Baked Oatmeal with Berries and Lentils

Baked oatmeal with lentils 9-text

It seems everyone is making baked oatmeal these days – or maybe just Molly and Jeanette (hi!) – but each time I see it I think – I should give that a try with red lentils. And so this morning when I woke up to grey, and (yet more) snow on the ground, watched the neighbour scrape ice off the car windshield, and had to return from the bathroom to retrieve wooly socks to protect my feet from an ice-cold floor, I grumpily decided that this might be the day to give it a go.

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When I wrote Spilling the Beans with my junior high school BFF Sue, baking possibilities opened up when she mentioned her habit of stirring a spoonful of lentils into her morning porridge to boost fibre and protein. Genius, I say. Those dry red lentils (they’re orange, really) are split through their middles, and when cooked, perfectly mimic oats. Only they’re far higher in fibre, and of course the bean-grain combo provides a complete protein. And what does everyone seem to want more of in their breakfasts? Protein and fibre.

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I forgot the nuts, distracted by the question of whether to toast them or not (I burn nuts at the best of times – when I’m not getting a kid dressed and checking homework and making lunches and discovering that he needs to bring something made from a rock or mineral to school in ten minutes) and I loved Jeanette’s addition of coconut, but forgot that too, so excited was I by the prospect of lentils baked into oatmeal.

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Yes, excited by lentils. I’m a fibre nerd. I come by it honestly – from my gastroenterologist dad who loves oatmeal for breakfast, and who in the eighties added sawdustlike oat bran to everything, including our (extra lean) homemade burgers. Turns out you actually do turn into your parents. Luckily, in my case it’s not a bad thing. Next time I have the opportunity to make breakfast for my dad, I know he’ll be equally excited by the prospect of lentils in his oatmeal.

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And yes, they bake in beautifully, slipping by undetected by those not in the know. Wink.

Baked Oatmeal with Berries and Lentils


Yields1 Serving

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup dry red lentils
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries or both
1/3 cup shredded coconut (optional)
2 cups whole milk (or half 1%, half half & half)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 tsp. vanilla


Preheat the oven to 375°F.


In an 8-inch square (or similar-sized) baking dish, mix together the oats, lentils, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Scatter with berries.


In another bowl, whisk together the milk, maple syrup, egg, butter and vanilla. Pour the mixture over the oats, and give it a gentle stir to distribute everything evenly.


Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the oats have set. Serve warm, topped with milk or a splash of cream. Leftovers reheat beautifully.



 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
 1/4 cup dry red lentils
 1 tsp. baking powder
 1 tsp. cinnamon
 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries or both
 1/3 cup shredded coconut (optional)
 2 cups whole milk (or half 1%, half half & half)
 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
 1 large egg
 2 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled slightly
 2 tsp. vanilla



Preheat the oven to 375°F.


In an 8-inch square (or similar-sized) baking dish, mix together the oats, lentils, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Scatter with berries.


In another bowl, whisk together the milk, maple syrup, egg, butter and vanilla. Pour the mixture over the oats, and give it a gentle stir to distribute everything evenly.


Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and the oats have set. Serve warm, topped with milk or a splash of cream. Leftovers reheat beautifully.

Baked Oatmeal with Berries and Lentils

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40 comments on “Baked Oatmeal with Berries and Lentils

  1. Nicole Boyhouse
    April 4, 2013 at 10:33 am

    This looks so good! I love fibre. I also – as you probably know – love your Spilling the Beans book. But I haven’t tried lentils in oatmeal so I’m totally going to try this.

  2. Misty
    April 4, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I agree, it’s a genius move! And since oatmeal is one of the handful of foods Max will eat, I will be trying the lentil trick ASAP!

  3. Carrie
    April 4, 2013 at 10:52 am

    And I totally made Heidi’s baked oatmeal for breakfast this morning, talking my son into eating the walnuts by reminding him that the protein will keep him full longer. (He’s 10, and hungry all the time.) Lentils is a GENIUS addition, and I can’t believe I haven’t thought to add coconut – perfect!

  4. Asiya @ Chocolate and Chillies
    April 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    What a great idea to add lentils!!! I make a very similar oatmeal to this (I use quick oats instead of the rolled oats)…I’m definitely adding lentils next time! Thx for sharing!

  5. christine
    April 4, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    I can’t wait to try this. My morning oatmeal is a ritual and this looks just yummy.

  6. Samantha @Blissful Domesticity
    April 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    This looks amazing. I’ve never done a baked oatmeal, much less one with lentils. Will try this for sure.

  7. kickpleat
    April 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Okay I’m going to give this a try! Who’d thunk it? Brilliant!

  8. Joanne
    April 4, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Brilliant! Can’t wait to try it.

  9. Jess
    April 4, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    What a great idea, Julie! I love baked oatmeal and make it every few weeks, but what a great way to add a different texture and a little extra nutrition – so creative!

  10. Rana
    April 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Wow, this is great! I’m going to go ahead and prep it all tonight for breakfast tomorrow. My kids are going to love it, I just know it. Thank you!

  11. Laurie
    April 4, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Looking forward to trying this! Do you think quinoa would also work in place of the lentils?

  12. Tracy
    April 4, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Thanks for the great recipe! Hemp hearts also slip into oats, and most other cold breakfast cereals undetected or as ‘sprinkles’. They too are high in protein.

    • Julie
      April 4, 2013 at 10:55 pm

      Laurie – yes, I’m sure it would! Adding a different texture of course – let me know how it turns out!
      Tracy – yes, hemp hearts are great in oats! In this case I think I’d sub them for the walnuts (using less as they’re so tiny) and the full 2 cups of oats, since hemp hearts won’t need to absorb moisture like oats and lentils do.

  13. Sandy B
    April 5, 2013 at 5:44 am

    Well, if I turned into my parents, I’d be eating Tim Horton’s donuts and coffee for breakfast. Thankfully I’ve turned in another direction and would LOVE lentils and oatmeal for breakfast. They’re 2 of my favorite foods. Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  14. dee brun
    April 5, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    This looks faboosh…so trying this…Cheers

  15. Rhonda
    April 5, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I made this one this morning…a definite make again. I will try substituting the egg with soaked chia seeds.

  16. Carolyn
    April 5, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    I love oatmeal, and baked oatmeal even more… I’m thinking about trying this in muffin tins (the same way one bakes meat loaf in muffin cups). Thoughts?

  17. Kate
    April 5, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    I am late, or still not arrived, to the party. Our daughter, who recently moved to Hamilton CA, has been raving about baked oatmeal for a while. Your rendition has me thinking will hubby run out for whole milk in the morning? Gotta try this one.. I love the abundance of fruit and nuts as well as the hidden fiber benefit.

  18. Patricia
    April 5, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Love Spilling the Beans! I saw the blurb on it in the Metro, and kept visiting Chapters until they had it in stock. And I’ve been reading your blog since then too.

    This recipe sounds fabulous, and I’m definitely going to try this one!

    Any recipes for snack bars that aren’t obscenely sweet or calorie dense along the same lines of beans/grains?

  19. Lindsay
    April 5, 2013 at 10:25 pm

    I’ve been wondering what to do with the red lentils I bought. I AM SO ON THIS.

  20. Aga
    April 6, 2013 at 9:43 am

    Delicious! The toasted nuts and coconut were great additions. Also gave me a chance to try out the Sri Lankan “True Cinnamon” I’d picked up at The Silk Road Spice Merchant. Like Patricia, I’d also love to try some snack bars using beans/grains. Love your breakfast biscotti with the white beans.

  21. Meta4
    April 6, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I have lots of green lentils,can I substitute them for the red lentils?

  22. Jan @ Family Bites
    April 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    You know I’m totally going to make this for breakfast this week – so awesome.

  23. Kris
    April 6, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    I am trying to improve my breakfasts so thought I would give this a try. I only have green lentils. Can they be sustituted for red lentils? (I have no idea about lentils; bought a bag on a whim that I’d make soup a while back and never did)

  24. Julie
    April 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Kris – unfortunately not; red lentils are split in half, so they cook in less than a third of the time. Green lentils won’t cook through in that time, and you’ll definitely notice their presence!

  25. C. Olsen
    April 7, 2013 at 9:10 am

    This is really good! Love the lentils-they truly are undetectable.
    I had to make modifications due to milk and egg allergies, so I used 1 cup soy milk and 1 cup water, egg replacer and canola oil instead of margarine. The flavor was great-it was like eating a fruit crisp, or a breakfast stuffing, as our daughter said. Thanks for a delicious and very healthy breakfast recipe!

  26. Amber
    April 7, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    Sounds delicious but way too much for my family of one…Carolyn, did you have any success with the muffin pan idea? My other thought is to quarter the recipe and use my toaster oven pan to try it (how do you quarter an egg though??). Oh and would coconut milk work in place of the cow’s milk? Anyone?

  27. Julie
    April 7, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Amber – if it makes you feel any better, I’ve been eating this mostly myself – it keeps well in the fridge – I’ve been digging into it and reheating single portions for days!

  28. Merry120
    April 7, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    This looks delicious & I love the idea of adding lentils!

  29. The Male Baker
    April 8, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Wow. Brilliant. I am so impressed.

  30. Dana
    April 8, 2013 at 9:21 am

    What a great idea to add lentils! My son and I are going to try this out right away. I was going to make it later, but he got so excited about eating berry oatmeal he can’t wait.

  31. Alisha
    April 8, 2013 at 9:48 am

    What a great idea! I was just looking for ways to increase protein!! Thanks!

  32. Laura
    April 10, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    Fibre nerd! I love it! I have become one myself late in life. And I love this entire dish. Yum! Pinning!

  33. Carina Tien
    September 22, 2013 at 7:56 am

    I am thinking of adding apple sauce to this recipe, what do you guys think? Carina

  34. lagatta à montréal
    October 6, 2013 at 6:21 am

    You can certainly add green or brown lentils to this dish, but you would have to pre-cook them. I don’t like sweet breakfasts (I eat very little sugar), so I might do that, and substitute cubed winter squash for the berries.

    I’m always looking for savoury porridge recipes, and baked is even better – At the natural foods shop, I can also find rye flakes. They are great combined with whole (flaked, not pinhead) oatmeal in porridge, and would be in this pilaf as well. Thanks!

    If you are very rushed or not really awake in the morning, do the nuts the night before (but hide them as you’ll want to nibble on them).

  35. Shauna
    March 16, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    I have been prepping the night before the whole thing , putting in fridge over night and into the oven in the the morning ; it bakes up beautifully, I was worried it would get soggy, not a bit!

    Now I am wondering about steel cut oats? I would imagine the liquid would need adjusting though…

  36. Pascale Devalet
    October 14, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    My daughter cannot have nuts and seed, our breakfast is oats everyday different ways sometime i add pumpkin, carrots or fruits.. now will try tne bean for protein love the idea. . Thanks ?

  37. R.E.
    October 22, 2019 at 10:51 pm

    Lentils were still hard after baking, lentils should be cooked before, to al dente at least, before setting in oven, just my 2¢.

    • Ted S.
      October 22, 2019 at 11:36 pm

      You probably used green or brown lentils, with the hulls still on. Red lentils have been dehulled and thus require less cooking time, maybe that is why yours were still hard. I agree that if u are using green/brown lentils, they should probably be cooked beforehand. However I see no complaints here from folks that used red (dehulled) lentils. better luck next time!

    • Julie
      October 31, 2019 at 9:40 pm

      Lentils definitely fluctuate, but split red lentils should cook right into the oatmeal!

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