How to make oatmeal in the microwave

how to make oatmeal in the microwave
Table of Contents

choosing your oats for microwave oatmeal recipe

Choosing Your Oats for Microwave Oatmeal Recipe

Choosing the right oats is the first step in learning how to make oatmeal in the microwave. The best type of oats to use for this are either quick cooking oats or steel cut oats. Quick cooking oats are processed to cook faster, making them an ideal choice for a microwave oatmeal recipe. Steel cut oats take a bit longer but offer a chewier, denser texture that may appeal to some.

Diana, a professional home chef, says, “If you’re rush in the morning but still want a hearty and nutritious start, quick cooking oats fit the bill. If you have enough time to spend, go with steel cut oats. It’s all about what texture and cooking time fit your lifestyle.”

Using the Right Types of Milk

A significant part of knowing how to make oatmeal in the microwave is understanding the types of milk you can use. Dairy milk provides a rich, creamy taste, but lactose intolerant individuals or vegan diet followers can replace it with almond, soy, or oat milk. Each type of milk will give a unique taste to your oatmeal.

Whichever type you use, ensure it is cold, as hot milk will curdle when mixed with oats in the microwave. You’ll want to use a microwave-safe bowl — one large enough to prevent the oats and milk from spilling over during the cooking process.

sweeten with brown sugar or maple syrup

Sweeten with Brown Sugar or Maple Syrup

Add sweetness to your microwave oatmeal recipe with a touch of brown sugar or maple syrup. Both are great ingredients that can enhance the flavor of your oatmeal. While brown sugar provides a rich, caramel-like sweetness, maple syrup offers a natural, subtle sweetness without overwhelming the oats’ wholesome flavor.

Remember, a little sweetener goes a long way, so start with a small amount and then gradually add more if needed. This step is all about achieving your desired consistency and taste.

enhance the flavor with vanilla

Enhance the Flavor with Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract adds a touch of aroma and extra flavor that can elevate a simple oatmeal dish. Just a few drops of this extract can make a world of difference in your microwave oatmeal recipe.

Be sure to stir in the vanilla extract after the oats have fully cooked. Heat can diminish the flavor of the extract, so adding it in after cooking preserves its robust flavor.

make it creamy with peanut butter

Make It Creamy with Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is another delicious topping you can add. All the creamy, peanutty goodness melts smoothly into the hot oatmeal, giving it a rich, creamy consistency, and nutty flavor that’s simply irresistible!

You can stir the peanut butter thoroughly into the oats or swirl it on top for a fancy, Instagram-worthy bowl of oatmeal.

adding chocolate chips for the sweet tooth

Adding Chocolate Chips for the Sweet Tooth

If you have a sweet tooth, go ahead and add a sprinkle of chocolate chips to your oatmeal. The heat of the freshly cooked oatmeal will melt the chips, giving you a delicious, sweet and creamy chocolatey goodness in every spoonful!

It’s the perfect way to turn a simple breakfast dish into an indulgent treat without too much added sugar. You can also use dark chocolate chips for a less sweet but more antioxidant-rich option.

balancing the sweetness with a pinch of salt

Balancing the Sweetness with a Pinch of Salt

Although it may seem strange to add salt to a breakfast recipe, a pinch of salt really enhances the overall flavor of your oatmeal. It balances out the sweetness from the sugar or maple syrup and brings out the natural flavor of the oats.

Remember that it’s easy to over-salt and a lot harder to fix an over-salted dish, so start with a small pinch and add more if needed.

healthier oatmeal toppings

Healthier Oatmeal Toppings

Apart from sweeteners and flavors, try adding some healthy oatmeal toppings like fresh fruits, nuts, and chia seeds. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

Feel free to throw in some berries, sliced bananas, or nuts like almonds and walnuts to add interesting texture and elevate its nutritional contents, hence making it a more balanced meal.

finding your desired consistency

Finding Your Desired Consistency

After adding all your ingredients, you’ll want to microwave your oatmeal on high for about two minutes, then stir, and microwave again for two more minutes. Be sure to watch as it cooks to prevent spilling over.

The total cooking time may vary slightly depending on the power of your microwave and the type of oats you’re using. Once cooked, if it’s too thick, you can add a little more milk or water to reach your desired consistency.


1. How long does it take to cook oatmeal in the microwave?

The cooking time typically ranges from 2-4 minutes, depending on the microwave’s power and type of oats. Check after every minute to prevent overflow.

2. Can I use steel cut oats in the microwave?

Yes, you can use steel cut oats in the microwave, but they take a longer cooking time – about 7-10 minutes.

3. What types of milk can I use for microwave oatmeal recipe?

You can use dairy milk, or plant-based milks such as almond, soy or oat milk depending on your preference.

4. Can I add peanut butter to my oatmeal?

Yes, peanut butter adds a creamy, rich flavor to oatmeal and also provides additional protein.

5. Can I replace brown sugar with another sweetener?

Absolutely! You can use maple syrup, honey, or even a sugar substitute like Stevia.

6. How do I know when my oatmeal is done?

The oatmeal should bubble and increase in size. Once the oats have absorbed the milk and softened, it’s ready to eat.

7. Can I overcook oatmeal?

Yes, overcooking oatmeal can make it too thick and mushy. It’s key to keep an eye on it while cooking.

8. What kind of bowl should I use to cook oatmeal in the microwave?

Always use a microwave-safe bowl for cooking oatmeal.

9. Can I add salt to oatmeal?

Yes, a pinch of salt enhances the overall flavor of oatmeal by balancing out the sweetness.

10. Can the cooking time vary depending on the type of oats I use?

Yes, steel cut oats generally take a longer time to cook compared to quick cooking oats.