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Breakfast Bars… On the Go

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Do you ever have a rushed morning?

Normally, I’m lucky in that I don’t have to be anywhere in the mornings. So when I get back from running, I’m able to leisurely enjoy my breakfast. There’s not much I hate more than rushing through a meal.

But I know that a lot of y’all need quick or portable breakfast ideas, thanks to work or morning classes. (I will never do the 8AM-class thing again!)

Whether or not your mornings are free, you must try Boatmeal!

chocolate chip baked oatmeal

Above, Cookie Dough Boatmeal

It’s like a giant muffin; so soft and sweet and chewy.

Recently, I received an email from a reader wanting ideas for quick breakfasts. These oatmeal bars (or cakes) are a great option for two reasons: quickness to prepare and portability.

Super-Quick Breakfast Tips:

  • Mix the dry ingredients ahead of time (and in multiple batches) so the baked oatmeal for one will come together super-quickly.
  • I also usually cook boatmeal (baked oatmeal) the night before, which means breakfast is ready for me when I arrive home from my morning run.
  • The bars/cakes are portable, and others have told me that they freeze well too. You can even multiply the recipe, cook in a cake pan, cut into squares, and freeze the leftovers.

“On-the-Go” Breakfast Bar Flavors:

banana bread oatmeal

Banana Bread Boatmeal


Pumpkin Pie Boatmeal

baked oatmeal

Oatmeal-Raisin Boatmeal


Cinnamon Roll Boatmeal

cookie dough baked oatmeal

And the aforementioned Cookie Dough Cake

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. Alyssa says:

    I make protein bars all the time to take on the go! They taste like candy and they are AMAZING!!

  2. joanne says:

    I’ve got a mega rushed morning tomorrow (or should I say today!? as it’s 1AM) so i’ve prepared some chocolate oatmeal which is currently cooling before i chuck it in the fridge. then all i have to do in the morning is heat it up and throw some frozen berries on top!

  3. i hate on the go/rushed meals too, but usually i’m eating outside of my house so i take the time to pack everything beforehand. ive been doing it for so long that i can’t imagine not doing it! i get teased that i basically bring my refrigerator with me everywhere i go, but they’re secretly jealous hahaha :) breakfast is usually oats (either overnight or made the night before) and/or a green monster – never gets old!

    1. Maya says:

      Oh my gosh I’m the same way. I’m out of the house from 7 am to 10 pm a lot, and I always have this giant backpack full of containers. Or, just lots of small bags making me look like a bag lady. My fridge at work is much better stocked than my fridge at home…sad story.

  4. This looks incredible! I like me a green smoothie when I’m pressed for time! :)

  5. I ALWAYS make sure I have time for breakfast in the morning. Even if I’m running late, I still take the time to enjoy breakfast–even if it’s a simple bowl of cereal. And I would love to linger over these divine creations – YUM! :)

  6. I am like you I’ll make breakfast the night before so am not rushed. I like breakfast cookies and overnight oats. Though your boatmeals are amazing too!

  7. Jojo says:

    I like to eat slowly and savor my meals. Especially family dinner, I like to linger at the table. When I am rushed for time, I grab whole fruits (pears and apples are my faves) or a PB&B (banana). I don’t rush that often, because I make sure I wake up early enough to enjoy my morning coffee and sit down to a nice breakfast. Haha, you can see where my priorities lie 😉

  8. Yes every morning seems to be rushed — I make overnight oats or fitnessista breakfast cookies quite often — that way I just grab them in the morning, inhale breakfast and get on the road!

    Or else I do something simple like bagel/PB and eat in the car (which I hate doing, but it happens once in a while).

  9. Gah I wish I had time to sit and eat breakfast in the morning but I am up and out by 7am for work everyday. I usually make a quick egg on toast sandwich and eat in the car or sometimes just toast with apple butter….

    On the weekends, however, I made oatmeal and make sure I sit and take time to ENJOY!

  10. Gen says:

    Yummy!!!! Great idea for a quick, nutritious breakfast! 😀
    I like smoothies for an on-the go brekkie!

  11. Jennifer JCD says:

    Breakfast in our house is rarely rushed, but never long enough to cook up anything special on weekdays. We stick to (cooked) rolled oats with fruit, cold cereals (rare), toast with jam, hot multigrain cereals, or the occasional leftover frozen pancakes and waffles. Yum. There’s always time for fruit and grains.

    On anothe rnote, best of luck with the fundraiser next week. I’ll be on holiday but I’ll be thinking of you and hoping everyone will make you proud with all their donations and bids!

    1. Thank you, Jennifer! And when you get back, I so want that granola bar recipe lol :).

  12. Hannah says:

    I need my breakfast time so if I need to wake up early for class, I’ll wake up super early to make sure I have breakfast. If I don’t have my oats in the morning, my whole day is thrown off, haha.

  13. I have a jar of dry cereal ready to go at all times. Add a little yogurt and I’m good to go (especially if there is peanut flour mixed with that yogurt)…

  14. emma says:

    Hey sweetie! I featured you in my latest post as you inspire me each day :-)

  15. Every meal of mine is rushed! lol I love your one person meals. They are just perfect for me :)

  16. I am lucky to not usually be rushed in the morning, but sometimes I just want breakfast ready when I get up. One of my favorite things is oatmeal in the crock pot for those mornings.

  17. Lindsey in CO says:

    Best Breakfast: multiply the boatmeal for one recipe by 12, then bake in one of those brownie pans with the dividers so that you have 12 perfect little square boatmeals! Quick breakfast for the whole family for a week :)

    My favorite breakfast is dinner – which is strange I know. I love to nuke a piece of leftover lasagna, a slice of pizza, a bowl of spaghetti, whatever. Yum :)

  18. Whenever I bake my oatmeal, I always mix it up the night before, too :)

    My favorite on-the-go breakfasts are oatmeal made the night before, homemade smacaroons or breakfast bars, fruit and nuts…..and yeah!

  19. I try my hardest not to have rushed meals. But, on Mondays I have to be at work at 8am so I typically bring my breakfast to work! The easiest, fastest, portable breakfast is cold oatmeal aka sped up overnight oats. I just put oats, chia seeds, almond milk, nut butter, and a fruit (bananas and/or blueberries) in a Tupperware container and it’s ready by the time I get to work! :)

  20. boatmeal!?! I missed that movement! I love the sound of it!

  21. Luciana says:

    I can’t eat as soon as I get up, so I need something I can take to work. Toast with nut butter is great and all, but a person needs variety! I’ve been eating variations of the baked oatmeal for weeks now. I just started making a few at a time, with different add-ins. I can just grab one from the fridge on my way out the door, and with some fruit I’m satisfied until lunchtime! My current favorite is cocoa, almond extract, and dried cherries, but they’re all good! I have some overly ripe bananas so I need to try your banana bread version soon! Thanks for making my weekday breakfasts more delicious!

  22. Elizabeth A. says:

    My school starts at 7:20, and I have to leave the house at a very dark 6:45! My breakfasts are usually overnight oats reheated, banana and pb, toast and pb, clif bars, or occasionally dry cereal with milk. I always make coffee. Some days it’s hard to even have an appetite at 6 AM so I have to skip and just take a snack with me to make up for it:/

  23. kspar66 says:

    My fav to-go (8am class) breakfast: Soak 1/2 C. oats and almonds in 1 C. water over night in a glass jar, then microwave it in the morning and toss in cinnamon, wheat germ, raisins, banana, peanut butter.. Screw the lid on the jar and its ready to go and will stay warm during a car or bicycle commute!

  24. I will make my oats the day before, then stir in diced apples and some applesauce the next morning for a quicky “over night oats”. I love baked oatmeal, but normally save that for a treat. I know, I’m weird, oatmeal is indeed a breakfast and a treat for me.

  25. I HATE RUSHED breakfasts!! usually ill get up earlier just so i can enjoy my breakki! that is when your voluminous oats trick comes in handy- they are already 1/2 cooked in the morning- WOO!!!!

  26. Debra says:

    Yum!!! My kids eat oatmeal daily- they will love these ideas!
    Blessings, Debra
    Raw Vegan Diet

  27. Honestly, I’d rather skip a meal than rush through it. I like to savor my food, enjoying every bite. :) So glad I don’t have to be anywhere first thing in the morning, either!

  28. I feel like every day’s a rushed morning for me. I up at 4:55 and out the door to the gym by 5:15. Thanks SO much for these quick ideas – such a help! I love my breakfast, and now I can have more than a measly bowl of Cheerios, which is nice every once and a while, but not nearly as fantastic as boatmeal! :)

  29. I have rushed mornings sometimes (usually my own fault) and my favorite quick b-fast is leftovers! Cold roasted veggies taste great for breakfast! After living in China, I really don’t feel restricted to “breakfast” foods in the morning.

  30. Namaste Gurl says:

    I’m always looking for “on- the- go” breakfast ideas, so this post was very informational! I need to try baked oatmeal…. the only way I’ve never tried cooked oatmeal! :)

  31. Disturbed says:

    It would probably be something like this-or an Enjoy Life cereal bar 😀

  32. I love these breakfast ideas! I can’t wait to try some of these when I start my new job this summer :)

  33. I don’t really have an “on the go” breakfast, but my speedy ones (and favorite as of late) are yogurt messes. 😛 If I absolutley have to, then it’s a granola bar and a banana, though.

  34. Breakfast on the go for me is a toasted bagel thin with PB + apple, pear or banana slices!

  35. Damjana says:

    Now during Lent I have a cup or two of tea for breakfast, I like black tea with milk or Indian tea with milk. I haven’t eaten a real breakfast for about a month or 1.5 months I think. My fav portable breakfast would be chocolate nut fudge bar – prepared in a couple of minutes and ready to grab!

  36. Great post and compliation of all your fun and easy breakkie eats!

    “Do you ever have rushed meals?”–
    Ummm…YES! The story of my life! Rushing from motherhood to work to life…my life is 20 hrs a day of rushing and go go go!

    Good thing I use my microwave and no-bake/freezer things and have a jillion breakfast and snack recipes using both :)

  37. I had to have a really rushed dinner last night so it was lucky I’d made two lots of your mushroom stroganoff the day before!
    Best on the go breakfast probably a pb/banana sandwich… :-)

  38. Hela says:

    I can only agree- people MUST try your baked oatmeal! It totally rocks!!!
    Well, I am not much of a breakfast-eater, anyways, I´m simply not hungry and would have my first meal about 3 hours after I woke up. But then it will be breakfast all right, no matter what time it is… 😀
    Nigella Lawson created a fab breakfast bar recipe, the only negative thing about it is that she used condensed milk. I am wondering what would make a good substitute? Any suggestions?
    And thanks so much for your oh-so-kind-mail! But really, YOU are the one to thank!
    Guess who´s going to have boatmeal for bfast tmro?! Meeeeeeeeeeeee :)

  39. If I know I won’t have time to make breakfast, I make overnight oats. That way, I still get a great breakfast and I don’t have to wolf it down!

  40. Megan says:

    I don’t do rushed breakfasts. I wake up super early so I have time to focus on breakfast before I deal with anything else 😛

  41. Mariah says:

    I don’t do rushed breakfast well…at all!that being said,oatmeal all day errryday!hello overnight oats in a thermos:) love your trick!

  42. I hate rushed meals too!! I get up at 4:40 every morning, so quick breakfasts are ALWAYS appreciated! :) I usually make oatmeal with peanut butter and berries. Smoothies are also pretty easy. But I really want to try your baked oatmeal! (especially the banana bread version, and I also want to try a chocolate raspberry and sweet potato version 😀 )

  43. BroccoliHut says:

    I’ve been having a lot of rushed breakfasts this semester thanks to a 10AM class–it’s hard to fit in a workout, shower, and eat before then! For quick meals, I’ve been sticking to smoothies, toaster waffles, and breakfast sandwiches.

  44. Paige says:

    Uhm, Katie.. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t like the fact that you invaded my privacy and read my mind. But due to the nature of this post, I’m going to let it slide. This time.

    Nobutseriouslynow.. THANK YOU. Against my better judgement, I actually just signed up for an 8 am class, and literally two seconds ago, I was sitting here thinking: “Gee, I wonder how this whole breakfast thing is going to work out? D: ”

    Now, I don’t have to worry. Thank youuuuuu. 😀

    1. Hahaha when I first started reading your comment, I got scared and thought you were mad at me for something! :)

  45. Leashieloo says:

    I either grab a bar, cereal, or OOIAJ. Sometimes I like to throw a fruit wrap w/ nut butter onto the George Foreman grill for a hot, portable breakfast.

  46. I always have a rushed morning! In fact, I get out of bed 45 minutes before I’m supposed to leave for class and even with a four-minute shower (sometimes I time myself, haha), I swear I’m late every single morning! I just gotta have my leisurely sit-down breakfast n’ coffee, I guess!

    I am ready to try your boatmeal! I finally found a little dish I can bake it in, yay!!

  47. katie says:

    loving the oat loving in this post!!!

    My favorite on the go breakfast is a bar and a apple, usually a larabar or luna!!!

    Love you and your message on twitter was the sweetest!!!!!

  48. Lyza says:

    I tend to eat superhealthy or not at all at work (I’m doing terrors for veganism with my bad behavior lol >.< ) because I don't like eating decadent food in a rush!! I usually eat the good stuff at home and have salads and veggies and stuff at work :) One day I'd like to compensate though with a big platter of vegan cupcakes. They must see we actually do get to eat equally sinful food!!

  49. Tara says:

    My favorite on the go breakfast is peanut butter and jelly with a piece of fruit, or a HUGE bowl of granola. I love eating it dry!

  50. Angel7 says:

    I usually am not rushed in the mornings, because I am a stay-at-home mom.

    My almost 3 year-old daughter and I almost always have cereal for breakfast.

    That Cookie Dough Boatmeal looks so delish!

  51. AAAH I wish I’d seen this before this morning, or I TOTALLY would’ve made this last night and taken it with me this morning!! Never mind, there’s always next Saturday :)

    If you can’t tell by the way, I’m trying to feed you the brownies through my computer screen. Are they coming through on your end? They just seem to be making a bit of a mess over here! 😛

    1. Hmmm… nope, I can’t taste them. Boo hoo hoo. lol I guess you’ll have to keep ’em and eat them all up, yourself! 😉

  52. Morgan :) says:

    I just discovered your blog and all the recipes look so good! And healthy :) But i just made this Banana Boat Oatmeal and it was delicious!! I cant wait to try more!

    1. Aww that makes me so happy, Morgan!! :) :)

  53. vicki says:

    The Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal link on this page doesn’t take you to the recipe :(

    1. Really? What error message are you getting? It still works for me.

      P.S. I love your idea about the order of ingredients. I’ll definitely keep that in mind when I write my recipes from now on!

  54. Kathryn says:

    Would steel-cut oats work in these recipes as well?

    1. Sorry, I haven’t tried it :-?.

  55. Lisa says:

    We eat the baked oatmeal EVERY morning. Have you tried chopped apple? And if so, could you post it?

  56. Jen says:

    You are an adorable genius! I love so many of your recipes and have shared them and your site with all of my friends. We are always looking for healthy treats to make our kids! My family avoids gluten and I made your boat meal this morning using quinoa flakes instead of oatmeal and it turned out even better then with the oats because it formed a more cake like consistency (I have made it many time with oats too). Your recipes are very adaptable which is great! Thanks for “sweetening” our lives and keep the recipes coming!

  57. Anna says:

    Hi Kate!
    This is the first comment I’m posting on your blog, but I’m a big fan of all your recipes! Every single one I’ve made for my (carnivorous) family has been received incredibly well; even better when they find out that the food they’re eating is healthy, too. This boatmeal is being baked in the oven as I type.

    Also, very off topic– have you looked into dehydrators? The one I use for drying fruits into tasty, nutrient and calorie dense morsels cost $14, and has more than earned its worth… and that’s not even counting the kale chips! Just wondering whether you, too, know about how awesome food can be after being stripped of a lot of moisture. You probably do! But just in case. :)


    1. Thank you so much. I have thought about getting a dehydrator, but just haven’t gotten around to it. :)

  58. Caitlyn says:

    yay i love these! i made the cinnamon roll boatmeal, but i didn’t have applesauce so i used mashed banana instead and it tasted super good :3