How To Make Oatmeal In The Microwave

We’ll show you How To Make Oatmeal In The Microwave for the best flavor and texture! We know there’s instructions on the box, but we have a couple of tweaks to that recipe to make it even better. A hearty, delicious breakfast that’s ready to go in less than 5 minutes.

oatmeal in a bowl with toppings and red napkin on the side

Why Our Recipe Works Better

I know you might be thinking, I can just look on the box, right? Well you can, but our way of doing it is better. Not only are we going to show you how to make oatmeal in the microwave for the best texture and flavor, we’re getting into lots topping ideas too.

  • Very Easy To Make: In just 5 minutes you’re going to have a piping hot bowl of oatmeal that’s ready to top to your heart’s desire.
  • Perfect Texture: When we use the instructions on the box, we end up with too much liquid and tough oats that aren’t cooked. Our way yields fluffy, perfectly cooked oats with just the right amount of liquid.
  • Customizable: You can top this microwave oatmeal pretty much any way you like. Scroll down for lots of ideas for flavoring this oatmeal.
  • Affordable: Oats are very inexpensive, while being hearty and filling at the same time.
oatmeal in a bowl with strawberries, bananas and walnuts

Ingredients You’ll Need

Just three ingredients is all you need to make this delicious microwave oatmeal. Scroll down to the recipe card below for complete instructions and amounts needed.

  • Old Fashioned Oats: Regular, old fashioned oats. Not quick cooking oats as they will cook up differently. Steel cut oats will also have different cooking times, so stick to the regular oats for this recipe.
  • Milk: The instructions on the box will give the choice of using water or milk, but we prefer using milk. Milk gives the oatmeal a much better flavor and creates a more creamy oatmeal.
  • Kosher Salt: A good pinch, or 1/8 of a teaspoon makes all the difference in the flavor.
ingredients for making oatmeal in the microwave

How To Make

This microwave oatmeal recipe is really so easy, so we’ll go over the basic steps here. Please scroll to the recipe card below for complete instructions.

  • Add Ingredients To A Bowl: Add 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats and a pinch of salt to a large, at least a 1 quart (4 cups) bowl. The oats and milk will bubble over so make sure that whatever bowl you’re using is large enough. Pour in 3/4 cup of milk and stir.
  • Cook and Steam: Remove the bowl from the microwave and then cover with a plate for 2 minutes. Stir the oatmeal and serve. The oats will continue to absorb the liquid as it sits, so if you like less liquid, leave the oatmeal sit for another couple of minutes. If you like more liquid you can add a splash of milk.

Can I User Water Instead Of Milk To Make Oatmeal?

You can, and it does give that option on most boxes, however, the oatmeal won’t be as flavorful. Using milk also gives the oatmeal a more creamy consistency. We also recommend using whole milk, but of course you can use low fat or skim as well.

If you have a dietary reason for using water instead of milk you certainly can do that. Or you can use a milk alternative like oat milk or soy milk.

oatmeal in a bowl with a spoon on the side

Oatmeal Topping Ideas

Of course you can enjoy this microwave oatmeal as is, or simply with a pat of butter and some brown sugar. Oatmeal can topped in many different ways, it all depends on what you like.

  • Dried Fruit: Any dried fruit will work here. Raisins are a popular choice, but you can also use apricots, cranberries (craisins), dried pears, mango or dates.
  • Fresh Fruit: Sliced bananas, apples, pears, mango, kiwi and strawberries are all popular choices.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Any type of nut that you enjoy like peanuts, cashews, almonds or macadamia nuts. Also try seeds like sunflower, chia, flax or quinoa are also delicious.
  • Nut Butter: Nut butters like peanut butter or almond butter can be swirled into warm oatmeal.
oatmeal in a bowl with a spoonful of oatmeal

More Delicious Breakfast Recipes

oatmeal in a bowl with toppings and red napkin on the side

How To Make Oatmeal In The Microwave

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 30 seconds
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes 30 seconds
  • Total Time: 6 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Serving 1x

Don’t just follow the instructions on the box, our recipe for making oatmeal in the microwave is SO much better! A hearty, delicious breakfast in less than 5 minutes.



  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup whole milk (can also substitute low far or skim)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a large (at least 4 cup capacity) bowl and stir.
  2. Microwave for 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Remove the bowl from the microwave and cover with a plate for 2 minutes. The oats will continue to soak up the milk as it sits, so if you want a thicker consistency let the oats sit for a 2 minutes longer.
  3. Stir and serve with desired toppings, see the post for ideas.

Recipe Notes

Store: Cover and store any leftover oatmeal in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

  • Category: Breakfast / Brunch
  • Method: Microwave
  • Cuisine: American

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