Microwave Oatmeal

As convenient as it is healthy, this Microwave Oatmeal recipe delivers creamy old-fashioned oats with just a hint of natural sweetness.

Microwave Oatmeal

I’ve spent a lot of time developing recipes for oatmeal. Is it any wonder why, given how many different types of oats there are PLUS the different ways you can cook them? I try to mix things up, with one recipe focusing on convenience, where quick and easy are the names of the game, and another recipe on quality, where premium (but also, high-maintenance) oats are featured. Well, for this recipe, I focus on both!

That’s because we are going to take old-fashioned oats, which are ‘stubborn’ in their ways and typically take longer to cook, and do them in the microwave, the heart and soul of on-the-go cuisine. Thanks to these oats, they have a heartier texture than those microwaveable packets of rolled oats you can buy in variety packs. And because you are making the oatmeal yourself, you can control the ingredients that go into it, which isn’t something you can say about other porridges that prioritize convenience.

I’ve kept things simple with this recipe, leaving you with a lot of room to make your own bespoke breakfast. I love the mix of vanilla and cinnamon, especially in oatmeal—it’s like a hug within a hug!—which is why I’ve included these flavors but you personalize it however you please. As long as you have the oats and milk (and a microwave!), your meal is sure to be a hit.

What makes these oats ‘old-fashioned’?

Let’s start with what they aren’t. Old-fashioned oats aren’t steel-cut oats. You know… the ones with everything save for the husk intact? The ones that are chewy and take a bit of time to cook? Yeah, these aren’t those. Old-fashioned oats are rolled oats just like those instant packets but with a shortened period of processing. They’re all steamed and rolled flat, but old-fashioned oats are then toasted, giving them a hearty texture and nutty flavor. Instant oats, on the other hand, go through more stages (cutting, steaming, dehydrating)—not to mention, the long list of unrecognizable ingredients in those flavored packs.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of salt
Microwave Oatmeal

How to Make Microwave Oatmeal

Step 1: In a microwave-safe bowl, mix together the milk, oats, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.

Microwave Oatmeal

Step 2: Heat on high in the microwave for 90 seconds for a chewy texture. If you prefer softer oatmeal, add more time in 15-second intervals, checking after each.

Microwave Oatmeal

Step 3: Customize your oatmeal with a drizzle of maple syrup, a sprinkle of brown sugar, or some fresh banana slices on top. Enjoy your warm and satisfying breakfast!

Microwave Oatmeal

FAQs & Tips

How do I store old-fashioned oatmeal?

Fully cooled oatmeal should keep in the fridge for up to four days. Just put it in an airtight container. You can reheat it in the microwave (I recommend adding a splash of water or milk to get back its consistency and doesn’t dry out). You can also freeze it for up to two months.

Do I need to let the oats soak first?

No, that’s something reserved for steel-cut oats to cut down on cooking time. Old-fashioned oats have already been steamed and flattened, so they shouldn’t take as long to cook.

Is microwaving oatmeal healthy?

Because the cooking time is shorter when done in the microwave than, say, in boiling water over the stove, there is less nutrient loss. So, yes, microwaving oatmeal can be considered a healthy method of cooking.

Is vanilla extract the same as vanilla essence?

Nope. Though they both taste like vanilla, extract is more ‘pure’ whereas essence is synthetic and tastes as such. In fact, there are some essences that don’t contain any real vanilla at all.

Can I use water instead of milk?

Sure. Maintain the same ratio (so, the same amount of water as there is oatmeal). Have some milk or cream on hand though; you may want to add a splash for texture or to cool down the cooked oatmeal.

Microwave Oatmeal

Serving Suggestions

There are a number of options when it comes to sprucing up your oatmeal. Adding fruit like bananas, berries, and peach is one way to go. They’ll add nutrients, fiber, and sweetness to the deal. You can also add more dairy, like Greek yogurt, which is an excellent source of protein and adds a tang to your oatmeal. Speaking of protein, you can add chia seed, hemp seeds, or protein powder, if you have some. You can rely on nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, and pecans) and nut butters (e.g., peanut and almond are the first to come to mind). There are also natural sweeteners like maple syrup, monk fruit, and honey for you to try. The question you really need to ask yourself is, Just how sweet and/or healthy do I want to make this?

Microwave Oatmeal
Microwave Oatmeal

Microwave Oatmeal

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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 240 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • maple syrup brown sugar, or banana slices for sweetening (optional)

Instructions
 

  • In a microwave-safe bowl, mix together the milk, oats, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
  • Heat on high in the microwave for 90 seconds for a chewy texture. If you prefer softer oatmeal, add more time in 15-second intervals, checking after each.
  • Customize your oatmeal with a drizzle of maple syrup, a sprinkle of brown sugar, or some fresh banana slices on top. Enjoy your warm and satisfying breakfast!

Nutrition

Calories: 240kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 9gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 88mgPotassium: 338mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 199IUVitamin C: 0.02mgCalcium: 177mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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