Save time in the morning while still eating a healthy breakfast with one of these 5 Make-Ahead Oatmeal Ideas.
Oatmeal is a meal that so many generations have enjoyed for breakfast because it is a hardy and filling way to start the day. One of the reasons I love it so much is it is super easy to prepare oatmeal from scratch in a seriously time-saving way. Here are 5 time-saving ways to make oatmeal that will make it a star of your prep-ahead breakfasts.
5 Make-Ahead Oatmeal Ideas
Oatmeal packet recipes from Prep-Ahead Breakfasts and Lunches. Photo credit: Ken Goodman
How to Make your own Oatmeal Packets
Sure, you can buy pre-made oatmeal packets from many brands at the store, but making them yourself is super easy and saves you a lot of money. Plus, you can control what is in each packet and customize them for each member of your family. These are so easy to make that kids will love doing them with you! Older kids can even heat them up for themselves in the morning.
Basic Oatmeal Packet Recipe
Makes 1 serving. Multiply by as many packets as you need.
- 1/2 cup instant oatmeal
- 1 tablespoon oat flour (how to make oat flour)
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons powdered milk
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of spices (optional)
Add all of the ingredients to a sealable container or sealable baggy. Store in a cool, dry location.
To serve, pour an oatmeal packet into a bowl. Bring 3/4 cup – 1 cup of water to a boil. Slowly add the boiling water to the oatmeal while stirring until it reaches the desired consistency.
For more oatmeal packet recipes, check out the cookbook Prep-Ahead Breakfasts and Lunches.
Cook Overnight Slow Cooker Oatmeal
Cooking oatmeal in a Crock-Pot makes for a very delicious way to wake up. You can cook it on low for 6-8 hours overnight and when you wake up, breakfast is ready and the smell is like none other. Again, this can be customized in a few ways and it lends itself well to being stored in the freezer in individual portions for enjoying later, too.
Basic Slow Cooker Oatmeal Recipe
- 2 cups steel-cut oats
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups water
- 2 – 3 teaspoons spices (optional)
Add the oatmeal and brown sugar to the slow cooker. Pour the milk and water over the oats. Stir to mix.
Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours in a 3 – 4-quart slow cooker.
To serve, spoon the oatmeal into bowls. Sprinkle your favorite toppings over the oatmeal.
Note: If you are using a larger slow cooker, put a bowl inside the slow cooker and place the ingredients in that bowl. Then add water to the slow cooker up to the halfway mark on the bowl. This creates a water bath and will prevent your oatmeal from being scorched in the large slow cooker.
For more slow cooker oatmeal recipes, check out the cookbook Prep-Ahead Breakfasts and Lunches.
Make Refrigerator Oatmeal
Overnight oatmeal is just as customizable as the packets I previously mentioned, but they are a great way to add fresh fruit, honey and other fresh ingredients that you can’t really store in a packet. Overnight oatmeal is made in your fridge with your chosen ingredients and is ready to go in the morning with a portable jar so it’s great for on-the-go busy mornings.
Basic Refrigerator Oats Recipe
Makes 1 serving. Multiply by as many jars as you need.
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup milk or nut milk or your choice
- Add the oatmeal, yogurt, and milk to a 16-ounce mason jar. Stir to combine.
- Place lid on the jar and refrigerator for 6 – 8 hours.
- To serve, remove lid stir and eat cold. If you prefer your oatmeal warm, you can microwave it for one minute on high. Stir then check the oatmeal to see if they have reached the desired heat. If not microwave for 20 – 30 seconds at a time, stirring and check each time. if the jar gets hot, use a pot holder.
Make-Ahead Baked Oatmeal
Like slow-cooker oatmeal, baking makes your whole house smell amazing and allows you the batch-cook a lot of portions all at once. When you bake oatmeal, it is almost like getting dessert for breakfast, too, because it gives it a different texture than when you make it other ways. Baking oatmeal allows you to also add ingredients like fresh fruit and cream for a really delicious breakfast! You can find the Strawberry Kiwi Baked Oatmeal recipe here.
Make Overnight Granola
I sometimes prefer granola’s crunchiness to oatmeal’s chewiness and overnight granola is a great way to enjoy oats with very little hassle. You simply mix all the ingredients together and place them flat on a cookie sheet to bake for 10 minutes. The overnight part comes in when you shut off the oven and allow them to further bake as the oven cools off. In the morning, crack pieces apart and enjoy! You can watch a video of me making Overnight Pumpkin Pie Spiced Granola here.