Can You Reheat Oatmeal?

Oatmeal is a powerhouse breakfast food. It is known to fight inflammation and reduce cholesterol for heart health. Recent studies now show that oatmeal acts as a prebiotic, keeping the gut microbiome in balance. 

Since oatmeal’s benefits make it a no-brainer for inclusion in a healthy diet, you may wonder if it’s possible to make it ahead and reheat it. The answer is yes! You can make oatmeal ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator — or even the freezer — and reheat it when you’re ready to eat it. 

You can enjoy pre-cooked oatmeal for up to five days when stored in the refrigerator or for up to three months when stored in the freezer. 

How to Reheat Oatmeal from the Refrigerator

You can reheat oatmeal that’s been stored in the refrigerator in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven. In all scenarios, it’s best to add some liquid back to the oatmeal before reheating. This keeps the oatmeal from getting too gummy and allows you to adjust the consistency to your liking. 

Microwave

  1. Put the oatmeal in a microwave-safe dish and stir in a splash of water, milk, or alt-milk
  2. Cover the dish and set the microwave timer for 30 seconds
  3. Remove the oatmeal from the microwave and stir, to evenly distribute the heat and the liquid
  4. Re-cover and put the oatmeal back in the microwave for maximum durations of 30 seconds (with stirring after each interval) until hot
  5. Stir one last time and add in any of your favorite toppings, then enjoy

Stovetop

  1. Add the pre-cooked oatmeal to a pot and set the stove temperature to low-medium or medium
  2. Add a splash of water, milk, or alt-milk and stir
  3. Simmer for five minutes while stirring occasionally, until hot
  4. Dish out into a bowl, stir in any toppings you prefer, and enjoy

Oven

  1. Add your pre-cooked oatmeal to an oven-safe dish, add your favorite liquid, and stir thoroughly
  2. Cover with foil or parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius)
  3. Dish out into a bowl, stir in your favorite toppings, and enjoy

How to Reheat Oatmeal from the Freezer

Reheating oatmeal after storage in the freezer is easy! Once you thaw the oatmeal, you can use any of the above methods for reheating. Just be sure to fully thaw the oatmeal in the refrigerator to keep it from spoiling during the thawing process. Also, it’s best if you freeze your pre-cooked oatmeal in individual serving sizes to make it easier to thaw and reheat. 

Conclusion

Oats are an easy way to consume whole grains, increase your fiber intake, lower cholesterol and inflammation, and care for your gut microbiome. And they are just as tasty when reheated as they are when made fresh. 

Oats are similar to rice and other whole grains: they’re delicious on their own, but adding sweet or savory toppings helps to make each bowl of oatmeal satisfying and unique. 

Try adding toppings like fresh or frozen berries or other fruit, nuts or nut butters, chia seeds or other seeds, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, chocolate chips, or even sweet potatoes, avocados, and bacon; the possibilities are endless!