The Best Way to Make Oatmeal, According to Ina Garten

Bowl of oatmeal

Don't get me wrong, I love slow-cooked oatmeal for breakfast, be it on the stovetop, baked or in a bigger batch made in my rice cooker. But sometimes—especially when I'm running behind schedule—I need something a little quicker.

This often means throwing instant oatmeal in the microwave, but believe it or not Ina Garten has a better way to make great oatmeal in a flash. While perusing the Q&A section of her website, I stumbled upon her strategy for making a tasty, speedy bowl of oatmeal. (Fun fact: the reader question was inspired by Ina Garten's interview with Parade in 2018). Ina's method is quick and modern with a dash of sophistication and it takes less than 5 minutes.

Related: The Best Thing You Can Do With a Packet of Instant Oatmeal Has Nothing to Do With Breakfast

How to Make Ina Garten's Microwave Oatmeal

Here's how to make what Ina herself calls, "My favorite breakfast!" Start by combining 1/3 cup of quick-cooking oats (Ina likes McCann's) and 1 cup of water in a bowl. Place in the microwave and cook on high for 4 minutes. Once the oatmeal has cooked, add a pinch of salt, a splash of your choice of milk, a touch of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup. As Ina would say, "How easy is that?"

Related: I'm a Food Editor—Here's How I Make The Perfect Bowl of Oatmeal Every Morning

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How to Dress Up Ina Garten's Microwave Oatmeal

Ina's preferred maple syrup, butter and milk combo is super comforting, but Ina's basic plain microwave oatmeal is easy to customize to match your mood. Stir in some peanut butter or fresh or dried fruit. Head in a tropical direction with a splash of coconut milk, fresh pineapple and some toasted coconut. In the mood for something savory? Try topping the oatmeal with a soft-boiled egg and chili crisp. Soon, this will become the breakfast you eat every single morning.

Up next: The Best Way to Slice a Bagel, According to Ina Garten