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Date Nut Oatmeal

Looking for a healthy and filling breakfast option? My Date Nut Oatmeal is a simple and satisfying choice. The natural sweetness of dates and crunchy richness of pecans pair perfectly with the creamy oatmeal. Give it a try and start your day off right.

Oatmeal, often hailed as a nutritional powerhouse, is a classic morning go-to. But, it’s not just about keeping you full; it’s also about providing a wholesome start to the day.

A bowl of date nut oatmeal on a marble background.

With that in mind, I’m here to take your oatmeal game up a notch with this Date Nut Oatmeal recipe. It’s like a warm, comforting hug for your taste buds. I’m talking about oats that are perfectly cooked, dates that add a natural sweetness, and pecans that bring that satisfying crunch.

You might be wondering why I’m putting so much emphasis on dates. Well, beyond their natural sweetness, they’re just full of nutritional benefits. They’re like nature’s candy with a healthy twist.

Whether you’re an oatmeal connoisseur or just learning to cook breakfast on your own, I’ve got your back. I’ll walk you through the process, from choosing the right oats to cooking them and even how to store leftovers (or planned-overs!) for those busy mornings when time is short. 

🛒 Ingredient Notes

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All ingredients needed for date nut oatmeal.
  • Rolled Oats: I recommend using old-fashioned rolled oats (or quick oats) or steel-cut oatmeal. If using steel-cut oats, be sure to adjust the cooking time. I’d also advise you to steer clear of instant oats as they will result in a less satisfying consistency.
  • Pecans: Chopped pecans add a lovely crunch and nutty flavor to the oatmeal. 
  • Dates: Choose either Medjool dates (in the fresh produce section at your grocery) or dried dates (found with the dried fruit and usually more budget-friendly). Make sure the pits are removed and the dates chopped in small pieces before adding them to the oatmeal.
  • Salt (Optional): While salt is optional, a small pinch will enhance the overall flavor.
  • Brown Sugar or Turbinado Sugar: Either is a perfect finishing touch. They add a hint of caramel-like sweetness that complements the natural sugars in the dates.
  • Milk or Half and Half: For a creamy touch, add a splash of milk, half and half or cream.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🔪 How to Make Date Nut Oatmeal

A saucepan with water and salt; a bowl of rolled oats in the background.
Adding oats, dates, and nuts to the water.
STEPS 2-4.
  1. Start by bringing the water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Stir in the oats, pecans, and dates.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium.
  4. Cover, and cook for about 5 minutes stirring once or twice.
The oatmeal after stirring in all ingredients.
Oats garnished with sugar and cream.
STEPS 6-7.
  1. Remove the oats from the heat and let them stand for a few minutes.
  2. Sprinkle with brown sugar (or turbinado sugar if you like), add a splash of milk or cream.
  3. Sprinkle over a few additional dates and pecans as a pretty garnish.

⚠️ Troubleshooting Tips

  • Oatmeal Too Thick: If your oatmeal turns out thicker than you’d like, simply add a bit more water or milk to reach the desired consistency. 
  • Oatmeal Too Thin: On the other hand, if your oatmeal is too thin, continue cooking it uncovered for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Oatmeal Sticking to the Pot: To prevent oatmeal from sticking to the pot during cooking, make sure to stir it occasionally and keep the heat at a medium simmer. Non-stick pots and pans can also help minimize sticking.
A bowl of date nut oatmeal with a spoon.

🔀 Recipe Variations and Substitutions

  • Experiment with different nuts to vary the flavors and textures. Walnuts, almonds, or even pistachios can be good alternatives to pecans.
  • Try other sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar in place of the brown sugar. Adjust the quantity to suit your preferred level of sweetness.
  • The milk or half-and-half can be replaced with skim milk, almond milk, or any other plant-based milk.
  • While old-fashioned rolled oats are recommended for this recipe, you can use steel-cut oats or quick oats if that’s what you have on hand. Just be mindful of the cooking time and adjust accordingly.
  • Get creative with additional fruit toppings. Sliced bananas, fresh berries, or even a drizzle of berry compote can add a burst of flavor and color.
  • For extra warmth and depth of flavor, consider adding a pinch of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom.
  • If you’re looking to increase the protein content, stir in some Greek yogurt or a scoop of your favorite protein powder after cooking.

🍚 How to Store

I often make enough oatmeal for two or three mornings and reheat it as needed. To store oatmeal, allow it to cool completely and then place it in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to three days. This method is perfect for those busy mornings when you need a quick and satisfying breakfast.

Surprisingly, oatmeal can be frozen for longer storage. To freeze, transfer to a freezer-safe container or measure individual portions into freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for one to two months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.

When reheating oatmeal, add a little milk or water to loosen the consistency, as it will thicken while stored. Warm it on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally, or use the microwave, heating in short intervals and stirring between each one until warmed through.

❓ Questions About Date Nut Oatmeal

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Oats themselves are naturally gluten-free. However, oatmeal may be processed in a facility that handles other grains where there is the possibility of some cross-over. Several companies, including Bobs Red Mill and Quaker, now offer certified gluten-free oatmeal products.

Can I make overnight oats with this recipe?

While this recipe is not specifically for overnight oats, you can adapt it by mixing the ingredients and letting them sit in the refrigerator overnight for a no-cook option.

Do you make oatmeal with milk or water?

I prefer to cook oatmeal in water. You’d think that cooking in milk would produce a creamier oatmeal texture, but it more often creates a sticky, thick, gummy, texture.

Can I use walnuts or almonds in this recipe?

Of course! You can add in any type of nuts you have on hand. I’d go for walnuts over almonds, but whatever you prefer is fine.

Lana Stuart.

Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 Recipe

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A bowl of date nut oatmeal on a marble background.

Date Nut Oatmeal

Make your morning a little more delicious with a bowl of this hearty Date Nut Oatmeal! It's brimming with dates, nuts, brown sugar, and cream.
5 from 8 votes
Print It Rate It Text It
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 348kcal
Author: Lana Stuart


  • 3 ½ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt optional
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • cup chopped pecans
  • cup chopped dates


  • Bring the water and salt to a boil.
  • Stir in the oats, pecans and dates.
  • Reduce heat to medium.
  • Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  • Remove from heat and let stand for 2-3 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of brown sugar or turbinado sugar and a splash of milk or half and half.
  • Sprinkle over additional dates and pecans if desired.


  • To store leftovers, cool completely and then place in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  • May be frozen for longer storage. To freeze, transfer to a freezer-safe container or measure individual portions into freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for one to two months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
  • When reheating, add a little milk or water if needed to loosen the consistency. Warm on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally, or in the microwave, heating in short intervals and stirring between each one until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1 | Calories 348kcal | Carbohydrates 48g | Protein 8g | Fat 16g | Saturated Fat 2g | Sodium 304mg | Potassium 382mg | Fiber 8g | Sugar 17g | Vitamin A 13IU | Vitamin C 1mg | Calcium 50mg | Iron 2mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on February 7, 2012. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.

A serving of date nut oatmeal in a brown bowl.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I don’t generally eat dates, which one would you recomend?

    1. If you’re asking for a brand recommendation, I usually purchase Sunsweet chopped dates.

  2. 5 stars
    So yummy! I’m 39 weeks pregnant and was looking for date recipes on the internet. (They say dates encourage labor!) I cooked the oatmeal with half milk half water as I like it a bit creamy. I added a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon to my bowl. Thank you for sharing! :)

    1. I had no idea that dates encourage labor! How interesting. And I’m glad you enjoyed the oatmeal :-)

  3. 5 stars
    This is precisely the recipe that I wanted! A sugar-optional hot morning oatmeal. The dates and pecans add just the right amount of sweetness during cooking

    1. Yes, you hardly need any sweetener with the dates! Glad you like the recipe.

  4. Looks like a healthy way to start the day!! Can’t wait to try this out – I bet it is filling as well – love all the ingredients so together they ought be a real winner!

  5. oooh this sounds so good. i love oatmeal, and i love dates. why not put them together??

  6. Oh this is delicious! It’s breakfast time here – and I’m following your recipe!
    Mary x

  7. We’ve been having oats every morning during this cold weather….

  8. Ooh, this looks like a yummy way to start the day on a chilly morning! I love the sweetness of dates!

  9. Mari @ Mari's Cakes says:

    Lana, I love this healthy and wholesome oatmeal! It looks yummy :)

  10. Barbara | Creative Culinary says:

    I’m glad I came here now and not at 10:30 last night when I was hungry but reading in bed. Now…I will have oatmeal and dates on in a flash. Well, maybe not dates because I’m not even sure I have any, but leaving my desk now to check. In any event there will be oatmeal and some form of fruit and nut. Thanks for a visual reminder of how much I love this for breakfast!

    1. You’re welcome, Barb. Enjoy.

  11. Tickled Red says:

    Mmmm, I need this to start my day everyday. I make something similar but I haven’t added dates, lovely addition :D

  12. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch says:

    This look delicious, Lana! I can’t wait to make this for my husband – he adores oatmeal and this looks like something he would love!

  13. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen says:

    Mmm….sounds like a great start to the day!

  14. I love any oatmeal, it really is a perfect treat for breakfast, lunch or dinner! I wish my hubby liked it more, I would make it more often. Oh well:-) Hugs, Terra

  15. Cookin' Canuck says:

    Try as I may, I can not sleep past 7am. This oatmeal sounds like the perfect thing for a gotta-get-going morning.

    1. It really is great for a quick and filling breakfast. Gets you going and on your way!

  16. Nancy@acommunaltable says:

    Ah, a fellow oatmeal lover – I have ’em every morning for breakfast! I definitely am going to have to try the dates in it – great boost of fiber and flavor!!

    1. Hope you enjoy it, Nancy!