How to Make the Best Creamy Oatmeal

Bowl of creamy oatmeal toped with fresh strawberries and banana

Creamy oatmeal has tons of healthy benefits and is good any time of year.

Oatmeal Nutrition (are you Taking Noats?)

Oats are a type of whole grain. This means that the grain you eat still has the same components that were there when it grew in the field. There are literally dozens of studies showing that whole grains (especially oatmeal) are full of nutrition, and have all kinds of healthy benefits.

Here is the nutrient run-down (and read more here):

  • Carbs: oats are very low in fast-burning sugars like sucrose (table sugar). In fact, their carbohydrate content is mostly starch that is either slowly-digested or not digested at all! This is great for long-lasting energy and gut health.
  • Fiber: when comparing nutrition, oats have more soluble fiber than any other whole grain, which is what makes oatmeal so creamy! The major soluble fiber in oats is beta-glucan. This nutrient can help lower bad cholesterol and reduce blood sugar levels after a “carby” meal! Beta-glucans also boost the sensation of fullness.
  • Protein: the protein content in oats is higher than most other grains. However, they are naturally gluten-free (but if you can’t tolerate gluten, check that your oats were processed in a gluten-free facility).
  • Nutrients: oats are also packed with everything from antioxidants to vitamins. We won’t list them all here, but follow this link for a break-down.

Overall, oats are just a great choice! In fact, they look after your heart, help fight diabetes, keep your gut healthy, and can make it easier to lose weight.

Yup – oats are BADASS!!!

Bowls of steel-cut, rolled and quick oats

How to get an Oatmeal Recipe Right!

We know what you’re thinking … “How could oatmeal be healthy and badass? It’s …boring”. Well, that’s not true – you’ve probably just had too many run-ins with the nasty, pre-sweetened, over-processed varieties. If you follow our lead you’ll always have creamy, healthy oatmeal to enjoy!

First, you need to decide how much time you have and the result you want to achieve. It all starts with selecting your style of oats.

Select your Cereal

We’re huge fans of oatmeal, with rolled oats being our favorite (scroll down to snag our go-to recipe). The benefit here is that rolled oats cook reasonably quickly and go creamy, but the oatmeal still retains some texture. However, if you absolutely need your oats as fast as possible, then try the fast-cooking quick oats (also known as instant oats)! Just bear in mind they are the mushiest of the bunch.

Three spoons of cooked quick, rolled andsteel-cut oats

If you have the time, then give steel-cut oats a try. They take longer to cook, but some folks think their part creamy, part chewy texture makes the best oatmeal recipe out there!

In summary:

  • Quick oats. These are more processed than the regular rolled oats. They are steamed until almost cooked and made even thinner than rolled oats. Quick oats are often loaded with sugar, so take care when buying them.
  • Rolled oats. These are oats the “old fashioned” way. They are steamed and rolled flat. They cook more quickly than steel-cut oats but still retain some texture.
  • Steel-cut oats. These are cut into chunks with a steel blade, but not rolled flat. They take longer to cook than rolled oats, but retain their shape and give a chewier texture.
Bowl of creamy oatmeal toped with fresh berries

Plan for Success

There are a few tips we apply to all kinds of oats.

  • Add salt. No matter how sweet you like your oats, a little salt adds depth and makes everything even more delicious!
  • Cook oats in water. We think oatmeal is creamy enough on its own. Plus, milk burns easily and can ruin your breakfast pretty quickly. You can add a splash of whatever plant milk you like at the end, just before you eat.
  • Water ratio. We use 1 part oats to 3 parts water for quick and rolled. Or 1 part oats to 4 parts water for steel-cut. You can adjust later if the mixture is too thick (add more water) or too thin (cook longer).
  • Wait until the water boils. Then add the oats. This way they don’t sit around getting gluey. No one likes that!).
  • Turn it down. You want to simmer, not boil, the oats. This is because a full boil ruins their structure (again, gluey oats = gross).
  • Stir. Giving the oats an occasional stir helps release those creamy starches. It also helps avoid burning. Stir a lot for creamy oats, stir a little for chewy oats.
Bowl of creamy oatmeal toped with small pears, raisins and drizzled with maple syrup

Apply Heat

Salt the water, boil it, and then add the oats. Once your oats are simmering, cooking time varies depending on the variety.

  • Quick:
    • Stove. Simmer for 1 minute, stand for 3 minutes.
    • Microwave. Cook on high for 1-2 minutes.
  • Rolled:
    • Stove. Simmer for 5 minutes, stand for 3 minutes.
    • Microwave: Cook on highfor 2-3 minutes. Use a big bowl and watch carefully for boil-overs!
  • Steel-cut:
    • Stove. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until oats reach desired consistency (longer = creamier).
    • Skip the microwave for these babies! Instead, try these convenient pressure cooker or slow-cooker options.

The Tasty Finish

These are some of our favorite flavor and topping combinations. However, don’t limit yourself – you can even go savory.

  • Flavor boosters:
    • Toast the oats first to add a nutty flavor and help reduce sogginess.
    • Add Coconut Oil to make the oatmeal even more buttery and creamy.
    • Add Spices: pumpkin pie spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla – this list goes on!
  • Sweeteners:
  • Toppings: The list of tasty things to put on oatmeal is basically endless, and many can add extra nutrition! Here are some of our favorites:
    • Stewed strawberry and rhubarb
    • Fresh strawberries and banana
    • Banana and peanut butter
    • Chocolate and hazelnut
    • Baked/stewed apples and pears
    • Berry compote or chia jam
    • Nuts and seeds, and nut/seed butters

Phew! So there you go – creamy oatmeal – a healthy, vegan and gluten-free breakfast. We hope you experience the benefits of a hearty oatmeal breakfast, and it helps you achieve great things!

Bowl of creamy oatmeal toped with fresh figs and maple syrup

Did you try this recipe? Let us know what you think with a comment and rating! Every bit of feedback helps make the blog even better!

If you’re looking for other recipes that embrace the power of oats, why not check out our Baked Pear Oatmeal, or get a little indulgent with our Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp?

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Bowl of creamy oatmeal toped with fresh strawberries and bananas

Creamy Oatmeal Recipe

  • Author: Rachel Steenland
  • Total Time: 14 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x


A step-by-step recipe for making the best creamy oatmeal every time! Enjoy the nutrition benefits of healthy oatmeal – its a terrific start to your day!




Oatmeal flavor boosters, sweetness + toppings (choose any combination you like!):

  • Flavor boosters:
    • Add Coconut Oil to make the oatmeal even more buttery and creamy.
    • Add Spices: pumpkin pie spices, nutmegcinnamon, ginger, vanilla – this list goes on!
  • Sweeteners:
  • Toppings: The list of tasty things to put on oatmeal is basically endless, and many can add extra nutrition! Here are some of our favorites:
    • Stewed strawberry and rhubarb (see recipe)
    • Fresh strawberries and banana
    • Banana and peanut butter
    • Chocolate and hazelnut
    • Baked/stewed apples and pears
    • Berry compote/chia jam
    • Nuts and seeds (and nut/seed butters)


  1. Into a medium size pot add water and salt, bring to a boil, then stir in rolled oats.
  2. Simmer rolled oats for 5 minutes, then turn off heat and stand for 3 minutes until the water has absorbed. Stir occasionally to ensure the oats don’t stick and turnouts out creamy!

Serve your Creamy Oatmeal with Flavor Boosters of your choice. Enjoy!

  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 90
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 2325.5 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.2 g
  • Fiber: 2.4 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: creamy oatmeal, oatmeal benefits, oatmeal healthy, oatmeal recipe, oatmeal nutrition

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll make a small commission if you purchase using these links. The price you pay as a consumer does not change.

Rachel Steenland

Rachel Steenland

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