Heat and Eat Oatmeal

$1.82 recipe / $0.36 serving

I’m always looking for ways to streamline my breakfast routine. While I am the type to get up an hour early just to give myself time to enjoy breakfast, I don’t want to spend any more time than absolutely necessary preparing that breakfast. I want to have as much time as possible to sip my coffee and enjoy my meal.

So, when I saw this cool technique over at TheKitchn.com, I knew I had to share it with all of you. The concept is easy. Prepare your oats on one day, divide, and freeze for easy reheating later. It’s pretty much the same thing I do with my baked oatmeal, but this is regular oatmeal with all sorts of chunky toppings (plus the initial preparation is much faster).

I flavored my oats with brown sugar and cinnamon, then topped them with sliced almonds and dried cranberries because that’s what was in my pantry. Other great ideas for flavorings and toppings include (but are certainly not limited to): ground flaxseed, vanilla or almond extract, walnuts, grated coconut, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried apricots, walnuts, or whatever else your heart desires!

Heat and Eat Oatmeal

Heat and Eat Oatmeal

4.6 from 7 reviews
Heat and Eat Oatmeal
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $1.82
Cost Per Serving: $0.36
Serves: 5 (2 pucks each)
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats $0.34
  • 3½ cups water $0.00
  • ½ tsp salt $0.02
  • 3-4 Tbsp brown sugar $0.08
  • ½ tsp cinnamon $0.05
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries $0.50
  • ⅓ cup sliced almonds $0.83
  1. Cook the oats with the water and salt according to the package directions. Once the oatmeal is cooked, stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Coat the cups of a muffin tin with non-stick spray, or smear in butter or coconut oil (for easy removal of the frozen oats). Fill each cup in the muffin tin with about ⅓ cup of oatmeal. Sprinkle the dried cranberries and almonds over top. Push the toppings down into the oats slightly, so that when the oats freeze they will hold onto the toppings.
  3. Place the muffin tin in the refrigerator until completely cooled, then transfer to the freezer until completely frozen. Once the oats are completely frozen, transfer them to an air-tight freezer bag.
  4. To serve, place 2-3 pucks of oatmeal into a microwave safe bowl and heat on high until warm (stir occasionally). You can add a splash of milk to keep it moist as it reheats.


Step by Step Photos

Cooking InstructionsI used old-fashioned rolled oats because I like their texture the best. This would also work great with steel cut oats, but they do take longer to cook. Quick oats would also work, but they don’t have much texture. My muffin tin has 12 cups and each one holds 1/3 cup, so I estimated I’d need 4 servings of oatmeal. That’s 2 cups of oats, 3.5 cups of water, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Be sure to follow the directions on your package. They may differ slightly depending on which type of oats you have.

Season Oats

I cooked the oats according to the directions (only takes about 5 minutes), then added 3 Tbsp of brown sugar and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. You can adjust this to your liking. I don’t like my oats super sweet, so I didn’t add much sugar.

Yum Oats

There’s no point to this picture except to say that these oats look so freaking delicious! I love oats.

Fill TinI had already measured the cups of the muffin tin with water, so I knew they would hold 1/3 cup of cooked oats. This filled 10 of the cups, or five servings of two pucks. You may want to coat the muffin tin with non-stick spray, butter, or coconut oil to help them slip out after they are frozen.

Heat and Eat Oatmeal

Next, add your toppings and press them down into the oatmeal so that it grabs and holds onto them once frozen.


You’ll get less icicles if you cool them in the refrigerator before transferring them to the freezer, although it isn’t 100% necessary. Let them freeze until stiff, then pop them out (a butter knife helps) and transfer them to a heavy duty zip top freezer bag.

Freezer Bag

Label the bag and keep it in the freezer. When you want to eat your oats, just pop a couple pucks in a bowl and microwave on high until they’re heated through. You’ll want to stir every now and then to make sure it heats evenly. Also, a splash of milk helps keep them moist as they heat.

Oatmeal isn’t hard and usually doesn’t take a lot of time in the morning, but on those rare mornings when I’m so tired that I can’t see straight, this type of thing is a life saver. It’s already seasoned, and I don’t have to go fishing through my pantry for the toppings. It’s just ready to heat and eat!


  1. Emily says:

    My favorite part-only one oatmeal pan to wash for the week. Thanks for the ideas.

  2. Jaylen Williams says:

    How long can these keep in the freezer?

    • It really just depends on how well it’s packaged. I find that it starts to grow ice crystals after a couple months.

  3. Super excited to try this! How long can you keep them in the freezer? I know some breads are 6months and tortillas are 9months but I can’t find any list with oats.

    • It really depends on how well they’re packaged or wrapped. The only thing that happens over time will be that they wills start to dry out and grow ice crystals. There is no definitive time limit, they’ll just slowly decline in flavor and quality over time. :)

  4. Laura says:

    Since I am a zombie in the mornings I decided to give these a shot. I did not have any dried cranberries on hand, so I made it with honey for sweetness and extra cinnamon and topped with the sliced almonds for a quasi baklava flavor. Yummy way to start the day!

  5. This looks amazing!! I have a 16 month old that really keeps me on my toes so this will be perfect in the morning. Thanks so much!

  6. Amber says:

    I made these this weekend and ate it for breakfast today and loved it!! I am impressed and can’t wait to eat it again!

  7. Quinn says:

    I was liking this idea until it said “microwave”

  8. Brittany says:

    Do you think this would work with your baked oatmeals? My son LOVES your pumpkin pie baked oatmeal for breakfast, and if I could make a bunch ahead of time and freeze it, my life would be that much easier. Should I bake it in the muffin tins? Or bake in the oven dish as usual and then put in muffin tins to freeze? Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

    • I freeze my baked oatmeal all the time. :) But since it’s not really pourable, I just cut/spoon some of it into individual containers (like the Ziploc resealable containers) and freeze it like that. Cool the baked oatmeal in the refrigerator first, then it’s really easy to cut into pieces.

  9. chantelle says:

    Wow, I have been a fan of this blog for sometime now. And this oatmeal idea will be perfect for camping.

  10. A lever-type ice cream scoop is perfect for portioning. I just use the side of the pot to level it off. I put muffin liners in the pan before I scooped the oatmeal. Just defrost partly and they peel right off.

  11. Loren says:

    I like this. You can also bake them in the muffin tins for a more grab and go snack too. 350 for 30 minutes or so.

    • Lorraine says:

      I always cook too much oatmeal for my gang, This might be a good idea for the leftovers.

  12. Megaera says:

    This is way more trouble than what I do. I put a cup of water and a half cup of old fashioned oats in a bowl, stick it in the microwave on 50% for 6 minutes (while I go do whatever else I need to do), take it out, top it with whatever I want, and I’m ready to eat.

  13. Michelle says:

    I love oatmeal and normally make a big pot on Sunday evenings and reheat every morning with whatever fixings I want added in, but this is an even better idea. Thanks!

    FYI, reheating in unsweetened vanilla almond milk would be delicious!

  14. A trick for steel-cut oats: at night, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Turn off and add 1/4 tsp salt and 1 cup steel-cut oats. Cover, and let stand over night. In the morning, add 1 cup water, stir, and bring to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes. Turn off, let stand 5 minutes, and serve. Makes 3-4 servings. You can add any mix-ins you like with the morning cook – raisins, craisins, spices, brown sugar, honey. I’ve even used milk or orange juice in place of 1/2 the water in the last step. (Orange juice plus craisins plus a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg = outrageous.)

  15. Rachel says:

    Hey Beth! This looks great and I’m definitely going to make it. Is there a reason why the toppings are not mixed into the oats?



    • They tend to absorb more moisture if they’re mixed in and don’t stay quite as crunch (or chewy for the cranberries). But I’m sure it’s still delish if they’re stirred in. :P

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