How to Make Oatmeal

How to make the perfect bowl of oatmeal. Sharing the basic recipe and 30+ additional healthy oatmeal recpies you’ll love!

I’m a huge oatmeal fan! So huge I used to eat oatmeal every single day… #obsessed. Over the years I’ve shared so many healthy oatmeal recipes and it’s definitely still one of my all-time favorite breakfasts! It’s so warm, comforting and healthy. Plus, I’m a volume eater so I love the fact that with oatmeal I get to eat a huge, delicious bowl in one sitting. In this post I’m going to break down everything you need to know about oatmeal, why it’s so good for you and share a bunch of healthy oatmeal recipes you need to try today!

What Are The Health Benefits of Eating Oatmeal?

There are so many health benefits! Oats are a whole grain, low in saturated fat, low in cholesterol, naturally gluten-free and a good source of fiber, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese. The soluble fiber in oatmeal can also help lower cholesterol levels and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. Plus, there’s something about oatmeal that warms the soul. 😉

I will say, the little packages of oatmeal often have a lot of sugar in them, so it’s always best to make your own!

What Are The Different Types of Oatmeal?

Steel cut oats: these are the least processed oats. The oat groat (the full oat “grain”) is cut into two or three parts to get to steel cut oats. Here’s my go-to cooking method for steel cut oats.

Old fashioned/rolled oats: oat groats that have been steamed and then rolled which speeds up the cooking process for all of us at home.

Quick or instant oats: these are the most processed of all the oat varieties. They are pre-cooked, dried, and rolled and pressed slightly thinner than rolled oats. They cook faster than than steel cut or rolled oats, but they also lose a bit of texture in the cooking process so they tend to be mushy.

While steel cut oats are less processed than regular rolled oats, there are only minor differences nutritionally. Steel cut, old fashioned/rolled, and quick oats all have approximately the same amount of fiber, protein, calories, and other nutrients. I personally don’t view one type of oatmeal better than the other, but I tend to prefer steel cut oats and rolled oats for breakfast recipes but use quick oats for baking sometimes. Quick oats work great for my healthy no bake cookies!

How Do You Make Oatmeal?

There are SO many ways to cook oats. For real! You can bake them, cook them on the stove top, make them in the slow cooker, make overnight oats or even make oatmeal in the microwave. I’m sharing all of the different ways to make oatmeal below but the key to making *good* oatmeal?! It’s the mix-ins and toppings! I love mixing in fruit, nut butter and a variety of flavors to take my oatmeal to the next level. No more boring bowls of oats!

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A white bowl of oatmeal covered with slices of banana, pieces of dried coconut, and a honey drizzle. A spoon is sitting in the bowl.

Basic Healthy Oatmeal Recipe

  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 6 minutes
  • Yield: 1


A basic healthy oatmeal recipe with instructions for how to cook old fashioned oatmeal on the stovetop or in the microwave. 



  1. Add oats, water or milk and salt to a pot over medium/high heat.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat and continue to cook for about 5-7 minutes; stirring occasionally.
  3. You oatmeal is ready when the oats have soaked up most of the liquid and are creamy. Transfer to a bowl and add your favorite toppings.


  • To make old-fashioned oats in the microwave: add 1/2 cup oats and 3/4 cup liquid (water or milk) into a microwave-safe bowl and stir to combine. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir and continue to microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each, until the oatmeal is the consistency you like. I usually cook them for a total of 3 minutes, but you’ll know it’s done when most the liquid is absorbed and oats are hot.
  • Carefully remove from microwave (bowl will be hot) and top with your favorite oatmeal toppings.
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup made with water (no toppings)
  • Calories: 150
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Fat: 3g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 27g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 5g

Keywords: healthy oatmeal recipe, oatmeal recipes

Stovetop oatmeal recipes. Banana bread oatmeal in a bowl.

Stovetop Oatmeal Recipes

  • Savory Oatmeal – A savory oatmeal bowl with an egg, avocado, tomatoes and little parmesan. This bowl has a great combination of healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates.
  • Healthy Salted Caramel Oatmeal – This warm and gooey salted caramel oatmeal is swirled with an easy date caramel sauce giving it that perfect blend of sweet and salty.
  • Banana Bread Oatmeal with Caramelized Bananas – Basically my dream dessert in breakfast form. Enjoy this gourmet but super simple breakfast!
  • Sweet + Savory Egg and Oatmeal Combo Bowl – Don’t knock it ’til you try it, okay? This breakfast is sweet, savory and the perfect combination of protein, carbs and fat.
  • Protein Pumpkin Oatmeal with Egg Whites – Packed with protein and flavor, this oatmeal is one of my go-to’s throughout fall!
  • Zucchini Bread Oatmeal – Your entire kitchen will smell like zucchini bread after making this healthy breakfast! What could be better?
  • Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal – A tried and true favorite, this cinnamon raisin oatmeal is super easy to make and oh so delicious. This recipe will make you want to ditch those instant oatmeal packets!
  • Peanut Butter Banana Chia Oatmeal – Packed with fiber and protein, this delicious bowl of oatmeal will leave you full all morning long! Plus, what’s better than peanut butter and banana?
  • Salted Date Oatmeal – This recipe could be called salted caramel oatmeal because that’s what it tastes like! #sogood
  • Tropical Oatmeal – Nothing warms me up like a bowl of oatmeal on a cold morning especially if it involves flavors that make me think of white sand, suntan lotion and piña coladas.
  • Blueberry Peach Oatmeal – This oatmeal is best when blueberries and peaches are in season but still one of my favs year round!
  • Date Sweetened Apple Pie Oatmeal by Minimalist Baker – You simply can’t go wrong with date sweetened oats that taste like apple pie.
  • Spiced pear oatmeal by The Roasted Root – Spiced pears = perfect for fall.
  • Apple Ginger Cashew Cream Oatmeal by Will Frolic For Food – Love the addition of ginger.
  • Brownie Batter Peanut Butter Swirl Oatmeal by Fit Foodie Finds – Anything that looks like chocolate sauce but is also a breakfast food is good in my book.
  • Morning Glory Oatmeal by Cookie + Kate – Carrots, coconut milk and spices. Need I say more?

Baked oatmeal recipes. Blueberry baked oatmeal in a dish.

Baked Oatmeal Recipes

  • Baked Blueberry Oatmeal – This blueberry baked oatmeal is studded with blueberries and naturally sweetened with bananas and pure maple syrup. Can be made with fresh or frozen blueberries!
  • Baked Oatmeal Cups 4-Ways – Keep these baked oatmeal cups in your fridge or freezer for an easy, healthy breakfast! There’s four different flavor options so you’ll never get bored.
  • Maple Pecan Baked Oatmeal – This baked oatmeal is fancy enough to make for brunch or just as meal prep for ready-to-eat breakfasts throughout the week!
  • Healthy Baked Chai Oatmeal Cups – If “cozy” could be used to describe food, this would be the time.
  • Apple Cinnamon Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal – This breakfast reminds me of a cookie or a dessert you would serve with ice cream. Aka a delicious breakfast 😉
  • Baked Banana Oatmeal Cups – Oatmeal cups that taste like banana bread? Sign me up.
  • Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal Cups – Make ahead oatmeal cups that are portable. Road trips, work breakfast… these are your friend!
  • Peach Baked Oatmeal – Peaches are one of my favorite fruits so this is one of my favorite baked oatmeals!
  • Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal – Strawberry, banana and chocolate… what could be better?
  • Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal – This carrot cake baked oatmeal is fancy enough to serve for a special brunch but easy and healthy enough to make for your weekly meal prep.
  • Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal – The best cozy fall breakfast, this pumpkin baked oatmeal is made with oats, pumpkin, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.
  • Zucchini Bread Baked Oatmeal – This zucchini bread baked oatmeal recipe makes it easy to sneak veggies into your morning.
  • Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal – This apple cinnamon baked oatmeal is inspired by traditional Amish baked oatmeal and studded with apples, raisins and loads of cinnamon flavor.

Slow cooker oatmeal recipes. Pumpkin pie slow cooker oats topped with pecans and almond milks.

Slow Cooker Oatmeal Recipes

What’s your favorite oatmeal recipe? Leave a link in the comments so I can check it out! 🙂

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    1. Gina
      January 22, 2021 AT 10:32 pm

      Oh goodness, I have a much easier way. Let’s call it the working woman’s oatmeal…1/2 c. whole oats dressed up as you like them with spices, jam, nuts, chopped fruit (get creative) and just enough water to cover the oats by about a quarter inch. Nuke for three minutes thirty seconds. Stir and let cool. Top with a little milk and EAT. I’ve been doing this for months – nutricious and delicious!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 23, 2021 AT 9:00 am

        Hi Gina! Thanks so much for sharing. I don’t usually microwave my oats but I can totally see how quick and easy your method is so thank you for sharing. And I love the name you gave it!

    2. Olivia Green
      September 9, 2020 AT 10:29 pm

      Thank you for these amazing Oatmeal recipes, Brittany!
      I’ve been trying to put on weight since forever, but always fail due to the boring weight gain meals I’ve always relied upon. Is any of your oatmeal recipe great for gaining weight, or any one that is loaded in calories?

    3. Ashwini
      July 3, 2020 AT 10:38 am

      Great! Super Quick recipe!

    4. Sandra
      June 19, 2020 AT 11:07 am

      I love this!! Oatmeal for breakfast is my favorite thing, but I definitely like to customize my own rather than buy already sweetened packets from the grocery store. My favorites are from because they’re quick an microwavable so I can take it with me in the car on the way to work (I know, I should probably just get up earlier). BUT, there’s so many options to top them with like you’ve mentioned. My go-to, in-a-hurry oatmeal concoction is just salt, pepper, and pistachios. Super savory, but I love it.

    5. Gargi Roy
      May 8, 2020 AT 6:06 am

      Really informative blog. After reading this blog, I have tried many brands oats. Each of them tastes different. After trying all these, one of my fried suggested that try “True Elements Oats”. They are rich in protein, fibre and also helps to boost enery and immunity. From that time now I am a regular user of these oats. They have all the varieties of Oats – Rolled oats, Steel Cut Oats, Instant Oats, Rolled Oats with Honey

    6. Chloe
      May 6, 2020 AT 12:19 am

      I’ve made three of these variations, and they’re all so good, everyone who’s tried them wants the recipe! My food-fickle boyfriend has gone through a batch a week of the chocolate peanut butter variety for over two months now and shows no sign of losing interest. I use Trader Joe’s unsweetened vanilla protein powder, which isn’t the yummiest (love you, TJs!), but there’s plenty of flavor to mask the chalky essence of dehydrated peas.

      If I’m feeling super lazy, I have been known to use an ice cream scoop instead of rolling them properly. Which is embarrassing to admit because this is the rare recipe that actually comes together in the time it says it will. Ten minutes, one bowl. Yay.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 6, 2020 AT 11:20 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Chloe! I’m so glad you guys are enjoying some of these oatmeal recipes. 🙂

    7. anonymous
      May 4, 2020 AT 10:36 am

      I just made plain oatmeal but this still tasted amazing!!

    8. bruh
      March 24, 2020 AT 12:23 pm

      Do you add the salt before or after microwaving if you use a microwave to make standard oatmeal?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 25, 2020 AT 12:16 am

        I would add it before!

    9. Lisa Crown
      March 12, 2020 AT 5:03 am

      Wow, I never thought you can do so many things with oats. Breakfast for the new few days is gonna be awesome thanks.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 12, 2020 AT 5:44 pm

        You’re so welcome, Lisa! Definitely come back and let me know if you try any of these recipes and what you think. 🙂

    10. Nikhil
      December 20, 2019 AT 2:52 am

      I like the way of explanation and easy ways to make oats for a healthy breakfast

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 23, 2019 AT 12:42 pm

        So glad you found this post useful, Nikhil! Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

    11. Jon
      November 13, 2019 AT 10:25 pm


    12. Joe
      November 13, 2019 AT 10:22 pm

      nice website

    13. kath
      November 4, 2014 AT 4:14 pm

      Obviously I love this!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 5, 2014 AT 9:37 pm

        Of course! I can’t believe I forgot to include one of your creations! I still remember that morning that we all came over to your house for oatmeal to celebrate your b-day. 🙂

    14. Aine @ awkwardirishgirlblogs
      November 1, 2014 AT 12:19 pm

      Thank you for this! Has to be the most versatile breakfast around 🙂
      (Also, just as I was being productive, I now have twenty odd new blogs to read, oh dear…)

    15. Arman @ thebigmansworld
      October 31, 2014 AT 4:00 am

      Nailed it. So many options!

    16. Hannah Siegmund @ThisVeganWhimsy
      October 30, 2014 AT 8:14 pm

      WOW! That’s a ton of new blogs for me to check out, and I love oatmeal.

    17. Joana from My Gut Feeling
      October 30, 2014 AT 7:12 pm

      Fantastic round-up!! All my favorite bloggers are here (!) and this gives us the chance to know some more. Thank you so much 🙂

    18. Nikki
      October 29, 2014 AT 9:25 pm

      Your brown sugar apple brown oatmeal link does not work. Can you fix it so I can check it out?

    19. thesoulfulspoon
      October 29, 2014 AT 5:17 pm

      Thanks for this awesome post! INCREDIBLE! And, I just discovered some new ways to try oatmeal. Truly, I loved this round-up! Perfect timing<3

    20. Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy
      October 29, 2014 AT 2:36 pm

      Love this round up! Especially the Dark Chocolate Chunk Cheesecake Baked Oatmeal. Oatmeal is so quick and easy in the morning, I’ll be anxious to go through all of these to mix it up a bit!

    21. Emma @ Life’s A Runner
      October 29, 2014 AT 11:30 am

      I can confirm it – eggnog IS in stores now! I’ve resisted buying it, but I think I am going to give in for the sole purpose of making that eggnog oatmeal. 🙂 There is just nothing like coming in from a dark and cold run and sitting down to a steaming bowl of magnificent oats. Thanks for the roundup!

    22. Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run
      October 29, 2014 AT 11:14 am

      Oh how I love a good bowl of oats!

    23. emily
      October 29, 2014 AT 10:52 am

      Woohoo for National Oatmeal Day! In celebration I ate…a frittata for breakfast. (Whoops…) Thanks for including my overnight oatsies, Brittany! Love that Carrot Cake Oatmeal – yum. 🙂

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