Oatmeal banana bread is naturally gluten-free and vegan depending on the milk that you use. This loaf of healthy banana bread is a chewy, toothy treat thanks to super ripe bananas, oats in the form of flour, and whole oats folded into the batter.
This is a satisfying breakfast or snack that uses just a few really common ingredients. It’s a versatile recipe you can easily adjust: add nuts, chocolate chips, or an egg!
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Ingredients For Oatmeal Banana Bread
A quick rundown of the few ingredients you’ll need to bring this beauty to life. This healthy banana bread with oats doesn’t use any flour- it’s 100% oat-based!
Bananas: This recipe is pretty flexible- as long as you have 2-4 extra ripe bananas, you’re ready to roll.
Oats: We’re using old-fashioned rolled oats in this recipe, not steel-cut oats or instant oats. This banana oat bread will use oats in 2 forms- homemade oat flour and whole oats folded into the batter!
Sugar: We used brown sugar in this recipe for added flavor and moisture, however, cane sugar, white sugar, or coconut sugar should all work out.
Baking Soda & Baking Powder: Baking soda is activated in this recipe by the mashed banana to provide lift. Baking powder helps as well as this loaf doesn’t have eggs. Baking soda assists with browning– most banana baked goods have an ultra-golden brown exterior thanks to baking soda!
Butter or Oil: Melted butter has a better flavor and texture in our opinion but use oil if you prefer. Oat banana bread made with oil will have a more crumbly/fall-apart texture because it will be SUPER moist. Think plate and fork vs. a handheld treat.
Vanilla: Vanilla adds a nice depth of flavor to banana bread- we opt for the good stuff for baking, it really shines through so much better.
How To Make Oatmeal Banana Bread
Making oatmeal banana bread is a slightly different process than a mix wet, mix dry, mix together affair. First, you need to pulverize some of the oats into fine oat flour- this is easy with a Vitamix or other high-power blender.
Oat Flour: Add 1.5 cups of oats to a dry blender cup and process until a very fine flour texture is achieved. Scrape the sides down with a spatula as needed. In the Vitamix, this took about 30 seconds for us!
Wet ingredients: Peel and mash the bananas very thoroughly. Add the melted butter and vanilla extract and mix.
Dry Ingredients: Sprinkle homemade oat flour, brown sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda across the top of the wet ingredients and stir gently until just combined. Then fold in the whole oats and your batter is ready!
To Bake: We like to line the loaf pan with parchment for easy removal and bake in the center rack of a 350* oven.
Leave the loaf to cool for 15-20 minutes for it to firm up and make slicing easier. As this recipe doesn’t have gluten from all-purpose flour, it is slightly more delicate.
Variations To This Recipe
Here are some options on how you can take this tried and true recipe to the next level if it becomes a part of your regular baking rotation!
- Swap the 1 cup of whole oats for chocolate chips or mini-chips.
- Add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg to the batter for a warm, cozy loaf.
- Replace the 1 cup of whole oats with 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts- walnuts, pecans, or macadamia nuts are all very tasty.
- Swap the whole oats for finely shredded coconut for an extra tropical feel.
Although changing it up with various mix-ins tastes amazing, we don’t recommend adding too many mix-ins. This can cause the loaf to be extra crumbly and cause the slices to fall apart during slicing and eating. Limit any mix-ins to 1/2-1 cup and swap the whole oats for whatever ingredients you are adding!
How To Check If Banana Bread Is Done?
This healthy oat banana bread cooks up faster than traditional banana bread but we can still use the same methods to check for doneness. Here are some visual cues to begin checking for at the 35-minute mark.
The toothpick test reigns king for baked goods- insert and remove a toothpick into the middle of the loaf. A toothpick that removes clean, without wet batter on it is done baking. If there is a bit of batter, the loaf needs to bake up a bit more.
Banana bread made only with oats finishes baking faster than banana bread made with all-purpose flour as the oats absorb more moisture. This loaf takes anywhere from 35-50 minutes, depending on the many factors below.
Additional things to note on checking doneness:
#1 Look at the edges of the loaf, they should have pulled inward from the pan a bit and feel firm/set.
#2 If you added any mix-ins like nuts, chocolate, or coconut- it may take a bit longer to fully cook.
#3 The amount of bananas you use plays a part here! More mashed banana = a wetter dough and more moisture to cook out.
#4 The size of the loaf pan you bake in. There are two very common loaf pan sizes: 8×4 and 9×5. The 9×5 pans create shorter, wider loaves that cook up a bit quicker. An 8×4 pan takes longer as it’s a taller loaf! (which we prefer)
#5 The material of the pan! A light-colored metal pan is ideal for all your baking projects as light-colored metal evenly distributes heat and cooks things most evenly. For dark metal or glass pans, the heat transfer is more intense- meaning the edges will cook up faster than the center. If using a metal or glass pan you may need to kick down the temp by 25* or tent the loaf with aluminum foil for the last 10-20 minutes if you notice the edges becoming too dark or dry.
Storing Banana Bread With Oats
Oatmeal banana bread will stay good for up to 3 days at room temp. The loaf’s taste and texture are best the first 2 days. We recommend storing the loaf in a container with the lid slightly ajar so the top doesn’t get sticky- this loaf tends to be on the moist side so leaving the top cracked is key. Or you can store it in a sealed tupperware in the fridge.
This banana bread freezes excellently! Wait for loaves to come completely to room temperature (4-6 hours) then wrap them several times with plastic wrap. To help prevent freezer burn, you can put the wrapped loaves inside a plastic bag as well.
To thaw: Place in the frozen banana bread in the fridge overnight. Or, remove the plastic wrap and place the frozen loaf on a sheet pan (or loaf pan), and tent with foil. Bake in a 325* oven for about 30 minutes, until the center is warm. BOOM!
Oatmeal Banana Bread FAQs
- Is this recipe vegan? This recipe is naturally vegan! However, if you would like to add 1 egg, you can- it will provide a bit more structure.
- Is this recipe gluten-free? This recipe uses only oats and oat flour, so yes indeed- it’s gluten-free as long as you use certified gluten-free oats!
- Can I use steel-cut oats? Steel-cut oats have a much longer cooking time and require more liquid to cook. Additionally, they don’t blend into as fine of a flour. We don’t recommend it!
Oatmeal banana bread is a fabulously chewy, hearty, and banana-forward breakfast loaf! This recipe is easy peasy to get together with minimal ingredients; the hardest part is waiting for it to bake up! We hope you love this healthy spin on banana bread!
- 3–4 peeled bananas* note
- 1/3 cup melted butter or neutral flavored oil* note
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups oats (to be blended into flour) note
- 1 cup of oats (to fold into the batter)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
optional 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Mix the wet ingredients. Add peeled bananas to a medium-sized mixing bowl and mash very well. Add vanilla extract and melted butter and mix to incorporate.
- Add 1.5 cups of rolled oats to a powerful blender and process until a very fine flour-like consistency is reached. (In the Vitamix, this took about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides once). Pour the homemade oat flour across the wet ingredients. Add remaining dry ingredients over top (salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar). Mix well to incorporate.
- Fold in the remaining 1 cup of whole oats until just combined.
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pour the batter in. If you’d like, scatter a few tablespoons of oats on the top of the loaf. Bake in a pre-heated 350* oven for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle removes clean and has no wet batter stuck to it.
- If using a 9×5 loaf pan, the loaf will take less time to cook. Begin to check at the 30-minute mark.
- If using a dark metal or glass pan, you may need to dial back the temp 25* as these pans tend to cook up the edges faster than the center.
- If using a large amount of bananas, the loaf will take longer to cook! Banana bread made with oat flour cooks up faster than using AP flour, so begin to check at about 30-35 minutes.
- Leave the loaf to cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes before removing and slicing for best results. The loaf will firm up a bit as it cools.
On Oats: We are using old-fashioned rolled oats in this recipe. We don’t recommend steel-cut oats or instant oats.
On Bananas: If using 4 large bananas, the loaf may take a bit longer to cook. If using smaller or fewer bananas, you may need to add a small splash of milk to help the batter come together appropriately. Splash meaning 1-2 tablespoons! The batter should be thick but not resistant to incorporating all dry spots of flour.
Oil vs Butter: Melted butter makes banana bread with a better flavor and texture. Using oil creates a very moist banana bread but it may have a gummier consistency.
Optional: Add an egg to the wet ingredients! As this loaf is naturally GF, an egg can help bind everything together but is not necessary. No other alterations are needed if adding an egg 🙂
Keywords: Oatmeal Banana Bread