Best-Ever Oatmeal Pancakes (Really!)

Hold onto your hats, this is the BEST oatmeal pancakes recipe! They’re easy to whip up with 100% oats, and taste like vanilla cake. Looking for a breakfast recipe that’s healthy and outrageously delicious? Meet these incredible Oatmeal Pancakes! They’re fluffy, they’re made with 100% oats, and they’re easy to whip up in a blender. Even better: they taste like vanilla cake! Yes, these are the best oatmeal pancakes we’ve had! Many oatmeal pancakes can be very dense or fall apart easily. These work like a charm, and they’re full of fiber and protein. Breakfast just got better. Ingredients in the best oatmeal pancakes recipe (100% oats!) Why make oatmeal pancakes with flour when you can make them with all rolled oats? The blender is your best friend here: simply throw all ingredients into the blender and give it a whiz! It breaks down the oats into the texture of flour and makes a completely smooth batter. This trick is something we perfected in our banana bread muffins, and we’ve refined it here with some inspiration from these apple pancakes. Here’s what you’ll need: Old Fashioned rolled oats: Don’t be tempted to substitute steel cut (here’s why). Greek yogurt: This […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Hold onto your hats, this is the BEST oatmeal pancakes recipe! They’re easy to whip up with 100% oats, and taste like vanilla cake.

Oatmeal pancakes

Looking for a breakfast recipe that’s healthy and outrageously delicious? Meet these incredible Oatmeal Pancakes! They’re fluffy, they’re made with 100% oats, and they’re easy to whip up in a blender. Even better: they taste like vanilla cake! Yes, these are the best oatmeal pancakes we’ve had! Many oatmeal pancakes can be very dense or fall apart easily. These work like a charm, and they’re full of fiber and protein. Breakfast just got better.

Ingredients in the best oatmeal pancakes recipe (100% oats!)

Why make oatmeal pancakes with flour when you can make them with all rolled oats? The blender is your best friend here: simply throw all ingredients into the blender and give it a whiz! It breaks down the oats into the texture of flour and makes a completely smooth batter. This trick is something we perfected in our banana bread muffins, and we’ve refined it here with some inspiration from these apple pancakes. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Old Fashioned rolled oats: Don’t be tempted to substitute steel cut (here’s why).
  • Greek yogurt: This is key to getting just the right fluffy texture in an oatmeal pancake recipe. It also helps to hold the pancakes together: and adds protein to boot!
  • Eggs: Eggs also work as a binder. (You can make pancakes without eggs too, but not here.)
  • Milk of choice: Use whatever is on hand in your fridge: you can also use almond or oat milk.
  • Salted butter: Butter is key to the flavor, but you can also sub melted coconut oil.
  • Brown sugar: A touch of sugar sweetens just enough; use maple syrup if you like
  • Vanilla extract: You’ll use a lot, but these pancakes deliver big on vanilla cake flavor!
  • Baking powder & kosher salt
Oatmeal pancake recipe

Tip for cooking: use low heat!

Here’s a tip for cooking any pancake recipe, whether it’s oatmeal pancakes or not. Use low to medium low heat. It takes longer than you expect, but it makes for a perfectly cooked pancake. Here’s why:

  • Low and slow is key! Many home cooks have the heat turned too high when they cook pancakes. It makes them come out burned on the outside and raw on the inside. Low and slow is the way to go!
  • Flip them when bubbles form on the surface and start to pop. It’s hard to wait for this signal, but trust us! This trick works every time and makes the perfectly cooked pancake.

Oatmeal pancakes variations: mix-ins and more!

We like this oatmeal pancakes recipe straight up: it tastes like vanilla birthday cake and it’s so, so tasty! But you can add other mix-ins if you’d like. Here are a few ideas:

  • Blueberry oatmeal pancakes: Use 1 cup fresh or frozen. Don’t add blueberries to the batter! Add them after you pour the circles of batter onto the griddle.
  • Raspberry oatmeal pancakes: Sounds tasty! Do the same as above.
  • Chocolate chip oatmeal pancakes: We’re not chocolate for breakfast people, but we know some people are. Add 1/3 cup chocolate chips.

What else would you add to your oatmeal pancakes? Let us know in the comments below!

Oatmeal pancakes

Toppings for this oatmeal pancakes recipe

Here’s the other fun part: topping your oatmeal pancakes! Once you smell that fragrant vanilla smell, you’re going to want to eat these immediately. Here are a few ideas we have:

Vegan variations

We haven’t tried a vegan spin on these oatmeal pancakes. Here are a few options in case you’re looking for a vegan breakfast:

Oatmeal pancake recipe

Oatmeal nutrition info

These oatmeal pancakes are made with 100% oats, which makes them a healthy and naturally gluten free pancake. All things considered, they’re a healthy breakfast idea that’s in contrast to the typical refined flour and sugar flapjack. Why eat oats in the morning? Here are some of the nutritional benefits of oats (source):

  • Oats are high in plant based protein. 1 cup of raw oats have 11 grams protein. That’s about 20% of your daily need!
  • Oats are high in fiber. 1 cup of raw oats have 8 grams of fiber, which is about 30% of the daily value.
  • Oats are very filling: they may reduce appetite and help you eat less calories.

This oatmeal pancake recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, go to Vegan Pancakes instead.

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Best-Ever Oatmeal Pancakes


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 pancakes
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Hold onto your hats, this is the BEST oatmeal pancakes recipe! They’re easy to whip up with 100% oats, and taste like vanilla cake.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until a smooth batter forms. 
  2. Wait 5 minutes for the batter to thicken. 
  3. Lightly grease a skillet with butter and wipe off extra grease with a paper towel. Heat the skillet over low heat. Pour the thickened batter into small circles (about 1/3 cup each). Cook the pancakes until the bubbles pop on the top and the bottoms are golden: low and slow is the key! Then flip them and cook until golden on the other side. 
  4. Add 1 tablespoon milk to the remaining batter and stir so that it is pourable. Cook the remaining batter, adjusting the heat as necessary (the skillet can get very hot on the second batch). Place the cooked pancakes under an inverted bowl to keep them warm. Serve immediately with maple syrup.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: Breakfast

Keywords: Oatmeal pancakes

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Savory Oatmeal

This savory oatmeal recipe is an ideal savory breakfast idea! It’s wholesome, delicious and easy to make, topped with an egg and veggies. Have you tried Savory Oatmeal? If not, it’s high time to start. The American breakfast is built on sugar (pancakes, waffles, even yogurt and granola). But want more savory breakfast ideas? This recipe is the place to start! This makes a pot of chewy toasted oats that are irresistibly tasty. Top the bowl with a fried egg and garlicky sauteed kale, and the yolk makes a creamy sauce that covers everything in goodness. It’s no secret that we’re oatmeal obsessed around here…and eating a veggie-filled healthy breakfast just got easier. The method for savory oatmeal: toasted and chewy! This savory oatmeal recipe uses our standard method for oatmeal: toasted and textured! It’s a method we learned a while ago and have been riffing on ever since (see this Vegan Oatmeal). Instead of gooey, creamy and gloppy, you get chewy and toasty oats. Here’s the basic method: Toast the oats in butter for a few minutes. You’ll do this first before adding the water. It brings great flavor to the grains and floods your kitchen with an incredible […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This savory oatmeal recipe is an ideal savory breakfast idea! It’s wholesome, delicious and easy to make, topped with an egg and veggies.

Savory oatmeal

Have you tried Savory Oatmeal? If not, it’s high time to start. The American breakfast is built on sugar (pancakes, waffles, even yogurt and granola). But want more savory breakfast ideas? This recipe is the place to start! This makes a pot of chewy toasted oats that are irresistibly tasty. Top the bowl with a fried egg and garlicky sauteed kale, and the yolk makes a creamy sauce that covers everything in goodness. It’s no secret that we’re oatmeal obsessed around here…and eating a veggie-filled healthy breakfast just got easier.

The method for savory oatmeal: toasted and chewy!

This savory oatmeal recipe uses our standard method for oatmeal: toasted and textured! It’s a method we learned a while ago and have been riffing on ever since (see this Vegan Oatmeal). Instead of gooey, creamy and gloppy, you get chewy and toasty oats. Here’s the basic method:

  • Toast the oats in butter for a few minutes. You’ll do this first before adding the water. It brings great flavor to the grains and floods your kitchen with an incredible smell.
  • Add the water (less than typical oatmeal). Less liquid makes for chewier oats.
  • Turn off the heat and allow to stand. Nope, no need to stir with this method! This solidifies the chewy texture — and gives you time to prep the toppings.
Savory oatmeal recipes

Best savory oatmeal toppings

You can simply make a pot of oatmeal and stop there. In fact, the way I eat my savory oatmeal on the daily? Oatmeal and peanut butter. (That’s it: no added sugar!) But for this savory oatmeal, we wanted to make it a colorful, beautiful bowl with a few veggies. Here’s the toppings we liked best, and a few other topping ideas:

  • Fried egg: The egg is required in our minds! It makes a lovely sauce to cover the bowl, and adds protein. But want to make vegan savory oatmeal? Skip it and see below for more details.
  • Sauteed greens: Saute greens with garlic and you’ve got an incredible savory topping! Our favorite is Tuscan kale: but you can use spinach, chard or even Collard greens (but cook them a little longer than specified until tender).
  • Tomatoes: Mix them with a hint of balsamic vinegar to make them pop!
  • Green onion: Green onion adds a lovely delicate onion flavor as a garnish, but it’s optional.
  • Parmesan cheese: Another optional topping: but a few spinkles of shredded cheese takes it over the top.

More topping ideas!

Savory oatmeal is a place where you can use your creativity and utilize whatever you have on hand in your fridge and pantry! Here are some ideas that come to mind:

Savory oatmeal

How to fry an egg for savory oatmeal

One skill you’ll need for this savory oatmeal: how to fry an egg perfectly! It’s not hard, but requires a bit of finesse. We like them best over easy here, so the yolk spills out and makes a savory sauce. But you can cook the yolk too if you prefer! Here’s what to know:

  • Use medium low heat. It’s easy to over cook, so watch the heat! Butter has the best flavor; but you can sub olive oil if desired. Heat the butter over medium low heat. Then add the eggs and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds black pepper. 
  • Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the whites are firm but the yolk is runny. Don’t flip them!
  • Or cook longer for a harder yolk. If you prefer over easy, medium, or hard, flip the egg and cook an additional 20 seconds, 1 minute, or 2 minutes, respectively. 
Savory breakfast

This recipe serves 2 large or 4 small

One note on serving sizes! This savory oatmeal recipe makes 4 cups of cooked oatmeal. Depending on what you’re looking for, this can be either 2 large or 4 small servings.

  • 1 cup cooked oatmeal is the standard serving size, but you may want a more filling breakfast. Typically we like a little more than 1 cup. But this recipe has toppings so it’s pretty filling.
  • For 4, just cook 4 eggs! Then divide the veg between the servings.

Vegan variation

Are you looking for vegan savory oatmeal instead? The egg is not required. Here are some ideas for adding plant-based protein to savory oatmeal:

Savory oatmeal recipes

More savory breakfast ideas

Need more savory breakfast ideas? We’ve got your back. Here are a few ideas we love:

This savory oatmeal recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, see the section above.

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Savory oatmeal recipes

Easy Savory Oatmeal


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 large or 4 small servings
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Savory oatmeal is an ideal savory breakfast idea! It’s wholesome, delicious and easy to make, topped with a fried egg and veggies. See vegan savory oatmeal ideas in the section above (scroll up).


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • 2 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats (do not use instant oats or steel cut oats)*
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale (or 8 cups chopped spinach or chard, or baby greens)*
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 avocado. chopped (optional)
  • 2 eggs**
  • For the garnish: Thinly sliced green onion, Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the oatmeal: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the oats and toast for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant. Add 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour in the water, adding the lid immediately since the water will spit. Give the pan a swirl. Allow to sit for 7 minutes.
  2. Saute the kale: Meanwhile, wash and dry the kale leaves, then destem and roughly chop the kale. Smash and peel the garlic clove. Add the olive oil to a large nonstick or cast iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the smashed garlic and kale and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently until wilted and bright green. Remove from the heat and add 2 pinches kosher salt and several grinds of fresh ground pepper. Discard the garlic cloves and set aside.
  3. Prep the veggies: Slice the cherry tomatoes. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 pinch kosher salt. If using, chop the avocado and slice the green onions
  4. Cook the eggs: In a large cast iron or non-stick skillet, melt the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter over medium low heat until starting to foam. Add the eggs and sprinkle with 1 pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds black pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the whites are firm (do not flip). If you prefer over easy, medium, or hard, flip the egg and cook an additional 20 seconds, 1 minute, or 2 minutes, respectively. 
  5. Serve: Place the oatmeal in bowls. Top with the sautéed kale, eggs, tomatoes, eggs, and avocado (if using). Garnish with thinly sliced green onions and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese (optional).

Notes

*We recommend Tuscan kale, a variety of kale that is dark green with flat leaves and a mild flavor. Curly kale is spicier and more bitter. But you can use it if that’s all you can find! 

**You can stretch this recipe to feed 4 easily! Just make 4 eggs. The oatmeal quantity makes 4 cups cooked, enough for 4 small servings or 2 large.  

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Oats

Keywords: Savory oatmeal, savory oatmeal recipes

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

The Ultimate Taco Salad

Here’s the tastiest taco salad recipe: a healthy and easy dinner everyone loves — and customizable for any diet! Don’t miss this hack for a quick salad dressing. Here’s an easy dinner recipe that seems to please just about everyone: Taco Salad! This Tex-Mex salad has been impressing for decades, and it gives us all the 1990’s nostalgic vibes. Here’s why we love this concept: it’s customizable for any eater and easy to scale up for a crowd. In fact, my mother in law often whips this up to feed anywhere from 4 to 20 people, all with different diets. Here are the tricks to how to make the best taco salad…that’s pretty darn healthy, too! Essential ingredients in the best taco salad recipe There are many ways to make a taco salad; it’s more of a concept than an exact recipe. The original idea is Tex-Mex in origin and started back in the 1960’s. Here we’ll cover all the essential parts of a taco salad, then you can customize it to your heart’s content! With that in mind, here are the essential ingredients in a taco salad recipe: Taco meat: To fit many diets, try either this killer vegan […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s the tastiest taco salad recipe: a healthy and easy dinner everyone loves — and customizable for any diet! Don’t miss this hack for a quick salad dressing.

Taco salad

Here’s an easy dinner recipe that seems to please just about everyone: Taco Salad! This Tex-Mex salad has been impressing for decades, and it gives us all the 1990’s nostalgic vibes. Here’s why we love this concept: it’s customizable for any eater and easy to scale up for a crowd. In fact, my mother in law often whips this up to feed anywhere from 4 to 20 people, all with different diets. Here are the tricks to how to make the best taco salad…that’s pretty darn healthy, too!

Essential ingredients in the best taco salad recipe

There are many ways to make a taco salad; it’s more of a concept than an exact recipe. The original idea is Tex-Mex in origin and started back in the 1960’s. Here we’ll cover all the essential parts of a taco salad, then you can customize it to your heart’s content! With that in mind, here are the essential ingredients in a taco salad recipe:

  1. Taco meat: To fit many diets, try either this killer vegan taco meat or traditional ground beef.
  2. Taco salad dressing: There’s a secret to the easiest dressing…scroll down.
  3. Veggies: You’ve got to have romaine lettuce, canned corn, and either tomatoes or pico de gallo.
  4. Optional toppers: Beans, cheese, avocado, etc are all optional
  5. Tortilla chips: Chips are absolutely required for a taco salad recipe: both for the crunch and the corn flavor. Do not omit!
Taco salad recipe

For the taco meat: use vegan or ground beef!

This taco salad recipe is flexible enough to feed any eater. Around here we eat a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes. But when we serve a crowd, we want a concept that works for everyone. This recipe is a classic taco salad, vegan taco salad, and healthy taco salad: all in one! That, in our minds, makes this one stellar meal worth putting in your regular rotation. Here are the two types of taco meat to use, vegan or classic:

  • Walnut taco meat is incredibly delicious. No judgement zone, here. This walnut taco meat might be a little different, but it receives rave reviews from meat eaters and vegetarians alike! Walnuts, mushrooms and spices make a texture that’s incredibly similar to real meat. (Promise. Try it!)
  • Or, use ground beef. The recipe below has instructions for how to cook the ground beef. In fact, you’ll use the exact same spices as the meatless taco meat.
Vegan Taco Meat | Walnut taco meat
Walnut taco meat is surprisingly delicious. But feel free to go classic!

Taco salad dressing: a quick and easy hack!

Our other favorite thing about this taco salad recipe: the dressing! Why make a fancy dressing when you can mix together a few fridge staples? Here’s what to mix together for this taco salad dressing:

  • Red salsa
  • Greek yogurt (or purchased vegan yogurt)
  • Sour cream (skip or use vegan mayo)
  • Hot sauce

The sour cream adds a needed richness to the Greek yogurt, making a creamy, zingy dressing that takes no time at all to put together! You can also use mayo if you prefer. For vegan or dairy free, just use purchased vegan versions of these dairy products. You can also try our Cilantro Sauce or Chipotle Sauce. But this dressing is so tasty…essentially what we put on our taco salad anyway, but better.

Taco salad dressing

Taco salad toppings

Once you’ve got the taco meat and dressing, it’s on to the toppings! There are some taco salad toppings that we believe are required, and then lots of optional ideas. We’ll start with what we think is absolutely required, then mention a few other ways to customize it:

  • Romaine hearts: Required! We like crunchy romaine hearts if you can find them, but you can also use a romaine lettuce head and make sure to mix in those crunchy inner leaves.
  • Canned corn: Something about the canned corn just makes it right. Trust us.
  • Organic corn chips: Chips are 100% required for crunch and flavor. For a healthy taco salad, look for organic corn chips that have only 3 ingredients: corn, oil, and salt! Check the back of the package when you’re shopping.
  • Tomatoes or pico de gallo: A tomato element is also required: chopped tomatoes or pico.
  • Avocado or guacamole: Use whatever you prefer. This starts to get into optional territory.
  • Other ideas: The sky’s the limit! Try our easy black beans, refried beans, or shredded cheddar cheese. Also add a zing with hot sauce, taco sauce or pickled jalapenos!

Make it a meal!

Taco salad is a complete meal in itself: the original bowl meal! But you may want to add a few sides if you’re entertaining or serving a larger crowd. Here are some ideas:

And that’s it! Let us know if you try it…especially that vegan taco meat (wondering what you’ll think!).

Taco salad

More Tex Mex recipes

Love Tex Mex cuisine? Here are a few more stand-out recipes you’d love:

This taco salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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The Ultimate Taco Salad


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s the tastiest taco salad recipe: a fast and easy dinner everyone loves — and totally customizable for any diet! Don’t miss this hack for a quick salad dressing. 


Ingredients

For the taco salad

  • 1 recipe Vegan Walnut Taco Meat or 1 pound ground beef
  • 3 romaine lettuce hearts (enough for 8 cups chopped)
  • 1 cup canned corn, drained
  • 1 handful ripe cherry tomatoes or pico de gallo (purchased or homemade)
  • 1 ripe avocado or 1 cup guacamole
  • 2 handfuls finely chopped red onion or thinly sliced green onion, or both
  • Crushed tortilla chips (about 1 handful per serving)
  • Optional toppings: Easy black beans or refried beans, shredded Colby jack or cheddar cheese, taco sauce, or pickled jalapenos or pickled onions

For the dressing (or use Cilantro Sauce or Chipotle Sauce)

  • 1/2 cup red salsa (mild or medium)
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (for vegan, substitute purchased vegan yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or mayonnaise; for vegan, omit or add more yogurt to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 pinches kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Make the Walnut Taco Meat. Or if using ground beef, add it to a skillet with 1 tablespoon cumin and 1 teaspoon each smoked paprika (or chili powder), onion powder, and garlic powder. Cook for about 8 minutes until browned, then drain the fat. 
  2. Chop the romaine, drain the corn, half the tomatoes and dice the avocado. Thinly slice the onion. Prep any additional toppings. 
  3. Make the taco salad dressing by stirring together all ingredients. 
  4. To serve, place romaine in a bowl or on a plate. Top with veggies, taco meat, crushed tortilla chips, and drizzle with taco salad dressing. 
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex

Keywords: Taco salad, Taco salad recipe, Healthy taco salad

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

These cozy banana oatmeal muffins are easy to whip up in a blender! Add streusel for a sweet crunch, or go healthy with a sprinkle of oats. Got a few spotty bananas on hand? Try these cozy Banana Oatmeal Muffins! These tasty muffins are beautifully fluffy and moist, perfect for using up this tasty fruit. Even better: they’re mostly made with whole grain oats! There’s a bit of flour to give it a light body, but these muffins are almost just as a bowl of oatmeal. Top them with a light streusel topping and they’re a tasty treat that works any time of the day. Here’s how to make them! Banana oatmeal muffins…made in a blender! These banana oatmeal muffins are so cozy and easy to whip up! The key: they’re made in a blender! It blends the oats into a fine flour, and makes it easy to put together the dough. There are no mixing bowls needed! Here’s what to know about this type of muffin: Use the ripest bananas you can. Bananas make magic when they’re brown and spotty. The riper the better, here! You’ll get a beautifully banana-scented flavor and the best sweetness. A quality blender makes […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

These cozy banana oatmeal muffins are easy to whip up in a blender! Add streusel for a sweet crunch, or go healthy with a sprinkle of oats.

Banana oatmeal muffins

Got a few spotty bananas on hand? Try these cozy Banana Oatmeal Muffins! These tasty muffins are beautifully fluffy and moist, perfect for using up this tasty fruit. Even better: they’re mostly made with whole grain oats! There’s a bit of flour to give it a light body, but these muffins are almost just as a bowl of oatmeal. Top them with a light streusel topping and they’re a tasty treat that works any time of the day. Here’s how to make them!

Banana oatmeal muffins…made in a blender!

These banana oatmeal muffins are so cozy and easy to whip up! The key: they’re made in a blender! It blends the oats into a fine flour, and makes it easy to put together the dough. There are no mixing bowls needed! Here’s what to know about this type of muffin:

  • Use the ripest bananas you can. Bananas make magic when they’re brown and spotty. The riper the better, here! You’ll get a beautifully banana-scented flavor and the best sweetness.
  • A quality blender makes easy work of it. A high speed blender is best: but these work in even the slowest of blenders. It just takes a while longer!
  • Don’t over-blend. Whiz just until the ingredients come together into a smooth dough.
Banana oatmeal muffins

Add streusel topping or an alternative for healthy banana muffins

The fun part about these banana oatmeal muffins? They have a crunchy, sweet streusel topping! It adds just the right sweetness to every muffin bite. But if you want an even healthier banana oatmeal muffins? Here’s an alternative:

  • The streusel blends butter, oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon. Mix them together with a fork until crumbly. You can also use coconut oil as a vegan option.
  • Turbinado sugar makes the crunchiest topping. Turbinado sugar is raw sugar with large, light brown crystals. It makes a great crunchy texture on top. Use brown sugar as a substitute if desired.
  • For healthy banana oatmeal muffins, use just oats and sugar. Roughly chop the oats with a knife. Then sprinkle both raw oats and turbinado sugar or brown sugar on top. It’s easier and healthier!
Healthy banana oatmeal muffins

Variations and mix-ins!

There are lots of great mix-ins for banana oatmeal muffins! Of course if you’re looking for a healthy banana muffin, stick with them as is. But to mix it up, try these variations:

  • Blueberry banana muffins: Fold 1 cup blueberries into the batter before baking.
  • Banana chocolate chip muffins: Add 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips to the batter.
  • Banana walnut muffins: Add 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts to the batter.

Storage info for banana oatmeal muffins

What’s the best way to store banana oatmeal muffins? These muffins have special storage instructions because of the crunchy topping. Here’s what to know:

  • Store at room temperature 4 days with a paper towel, or lightly covered with foil. If you store in a sealed container, the topping can become very soft. Instead, add a paper towel to the container to absorb excess moisture. Or simply cover the top of the container with foil.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months. These banana oatmeal muffins freeze well. The topping may not have quite the same texture after freezing, but they’re still delicious. The oat and sugar topping may do better after freezing.
Banana oatmeal muffins

More banana muffins

Looking for more options? We’ve got lots to choose from. Banana muffins are somewhat of a hobby around here! Here are our top muffin recipes starring banana:

This banana oatmeal muffins recipe is…

Vegetarian, plant-based, vegan, and dairy-free. For gluten free, go to Gluten Free Banana Muffins.

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Banana Oatmeal Muffins


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 10 muffins
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These cozy banana oatmeal muffins are easy to whip up in a blender! Add streusel for a sweet crunch, or go healthy with a sprinkle of oats.


Ingredients

For the batter

  • 3 large ripe bananas (broken into pieces)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil
  • 1 egg (or flax egg for vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or 1/2 tablespoon almond extract)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (for gluten free, go to Blender Muffins)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the streusel topping (or use 3 tablespoons roughly chopped oats & 2 tablespoons turbinado or brown sugar)

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter (or coconut oil for vegan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Mix the streusel topping ingredients, with the butter cut into small pieces, in a small bowl with a fork until crumbly. Or, mix the optional chopped oats and brown sugar. Set aside.
  3. Combine all the batter ingredients in blender and blend until a smooth batter forms (don’t over blend). Pour into 10 muffin cups. Crumble a bit of the streusel topping onto each muffin.
  4. Bake 25 to 28 minutes until a toothpick comes out mostly clean with a few clinging crumbs. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins and place them on a cooling rack. Cool 1 hour until room temperature. Store up to 4 days in a sealed container with a paper towel inside (to keep the topping crumbly) or frozen up to 3 months. You can also refrigerate the muffins, but they can become dry and the topping becomes soft. 
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Muffins

Keywords: Banana oatmeal muffins

More banana recipes

Got bananas on hand? There’s lots more to make! Here are a few more banana recipes to try:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Best-Ever Eggplant Meatballs

This eggplant meatballs recipe is truly amazing! The purple veggie makes a surprisingly juicy texture and a delightful Italian style dinner. Ever tried making meatballs…with eggplant? We’d been hearing for years that eggplant makes great vegetarian meatballs, we just didn’t really believe it…until now. Try this amazing Eggplant Meatballs recipe! Garlic, herbs, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese make one insanely juicy and savory meatball. Roasted eggplant makes them moist and textured, vs dry or mushy like lots of vegetarian balls. Combine it with marinara sauce and it’s out of this world delicious. In fact, we took one bite and yelled “Wow!” (True story.) Ingredients for eggplant meatballs It’s a short ingredient list here! All you’ll need to make eggplant meatballs is the following: Eggplant: you’ll need 2 pounds; 3 medium or 2 large (it’s helpful to weigh out exactly at the store! Garlic Jarred sundried tomatoes Italian panko: Panko are large, fluffy breadcrumbs. You’ll need to locate the Italian version, which has added salt and herbs. See below for more! Grated Parmesan cheese: Make sure it’s the powdery stuff: not shredded, which looks like little sticks! Salt and pepper What’s Italian panko? Is there a substitute? Panko is a flaky bread […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This eggplant meatballs recipe is truly amazing! The purple veggie makes a surprisingly juicy texture and a delightful Italian style dinner.

Eggplant meatballs

Ever tried making meatballs…with eggplant? We’d been hearing for years that eggplant makes great vegetarian meatballs, we just didn’t really believe it…until now. Try this amazing Eggplant Meatballs recipe! Garlic, herbs, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese make one insanely juicy and savory meatball. Roasted eggplant makes them moist and textured, vs dry or mushy like lots of vegetarian balls. Combine it with marinara sauce and it’s out of this world delicious. In fact, we took one bite and yelled “Wow!” (True story.)

Ingredients for eggplant meatballs

It’s a short ingredient list here! All you’ll need to make eggplant meatballs is the following:

  • Eggplant: you’ll need 2 pounds; 3 medium or 2 large (it’s helpful to weigh out exactly at the store!
  • Garlic
  • Jarred sundried tomatoes
  • Italian panko: Panko are large, fluffy breadcrumbs. You’ll need to locate the Italian version, which has added salt and herbs. See below for more!
  • Grated Parmesan cheese: Make sure it’s the powdery stuff: not shredded, which looks like little sticks!
  • Salt and pepper
Eggplant meatballs recipe

What’s Italian panko? Is there a substitute?

Panko is a flaky bread crumb mixture used in Japanese cooking for fried foods. It’s also made its way into international cooking because it’s the perfect breading and frying. Italian panko are made with seasonings and salt. Panko is available in most grocery stores and online. You can also find gluten-free panko or Italian panko online, to make this a gluten free recipe! If you can’t find Italian panko, here’s what to do:

  • Use regular panko and add salt and Italian seasonings. See the recipe below for quantities.
  • Look for coarse breadcrumbs instead, or make them! Some purchased breadcrumbs have very fine texture, which isn’t as ideal (but you can still use them). Italian breadcrumbs have the salt and herbs added, so they are a good substitute. If all you can find is plain, use the salt and herbs from the recipe below as well.
Eggplant meatballs

Roast the eggplant small diced, skin on (here’s why!)

The key to these eggplant meatballs is this. Roast the eggplant chopped very small, then mash it with a potato masher before forming the balls. Here’s why:

  • Roasting with the eggplant skin on makes the very best juicy, meaty texture that’s incredibly satisfying. You’ll have some chunks in the meatballs: but that’s good!
  • Using a food processor or blender or removing the eggplant skin makes a texture that’s gooey rather than meaty: not nearly as delicious. Speaking of…

A few tips on forming eggplant meatballs

These eggplant meatballs have lots of texture to the dough, which can make forming them a little different than say, falafel. Here are a few tips on the forming process:

  • Include the eggplant skin right into the the balls: try to evenly disperse them throughout each meatball.
  • You can also discard a few of the skin pieces if it’s hard to form the balls. But again, the skins and chewy parts are what you need for a meaty, interesting texture: so don’t worry that it’s not a smooth dough!
Eggplant meatballs recipe

You’ll need about 1 hour: or they’re great for make-ahead!

Keep in mind: in total, this eggplant meatballs recipe takes about 1 hour to make. We’re obsessed with fast and easy recipes around here, as you may know. But guess what: this recipe is so good, it’s absolutely worth the 1 hour prep time! Here’s what to know about planning and meal prep to make it fit into your lifestyle:

  • Eggplant meatballs save very well: you can refrigerate or freeze! If you can make them ahead, it makes dinner time a breeze! Store them refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months, stored in a single layer in a freezer safe container.
  • To reheat, simply warm them in a skillet with marinara. That’s it! So easy.
  • Or, make them on a weekend or when time allows. If you have the time, it’s a perfect recipe for a Saturday or Sunday dinner.

Make it a meal: main dish, pasta, and more!

Take one bite of these eggplant meatballs and you’ll be amazed by the amount of flavor going on with these babies. Don’t even think of them as a vegetarian meatball: they’re just DELICIOUS. Now, you don’t need to serve them with pasta: but you can. The only thing that’s required is the marinara sauce (use your favorite jar). Here are a few ways you can eat these eggplant meatballs:

How would you serve them? Let us know in the comments below!

Eggplant meatballs

This eggplant meatballs recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free panko.

Print
Eggplant meatballs

Best-Ever Eggplant Meatballs


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 20 meatballs (4 servings)
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This eggplant meatballs recipe is truly amazing! The purple veggie makes a surprisingly juicy texture and a delightful Italian style dinner.


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 pounds eggplant (3 medium or 2 large, about 12 cups diced into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon jarred sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups Italian panko (use gluten free as needed)*
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not shredded)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For serving, 1 large jar marinara sauce, 8 to 12 ounces spaghetti or bucatini pasta or zucchini noodles

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch chunks by slicing 1/2-inch rings and then cutting the rings into cubes. The size of dice is important for the final texture! (If you weren’t able to weigh the eggplant, measure out 12 cups 1/2-inch diced). 
  3. In a large bowl, quickly mix the eggplant with olive oil and kosher salt (the eggplant soaks up the oil in an instant, so mix as soon as you add it!). Pour the eggplant onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread it into an even layer.
  4. Roast for 25 minutes, then stir and roast 10 minutes more until browned and very tender. Remove and reduce the oven heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  5. Add the warm eggplant to a bowl and mash it with a potato masher until chunky and mostly mashed. Stir in the minced garlic, finely chopped sundried tomatoes, Italian panko and grated Parmesan cheese. Taste and add any salt to taste (we added only 1 pinch; remember that the marinara sauce will also add flavor after baking).
  6. Use your hands to form the dough into 20 balls. You’ll include the eggplant skin right into the the balls: try to evenly disperse them throughout each meatball.  You can also discard a few of the skins if it’s hard to form the balls. But the skins and chewy parts are what you need for a meaty, interesting texture: so don’t worry that it’s not a smooth dough! See the photos above. 
  7. Place the meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 18 to 20 minutes until lightly browned on top and very browned on the bottom. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, or longer if desired (the balls will firm up). At this point, you can serve immediately, refrigerate for 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months (in a single layer in a freezer safe container). While the meatballs bake, you can boil the pasta or prep the zucchini noodles. 
  8. To serve, add the marinara sauce to a skillet and add the meatballs in a single layer. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes until warmed. Serve over the noodles, then top with grated Parmesan cheese (and chopped fresh basil, if desired). You can also serve as a vegetarian main dish with a few sides, like broccoli and couscous, rice or quinoa.

Notes

*We recommend Italian panko for the best results. If all you can find is regular panko, use 1 1/4 cups regular panko, mixed with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (or 1 tablespoon dried oregano and 1/2 tablespoon each dried basil and thyme). If you can’t find panko at all, you can substitute coarse breadcrumbs — the texture of store-bought is very fine, so chunkier homemade breadcrumbs are ideal (but you can use either). Italian breadcrumbs work in a pinch; adjust the salt to taste. If you eat gluten-free, you can find gluten-free panko online.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired

Keywords: Eggplant meatballs, eggplant meatballs recipe

More eggplant recipes

Eggplant is one unexpectedly delicious vegetable, when you cook it correctly! Here are some more eggplant recipes to try:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

These peanut butter oatmeal bars are the best trick! They’re no bake, easy and healthy; and the flavor is out of this world. Here’s our new favorite trick for healthy treats: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars! These are everything you want in a treat: irresistible sweet peanut-y flavor, chewy texture, and a little drizzle of chocolate on top! These no bake oatmeal bars are like our famous bliss bite cookies, but easier and healthier (if that’s possible). And we can’t get enough of them! Our son Larson often asks with a sly smile if he can have an oatmeal bar: and we’re happy to indulge him. This sweet treat optimizes whole grain oats while hitting it big in the sweet, salty and satisfying department. Let’s get cooking! Though really…there’s no real cooking involved. Ingredients for peanut butter oatmeal bars There are only 5 ingredients you’ll need for these peanut butter oatmeal bars…and two are in the recipe title! That’s the ultimate easy recipe, right there. We love these no bake oatmeal bars for treats, but they’re also great for snacks since they’re mostly just whole grain oats. For breakfast bars, we prefer our straight up Oatmeal Bars: but you could also […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

These peanut butter oatmeal bars are the best trick! They’re no bake, easy and healthy; and the flavor is out of this world.

Peanut butter oatmeal bars

Here’s our new favorite trick for healthy treats: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars! These are everything you want in a treat: irresistible sweet peanut-y flavor, chewy texture, and a little drizzle of chocolate on top! These no bake oatmeal bars are like our famous bliss bite cookies, but easier and healthier (if that’s possible). And we can’t get enough of them! Our son Larson often asks with a sly smile if he can have an oatmeal bar: and we’re happy to indulge him. This sweet treat optimizes whole grain oats while hitting it big in the sweet, salty and satisfying department. Let’s get cooking! Though really…there’s no real cooking involved.

Ingredients for peanut butter oatmeal bars

There are only 5 ingredients you’ll need for these peanut butter oatmeal bars…and two are in the recipe title! That’s the ultimate easy recipe, right there. We love these no bake oatmeal bars for treats, but they’re also great for snacks since they’re mostly just whole grain oats. For breakfast bars, we prefer our straight up Oatmeal Bars: but you could also eat these for breakfast as well. Here’s what you’ll need for these babies:

  • Old Fashioned rolled oats: Use plain old oats here: not steel cut or instant oats!
  • Peanut butter: We like natural peanut butter with no added sugar or salt, but use your favorite brand.
  • Honey: Honey has the best warm flavor and sticky texture. See below for a few vegan options!
  • Cinnamon: This spice adds just the right nuance.
  • Dark chocolate: All you need is a 1 ounce of dark chocolate — it’s just a hint of the good stuff!
Peanut butter oatmeal bars

Chocolate drizzle is optional

The dark chocolate is optional here: but it’s a great addition! Just the small amount of chocolate adds a great punch, but still keeps the treats on the healthy side. How?

  • Dark chocolate adds just 8 calories per bar! That’s for the large sized bar (see more on that below). We’re not in the habit of counting calories, but we were pleasantly surprised to note that the drizzle doesn’t take it into decadent territory.
  • Also try milk chocolate, peanut butter, or white chocolate. Some variations? Melt semi-sweet chocolate, peanut butter chips, or white chocolate chips into a drizzle. White chocolate and dark chocolate together would also look lovely.

Cut them into large or small servings

Serving size is helpful when you’re looking at healthy treats! These peanut butter oatmeal bars have two size options depending on what you’re looking for:

  • Cut them into 20 bars, 4 x 5-inches. We like small rectangles vs the standard large squares you get if you simply divide a 9 x 9 pan evenly into 16. Call us crazy, but it’s more fun to eat this size!
  • Or go smaller: cut those in half to make 40 bars! Love curbing a sweets craving with a little morsel? Go for 40 small bars: they’re perfect for little nibbles.
No bake peanut butter oatmeal bars

Vegan no bake oatmeal bars

Want to make vegan peanut butter oatmeal bars instead? The honey in this recipe is important for creating a nuanced, warm flavor and the sticky texture. Typically we use maple syrup as a vegan sweetener, but it doesn’t have quite the same texture and sweetness here. We recommend using agave syrup: it’s slightly stickier than maple. But you can use maple syrup if it’s all you have!

How to store peanut butter oatmeal bars

These peanut butter oatmeal bars are the perfect treat to throw in the fridge and gobble up on moments notice! They keep very well in the fridge or freezer; here’s what to know:

  • Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you do the drizzle, wait for it to dry, then place wax paper between the layers. Or just don’t care and stack them, like we do!
  • Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. They also freeze well…and honestly taste great popped out of the freezer too.
No bake oatmeal bars

More healthy bars

We love these healthy bars as a sweet treat that’s not decadent and fills us up with whole grains! Here are a few more healthy bars that taste amazing:

This peanut butter oatmeal bars recipe is…

Vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free. For vegan and plant-based, see the notes above.

Print
Peanut butter oatmeal bars

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 20 bars (or 40 small bars)
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These peanut butter oatmeal bars are the best trick! They’re no bake, easy and healthy; and the flavor is out of this world.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (no sugar added, or sunflower butter for nut free)
  • 1/2 cup honey (or 1/2 cup agave syrup* for vegan)
  • 4 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate (2 large squares)

Instructions

  1. Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl. Add a sheet of parchment paper to a 9 x 9 pan. Place the ingredients in the pan and press it into an even layer. Use a small glass to roll over the top to get it smooth. 
  2. Freeze the bars for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the freezer and use the parchment to lift it out of the pan. Cut into 20 rectangles (4 x 5 inches) or 40 small rectangles.
  3. In the microwave with short intervals or over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, stirring until they come together into a glossy chocolate. If using the microwave, use short bursts of 10 seconds or so and stir after each: be careful not to overheat the chocolate or get any water in the chocolate, which will cause it to seize up. When melted, drizzle over the bars and allow to cool.  You can eat right away, or refrigerate for about 1 hour for a more solid texture. Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks (or frozen for several months, placing wax paper between the layers). 

Notes

*Maple syrup is generally our sweetener of choice, but the flavor and texture of honey really make these bars. Since maple syrup is not as sticky as honey, for vegan substitute we recommend agave syrup. 

  • Category: Dessert or Snack
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: Peanut butter oatmeal bars, No bake oatmeal bars, Healthy bars

More with peanut butter

Who doesn’t love nutty peanut butter? There’s nothing it doesn’t make better. Here are a few more peanut butter recipes to enjoy:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Easy Tofu Tacos

This tofu tacos recipe is what easy dinners are made of! The filling is spiced to perfection, making it a vegan meal everyone will love. Here’s a fast and easy dinner that went over like a charm over here: Tofu Tacos! While it’s not typically served in a tortilla, tofu is ideal for tacos. Its neutral flavor takes on whatever flavors you season it with: and these tofu crumbles are quite the kitchen trick. Add cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and smoked paprika, and the filling is bursting with flavor! You can whip up these easy tacos in just 20 minutes, making them ideal for weeknight meals. Wait: you can make a block of rubbery white tofu into the best vegan tacos filling? Here’s how. First off: is tofu healthy? There’s a lot of misinformation related to the health benefits of this soy product, so we get this question a lot. Here’s the thing: Tofu in moderation is part of a healthy diet (several times per week). Per to the Harvard School of Nutrition, soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week. It’s likely to provide health benefits, especially when you eat it as an […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This tofu tacos recipe is what easy dinners are made of! The filling is spiced to perfection, making it a vegan meal everyone will love.

Tofu Tacos

Here’s a fast and easy dinner that went over like a charm over here: Tofu Tacos! While it’s not typically served in a tortilla, tofu is ideal for tacos. Its neutral flavor takes on whatever flavors you season it with: and these tofu crumbles are quite the kitchen trick. Add cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and smoked paprika, and the filling is bursting with flavor! You can whip up these easy tacos in just 20 minutes, making them ideal for weeknight meals. Wait: you can make a block of rubbery white tofu into the best vegan tacos filling? Here’s how.

First off: is tofu healthy?

There’s a lot of misinformation related to the health benefits of this soy product, so we get this question a lot. Here’s the thing: Tofu in moderation is part of a healthy diet (several times per week). Per to the Harvard School of Nutrition, soy is a nutrient-dense source of protein that can safely be consumed several times a week. It’s likely to provide health benefits, especially when you eat it as an alternative to red meat and processed meat. For more, go to Straight Talk About Soy and Is Tofu Good for You?

Here at A Couple Cooks, for years we avoided tofu though we ate mostly vegetarian and vegan recipes. The past few years we’ve come around to it as a delicious and easy to prepare vegan protein! We just didn’t know the best ways to prepare it. Speaking of, here’s one of our new favorites…

Tofu Tacos recipe

How to turn a block into tofu tacos filling

Yes, it’s easier than you think to make a flavorless block of pressed soy into a delicious tofu tacos filling! The secret: tofu crumbles. You’ll break the tofu into smaller irregular shaped pieces, then mix it with delicious seasonings. Here’s what to do:

  • Crumble the tofu with your fingers. Yep, throw it right into a bowl and crumble it up! It’s usually pretty cold at this point (since it’s refrigerated), so you’ll have to grin and bear it.
  • Add olive oil and the secret spices. In this case, that’s cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and smoked paprika.
  • Cook in a skillet for 8 to 10 minutes. You’ll want it to be just browned and becoming lightly crisp on the outsides.

The easiest taco toppings

To keep these as a quick and easy dinner recipe, we went for the simplest toppings imaginable. Of course, you can customize them as you’d like! Here’s what we do when we’re in a rush:

  • Sliced red cabbage with lime: Thinly slice it, then spritz with lime juice and add a few pinches salt. You don’t even need to measure!
  • Pico de gallo: Get store-bought for the quickest prep.
  • Torn cilantro: No need to chop: just tear it with your fingers.
  • Yogurt mixed with hot sauce: This is our other favorite taco sauce trick! Take some vegan yogurt and swirl it with Mexican hot sauce (we like Cholula). It makes an instant creamy, spicy sauce. You can also use storebought salsa or taco sauce (or make homemade).
Tofu tacos filling

More tofu tacos topping ideas

The toppings listed above are the quickest and easiest: and usually they’re all we need! But if you want to get fancier, we’ve got lots of great options. Here are some fun tacos fillings ideas:

Tip: warm your tortillas

Here’s our biggest tip for tofu tacos, or tacos of any kind: warm your tortillas! There’s nothing worse than a taco with a tough, cold tortilla. Here’s how to warm tortillas like a pro:

  • Place them over the flame of a gas burner (preferred!). The best way? Place each tortilla directly on a gas burner for a few seconds per side. It lightly chars the edges and warms the tortillas. Then throw them into a tortilla warmer!
  • Or, warm them in the oven. If you don’t have a gas burner, you can warm them in the oven. Go to How to Warm Tortillas.
Tofu tacos

More great tofu recipes

There are so many great recipe to make with tofu! As I mentioned above, we used to avoid tofu but now we like including it as part of a healthy vegetarian and vegan diet! Now that we know the best ways to prepare it, we always look forward to including it in weekly meals. How about you: are you a tofu convert too? Have you always loved this tasty soy protein?

Here are a few more great tofu recipes we’d recommend in addition to these tofu tacos:

This tofu tacos recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Print
Tofu Tacos

Easy Tofu Tacos


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This tofu tacos recipe is what easy dinners are made of! The filling is spiced to perfection, making it a vegan meal everyone will love. 


Ingredients

For the tofu

  • 12 to 14-ounce block extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

For the tacos

  • 2 cups red cabbage
  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, torn
  • Pico de gallo (purchased or homemade)
  • Vegan yogurt (or regular), mixed with salt and Mexican hot sauce to taste (we like Cholula brand)

Instructions

  1. Make the tofu crumbles: Drain the tofu container, then pat the tofu dry with a clean dish towel. Place the tofu in a large bowl and use your fingers to break the tofu into roughly bite-sized crumbles. (It might be a little cold on your hands: don’t worry, it should only take a few seconds!). Stir in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and spices.
  2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the tofu and cook on medium high for 8 to 10 minutes, breaking up large pieces into bite sized chunks and stirring occasionally, until browned and lightly crispy and the liquid evaporates. (The exact timing depends on the tofu brand.)
  3. Assemble the toppings: Thinly slice the red cabbage, and place it in a bowl. Spritz with the juice of 2 lime wedges and add a few pinches kosher salt. Mix the vegan yogurt with Mexican hot sauce to taste, and add a few pinches of salt. 
  4. Warm the tortillas: Warm and char the tortillas by placing them on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. (See How to Warm Tortillas.)
  5. Serve: Place the tofu crumbles in the tortillas, then top with toppings and enjoy. 
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired

Keywords: Tofu tacos

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Grape Smoothie

This grape smoothie recipe is tangy sweet with just 4 ingredients! It’s an easy breakfast or snack that’s a great use for frozen grapes. On our way to making smoothie recipes with all the fruits and vegetables, we met a smoothie that surprised us. This weirdly delicious Grape Smoothie! The flavor is such a pop of sweet tart and delicious, you might not believe it on first sip. Who knew frozen grapes were the key to the tastiest of all smoothies? Consider us impressed. This one stood out to us in our list of 30+ smoothies as a simple, easy and healthy way to feel like you’re eating a treat. Here’s what you need to know to make it! Ingredients in a grape smoothie This grape smoothie is ultra simple: in fact, it’s got one of the shortest ingredient lists for any of our smoothie recipes. Here’s what you need: Grapes: We prefer the sweet flavor of red grapes in this smoothie! If you have green grapes, you can certainly use them too. They’re a little more tart, so you could add a little honey or maple syrup as necessary. Banana: No need for frozen banana: use a room temperature […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This grape smoothie recipe is tangy sweet with just 4 ingredients! It’s an easy breakfast or snack that’s a great use for frozen grapes.

Grape Smoothie

On our way to making smoothie recipes with all the fruits and vegetables, we met a smoothie that surprised us. This weirdly delicious Grape Smoothie! The flavor is such a pop of sweet tart and delicious, you might not believe it on first sip. Who knew frozen grapes were the key to the tastiest of all smoothies? Consider us impressed. This one stood out to us in our list of 30+ smoothies as a simple, easy and healthy way to feel like you’re eating a treat. Here’s what you need to know to make it!

Ingredients in a grape smoothie

This grape smoothie is ultra simple: in fact, it’s got one of the shortest ingredient lists for any of our smoothie recipes. Here’s what you need:

  • Grapes: We prefer the sweet flavor of red grapes in this smoothie! If you have green grapes, you can certainly use them too. They’re a little more tart, so you could add a little honey or maple syrup as necessary.
  • Banana: No need for frozen banana: use a room temperature banana here.
  • Greek yogurt: We love adding Greek yogurt to smoothies because it’s protein packed. You can also make this smoothie vegan by simply adding more non-dairy milk.
  • Milk: You can use any type of milk you’d like here, or if you don’t stock it, substitute water.
Grape smoothie

Allow 2 hours for frozen grapes (or overnight)

Are frozen grapes good for smoothies? Yes! Frozen grapes are perfect for adding an icy texture and sweetness to smoothies. They’re a bit sweeter than frozen blueberries and strawberries, which makes them great for adding to smoothie flavors of all kinds. Add them to your next blueberry smoothie or strawberry smoothie to mix it up!

How long does it take grapes to freeze? Allow about 2 hours for grapes to freeze completely. It’s also easy to toss them into a freezer safe container and freeze overnight.

Flavor variations and add-ins!

This grape smoothie is a great canvas for adding interesting flavors to your puree. In fact, we can think of about 100 variations. Here are some favorites:

  • PB&J: Add 1 to 2 tablespoons peanut butter for a PB&J vibe
  • Vanilla: Add 1 scoop vanilla protein powder or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Berries: Substitute 1 cup frozen blueberries, raspberries or strawberries for half of the grapes
  • Mango: Substitute 1 cup frozen mango for half of the grapes
  • Pineapple: Substitute 1 cup frozen pineapple for half of the grapes
  • Coconut: Add a handful of shredded coconut or coconut milk
  • Chocolate: Add 3 tablespoons cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Grape smoothie recipe

Make it a vegan grape smoothie (& add protein!)

This grape smoothie has Greek yogurt, like many of our smoothie recipes, to load on protein and healthy probiotics. But want a vegan smoothie? Here’s what to do:

  • Use non-dairy milk for the Greek yogurt and milk (start with 3/4 cup). You don’t need Greek yogurt here: though it does add some creamy body! Use a non-dairy milk like almond milk or oat milk. Coconut milk also works, but it’s high fat: consider using just 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1/4 cup almond or oat milk.
  • Add back some protein! You’ll lose some protein from removing the yogurt. Here are some ideas for adding plant based protein to smoothies:
Grape smoothie

Smoothie storage

This grape smoothie is best right after you blend it up. But you can make smoothies in advance! Store them up to 1 day, refrigerated in a sealed container or a mason jar with the lid on. If it separates, just shake it up and you’re good to go!

This grape smoothie recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, see the substitutions listed in the recipe.

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Grape Smoothie

Grape Smoothie (4 Ingredients!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 small or 1 large
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This grape smoothie recipe is tangy sweet with just 4 ingredients! It’s an easy breakfast or snack that’s a great use for frozen grapes.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups seedless red grapes, frozen at least 2 hours or overnight
  • 1 banana (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup milk (or almond milk or oat milk)
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or 1/4 cup non-dairy milk for vegan, see below)

Instructions

  1. Before starting the recipe, remember to freeze the grapes!
  2. Place all ingredients in the blender starting with the milk and yogurt, breaking the banana into pieces. Blend until smooth, adding a splash more liquid as necessary to come to the desired consistency. 
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Smoothie

Keywords: Grape smoothie

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

25 Easy Recipes to Make in 2021

Here are the best easy recipes to make for every meal! These fast dinners, healthy lunches and quick breakfasts will get you through the day. What are the best easy recipes to make? is a question we get a lot. In fact: it’s powered much of the work we do here at A Couple Cooks! You’re busy, and you need ideas for getting food on the table…fast. Guess what? We’re there too! We may be cookbook authors, but we’re also two everyday people who need new ideas for eating healthy on the regular. Here are our top easy recipes for every meal of the day! Whether it’s fast dinners, easy lunch ideas or healthy breakfasts, we’ve got you covered! Here are our top picks from the website, listed with a few extra features: Total prep time so you know what you’re getting into. Related recipes that might strike your fancy. Now, let’s get cooking! And now…our top easy recipes for every meal! More easy recipe inspiration Didn’t find what you were looking for? We didn’t even get to side dishes, salads, snacks, and more! Here are a few more simple ideas in different categories: 15 Easy Breakfast Ideas Start the […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here are the best easy recipes to make for every meal! These fast dinners, healthy lunches and quick breakfasts will get you through the day.

Easy recipes

What are the best easy recipes to make? is a question we get a lot. In fact: it’s powered much of the work we do here at A Couple Cooks! You’re busy, and you need ideas for getting food on the table…fast. Guess what? We’re there too! We may be cookbook authors, but we’re also two everyday people who need new ideas for eating healthy on the regular.

Here are our top easy recipes for every meal of the day! Whether it’s fast dinners, easy lunch ideas or healthy breakfasts, we’ve got you covered! Here are our top picks from the website, listed with a few extra features:

  • Total prep time so you know what you’re getting into.
  • Related recipes that might strike your fancy. Now, let’s get cooking!

And now…our top easy recipes for every meal!

More easy recipe inspiration

Didn’t find what you were looking for? We didn’t even get to side dishes, salads, snacks, and more! Here are a few more simple ideas in different categories:

Print
Vegan curry

25 Easy Recipes & Quick Curry!


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This quick veggie curry recipe is full of healthy vegetables and big flavor: and it takes under 25 minutes! The perfect fast and easy recipe.


Ingredients

  • White or brown basmati rice, to serve*
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 medium bell peppers (we used 1 yellow and 1 orange)
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cups (5 ounces) baby spinach leaves (or chopped spinach)
  • 28-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (or best quality crushed tomatoes)**
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (or garam masala)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice: If serving with rice, start the basmati rice (or use an Instant Pot.)
  2. Prep the vegetables: Dice the onion and bell peppers. (For super speed, you can go to Step 3 and mince the garlic and ginger while they cook.) Mince the garlic. Peel and mince the ginger (or grate it).
  3. Saute the veggies: In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and peppers saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and spinach and saute for 2 minutes until the spinach is fully wilted.
  4. Simmer: Carefully pour in the crushed tomatoes and their juices, then add the curry powder, cumin, salt, chickpeas, peas, and coconut milk. Cook for 5 minutes until bubbly. Remove from the heat. If desired, stir in a little more coconut milk (depending on the tomato brand*). Serve with rice.

Notes

*Or make the rice in advance, which is helpful for brown rice because it takes longer to cook. To reheat the rice, place it in a pan on the stovetop and add a splash of water. Heat gently for a few minutes until the water evaporates and the rice is warmed through.

  • Category: Curry
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian inspired

Keywords: Easy recipes

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Peanut Butter Oatmeal

This peanut butter oatmeal is the ideal healthy and easy breakfast recipe starring whole grains! Here’s the trick to making it taste great. There’s no breakfast better than oatmeal, in our minds! So let us introduce you to a daily staple around here. This delicious Peanut Butter Oatmeal! Here’s the thing: oatmeal be gloppy and gooey, or under-seasoned. But cook up a pot the right way, and it tastes like a dream. Here we’re sharing our favorite method for chewy toasted oats, and there’s a peanut butter banana variation if you prefer a little natural sweetness. Plus we’ve got the all important key: when to add the peanut butter. We make this every day (no joke) and it’s incredibly filling…and satisfying. Also try: Easy Banana Oatmeal The key to peanut butter oatmeal Here’s the thing. We figured that peanut butter oatmeal would be absolutely delicious if you throw spoonfuls of creamy peanut butter right into the pot and cook. Wrong! Here’s what happened, and how to avoid it: Don’t put peanut butter into the pot while the oatmeal is cooking. Why? When it’s done, you can barely taste the peanut butter. Even if you add a load of PB, there’s […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This peanut butter oatmeal is the ideal healthy and easy breakfast recipe starring whole grains! Here’s the trick to making it taste great.

Peanut butter oatmeal

There’s no breakfast better than oatmeal, in our minds! So let us introduce you to a daily staple around here. This delicious Peanut Butter Oatmeal! Here’s the thing: oatmeal be gloppy and gooey, or under-seasoned. But cook up a pot the right way, and it tastes like a dream. Here we’re sharing our favorite method for chewy toasted oats, and there’s a peanut butter banana variation if you prefer a little natural sweetness. Plus we’ve got the all important key: when to add the peanut butter. We make this every day (no joke) and it’s incredibly filling…and satisfying.

Also try: Easy Banana Oatmeal

The key to peanut butter oatmeal

Here’s the thing. We figured that peanut butter oatmeal would be absolutely delicious if you throw spoonfuls of creamy peanut butter right into the pot and cook. Wrong! Here’s what happened, and how to avoid it:

  • Don’t put peanut butter into the pot while the oatmeal is cooking. Why? When it’s done, you can barely taste the peanut butter. Even if you add a load of PB, there’s something about the flavor and texture that’s just not right. (Trust us.)
  • The best way? Swirl it on top right before serving. Yeah, so it’s oatmeal topped with peanut butter. But this is the only way to get big peanut butter flavor! Top it right away and the warmth of the oats makes it heart meltingly good.
Peanut butter oatmeal

Why it’s the best oatmeal: toasted and chewy!

The other part to this peanut butter oatmeal? You’ve got to make the best pot of oatmeal imaginable! Over here, we’re anti creamy, gloppy oats with no texture. Our best oatmeal is lightly chewy and toasted before you add the liquid. This makes it utterly irresistible. Here are the keys to toasted oatmeal:

  • Toast the oats in butter or coconut oil until fragrant. It takes just a minute or two, but it makes a big difference.
  • Add liquid and cook on low without stirring. This easy method makes the oats chewy with separate grains, instead of a gloppy mess.
  • If you like it creamier, add milk at the end. Add as much milk as you like to get to a creamier texture to these oats.

Variation: peanut butter banana oatmeal

Like your oatmeal sweet? No problem! Adding mashed bananas during the cooking time makes a beautifully creamy body to the oatmeal and a lightly sweet flavor. This is one of our favorite variations, and a quicker way to get the flavor of our banana baked oatmeal. Try this variation when you have a few ripe bananas on hand!

Peanut butter banana oatmeal

Peanut butter oatmeal toppings

How do you like to top your oatmeal? This peanut butter oatmeal is absolutely perfect with just a swirl of nut butter on top. I’ll admit: my daily oatmeal (and I do eat this every day) is simply oats, peanut butter, and salt. I like it on the savory side! But want to jazz it up a bit? Here are some ideas:

  • Honey or maple syrup: a small drizzle is all you need!
  • Jam or jelly: PB&J oatmeal is where it’s at! Try our homemade strawberry jam
  • Berries: Blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries pair well
  • Banana slices: Especially if you do the peanut butter banana variation
  • Bee pollen: The confetti in the photos is bee pollen, and it adds a nice crunch

More variations: change up the nut butter!

It goes without saying, but peanut butter oatmeal can morph into all sorts of other types of oatmeal just by changing the nut butter. We love making lots of different nut butters at home, but these days you can easily find them at your grocery. Here are a few fun variations:

  • Almond butter oatmeal: top it with homemade almond butter (the vanilla bean or chai variations would be killer)
  • Pecan butter oatmeal: we especially like this homemade pecan butter on oats
  • Cashew butter oatmeal: another great option! Cashew butter has beautifully sweet flavor

Oatmeal nutrition info

Why eat oats in the morning? Well, these whole grains are a wholesome and filling breakfast idea that’s hard to beat. Here are some of the nutritional benefits of oats (source):

  • Oats are high in plant based protein. 1 cup of raw oats have 11 grams protein. That’s about 20% of your daily need!
  • Oats are high in fiber. 1 cup of raw oats have 8 grams of fiber, which is about 30% of the daily value.
  • Oats are very filling: they may reduce appetite and help you eat less calories.
Peanut butter oatmeal

More oatmeal recipes

There are so many great ways to eat this versatile grain in the morning! Here are a few favorite ideas:

This peanut butter oatmeal recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Print
Peanut butter oatmeal

Peanut Butter Oatmeal


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: 2 to 3 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This peanut butter oatmeal is the ideal healthy and easy breakfast recipe starring whole grains! Here’s the trick to making it taste great.


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
  • 2 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats (do not use instant oats or steel cut oats)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk, oat milk or almond milk (or additional water)
  • Sweet variation: 2 ripe bananas, mashed (optional)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • Other toppings as desired: small drizzle honey or maple syrup, berry jam, fruit, etc.

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter or coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the oats and toast for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant.
  2. Add the salt and cinnamon. Turn the heat to low and carefully pour in the water and milk, stirring. Add the mashed banana, if using. Cover and cook for 5 minutes until tender, then remove from the heat. Serve immediately for a chunky texture, or stir in an additional 1/2 cup milk for a creamier body. The texture is intentionally chewy (not gloppy or soggy!). Top with the peanut butter and any other toppings as desired. 
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Breakfast

Keywords: Peanut butter oatmeal

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes