Lemon Poppy Seed Oatmeal (2 ways)

If you can believe it, I didn’t try lemon poppy seed until I got to college. In my depression/identity crisis, I basically ate my feelings, so I made frequent trips to the on-campus eateries throughout the day. One of the treats I became addicted to was the lemon poppy seed bread. It was dense, chilled, and super sweet.


When I started eating oatmeal the following year, I initially set out to recreate dessert recipes. I tried banana bread, carrot cake, cheesecake, french toast, and chocolate chip. Basically, oatmeal was my attempt to make dieting suck less (before I discovered whole foods).

Lemon poppy seed was one of the first flavors I tried to recreate, but it took a lot of practice. In fact, It took almost two years to perfect. I originally used a recipe that used lemon pudding mix, which was delicious, but it no longer works with my whole foods approach. Thus, I have had to come up with something else. I then tried simply adding lemon juice and poppy seed, but that was dreadful–it was bitter and tart! Finally, I had an epiphany to use a mashed up banana to sweeten it. It worked!

Initially, I prepared this concoction on the stove. It wasn’t until after making my baked blueberry muffin oatmeal that I had the epiphany to try it baked. Duh! Why did I not think of that earlier?! So I’ve presented two different ways to prepare this oatmeal: the faster, stovetop version, and the slower yet more authentic baked version. Oddly enough, I can’t decide which I like better. The stovetop version has better flavor, but the baked version has a more bread-like texture that I appreciate. You decide which way you prefer!

Lemon Poppy Seed Oatmeal (Stove Top or Baked)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: serves 1

What you'll need:

    For the Stove-Top Version
  • 1 cup milk of choice, or water
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
  • 1/2 a ripe banana
  • the juice of one lemon (2-3 tbsp), or 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • For the Baked Version
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice
  • juice of one lemon (~3 tbsp) or 1 tsp lemon extract

How to make it:

    For the Stove-Top Version
  1. Bring milk (I use an equal mixture of almond milk and water) to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium.
  2. Mash up the banana very thoroughly and add to the oatmeal. Trust me, you don't want to stumble upon a chunk of banana in this bowl of porridge. Stir.
  3. Once more of the liquid has dissolved, add a pinch of salt, poppy seeds, and lemon juice. Stir.
  4. If you'd like to add any additional ingredients (coconut oil, raisins, sunflower seeds), do so now.
  5. When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl. Serve with another splash of your milk of choice and any additional toppings (shredded coconut, nuts, etc.).
  6. For the Baked Version
  7. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly spray a single-serve ramekin.
  8. In a small mixing bowl, stir together oats, baking powder, poppy seeds, and a pinch of salt.
  9. In another bowl, thoroughly mash the banana. Then, add milk of choice and lemon juice. Stir.
  10. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and combine. Pour the mixture into the prepared ramekin and bake for about 25 minutes.

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 Lemon Poppy Seed Oatmeal (2 ways)

  1. Alicia says:

    I was clicking around on Pintrest this morning, and came across your recipe. Being a closet oatmeal fanatic (i always thought I was kinda geeky for loving oatmeal) I was inspired to make it for my breakfast! I used the oven method, and it was delicious!!!! I am excited to try the Blueberry Muffin recipe tomorrow!
    One of my favorite oatmeal recipes is with peanut butter and raisins. Sounds weird, but its so good!

  2. Emma says:

    Oh my gosh I just found your blog and I am in love! I love trying new oatmeal recipes, and this is so perfect! Feel free to stop by my blog sometime too 🙂 http://barefootbaker.blog.com/. I’ll be adding you to my favorites!!

  3. I absolutely adore oatmeal (and your blog) but was starting to run out of new ideas. Thankfully you came up with a new one for me! I’ll definitely be trying this out. 😀

  4. Kristy says:

    I totally just thought to myself- “you know what would be good? Lemon Poppy-Seed Oatmeal. I wonder if The Oatmeal Artist has made it?” Sure enough, you did just 3 days ago! I must try it! 🙂

  5. stavenmorris says:

    I really like this trips to the on-campus Restaurant In the day. One of the Behave I became addicted to the lemon poppy seed Bread.

    lemonade stand business

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow, one of my new favorite bowls! Although the first time I tried it with a not-so-ripe banana… Hehe too anxious! And of course it turned out way too bitter. But with an overripe banana this is surprisingly refreshing! I might have to try it later with applesauce, but usually when I use applesauce to sweeten things there is a distinct apple flavor. Anyways, thanks for the recipe!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Tried this morning. It turned out fabulous. Thanks very much for the inspiration. Blog is fantastic! Cheers

  8. Amy says:

    Yum! I’m so glad I found your blog. I’ve been experimenting with oatmeal on weekends (I just stir in banana and cinnamon on weekdays), and you have opened my oatmeal horizons.

  9. Tiffany says:

    I am not a fan at all of bananas :'( it’s a pity really because almost every delicious looking healthy recipe I find (especially breakfast foods) contains a banana. Can you tell me how strong the banana flavor is in this dish? Could I substitute apple sauce? Or yogurt even?

  10. Nancy Beckham says:

    Lauren, I have what may be a dumb question. Why do the baked versions require so much less liquid? BTW, I can hardly wait to try the lemon recipes. What do you think lemon zest would do in these ? I used to make a lemon cookie recipe that included juice, zest, extract and crushed lemon drops.

    • Lauren Smith says:

      Great question. I honestly don’t know the science behind it. However, if you put the same amount of liquid in a baked oatmeal as you do in a stovetop oatmeal, the oatmeal would not firm up like a cake; it would just stay soupy. It might form a crust on top, but it would still be raw in the center.

      Lemon zest would be awesome. That’s why I use lemon extract: it tastes like the zest! So zest away. 🙂

      • Nancy Beckham says:

        I made it on the stovetop and it was delicious! I’m going to try baking some when I find some ramekins the right size. Before I found out I’m allergic to wheat, I made lemon blueberry banana bread and I hope to duplicate that taste combination. Thanks, so much!

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