Stovetop oatmeal recipe in a bowl topped with nuts and maple syrup with a spoon on the side

The Best Classic Stovetop Oatmeal Recipe

If you know you know. And if you don’t know you’re about to find out. Packets of instant oatmeal BEWARE. You’re about to get replaced with this classic stovetop oatmeal recipe. One that should never have gone out of style.

Sure, there’s overnight oats, instant pot oats, packets of oats, microwave oats… but oatmeal made the old fashioned way cannot be beat. I grew up on this simple recipe and it’s one I make monthly in our home. It’s filling and full of ooey gooey goodness that sticks to your bones. And now I sound like I’m 100. But hey… it is what it is.

Old Fashioned Oatmeal

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Susanna Grace Course: BreakfastCuisine: Greek, ScottishDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time



Stove top to table top, this old fashioned recipe checks all the right boxes: simple, filling, customizable, and easy to throw together.


  • 1 cup Rolled oats

  • 1.5 cups Whole milk

  • .5 cups Water

  • 1 medium Green apple, peeled and diced

  • 1 Stick Cinnamon (or 1 teaspoon)


  • Measure your milk and water into a medium sized sauce pan or pot, and turn on low.
  • Peel, core, and dice your green apple into small bite sized chunks.
  • Add oats, apple, and cinnamon stick to milk mixture and bring to a- just before boil, stirring occasionally. Can take about 5 minutes for milk to start forming little bubbles all over.
  • As soon as milk has dozens of little bubbles forming (before a full on boil), turn stove back to low and allow mixture to thicken, stirring occasionally. Another 15-20 minutes.
  • Once mixture has thickened to desired consistency add flakey sea salt to taste. If you prefer a more mushy consistency, add 1/2 cup of liquid at a time until your heart is happy! When ready, remove from heat and serve into bowls. Add desired toppings such as chopped pecans and honey.


  • But I don’t eat dairy. You can use water, almond milk, or any other substitute you typically use for dairy products!
  • There’s no sugar? Correct. I choose to add a heavy drizzle of honey or dusting of coconut sugar (brown sugar sometimes too) directly to my bowl before eating. I keep it separate because everyone in my family prefers to top theirs a different way. You are certainly welcome to add any amount or type of sugar directly to the pot while cooking.
  • You can substitute any firm fruit for green apple, or skip completely and add fresh or dried fruit at the end as a topping. See below for a few fun topping ideas.
  • Need to double or triple this recipe? The ratio is always 1:2. So 1 cup of oats to 2 cups of milk, 3 cups of oats to 6 cups of milk, and so on. The longer you cook, the thicker oatmeal you get. Just keep stirring all the way to the bottom to avoid any burnt bits. Oatmeal will continue to thicken as it cools!
  • If you don’t have a whole crew to feed, you’ll most likely have leftovers. Store in the fridge, and reheat in the microwave as needed. I strongly recommend adding a splash of milk to your bowl before heating so that your oats don’t dry out. It will make a wold of difference, promise.
  • Please note the nutritional information below was calculated using a calculator designed by: Verywell Fit. This information is accurate to the best of my knowledge, but should not be taken as medical advice ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

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Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container


  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 4.4g 7%
    • Saturated Fat 1.9g 10%
  • Cholesterol 9mg 3%
  • Sodium 39mg 2%
  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Potassium 265mg 8%
  • Total Carbohydrate 25.7g 9%
    • Dietary Fiber 3.4g 14%
    • Sugars 10.8g
  • Protein 6.8g 14%
  • Calcium 9%
  • Iron 6%
  • Vitamin D 183%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

When I make stovetop oatmeal I always make enough for the week (double this recipe), and use my large pot which is one of my 9 Cookware Basics. Using a larger pot ensures no spillage, even if your milk boils (which means it doubles) before you catch it. I’m all about minimal cleanup and kick myself every time I use a smaller pot. So don’t do it. Save your future self.

Oh, and just to reiterate… its important to peal your fresh fruit IF you plan on cooking it with the oats. I always peal my apples and pears for stovetop oatmeal!

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It isn’t necessary to add fruit directly to your oats as they cook. Personally, I enjoy the soft consistency of a cooked apple when paired with chopped pecans and a drizzle of sticky honey. However, I’ve opted for plain oatmeal several times, leaving a completely blank canvas to play around with. Kinda like granola! Using stovetop oatmeal as a base to create a different bowl every morning.

One morning I might grab sliced banana and shredded coconut with a dab of honey. The next, I’ll feel like dried cranberries, fresh apple, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon. And the next I might grab fresh blueberries, brown sugar and sliced almonds. You can also mix protein powder, chai seed, and any other number of protein packed tidbits for an extra boost!

Stovetop to Tabletop

Bonus. A pot of stovetop oatmeal is one of my favorite overnight guest breakfast go tos. Simply set out an arrangements of topping options, plop the pot on your table, and let folks serve up their own creations! I do keep Siggi’s yogurt and Bear Naked Granola on had for the anti oatmealers….whom I will never understand, but still love dearly.

I Own This One!
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YUP. I'm sharing with you a pack of 3. Because 1 won't cut it. You will eat that 1 and then be mad you don't have 2 more. Promise I'm looking out for you ๐Ÿ™‚

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10/03/2022 10:20 am GMT

Hosting is one of my favorites, but it didn’t use to be. I was easily overwhelmed with “all the things” and felt like my home and my food were never enough. Until I realized, my time alone was enough… and the rest was honestly a garnish ๐Ÿ™‚

Letting go of the need to blow people’s minds unlocked my actual love of hosting! Where focusing on people, placing simple ingredients in pretty dishes, and actually enjoying the moment has now become second nature. Working on a few fun How To posts to help you “get there” too. It really is the best place to be. Having fun in your own home with your people!

What are some of your favorite oatmeal topping combos? Share down below! And while you’re at it, Save to Pinterest or Share on Facebook. Because sharing is caring, and I’ll need all the support I can get to keep on growing this dream of mine. A dream that helps me help frustrated home cooks find joy in their kitchens.

Sharing Is Caring

If you make this recipe, Iโ€™d love you to come back and leave a review. Or if you have any oatmeal secrets or tips, please share in the comments. After all, we only know what others are willing to share.

While youโ€™re at it, Save to Pinterest or Share on Facebook. Because sharing is caring, and Iโ€™ll need all the support I can get to keep on growing this dream of mine. A place where practical is better than perfect and simple, delicious food is a lifestyle. A place where together, we can begin filling homes and tables with joy!

Hugs, because handshakes are awkward~


  1. Samantha Denefe

    When you made this for me that one time it was sooooooo good. YUM!

  2. Micaela Giles

    This looks so yum! Will definitely try this! My oldest girl and I love our stovetop oatmeal.. we usually add peanut butter to ours but I’m loving the chopped pecans idea!!

    • Susanna Grace

      Yesssssss. Stovetop is the way to go!! I’ve actually never tried with peanut butter… so now I’m off to try it on my next go ๐Ÿ™‚ Pecans and honey are the jam. And the other day I ran out of apples, and subbed applesauce… and it was everything.

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