Homemade Oatmeal: A Hearty Breakfast for a Crowd

posted by Andrea | 10/3/2013
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homemade oatmeal

The other day, I woke up with a craving for oatmeal (which is a much healthier option than my recent cravings for double cheese burgers!)

And since we had my sister and her husband staying with us for the weekend, I thought it might be fun to make a big batch of homemade oatmeal and let everyone “dress it up” with their own favorite toppings.

The oatmeal was a huge hit, everyone went back for seconds, and we all were fully satisfied until lunch (which is a pretty big accomplishment around our house.)

This “recipe” is so ridiculously simple that I almost feel silly sharing it as a full-length blog post; but it really did hit the spot on a cool fall morning — and my “claim to fame” is simple stuff!

If you’re looking for a super simple, super frugal, hearty breakfast to feed a crowd, try your hand at homemade oatmeal.

Recipe for Homemade Oatmeal

{print recipe}

Serves 6 – 8


  • 7 c. water
  • 4 c. oats (old fashioned or quick oats)
  • 1 t. salt

Optional Toppings

  • Milk or cream
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Rasins
  • Craisins
  • Chopped apples
  • Sliced bananas
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Chopped pecans
  • Chopped walnuts


Bring water and salt to a boil in a medium to large pan.

Add oats, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 2 minutes (quick oats) or 5 minutes (traditional oats), stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 2-3 additional minutes.

Scoop into bowls, add optional toppings, and enjoy.

I love that I can make ONE meal but allow everyone to customize it to their tastes with a variety of toppings.

And if you’re wondering, this oatmeal heats up well as leftovers the next day — just add a little milk or water to make it a bit creamier. Or if you just want to mix up the dry ingredients and made a fresh batch every morning, check out my recipe for Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets.

What is your favorite hearty breakfast recipe?

VisitΒ my virtual recipe boxΒ for more simple, delicious, family friendly recipes!

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  1. Rebecca @ Rebecca's Delightful Home


    Or, if you are lazy like me (and just making one bowl of oatmeal), pop it in the microwave for 60 seconds. I even do this with the steel cut oats. πŸ™‚


  2. Stacie Kaltz


    Yes I keep a container full of your instant oatmeal recipe in our house alllllll the time. It’s the best! We all love it! I will have to do the variety of sides on the weekend for a special treat!! Thanks again Andrea!!!!


  3. Demaroge


    I make oatmeal in a slightly different order because it changes the texture to not so ‘mushy.’

    Boil water. Add oats. Cover. Turn off the burner.

    Also boiling a large pot of water and holding the oats in a metal strainer (the oats boil more freely) makes a really nice texture as well.

    I have not thought of making extra servings for the next day. I may try it!


  4. Michelle


    I made your homemade instant oatmeal in a big container and LOVE it! Its so easy and I can make it to my liking! I just boil water in a kettle instead of microwaving. A GREAT money saver too! Thank you!


    Andrea Reply:

    yay — glad you like the instant version too πŸ™‚


  5. Ree Klein


    Mmmmm, I love steel cut oats with berries, bananas, apple and nuts. I used make up four servings, eat one and package the remainder in three one-cup servings in the fridge. They are so easy to take to work and are quite filling.

    Thanks for the reminder…I’m going to make some tomorrow!


  6. Chris


    Slivered almonds gives a nice crunch, too.


  7. Evie


    Andrea and all, I’m not sure it’s OK to do this………..but I’m totally just a VERY satisfied customer and want to mention that I buy my oats in a 50 pound sack from http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/ for about $1.00 a pound plus $4.49 shipping. Very reliable and fast, and Honeyville oats are wonderful! I get steel cut oats because we love the thicker texture.

    It’s a little shocking the first time you see a 50 pound sack of oats, but I’ll tell you how I deal with that.Two important one-time purchases make cheap, delicious oatmeal easy!

    I’m an Episcopalian with some LDS (Mormon) friends, and here’s a bit that I learned about food storage over the years. You need two food grade (says 2 on the bottom in that little triangle) pure white plastic buckets, and to go with them you need two Gamma Seal lids that you’ll put on the buckets to make them very easy to use–just spin lids open and then spin them closed to make them air tight again. Most of your 50 pounds of oats will fit into two buckets, or get three if you want to live big, but either way, keep some of your oats in a big container in the pantry or in gallon plastic bags you stash in the cupboard; when your kitchen supply runs low, refil from the bucket supply! Works great. (If you decide to do this, don’t get all hung up on whether or not you need mylar bags to line the buckets and oxygen absorbers to make the buckets totally air tight. You totally do not need either one.)

    When your buckets have their gamma seal lids hammered on and your 50 pound bag of oats arrives, just lay the packing box flat on the porch–it’s so heavy, and it’s not necessary to drag it indoors. Open the flat side of the packing box and leave the bag of oats inside the box. Then use a knife to cut like a 12″ square hole into the side of the bag to give you access to the oats, and use a big dry container of some sort (I used a big yogurt container) to scoop the oats into the buckets.

    Just to help you (but not to promote Amazon necessarily), here are some Amazon links for the buckets and gamma seal lids. You could probably save a little bit of money by getting them somewhere else, but these links will get you started…and if you’re like me you’d rather save time and sanity than a couple dollars, anyhow. LOL


    I use this storage system for lots of things that I buy in bulk, like sugar, organic pasta from Italy, pet food, etc. Works great, and the only small problem is where to put the buckets. Bedroom corner works for me!

    Hope this helps somebody!


  8. Amber @ Steps to Save


    Looks good! As the weather begins to cool, oatmeal is a great comfort food.

    The hearty breakfasts I like to fix for my family are

    * biscuits and gravy

    * omelettes w/ homemade hashbrowns

    * oatmeal

    * boiled eggs & a smoothie

    With my third child, I would eat a bowl of oatmeal and a banana almost everyday for breakfast. It was a filling breakfast that gave me energy for my morning walk. Hope your pregnancy continues to go well!


  9. J.C.


    I love a good bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, too! I usually add chia or ground flax while it cooks to add some healthy omega 3’s. You can also do this basic recipe using quinoa, too–I love it for breakfast with cinnamon, raisins, & a little brown sugar!


    Rebecca @ Rebecca's Delightful Home Reply:

    I do the same with chia, ground flax, or even ground hemp seeds (found at Costco). I use almond milk & it’s really good with the oatmeal!


  10. Living So Abundantly


    With my last pregnancy and this one, I have had a bowl of oatmeal with a dash of sugar and a couple hearty tablespoons of peanut butter almost every day. Even after I had my baby, I was eating this. It really gives me a boost for the day. YUM! I love the idea of making enough for a crowd. That will be handy the next time we have guests.


  11. Kelly @ old blue silo


    Andrea, this looks amazing! I’m always throwing things into a pot to see what I come up with. I will have to try this recipe. I love oatmeal. My favorite breakfast recipe for a crowd is the slow cooker breakfast casserole (meats, hash-browns, cheese, eggs, onion, dill, salt and pepper, milk) because it’s so amazing to wake up to! My coworkers love it. I always brought it in when I worked Saturdays during our busy season. You should be able to find all kinds of recipes on Pinterest but I love the one with dill!

    Thanks for always sharing your easy, tasty recipes πŸ™‚


  12. susie


    We always add frozen wild blueberries and maple syrup to ours, when I add frozen berries it cools it off faster on school mornings! This looks good, I will have to make some right now!


    Andrea Reply:

    ooooo, I forgot about frozen blueberries. We currently have about 18 pounds of frozen berries in our freezer right now — this could be a good use for some of them πŸ™‚


  13. Tragic Sandwich


    I love oatmeal–it’s my go-to breakfast lots of times. I make a batch of steel-cut oats with almond milk and eat it all week.


  14. Kimberley


    That looks yummy! Did you have leftovers? And if so, do they refrigerate well? I ask because if I was going to make a batch, I would want to make enough to last me the whole week so I could heat up a bowl of it every morning before I go to work. I think oatmeal definitely keeps you fuller longer than any cereal ever could…this is probably why you guys were able to stay full until lunch!


    Evie Reply:

    Kimberley, that’s exactly what I do! I use a big soup pot to cook up a week’s worth of oatmeal for two of us. It works perfectly! I leave it in the pot in its dedicated spot in the fridge, and it’s very, very simple to pull out that pot and “cook” breakfast with my eyes still closed every morning. LOL Just be sure to keep the pot covered so the oatmeal doesn’t dry out. If you do that, you can just scoop out what you want and microwave it and you’re good!

    Some toppings I’d add to Andrea’s list:
    peanut butter
    hummus (yes!)
    left over spaghetti sauce (mmmmm!)
    left over veggies with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (really!!)

    OK, I don’t usually eat the “savory” toppings at breakfast, but they make a super simple lunch or supper, that’s for sure!


  15. Stel


    Is it steel-cut?
    I only recently heard about is EXISTENCE – we have rolled oats in RSA. I’d definitely try out your various toppings. Prepare mine with a bit of milk, to make it creamer…took me 40 yrs to learn to eat oats!


    Andrea Reply:

    I’ve used both Steel cut and “roaled oats” — both work fine.