Skip to Content

Perfect Stovetop Oatmeal Recipe

Perfect Stovetop Oatmeal is simple and satisfying. Learn how to make your own perfect stovetop oatmeal with these handy tips and tricks.

Perfect Stovetop Oatmeal Recipe

Making oatmeal from scratch is almost as simple as opening an envelope of the instant stuff. It’s not much more time consuming, but it is SO much more satisfying! This recipe for Apple Cinnamon Stovetop Oatmeal is one of the most popular here on Sugar Dish Me.

And since people love THAT, I thought it would be fun to share the “good bones” of how to make stovetop oatmeal like a pro. So here’s how to achieve perfect stovetop oatmeal.[side note: Google keeps correcting the word “stovetop” and I am just ignoring the red squiggle spelling error line because IT IS A WORD]

We all know that I typically prefer my oats in cookie form (like with these White Chocolate Blueberry Oat Cookies). But a good bowl of oatmeal goes a long way in the morning and I love playing around with add-ins and toppings. Some favorites:

  • Dried cranberries or raisins
  • Sliced apples or peaches
  • Chocolate chips + bananas
  • A spoonful of peanut butter + honey
  • Maple syrup + brown sugar
  • Almonds, pistachios, or walnuts

Perfect Stovetop Oatmeal Ingredients

Once you have made some decisions about what’s going IN your oatmeal, you can focus on technique. I have a few tips:

  • Old Fashioned Oats will give more texture; Quick oats will be creamier and will cook a little faster.
  • If you buy the old fashioned oats and decide you prefer quick cooking oats, a pulse in the blender or food processor gives you quick oats in less than a minute!
  • If your oats threaten to bubble up and over the sides of the pan when you add them to the hot water, you need to reduce the heat.
  • Your oats need a dash of salt to be perfect.

Perfect Stovetop Oatmeal Recipe

Let’s talk about this salt things really quick. Once upon a time Chad tried to get cute and make me oatmeal. Annnnnd he added salt. But he salted my oatmeal like you would salt your pasta water. So instead of enhancing the flavors of anything else we might have added, I just had to scrape my bowl of oatmeal into the trash #hotmess

This is on your list of oatmeal things to NOT do.

On the list of oatmeal things TO DO, however, is to cook it in WATER, not milk (the milk comes later). You want simmering water, not boiling water. Boiling water will turn your oats into sticky glue. You want to bring the water just to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer before adding your oats. Stirring occasionally, just to prevent sticking is how you get that perfect oatmeal texture. 

Perfect Stovetop Oatmeal

Love Oatmeal? You should also try…

Oatmeal Pancakes with Bananas and Pecans

Banana Oat Pancakes

Berry Crumb Bars with an Oatmeal Crust

Oatmeal Berry Crumb Bars

Fresh Tomato Bruschetta Recipe
The Best Summer Tomato Recipes
← Read Last Post
Emoji Donuts Recipe
Emoji Donuts
Read Next Post →

Matthew Middleton

Friday 10th of January 2020



Tuesday 30th of April 2019

Louise, We seceded from Britain centuries ago. I think it makes sense that we would cook our oatmeal differently.


Monday 25th of March 2019

Thanks so much! I’ve bookmarked this for anytime I need a hearty bowl of oatmeal. It’s just what I needed

Linda Yates

Sunday 10th of February 2019

Thx for tips. I've hated trying to cook oatmeal. Even following directions I screwed it up every time. Will try again soon & see how it turns out. But....your way sounds like a winner...the summer thing....who knew?

Sandy Heifner

Sunday 6th of January 2019

I used milk to cook my oatmeal. I cup milk to 1/2 oatmeal. I brought the milk to a boil and then added the oats. Turned down the heat but have an electric stove so harder to control the heat! Cooked it until the milk was absorbed but still the oats were not done! Very cheeky! What am I doing wrong? Thanks.

Heather Tullos

Monday 7th of January 2019

Milk and water are not a 1:1 ratio. Milk is heavier than water so you will need more. Milk will also burn or scald pretty easily. So if you are using milk to COOK the oats and not just finish the oats, you will need more milk. I can't tell you exactly how much though because I have never cooked oats with milk ONLY. For overnight oats it's a 1:1 milk : oats ratio. So 1 part milk to 1 part oats.