9 Best High-Protein Bodybuilding Oatmeal Recipes

One of the biggest missed opportunities when eating oatmeal is adding a protein source.  Adding protein to an oatmeal recipe can turn it into a well-balanced meal that is good for any time of day, including pre-and-post workout.

While oatmeal does have a higher protein content naturally, especially compared with other carbs sources (like rice), you’ll still need to increase the protein content to satisfy the requirement for most bodybuilding meals.  Protein add-ons to oatmeal can include egg whites, protein powder, and Greek yogurt. 

Below, I’ll give you 9 oatmeal recipes high in protein that can easily help you achieve your protein goals.  

How To Increase Protein For Oatmeal Recipes 

how to increase protein for oatmeal recipes

There are five ways you can increase your protein while eating oatmeal: 

Oatmeal Is Already a High-Protein Carb

One of the advantages of oatmeal is that it is high in protein compared to other carb sources.  As such, just by eating oatmeal as a carb source, you’re already increasing your protein intake.

In the following table, we can compare the nutritional value of 100 g of dry oatmeal and rice. 

Nutritional ValueRiceOatmeal
Carbs (g)81.767.7
Protein (g)6.813.2
Fats (g)0.66.5

As you can see from the table, oatmeal has almost twice the amount of protein compared with rice. 

However, keep in mind that oatmeal is not considered a high-quality protein.  

Here’s why: Protein is made up of amino acids. Some amino acids we can create in our body (non-essential), while others need to come through our diets (essential).  Oatmeal doesn’t have all the essential amino acids your body needs, which makes it a lower-quality protein compared with animal-based protein sources (like chicken).

Therefore, it’s still important to add additional protein sources to your oatmeal recipes that can bring up the quality. So let’s move onto the next protein add-on for oatmeal recipes. 

Egg whites

Egg whites are a great lean protein source. Additionally, it is considered a high-quality protein since it has all the essential amino acids that your body needs. 

One of the advantages of egg whites is that they don’t have any flavor. You can make savory or sweet dishes, and it’s easy to add egg whites to oatmeal to increase the protein content. 

Protein powder 

Another easy way to increase the protein content of an oatmeal recipe is to add protein powder. The advantage of adding protein powder is that it can also provide a lot of flavors. 

For example, if you are looking to have a bowl of peanut butter chocolate oatmeal, you can add chocolate protein powder for the ‘chocolate flavor’.

Nuts or Seeds

Nuts like peanuts, almonds, walnuts, and cashews have a good amount of protein. On average, 1 oz of peanuts (28 g) has around 7 grams of protein, which is the same as one large egg. 

On the other hand, seeds like chia seeds, flax seeds, and hemp seeds are also good sources of protein. In 1 oz of chia seeds (28 g), you get almost 5 g of protein. 

For a bodybuilder who follows a plant-based diet or has problems reaching their total protein intake for the day, adding nuts or seeds can be an ideal way to help pack on the protein. 

However, remember that plant-based proteins (except soy, quinoa, and hemp) are considered low-quality proteins since they don’t have all the essential amino acids. 

Dairy Products

Finally, another way to increase protein is by adding dairy products like greek yogurt or cottage cheese. 

Dairy can provide you with high-quality protein since it contains all the essential amino acids that your body needs. 

However, for some people (especially those that suffer from IBS) diary might not be the best option since it can produce stomach problems like bloating or stomach cramps. 

As well, while dairy products can be high in protein, if you’re trying to watch your fat intake, dairy might not be the best option because those products also tend to be higher in fat.

  • Related Article: How To Increase Protein Intake Without Increasing Your Fat

Oatmeal Bodybuilding Recipes: 9 High-Protein Meals

1. Creamy Pumpkin Steel Cut Oat

creamy pumpkin steel cut oat
creamy pumpkin steel cut oat

Searching for plant-based options and not relying solely on protein shakes to achieve your protein intake can be challenging.  This is one of the few high-protein oatmeal bodybuilding recipes that increases your protein intake using plant-based protein sources.

This recipe provides roughly 25 g of protein (which is the same as having 3.5 large eggs). 

If you are looking to increase this recipe’s protein even more, you can always add a scoop of plant-based protein powder or even replace the almond milk with higher plant-based protein milk (like pea milk or soy). Depending on the milk this will give you an additional 8 g of protein. 

Calories and Macros

  • Serving size: 1 bowl
  • Portions per recipe: 4
  • Calories: 1175
  • Carbs: 222.0 g
  • Protein: 25.0 g
  • Fats: 23.0 g 


  • Steel-cut oats, soaked overnight
  • Pumpkin purée
  • Plant-based milk or water
  • Maple syrup or sweetener
  • Pumpkin spice blend
  • Vanilla
  • Pinch salt
Caramelized bananas
  • Bananas, sliced
  • Teaspoons oil
  • Maple syrup, optional

Click for the full recipe on FromTheComfortOfMyBowl.com.

2. Egg White And Oatmeal Protein Pancake

egg white and oatmeal protein pancake

Greek yogurt and egg whites are high-quality protein, meaning it provides you with all the essential amino acids that your body needs. 

For those looking for something sweet for breakfast, this option packs a punch of protein and carbs to help provide energy and healthy fats (peanuts). 

Additionally, thanks to its Greek yogurt content, it provides calcium, essential for good bone health. Making your bones stronger makes you less prone to fractures or injuries. 

Calories and Macros

  • Serving size: 4 pancakes
  • Portions per recipe: 1
  • Calories: 409
  • Carbs: 52.4 g
  • Protein: 25.3 g
  • Fats: 12.1 g


  • Oats
  • Protein almond milk
  • Egg whites
  • Bananas, mashed
  • Plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey
  • Natural peanut butter


1. Combine oats and almond milk in a mixing bowl and let soak for 10 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Whisk the egg whites together until bubbly.

3. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.

4. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and pour 3-4 cups of the batter once hot.

5. Cook for 3-4 minutes on one side, then flip. Cook for another 1-2 minutes

6. Top with peanut butter or any other toppings. 

3. Oatmeal Raisin Bars

oatmeal raisin bars
oatmeal raisin bars

Meal prepping plays an important role in a bodybuilder’s life. Making meals in advance helps you stay on track and achieve your goals. These oatmeal raisin bars are great for making them in advance and to have them available once you need a quick snack or a breakfast. 

The fewer choices you have to make during the day regarding your meal choices, the easier it will be to achieve your macros and goals. 

Another benefit of this recipe is its cost. 

On average, a protein bar costs $2.00 if you’re buying in bulk, and up to $4.00 if you’re buying a single bar. A bodybuilder’s energy requirements are very large, meaning that maybe one bar will not be enough to reach the desired macros, and therefore food and grocery costs could be significant. 

This recipe costs less than $1.00 per bar, which means that it is at least 50% cheaper than the protein bars you find on the market. 

Calories and Macros

  • Serving size: 1 bar
  • Portions per recipe: 6
  • Calories: 282
  • Carbs: 34.0 g
  • Protein: 11.0 g
  • Fats: 13.0 g


  • Quick cook oats
  • Vanilla protein powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Raisins
  • Maple syrup
  • Almond butter
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Click for the full recipe on TheCleanEatingCouple.com.

4. The Best Peanut Butter Oatmeal

the best peanut butter oatmeal

Peanuts are high in arginine, which is an amino acid that is converted into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide improves blood flow (by dilating blood vessels), meaning more oxygen and nutrients can flow to your muscles.  

In an animal study, they were given a diet high in arginine (in different concentrations) and one with no arginine. At the end of the study, those with a higher arginine intake saw an increase in testosterone levels by 0.8% compared to the base group. 

For a bodybuilder, this has an advantage since higher testosterone levels mean more lean mass and less fat mass. 

Calories and Macros

  • Serving size: 1 bowl
  • Portions per recipe: 1
  • Calories: 456
  • Carbs: 51.8 g
  • Protein: 30.2 g
  • Fats: 16.4 g


  • Oats
  • Whey protein powder
  • Rraw, unsalted peanuts
  • Banana, sliced
  • Natural peanut butter


1. Cook oatmeal with ½ cup of water in the microwave for 2 minutes.

2. Top with protein powder, peanuts, and bananas.

3. Drizzle with peanut butter.

4. Mix well and serve. 

5. Overnight Protein Oats With Blueberries

overnight protein oats with blueberries
overnight protein oats with blueberries

This is another great option for those following a plant-based diet. It packs 23 g of protein, which is a good intake for a bodybuilder (although you might want to add another couple of scoops of protein powder). 

It also has the benefit of using blueberries and chia seeds, both great foods that help reduce inflammation in the body. 

Blueberries are a food with the highest antioxidant capacity. It is the leading in antioxidant content compared to other fruits. The benefit of antioxidants is that they help reduce inflammation in the body, leading to better muscle recovery. 

Calories and Macros

  • Portions per recipe: 2 servings
  • Calories: 339
  • Carbs: 47.5 g
  • Protein: 23.7 g
  • Fats: 3.8 g


  • Rolled oats (use gluten-free, if necessary)
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Cchia seeds
  • Unsweetened protein powder
  • Raw honey or maple syrup (for vegan)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Fresh or frozen and defrosted blueberries
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Optional toppings: drizzle of nut butter or sprinkling of chopped almonds or other nut or seed

Click for the full recipe on CleanEatingKitchen.com.

6. Egg White Oatmeal

egg white oatmeal

This recipe includes pumpkin seeds, which are packed with nutrients such as magnesium.  

Magnesium is a mineral that helps your body relax, promoting a better quality of sleep. Since sleep plays an important role in muscle formation (since it’s when the body repairs and grows), I recommend a magnesium supplement before bedtime when a bodybuilder has problems with sleep. 

However, for those that are not too keen on supplementing, adding a food high in magnesium (like pumpkin seeds) can help you with a good night’s sleep.  

Calories and Macros

  • Serving size: 1 bowl
  • Portions per recipe: 1 
  • Calories: 345
  • Carbs: 44.3 g
  • Protein: 25.7 g
  • Fats: 7.6 g


  • Oats
  • Egg whites
  • Blueberries
  • Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin seeds


1. Whisk egg whites together.

2. Combine oats with ⅔ cup of water and stir in egg whites.

3. Cook in the microwave for 1 minute, add 2 tablespoons blueberries and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

4. Add the remaining blueberries, cinnamon, and pumpkin seeds.

7. Sweet Potato Oatmeal Pancakes

sweet potato oatmeal pancakes

Sweet potato is one of the best carb options that you can add to your diet. It is high in fiber, which helps increase your fullness levels during the day, and it is high in vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation. 

If you don’t know how to include sweet potatoes (other than sweet potato fries or mashed), this is the recipe for you to try. 

Now, keep in mind that it might not be as high in calories as you need. Thus, you would need to supplement with extra protein on the side (a couple of scrambled eggs or a protein shake) to increase the protein content in a meal. 

Remember, a bodybuilder needs around 1.6 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight

Calories and Macros

  • Serving size: 1
  • Portions per recipe: 2
  • Calories: 527
  • Carbs: 91.0 g
  • Protein: 17.0 g
  • Fats: 12.0 g


  • Rolled oats
  • Sweet potato puree
  • Maple syrup
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Eggs
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Baking powder
  • Ground cinnamon

Click for the full recipe on SimplyOatmeal.com.

8. The Best High Protein Bodybuilding Oatmeal

Per serving, this is one of the highest oatmeal protein recipes on our list, packing over 30 g of protein. For those with a higher protein requirement, this is a great option for you to include. 

One of its ingredients, cacao nibs, is a food full of benefits that you might want in your bodybuilding diet. They are very high in antioxidants, which help reduce the damage done by constant stress in your body. This anti-inflammatory benefit means that if you include it after a workout, you can have better muscle recovery. 

Also, thanks to its high antioxidant properties, it helps boost your immune system. A stronger immune system means that you are less likely to get sick, which means more days at the gym than at home recovering. 

Calories and Macros

  • Serving size: 1 bowl 
  • Portions per recipe: 1
  • Calories: 499
  • Carbs: 63.4 g
  • Protein: 32.6 g
  • Fats: 16.3 g


  • Quick oats
  • Protein powder
  • Nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • Bocoa powder
  • Banana
  • Peanut butter
  • Cocoa nibs


1. Cook the oatmeal with ⅔ cup water in the microwave for 2 minutes

2. Top with protein powder, Greek yogurt, cocoa powder, banana, and peanut butter.

3. Mix well and top with cocoa nibs.

9. Oatmeal Protein Cookies

oatmeal protein cookies
Oatmeal Protein Cookies

A common problem is finding high-protein snacks that are quick and easy to make. While a protein shake is the most often choice, sometimes we need to find other ways to provide variety. 

These oatmeal protein cookies are a great way of providing a protein-packed snack. One cookie provides around 6 g of protein (which is the same as having 1 medium egg). They are also high in calories which makes them the perfect option for those that are in a bulking phase. 

Thus, for those in a cutting phase, you might want to avoid them since they might give you more calories than you need, affecting your goals. 

I would also not view this recipe as a full meal, but rather as a snack to have on-the-go or something to eat between meals to keep you from feeling hungry throughout the day.

Calories and Macros

  • Serving size: 12 cookies
  • Portions per recipe: 1
  • Calories: 1,437
  • Carbs: 163.0 g
  • Protein: 70.0 g
  • Fats: 65.0 g


  • Mashed bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
  • Peanut butter
  • Vanilla
  • Baking powder
  • Vanilla protein
  • Oats
  • Hemp seed hearts
  • Chia Seeds

Click for the full recipe on LauraFuentes.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Cups of Oatmeal Do Bodybuilders Eat? 

The amount of oatmeal a bodybuilder needs to eat depends on the phase and total calories. A bodybuilder in a bulking phase might consume two to three cups of oatmeal per day. On the other hand, a bodybuilder in a cutting phase might have a lower intake of around one or two cups. 

What Can You Put In Oatmeal Instead of Protein Powder? 

You can add egg whites or Greek yogurt to oatmeal if you want to increase the protein content without having to rely on protein powder. Make sure to constantly whisk the egg whites to avoid them from scrambling and provide a creamy texture. Greek yogurt can be used in both hot, and cold dishes. 

Can Oats Build Muscle?

Yes, oats can help you achieve a caloric surplus, which is essential for building muscle. However, oats on their own don’t have the required protein a bodybuilder might need to increase muscle. Thus, make sure to always add a protein source like egg whites, protein powder, or Greek yogurt. 

Which Type of Oats Are Best For Bodybuilding?

Instant oats are easier to digest, which means that they are a better choice for those bulking (since it won’t make you too full), and before a workout. Rolled oats are less processed, meaning they have more fiber which makes them a great choice for those in a cutting phase. 

Other Bodybuilding Recipe Ideas

If you’re still looking for bodybuilding meal ideas, check out:


Baskurt OK, Ulker P, Meiselman HJ. Nitric oxide, erythrocytes and exercise. Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2011;49(1-4):175-81. doi: 10.3233/CH-2011-1467. PMID: 22214688.

Chen JQ, Li YS, Li ZJ, Lu HX, Zhu PQ, Li CM. Dietary l-arginine supplementation improves semen quality and libido of boars under high ambient temperature. Animal. 2018 Aug;12(8):1611-1620. doi: 10.1017/S1751731117003147. Epub 2017 Dec 4. PMID: 29198215.

Bhasin S, Woodhouse L, Casaburi R, Singh AB, Bhasin D, Berman N, Chen X, Yarasheski KE, Magliano L, Dzekov C, Dzekov J, Bross R, Phillips J, Sinha-Hikim I, Shen R, Storer TW. Testosterone dose-response relationships in healthy young men. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Dec;281(6):E1172-81. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.2001.281.6.E1172. PMID: 11701431.

Wolfe KL, Kang X, He X, Dong M, Zhang Q, Liu RH. Cellular antioxidant activity of common fruits. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Sep 24;56(18):8418-26. doi: 10.1021/jf801381y. Epub 2008 Aug 30. PMID: 18759450.

Nielsen FH, Johnson LK, Zeng H. Magnesium supplementation improves indicators of low magnesium status and inflammatory stress in adults older than 51 years with poor quality sleep. Magnes Res. 2010 Dec;23(4):158-68. doi: 10.1684/mrh.2010.0220. Epub 2011 Jan 4. PMID: 21199787.

Blaner WS, Shmarakov IO, Traber MG. Vitamin A and Vitamin E: Will the Real Antioxidant Please Stand Up? Annu Rev Nutr. 2021 Oct 11;41:105-131. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-082018-124228. Epub 2021 Jun 11. PMID: 34115520.

Campbell, B., Kreider, R.B., Ziegenfuss, T. et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 4, 8 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-4-8

Goya, L., Martín, M. Á., Sarriá, B., Ramos, S., Mateos, R., & Bravo, L. (2016). Effect of Cocoa and Its Flavonoids on Biomarkers of Inflammation: Studies of Cell Culture, Animals and Humans. Nutrients, 8(4), 212. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8040212

Selmi C, Mao TK, Keen CL, Schmitz HH, Eric Gershwin M. The anti-inflammatory properties of cocoa flavanols. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2006;47 Suppl 2:S163-71; discussion S172-6. doi: 10.1097/00005344-200606001-00010. PMID: 16794453.

Ricordi C, Garcia-Contreras M, Farnetti S. Diet and Inflammation: Possible Effects on Immunity, Chronic Diseases, and Life Span. J Am Coll Nutr. 2015;34 Suppl 1:10-3. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2015.1080101. PMID: 26400428.

About The Author

Brenda Peralta

Brenda Peralta is a Registered Dietitian and certified sports nutritionist.  In addition to being an author for FeastGood.com, she fact checks the hundreds of articles published across the website to ensure accuracy and consistency of information.

Why Trust Our Content

FeastGood logo

On Staff at FeastGood.com, we have Registered Dietitians, coaches with PhDs in Human Nutrition, and internationally ranked athletes who contribute to our editorial process. This includes research, writing, editing, fact-checking, and product testing/reviews. At a bare minimum, all authors must be certified nutrition coaches by either the National Academy of Sports Medicine, International Sport Sciences Association, or Precision Nutrition. Learn more about our team here.

Have a Question?

If you have any questions or feedback about what you’ve read, you can reach out to us at info@feastgood.com. We respond to every email within 1 business day.