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Homemade Instant Oatmeal

Just add hot water and go. Use this Instant Oatmeal recipe as a base for your favorite combination of nuts, dried fruit, dark chocolate, coconut...the possibilities are endless.
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Breakfast
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef


  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 4 cups quick-cooking oats (see note)
  • 1 ½ cups dried fruit (such as dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries)
  • 1 ½ cups unsalted nuts, lightly toasted (such as slivered almonds, pecans, walnuts)
  • 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar, more to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)


  • Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss with your hands until evenly combined. Store, sealed until ready to eat.
  • To serve, transfer ¾ of the mix to a bowl. Add enough hot water or hot milk just to cover the oats. Stir gently and enjoy.


Be sure to get oats labeled as they are here - "rolled oats" and "quick-cooking oats". I find that for the texture to be just right with a 50/50 split of these. I don't recommend "instant oats", as I find the texture to be gummy (closer to Cream of Wheat).
Chia seeds are optional, but they add a nice creaminess and crunch once they have soaked in a bit of the hot water - not to mention that they're great for you!
I store the oatmeal in a large glass jar and scoop out what I need, but you could pre-portion this in individual bags for quick grab-and-go in the morning.