How to Cook Old-Fashioned Thick Rolled Oats

Cook rolled oats with plenty of water to tenderize them.
Image Credit: Arx0nt/iStock/GettyImages

Oats are one of the most popular grains, especially for breakfast. Since the USDA recommends consuming 3 to 8 ounces of grains per day, you should master the art of cooking rolled oats.


People have consumed oats for centuries. We have come a long way in agriculture, but oats will never go out of style. Oat milk is now a common non-dairy milk alternative and oat flour can be used as a gluten-free flour substitute. With their versatility, oats are a food staple around the world.

Video of the Day

Video of the Day

Many people microwave oatmeal thanks to the invention of instant oats, but cooking rolled oats requires a bit more patience and effort. You will need a pot of boiling water, your oats and any toppings you prefer.

Rolled Oats Nutrition and Benefits

One reason to start your morning with a basic oatmeal recipe is for the heart health benefits. According to Mayo Clinic, oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber. This helps reduce your "bad" cholesterol levels. They recommend adding fresh fruit to your oatmeal for even more fiber content. This will increase your chances of meeting your daily fiber requirement.


In addition to fiber, oatmeal is packed with vitamins and minerals. According to the USDA, 1 cup of cooked oats contains:

  • 166 calories
  • 3.6 grams of fat
  • 28.1 grams of carbohydrates
  • 4 grams of fiber
  • 5.9 grams of protein
  • 21 percent daily value (DV) of zinc
  • 15 percent DV of magnesium
  • 12 percent DV of iron

Basic oatmeal recipes often include milk, nuts, seeds and fresh fruit. These toppings can alter the nutrition facts for oats. Try to choose nutrient-dense and health-promoting toppings to make your morning oatmeal even more nutritious.


Oats are also a surprising source of plant-based protein. In comparison to non-vegetarian and non-vegan eating patterns, the USDA Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020 recommend that vegetarians and vegans consume more legumes, soy products, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

Read more: Can Eating Oatmeal Help You Lose Weight?

Cooking Rolled Oats

Since rolled oats are just one type of oat, cooking rolled oats may vary from cooking instant oats, steel-cut oats and other oat types. Rolled oats are typically prepared by boiling water on the stove, but you can also microwave oatmeal.



For the most basic oatmeal recipe, you just need rolled oats and water. To spice them up, add cinnamon, non-dairy milk, maple syrup, walnuts, berries and other toppings you enjoy.

To cook rolled oats on the stove, you will need a saucepan, 1/2 cup of rolled oats and 1 cup of water, milk, or non-dairy milk. Bring the water or milk to a boil and add the oats. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes until the oatmeal has thickened. For a thinner oatmeal, add more liquid.


To microwave oatmeal, add 1/2 cup of oats with 3/4 cup of water into a microwave-safe bowl or container. Microwave the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir before eating and add any toppings.

Read more: The 4 Best Instant Oatmeals (and 5 to Avoid)

Basic Oatmeal Recipes

With any basic oatmeal recipe, you can give the oats flavor with some toppings, spices, nut butters, etc. A popular combination is peanut butter and jelly or jam on top of oats. A classic basic oatmeal recipe is simply banana, blueberries and walnuts. For a bit of sweetness, add maple syrup or brown sugar.


Not all oatmeal recipes are sweet. To mix it up, try some savory oatmeal recipes. These can include various vegetables, herbs and spices.

Other basic oatmeal recipes from include:




Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...