Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

posted by Andrea | 08/24/2011

Since the back-to-school season is essentially here {yup, I know…summer’s almost over} I’ve been thinking more about quick, simple breakfast and lunch ideas that will help us transition into this busy time of year.

Growing up, one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast was a warm bowl of oatmeal – and even on a hot, sticky summer morning, a bowl of brown sugar/cinnamon oatmeal still hits the spot!


Since I normally don’t have a lot of extra time in the morning, I usually resort to packets of instant oatmeal — which I know are not that healthy. However recently, I came across a great recipe in The Frugal Foodie Cookbook — Homemade Instant Oatmeal Mix! I knew I had to give it a try.

I did make a few changes to fit my tastes… and I think you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

INGREDIENTS for ONE serving:

  • ½ c. instant oats or quick oats {not Old Fashioned oats}
  • 2 t. dried milk powder
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • Handful of dried fruit or nuts {optional}
  • Honey, maple syrup, more cinnamon, sugar, etc. {added AFTER you cook the oatmeal}


INGREDIENTS for 10 servings:

  • 5 c. instant oats
  • 1/3 c. dried milk powder
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 3 T. cinnamon
  • 2 c. dried fruits or nuts {optional}
  • Honey, maple syrup, more cinnamon, sugar, etc. {added AFTER you cook the oatmeal}


DIRECTIONS to make the MIX:

1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl {you can reserve the dried fruit and nuts to put on top of your oatmeal if you want.}

2. If making individual serving, simply package the ingredients in snack-size zip top bags or other small containers {or of course you could just skip this step and eat it right away!

3. If making the mix in bulk, mix all ingredients together and store in an air-tight storage container.


1. When you’re ready to eat the oatmeal, simply dump your portion {a heaping ½ cup} into a cereal bowl.

2. Add 3/4 c. water or milk and stir until dissolved {I like using milk, but water is cheaper}

3. Microwave on high for about one minute {depending on your microwave}

4. Let sit for another minute and add more milk or water as needed to reach your desired consistency

5. Add dried fruit, nuts, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, sugar, etc to taste.

Eat and enjoy!

This recipe is really simple, and practically fool-proof. You can add whatever “extras” your family likes, or just leave it plain and let them add their own extras after the oatmeal is cooked.

This recipe also makes it really easy to prepare a bunch of packets in advance {we store ours in the freezer}, and it’s the perfect meal for busy school mornings when you’re in a hurry but might want just a bit more than cold cereal or a slice of toast.

Plus, it’s a lot healthier {and cheaper} than the store bought instant oatmeal!

More Quick Breakfast Ideas::

Oh, and if you’re looking for a few simple, fun lunch ideas…

What are YOUR simple, go-to school breakfast and lunch ideas?

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family friendly, recipes!


Filed under: FoodPantry Stockpile

Leave a comment


  1. Sarah


    This is delicious! I used soy milk and microwaved 1 1/2 minutes.


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  3. Linda


    Could you give the nutritional value of the homemade oatmeal. I made the big batch. I am suppose to list what I eat and know the nutrional value of everything. Thank youLinda


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  7. Ivy Miller


    Here is a recipe I found at hearthandshome.blogspot.com

    Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal Mix

    1 C. quick oats (grind in blender or food processor till finely ground)
    1 C. quick oats (leave whole)
    3/4-1C. brown sugar
    1 Tbsp. maple flavoring
    2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. nutmeg

    Combine brown sugar, maple flavoring, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Stir to thoroughly combine the sugar and extract (a mixer is really helpful for this). Add in oats and ground oats. Stir to combine. Store in airtight container.

    To Serve:

    Place 2/3 C. oatmeal mix in a bowl and add hot water to desired consistency.

    For Apple-cinnamon oatmeal-substitute vanilla extract for the maple and add 1/2 C. dried apple pieces.

    *Just like the packets you buy in the store, only you can control the ingredients.
    *Package in individual baggies for quick, single serving sizes.
    *Add more oats and ground oats to make a less sweet mix.
    *Double, triple or quadruple the recipe and store in a large jar, scoop out how much you need.


    Tonia Reply:

    I tried this recipe and that is WAY too much salt. I am still adding oatmeal and can’t get the salty taste right. I may have to throw out this batch and start over.


  8. Candice


    Thanks for this post we’ve enjoyed the oatmeal. I made half of the larger batch sometime last week and we’ve already consumed it! This time I made a double batch (10c oats!) in a reusable container we use for cereal. I just tested some ground flax seed in a single serving and you can’t really taste it that much which is great. Do you have any ideas about what amount should be used? I just added 2t to my 3/4c portion.


    Andrea Reply:

    Candice, I’ve never tried adding flax seed so I don’t really know how much you should add. If you can’t taste it and it doesn’t change the texture or end results, I’d say add as much as you like! After all, it’s good for you 🙂


  9. Cyndi


    I do alittle simplier version of this. I just take a scoop of oats, a tablespoon of brown sugar and a handful of raisiens throw them a ziploc. These make a great breakfast for me a work, I just add some water and microwave for about a minute. This breakfast helps me stay on track with my diet, fells me up without alot of calories.


  10. Jen


    Whenever my kids leave banana, apple, or pear on their plates, I chop it up and throw it in the freezer to use in baked goods. I’m wondering. . . if I put the oatmeal in the freezer, I could throw in some of this chopped fruit. The only thing, I think, is you would have to leave it in the freezer until just before you cook it–if the fruit thawed, it would perhaps get mushy. I might try it. . . I’v been doing this for a while just with oatmeal and brown sugar–great idea to add the dried milk to it as well.


  11. DawnW


    I just grab my 1/2 cup measuring cup to scoop out the oats (I use old-fashioned),dump it in a bowl,add some water (just eyeball it),and stick it in the microwave.Then I add sugar or whatever when it’s done cooking.Just as quick & easy and no pre-planning.And I think old-fashioned oats are healthier,but I’m not sure.


  12. Tammy


    thanks! I wasn’t sure if I did the bulk recipe if I’d need to freeze it. Believe it or not, I had this on my list of things to find today (homemade oatmeal prep) since we are almost out of store bought packets! Love what you share with us here.


  13. Tammy


    I’m wondering if it would keep in a storage container (like for flour) and just let each person scoop out their 1/2 cup serving? I wouldn’t mind having a few baggies made up for hubs to take to work, but most of the time it would be easier to just have one container. I saw you keep them in the freezer, is that necessary after a certain amount of time?


    Andrea Reply:

    Yes Tammy, as I mentioned in the post, you can either put them into individual servings or just make one big batch and scoop out 1/2 c. servings. I even gave the different recipes for the individual serving and the multi-batch.

    I’m sure you could keep it in the pantry, I just like keeping it in the freezer b/c I also keep most of my baking things in the freezer It might not be necessary but I feel things stay a bit fresher that way!


  14. Jennifer


    Is “instant oatmeal” the same as quick oats?


    Andrea Reply:

    yes, Jennifer — this recipe calls for “instant oats” {not instant oatmeal} and that IS the same as “quick oats”

    Hope you love it!


  15. Deborah in Atlanta


    When you say “instant oatmeal” as an ingredient, is that what they have in the large round containers of Quaker Oats that says “old fashioned oats” on it, is it? I’m not sure if those are instant oatmeal or not since they don’t say “instant” anywhere on the container. I know we can microwave one serving for 2-3 minutes. Just checking before I make this delicious-sounding oatmeal. Yummy! I can’t wait!


    Andrea Reply:

    Deborah, the recipe calls for “Instant OATS” not instant “oatmeal” and no, that is not the same as “old fashioned oats”. You could try it with the old fashioned oats, but I would definitely recommend the “Instant Oats” or they might be called “Quick Oats”


  16. Heather @ Work At Home Market


    Love this idea! My husband loves to take packets of oatmeal to work to eat as a snack. I’ll have to make this. Do you just store them in a zip lock bag?


    Andrea Reply:

    Yup, I put each serving in a snack-size zip top bag. Works perfectly! Hope your husband likes it!!