Basil Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal

Say whaaaat?

Yeah. Basil + chocolate. I went there.

Basil Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal

Okay, sure. This isn’t for everyone. But I love basil. I have a passionate love for all fresh herbs, but basil is easily my favorite. It’s been proven by the food blog community that basil pairs perfectly with sweet fruits, so why not chocolate?

Basil Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal #veganAs my regular readers know, every year around this time I attempt to grow my own herbs. It never goes well. Thus, I made sure to make this recipe the moment I brought home my new basil plant (my fifth one, if I’m being honest). I was not going to give it a chance to die before I made this recipe. My heart was set on some basil and dark chocolate goodness.

Basil Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal by the Oatmeal Artist

Basil Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal by the #oatmealartist

The base of this beauty is plumped up by grated zucchini (the yellow variety) and infused with fresh basil. I made sure to add the basil right from the get-go so the porridge would have abundant basil flavor throughout.

Basil Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal #oatmealartist #vegan

As for the chocolate, I used 75% dark chocolate bars, but you could sub in your favorite kind (or chocolate chips). I cannot stress just how good this was. If you want to be extra crazy, take inspiration from my Strawberry Basil Oatmeal and top with some fresh strawberries. Basil, strawberry, AND chocolate? Sounds perfect.

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Basil Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: serves 1

What you'll need:

  • 3/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/4 cup quick cook steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini or yellow squash*
  • 7 or more fresh basil leaves**
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste OR extract
  • maple syrup to taste
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped dark chocolate

How to make it:

  1. Bring milk (I use 1/2 c almond milk and 1/4 c water) to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium. (If you'd like to add flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
  2. Add grated zucchini and stir.
  3. Using the chiffonade method, cut FIVE of the basil leaves into ribbons (save the rest for later). This will infuse the entire porridge with peppery basil flavor!
  4. Once more of the liquid has absorbed in the oatmeal, add vanilla bean paste and salt. Add maple syrup a few drops at a time until it tastes sweet enough for you. You may feel that you don't need any!
  5. When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, you have two options. You could either stir in the remaining basil leaves (chiffonaded), or transfer to a bowl and just drop the chiffonaded basil on top.*** Add another splash of your milk of choice, chopped chocolate, and any other additional toppings (more basil ribbons, nuts, etc.).

Just an FYI:

*I use yellow squash instead of zucchini so it doesn't have green streaks. They taste the same.
**Since this is a bold flavor combination and many are not used to putting herbs in their porridge, I played it safe and used just enough basil to make an impact. If you love basil or oatmeal with herbs, feel free to use more than what the recipe states!
***If you're sensitive to the robust flavors of fresh herbs, I suggest going with the first option. Stirring the basil in at the end will soften the basil and make it less pronounced than if you simply sprinkled the ribbons on top.

Basil Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal by the Oatmeal Artist #vegan

About Lauren Smith

Lauren is a herbivore, Slytherin, and connoisseur of oats. She is a former teacher who is currently studying to earn a master's degree in curriculum development. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

22 Responses to Basil Chocolate Zucchini Oatmeal

  1. Bridget Whyte says:

    Well, I’ve let all my basil go to seed (which the bees have loved!)
    There are some leaves to use, but not enough to make a batch of pesto. There would be enough, though, for this. Now, I love basil. And my very favorite sandwich in the world is a sharp cheddar and extra-pesto sandwich on a soft but hearty bread. (Thank you, Vermont, for teaching me the joys of that!)
    And I LOVE chocolate. (It’s my favorite food group!)
    But I’d never thought of them together.
    Still, I think back to a glorious truffle I had oh-so-many years ago. It was mint, and had a strong minty-herby flavor. It was not the mint I had expected with chocolate, and I remember thinking it tasted like basil. It put me off at first, but after the initial shock I was impressed.
    It seems to me that this is a meal worth trying. Perhaps I’ll love it. Perhaps I’ll tolerate it. Perhaps I’ll loathe it. But it certainly looks worth a go.
    Besides – oatmeal, chocolate, and basil are all amazing, right?
    Thanks for the recipe!

  2. I’m all for using fresh herbs in oatmeal, but I still have to try them in savory oatmeal bowls like your Herbed Pumpkin and Leek recipe. I still can’t get used to the taste of savory in the morning! This recipe, however, involves chocolate so I’m definitely going to be making this ASAP. 🙂

  3. Lyndsey B says:

    I say why not?!? Basil is such a unique and interesting herb, yet it can be manipulated to pair with a variety of flavors wonderfully. Plus, it’s basically a scientific fact that chocolate can go with anything. Plus, I found this ( recipe, so you’re not the only one trying basil with chocolate. I can’t wait to try it as well!

  4. Sandra says:

    Yay!!! Vegetables for breakfast!!!! And yes chocolate is considered a vegetable!

  5. Molly M says:

    Your cat is so cute! Thanks for the link to those collars. Im going to check them out.

  6. Renee says:

    This isn’t at all related to the recipe, but have you ever thought of trying to recreate a s’mores in oatmeal form? Without the marshmallow or the graham cracker, but somehow capturing the flavors?

    • Lauren Smith says:

      Yes, but I can’t figure out a “healthy” way to do it that uses minimally processed ingredients and still tastes like s’mores. :/ I’ve kind of abandoned the idea.

    • Christine says:

      Renee, I was thinking that the Oatmeal Artist should do a S’Mores oatmeal too! I’ve found several recipes on Pinterest, but they’re basically plain oatmeal with graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows stirred in. I think the key to making a S’Mores oatmeal with minimally-processed ingredients would be to find a way to replicate the taste of graham crackers – maybe by adding wheat germ, honey, and/or cinnamon. Vanilla extract would give the oatmeal a smoother taste. You can usually find vegan chocolate chips in grocery stores (at least where I live). I’ve seen recipes online for vegan marshmallows.

      • Lauren Smith says:

        I’ve always wanted to do it but can’t think of a way to make it appropriate for breakfast. I can only imagine it as a dessert. There’s no way to replicate marshmallows, you know?

        • Christine says:

          That’s true, but some of your readers (myself included) love the dessert-like oatmeals! I made a stovetop version of your Lemon Drop overnight oatmeal, and stirred some marshmallows in at the end. Mmmmm! I also put marshmallows in your Creamy Berry Oatmeal to cut back on the sour taste.

  7. Cassie says:

    Hahahaha, the basil and chocolate combo does sound really weird, but I actually see how it works! Besides, I’ve seen even more out-there combos (banana and mayo–WTF?!) that supposedly aren’t too shabby! I recently made both a zucchini oats recipe and cauliflower oats recipe that will be on my blog soon! I enjoyed them so much!

  8. kira says:

    i actually love basil in sweet recipes so i’m absolutely delighted by this idea! especially since i have been known to enjoy basil ice cream combined with chocolate ice cream … herbs and sweet flavors make such an interesting and unusual combination!

  9. Christine says:

    Wait – could you make this recipe with dried basil instead of fresh? If so, how much basil should you use? There’s plenty of dried basil in the spice cabinet, but I don’t want to pay for fresh unless absolutely necessary.

  10. Kelsey says:

    Finally tried this and I can’t believe how well basil and chocolate go together! I also added some strawberries because why not, right? I can’t believe how well fresh herbs work in oatmeal, I never would have thought to try it.

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