12 Best Oatmeal Recipes to Start the Day

Here are all the best oatmeal recipes to start the day off right! Make up a bowl in all sorts of ways: creamy, baked, instant: you name it.

Oatmeal recipes

Want to start the day right? Here’s one way you can’t go wrong: oatmeal! Oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfast ideas out there. This whole grain is full of plant-based protein, fiber, and can keep you full all morning. Contrary to what you might think, oatmeal’s not just a big bowl of gloppy goo. We get lots of people who say, “But I just don’t like oatmeal!” Allow us to change your mind.

There’s a myriad of ways to serve oatmeal! Here’s what to know:

  • Oatmeal types: First off: there are two basic types of oats: rolled oats and steel cut oats. Rolled oats are flattened in rollers: they’re what you think of when you first think of oatmeal. Rolled oats include Old Fashioned, quick cooking and instant oats (we generally use Old Fashioned). Steel cut oats are the whole grain cut into nubs; they’re more like rice and take longer to cook. See Steel Cut vs Rolled Oats.
  • Cooking methods: You can cook oats on the stovetop to make a creamy bowl, or in a pressure cooker. You can also make them baked, overnight, or even the microwave! There are so many options.

And now…the best oatmeal recipes to try!

Oatmeal nutrition info

The best reason to start the day with oatmeal? There’s no real argument here: oats are part of a healthy diet. They’re filling and full of nutrients. Here are a few of the main nutritional benefits of oats (source):

  • Oats are high in plant based protein. 1 cup of raw oats have 11 grams protein. That’s about 20% of your daily need!
  • Oats are high in fiber. 1 cup of raw oats have 8 grams of fiber, which is about 30% of the daily value.
  • Oats are very filling: they may reduce appetite and help you eat less calories.

For more benefits, go to Oats 101: Nutrition Facts.

Steel cut oats vs rolled oats
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Steel cut oats

Best Oatmeal (& More Oatmeal Recipes!)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Here’s the best oatmeal recipe! This master recipe makes rolled oats with the best chewy texture, or perfectly creamy steel cut oatmeal. 



For Old Fashioned Oats (3 servings)

  • 1 tablespoon salted butter (coconut oil for vegan)
  • 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 cup water
  • 1 cup milk, plus more for serving (non-dairy milk for vegan)

For steel cut oats (4 servings)

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. For the Old Fashioned oats: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the oats and toast for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant. Add the salt and cinnamon. Turn the heat to low and carefully pour in the water or milk, stirring. Cover and cook for 5 minutes until tender, then remove from the heat. Serve immediately for a chunky texture, or stir in another 1/2 cup milk for a creamier body. The texture is intentionally chewy (not gloppy or soggy!). Top with desired toppings and serve. Store refrigerated for up to 2 week.
  2. For the steel cut oats: Bring water and milk to a boil. Watch to make sure that it does not boil over. Once just boiling, add the steel cut oats, salt and cinnamon and stir. Bring to a simmer. Simmer 20 to 25 minutes until the oats are creamy and tender. Serve immediately with desired toppings. Stores refrigerated up to 1 week: it will become very thick, so stir in some milk or water when reheating. 

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

Keywords: Oatmeal, oatmeal recipe

More breakfast ideas

Looking for more healthy ways to start the day? Here are a few breakfast recipes to try:

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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.

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