Breakfast Recipe: Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

This spin-off on the classic oatmeal breakfast is rich and decadent. Combined with our Coconut Chia version, we’ve taken oatmeal up a notch or two.

Meal Stats:

  • Recipe Weight: 4.5 ounces
  • Calories per Ounce: 142
  • Total Calories: 641


The chief benefit of this recipe is that the ingredients are widely available and easy to assemble. You can find everything in a standard supermarket, and probably even small-town grocery stores.

The recipe assumes that your banana chips are sweetened. If they’re not, it’s recommended that you add a sweetener like sugar or honey.

The meal is very fat- and calorie-heavy, due to the combination of butter, chocolate, and walnuts. These will help balance the sugar content to give you a “slow burn” effect.

If you’re vegan, have a small appetite, or want a healthier version, consider these substitutions:

  • Use cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips;
  • Use dried blueberries or no-sugar-added dried cranberries; or,
  • Omit the butter and use coconut oil if you want to make it fully vegan.

While you can cold-soak this recipe, its full glory comes only when it’s cooked, because the chocolate chips melt into the oats.

At Home Preparation

For solo trips, combine all the ingredients in a sandwich bag, except for the chocolate chips and maybe the butter. To prevent the butter from leaking in hot conditions, double-bag it, or keep it in a secure food storage container (e.g. Tupperware). The chocolate chips are best added at the end.

For groups, provide individually portioned bags of oats and divide all other ingredients in the field to accommodate allergies and preferences. Store the butter in a secure food storage container. Keep the chocolate chips, craisins, and banana chips separate, so they can be added at the end after the meal has cooked.

Field Preparation

  1. Bring 8 ounces of water to a boil.
  2. Add butter, walnuts, and oats into the water.
  3. Cover, and wait 5 minutes. Add cinnamon to taste.
  4. A few minutes before eating, add the chocolate chips, craisins, and banana chips.

Using up to 12 ounces of water will help with cleanup, but the melted chocolate in the pot will inevitably need a little extra attention.

Finished product

Have questions or an experience with this meal? Leave a comment.

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  1. Macy on December 14, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Sounds great. I do a similar one with chopped up dried “baby bananas” from TJs and PB2. Peanut butter, banana, and chocolate flavor combo actually makes oatmeal sth to look forward to.

  2. Dano on December 15, 2019 at 3:56 am

    Thanks for the recipe Andrew. I just wanted to add that quick cook oats are equally nutritious as regular rolled oats (but in my opinion also less tasty for it’s mushiness), but when hiking I like to save my fuel (and cooking times) as much as possible, so I make a switch here for the quick-cook version.

  3. Jesse on September 18, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Hi Skurka, I love your recipes! have a question about salt? Why does it 0.0 ounces, is it just to taste? On your raw cookie dough, it says .1 which is about 3 teaspoons if I remember correctly, but that much salt is a little to salty for me and my kids so we do 2 teaspoons and it’s perfect, just wondering if you can be more specific on this recipe, so I don’t end up eating it all by myself if it’s too salty for my kids. Thanks again for all the epic info you share. Your Natl Geo book is my backpacking bible.

    • Andrew Skurka on September 18, 2020 at 10:12 am

      Yes, to taste.

      • Jesse on September 18, 2020 at 10:23 am

        That’s what I figured, but the “critical, don’t forget it” part made me wonder if I was missing anything. Can’t wait to make this recipe! My kids eat the raw cookie dough like it’s candy!

      • PStu on September 19, 2020 at 7:41 am

        I know it’s more effort, but converting recipes to grams instead of ounces might allow you to be precise about salt and other seasonings. I think most kitchen scales are able to provide both readings.

  4. Jesse on September 18, 2020 at 10:24 am

    That’s what I figured, but the “critical, don’t forget it” part made me wonder if I was missing anything. Can’t wait to make this recipe! My kids eat the raw cookie dough like it’s candy!

  5. Bryan on December 10, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    Made this without either of the powder milks….and it came out great.
    Perfect size, taste and filling.

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