Prep this deliciously simple homemade Instant Oatmeal recipe ahead of time and have the packets on hand ready to eat in seconds! Kickstart your day with a high protein, high fiber bowl of oatmeal that doesn’t include a side of high sodium and loads of sugar!

Small jars filled with different types of homemade instant oatmeal.

If you love oatmeal but don’t have time in the morning to use the stove, instant oatmeal packets can come in VERY handy. In a matter of minutes, you’re enjoying a warm bowl of oatmeal and you’re out the door!

BUT did you know? There is a ton of sugar and sodium in those little store-bought flavored packets! Sometimes they’re so sweet that it’s more like eating oatmeal as a dessert rather than a breakfast. That’s why having this recipe handy to make your very own instant oatmeal packets is a game-changer.

About this recipe

This instant oatmeal recipe is JUST as convenient as anything store-bought, and it’s better tasting. Not only that, but it’s also so much healthier and you can feel good about knowing exactly what is in your breakfast.

They’re made with oats, chia and flaxseeds, brown sugar, and a bit of salt. That’s it! You start with a “master mix,” which is the base, and then you can add in whatever delicious extras you’d like. Both kids and adults love them!

Tip: Want to keep things super simple? You can leave the chia seeds and flax seeds out of the mix. We love the extra nutrition they add but they’re just that, extra.

If you’ve ever noticed, those little packets don’t make very much. Another bonus of making instant packets yourself is that you can portion out as much as you think you’ll eat. They have a long shelf-life, so making these packets ahead of time is convenient and nothing goes to waste.

Have them ready in advance and grab one any time the mood strikes. Just pour in hot water and let it sit. Voila! A filling breakfast, a protein and fiber-packed snack, or yes, go ahead and have one for dessert! I won’t judge if you add some chocolate syrup and homemade whipped cream.

See below for flavor add-ins! In addition to the base mix which is delicious on its own, we’re also sharing 8 different flavor recipes!

Oatmeal in multiple white bowls with toppings.

What you need

  • Quick-cooking oats – Not the old-fashioned rolled oats. You want to use quick-cooking oats because they’ve been steamed for longer during processing, and cut into smaller pieces, which means they’ll cook faster.
  • Instant skim milk powder – When the water is added it turns to liquid milk which gives the oatmeal a thicker creamier consistency. If you prefer to leave this out, you could make your oatmeal with hot milk instead of hot water.
  • Chia and flax seeds – High in nutrients like protein, fiber, and omega 3s. Will help the oatmeal to thicken up as well.
  • Brown sugar – Adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the mix and pairs well with all of the flavors listed below. If you are worried about the amount of added sugar, you can adjust it to your preference, or completely omit it. Coconut sugar is also really good in this recipe.
  • Salt – The salt brings out the flavors and balances out the sweet, keeping the oatmeal from tasting flat.
Overhead view of ingredients needed for recipe.

How to make it

Take one cup of the oats and pulse them in a food processor or blender until the flakes are broken up. You should have a mixture of powder and flake pieces.

Oats in a food processor, showing texture for instant oatmeal.

Stir together the rest of the ingredients listed.

Ingredients in glass mixing bowl.

Scoop out 1/3 cup of the mix into 12 containers that have a 1 cup capacity. Think mason jar, tupperware, etc. Alternatively, use plastic zip bags work well if you plan to pour it into a bowl for prepping and serving. Also add any mix-ins you would like.

Oatmeal being scooped into small glass jars.

When you want to enjoy some oatmeal, dump some oat mix into a bowl, and add 1/3 cup of boiling water to each serving. Stir and allow to sit for 15-30 seconds before eating.

Hot water being added to a small jar of oats.

FAQs

Is instant oatmeal as good for you as regular oatmeal?

This one is! Instant oatmeal is high in fiber, helps to lower cholesterol, and is filling enough to keep you full for longer (ie, no snacking needed!). Where it gets tricky is when you start adding all the add-ins, which can be healthy….or not so healthy.

Making oatmeal yourself at home using this recipe and pure and simple ingredients is the way to keep it delicious as well as healthy.

Is it okay to eat oatmeal every day?

Other than water, it’s probably not good to eat any one food every day. Even if you love oats, try switching them up from time to time. When the time permits, make a bowl of steel-cut oats, or old-fashioned rolled oats – we love them in baked oats. Maybe prepare some overnight oats or start adding oats to things like oatmeal pancakes! Moderation is everything!

Oatmeal on a spoon with raisins.

Homemade Instant Oatmeal Flavors

Add your favorite mix-ins! Below are some of our favorite additions! Add these measurements to each serving. Measurements are for a single serving so that you can make lots of different flavors!

  • Cinnamon Raisin – 2 tablespoon raisins & 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Peanut Butter Banana – 1 tablespoon powdered peanut butter & 4 dried banana slices, broken into pieces
  • Caramel Nut – 2 dates, cut into quarters, 4 pecans (broken into pieces) & 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • Apple Cinnamon – 2 dried apple rings, cut into pieces & 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Cherry Berry – 1 tablespoon dried cherries, & 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
  • Mocha – 1 teaspoon instant coffee, 2 teaspoon cocoa, & 1 teaspoon chocolate chips
  • Coconut Almond – 1 tablespoon shredded coconut (unsweetened), & 1 tablespoon almond flour
  • Orchard – 1 prune, cut into 6 pieces, & 2 dried apricots, cut into 6 pieces each
Flavor add ins on small plates, with labels.

More recipes using oats

Small jars filled with different flavors of homemade instant oatmeal.

Get the Recipe: Homemade Instant Oatmeal Recipe

Prep these deliciously simple homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets ahead of time and have them on hand ready to eat in seconds! Kickstart your day with a high protein, high fiber bowl of oatmeal that doesn’t include a side of high sodium and loads of sugar!
5 from 2 votes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup instant skim milk powder (see note)
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Take one cup of the oats and pulse in a food processor or blender until the flakes are broken up. You’ll have a mixture of powder and flake pieces.
  • Stir together the rest of the master mix.
  • Scoop out 1/3 cup into 12 containers that have a 1 cup capacity. Think mason jar, Tupperware, etc. Alternatively, use plastic zip bags and dump into a bowl when it’s time to eat.
  • Add in your favorite mix-ins! See notes for ideas.
  • When you want to enjoy some oatmeal, boil water and add 1/3 cup water to each serving. Stir and allow to sit for 15-30 seconds before eating.

Notes

  • If desired, omit milk powder and prepare oatmeal with warm milk instead of water.
  • Chia seeds and flax seeds help thicken the oatmeal and add nutritional value, but can be left out if desired.

Flavor options:

Measurements listed below for one individual serving.
  • Cinnamon Raisin: 2 tablespoon raisins +  1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Peanut Butter Banana: 1 tablespoon powdered peanut butter + 4 dried banana slices, broken into pieces
  • Caramel Nut: 2 dates, cut into quarters + 4 pecans, broken into pieces + 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • Apple Cinnamon: 2 dried apple rings, cut into pieces + 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Cherry Berry: 1 tablespoon dried cherries + 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
  • Mocha: 1 teaspoon instant coffee + 2 teaspoon cocoa powder + 1 teaspoon chocolate chips
  • Coconut Almond: 1 tablespoon shredded coconut (unsweetened) + 1 tablespoon almond flour or slivered almonds
  • Orchard: 1 prune, cut into 6 pieces + 2 dried apricots, cut into 6 pieces each
Calories: 146kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 56mg, Potassium: 218mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 119IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 117mg, Iron: 2mg