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How to Make the Best Oatmeal

What if I told you there’s a better way to make oatmeal? Forget the instructions on the back of the bag. It’s about time I highlighted my go-to method for homemade oatmeal.

This oatmeal is extra flavorful and fluffy, not mushy. It’s miles better than packets of instant oatmeal or standard stovetop oatmeal. I really look forward to these oats in the morning, and they make great leftovers.

homemade oatmeal recipe

oatmeal ingredients

The trick is to toast the oats in the pot first, before adding any liquid. This brings out their inherent nuttiness. You’ll find the rest of the details below, but it’s very simple to do and absolutely worth the extra few minutes.

You’ve heard me talk about what a difference toasting oats makes in my steel-cut oat recipe and toasted muesli recipe. Now we’re applying the same principle to rolled oats. Try this oatmeal for breakfast in the morning!

how to make oatmeal

Favorite Oatmeal Toppings

  • Fruit: Sliced ripe banana, fresh or defrosted berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries), or fresh pomegranate
  • Chia jam or fruit compote
  • Applesauce
  • Drizzle of maple syrup or honey
  • Pat of butter or drizzle of heavy cream
  • Pinch of warming spices, such as extra cinnamon, ground ginger or pumpkin spice
  • Greek yogurt
  • Nut butter, such as peanut butter, almond butter or pecan butter

To feel full longer, add a generous dollop of nut butter or Greek yogurt to your oatmeal. They both offer some delicious creaminess in addition to healthy protein and fat.

toasted oatmeal recipe

More Healthy & Delicious Oat Recipes

If you enjoy this oatmeal, be sure to try these recipes throughout the seasons:

Please let me know how you like this oatmeal in the comments. I love hearing from you.

oatmeal in bowl

How to Make the Best Oatmeal

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: N/A
  • Diet: Gluten Free

The trick to making the best oatmeal? Toast it in the pot first. This oatmeal is flavorful, fluffy and truly delicious! Recipe yields 4 bowls of oatmeal and leftovers keep well for about 4 days.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup milk of choice or additional water
  • Generous pinch of fine salt
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)


  1. Melt the butter in a medium-to-large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the oats and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the oats smell toasty and some are starting to turn lightly golden, about 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Pour the water and milk into the pot, being careful to avoid splatters. Add the salt and cinnamon, if desired. Stir to evenly incorporate the oats, then watch the pot until the mixture is bubbling rapidly around the edges. Continue cooking until the bubbles expand a couple of inches toward the center of the pot, about 3 minutes in total.
  3. Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let the mixture rest on the burner, covered, for 7 minutes. Remove the lid. The oats are done when they appear slightly dry and separated on top, with very little moisture remaining at the bottom of the pot. If it’s still too wet, recover the pot and let it rest for 1 to 2 minutes more. Serve as desired.
  4. Leftover oatmeal will keep for about 4 days. Let the oats cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate.


Recipe adapted from Megan Gordan’s cookbook, Whole-Grain Mornings, also featured in my recipe for Toasted Oatmeal with Strawberry Chia Jam and Coconut Whipped Cream.

Change it up: This recipe is very flexible. You can reduce or omit the butter, if desired (just toast the oats in the dry pot). Use all water and no milk, if you prefer. Omit the cinnamon or play with your own spices, to taste. Pumpkin pie spice blend would be nice, or ground ginger.

Make it gluten free: Be sure to buy certified gluten-free oats.

Make it dairy free/vegan: Use coconut oil or vegan butter (or omit and toast the oats in a dry pot). Choose a dairy-free milk or use water instead.

▸ Nutrition Information

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

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