How to Make Oatmeal on the Stove (Tips, FAQ, Video, and Easy Recipe)

I have good news for you if you have been looking for information on how to make oatmeal on the stove. I made a video for you! And this version is so creamy and delicious! In the video, I step through the basic ingredients, cooking tips, and share a simple topping idea (also noted in the below basic stovetop oatmeal recipe at the end of this post).

Additionally, some of you may be interested in exactly how long stovetop oatmeal takes to make. In the video, I actually set a stopwatch and check in a couple times to show you how the stovetop oatmeal thickens up over time. And when it’s ready.

Oh, and the recipe is written to make stovetop oatmeal for one. But you can easily multiple the amounts to serve more!

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of these links, I may make a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you for your support!

How to Make Creamy Stovetop Oatmeal (Video)

If the above video player doesn’t work, click here to view my how to make oatmeal on the stove video.

Be sure to scroll to the end of this post for a basic stovetop oatmeal recipe.

How to Make Oatmeal on the Stove: 5 Tips

Here are 5 tips to help you learn how to cook oatmeal on the stove. Scroll to the end of this post for an easy stovetop oatmeal recipe for beginners.

Images features a small pot and container of rolled oats with a spatula. There is text on the image that says How to Make Stovetop Oatmeal 5 Tips for the Perfect Bowl

Stovetop Oatmeal Tips #1 Use the right pot

I have a lot of opinions about the best pot for oatmeal! You want one that will help you cook your stovetop oatmeal properly for its unique texture. I personally prefer a small, ceramic non-stick pot.

Non-Stick: Because oatmeal is pretty sticky, you’ll want to use a non-stick pot. In recent years I’ve switched from traditional non-stick to ceramic non-stick since I believe ceramic is much safer.

Small: Use a pot that is 1 quart or smaller. If the pot is too big, the oats will spread out and may not cook well.

Shopping: Although I don’t have these pots, these look like solid options and have good reviews on Amazon:

Stovetop Oatmeal Tips #2 Use the right oats

Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats: I prefer old-fashioned rolled oats for my stovetop oatmeal. Steel cut does take too long IMO. Rolled oats can be cooked in around 5-10 minutes. Quick oats are typically more processed than rolled and don’t give you that nice chewy texture that I find so delicious.

I really like Bob’s Red Mill Rolled OatsBob’s Red Mill Old Fashioned Regular Rolled Oats – 32 Ounce (Pack of 4) option here. Bob’s Red Mill Extra Thick Rolled Oats are nice, too. However, these will take longer to cook (and I sometimes find hard oatmeal “shell” pieces when I eat this type). Currently, I’m enjoying the Whole Foods rolled oats, which are giving me a nice, chewy texture.

PS: Rolled oats are fun to cook/bake with. They’re really good in my Emergency Cookies recipe – couch to cookies in 20 minutes!

Stovetop Oatmeal Tips #3 Try non-dairy milk

Non-dairy milk: I find the non-dairy milks tend to scald less easily than cow milk. You can totally use regular milk, but I’ve found the non-dairy options cook better. Almond milk is my top choice, but I’ve had good luck with soy, rice, and coconut milk, too. Plus, the non-dairy milks can give you new flavor options.

How much milk to use? I like one part oats, one part milk, and one part water. So, for example, I’ll combine 1/3 cup rolled oats with 1/3 cup almond milk and 1/3 cup water. Click here for my Classic Banana Stovetop Oatmeal. I’ll also link up additional Stovetop Oatmeal Recipes at the end of this post.

Stovetop Oatmeal Tips #4 Cook it low and slow

Low: I like to cook my oatmeal on the low setting on the stove. This prevents the milk for scalding and helps keep the oats creamy.

Slow: You can probably cook oatmeal faster if you turn the heat up, but be careful that it doesn’t start boiling. A light simmer is okay, but low and slow will give you the nice, creamy texture you’re looking for. Since it’s cooking slowly, I find I only need to stir mine occasionally.

Stovetop Oatmeal Tips #5 Too thick? Here’s the fix

The nice thing about oatmeal is that you can cook it to your own texture preference. Some people like their oatmeal more liquid-y and some more thick.

If you happen to overcook your oatmeal and it gets too thick, the easy way to fix this is to add in a little more milk. You can use water, but I find using milk helps keep that creamy texture.

Stovetop Oatmeal Tips with Photos

I took some photos of oatmeal while cooking it stovetop to help give you some visuals on How to Make Stovetop Oatmeal.

How to Make Stovetop Oatmeal: 5 Tips

Combine your oats, water, and milk in a pot before turning on the heat. The above just shows them in the pot before stirring.

How to Make Stovetop Oatmeal: 5 Tips

After stirring the oats, the mixture will look like this.

How to Make Stovetop Oatmeal: 5 Tips

Turn the heat to low and cook until the oatmeal is thickened to your liking. See in the above photo how the liquid has reduced? You can cook your oatmeal until it’s as thick as you like.

Psst – be sure to scroll to the end for full recipes with step by step details.

How to Make Stovetop Oatmeal: 5 Tips

For me, I don’t like my oatmeal too thick. You can tell when it’s quite thick if when you stir it, it doesn’t spread easily. For example, you can see the bottom of the pan and the oatmeal doesn’t quickly spread to cover it back.

How to Make Stovetop Oatmeal: 5 Tips

If this happens, simply add in a bit of more milk and continue cooking until it’s thickened to your liking.

Stovetop Oatmeal FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Video: How to Make Oatmeal on the Stove and Basic Recipe

Should you use milk or water for oatmeal?

I’ve been making oatmeal since I was a kid, and over all these years, I’ve found that a mix of milk AND water makes the perfect bowl of oatmeal.

Oatmeal made with just water is too boring for me. I love how adding milk makes your oatmeal nice and creamy and delicious!

But using only milk is almost too creamy. Haha. So I l like to use water and milk combined.

See the next section for the right oatmeal-to-water ratio for stovetop oatmeal.

What’s the Right Oatmeal to Water Ratio for Stovetop Oatmeal?

I find that equal parts oats to milk to water works best. I recommend this oatmeal to water ratio stovetop:

  • 1 part rolled oats
  • 1 part milk of choice
  • 1 part water

I love adding milk into the oats *while* cooking to get it extra creamy. But the secret is to use half milk and half water for the liquid portion. It’s just the right balance.

Can you cook stovetop oatmeal with water and just water? Yes. But why would you want to?! Especially when some non-dairy options of milk are so good?

Is oatmeal supposed to be watery?

How watery oatmeal is depends on your personal preferences. I like my stovetop oatmeal creamy while my mom actually prefers hers a bit liquidy.

If you don’t like your oatmeal watery, you probably just need to cook it a bit longer to thicken it up.

How to thicken oatmeal?

Thickening oatmeal starts with using the right oatmeal to water ratio for oatmeal. If you put add too much water or milk, your oatmeal will be very watery. See the above section for my ratio recommendation.

Once you’re using the right oatmeal to liquid ratio for oatmeal, you can thicken oatmeal by cooking it a bit longer. When you first add your ingredients to your pot, it will be quite watery. But it will thicken as you cook.

If your oatmeal is too watery, cook it until it reaches the texture you prefer.

How to make oatmeal creamy?

My YouTube video tutorial on how to make stovetop oatmeal is all about getting that perfect, creamy bowl of oatmeal, so you can watch that for details. In general, to make oatmeal creamy, you need to add milk.

If you have a dairy sensitivity, you can use a non-dairy milk and still get a creamy oatmeal result.

For milk options, please see the next section.

Which Milk to Use for Creamy Stovetop Oatmeal?

Non-dairy milks have yielded better creamy stovetop oatmeal for me. I find dairy milk tends to curdle more easily for whatever reason. Which has been great anyways as I’ve moved away from dairy and towards non-dairy options anyway.

Here’s what I’ve found in testing different milks in stovetop oats over the years:

  • Oat milk: My current favorite for basically everything. Yields a super creamy oatmeal.
  • Almond milk: My previous favorite. Also makes a nice, creamy oatmeal.
  • Soy milk: Another high choice…probably my favorite before almond milk. Another great option for creamy oatmeal.
  • Coconut milk (in the carton): Delicious, but not nearly as creamy as the previous three options. Probably because coconut milk is fairly watery.
  • Coconut milk (in the can): Super rich and will make for creamy oatmeal. I definitely recommend mixing this 50/50 with water so it’s not overwhelmingly rich.
  • Rice milk: A solid dairy replacement, but this bowl will be more on the watery side.
Video: How to Make Oatmeal on the Stove and Basic Recipe

How much rolled oats to use?

If I’m not too hungry, I can be satisfied with 1/4 – 1/3 cup rolled oats. But mind you, I like to put a good amount of toppings on my bowls of oatmeal. I believe the serving size suggestion on the side of most containers of oats is 1/2 cup. But experiment around and see what works best for you.

Multiply as needed if you’re making oatmeal for more than one person.

Video: How to Make Oatmeal on the Stove and Basic Recipe

Easy Stovetop Oatmeal Recipe

This is the basic stovetop oatmeal recipe I use EVERY time I make stovetop oatmeal. You can use this old fashioned oats recipe as a base. This recipe will show you how to make oatmeal with milk and water. Add your favorite mix-ins and toppings to make your oatmeal delicious.

Not sure what to add? I shared a list of my favorite stovetop oatmeal recipes below this recipe card.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Video: How to Cook Stovetop Oatmeal and Basic Recipe

Basic Rolled Oats Oatmeal Recipe for One

  • Author: Diana of
  • Cook Time: 6 mins
  • Total Time: 6 mins
  • Yield: 1 1x


This basic rolled oats oatmeal recipe for one is meant to be a foundation for your future oatmeal bowls. Start with this and mix in your favorite flavors. If you’re not feeling creative, check out the links at the end of this post for more ideas. There are some simple toppings on this one to get you started.



Basic Oatmeal Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I’ve been using almond milk recently)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds, optional (but they are in the video – won’t impact the recipe if you skip these)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey, plus more for toppings (sub maple syrup of agave for vegan option)
  • sprinkle of salt


  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • dash of cinnamon


  1. In a small non-stick pot, combine oats, milk, water, chia seeds, honey, and salt and stir together. Turn heat to medium low and cook the oats, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches your desired texture, approximately 5-7 minutes (depending on your preference and heat of stove).
  2. Serve and top with blueberries, almonds, a drizzle of honey, and cinnamon. Add any additional toppings of choice. Enjoy!


This recipe is designed for one serving. But you can easily multiply as needed.

Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

More Delicious Oatmeal Breakfast Recipes

Classic Banana Stovetop Oatmeal

Peanut Butter and Jelly Stovetop Oatmeal

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Click here for all of my oatmeal recipes


Hope you enjoyed my blog post on How to Make Oatmeal on the Stove (Tips, FAQ, Video, and Easy Recipe)

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed this post on how to make oatmeal on the stove and basic recipe!

What are your favorite things to mix into your stovetop oatmeal and/or add as toppings? Comment below!

Share this on Pinterest with these graphics:

Easy, creamy, dreamy stovetop oatmeal! Click for a video and basic recipe and learn how to make delicious stovetop oatmeal. This clean eating breakfast is simple and flavor combos are endless! #recipe #healthy #healthyrecipes #healthyfood #cleaneating #realfood #vegan #veganrecipe #breakfast
Watch how easy stovetop oatmeal is to make! Click for a video and simple recipe on how to make delicious, creamy oatmeal for breakfast today! #recipe #healthy #healthyrecipes #healthyfood #cleaneating #realfood #vegan #veganrecipe #breakfast
Video: How to Make Oatmeal on the Stove and Basic Recipe

2 thoughts on “How to Make Oatmeal on the Stove (Tips, FAQ, Video, and Easy Recipe)”

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating