What’s the best oatmeal recipe? This toasted oatmeal takes the cake: it has an irresistible nutty flavor and chewy texture. 

The Best Oatmeal | Toasted Oatmeal

Do you love oatmeal? We do. In fact, we eat it every day! Now: are you ready to have your oatmeal game changed forever? Enter toasted oatmeal! The other day we received a cookbook in the mail called Whole-Grain Mornings. It’s written by English-teacher turned entrepreneur / baker Megan Gordon, who started a granola business (Marge Granola) in Seattle that’s become nationally-known. I immediately began to pour over the recipes. A recipe caught my eye called the best oatmeal.

Want our fan favorite best oatmeal? Go to Best Oatmeal Recipe (Vegan & GF).

The Best Oatmeal | Toasted Oatmeal

About the book: Whole Grain Mornings

I wasn’t sure what to expect with the book Whole Grain Mornings because we’re not huge breakfast eaters (peanut butter English muffin and I’m good to go). But I paged through the recipes, I started to get excited. The book is full of innovative yet accessible ways to embrace whole grains: from California Barley Bowl to Yogurt Cups with Roasted Cherries and Toasted Millet. Yum! 

I compiled an entire list of recipes for meal inspiration throughout the day (not just the morning!). When I passed the book off to Alex for perusal, he only made a few pages through before he decided to get his hands dirty. The recipe I’d passed right by because it said it was the best oatmeal.

Related: Gluten Free Breakfast Ideas for Everyone

The Best Oatmeal | Toasted Oatmeal

How to make toasted oatmeal

I’m generally suspicious of recipes with superlatives like “the best oatmeal”, but Alex was already toasting the oats. After a few minutes, a smell filled our kitchen that was so nutty and sweet I forgot my hesitation. What resulted was indeed “the best” oatmeal I’d ever tasted: the oats were chewy (instead of the creamy texture of the stirred method) and deliciously nutty from toasting, topped with a bit of sweet maple syrup. We were both floored. The best oatmeal? I guess she was right!

The rest of the book is incredibly lovely; beautifully written with lots of sweet personal details, and gorgeous photographs by the talented Clare Barboza. I think what we like most though, it that it is such an accessible resource: not only does it have our favorite oatmeal recipe, I can see ourselves taking inspiration from it for months to come. The book is available here. The best oatmeal? Below.

Related: Easy Breakfast Ideas | Vegan Breakfast Ideas

Toasted Oatmeal | The Best Oatmeal

Got an Instant Pot?

Alex and I are Instant Pot fans, so we made a version of this for a pressure cooker, too! And it’s just as tasty. Go to Easy Instant Pot Oatmeal.

Looking for more vegan breakfast ideas?

Outside of this best oatmeal recipe, we have dozens of vegan breakfast ideas and quick healthy breakfast recipes on our website. Here are a few of our favorites:

This toasted oatmeal recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten free, plant based, vegan, dairy free, and refined sugar free.

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The Best Toasted Oatmeal

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x


What’s the best oatmeal recipe? This toasted oatmeal takes the cake: it has an irresistible nutty flavor and chewy texture.


  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup milk or almond milk, plus additional to serve
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon water
  • Maple syrup, to serve
  • Toasted almonds or pecans, to serve (optional)


  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the oats and toast for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oats start to smell fragrant and nutty.
  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add the milk, kosher salt, cinnamon, and water. Bring to low boil over medium heat. Add the toasted oats and stir gently to combine, then cover the pot, turn off the heat, and allow to sit for 7 minutes.
  3. After 7 minutes, the oats are ready to serve. The texture will be a chewy texture, not creamy as with the stirred method. To serve, top with real maple syrup. Add toasted almonds or walnuts and/or additional milk if desired. Leftovers can be kept refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 5 days.


Note that this method yields for a chewy oat texture, rather than the typical creamy texture. The recipe serves two, so double or triple for ample leftovers. A large pot works best, since it allows the oats to cook evenly. Adapted from Whole-Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Best Oatmeal, Toasted Oatmeal, Breakfast Ideas, Healthy Breakfast, Vegan Breakfast Ideas, Vegetarian, Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. I’ve just ordered this book based on all the amazing recipes I’ve seen from it – I’m similar in my breakfast habits to you but can’t wait to change things up a bit!

    PS the pics in this post are totally brilliant, some of my absolute favourite ones of yours.

  2. What a great idea to toast the oats before cooking them! I just finished my morning oatmeal (our staple), and it was loaded with other stuff that added flavor (pb, yogurt, nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut, etc). I think we’ll try this tomorrow, thanks!

  3. Oatmeal never looked so beautiful! What a lovely, lovely post and a tribute to one of the more humble recipes in the book (but one of my very favorites!) Thank you so much for the sweet words here — I’m so glad you both are enjoying the book. xox

  4. Very yummy oatmeal variation! Thank you for sharing, Alex and Sonja (and Megan). I made the recipe for lunch today – perfect for being snowed in here in Indy! My usual cooked oatmeal gets added butter, vanilla extract, (sugar-free) maple syrup, maybe brown sugar and some kind of fruit, such as raisins, stewed apples or craisins. I did add Smart Balance, vanilla, the SF syrup and craisins with toasted walnut pieces. So yummy.

    I think a bowl of hot oatmeal with nuts, etc. is a great way to start the day, but even with all of my extras, I’ve never been able to get my “oatmeal-phobic”, 86 y.o. mother to indulge. She still has horrible childhood memories of being forced to sit at the table on her birthday staring down a bowl of cold oatmeal that “tasted like wall-paper paste” for hours after everyone else had finished. The trauma has lasted all these years (ha).

    But, harkening to MY childhood, I employed the “you have to have ONE ‘tasting bite'” and was shocked to see Mom actually eat a spoonful of the “Best Oatmeal (in the World)”! No convert to oatmeal but after 75+ years, she has at least overcome her phobia. There IS life after wall-paper paste oatmeal.

    Anyway, the 2nd serving won’t be lost; more for ME! Thanks for sharing!!! And I hope we all get dug out by Spring!

  5. i know this is belated, but I love the new design. sorry I haven’t commented earlier but it looks so sharp, I love it! I am enjoying megan’s book too and need to try these oats!

  6. I LOVE these photos! The lighting in your new house/kitchen is treating you well (I need to come visit to check it out first hand ;) And I agree about the book- so many lovely recipes and stories!

  7. I saw this on Pintrest and knew immediately what this was… I have been cooking my oatmeal like this for years.. I use old fashioned oats and basically do the same steps as the recipe. After growing up on the tasteless mushy version, as an adult I knew how I wanted it to taste. You know you are eating oats when you prepare it this way and can add your favorite fruits and nuts as usual.

  8. I too, am leery about recipes that claim to be the ‘best’, but you have my interest peeked now. I love oatmeal and am always searching for ways to dress it up. I can’t wait to try this recipe tomorrow morning. Also, can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the book. So many people are recommending it, and with Clare Barboza’s photography, it’s sure to be amazing.

  9. I made this this morning and it was great! I used coconut oil. My milk didn’t soak up all the way so there was quite a bit left over but it made for a nice addition. The oats have a really great taste when they are toasted and are definitely chewier than normal (although I do like the mushy kind from microwaving it). Loved trying this! Your site is so sleek and beautiful.

  10. Love it! Oatmeal is one of my all-time favorite foods but I’m ready for a shake up in my routine. Love the photos, especially the third one.

  11. I made this recipe this morning for my husband and I. Even with reading the warnings that it wasn’t much like “normal” oat meal I still expected it to be somewhat like “normal” oat meal but I was wrong. The flavor was very very nutty. I did add toasted walnuts which might have contributed to the overpowering nutty flavor and I did not use maple syrup to sweeten the oat meal. I think the maple is a necessity in this recipe to cut through the nutty flavor. I also think fresh fruit would be a lovely addition too. I’m not sure if I will make the recipe again. I like my “normal” oatmeal better :)

  12. Why do people always comment that it “looks good”. Of course it does or it wouldn’t be on the blog! Well I did make it this morning and my two kids and I devoured it. (Ages 1 and 4). We added our normal amount of brown sugar and roasted slivered almonds. Making it again tomorrow for the hubby to enjoy.

  13. I’m always looking for new breakfast ideas, and I can’t wait to try this one. Clara is a big fan of oatmeal, so I’m sure she’ll love this, and it will give me something new since I tend to get bored with the same recipes after a while.

  14. Absolutely yummy!!

    I’ve been eating/experimenting with different versions of oatmeal every single morning for breakfast (and sometimes at lunch, too) for well over a year now, but somehow I’d never tried toasted oats before. As a huge fan of non-mushy oatmeal, I was very excited to see how this recipe would come out.

    To the finished product I added a bit of peanut butter, some honey + sugar in the raw, chopped peanuts, and dried cranberries, and I will def. be making this recipe again because it was DELICIOUS. Thanks so much for sharing!

  15. This IS the best toasted oatmeal! My only problem is I’m embarrassed by how quickly I’m going through my maple syrup now that I’ve got this on repeat.

  16. Made this with almond milk and walnuts… INCREDIBLE! Just as you described — chewy texture, nutty flavour — kicked my regular oatmeal’s butt! Thank you!!

  17. I dry toast oats and put it in a bowl with cut strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and blackberry. It tastes good and been on this breakfast for more than an year now.

  18. Real talk: I made this for the first time for breakfast this morning, then immediately made a double batch to keep in the fridge. I’m a total cold cereal girl on mornings where I don’t have time for a hot breakfast (mini-wheats 4ever) but I’m totally going to keep this on hand, now. Served with honey and fresh blueberries — it was too, too good.

  19. I was craving oatmeal yesterday and remembered seeing this toasted oats thing around. Some googling led me to your recipe and dang, if this isn’t the best oatmeal I’ve ever had. The flavor! I accidentally over-toasted the oats so some were dark brown and the deep roasted flavor from this is so good! I also like that this is a drier, less-sloppy oatmeal. It’s really unlike anything I’ve had before.

  20. I use this same toasting method when making steel cut oats and it works very well! Enhances the nutty texture of the oats!

  21. I’m so glad I stumbled on this blog. My doctor’s been nagging me to eat more whole grains, especially at breakfast. This recipe will totally give me a push in the right direction. Oh, and another plus: I can make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Right on!

  22. This method makes oatmeal so much better (and tastier) as opposed to buying the semi-pre-processed oatmeal oatmeal in packages (you know the one). It may be more time consuming but the results are way better, and healthier :)

  23. I just made this with twice as much butter and adding a little half n half. It was unreal, so yummy. Thanks for sharing!

  24. LOVELY!

    I have eaten oat bran mixed with flax seed meal for breakfast every day for at least the past 15 years. Besides helping build Bob’s Red Mill empire, I suspect and hope it is helping me stay healthy. I pour it in a big bowl, pour enough water to cover it by a couple inches, and nuke it for about 3-4 minutes. I usually add walnuts and either blueberries or bananas. On a long, lazy weekend morning, I might add quinoa. To do this, I just precook the quinoa for about 5 minutes before adding the oat bran. With a cup of coffee, this breakfast sustains me for at least 3-5 hours. Please tell me I haven’t wasted the last 15 years of my life!


  25. I was looking for a toasted oat recipe and came across yours. I eat oatmeal every morning, as I have for many years. I like to have some plain, toasted oatmeal on hand (as well as toasted coconut) for my oatmeal topping. I have always used the old fashioned rolled oats. Yesterday, I toasted the rest of my container of oatmeal, with intentions of buying more later in the day. However, I never made to the store. So, I remembered seeing your recipe. I made it this morning, and enjoyed it very much. I did use all almond milk, instead of the milk and water. I like sliced banana, toasted walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg and a little brown sugar on my oatmeal. This has a wonderful, additional nutty flavor. I liked the fact that I didn’t need to stir while cooking. I will be making this recipe on a regular basis. Thanks for sharing.

  26. I’ve made this countless times since you posted! I did not like the texture of oatmeal until I tried this version – so easy! I’ve topped mine with roasted pecans and dried cranberries.

  27. We love this toasted oatmeal! I was never an “oatmeal” fan, having had my share of gluey oatmeal, however I do love oats in things. In researching recipes to see if there was a better way to make oatmeal, I found this recipe, and both my husband and I just love it! We eat it regularly, making it exactly as indicated, using whole milk, and topping it with toasted pecans and maple syrup. My husband adds a bit of milk. The only thing I do any differently is add quite a bit of cinnamon instead of a pinch as we both love cinnamon. Thank you for a wonderful and delicious recipe! Now I love “oatmeal” for breakfast as long as it’s this best toasted oatmeal recipe! :)

  28. Omg. This was so delicious. Buttery, nutty, chewy, perfect. I added chia/hemp seeds, maple, apple, toasted almonds, touch more cinnamon. Yummmmmmers. I’m never making oats another way again! Thanks for the recipe :D

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