Learn all the basics of How to Make Oatmeal! Creamy and delicious old-fashioned oatmeal ready in just 15 minutes! Add your favorite toppings and enjoy this healthy and hearty breakfast on a regular basis.

A bowl of simple oatmeal next to a jar of oatmeal and a spoon full of oats.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. From homemade flaky biscuits and creamy sausage gravy, or a simple breakfast sandwich, the meal doesn’t have to be boring.

Oatmeal Recipe:

Oatmeal is a classic breakfast recipe and there are so many different ways to serve it! We love switching up the toppings so the flavors don’t become boring.

Homemade oatmeal is my go-to breakfast recipe to make. The rich and creamy oatmeal topped with desired toppings is the best 15-minute recipe!

Dry oats in a mason jar next to a spoon of oatmeal.

What Type of Oats Can I Use?

You can use any time of rolled oats for this recipe, and you will get great results. The cook time may vary for the different types.

  • Old Fashioned Oats – This recipe calls for old-fashioned oat so follow the recipe if using these oats.
  • Rolled Oats – Rolled oats may be substituted for old fashioned ones with great results.
  • Quick Cooking Oats – When using these oats, cook for about 1-2 minutes and then let stand for about about 2-3 minutes.
  • Instant Oats – We do NOT recommend using these oats for our stovetop method.
  • Steel Cut Oats – We don’t recommend steel-cut oats for this recipe.

Milk or Water-

I know some people really like either water or milk in their oats. Here’s the breakdown of how each affects the oatmeal.

  • Water – With water, it is a little blander in flavor but tastes lighter and healthier.
  • Milk – Cooking with milk produces creamier and richer oats.
  • Butter – For the creamiest oatmeal, add butter. YES! You heard that. The butter adds a richness that you can’t beat or achieve otherwise.

Combination – My favorite way to make oatmeal with a combination of milk, water, and butter. It is creamy and rich yet doesn’t taste too heavy. Combined with a pinch of salt and sugar, it’s the perfect oatmeal!

How to cook oatmeal in a pan on the stove top with milk and water.

How to Cook Oatmeal:

  • Pot – You want to be sure you are using a Dutch oven or a pot that has a really thick bottom so the bottom of the oatmeal doesn’t get scorched, especially if cooking with milk.
  • Patience – If you cook the oatmeal over high heat, you will scorch the bottom. Cook it over medium heat and stir as needed. Cooking for 10-12 minutes will allow all the liquid to become the perfect consistency.
  • Reheat – To reheat oatmeal, return to a Dutch oven and add more liquid (milk or water and cook until the mixture comes to a soft boil and is reheated.)
  • Proportions – The proportions of oatmeal to liquid will depend on how you like your oats. We like it soft and really creamy, allowing it time to cook. If you like the oatmeal with a firmer texture, add less liquid and cook less.
Classic oatmeal in a white bowl with a spoon.

What to Put in Oatmeal:

Most toppings are added to the oatmeal once serving the oatmeal is fully cooked.

  • Dairy- creamer, flavored or plain Greek yogurt.
  • Sweetener- Honey, brown sugar, regular sugar or syrup (traditional or maple).
  • Nuts/seeds- Almonds, pecan, walnuts, flaxseed or chia seed.
  • Fresh fruit- Fresh bananas, berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries or blackberries), apples, peaches, oranges or apricots. The fruit can be finely cubes or sliced.
  • Dried fruit- Raisins, apricots, dates, cherries, cranberries or even coconut,
  • Other- Peanut butter, hazelnut spread or cinnamon.

Our Favorite Combinations:

Here are some of our favorite and most often used toppings.

Apples and Cinnamon-

When adding apples to the oatmeal, our kids like them soft so I finely cube the apples and add them in right away so they cook with the oats. Just add the cinnamon before serving and give the oatmeal a quick stir. (I just added cubed apples for decor in the picture.)

Oatmeal recipe topped with apples and cinnamon and a spoon.

Peaches and Pecan-

Peaches and pecans with either half and half or syrup (maple or regular).

Oatmeal made with peaches and walnuts in a bowl with a spoon.

Almonds Raspberries Chai and Coconut Flakes-

This is my husband’s favorite. Fresh raspberries (or strawberries) with almonds, chia seeds, and coconut flakes.

Raspberries, chai seeds and almonds with cooked oatmeal in a bowl next to raspberries.

Blueberry Peanut Butter Banana Chai-

This is so hearty and so filling. The combination of bananas with the peanut butter and blueberries is amazing.

A bowl of homemade oatmeal with bananas, blueberries and peanut butter on top.

How often do you make oatmeal and what is your favorite topping or combination of toppings? We serve it at least once a week.

Try These Other Great Breakfast Ideas:

How to Make Oatmeal

Author: Valentina
5 from 11 votes
A step-by-step guide and tips on how to make a classic oatmeal recipe that's rich and creamy and ready in 15 minutes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter (optional, read tip)
  • desired toppings


  • Add oats, milk, butter, water, salt, and sugar into a saucepan. Bring to a soft boil.
  • Turn heat down to a med/low and cook oatmeal 10-12 minutes, until creamy and soft. Stir oatmeal as needed.
  • Top with desired toppings and serve.


225kcal Calories26g Carbs7g Protein11g Fat6g Saturated Fat27mg Cholesterol178mg Sodium234mg Potassium2g Fiber12g Sugar375IU Vitamin A148mg Calcium1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
How to Make Oatmeal
Amount Per Serving
Calories 225 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 178mg8%
Potassium 234mg7%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 375IU8%
Calcium 148mg15%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
(The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)