Two speckled bowls with oatmeal garnished with nuts, berries and chocolate

How to Make Oatmeal in a Steam Oven

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I’ve talked about making oatmeal in a steam oven before; it’s something I do at least a couple of mornings a week (more in winter).

Over the years I’ve refined and made the method, which was pretty easy to start with, downright foolproof, so now I cook it directly in the serving bowl. This means it’s ready to go straight onto the table when it’s done, to be topped with whatever nuts, fruit or ‘extras’ we have on hand.

If you love oatmeal, or porridge, and haven’t used your steam oven to make it yet, give this recipe a go.

You’ll be able to set and forget your breakfast while you get ready for the day or make your morning coffee, and I guarantee it’ll be just as silky and creamy as if you’d spent time stirring it in a saucepan.

Steam oven oatmeal takes a little longer than stovetop oatmeal, around 15 minutes compared to about 10 minutes on the stove, but there’s no stirring involved. I think it’s worth waiting for because it’s so hands off.

If the microwave is your go-to oatmeal cooking device you’ll be blown away by how much better this is, plus it doesn’t have the unfortunate potential for creating a cement-like oat volcano all over the inside of the appliance (don’t judge, we’ve all done it more than once, right?!).

What do you need to make oatmeal?

I called this post ‘how to make oatmeal’ rather than ‘a recipe for oatmeal’ because, honestly, it’s barely a recipe. More a short list of ingredients, plus whatever you want to put on top. More on toppings below.

measuring cups with oats, milk and a small black dish with a pinch of salt

Essentially, oatmeal or porridge is made with rolled oats, water or milk (or both, if you prefer) and salt.         

Why salt?

Just like when you add salt to baked goods to heighten and bring out other flavors, it plays a similar role here. Salt makes the oats more, well, oaty. Go without it if your salt intake is a concern but otherwise I encourage you to try it out, just once, and see if it makes a difference to the flavor of your oatmeal.

It’s possible to make oatmeal with other types of oats, namely steel cut oats or quick oats.

Steel cut oats are the whole oat grain which has been cut into smaller pieces so they cook and absorb moisture a little faster than the whole grain. They’re very dense and hard uncooked, and they take much longer to cook than rolled oats.

Steel cut oats cook into a more nubbly textured oatmeal with a nutty flavor. It’s delicious in a different way to regular oatmeal – I have a recipe for steam oven steel cut oatmeal as well if that’s something you’d like to try, just be aware that it’s better made the day before and reheated as it takes an hour to cook.

Quick oats, or instant oats, are rolled oats which have been processed to cut them finely so they cook very fast. They’re often found in those instant oatmeal breakfast sachets, the ones with added fruits or nuts and flavorings, and they do indeed make for a fast breakfast, especially in a microwave. The texture will never be as good as using whole rolled oats, though, so I tend to steer clear.

How to make steam oven oatmeal

This is what you really came for today, right?

Making steam oven porridge is so simple. You’ll need as few or as many bowls as you’re making servings.

Fill each bowl with a half cup of rolled oats and three quarters of a cup of liquid. This can be all milk (this is what my kids get) or a mix of half milk, half water. Some people make oatmeal with all water, just adding milk at the end, so if that’s your thing go right ahead.

The quantity of liquid here is slightly less than if you make oatmeal on a stovetop, but the humidity of your oven’s steam setting means it will still cook up lovely and soft.

Next, you’ll add a pinch of salt and give everything a quick stir.

raw oats and milk in a speckled bowl on a marble counter

Put the bowls into a cold steam oven and set it to the steam setting. Cook for around 15 minutes, until the oats are soft and creamy and the liquid has absorbed.

Add whatever you normally would to serve, and you’re done!

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Favorite oatmeal toppings

I’m sure most of us have our go-to oatmeal toppings, but it’s good to have options.

Here are some of my favorites.

In summer, I usually have some sort of roasted stone fruit kicking around in the fridge – plums are my favorite but peaches or apricots run a close second. Roasted fruit makes a great oatmeal topping with a handful of roughly chopped nuts.

For winter, I like stewed apples or pears, which can be done in another pan in the oven at the same time as your oatmeal cooks.

When I don’t have roasted or stewed fruit on hand I always turn to fresh fruit.

a bowl of cooked oatmeal with sliced strawberries, almond butter, maple syrup and a dash of cream

How about strawberries, almond butter and maple syrup with a dash of cream? The strawberries and maple make it seem kind of like a Sunday pancake breakfast, while the almond butter gives a great protein hit.

I also love pistachios in oatmeal, namely this combination of pistachios, raspberries and honey with dark chocolate for breakfast indulgence.

a bowl of cooked oatmeal with raspberries, pistachios, dark chocolate and honey

If you need more chocolate in your life you could always add a couple of teaspoons of cocoa powder to your oatmeal at the beginning of cooking, turning it into chocolate oatmeal. Top with extra chocolate and some sliced banana and you’ll have my 3 year old’s favorite.

I hope you’ll try steam oven oatmeal soon. It’s a great way to make use of your steam oven and a nice way to feed your family a hearty breakfast with minimal effort.

Happy cooking, see you here again soon.

Two speckled bowls with oatmeal garnished with nuts, berries and chocolate with a blue bowl of strawberry slices
One of two speckled bowls with oatmeal garnished with nuts, berries and chocolate with a blue bowl of strawberry slices
Print Recipe
4 from 38 votes

Steam Oven Oatmeal

Steam oven oatmeal in single serves will change your mornings! This easy method makes the silkiest, simplest no-stir oatmeal or porridge while you get ready for your day.    
Prep Time2 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time17 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American, English, Western
Keyword: steam oven oatmeal, steam oven porridge
Servings: 1


  • ½ cup rolled oats 50g
  • ¾ cup milk (185ml) or water, or a mix of the two
  • Small pinch salt
  • Extra warmed milk or cream, fruit, nuts, maple syrup or honey to serve


  • Put the oats and milk/water into a heatproof bowl and give it a quick mix to combine.
  • Put the bowl into your cold steam oven and set to 212°F/100°C, steam setting (100% humidity). Set the timer for 15 minutes.
  • At the end of cooking, taste the oatmeal to make sure it’s cooked to your liking (if not, pop it back in for an extra couple of minutes), then serve with extra milk or cream and your favorite toppings.


  1. The quantities given are for a single serve of oatmeal, but you can multiply this recipe by as many servings as you need. Just cook each serving in its own bowl.

Over to you – if you try this recipe I’d love to know about it! Share your comments below or on Facebook, tag @steamandbake on Instagram, or pin all your favourite Steam and Bake recipes over on Pinterest!

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