My Perfect Oatmeal Recipe

This is the perfect oatmeal recipe I wear tattooed on my, um, heart. I'm thinking it's time to share the love.


The white chocolate chips in this 2009 photo are inexplicable — I've never liked them, never mind on oatmeal. Go bittersweet or go home!

My perfect oatmeal recipe

Today is National Sandwich Day. I like sandwiches a whole lot, especially this one and now the looks of this one. But I am just not feeling the sandwich thing today. I had tuna salad for lunch, and I didn’t even put it on bread. Sorry, Earl-of. Nothing personal.

In fact, what I’m craving today is a real anti-sandwich. It’s totally rebellious on Sandwich Day. Did you know that oatmeal could be rebellious? I’ll tell you one thing — it looks at least as good on a Harley as some of the other dudes I’ve seen riding by on the weekends.

Oatmeal is one of those foods, like guacamole, pesto, and popcorn, for which everyone who cares enough to go the homemade route has their own special recipe. This is mine: My perfect oatmeal. One way or another, it’ll be revving engines on weekend mornings. I hope you’ll give it a shot at yours.

My Perfect Oatmeal Recipe

My perfect oatmeal recipe works well with whatever milk you choose. These days I use non-dairy milk (usually oat milk, to be all meta), but otherwise things remain deliciously unchanged from the original recipe, published in 2009.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Serves 4


  • 2 cups whole milk or non-dairy milk of choice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • Fresh or dried fruit, chocolate chips or nuts, optional, for serving


  1. Combine all ingredients in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oatmeal is creamy and a little thinner than you like it (about ten minutes, give or take).
  4. Cool for a few minutes and serve topped with fresh or dried fruit, chocolate chips, or nuts.


Choose certified gluten-free oats if a gluten-free recipe is important to you.

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 206 Total Fat:: 1.4g Carbohydrates:: 37g Fiber:: 4.2g Protein:: 5.8g