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This Instant Oatmeal recipe is DIY genius for a quick healthy breakfast: it’s cheaper, healthier, and tastier than store bought packets!

 Best Instant Oatmeal Recipe
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Looking for a quick healthy breakfast? This recipe is a stroke of genius. And it’s not our genius: it comes via our friend Katie Sullivan Morford from her cookbook, Rise and Shine. This homemade instant oatmeal recipe is so simple we wish we would have thought of it ages ago! Instead of standing over the stove in the morning, this instant oatmeal can be made in just 2 minutes in the microwave. Simple as that! And in terms of flavor, this truly is the best instant oatmeal. Keep reaching for the instant oatmeal recipe, why it’s cheaper, healthier and tastier than store bought, and more about Katie’s book Rise and Shine: Better Breakfasts for Busy Mornings.

Quick healthy breakfast | Healthy oatmeal toppings

How to make instant oatmeal

This instant oatmeal recipe takes about 5 minutes to mix up the bulk quantity, and then about 2 minutes to make in the microwave in the morning. Can you get any simpler or quicker than that? I can’t believe Alex and I had never done this before! To make the instant oatmeal mix, you’ll need old fashioned rolled oats, and any dried fruits and nuts of your choice. For our instant oatmeal recipe, we used dried apricots, raisins, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), and some chopped roasted almonds. Mix in some cinnamon, and you’re good to go! You can store the instant oatmeal mix in a large covered glass jar on your countertop.

When it comes time to eat the oatmeal, it’s truly a 2 minute process if you have a microwave. Just add water and microwave the oats for 1.5 to 2 minutes. Then voila — it’s done! I love a little salt in my oatmeal, so I like to stir in a pinch of kosher salt after it cooks. We’ve been using this for breakfast for our toddler Larson in the mornings. It’s especially perfect for busy mornings when he goes to his preschool, when a quick healthy breakfast is a must. Of course it’s perfect for any life phase, from busy professionals to college students. This instant oatmeal recipe is a lifesaver!

Related: 28-Day Healthy Meal Plan | Vegan Breakfast Ideas

How to make instant oatmeal | Rise and Shine

Is instant oatmeal healthy?

If you make this instant oatmeal recipe, it sure is! By contrast, store bought packets of instant oatmeal can contain all kinds of added sugars, chemical additives, and even oils. This instant oatmeal is truly clean eating: it’s just oats, dried fruit and nuts! It also hits all multiple diet checkboxes: it’s a vegetarian, gluten free and vegan breakfast idea.

To keep this instant oatmeal healthy, make sure to top it with healthy oatmeal toppings. We like to top ours with just a bit of maple syrup to bring out the flavor, and a little almond milk. Because there are already “mix ins” in the instant oatmeal recipe, we didn’t even feel the need to add oatmeal toppings here! However, other good examples of healthy oatmeal toppings could be nut butter, fresh blueberries or raspberries, sliced bananas, sliced or chopped nuts, or dried fruit.

Related: Easy Vegan Recipes for Beginners | Gluten Free Breakfast Ideas for Everyone

 Best Instant Oatmeal Recipe

About the book

Rise and Shine is written by registered dietitian, cookbook author and mom Katie Morford, who has the keys to a healthier way to start the day! Rise & Shine is tailor made for busy families who want to do mornings just a little bit better. It’s a toolkit of ideas and inspiration to make healthy breakfast doable and delicious. I met Katie at a conference and she is one of the kindest, loveliest people you’ll meet, and a fantastic cookbook author. Find the book here!

Quick healthy breakfast | Healthy oatmeal toppings

Looking for more quick healthy breakfast ideas?

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

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Best Instant Oatmeal Recipe | Quick healthy breakfast | How to make instant oatmeal

Best Instant Oatmeal Recipe

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  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
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This Instant Oatmeal recipe is DIY genius for a quick healthy breakfast: it’s cheaper, healthier, and tastier than store bought packets!



Instant Oatmeal Mix

  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • ½ cup dried fruit, such as raisins, dried cranberries, diced dried apples, or diced dried apricots
  • ½ cup slivered or shopped roasted nuts
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

To make one small serving (equal to one packet; double for 1 adult serving)

  • Rounded ⅓ cup instant oatmeal mix
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Kosher salt
  • Pure maple syrup and plant milk, for serving


  1. To make the instant oatmeal mix, put the oats, dried fruit, nuts, and cinnamon into a large jar or resealable bag with a bit of extra room. Shake well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  2. To prepare one serving of oatmeal, scoop ⅓ cup of the Oatmeal Mix into a deep, microwave-safe cereal bowl. (If the bowl is too shallow, the oatmeal may overflow when it cooks.) Add 2/3 cup water and stir well.
  3. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook on high for about 2 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the oats are tender. Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir in a pinch or two of kosher salt. The oatmeal will thicken as it cools. If you prefer thicker oatmeal, scale back the water by 1 or 2 tablespoons. Add milk and maple syrup.


Reprinted with permission from Rise and Shine by Katie Sullivan Morford

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Mixed
  • Cuisine: American

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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1 Comment

  1. Sean Mahan says:

    Instant oatmeal? That’s my lane! I’m looking forward to try this trick!