12 Oatmeal Recipes to Start Your Day Off Right

Customize With Your Favorite Fruits, Nuts, and Spices

overnight pumpkin oatmeal

The Spruce / Leah Maroney

Oatmeal is a hearty, and satisfying way to start the day, and a bowl of warm oats is the perfect base for adding a variety of fruits, nuts, and spices. Although instant oatmeal is convenient, a bowl of homemade oatmeal can be so much more. With these oatmeal recipes—ranging from stovetop to slow cooker to no-cook overnight oats—you can go way beyond the packets without sacrificing convenience.

  • 01 of 12

    Steel-Cut Oatmeal

    A bowl of healthy steel-cut oatmeal with a side of fresh blueberries

    Debbie Smirnoff / GettyImages

    Whole grain steel-cut oatmeal has a heartier texture than rolled oatmeal, which means it can stand up to a long cooking time—like overnight in the slow cooker. It's the type of oats with a chewier texture, and it takes longer to cook than rolled and quick oats. Make the breakfast hands-off by placing all of the ingredients in the crockpot the night before and wake up to a warm breakfast.

  • 02 of 12

    Chocolate-Covered Banana Overnight Oats

    Chocolate-covered banana overnight oats in a bowl

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    If you'd like to enjoy oatmeal, but the weather is too warm for a hot breakfast, try making overnight oats. They don't require any cooking and can be served cold. You can swap the milk for non-dairy milk and use dairy-free chocolate to make it vegan. This recipe combines cocoa powder and maple syrup for a perfectly sweet oatmeal. A topping of banana and chocolate chips makes it a real treat.

  • 03 of 12

    Carrot Cake Oatmeal

    Cake for breakfast oatmeal with shredded carrots and raisins

    The Spruce / Molly Watson

    Fans of carrot cake will love this oatmeal recipe, featuring similar ingredients and flavors. Shredded carrots are cooked along with oats, vanilla, cinnamon, and raisins, and the warm, creamy mixture is sweetened with brown sugar. If you're on a low-sugar diet, swap the sugar for the equivalent amount of sweetener. Top off the bowl with some toasted walnuts for a satisfying crunch.

  • 04 of 12

    Instant Pot Oatmeal

    Instant Pot oatmeal with almonds, honey, and blueberries
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    An Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker not only shaves a ton of time when cooking steel-cut oats, but also eliminates the need to watch the pot to make sure the oatmeal isn't bubbling over. Simply add the oats, water, a cinnamon stick, and salt to the pressure cooker, and after five minutes of cooking, you will have a bowl of creamy Instant Pot oatmeal ready for your favorite toppings.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Savory Oatmeal

    Savory oatmeal topped with crispy bacon, shredded cheese, and scallions

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney 

    If something sweet first thing in the morning isn't for you, try this easy-to-make, hearty bowl of savory oatmeal. Quick-cook oats are boiled on the stovetop for just a few minutes along with scallions and butter and then topped with some warm heavy cream. The bowl is capped off with crispy bacon, shredded cheese, scallion greens, and a fried egg—a meal that is sure to keep you full until lunchtime. Try veggie bacon or leave it out for a vegetarian version.

  • 06 of 12

    Overnight Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

    Spooning out overnight pumpkin pie oatmeal from a glass jar

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    The ideal autumnal treat, this overnight pumpkin pie oatmeal is simple to make and a great use for leftover pumpkin puree. Simply mix the pie filling, milk, maple syrup, and old-fashioned oats together, spoon into individual jars for a fun presentation, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, quickly heat in the microwave or serve cold and enjoy with toppings of your choice.

  • 07 of 12

    Homemade Instant Oatmeal

    homemade instant oatmeal topped with blueberries

    The Spruce 

    Store-bought instant oatmeal is surely convenient, but it can also be loaded with sugar, artificial flavors, and preservatives. By making your own instant oatmeal, you control the ingredients—and you'll have a delicious breakfast ready in no time. Both quick oats and rolled oats are used, and a portion of the quick oats is blended until smooth to create that familiar texture we find in the packets. This oatmeal is a great option for those that like their oats extra creamy.

  • 08 of 12

    Warm Gingerbread Oatmeal

    Warm gingerbread oatmeal in a white bowl

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Your family may be expecting cookies when the aroma of this breakfast wafts through the house, but once they taste this warm gingerbread oatmeal, they will not be disappointed. Use non-dairy milk to make this recipe vegan. All of the favorite gingerbread cookie flavors make their way into this stovetop oatmeal recipe, which takes just a few minutes to cook.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Crockpot Apple Oatmeal With Dates and Walnuts

    Crock pot apple cinnamon oatmeal topped with fruit and nuts

    Getty Images / Arx0nt 

    This crockpot oatmeal recipe is chock-full of flavor and texture, but you can add even more by toasting the steel-cut oats in the oven beforehand. A mixture of milk, brown sugar, honey, butter, and cinnamon combines with oats, apple, dried fruit, and nuts, and cooks for five hours until tender.

  • 10 of 12

    Overnight Chia Seed Oatmeal

    Overnight chia seed oatmeal topped with toasted almonds and sliced banana

    The Spruce / Laurel Randolph

    This combination of old-fashioned oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, dried cherries, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla sits overnight in the fridge, allowing the flavors to meld with each other and the oatmeal to turn nice and creamy. Chia seeds add nutrition and help to naturally thicken the mixture. Finish off this chia seed oatmeal with some toasted almonds and sliced banana.

  • 11 of 12

    Vegan Coconut Oatmeal

    Vegan coconut oatmeal topped with shredded coconut, almonds, and fresh berries

    Arx0nt / Getty Images

    In just a minute or two you will have a sweet bowl of vegan oatmeal that will please any coconut lover. Quick-cooking oats, almond milk, coconut milk, and water come to a boil and then shredded coconut, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon are mixed in. A sprinkling of shredded sweetened coconut on top is the perfect finish.

  • 12 of 12

    Easy Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

    Carrot cake overnight oats with cinnamon and raisins

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Overnight oats are one the easiest, quickest breakfasts out there. This recipe for a carrot cake version is also a cinch to make vegan. Carrots, raisins, walnuts, and coconut add texture, and flavor to the balanced breakfast. It's a filling dish that doesn't require a minute of cooking.