Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Instant oatmeal in the microwave

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

You know how you feel when you discover that you've been doing something the hard way? This is one of those times for me.

Homemade instant oatmeal

When I heard about making homemade instant oatmeal packets by pulsing rolled oats in a food processor, I thought it was a great idea. And for a stretch, while the kids were eating cold cereal I was making myself a bowl of homemade instant oatmeal every morning in the microwave. (You know, the "I just had a baby so everyone makes their own breakfast" stage...) :)

Then one day recently Joshua told me he had read an article about oatmeal on a news site. The article suggested just using quick oats in the microwave. They cook almost as quickly as the "instant" ones.

But of course! Quick oats cook in 1 minute, right? So I tried it. My cereal bowl with 1/2 cup of quick oats, a sprinkle of salt, and some water cooks in about 2 1/2 minutes on HIGH in the microwave. Why did I not just do this in the first place?!

Along with the quick cooking time, I like the texture of the quick oats better than instant.

So, sorry if this is the dumbest kitchen tip ever, but I wish I had realized this back when we first got a microwave and used it for oatmeal. Does being a microwave newbie give me a pass? ;)

My morning oatmeal
My morning oatmeal with add-ins.
If you're on My Fitness Pal you can see my daily food logs. I've lost a bunch of baby weight in the past 4 months, with about 15 pounds left to go! :)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link in a comment here, so we know where to find YOU! :) No giveaways or non-tip posts, please! We need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. Tips for making butter (Black Fox Homestead)
2. Tips for grilled hamburgers (Western Warmth)
3. What to do with too much zucchini (The Local Cook)
4. Cooking/soaking beans tips (Simply Made Home)
5. Easy healthy food substitutes (Simply Made Home)
6. Flattening cookies (Living So Abundantly)
7. Frozen veggies tip (Sunny Side Homestead)
8. Low-calorie beverage tips (Recipes Happen)
9. Tip for crispy hash browns (Premeditated Leftovers)


Good Morning! I have two tips again today.

The first concerning cooking and soaking beans.

The second is simple changes to improve the health of your meals. Real food doesn't have to be difficult!

As always thank you for hosting!


My favorite way to cook oatmeal using a microwave is to only boil the water and pour it over my dry oatmeal. Then I let it sit to cook. It's important to use a ceramic bowl that will hold in the heat and allow it to cook. This way is doesn't get gummy or pasty and it doesn't boil over in the microwave.

This is how I prepare my homemade instant oatmeal too. My instant oatmeal is different than you describe above. It has a mixture of old fashioned rolled oats, quick oats, and pureed oats along with some cinnamon and flax seed. I just made up a batch yesterday and am having some for breakfast. :)

I do, however, love rolled oats or barley flakes (a new favorite that is even more filling than oatmeal and equally as tasty) cooked in milk on the stove when I have extra time. To lesson the calories I use half milk and half water and it still gives it that creamy, yummy taste. I have even used unsweetened vanilla almond milk and that makes it even hardier and adds an extra sweetness with even less calories than skim milk.

Sorry for the long comment. I am enjoying following you on my fitness pal. I especially enjoy getting food ideas from reading your food log.

I also heat the water and then pour it over my dry oatmeal. I actually switched to using the kettle to heat the water, though- since I'm usually making 3 or 4 bowls in the morning, I'll heat up the water in the kettle and I'll put enough quick oats in each bowl for each person. Then I'll pour in the water, stir just enough to distribute the water, and place a small plate on top of the bowl to trap in the heat. Then I'll gather the rest of the breakfast things, and go and get the kids dressed and seated at the table, and by that time the oatmeal is cooked and not too hot, not too cold.

By the way, I had no idea there was a difference between instant and quick oats (other than packaging and flavorings). I learned something new, too! I have a bunch of dried apples I plan to chop up in the food processor with some sugar and cinnamon, and store in a small container. Then I can add some of that to my oatmeal before I add the water.

Since it has been so warm I have been enjoying the overnight refrigerator oatmeal - just put 1 part oatmeal in the jar (any kind but steel cut will work, even rolled), add 2 parts of a liquid (milk, almond milk, coconut milk, whatever you like), 1/4 - 1/2 banana, some sweetener (I am using stevia drops)and some fruit. Blueberries are good, as are raspberries. Let it sit 4-8 hours in the fridge and you have a cold, refreshing jar of oatmeal waiting for you in the am. Nothing to fix, just grab it and go.

There are lots of recipes on the internet right now for this, and I am loving it!

I love this idea! I especially ike that the oats are raw as this is so much better for us!

That's how I eat my oatmeal--microwaved! ;) I like mine with 1-2 Tbsp. of peanut butter, a little sugar, and milk. That's my "thing." It's amazing how a yummy breakfast can motivate you. I love going on walks in the morning, because I can't wait to eat my bowl of oatmeal. ;) That is not a dumb tip at all.

My tip is on flattening cookies:

Thanks for the tip! I have a tip about recycling the bread bag clip to keep frozen vegetable bags secure:

My tip, Tammy. :-)

Stop drinking away your calories by keeping low-calorie drinks Handy!


Hello! I'm a newbie. I came across your blog through a link I saw at another link party. I'm sharing my link for homemade butter. Thank you for hosting!

This is a good way to make butter. Thanks for sharing.

I make my homemade butter by putting the cream in a jar and shaking it for 10 minutes. Great workout for the arms too!

Here is a link with pictures. I love this method.


Hi Tammy,

This is a great tip for busy moms. My favorite add in is ground flax seed. I add one tablespoon. It might seem weird, but it enhances the flavor of the oatmeal.

My tip is for making Crispy Hash browns:

I'm not a microwave newbie and I didn't know this! Too bad our microwave is broken at the moment. Making your own quick oat sure beats all the sugar in many instant oatmeals - yuck!

Thanks for hosting!

I'm with the commenters who cook quick oats in the bowl by adding boiling water. It probably uses less power than the microwave. Either method of cooking in the bowl is definitely easier than cooking it in a pot, transferring it while hot, and then having to wash both the pot and the bowl!

How come you just don't use old fashioned oats in the microwave? That is how I make mine. Takes less than two minutes. I refuse to use Quick Oats or Instant Oatmeal.

I use old fashioned in the microwave also. Cooks in 3 minutes. I never use the others even if a recipe calls for them and I've never had a lick of trouble.

Hi Tammy, Just wanted to say hi and tell you I missed your tips this Tuesday. I hope you and your family are well.

This was my comment, but my problem was I was using an old bookmark and then realized you now have to sign in to your site in order to see the new posts and comment. It also explained why there was a lot of coding displayed all over the page. I am glad to see your posts.

You guys keep saying - oh, put this our that in the microwave and rave about how good it is. Please comes back and specify amounts. How much oats? Hire much water? How long? THANK YOU

For quick oats or old-fashioned rolled oats, use a 2:1 ratio of water to oats. (Example: 1 cup water and 1/2 cup oats) I microwave on high (full power) for 1-2 minutes; I just watch through the window on the microwave and make sure it doesn't bubble over.

Check it and see how long your microwave takes to get it hot enough or cooked enough for your tastes! :) Microwaves can very greatly. :)

Hope this helps! :)

Here's my specific microwave oatmeal recipe, straight off the package, it was such a revelation to me when I tried it the first time :)
1/2 cup old fashioned/rolled oats (I buy the 10 pound box at Costco)
1 cup water
I use a Corelle serving bowl to microwave in so I don't have to worry about boiling over.
Microwave on 50 percent power for five minutes.
Optional: add 1/3 cup of dried fruit (cranberries, apples or raisins are popular here) to the water and oats before microwaving
After cooking I use two Splenda packets and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon to sweeten and flavor mine.

...than the ease of microwave oatmeal is make-ahead steel cut oats with mini chocolate chips! I have it *every* morning for breakfast after working out and it feels like I'm having a chewy chocolatey cookie for breakfast! Totally decadent but still super healthy and pretty low calorie. (Honestly I'd pick it over an oatmeal cookie every time, it's that good!) I'm going to try it with coconut oil instead of butter next month, I have it on my Costco list ;)
I use Alton Brown's recipe, but sub unsweetened Almond milk for the buttermilk (only 30 calories a cup!) Divide the pot into 3 containers for three breakfasts. To reheat, microwave for 30-45 seconds until warm but not hot--that way your chocolate chips will only be a little melty and not chocolate sludge. When topped with 15 grams of mini chocolate chips (the mini ones go farther than the big ones) there are 312 calories in each bowl.

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