Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

BY : PUBLISHED : October 20th, 2021 UPDATED: February 4th, 2022

This warming apple cinnamon oatmeal tastes like an apple crumble or apple pie in oatmeal form – packed with warming cinnamon and just enough maple for a sweet and nourishing Fall breakfast! Plus, this healthy apple cinnamon oatmeal is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar-free and can be prepared on the stovetop, in a microwave, or crockpot!

finished apple cinnamon oatmeal in a bowl with ingredients in a white background

Warm and Nourishing Apple Pie Oatmeal with Cinnamon

As we officially transition into sweater weather, warming wholesome breakfasts like this apple cinnamon oatmeal (aka apple pie oatmeal) are a must to warm your bones on any chilly morning (especially those mornings you really don’t want to leave the comfort of your duvet).

Oatmeal is a great frugal yet filling breakfast for all – whether it's warming stovetop oatmeal like this healthy apple cinnamon oatmeal recipe (crockpot and Microwave methods included) or carrot cake oatmeal, or even chilled overnight oats (like these salted caramel or pumpkin pie overnight oats). Oats are not only whole grain, but they’re packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, plant-based protein, and thus several health benefits.

More so, when combined with vitamin-rich apples, protein/antioxidant-rich seeds (did you know hemp seeds are 36% protein with a bounty of essential fatty acids?!), and even surprisingly healthful anti-inflammatory cinnamon, this is a wholesome, nourishing meal to help keep you fueled until lunch.

With just a handful of ingredients, including fresh apple, warming cinnamon, and sweet maple (or the sugar/sweetener of your choice), you’re also able to create an apple pie oatmeal dish that tastes decadent and dessert-like while remaining a healthy and nutritious way to start your day!

Plus, this homemade apple cinnamon oatmeal recipe takes just 10 minutes from start to finish! So in no time at all, you’ll be spooning into a large bowl or hearty, comforting apple oatmeal. Can anyone say satisfying with a capital yum?!

You can even whip up a large batch at the beginning of the week and reheat it when needed! As a bonus, we’ve included stovetop, microwave, and crockpot (using rolled oats OR steel-cut oats) methods below!

finished apple cinnamon oatmeal in a bowl with ingredients in a white background

The Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Ingredients

The Base Oatmeal:

  • Oats: Use rolled oats or instant oatmeal for this homemade apple cinnamon oatmeal recipe. Make sure to use certified gluten-free oats if required.
  • Plant-based milk: Use the plant-based milk of your choice OR water (for a lighter option). Apple juice would also work for extra flavor.
  • Salt: Just a pinch of salt helps to enhance all the flavors in this apple cinnamon oatmeal recipe.
  • Maple: We love to use maple, but brown sugar (which is refined) or coconut sugar (unrefined) would also work very well with these fall flavors. For a sugar-free alternative, use your favorite sweetener or even use finely chopped dates to sweeten the apple oatmeal naturally.
  • Seeds: (Optional) We like to add either hemp seeds, flax meal, or chia seeds to the apple and cinnamon oatmeal for extra fiber, protein, and nutrients.

apple cinnamon oatmeal ingreidents measured out individually against a white background

The Apple Cinnamon Filling:

  • Apple: Use whatever apples you have available. I like to use crisp apples that aren’t too tart like Granny Smith apples.
  • Cinnamon: You could alternatively use apple pie spice (which combines cinnamon with other warming spices like nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and sometimes cardamom).
  • Oil: Olive oil or coconut oil work well. You could alternatively use vegan butter. For an oil-free version, you could use a splash of water to help soften the apples.

The Add-ins and Recipe Variations:

  • Other warming spices: If you don’t have apple pie spice, just a pinch (⅛ tsp) each of ground ginger and nutmeg will pair wonderfully with the apple cinnamon oatmeal.
  • Vanilla extract: Just a few drops will make for a delicious, enhanced apple pie oatmeal flavor.
  • Lemon juice: A splash of bottled or fresh lemon juice can help brighten the flavors in the apple pie oatmeal.
  • Vegan butter: Adding just a tiny pat of butter to the top of the oatmeal when serving makes for an even creamier apple oatmeal recipe.
  • Crushed nuts/seeds: Chopped pecans or walnuts work particularly well. For a nut-free option, you could use sunflower seeds or pepitas. Toast them first on the stovetop until fragrant for extra flavor. A couple tablespoons should be enough.
  • Nut butter: Alternatively, for a super creamy addition (and healthy fats!), add a spoonful of your favorite nut butter like peanut butter or almond butter.
  • Apple juice: For even more flavor, add a large splash of apple juice to the pan when softening the apples.
  • Dried fruit: Raisins, cranberries, and dates would all work well- add a couple tablespoons.
  • Yogurt: On days when you want an even more filling (and creamy) oatmeal, add a dollop or two of your favorite dairy-free yogurt to the healthy apple pie oatmeal when serving.
  • For protein oatmeal: Add a scoop of your favorite unflavored (or vanilla) protein powder into the oatmeal right before serving. You may need an extra splash of milk in the oats if they become dry.

How to Make Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal?

Keep scrolling to the recipe card for the complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions.

  1. First, heat the oil/vegan butter (or a splash of water) in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the cubed apple and cinnamon (or apple pie spice) and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the apple begins to soften and turn a golden brown.
  2. Then, add the oats and milk (or water) and stir. Allow it to cook until tender according to the package instructions (usually just 3-4 for ‘instant’ and 6-8 for rolled oats until the liquid is absorbed).
  3. Then, add the salt, seeds, and maple syrup and stir to combine. You can also sprinkle with additional cinnamon, then serve immediately.

If you decide to cook the oatmeal with water, you can always add a splash of milk when serving for creamier results.

one raw red apple against a white cutting board  cubed apples spread out on a white cutting board with knife in background  the addition of cinnamon to a pan with cubed apples cooked cubed apples in a black pan against a white background the process of milk being poured into pot of oats and apples process of apples and oats in a pan

Apple Oatmeal Method Variations

  • Microwave apple cinnamon oatmeal: First, make sure to use a large microwave-safe bowl, so the oatmeal won’t bubble over the sides when cooking. Then, add the cubed apples, cinnamon, and a sprinkle of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for between 1-2 minutes, until beginning to turn tender. Then add the oatmeal, milk (or water), and pinch of salt. Mix and then microwave for a further 2-3 minutes (in 40 second increments, stirring between), or until the oatmeal is tender and most of the liquid absorbed. Then mix in the remaining ingredients and top with your toppings of choice.
  • Crockpot apple oatmeal: You can use regular (rolled oats) OR steel-cut oats for this method but avoid instant/quick-cook varieties. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with a little oil/ cooking spray, then add all the ingredients (we recommend using at least one cup of oats to 2-3 cups liquid -based on how liquidy you like your oatmeal - for this method) and cover. Cook on low for between 6-8 hours until the oatmeal is tender. (5-6 is best for rolled oats and 7-8 for steel-cut for us, but different machines will vary).

It’s best to use steel-cut oats for the crockpot apple oatmeal method, as they naturally take longer to cook. Regular oats can become quite mushy/soupy. However, feel free to experiment! We recommend testing this for the first time during the day, so you know how long it would need overnight!

How to Make-Ahead and Store?

Feel free to either meal-prep this in advance or make lots of leftovers. Any leftover apple oatmeal will store in an airtight container in the fridge for between 4-6 days. You could also meal-prep the softened cinnamon apples in advance and store them separately in a container in the refrigerator.

To reheat the apple cinnamon oatmeal, you can do so on the stovetop or in the microwave (in 30-second intervals) until warm. Add an extra splash (or more) of milk or water to bring it back to the creamy consistency.

finished apple cinnamon oatmeal in a bowl with ingredients in a white background

FAQs

  • What are the best apples for oatmeal? We like to use crisp apples that will hold their shape – like Honeycrisp, Gala, or Granny Smith. Use whatever you have available, though.
  • Can I swap the apples? Yes, you could use pears instead. Or, during summer, peaches pair wonderfully with cinnamon.
  • Do I have to peel the apples? Not necessarily – you can cook them with the peel on or off!
  • What liquid is best for the apple oatmeal? This comes down to personal preference. Juice will have a texture similar to using water but a lot sweeter – so you can often reduce (or eliminate) other sweeteners. Water will usually yield oatmeal that has a bit of texture and isn’t as creamy as milk. Milk will provide creamier, often softer results.
  • Can I make apple cinnamon steel cut oats? Yes, but the cooking time will differ. You’ll need around 1 ½ cps liquid per ½ cup oats, and they’ll take around 20 minutes on the stovetop to soften. To keep the apple texture, remove them from the pan after the initial sauté and add them back in 5 minutes before the steel-cut oats are ready. You can also use our crockpot method for apple cinnamon steel cut oats!

Top Recipe Tips and Notes

  • For softer ‘applesauce’ style apple oatmeal: Simply cook the apples on the stovetop for longer (as you would when making applesauce). Cover the bottom of the pan with a little water and add a little maple too when cooking. You can also add a spoonful of unsweetened apple sauce.
  • Keep some of the apples aside: After softening them, you can then use them to top the oatmeal for extra bite and flavor.
  • Adjust the amount of sugar: This is entirely up to personal taste (and how sweet your apples are), so feel free to adjust it when serving the healthy apple pie oatmeal.
  • Ensure your brown sugar is vegan: Surprisingly, not all brands are (because of bone char used when processing) – so double-check the packaging.
  • To adjust the texture of your oatmeal: If you prefer it thicker, cook it for slightly longer to absorb more liquid. If, once tender, the oatmeal is too thick, then add a splash of extra milk or water to your desired texture.

finished apple cinnamon oatmeal in a bowl with ingredients in a white background

More Vegan Oat Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

finished apple cinnamon oatmeal in a bowl with ingredients in a white background

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Renee Press
Super easy morning meal to welcome autumn and all of the warm flavors it brings. Get creative with this one once you get the basics down.
5 from 31 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 1 serving
Calories 583 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup of rolled oats (or instant oatmeal)
  • 1 cup of water (or non-dairy milk/ Apple juice)
  • 1 apple, cored and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon or apple pie spice with a little extra cinnamon
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of maple syrup or coconut sugar, brown sugar, finely chopped dates. For sugar-free use your favorite sweetener.
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of hemp seeds, or flax meal (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil/ vegan butter. Use water for an oil-free method.

READ THE BLOG POST ABOVE FOR INGREDIENT NOTES AS WELL AS TONS OF OPTIONAL ADD-INS AND VARIATIONS!

    Instructions
     

    • In a small pot, heat the oil/butter (or water) over medium heat. Then, add apple cubes and cinnamon. Saute for 2-3 minutes until apple starts to soften and turns golden brown.
    • Add oats and water and stir. Let cook as directed on package, usually 2-3 minutes until water is absorbed.
    • Add salt, hemp seeds, and maple syrup (or your sweetener of choice) and stir to combine. Sprinkle top with additional cinnamon if you like and serve immediately.

    Notes

    • Other warming spices: If you don’t have apple pie spice, just a pinch (⅛ tsp) each of ground ginger and nutmeg will pair wonderfully with the apple cinnamon oatmeal.
    • Vanilla extract: Just a few drops will make for a delicious, enhanced apple pie oatmeal flavor.
    • Lemon juice: A splash of bottled or fresh lemon juice can help brighten the flavors in the apple pie oatmeal.
    • Vegan butter: Adding just a tiny pat of butter to the top of the oatmeal when serving makes for an even creamier apple oatmeal recipe.
    • Crushed nuts/seeds: Chopped pecans or walnuts work particularly well. For a nut-free option, you could use sunflower seeds or pepitas. Toast them first on the stovetop until fragrant for extra flavor. A couple tablespoons should be enough.
    • Nut butter: Alternatively, for a super creamy addition (and healthy fats!), add a spoonful of your favorite nut butter like peanut butter or almond butter.
    • Apple juice: For even more flavor, add a large splash of apple juice to the pan when softening the apples.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 583kcalCarbohydrates: 96gProtein: 17gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 602mgPotassium: 542mgFiber: 14gSugar: 32gVitamin A: 182IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 123mgIron: 6mg
    Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

    Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

    About Renee Press

    Renee Press is the founder of Fire and Earth Kitchen in Seattle WA. which offers cooking classes, food coaching, and chef services. She's on a mission to make vegan, gluten-free cooking easy, accessible, and delicious for everyone. fireandearthkitchen.com

    View all posts by Renee Press

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