Even though there are endless ways to jazz up your morning oatmeal, sometimes it’s hard to stomach the thought of boiling up and forcing down yet another bowl of the stuff. But don’t abandon the giant bag you’ve got sitting in the pantry just yet. There are so many other ways to use the whole-grain powerhouse: Use them as a base for burgers, bake 'em into granola bars, hide them in chocolate truffles. These 25 recipes show you just how fun it is to think “oat”side the bowl.

Breakfast

Photo: Garden in the Kitchen

Granolas these days can go a bit overboard on ingredients, packing in all sorts of fancy nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. This recipe keeps things simple but effective—because when there are oats and cacao nibs involved, do you really need much else?

Photo: Petite Allergy Treats

You can’t really go wrong with the blueberries + oats combination, but this recipe improves on an already-awesome pairing by adding bananas into the mix and taking it from bowl to bar form. With just two tablespoons of maple syrup in the entire batch, these pretty purple squares are sweet without a ton of sugar too.

Photo: Give Recipe

Made with real pumpkin purée, nutmeg, cinnamon, and lots of hearty oats, these muffins are a much better way to get in your fall spices without resorting to artificial flavorings. Chocolate chips add sweet surprises in each bite, and the oat topping makes them look just like the muffins you’d get at a bakery.

Photo: Domestic Gothess

Leave packaged granola bars on the store shelves. These are all about real-food ingredients, packing in all sorts of goodies from rolled oats and puffed whole-grain rice to dried fruits and peanut butter. Energy-dense and handy, they’re a super-smart way to start your day.

Photo: Sweet Like Cocoa

Somewhere between baked oatmeal, pie, and granola bars, these apple-packed portable treats look like breakfast and taste like dessert. Oats go in the batter and on top for the streusel-like topping, so there’s tons of whole-grain, fiber-rich benefits to go around.

Photo: Sondi Bruner

Baked oatmeal doesn’t always have to be sweet. It’s equally tasty the savory way, with veggies and tahini. Bake it into muffin tins for an easily portion-controlled and portable breakfast.

Photo: The Baker Mama

When you’ve got bananas rapidly browning on your kitchen counter, but no flour, vanilla, butter, or even oil on hand, this recipe’s got your back. Thoughtfully calling for just five ingredients that even those of us who aren’t avid bakers will likely have in our kitchens, it’s not only convenient, it’s also lower in sugar and higher in fiber than typical banana bread.

Photo: The Cheerful Kitchen

Not everyone loves oatmeal, but few would say no to pancakes. Pack a cup of rolled oats into this flourless, vegan batter and you’ll get all of its benefits without ever having to force down a bowl of actual oatmeal ever again.

Main Course

Photo: Bev Cooks

For an express route to risotto, use oats instead of Arborio rice. Sure, it isn’t traditional, but the texture is surprisingly similar. With plenty of veggies and sausage in the mix, it’s also much more wholesome than just a plain ol’ pile of carbs.

Photo: Nourished the Blog

Make your veggie burger so good, even meat-eaters will ditch their beef patties for it. This one fits the bill; with rolled oats, black beans, and Mexican-inspired seasonings, it’s robust in both texture and flavor.

Photo: Fit Mitten Kitchen

If you’re not partaking in the bird this Thanksgiving, this healthier sweet potato casserole—made with oats, nuts, coconut sugar, and maple syrup—will make sure you don’t go hungry. It’s so good, we won’t blame you if you’re still making it well after the holidays.

Photo: Hungry Hobby

Turn the classic soup into a more well-balanced meal by adding oats and Greek yogurt, and serving it up in casserole form. Baking the dish also gives you that unbeatable golden cheese crust on top that you’d never get with soup.

Photo: Bacon Egg Cheesecake

Thanks to Parmesan cheese and garlic, you’ll never taste the half-cup of oats hiding in these healthier turkey meatballs, but feel better knowing they’re there in all their fiber-rich glory. Serve the meatballs on top of spaghetti for a classic Italian dinner or zucchini noodles for a lighter meal.

Photo: Kidgredients

Instead of bread crumbs, try coating your chicken fillets with oats and sesame seeds. Not only are they healthier than the refined flour alternative, they’ll also make for a much more satisfying crunch factor.

Photo: Coffee and Crayons

If you can put pasta, rice, and barley in soup, why not oats? The old-fashioned rolled kind work best here since they hold up well to the liquid. With lots of vegetables, garlic, and Italian seasoning, it’s a minestrone-inspired meal that’ll warm you to your core.

Photo: Yummy Healthy Easy

Oatmeal = comfort food. Meatloaf = comfort food. Combine the two, and you get the edible version of a bear hug. Straightforward, satisfying, and with less than 10 ingredients, this recipe might just become one of your favorite dinners.

Photo: Shoot the Cook

No pizza stone, no rolling out dough, no fancy cornmeal dusting. With just three ingredients (and dairy isn’t one of them!), this oat-based crust bakes up in under 15 minutes, making it dangerously easy to satisfy a pizza craving anytime.

Dessert

Photo: Lemons and Basil

Bite into one of these silky, chocolate-dipped truffles, and the filling will taste just like cookie dough. Nobody has to know that with the heart-healthy dates, almonds, and oats hiding inside, these are more like energy bites than dessert.

Photo: Beaming Baker

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are always a hit, but why stop there? Throw cocoa powder into the batter and extra chocolate chips on top to make these even more irresistible. Without refined sugars, dairy, or gluten, they’re still healthier than your average oatmeal cookie.

Photo: Food Faith Fitness

Skeptical that anything with the word “funfetti” in its title can be healthy? These oil- and butter-free cupcakes, with oatmeal as their base and a Greek yogurt/protein powder frosting, will make a believer out of you.

Photo: Eating Bird Food

When “healthy” tastes like a decadent ice cream sandwich, it really isn’t difficult to stick to cleaner eating habits. With a banana base, oats scattered throughout for texture, and no dairy, this no-sugar-added frozen treat will have you going for double scoops.

Photo: Bakerita

Oats and almond flour replace a traditional flaky butter crust for something a bit more rustic, not to mention more vegan-friendly. No rolling out dough or blind baking, either. Just press the ingredients into a tart pan, pour in the fresh blueberry filling, and stick the pie in the oven until your kitchen smells like dessert heaven.

Photo: Amy's Healthy Baking

Oats are a standard ingredient in most fruit crisps, but they’re often paired with way more butter and sugar than necessary. This recipe keeps the oats but slashes the sugar and butter down to mere tablespoons, letting the whole-grain goodness and the natural sweetness of the fruit do their delicious thing.

Photo: Ambitious Kitchen

With oats and peanut butter instead of flour and oil, a cup and a half of zucchini hiding in the batter, these aren’t your standard brownies from a box—they’re so much better. You still get all the chocolaty flavor and that all-important chewiness, just with much more fiber and protein, and only six grams of sugar per serving.

Photo: Chocolate Covered Katie

Few people would say no to a thick, chocolate peanut butter slab tucked between two peanut-buttery oat layers. But it gets even better: There’s no butter in the recipe, it’s easily customizable for alternative nut butters, and there’s no limit to how thick you can make the chocolate center.

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