Basic Oatmeal – 2 Ingredients

Oatmeal is one of the easiest hot breakfasts to make. If you are looking to do away with instant oats loaded with flavouring and 'stuff', then rolled oats are an easy and quick alternative that you can flavour with fresh, whole ingredients of your choice.
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Serving Suggestions

Cooked Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a highly customisable dish. Add chopped fruit, nuts, or nut butter to add fibre and nutrients to your meal. For something a little more decadent, swirl in a bit of dark chocolate or cream that makes you think it’s a dessert for breakfast.

If you’re moving away from ‘just add hot water’ oats, (aka instant), or trying from-scratch cooking for the first time, then oatmeal is a great place to start.

For the full overview of oats, whether it’s healthy or not, who can eat it and who shouldn’t eat, you can head on over to this post where I cover all of that info.

This is a very basic, let’s-get-you-started recipe. Some things you may come across and need to note as you become familiar with making oats are:

Brands matter

You may have been told that it doesn’t, but my personal experience has been contrary to that. Some oats cook softer than others; some have a milder flavour, and some have hard bits that make them pretty yucky.

The only way to know which brand works for you, is to try a few different ones and go from there.

Keep at it

Your first try will likely be mediocre or a complete disaster. 

If you are anything like me, I burnt my oats on my first try. Not fire and brimstone, but enough to make my oats bitter and require about 3 hours of scrubbing my pot. 

Practice is key. After you have made it 4 or 5 times, you will get the hang of it. Things to try when you make your oats:

  •  Boiling water – adding your oats to boiling water is the quickest way to get it cooked. Adding your oats to the water and then bringing it to boil, while longer, makes for softer and creamier mix. 
  • Using milk or plant milks – generally they will boil faster, so be sure to monitor the pot. You will also notice that your oats will be thicker and stick to the pot more. Depending on your tastes, this can be a plus or a no-no.
  • Under/over cooking – keep checking the consistency as you cook. Taste as you go. If you are not sure if it’s ready, taste as you cook. Check for smoothness, lumps, or powdery taste.


  • Oats is a super versatile dish. Once you have the basics sorted and you can cook a pot without really thinking about cooking times or texture, you are ready to start customising.


Consider adding flavour as you cook like:

adding mashed bananas for natural sweetness

  • adding cocoa powder or protein powder for new flavour profiles and extra nutrition
  • adding nut butters for deeper flavour and fullness

It all starts with this basic two ingredient recipe. Your first few tries may be a little bland or not as tasty as you are used to. But, the focus to begin with needs to be about finding the brand you enjoy, getting to know the readiness by sight and knowing which pot is the best one to use.

After that, customising your oats opens a world of flavour, fun and experimentation!


Let’s make it!

Cooked Oatmeal

Basic Oatmeal

Oatmeal is one of the easiest hot breakfasts to make. If you are looking to do away with instant oats loaded with flavouring and ‘stuff’, then rolled oats are an easy and quick alternative that you can flavour with fresh, whole ingredients of your choice.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: International
Keyword: 10 minutes or less, 30 minutes or less, basics, easy, hearthealthy
Servings: 2


  • 1 medium-sized saucepan


  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 2 cup water


  • Using a medium-sized saucepan, pour in the water and bring to a boil on high heat.
    2 cup water
  • Gently add the oats to the boiling water, stir in well and reduce the heat to low
    1 cup quick oats
  • Allow the mixture to simmer on low heat for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Remove from heat and dish up into bowls to serve


Too Thick: Add more water and mix it well before removing it from the heat. Remember to adjust the amount of water you use next time.
Too Runny: Cook for a bit longer (1 – 2 minutes) and allow to stand for a bit. Oats will thicken as it cools.
More Creaminess: Instead of water, use dairy or coconut milk for the creamiest results. Or use your favourite milk alternative.
More Flavour:  Try these recipes to give you some inspiration, Chocolate and Cherry Oats or Vanilla Custard Oats.
Storage: Oatmeal can be kept for up to 5 days in a tightly sealed container in the fridge. (3 days if you are using dairy). Make sure it is completely cooled before closing it up and putting it in the fridge, or you may have a lot of condensation.
Re-heating: Place it in a saucepan on low heat and warm gently. If necessary, add a little water gradually to loosen it up. It can be microwaved, be sure to stop and stir regularly until it is warmed.
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