Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Oatmeal
This chocolate hazelnut oatmeal is a delicious and comforting vegan breakfast. Ready in just 15 minutes, it’s quick and easy to prepare, and can even be made ahead as overnight oats for busy mornings.
What is chocolate hazelnut oatmeal?
This healthy vegan oatmeal is the perfect winter breakfast for weekday mornings. It’s a complete comfort food; a creamy, hazelnut oatmeal topped with hazelnut butter and crunchy toasted nuts.
The rich chocolate and hazelnut flavour tastes just like my childhood favourite Nutella spread, and one of my favourite flavours as an adult- praline! It’s decadent like dessert, but without any of the added sugars or saturated fat. Yes, this vegan chocolate oatmeal is healthy!
Naturally sweetened with chopped dates or maple syrup, this vegan chocolate oatmeal is completely gluten free and vegan.
Hazelnut oatmeal is quick to make, perfect for a midweek breakfast, and can also be made ahead as overnight oats. An easy breakfast which is filled with healthy goodness is the perfect way to start the day.
I have most of the ingredients at home for this recipe, but if you don’t there are plenty of ways that you can swap out the ingredients for things you already have to hand. I love to create my own fun oatmeal flavours with ingredients which I have in the cupboard- I hope you will too!
Why I love vegan hazelnut oats
- They taste totally luxurious with a chocolate hazelnut flavour (basically Nutella oats!).
- Coming together in just 15 minutes, they’re super easy to make.
- They’re naturally sweetened, and aren’t full of refined sugar unlike pre-bought flavoured oatmeal.
- They’re super healthy, filled with fibre, protein and healthy fats.
- I have everything I need in my cupboard, so I don’t need any special ingredients.
What ingredients are needed for this recipe?
Rolled oats– Old fashioned rolled oats are my favourite variety of oats for this chocolate hazelnut oatmeal recipe, as they are creamy whilst still retaining some texture. If you are gluten intolerant, make sure that your oats are certified gluten free, meaning that there is no risk of cross contamination.
Chia seeds– These help the oatmeal to thicken and provide an amazing nutritional kick. I’ve written all about why I love chia seeds over on my almond chia butter recipe.
Cocoa powder– Adds a rich chocolatey flavour, without adding any sugar. I would recommend opting for a high quality cocoa powder, as this contributes largely to the flavour of the vegan chocolate oatmeal.
Salt– A small pinch of salt brings out the flavours of the oatmeal. We’re adding a tiny amount here, so it won’t have any negative health benefits, but it really makes the cocoa hazelnut flavour pop. You can leave it out if you are worried.
Hazelnut milk– To give this hazelnut oatmeal even more of a hazelnutty flavour, I’ve opted to use hazelnut milk as my dairy free milk. This stuff is ridiculously delicious and moreish, and is up there with my favourite milks.
Vanilla– This is optional, but just adds a touch of sweetness to the recipe.
Chopped dates or maple syrup– You can add either dates or maple syrup in for sweetness, or none at all if you are not a massive fan of sweet breakfasts. Agave nectar is a good option for healthy vegan oats too.
Crushed hazelnuts– These are to go on top of the oatmeal, they add a lovely crunch and a pop of flavour. You can add them on top as they are, or roast them for extra depth of flavour.
Hazelnut butter– Again, hazelnut butter is for the top of the oatmeal. You can buy it in a store or make your own (it’s surprisingly easy!).
All you will need for this healthy vegan oatmeal recipe is a small sized saucepan suitable for one portion of oats. I have written this as a single portion recipe, but if you would like to increase the amount of oatmeal, make sure you use a bigger pan.
How to make vegan chocolate hazelnut oatmeal
This hazelnut oatmeal is so easy to make, and is ready in only 15 minutes! Firstly, add the oats, chia seeds, cocoa powder and salt to a saucepan, and stir to combine.
Add the hazelnut milk, vanilla and sweetener of choice, if using, to the pan and stir again. The cocoa powder will likely float to the top at this point- don’t worry, it will dissolve as the milk starts to warm up.
Place the pan over a medium-high heat on the stove, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the oatmeal to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to stop the oatmeal from sticking to the bottom, and to distribute the cocoa and chia seeds.
Spoon the hazelnut oatmeal into a bowl, and top with chopped hazelnuts and a drizzle of hazelnut butter. Enjoy!
To make homemade hazelnut butter
If you would like to make your own hazelnut butter, you can do this in advance and store it in an airtight container in the cupboard. It’s really simple to make, by roasting and blending hazelnuts (really, that’s it!). This is a really simple recipe for hazelnut butter.
For a homemade vegan nutella, you can add equal parts cocoa powder and sugar (choose coconut sugar for a healthier option) to your nut butter. A ratio of 1 tbsp of each cocoa and sugar per 2 cups of nuts seems to work well.
For a slightly less healthy Nutella oatmeal, you could follow this recipe for a homemade vegan Nutella using chocolate.
This hazelnut oatmeal is delicious as it is, topped with the hazelnut butter and chopped hazelnut combination as written in the recipe.
If you fancy something different you can try topping your oatmeal with:
- Different nuts or seeds- try almonds, pecans or pumpkin seeds. Peanut butter is always a winner too.
- Dried fruit- dried cherries are delicious with hazelnuts, but you could also use chopped dates or sultanas.
- Fresh fruit- sliced bananas are always a winner with healthy vegan oatmeal, but pears or berries also taste great.
- Chocolate- chop up some unsweetened chocolate, or try dairy free chocolate chips or cacao nibs.
- For added sweetness- add a drizzle of maple syrup, or some plant based Nutella.
- Add a swirl of dairy free yoghurt on top (vanilla flavour goes great).
My top tip for chocolate hazelnut oatmeal
If you’re tight for time in the mornings, you can also make this recipe into chocolate hazelnut overnight oats. Overnight oats won’t result in quite as creamy a texture, but they will still be unbelievably delicious.
To do this, combine all of the ingredients (except for the nut butter and chopped hazelnuts) into a jar or a lidded container. Leave them overnight in the fridge to thicken up, and enjoy the next morning.
If you like a warm breakfast, you could heat them up on the stove or in the microwave after this. On the stove, just empty them into a saucepan, and heat them over a medium-low flame until they are warmed through. They will take 1.5-2 minutes at full power in the microwave.
The hazelnut oatmeal will continue to thicken when warmed, so add an extra splash of dairy free milk so that they aren’t too stodgy.
Ingredient substitutes or additions
- Oats– I find that rolled oats give the best compromise of speed and texture. However, you could make this vegan chocolate oatmeal with quick oats if you’re tight on time. Simply do a straight swap for the rolled oats and they will cook in less than 10 minutes.
- Chia seeds– If you’re not sure about the texture of chia seeds, you can leave these out of the recipe. For a similar nutritional profile, try swapping the chia seeds for ground flaxseed.
- Milk– This can be subbed for almond milk, oat milk, or any other plant milk that you would like. This will mean that the oatmeal itself won’t taste like hazelnuts. To help with this, add half of the crushed hazelnuts and hazelnut butter to the oatmeal at the end of the cooking time.
- Sweetener– If you like your oatmeal sweet, but are trying to watch your sugar consumption by eating healthy vegan oats, you could opt for a sweetener such as stevia.
- Add a shot of coffee for a morning kick and added richness in this hazelnut oatmeal (think mocha hazelnut oats!). You could also add a tsp of instant espresso powder to the dry ingredients.
- As I mentioned above- when it comes to vegan oatmeal toppings, the world is your oyster!
If you want to get ahead of the game, you can mix all of the dry ingredients together the night before, or even keep small containers of the pre-portioned dry ingredients. When you want to make your hazelnut oats, simply add the hazelnut milk and cook on the stove.
As I mentioned above, you can also make this recipe as overnight oats. If you decide to go this route, the overnight oats will keep for up to 3 days, covered in the refrigerator.
You can reheat on the stove over a medium-low heat, or at high power in the microwave for 1.5-2 minutes. They will get really thick when doing this so I would recommend adding an extra splash of hazelnut milk.
To make this recipe even easier, mix together the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Put them in the microwave for 1 minute, stir, then put them back in for 30 second increments until the oats are softened.
More quick and easy breakfast recipes
If you like healthy recipes for busy mornings, you might like:
- Spiced pear granola (perfect on top of yoghurt or with a splash of plant milk).
- These tofu breakfast burritos. They’re perfect for grabbing from the freezer!
- An Autumnal apple parfait, with layers of yoghurt, granola and cinnamon apples.
- A jar of easy coffee overnight oats.
- Or some almond and chia seed butter to spread on top of wholewheat toast.
Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Oatmeal
- 1 Small saucepan
- 45 g rolled oats
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 ½ tbsp cocoa powder
- pinch salt
- 250 ml hazelnut milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (opt)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup* (opt)
- 15 g chopped roasted hazelnuts
- 1 tbsp hazelnut butter
- Firstly, add the oats, chia seeds, cocoa powder and salt to a saucepan, and stir to combine.
- Add the hazelnut milk, vanilla and sweetener of choice, if using, to the pan and stir again. The cocoa powder will likely float to the top at this point- don’t worry, it will dissolve as the milk starts to warm up.
- Place the pan over a medium-high heat on the stove, and bring to a gentle boil.
- Reduce the oatmeal to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to stop the oatmeal from sticking to the bottom, and to distribute the cocoa and chia seeds.
- Spoon the hazelnut oatmeal into a bowl, and top with chopped hazelnuts and hazelnut butter.