Instant Oatmeal – 4 Ways

Three cheers for a healthy and nutritious breakfast that’s ready in under 2 minutes! These 4 instant oatmeal recipes take delicious flavor combos typically found in Quaker oatmeal packets, but are made with short lists of whole ingredients you can feel good about putting in your body.

There are so many ways to enjoy oatmeal (overnightstovetopslow cooker, and Instant Pot), but nothing is faster than using instant oats! It takes no more than 2 minutes to make the perfect bowl of instant oatmeal in the microwave!

instant oatmeal 4 ways ready to be eaten

What is Instant Oatmeal?

Quick-cooking oats or “instant oats,” are the most processed byproduct of the oat groat, but take the least amount of time to prepare. Essentially, quick-cooking oats are just rolled oats that have been chopped into smaller pieces, which allows them to cook much faster than traditional rolled or steel cut oats.

When cooked, instant oats have a creamy texture, and can be cooked as fast as 2 minutes in the microwave without compromising any of the health benefits of traditional oats.

What is the difference between oatmeal and instant oatmeal?

Traditional oatmeal can refer to steel cut oatmeal or oatmeal using old fashioned rolled oats, while instant oatmeal utilizes quick-cooking oats, which are rolled oats that have been chopped into smaller pieces, pre-cooked, and then dried before they get to you. This allows instant oatmeal to cook more quickly, which can be great for quick breakfasts or meals on-the-go.

Is instant oatmeal good for you?

We obviously love the flavor and texture of oatmeal, but did you know oatmeal also packs a ton of great health benefits?! AKA, they’re the perfect way to start your day! Plus, using instant oatmeal ensures your breakfast is ready to eat even faster than with traditional rolled or steel-cut oats:

  • 100% whole grains
  • Protein-rich
  • Fiber-packed
  • Great on-the-go breakfast
  • Ready to eat in under 5 minutes
  • Lower in sugar
  • Delicious!

Is eating oatmeal good for weight loss?

Oats are great for weight loss because they’re high in fiber and are 100% whole grains. They aid in regulation (thank you, fiber!), and will help keep you fuller longer. Keep your instant oatmeal packed with healthy toppings, and you’re off to a healthy and nutrient-rich start to your day!

Do you eat instant oatmeal hot or cold?

Instant oatmeal is typically eaten warm, however, if you prefer cold oats you always have the option to make them ahead of time and enjoy them chilled (much like our MANY overnight oats recipes!). Because instant oats are cooked in milk or water, they become soft and easy to digest making them delicious eaten cold or hot. Choose your own adventure!

instant oatmeal and ingredient toppings ready to be mixed into delicious oatmeal

Best Store-Bought Instant Oatmeal

We’re big fans of buying plain quick-cooking oats (Bob’s Red Mill is our fave!), and then jazzing it up with ingredients at home, but if you’re in a pinch and want to buy already flavored instant oatmeal, we love:

instant oatmeal 4 ways mixed in bowls with milk being poured over them

How to Make Homemade Instant Oatmeal

Making instant oatmeal at home could not be easier! Follow these 5 steps, and you’ll be enjoying instant oatmeal in under 2 minutes flat:

  1. First, make sure you’ve got plain quick cooking oats on hand (Bob’s Red Mill is our fave!).
  2. Then add the liquid of your choice. Any milk will do! Or water, if you prefer that.
  3. Flavor as you wish. We’ve got 4 amazing flavor combos below! Think instant oatmeal recipes like: apples and cinnamon, blueberry muffin, maple brown sugar, and peanut butter chocolate chip!
  4. Microwave for 90 seconds on high.
  5. ENJOY!

Can you make instant oatmeal without milk? Of course, you can make instant oatmeal without milk. If you need a dairy free option, you can use any kind of dairy-free milk or even use water!

Pro tip: instead of microwaving, you can actually pour in hot water instead of milk!

How do you store instant oatmeal? The great part about instant oatmeal, is it’s ready to eat in such a short amount of time that you’ll rarely need to meal prep it ahead of time, or store it in the fridge for later. But if you find yourself with extra instant oatmeal, you can store in an airtight container (like these Zip Top bags!) in the refrigerator. Other great storage (and on-the-go!) options include:

How long can you keep instant oatmeal in the refrigerator? Instant oatmeal will typically keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days (depending on what recipe you use, and what fresh ingredients you’ve added).

instant oatmeal 4 ways mixed in bowls and ready to be eaten

Instant Oatmeal – 4 Ways!

Now that we’ve got your attention piqued on all the reasons we <3 instant oatmeal, we present to you: our favorite instant oatmeal recipes! They’re all ready to eat in under 2 minutes, making them a delicious, nutritious and EASY start to your day.

Maple and Brown Sugar

This maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal packs the delicious flavors you love in instant oatmeal packets, but is made with 5 whole ingredients you can feel good about putting in your body!

instant oatmeal 4 ways in bowls and ready to be eaten

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2 teaspoons maple sugar (or coconut sugar/brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any milk or water)

Nutrition per serving for maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal: 220 calories | 7g protein | 6g fiber | 6g sugar | 7g fat | 34g carbohydrates

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip

This peanut butter chocolate chip oatmeal is made with 4 ingredients, is ready to eat in under 5 minutes, and truly is the perfect healthy start to your day!

peanut butter chocolate chip instant oatmeal in bowls ready to be eaten

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 tablespoon peanut flour
  • 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
  • pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any milk or water)

Nutrition per serving for peanut butter chocolate chip instant oatmeal: 271 calories | 10g protein | 8g fiber | 4g sugar | 12g fat | 37g carbohydrates

Apples and Cinnamon

Apples and cinnamon were meant to be together! This instant oatmeal flavor combo utilizes dried apple slices and ground cinnamon instead of artificial flavors to make the most delicious and nutritious instant oatmeal to start your day.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apple
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar (or maple sugar/brown sugar)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any milk or water)

Nutrition per serving for apples and cinnamon instant oatmeal: 326 calories | 7g protein | 8g fiber | 22g sugar | 10g fat | 55g carbohydrates

Blueberry Muffin

Blueberry muffins in oatmeal form! This blueberry muffin instant oatmeal is 5 ingredients and seriously tastes just like a blueberry muffin.

blueberry muffin instant oatmeal in bowls ready to be eaten

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax seed
  • 2 tablespoon crushed freeze-dried blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon chopped slivered almonds
  • 3 teaspoons coconut sugar (or maple sugar/brown sugar)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any milk or water)

Nutrition per serving for blueberry muffin instant oatmeal: 310 calories | 9g protein | 7g fiber | 17g sugar | 11g fat | 46g carbohydrates

Meal Prep These Recipes!

Before you jump into making one of these instant oatmeal recipes, think about meal prepping multiple servings. In the recipe card below, you will see each of the four recipes listed out in 1 single serving. So grab 4 or 6 or 10 jars, and prep multiple servings at a time. Why?

  • Save time: wake-up, add liquid, microwave, and eat!
  • On-the-go breakfast: literally eat one of these on-the-go.
  • Eat at work: simply pour in boiling water from your kettle at work and enjoy at your desk.

More Oatmeal Recipes

Recipe

4 Single Serve Instant Oatmeal Recipes

These 4 instant oatmeal recipes take delicious flavor combos typically found in Quaker oatmeal packets, but are made with short lists of whole ingredients you can feel good about putting in your body.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1.5 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minute
Author: Lee Funke
Yield: 1 serving 1x
Category: Breakfast
Method: Microwave
Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Maple and Brown Sugar*

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2 teaspoons maple sugar (or coconut sugar/brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup milk or water

Apples and Cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apple
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pecans (or walnuts)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar (or maple sugar/brown sugar)
  • 2/3 cup milk or water

Blueberry Muffin

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax seed
  • 2 tablespoon crushed freeze-dried blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon chopped slivered almonds
  • 3 teaspoons coconut sugar (or maple sugar/brown sugar)
  • 2/3 cup milk or water

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip

  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 tablespoon peanut flour
  • 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips
  • pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup milk or water

Instructions

  1. First, decide which flavor your are going to make. Then, mix together the dry ingredients in a microwave-safe single serving container such as a jar or zip-top silicone bags (like we used). If you’d like to prep multiple servings, now is the time to do that!
  2. Then, add 2/3 cup of liquid (water, or any kind of milk will work) to each serving, stirring dry and wet ingredients together.
  3. Microwave on high for 90 seconds. Alternatively, you can stir in boiling water and skip the microwave.
  4. Remove from microwave and stir. Serve, and enjoy.

Notes

*Nutrition information below is for maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal. For all other flavors’ nutrition information, see above in post.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 220
  • Sugar: 6
  • Fat: 7
  • Carbohydrates: 34
  • Fiber: 6
  • Protein: 7
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