How to Make Oatmeal

Learning 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.

We love anything breakfast. Whether it’s biscuits and creamy sausage gravy, a simple sandwich or even a one-sheet meal!

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

I didn’t even know what oatmeal was growing up (I know, so embarrassing). My mom typically stuck to Ukrainian dishes and oatmeal was one of those foods I learned to love after I was married and cooking for my own family.

I’ll be honest though, I hated it at first! It tasted so blahhh and flavorless. That’s because I was doing it all wrong! It was always too thick or too runny or just a blob of blahh and I gave up. That is until I had kids and needed to learn how to make it for real so I can serve them this healthy breakfast. Oh yeah, did you know that oatmeal is actually healthy? Oats are full of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, along with several other great health benefits!

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

what do you need to make oatmeal?

Honestly, all you need is old-fashioned oats, milk and water and a dash of salt and sugar! Though you can use quick oats and instant oats but they are pressed and rolled and the texture just isn’t the same.

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 tasted 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.

TIPS how to make 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 bowl with a spoon.

oatmeal toppings-

Most toppings are added to the oatmeal when serving once it 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:

Print Recipe
5 from 7 votes

How to Make Oatmeal

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 Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make oatmeal
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 225kcal
Author: Valentina's Corner


  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp 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.
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.

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Valentina's Corner

Show 8 Comments
  • Nina 08/16/2019, 4:35 am Link Reply

    Great suggestions! I make my oatmeal by cooking it in milk and then in the bowl add generous amounts of honey and cinnamon. Really good with a glass of cold milk on the side.

    • Valentina's Corner 08/16/2019, 9:31 am Link Reply

      Yumm, we love cinnamon too and your version sounds wonderful! 🙂

  • ALEna 08/10/2019, 1:03 am Link Reply

    We eat oatmeal (that is the kids and I), my husband will not eat it lol. Says he had enough in daycare. Anyway, I soak my oats overnight by adding water and an acidic medium like buttermilk or plain yogurt. NExt day I drain and rinse and add more water/milk and cook them. They cook super fast. I’ve read it makes the oatmeal more digestible and acceptable to our body.

    • Valentina's Corner 08/11/2019, 12:02 am Link Reply

      That’s a great idea, Alena. I’ve never tried overnight oats, will definitely have to try it. (and a huge hahahahaa at your hubby’s comment)

  • lauren kelly 08/05/2019, 5:34 pm Link Reply

    I never thought to put butter in my oatmeal but it makes it so creamy and delicious! Thank you!

  • Kristyn 08/05/2019, 5:01 pm Link Reply

    I could eat oatmeal everyday!! Love all the different toppings you can add to it. Super delicious & filling! It’s a great way to start the day!

  • Jessica 08/02/2019, 6:33 pm Link Reply

    I don’t like oatmeal at all but these look amazing! Can’t wait to try the different recipes 🙂

    • Valentina's Corner 08/02/2019, 6:40 pm Link Reply

      Thanks, Jessica. I hope you give the different variations a try and find your personal favorite. 🙂

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