7 Easiest Ways to Make Oatmeal with Water: Stovetop Recipe

When I was a little girl, my mom made oatmeal on the stovetop. She loved it because she could make it quickly and didn’t need to add any sugar or milk. I recently rediscovered this method of cooking oats and have been enjoying making homemade oatmeal ever since, with water alone as my only ingredient! It’s so simple, requires no stirring once you place your ingredients in the pan over low-medium heat (no boiling), is quick to prepare, and has a delicious flavor that isn’t compromised by adding other things like vanilla extract or cinnamon powder.

7 Ways to Make Oatmeal with Water 

Making oatmeal with water is a simple and nutritious breakfast option. Here’s a basic recipe to guide you:


  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of water
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • Sweeteners and toppings of your choice (e.g., honey, maple syrup, fruits, nuts, or cinnamon)


  1. Measure Oats: Start by measuring 1/2 cup of rolled oats. You can adjust the quantity depending on your desired serving size.
  2. Boil Water: Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. You can also use a microwave-safe bowl and heat the water in the microwave until it boils.
  3. Add Oats: Once the water is boiling, add the measured oats to the boiling water. If you want to enhance the flavor, you can add a pinch of salt at this stage, although it’s optional.
  4. Stir: Reduce the heat to medium-low, and stir the oats into the boiling water. Continue to cook and stir the oats for 2-5 minutes, depending on your preferred oatmeal consistency. If you like it thicker, cook for a shorter time; for a creamier consistency, cook longer.
  5. Serve: Remove the saucepan from the heat once the oats are cooked to your desired consistency. Allow the oatmeal to cool for a minute or two before serving.
  6. Add Toppings: Customize your oatmeal with your favorite toppings. Common choices include sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar, as well as fruits (bananas, berries, apples), nuts (almonds, walnuts), and spices (cinnamon or nutmeg).
  7. Enjoy: Your oatmeal with water is now ready to be enjoyed. Serve it hot and savor a delicious and nutritious breakfast.

Keep in mind that this is a basic recipe, and you can adapt it to suit your taste preferences. You can also experiment with different flavorings and additions to create a variety of oatmeal dishes. Oatmeal is a versatile breakfast option that provides essential nutrients and can be tailored to your liking.


NutrientAmount per Serving
Serving Size1 bowl
Calories171 kcal
Carbohydrates28 g
Protein6 g
Fat4 g
Saturated Fat0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat2 g
Monounsaturated Fat2 g
Sodium171 mg
Potassium147 mg
Dietary Fiber4 g
Sugars1 g
Calcium175 mg
Iron2 mg

How do I cook oatmeal on the stovetop?

There are many ways to cook oatmeal, but the stovetop is one of the most common methods. You’ll need old-fashioned oats and liquid to make oatmeal on the stovetop. The ratio of oats to liquid should be about 1:2, so you’ll need two cups for every cup of oats. You can use water, milk, or a combination of both.

Stir frequently as the oatmeal cooks to prevent it from sticking to the pot and burning. Cook until the oatmeal is soft and has a porridge-like consistency. You may want to add salt or sugar to taste depending on your preferences.

Ensure you have toppings ready to go when cooking oatmeal on the stovetop! Some popular toppings include nuts, seeds, dried fruit, honey, maple syrup, and yogurt. Oatmeal is a versatile breakfast food that can be topped with various ingredients depending on your mood or what’s in season.

Oatmeal Topping Ideas:

Oatmeal toppings offer an excellent opportunity to enhance the flavor, nutrition, and texture of your morning bowl of oats. Here are some delicious and nutritious oatmeal topping ideas:

  1. Fresh Fruits: Sliced bananas, berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), diced apples, or pears can add natural sweetness, fiber, and freshness to your oatmeal.
  2. Dried Fruits: Dried apricots, raisins, cranberries, or chopped dates provide a concentrated sweetness and chewy texture that complements the creamy oats.
  3. Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, or cashews add a delightful crunch and healthy fats. Toasted nuts bring out their rich flavors.
  4. Seeds: Chia seeds, flaxseeds, or sunflower seeds contribute Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and a pleasing crunch. Chia seeds can also thicken the oatmeal if allowed to sit for a few minutes.
  5. Nut Butter: A dollop of almond, peanut, or cashew butter adds creaminess and a dose of protein and healthy fats.
  6. Sweeteners: Drizzle your oatmeal with honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, or a sprinkle of brown sugar for extra sweetness and flavor.
  7. Spices: A pinch of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom can infuse your oatmeal with warmth and aromatic depth.
  8. Yogurt or Greek Yogurt: A spoonful of yogurt adds creaminess and a tangy contrast to the oats. It’s especially delightful when paired with fresh fruits.
  9. Chocolate: A few dark chocolate chips or cocoa powder can satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping your breakfast relatively healthy.
  10. Coconut: Shredded coconut, toasted or untoasted, provides a tropical flair and a hint of sweetness.
  11. Granola: A handful of granola clusters can bring extra crunch and various flavors to your oatmeal.
  12. Syrups: Consider unique syrups like fruit preserves, fruit compotes, or even a touch of lavender syrup for a different taste experience.

Experiment with these toppings to create a personalized oatmeal masterpiece that suits your taste and dietary preferences. Mixing and matching different combinations can keep your breakfasts exciting and nutritious.

10 Tips for Preparing Your Best Bowl of Oatmeal

Creating the perfect bowl of oatmeal can be a delightful and nutritious way to start your day. Here are ten tips to help you prepare your best bowl of oatmeal:

  1. Choose the Right Oats: Opt for whole rolled oats or steel-cut oats for the best texture and nutritional value. Instant oats can be convenient but may lack the same texture and nutrition.
  2. Use the Right Liquid: Consider using milk (dairy or non-dairy like almond or oat milk) instead of water for a creamier and more flavorful oatmeal. You can also use a combination of milk and water for the perfect balance.
  3. Don’t Forget Salt: Add a pinch of salt to your oats as they cook. It enhances the flavor and balances the sweetness of toppings.
  4. Cook Properly: Follow the cooking instructions on the oatmeal package, and stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Overcooking can make oats mushy, so be mindful of the cooking time.
  5. Sweeten Thoughtfully: Choose natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or mashed bananas to add sweetness. These options provide flavor without excessive added sugars.
  6. Add Texture: Enhance the texture by including a variety of toppings. Consider nuts, seeds, dried fruits, or granola to add crunch and interest.
  7. Incorporate Fresh Fruit: Fresh fruits like berries, sliced bananas, or diced apples can add natural sweetness and a burst of freshness. They also provide essential vitamins and antioxidants.
  8. Experiment with Spices: Don’t be afraid to experiment with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom to infuse your oatmeal with warm and aromatic flavors.
  9. Include Protein: Boost the protein content by adding ingredients like Greek yogurt, nut butter, or chia seeds. Protein will help keep you full longer.
  10. Presentation Matters: Take a moment to arrange your toppings neatly. A visually appealing bowl can make your oatmeal more satisfying.

Bonus Tip: Mix and Match: Oatmeal is highly versatile. Experiment with different combinations of toppings to keep your breakfast exciting and tailor it to your preferences.

Remember that your best bowl of oatmeal is a personal creation. Customize it to suit your taste, dietary needs, and nutritional goals. Whether you prefer a simple classic bowl or an extravagant, loaded oatmeal creation, these tips can help you craft a satisfying and nourishing breakfast.

Can I make overnight oats with water?

Yes, you can make overnight oats with water. In fact, you can use any liquid–dairy milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc. After soaking in water, you can also add a spoonful of yogurt or another ingredient to the oats.

The Traditional Quaker Oats recipe will work with any milk – dairy or almond. However, you may need to experiment with the ratio of water to oats to find a recipe that you like. One cup of liquid was too much for me but might be perfect for someone else.

Play with the thickness and consistency of the oats to find a recipe that you enjoy.

Emma Christensen has a variety of overnight oats recipes that you can try on her website. Oats are a great source of fiber and protein, which will help you feel full throughout the morning. Some of Emma Christensen’s overnight oats recipes include blueberry, apple cinnamon, and peanut butter banana- all gluten-free and vegan!

Is it better to use milk or water for oatmeal?

The choice between using milk or water for oatmeal largely depends on your preferences and dietary considerations. Both options have their advantages. Milk, whether dairy or plant-based, adds creaminess, richness, and a subtle sweetness to your oatmeal, making it especially appealing for those who enjoy a creamier texture and a hint of natural sweetness.

It also provides additional protein and calcium. On the other hand, using water results in a lighter, simpler oatmeal with a more neutral taste. It’s a good choice if you’re looking to reduce calories, avoid dairy, or prefer a plainer flavor profile.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your taste and dietary goals. Some people even opt for a combination of milk and water to balance creaminess and simplicity. Both options can help you discover your preferred way to enjoy oatmeal.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I add other ingredients to my oatmeal, like bananas or berries?

You can add other ingredients to oatmeal, like bananas or berries. However, some oatmeal manufacturers may add sugar or syrup to their products, so it’s always best to check the label before purchasing.

2. What are the steps to follow when making oatmeal with water?

Make oatmeal with water as follows: Place 2 cups in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in 1 cup of oats and cook, frequently stirring, until the oats are cooked through, and the water is simmering and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.

3. Is oatmeal healthy for me, and how much should I eat per day?

Oatmeal is a healthy breakfast option that can provide essential nutrients, such as fiber and Iron. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating six one-half cup servings of oats per day.

4. Can I eat oatmeal for breakfast every day?

Yes, you can eat oatmeal for breakfast every day if you want to. Oatmeal is a great way to start your day because it’s high in fiber and antioxidants, which can help you feel full longer. Additionally, oatmeal is a good source of protein, which will give you energy throughout the morning.

5. Can you make oatmeal with just hot water?

Yes, you can make oatmeal with just hot water. All you need is a pot, a spoon, and some water. Bring the water to a boil and pour it into the pot. Let the oatmeal cook on medium heat until it’s soft and fluffy. Serve hot!


Making oatmeal with water is a quick and easy way to get your morning oats on the go. Follow the step-by-step instructions to make oatmeal with water in minutes! Alternatively, if you’re cooking for a large group, follow the recipe for oatmeal with water for a large group to make sure everyone gets their oats. Thank you for reading!


You may also like

How Often to Water Poinsettia

How Often To Water Poinsettia? Care Guide For Live Christmas Plant

The poinsettia is a popular holiday plant. Its bright red leaves and

​Read More
How to bath a dog without water waterev

How To Bath A Dog Without Water: 13 Steps (With Pictures)

A dog is a member of our family, and they deserve to

​Read More
How often do you water outdoor potted plants

How Often Do You Water Outdoor Potted Plants? – 12 Tips For Healthy Flowers

When determining if your plants need water, the finger-dip test remains the

​Read More
How often to water impatiens

How Often To Water Impatiens? New & Overwatered Impatiens Care & Tips

Impatiens (also known as busy Lizzy) are beautiful houseplants that are easy

​Read More
How often to water fruit trees

How Often To Water Fruit Trees? Young Fruit Trees Need Plenty Of Water

A fruit tree is a perennial plant that grows from a seed.

​Read More
How often to water an Orange Tree

How Often To Water An Orange Tree: Tips, Tricks, And Requirements

Orange trees are some of the oldest living things on earth. They

​Read More
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Check the articles below

December 9, 2023

The poinsettia is a popular holiday plant. Its

December 6, 2023

A dog is a member of our family,

December 1, 2023

When determining if your plants need water, the