Whether you eat them on their own or jazzed up with flavor, old-fashioned rolled oats make for a great balanced breakfast.

Oatmeal in a white bowl topped with chopped almonds and raspberries with a small white bowl of raspberries and a beige linen in the background.

This recipe is…

We’ve tested practically every way to make old-fashioned rolled oats (microwave, Instant Pot, and overnight), and there is just something special about the texture that comes from cooking them on the stovetop. We’ve found that a combination of milk and water also makes for the best of both worlds – the milk adds creaminess (plus additional protein), and the water keeps the oats from becoming too sticky.

I think the stovetop is a great option for cooking oats. The frequent stirring really helps release the starches resulting in a perfect bite and texture. 

Recipe Ingredients 

Here’s what you’ll use to create a simple and tasty stovetop oatmeal base:

Stovetop oatmeal ingredients in glass bowls on a gray and white marble surface.
  • ½ cup of old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup of your milk of choice
  • ½ cup of water
  • Pinch of salt

Ingredient Modifications

  • Adjust the liquid – use all milk or all water depending on your personal preference.
  • Make it dairy-free – use your dairy-free milk of choice (almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, and soy milk all work great) here if you prefer!
  • Add spices – add a pinch of seasonings (cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, and/or cardamom are tasty options) to really jazz up the flavor.

How to Make

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  1. Bring liquid to a boil – in a large saucepan, bring the water and milk to a simmer. Reduce the heat, and add the oats and salt to the saucepan. 
  2. Cook – cook on low heat for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oats have absorbed most of the liquid. 
  3. Remove from heat – remove the pan from the heat, cover with the lid, and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Serve and enjoy – garnish with your desired toppings and enjoy!

Topping Ideas

Oatmeal can really carry a variety of flavors, so make it your own and top it with whatever your taste buds desire! Here are some ideas:

  • Make it simple – add a handful of berries and some chopped almonds for simplicity and ease that doesn’t compromise on added texture and flavor.
  • Make it savory – add cheese, bacon, and chopped parsley or chives for a deliciously savory oatmeal.
  • Make it tropical – use coconut milk as your liquid base and top with shredded coconut, mango, and chia seeds.
  • Make it sweet and tangy – add a scoop of full-fat Greek yogurt, a handful of blueberries, lemon zest, and a drizzle of maple syrup. 

How to Store and Reheat

Stored in an airtight container, your oatmeal will be good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, add a splash of milk or water and microwave for 45-60 seconds or warm through on the stovetop. Stir, add toppings, and enjoy!

Oatmeal in a white bowl topped with chopped almonds and raspberries with a small white bowl of raspberries and a beige linen in the background.
Is it better with water or milk to cook oatmeal on the stove?

We think both! The combination of water and milk gives the oatmeal just the right amount of creaminess while also keeping the oats from becoming too sticky. The secret is to bring the two to a simmer or slow boil to prevent the milk from scalding.

Why do you add salt to the stovetop oatmeal recipe?

We’ve found that a pinch of salt adds just the right amount of seasoning to the oatmeal to really enhance the nutty, toasty flavor of the oats.

How do you keep stovetop oatmeal from boiling over?

The key to keeping your oatmeal from boiling over is to cook over low heat and stir occasionally.

How do you make oatmeal taste good?

The key to the best-tasting oatmeal is to add a pinch of salt at the beginning of cooking. This really enhances the flavor of the oats, similar to how salt acts in any recipe.

What can I add to the stovetop oatmeal recipe?

Whatever you can dream up! But really, oatmeal is so versatile and holds flavor really well. You can add in sliced fruit, jam, nut butters, and spices, or get really creative and add savory flavors (think: soft-boiled egg, herbs, cheese, ham, bacon), yogurt, chocolate chips, mascarpone, and more!

Stovetop Oatmeal

4 — Votes 5 votes
By Lindsay Bare
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Old-fashioned rolled oats make for a great balanced breakfast whether you eat them on their own or jazzed up with flavor.

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • In a large saucepan, bring the water and milk to a simmer. Reduce the heat and add the oats and salt to the saucepan.
  • Cook on low heat for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oats have absorbed most of the liquid.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, cover with the lid, and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
  • Garnish with your desired toppings and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • Use all milk or all water if desired.
  • If you want to make ahead and reheat, add a splash of milk or water and microwave for 45-60 seconds or warm through on the stovetop.
  • Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 32.8g | Protein: 8.8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2.8g | Cholesterol: 12.2mg | Sodium: 638.6mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6.2g | Vitamin A: 6IU

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 224
Keyword: breakfast, oatmeal

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Lindsay Bare


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