We all need a basic oatmeal recipe we can rely on. Learn how to make oatmeal from scratch with just 2 simple ingredients and discover all the tips and tricks to master the oatmeal technique. Loaded with fiber, oatmeal makes a satisfying healthy breakfast for busy days. Make sure you check my suggestions for healthy toppings so you never end up out of ideas!
In our house, oatmeal is a breakfast of choice for the whole family, baby included. Quick and easy to prepare, it leaves you full and satisfied until the next meal. Plus you get to change the toppings as many times as you want. Basically, you could have up to 365 oatmeal recipes a year!
To be honest, oatmeal is so simple to prepare that it wouldn’t need a dedicated recipe really. Most of the time I find myself making the recipe following my instinct, in search for the desired texture to my liking. There is no right or wrong; you can always adjust the recipe adding more oats or liquid, it will most of the time turn out ok. But to make sure you reach this level of confidence too, let’s go back to some basic principles and learn together how to make oatmeal.
Reasons to love a basic oatmeal recipe
There are only good reasons to like oatmeal for breakfast, snack or even dessert if you ask me. Oatmeal is…
- High in fiber and antioxidants
- Gluten-free (make sure you use gluten-free oats to be on the safe side)
- Healthy and satisfying
- Quick and easy to prepare
- Very versatile: out of one recipe you can create SO many versions!
How to make oatmeal on the stovetop?
- Bring liquid to a boil (I do half water, half milk).
- Reduce heat to low and pour in the oats, salt and cinnamon.
- Simmer uncovered for 3 to 5 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Add toppings of your choice, and voilà!
- Which oats should I use? For best results I recommend rolled oats (also called old-fashioned) or quick oats. Instant oats tend to be mushy while steel-cut oats take too long to cut.
- What is the perfect liquid ratio? I recommend 2 cups liquid for 1 cup oats, but you may need to adjust the quantity of liquid if you cook oats a little longer.
- Which liquid should I use? You can use water exclusively, a mix of water and milk (like I do), or milk exclusively if you wish. All methods work perfectly well.
- What are the milk options? Cow milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, soy milk, coconut milk, cashew milk… Just pick your favorite!
- Why do I need to add a pinch of salt? It may seem a detail but a simple pinch of salt really enhances the sweet flavors of your oatmeal. If however for healthy reasons you need to skip it in the recipe, you’re of course welcome to do so.
Cooking methods for a basic oatmeal recipe
Basically there are 2 ways you can make oatmeal: on the stovetop or in the microwave. While the second option seems to be quicker and implies you have less dishes to do, I always prefer the stovetop method, that enables you to have full control over the desired texture.
My preferred way: on the stovetop. Stovetop oatmeal takes about 5 minutes and is the best way to get the fluffiest oats. Start by bringing the liquid to a boil in a small saucepan. Then, reduce the heat to low, pour in the oats, and stir constantly until the texture thickens and absorb the liquid.
In the microwave. If you don’t want to do the dishes, simply mix oats and liquid in a bowl, then microwave on high for 2 minutes for a perfect consistency. Top with your favorite add-ons and breakfast is ready!
Healthy topping ideas for your oatmeal
- Use fruits (fresh fruits or dried fruits) to bring vibrant colors and vitamins to your bowl. A few ideas include sliced bananas, sliced/diced apples, pears, mangoes, berries (blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries), figs, coconut (fresh, toasted or shredded), dates.
- Nuts or nut butter. They will add a boost of protein. Almonds, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter.
- Superfoods and seeds. chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, goji berries, acai berries, mulberries, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame, poppy seeds, wheat germs.
- Spices and powder. Spice it up with ground cinnamon, allspice, turmeric, cardamom and/or add unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Additional toppings. You can enjoy your oatmeal naturally sweetened with fruits and/or drizzle some maple syrup, honey or agave syrup. From time to time, I also love to add pieces of dark chocolate or some granola on top.
For a baby version (5+ months), I like to add pureed fruits to the oatmeal. Unsweetened applesauce, mashed bananas, pureed pears, mangoes or any other fruit compote of your choice. The possibilities are endless!
My top 10 oatmeal recipe ideas
To make it easier for you, I gathered a few topping ideas I love to assemble on top of my oatmeal bowls:
- Sliced bananas, fresh blueberries and chia seeds (with peanut butter and maple syrup if desired).
- Fresh strawberries, ground flaxseed and shredded coconut/slivered almonds (with honey).
- Pecans, bananas, dates and cinnamon (with maple syrup if desired).
- Fresh figs, pistachios, almond butter (and maple syrup if desired).
- Diced mango, shredded coconut, cashew butter (and agave syrup if desired).
- Blueberries, lemon zest, poppy seeds (and agave syrup if desired).
- Raspberries, pistachios, chopped dark chocolate, cashew butter (and agave syrup if desired).
- Power Nut Butter Oatmeal Bowl
- Double Chocolate Oatmeal with Goji Berries
- Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal
More healthy breakfast recipe ideas:
- Healthy Green Pancakes
- Easy Fluffy Banana Pancakes
- Whole Wheat Waffles
- Sugar-Free Cocoa Raspberry Granola
Also make sure you check these Healthy Breakfast Recipes To Fuel Your Mornings for even more ideas to make you shine from the inside.
Lastly, if you make this Basic Oatmeal Recipe, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating, letting me know how you liked it. And of course, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Thank you and enjoy!Print
Learn how to make oatmeal from scratch with just 2 simple ingredients and discover all the tips and tricks to master the oatmeal technique. Loaded with fiber, oatmeal makes a satisfying healthy breakfast for busy days.
- 1 cup (90g) old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk or vegetable milk
- 1 cup (240 ml) water
- A pinch of salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Maple syrup (optional)
- In a small saucepan, bring milk and water to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, then pour in the oats, salt and cinnamon.
- Simmer uncovered for 3 to 5 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
- Divide equally between two bowls and serve with toppings of your choice and maple syrup if desired*.
* Please do refer to my article for many topping ideas. You can also enjoy your oatmeal plain, with just some maple syrup, agave syrup, honey or brown sugar.
For a baby version (from 5+ months), you can pulse the oats in a food processor until finely ground, and then proceed to the recipe the exact same way. When baby is a little bit older, you can use the whole oats instead. For a baby version, I like to add some unsweetened applesauce or other fruit compote to the oatmeal. A 100% baby-approved!