Microwave Oatmeal

November 23, 2020

We eat some variation of microwave oatmeal just about every morning for breakfast. It's cheap, fast, and uses minimal dishes. With whole grains, fruit, flaxseed and walnuts, this breakfast keeps us fueled until lunch.

cooked oatmeal in a white bowl.

Each ingredient here has a job to do.

  • oats: a whole grain serving with fiber and protein
  • banana: a fruit serving with fiber and potassium
  • flaxseed: good source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • walnuts: a bit of fat to help you absorb fat soluble vitamins and keep you feeling satisfied
  • cinnamon: because it's tasty!

Feel free to play around with the add-ins. I formulated this recipe to use budget-friendly bananas but we usually have it with blueberries. If you like more sweetness, chop a date and cook it with the oats. Try peanut butter instead of the walnuts. Chopped apple is a tasty fruit substitution. Raisins or dried cranberries are nice. You get the picture.

old fashioned oats in a canister.

When I say to use a deep bowl, I mean it! Oats foam quite a bit when they start to boil. Make sure you have at least 2 inches of space above the oat/water line in the bowl when you put it in the microwave. And the first time you cook them, keep an eye on your oatmeal in the microwave when you get around the 2:30 mark. Some microwaves are more powerful than others. This way you can stop the cooking before you have a mess and then you'll know how long you need to cook the oats in your microwave.

If your microwave oatmeal seems like it has too much water in it, let it sit for 5 minutes after you stir in the add-ins. The oats will continue to soak up water and the ground flaxseed will help thicken it. 

Microwave Oatmeal

This tasty stick-to-your-ribs breakfast cooks in its serving bowl for less clean-up
Prep Time1 minute
Cook Time3 minutes
Total Time4 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 1
Cost: $0.68


  • microwave


  • ½ cup old fashioned oats $0.13
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 banana $0.25
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed $0.05
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon $0.03
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts $0.22


  • Add oats and water to a high-sided bowl with at least a couple of inches of extra space (otherwise, oats will boil over.) Microwave on high for 2 ½ - 3 minutes until oats are done to your liking. Top with remaining ingredients.
  • $0.68/serving


The costs were all calculated using Kroger’s online shopping feature but these prices do reflect what we usually see in the store. I picked the cheapest option, usually the store brand.

Do you enjoy oatmeal for breakfast? What are your favorite add-ins?

Laura Nunemaker

About the Author

Laura Nunemaker

vegan. full-time traveler. rv dweller. food lover. cow petter.

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