Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets (without the microwave)

A breakfast of oatmeal is fast, easy, nourishing, and filling. Making a pot of it on the stovetop is not hard.  So why make Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets? Are they really that much of a time saver?


For my family – yes. I’m working to get my boys more independent in the kitchen. Having a variety of homemade instant oatmeal packets around for them to grab and fix themselves is a great time saver for me. Plus, it’s nice to have a variety of choices for them so that they can make whichever kind sounds good to them. These are great afternoon snacks too!

Inspired by MoneySavingMom to make Homemade Instant Oatmeal packets, I did a little research to discover the easiest and healthiest way to do this. Here are the tricks I learned through my experimenting:

  • Sucanat works just fine in place of sugar
  • Combining a big batch of the instant oatmeal mixture in a big bowl, then scooping out individual sized portions makes this process very easy
  • Blending a portion of the oats in a blender first to create a powder will help the instant oatmeal packets cook faster
  • A microwave is not necessary to cook this – simply boil water, stir in packet, walk away, then come back and eat
  • The add-in options are endless


It took about 20 minutes to mix this and prepare the packets. Not bad for 24 quick breakfasts or snacks!

Homemade Instant Oatmeal PacketsYum

Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets (without the microwave)
  • 10 cups rolled oats (divided)
  • 2 cups sucanat
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  1. Measure 7 cups of oats into a large mixing bowl. Blend the remaining 3 cups (1/2 cup at a time) until powdery and stir into the mixing bowl. Add sucanat and sea salt. Mix well.
  2. Measure ½ cup of mix into a small zip baggie, making about 24 Instant Oatmeal Packets.
  3. Be sure to scoop the mix from the bottom of the bowl as the sucanat tries to separate and settle there.
  4. Store in a dry, cool place.
  5. If you'd prefer not to scoop the mix into individual baggies, simply place the entire mix in a large, airtight container, scooping out ½ cup of mix for each serving.
  6. When ready to serve the oatmeal, empty contents of baggie into a cereal-sized bowl.
  7. Add ¾ cup boiling water.
  8. Stir.
  9. Allow the oatmeal and water to sit for about 5 minutes.
  10. Stir and eat.

Skip the Packets!

Want to make this even easier? Since originally coming up with this idea, I switched to simply making the Instant Oatmeal and keeping it in big jars. My kids scoop out 1/2 cup of mix, add 3/4 hot water, and they are good to go!

Instant Oatmeal in a Jar

Instant Oatmeal Varieties

By sprinkling in various fruits, spices, chocolate chips, or nuts – you can create many different types of instant oatmeal packets! I fill my bags with the basic mix, then sprinkle in various add-ins so as to have a variety of packages available for my family to pick from. Here are a few ideas:

Chocolate Swirl

Add a few mini chocolate chips

Blueberries and Cream

Add freeze dried blueberries, then cook oatmeal with milk instead of water

Strawberries and Cream

Add freeze dried strawberries, then cook oatmeal with milk instead of water

Cinnamon Raisin

Add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a few raisins

Apples and Cinnamon

Add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a few dehydrated apple chunks

Banana Nut

Add a few crushed walnuts and some freeze dried bananas

The blender does a great job chopping up the whole oats.
Remember, just do about 1/2 cup at a time to make the process work better.
oameal_packets (1)

Mix the blended oats (3 cups) with the remaining oats (7 cups),
then stir in the sucanat and sea salt. See how easy this is?

oameal_packets (3)

Scoop 1/2 cup of mix into small zip baggies. Add any add-ins you wish. Seal and store.

oameal_packets (9)

To Prepare:  Pour contents of baggie into a cereal bowl.

oameal_packets (4)

Add 3/4 cup boiling water. Stir. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

oameal_packets (5)

After 5 minutes, stir again, then eat!


Having these homemade instant oatmeal packets has been so helpful. They are much cheaper than buying pre-made oatmeal packets – plus I can be sure we are only including the ingredients we feel good about eating.

Haven’t decided what to make for our Getting Ahead for Breakfast Challenge? This Instant Oatmeal Packets idea is a great choice. Learn more about this challenge here.

How About Giving the Gift of Instant Oatmeal?

Consider sharing this Instant Oatmeal with new moms, someone who has been sick, or anyone you know would appreciate this thoughtful and practical gift? Get all the directions here for making this happen, and even some cute free printable labels!

Homemade Instant Oatmeal in a Jar Gift Idea

Ever tried making homemade oatmeal packets? What are your favorite ingredients to stir into oatmeal?


  1. Missy says

    Do you think if you blended the sucanant with the oats it wouldn’t sink to the bottom of the bowl? This is a fantastic idea. My boys are too young to make their own, but doing this would save me time in the mornings when we have oatmeal! Thank you!


    Laura Reply:

    I’m not sure that would make much difference. I stirred it really well before, but by the time I got to the bottom of the bowl, I found that I should have been scooping it from the bottom a little bit better. :)


    Rose Reply:

    I found that if I just add the sucanant (1 Tablespoon per bag) after I
    place the 1/2 cup servings into a bag works great.
    We love this!


  2. Pamela says

    I just made my version of these this morning! We use them only for breakfast, not snacks, so I make the amount needed for my whole family — 2 adults, 2 little girls:

    1.5 c oats
    2 T brown sugar or sucanat (or to taste)
    1/4 t salt
    1 t cinnamon

    When it’s time to prepare, I add the wet ingredients:

    2 c milk
    1/4 c melted butter or melted coconut oil
    1/2 t vanilla

    This needs to be baked (or microwaved in a pinch). I supposed I could try boiling the wet ingredients though, and adding to the dry. Never thought of that before! Thanks for the idea, Laura!

    We like our oatmeal very wet. I call it creamy; others call it soggy! :)


  3. says

    are these serving sizes enough for individual servings for your boys? I wondered if this is a similar amount to how much my kids eat? They eat like adults :)


    Laura Reply:

    For breakfast, they need one of these packets plus fruit…and maybe a muffin. As a snack, it’s a perfect portion. :)


    Linda Reply:

    how much protein is in this meal. with only water added like your recipe is written.
    thanks! I like at least 5g per breakfast.


    Laura Reply:

    Sorry, but I have no idea. Maybe there’s a website you can type in the ingredients and it will tell you?

    amy Reply:

    It would be super easy to simply add in a scoop of protein powder, or use a Tbs of peanut butter. Another way to add protein is to add nuts of any kind. I have also added an egg while cooking our oatmeal on the stove, while it is heating.

  4. says

    Blending only a portion of the oats is a great idea! We don’t usually use instant oats because we don’t like the texture, but it looks like your instant oatmeal has a lot more texture and a lot less pastiness than off-the-shelf instant oats.


  5. Cynthia says

    We do a similar idea but we make them assembly line style in to 4oz mason jars. In the morning the kids dump the mix from the jar into the bowl, then use the jar to measure out hot water from the kettle and mix that in. Breakfast! The jars are reusable and easier to fill than baggies.


    Diana B Reply:

    So this is BRILLIANT! Seriously.

    I was thinking I didn’t want to set myself up to use a bunch of baggies. And I don’t have the bags right now to do it. Why did I not think of this?

    I love that I can customize these to the amount my kiddo will eat AND the flavors he specifically likes!


  6. Ashley says

    Does anyone has any ideas on how to make homemade peaches and cream oatmeal?
    My hubs really wants some and of course won’t eat the Quaker kind! He asked me if I could recreate that and I’m not really sure how!


    Rebecca Reply:

    freeze dried or dehydrated peaches, a little almond extract and heavy cream or powdered milk to the mix.


  7. Ellen says

    I love all your breakfast recipes, and my family does too! I’m confused about the soaking of oats idea…I notice this recipe does not include that. How important is it to soak your oats first? We also love granola, and I wouldn’t know how to presoak those oats either.


    Jen Reply:

    Obviously I’m not Laura, but I thought I’d share my take on soaking oats after doing a lot of research. For me, sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. :) Oats do have a lot of phytates, which bind certain minerals and make them unavailable for absorption. However, I’ve come across research showing that phytates reduce cancer by enhancing the immune system. In my view, it’s a toss up. If you are going to soak them, you need to add freshly ground, whole wheat flour to provide phytase, the enzyme which breaks down phytates. This enzyme is destroyed in the heating and rolling process.

    When I do soak, here’s how I do it:
    2 C rolled oats
    2 T freshly ground, whole wheat flour
    2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
    2 C filtered water
    2 C milk (I use raw)

    Mix and let sit on counter overnight. In the morning, dump mixture into pan, and add 2 C milk. Cook, while stirring until ready to eat, for about 10 minutes. Serve with a pat of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup.

    For granola, I would soak the same way as for oatmeal, but then dehydrate the oats, or dry them in a low temperature oven before making the granola.

    Here is a great paper, with the most detailed information I’ve found on soaking various grains to reduce phytates: http://www.rebuild-from-depression.com/resources/book/Chapter13.pdf

    If the link doesn’t come through in the comment, just search “how to reduce phytates in grains Amanda Rose” and it will be the first result.

    I hope this helps you decide what’s best for your family.


    Jen Reply:

    Sorry! You do NOT add the milk when you soak the oats overnight. You add it the next morning to the pan before you cook them. That is a little unclear in my previous comment.


    Laura Reply:

    After much prayer on the matter, I have become very peaceful about not soaking grains. Here are my thoughts on the matter: http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/my-current-thoughts-about-soaking-or-not-soaking-grains


  8. Melissa says

    If u have a keurig coffee pot u can use that for the hot water too. Works great!!


    Joanna Sigman Reply:

    What a great idea! I never thought of that! Thx.


  9. says

    I made oatmeal packets once, but I’m always looking for ways to reduce the use of plastic with regards to food.

    Instead now, I make a huge bulk batch of homemade “instant” oatmeal. We measure 1/2 cup of the mix into our bowls each morning instead of opening up a package. Our favorite add-ins are craisins and pecans with a hint of cinnamon. I usually flavor the whole batch, and then change it up each time I make it.


  10. Jessica says

    I like to make a big batch and keep it in a big container. That way, my husband can scoop out a little more or I can scoop out a little less for my littles. We have a Keurig coffee pot which works great for dispensing the hot water. We love to put in frozen fruit when we make it which cools it down to eat and sweetens it up a bit. I don’t put sucanat or any sweetener in the mix but will sometimes add ground flax seed for a little nutrient punch. It has to be stored in the fridge if you do the flax seed.


  11. Kristin says

    This would be a great back up for when I don’t have a chance to cook up some steel cut oats!

    Does it decrease the fiber by cutting up some of the oats?

    Also, that seems like an a lot of sugar. If you assume 10 cups of oats makes 20 servings, that would be 4.8 teaspoons per serving, plus any natural sugar if freeze dried fruit is added. We add far less sugar to our (plain) steel cut oats. If you knew how much sugar you wanted per portion, you could just add a scoop to each bag.


  12. Lyn says

    I like to make these up and put them in pint mason jars. They make great breakfast and snacks to go! Just add the hot water or milk and eat them out of the jar. Great for early Saturday morning ball games and snacks between school and practices. Or perfect for keeping in your desk at work.


    Linda Reply:

    I add fruit and cold water to 1/2 cup mixture, cover with lid & ring and set in frig over night,
    and eat either cold out of frig, or hot after removing ring and lid and heating
    in microwave, for 2 minutes. I always add 1 tsp cinnamon and 2 teas. of ground flaxseed.
    to each jar.


  13. Erin says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. My kids and I love oatmeal, but it’s not the fastest meal on a busy morning. Unless, of course, you buy instant which I don’t. I just made a big batch of this. We are moving in 3 weeks and having a quick, easy breakfast to get my kids started in the morning is perfect. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes and inspiration!


  14. Lyn says

    I never use instant oatmeal, but I always microwave my thick rolled oatmeal for 90 seconds. I love it that way!


  15. Cathy Warren says

    I soak my oatmeal every night. Can this recipe be soaked too?


    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:



  16. Kentuckylady717 says

    I use the quick cook oats, add milk and microwave for 1 min. stir and microwave for another min,add a little honey and about (1 tsp. of amaretto liquid coffee creamer (yummy)only 17 & 1/2 Calories)…sure beats the instant oats….been doing this for 2 yrs. now….have oats almost every day….I


  17. angie says

    If you were to use tap water and microwave these how long would you cook them for?


    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    I would put them in for a minute. If you like extra water or if that absorbs all the moisture you can easily add some water and stir after it has been microwaved. I have one girl who likes hers “watery” and the other who likes hers “clumpy”. Usually adding water to one helps. :)


  18. Cynthia G. says

    I find that if I am adding any type of dried fruit – or cinnamon – to my oatmeal that additional sweetener of any kind is unnecessary.


  19. Jennifer says

    Laura- I am trying to get my 6 year old more independent for breakfast- so this idea was perfect! We made these in several different flavors-
    So far the favorite hands down is chocolate coconut! (We add cocoa powder and dried coconut chips or flakes.) thanks for the tip and the recipe:-)


  20. Deborah says

    I add coffee creamer to mine. Either plain or the flavored. I like the French vanilla. But I do add it after it is mixed up with the liquid. I’ve made at his before. Now I happen to have a couple of decorative jars to make some and put it in. Yumm!


  21. Amy says

    Anyone have any ideas to recreate cinnamon spice oatmeal? My girls love that one.


    LindseyforLaura@HHM Reply:

    Just add ground cinnamon to taste and a little bit of ground clove for the spice. You could also add just a touch of your favorite sweetener to make it more like the store bought packets.


  22. Angela says

    I love the idea of using jars!
    We add chocolate chips and peanut butter – so good.
    I have never had luck with mixes – I always cut the recipe down to serving size and do it that way – not much more work and it comes out perfect every time.


  23. Alexa says

    Do you have a print out of your variations? I am making your instant oatmeal in a jar for gifts this year and i would love to have this typed up to give along with it.


    Laura Reply:

    Such a fun idea! I don’t have one, but can put it on my list of ideas. Not sure if I’ll get to it by this Christmas though, but I’ll try!


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