Best Oatmeal Recipe (Vegan & GF)

Here’s the very best oatmeal recipe that we make every day, vegan and plant based with tasty peanut butter and jelly toppings!

Best Oatmeal

What do you really eat? People ask us that a lot. Well, Alex and I have eaten every single recipe on this website! (And many more that don’t make the cut.) But today we wanted to share something we eat on a regular basis. I actually make this recipe every single day. And that is not hyperbole, friends! I really do. Why? This best oatmeal recipe tastes incredible. It’s vegan so it’s a plant based way to start the day. AND it is full of plant based protein so it is seriously filling: you’re literally full for hours after you eat it.

Got a pressure cooker? Go to Easy Instant Pot Oatmeal.

Vegan oatmeal

What makes this the best oatmeal?

I know, oatmeal sounds deceptively easy to make. But it can come out too gummy, too bland, or take way to long. What’s the best way to make it at home? This is my soulmate breakfast, the recipe I have memorized and could make in my sleep. Here are the features of this best vegan oatmeal.

  • Perfect chewy texture. Take note! This recipe is not the typical creamy texture, or soupy or gummy. The texture is chewy, much like our Toasted Oatmeal. It will surprise you if you’re a creamy oatmeal person, but it will also make you never go back.
  • Toasted oats. The oats are toasted in coconut oil to bring out their nutty flavor. It’s got just a hint of cinnamon and just enough salt.
  • Totally vegan / plant based. We revamped our toasted oatmeal to remove the butter and milk. And guess what? It’s just as good.
  • Best oatmeal toppings. The very best topping is peanut butter, in our minds! It packs it with plant based protein (or any other nut butter). And we added another feature…keep reading!
PB&J oatmeal toppings

Why vegan oatmeal?

Oatmeal is a total powerhouse breakfast or lunch. (Honestly, I eat it for lunch most often!) Oats are packed with nutrients and protein. Plus, they’re easy to make vegan! Why do we care about vegan / plant based breakfasts? Well, we love eating mostly plant based recipes. And breakfast and lunch are a really easy place to do it! This best oatmeal recipe is a great way to dip your toe into plant based eating, if you’re looking to do so.

Best oatmeal

The best oatmeal toppings

It’s easy to use oatmeal toppings that are plant based, too! We topped this best oatmeal with our favorite toppings: all natural peanut butter and jelly! Here’s what we used, and a few more of our favorite toppings:

  • All natural peanut butter: Try to find a brand with no added sugar. Or make our Homemade Nut Butter!
  • Easy strawberry jam: This recipe is quick and easy to make, and results in a vegan jam that’s sweetened with maple syrup and a little tangy from lime zest. It’s SO good!
  • Other topping ideas: Roasted and salted pepitas, almonds, walnuts, almond butter, cashew butter, berries, apple slices, plain yogurt sweetened with maple syrup

Oats nutrition

There are lots of great things about eating this oatmeal recipe. According to the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, oats:

  • Are high in fiber
  • Can reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Can be helpful for weight control
Pan of oatmeal

This best oatmeal recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

Print
Best Oatmeal

Best Oatmeal Recipe (Vegan & GF)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (32 votes, average: 4.25 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x

Description

Here’s the very best oatmeal recipe that we make every day, vegan and plant based with tasty peanut butter and jelly toppings!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats (do not use instant oats or steel cut oats)*
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • For toppings: All natural peanut butter or other nut butter, Easy Strawberry Jam

Instructions

  1. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the oats and toast for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant.
  2. Add the salt and cinnamon. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour in the water, adding the lid immediately since the water will spit. Give the pan a swirl. Allow to sit for 7 minutes.**

Notes

*Instant oats are too mushy for this recipe. Steel cut oats are completely different: go to our Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats or Baked Steel Cut Oats. Even within rolled oats brands there is some variation in texture: some come out more gummy vs. textured. So play with brands to find the oats you like best!

** To take to an office for breakfast or lunch, you can toast the oats ahead of time as in Step 1. Place them in a sealable container and add the cinnamon and salt. At the office, pour on boiling water, cover, and wait for 7 minutes.

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Brunch

Keywords: Best Oatmeal, Vegan Oatmeal, Oatmeal Toppings

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

13 Comments

  • Reply
    Erica
    November 4, 2019 at 11:35 am

    Do you know how this reheats? Would love to make it and take to work with me but I think it may be too dry reheated (using a microwave). Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      November 5, 2019 at 10:57 am

      Thanks for asking! I usually reheat in the microwave: it does have a drier texture than most oatmeal since it’s designed to be chunky, not creamy. You could add a little splash of water when microwaving to get it more moist! Depends on how you like your oatmeal, but you could also plan to serve with milk after reheating too. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

      • Reply
        Anonymous
        November 5, 2019 at 12:35 pm

        Thank you! I tried it reheated this morning with a little water and it was fine! Definitely will plan to make it fresh one morning but it’s a nice change up to my usual oats I eat once at work :)

  • Reply
    Erin
    November 23, 2019 at 9:50 am

    This was a new method of cooking oats to me, and it’s now my everyday method! I love the hands off ease of it and the bit of bite that the oats retain. This morning I added in some slivered almonds and coconut flakes with the oats to toast them too, so good & easy!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    November 30, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    This is an excellent method for making oatmeal that I haven’t used before! I’ve been quartering the recipe to make a single serving and love it topped with PB&J! I also enjoy it with cottage cheese and (raspberry) preserves. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    January 4, 2020 at 7:01 pm

    Hi Guys, sorry if this a silly question, you are adding boiling water correct?

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      January 6, 2020 at 11:04 am

      Hi there, not a silly question! Just add tap water of any temperature — once it hits the hot pan it will boil immediately. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Lisa Gaub
    January 5, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    I was also thinking of taking it to work for lunch occasionally. Do you think I could add hot/boiling water to the oats at work and let it sit there rather than reheating? Or does the hot pan seem to be necessary?

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      January 6, 2020 at 11:03 am

      Great question! We’ve never tried this but I’m thinking it would work! Were you thinking you’d toast the oats in advance, and then just add boiling water at work when ready to eat? This would likely work: let us know if you try!

  • Reply
    Angie
    January 6, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    Would this work with almond milk or regular milk (I realize it would cease to be vegan)? Can’t wait to try!!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 7, 2020 at 9:14 am

      I think if you did half milk and half water it would work!

  • Reply
    Lisa Gaub
    January 7, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    I found Trader Joe’s Toasted Old Fashioned Oats (!) though still put them in my cast iron skillet with the coconut oil (because Yum!). I took half the oats to work in a glass bowl and added 3/4c-1c of really really hot water from the office water cooler, set a timer for seven minutes and it turned out perfectly. I brought along some peanut butter and the Easy Strawberry Jam I made this morning in a separate, divided container (which is now living in the office refrigerator). This is all to say 1) If you have access to really hot/boiling water you can take the dry oats to go and make it successfully on site and 2) I will make this again and again as a health work lunch when I don’t have something else on deck to eat. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      January 7, 2020 at 10:55 pm

      Ahhh we are so so glad to hear this worked out! I will add a note to the recipe to that effect. Thanks for trying it out and we’re so glad it worked! :)

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