Oatmeal is one of the first things that comes to our mind when we think of breakfast. It is a well-loved first meal of the day due to great nutritious value and versatility. The only thing that may keep you from having oatmeal for breakfast a few times a week is the cooking process.
Have you ever wondered if you can reheat oatmeal? Yes, you can reheat oatmeal. The two ways we recommend to do so are on the stovetop or in the microwave. The method you choose depends on the texture you’re looking for. The microwave can turn your oatmeal to goo if you’re not careful, so the stove is the best option if you’re picky.
Keep reading to learn more about reheating oatmeal. From the best methods to oatmeal meal prep ideas, we have covered it all in this article.
Reheating Oatmeal: Is It a Good Idea?
Oatmeal is a typical breakfast for many people. It might seem simple and unappealing but with the rights additions of fruits, nuts, and syrups, the simplest porridge becomes a heavenly meal.
But what if you have made too much for the day? Or want to make some oatmeal in advance?
Cooking oatmeal can take up to 25 minutes depending on the type of oats you use. Not everyone has got the time for it every morning. But there is good news for all the busy oatmeal lovers. You can make it once and then reheat for the following few days.
Reheating oatmeal won’t take you too long. Still, you will get a nutritious and filling meal that will take you along your day.
So long as you have not left warm oatmeal out overnight, it is safe to reheat it. There is a misconception that food that does not contain animal products is less likely to go bad. Thus, many people might think that leaving warm oatmeal on the counter until morning won’t spoil it.
Leaving cooked oatmeal out overnight is not a wise thing to do. If there happen to be any bacteria in the oats, letting them leave their best life all night long will bring forth some health issues.
Keep in mind, that once water is added to dry products, in this case, oats, it is better to pay attention to where you keep them.
The Best Way to Reheat Oatmeal
Reheating oatmeal is a fairly easy task. Much easier than cooking it while you are sleepy or have just finished a good sweaty workout.
There are two ways to reheat pre-cooked oatmeal.
The Stove Method
To reheat the oatmeal on the stove, you simply need to put some in a pot and let it simmer for up to 10 minutes. Remember to keep the heat on medium or low to get the porridge evenly warmed up.
Tip: Add a little water to your oatmeal to bring back the texture. You can always replace water by milk if you want a creamier finish.
The Microwave Method
Reheating oatmeal in a microwave is as easy as it sounds. As always, a microwave is an option for those who are short of time. It will take you no longer than 2 minutes to warm up previously cooked oatmeal.
All you need to do is to put some oatmeal into a microwave-safe bowl, add a little water or milk, cover the bowl and microwave it for at least 45 seconds.
Then, stir and put the oatmeal back into the microwave for additional seconds. You can repeat this until you are satisfied with the temperature of the porridge.
Tip: Mush the oatmeal to the sides of the container to get it evenly heated. Doing this will also help you warm up the porridge faster.
How to Prepare and Store Oatmeal for the Week
If you want prep oatmeal for the whole week, it will take you about 45 minutes. Instead, you will have a delicious make-ahead breakfast for several days in a row.
To make the oatmeal, take 2 and a half cups of oats, add 5 cups of water to it and bring it to a boil. Do not forget to add a pinch of salt.
Once the oatmeal is ready, let it sit for some time to cool down. Then, divide it into as many portions as needed. You can store the oatmeal in containers or Mason jars.
In the morning, you will be amazed at how fast you will be able to put together a well-balanced and nutritious breakfast. All you need to do is to put your daily portion in the microwave or reheat it in a saucepan for a few minutes.
Pre-cooked and reheated oatmeal is extremely versatile. If you are concerned about getting bored with eating oatmeal for a few days in a row, here are some ways you can make it different every day:
- Put a fried egg on it to get your daily dose of protein
- Top off your oatmeal with some brown sugar and use a kitchen torch to get a crispy layer over the creamy porridge
- Mix in cinnamon or other spices to surprise your taste buds with a spicy-sweet breakfast
- For the classic of the genre, add fresh or dried fruits, raisin, nuts or seeds to your oatmeal
Pre-cooked oatmeal stored in the fridge in portions will cut you breakfast preparation time in half while allowing you to enjoy the luxury of having a diversity of options.
Another great thing about having pre-cooked oatmeal in the fridge is that not only do you have a make-ahead breakfast but also lunch and dinner if needed.
If you prefer steel-cut oats and want to shorten the cooking time in the morning, you can follow this recipe tutorial by Clean & Delicious on YouTube:
Can You Make Oatmeal in Advance?
If your morning schedule is hectic and you barely have time to make yourself a filling breakfast, then you might consider cooking some oatmeal in advance.
Whether you like quick-cooking oats or the old-fashioned ones that require to be cooked for longer, you can make porridge for 5 days in advance.
Cook the oatmeal according to the instructions. Then let it cool and divide into portions.
If you need one portion of oatmeal for the following day, you can opt for quick-cooking oats. Mix the oats with the amount of liquid suggested in the instructions and leave it in the fridge all night.
The oats will soak up the liquid and it will take you a few minutes in the morning to finish cooking them. You will simply need to microwave the oatmeal for 2 to 3 minutes until boiling.
The stove method will work well too. Just don’t forget to stir and add some liquid if needed. Some fruits, a splash of your favorite syrup and the perfect breakfast is ready in less than 5 minutes.
Can You Reheat Baked Oatmeal?
If you like a warm casserole for breakfast, then baked oatmeal might be your favorite meal. If you think there is no way you can manage to make oatmeal in the morning, then making it in advance and reheating later is the way to go.
Warming up baked oatmeal in the microwave works well. You can reheat the whole batch or scoop your desired amount to have a healthy breakfast multiple days in a row.
Whether you make it with milk or water, baked oatmeal should be kept in the refrigerator, covered with foil or a plastic wrapping paper.
If you want to extend the life of your baked oatmeal, you can keep it in the cold storage. When putting baked oatmeal into the freezer, it is much more convenient to divide it into squares and store it in portions for further use.
Does Oatmeal Change Texture When Reheated?
As oatmeal cools after cooking, its texture changes and becomes thicker. The longer oatmeal is kept in the fridge the more liquid it absorbs. This is why it is recommended to add a splash of water or milk to the porridge when reheating it.
Once the liquid is added, you can enjoy the smooth and creamy texture as if it is freshly made.
How Long Can You Keep Oatmeal in the Fridge?
If meal prep for the week is something you are fond of doing, then add oatmeal to your list. You can keep properly cooked oatmeal in the fridge for up to 6 days…seems just about right if you need make-ahead breakfasts.
To keep pre-cooked oatmeal in a nice condition while it is in the fridge make sure to store it in an airtight container or a well-sealed plastic bag.
Can You Freeze Oatmeal?
If you are one of those people that likes to freeze anything to prevent it from spoiling, then cooked oatmeal is another product you might be keeping in your freezer.
Cooked oatmeal can be kept in the freezer from 3 to 6 months. The freezing method is suitable for both steel-cut oats and instant oatmeal.
Whether you decide to freeze oatmeal in a container or a plastic bag, make sure to make it as airtight as possible to keep the oatmeal tasting fresh once reheated.
To warm up frozen oatmeal, put it in a microwave for 2 or more minutes until you reach the desired temperature for your food. Don’t forget to add a splash of water or milk if needed.