Learn how to make oatmeal like a pro! It’s truly one of the easiest (and fastest) healthy meals you can make. Enjoy a basic bowl of oatmeal or get creative with endless sweet and savory flavor options. I’ll give you a few ideas and tips!

The texture of oatmeal can vary, depending on the type of oats you buy. Here are three popular varieties:

  • Steel Cut Oats: Steel-cut oats are whole oat groats chopped into pieces resembling little rice grains. They retain their shape well after cooking and results in a chewy and creamy like porridge. But, the cooking time is fairly long – about 30 minutes.
  • Old Fashioned Rolled Oats: This type is my favorite to use for oatmeal! Rolled oats are steamed then rolled flat, which allows them to be cooked faster while still creating a deliciously creamy and hearty texture.
  • Quick Cooking Oats: These are the most processed oats, undergoing pre-cooked, dried, rolled, and pressed steps. Their downside? They tend to produce a mushier oatmeal. But on the bright side, they only require about one minute to cook. So if you’re in a rush, this is a great option.

Ingredients For The Best Oatmeal Recipe

It takes just three ingredients to make the perfect bowl of oatmeal. Can’t beat that, eh?

  • Rolled Oats: These will create deliciously creamy porridge in just 5 to 10 minutes. Remember to buy certified gluten-free oats if you’re gluten-sensitive or celiac.
  • Water or Milk: For the liquid you can use water, milk or dairy-free milk (like almond milk or cashew milk), it’s up to you! For that perfect level of creaminess, a 50/50 water and milk combo is great.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt will transform a bland bowl of oatmeal into a flavorful one. Trust me, don’t leave it out.
  • Toppings: What’s oatmeal without toppings? Have fun with spices, fruits, nuts, and so much more(see below!)

Is Oatmeal Gluten Free?

If you’re gluten intolerant or celiac (like me), you do need to be careful with what brand of oats you buy. While oats are naturally gluten-free, the facilities that process oats often process grains such as wheat, barley, or rye. And that creates significant grain “dust” which cross-contaminates the oats with gluten.

Additionally, the different types of crops are sometimes harvested with the same tools, leading to cross contamination. So it’s best to buy certified gluten-free oats to avoid any surprise flare ups.

How To Make Oatmeal Like A Pro

Just remember this ratio 1:2. For every portion of oats, you need double the amount of liquid. For a single serving with 1/2 cup of oats, that means you’ll need 1 cup of liquid.

On the Stove

Whether you’re making a single portion or 10 portions for a crowd, it’s easy to make perfect oatmeal on the stove. Here’s the process:

  • Boil water. In a small pot, bring the water or milk and salt to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Cook the oats. Stir in the oats then reduce the heat to medium-low. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes to let the liquid absorb, while stirring occasionally.
  • Top and serve. Add flavorful toppings, a drizzle of milk if you’d like, and enjoy.

In the Microwave

This method is best for small or individual portions. Here’s the process:

  • Combine: The water or milk, oats, and salt in a bowl. Give it a quick stir.
  • Heat: Microwave the bowl (uncovered) on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. The oats will start to bubble a bit, so it’s best to use a larger bowl.
  • Top and serve: Again, you can add flavorful toppings, a drizzle of milk, maple syrup, etc., and enjoy.

Make Your Oatmeal Taste Amazing

Popular toppings include maple syrup, spices, fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and nut butters. Those are wonderful sweet toppings, but let’s not forget that oatmeal can be savory too! Think of oatmeal like a piece of toast (they’re both made from grains after all). So whatever you’d top on toast you can top on oatmeal!

Sweet Flavors

  • Apple Cinnamon: Add diced apples, chopped pecans, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a drizzle of maple syrup.
  • Banana Blueberry: Add sliced bananas, blueberries, a drizzle of almond butter, and a sprinkle of chia seeds.
  • Strawberries and Cream: Add diced strawberries, a dollop of yogurt, and a sprinkle of flaxseeds.
  • Raspberry Chia Jam: Add a spoonful of chia seed jam, coconut flakes, sliced almonds, and extra milk on top.
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter: Stir in cacao powder, then add a drizzle of peanut butter, and shredded coconut.
  • Pumpkin Spice: Stir in pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and top with chopped pecans and maple syrup.
  • Coffee, Walnut & Dates: Replace some of the liquid with a little bit of brewed coffee as it’s cooking. Then top it off with chopped dates, toasted walnuts, and banana slices.

Savory Flavors

  • Jammy Egg & Spinach: Add a jammy soft boiled egg or poached egg, garlic sauteed spinach (or garlic sauteed Swiss chard), avocado slices, and chives.
  • Fried Egg & Salsa: Add a fried egg, pico de gallo (or classic salsa or avocado salsa), and microgreens.
  • Savory Mushroom: Add sauteed mushrooms, a poached or fried egg, a dash of tamari soy sauce, and chopped green onions.
  • Butternut Squash and Peppers: Add roasted butternut squash, diced and sauteed bell peppers with garlic and onions, and a sprinkle of goat cheese.

How To Store Leftover Cooked Oatmeal

Did you make a little too much oatmeal? Or do you want to meal prep it? Well good news, you can save it and enjoy it throughout the week.

  • To store: Let the oatmeal cool, then place in a sealed container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
  • For freezing: If you want to store it longer, just place it in the freezer. It will stay good for several months.
  • To reheat: Add a splash of water or milk to revive its creaminess and microwave your bowl for about 45 seconds (if previously thawed in the fridge). Give it a stir, and pop it back in the microwave for one more minute until you’ve reached your desired temperature.

Common Questions Answered

  • Can you make oatmeal in a slow cooker? Yes – but sticking with steel-cut oats are best for this. To make it, add 1 cup of steel cut oats, 3 cups of milk (or water), and give it all a stir. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high while stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Is it better to use milk or water? You can go either way. But milk definitely makes for a creamier consistency. If you want that creamy consistency without using milk, stir a mashed banana into the oatmeal when it’s almost done.
  • What if my oatmeal is dry? Just add a splash more water or milk, and stir it in.
  • Is oatmeal good for you? Most definitely! Oatmeal is considered to be one of the healthiest breakfast options that’s a nutritional powerhouse, rich in antioxidants, it lowers cholesterol, and so much more.

More Ways To Use Oats

A bag of oats can take you much further than just a bowl of oatmeal. Here’s a few ways to get creative with them.

  • Blend it into creamy oat milk.
  • Mix with chocolate and bake them into the best no bake cookies.
  • Stir with a few other ingredients to create energy balls.
  • Create a crumble topping and bake it into a deliciously warm berry crisp.


Made this recipe and loved it?! We would love it if you would take a minute and leave a star rating and review – it is also helpful if you made any substitutions or changes to the recipe to share that as well. THANK YOU!


Learn how to make the perfect bowl of oatmeal! Rolled oats are transformed into a hearty, creamy, and healthy breakfast option that’s ready in just 10 minutes


Basic Oatmeal

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup water, milk, or non-dairy milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  1. In a small saucepan, bring the water or milk and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, stir in the oats and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the oatmeal simmer for 5 minutes or until it reaches your desired consistency. Make sure to stir occasionally.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat, cover with a lid, then let it rest for a few minutes. This will give the oats time to absorb the liquid. If they look too dry, stir in a splash more liquid.
  3. Top your oatmeal with your favorite ingredients then serve!