not always though. When it comes to strawberry oatmeal, I enjoy the simplicity of the sweet creamy berries and nothing else.
So of course, you can keep things simple here too as the recipe has so much delicious apple cinnamon flavor as is.
And if you like simple, try these maple cinnamon air fryer apple chips!
But, for some fun, try adding any of these to the oatmeal recipe as it cooks:
- raisins (golden raisins would be my preference)
- hemp hearts (great source of healthy fats & protein!)
- other dried fruit (cherries and cranberries pair nicely with apples)
- other chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts)
- protein powder of choice (I would try unflavored or vanilla)
You can also try the following as additional topping options:
- sunflower seeds
- nut butter
- coconut butter
- cacao nibs
CAN I USE A DIFFERENT TYPE OF OATS?
This recipe uses regular rolled oats and the ingredients are proportional to that specific type of oat.
However, if you want to use oat bran or quick cooking rolled oats, you can do so and keep the liquid ingredients the same.
If you want to use steel cut oats for some additional texture and chew (I love steel cut oats for that reason!), you’ll likely need to increase the liquid to at least 2.5 cups and of course, cook for longer until the oats are tender.
ARE APPLE CINNAMON OATS HEALTHY?
Oatmeal has long been touted as a healthy whole grain breakfast option that may help reduce cholesterol.
I think we all probably know at least that much by now.
But did you know oatmeal is also high in fiber and antioxidants? It also has a relatively high amount of protein for a food compromised mostly of starch. And, it’s rich in micronutrients like magnesium and zinc.
Fiber has become the number one priority in my diet lately (along with eating a diversity of plants) and that’s exactly why I enjoy oatmeal for breakfast probably 3-4 times a week.
25% of the starch in oats is what’s called “resistant starch”.
This type of starch functions like fiber. Instead of being digested rapidly (like sugar would be), it avoids digestion and feeds the good bacteria in our guts (small intestine).
Gut health is a major buzz phrase lately and oats are one of the celebrity foods when it comes to that topic.
Can’t say I’m complaining too much if eating a delicious bowl of oatmeal that happens to taste like apple pie is good for me!
I also added a couple sneaky healthy ingredients to this apple and cinnamon oatmeal for an even more nutritious punch:
- flax seeds
- chia seeds
I love both for their omega-3 fat profiles as well as how they increase the satiety of this breakfast.
If I don’t add protein powder to my bowl of oatmeal, I will always reach for one, if not both of these seeds for some staying power. Looking for more protein packed breakfast ideas? Check out this high protein vegetarian meal plan. It includes a bircher muesli that’s delicious as well!
Hemp hearts are another great healthy addition with similar benefits.
TIPS AND TRICKS TO MAKE THE BEST APPLE CINNAMON OATMEAL
- For the creamiest oatmeal – use all milk in the recipe. If you eat dairy, whole milk would be the absolute creamiest option. For non-dairy drinkers, I like coconut milk or oat milk for the extra creamy factor.
- Don’t want to use all milk? – no problem, use a mixture of your milk of choice and water. This can be any mixture percentage you want. I’ve even made this recipe with all water before. It still tastes great just obviously isn’t as creamy.
- Stir, stir, stir! – when I make oatmeal, I stir constantly as it cooks. The method is similar to risotto with rice, the more you stir, the creamier the result!
- Use apple pie spice mix – if you don’t want to mess around with 3 spice jars and have apple pie spice in your spice collection, use that instead!
- Save time by chopping – if you don’t want to dirty a grater, feel free to chop the apple for the oatmeal instead. Grating the apple just makes it melt right into the oats instead of having big chunky apple pieces throughout. I prefer the grated approach but do whichever you prefer.
HEALTHY OATMEAL RECIPES
As a kid, I despised oatmeal. The texture completely freaked me out and I couldn’t even watch my brother eat his packet oatmeal without gagging in the chair next to him.
To this day actually, the smell of fake peach reminds me of those peaches and cream packets and I cringe. I’ve since made Peaches and Coconut Cream Oats which far surpass anything from a packet in taste.
I’ve come a long way since those childhood days and oatmeal has become one of my favorite healthy breakfast options over the years.
It’s nutritious, adaptable and makes a great option for meal-prep breakfasts.
I also love how many ways there are to prepare oatmeal.
You can use the slow cooker like in this Slow Cooker Chocolate Cherry Steel Cut Oatmeal.
Or, just use the microwave or a simple kettle full of boiling water if you want to go old school with your bowl of oats.
You can check out all my recipes made with oats or, enjoy one of these other apple cinnamon flavored drinks, snacks and treats:
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 large apple grated
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk of choice *see note
- 1 cup rolled oats gluten-free if necessary
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans optional
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR SAUTÉED APPLE TOPPING
- 1 apple peeled and sliced
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ginger
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Add coconut oil to a medium sauce pot over medium heat.
- Once melted and hot, add grated apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Stir and cooked for 2-3 minutes.
- Add milk to the pot. Turn heat to high and stir.
- Once simmering, add the oats, flaxseed and chia seeds. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low and cook until thickened and creamy.
- Add the pecans, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Make the sautéed apple topping by adding coconut oil to a small skillet over medium heat.
- Once hot, add apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and maple syrup. Cook, stirring frequently until apples are softened and maple syrup coats them in a glaze, about 5 minutes.
- Serve the oatmeal in a bowl with the sautéed apples spooned on top. Add a splash of milk before serving for extra creaminess if desired.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
Gina Matsoukas is the writer, founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as possible. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.