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How To Reheat Oatmeal – Ultimate Guide

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When you think of eating a healthy, wholesome and nutritious breakfast, oatmeal is one of the first things that comes to mind. It is a favorite item to eat first thing in the morning with a high nutritional value and flavor packed versatility.

The only thing that may prevent you from eating oatmeal every morning is the cooking process. Reducing the cooking time would increase the efficiency of the morning routine and provide you with a burst of energy to get the day started in the right direction.

Have you questioned whether or not you can reheat oatmeal? Yes, you can reheat oatmeal. We recommend to reheat oatmeal in the microwave or on the stovetop. The results will depend on the method you select. The microwave is the fastest, however the oatmeal can become gooey if you’re not careful, that is the stovetop is the best option if you’re a picky eater.

Continue reading to learn the best ways to reheat oatmeal. This article will cover oatmeal meal prep ideas and the best methods to reheat leftover oatmeal. 

Reheating Oatmeal: Is It Safe?

Oatmeal is a staple breakfast idea for many people around the world. It may look bland and unappetizing, but with the right amount of fruit, nuts and syrup this simple porridge will transform into a magical meal.

What if you made too much oatmeal for the meal? Or you simple want to prepare a large batch of oatmeal in advance? 

Cooking oatmeal can take up to 45 minutes depending on the type of oats you are preparing. Not everyone has that kind of time to spend making breakfast each morning. 

However, we have some good new for oatmeal lovers looking to save time on meal prep. You can make a batch of oatmeal ahead of time and save individual portions that can be reheated at your convenience. 

Reheating oatmeal won’t take nearly as long. So you can enjoy a nutritious, delicious and fulfilling meal that you satisfy you for an extended amount of time.

As long as you store cooked oatmeal the right way, then it will be safe for you to reheat. Follow safe food handling recommendations and you should be good to go.

Cooked oatmeal should be fully cooled and stored at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit within 2 hours of preparation. 

Even though oatmeal does not contain animal products, the starchy grain can go bad. Once prepared, oatmeal can become a breeding ground for bacteria growth that will lead to a food borne illness. 

Leaving cooked oatmeal to sit out all night is not the recommended course of action. 

Store cooked oatmeal inside an airtight container kept in the fridge or freezer. Refrigerated oatmeal can be kept for up to 5 days, and frozen oatmeal is good for 3 months.

Oatmeal can go bad and will spoil once water has been added to the dry grains.

Can you reheat oatmeal

Best Way to Reheat Oatmeal

Reheating oatmeal is easy to do. And depending on the kind of oats, it is much easier than cooking the whole grains from scratch while you are still getting the day going.

There are three ways to reheat pre-cooked oatmeal: stovetop, microwave and oven.

Stovetop Method 

To reheat the oatmeal on the stovetop, add the leftover oatmeal to a pot and simmer for 5 minutes until thoroughly heated.

Keep the temperature on low to medium heat to prevent the bottom of the pan from burning or scorching.

Tip: Loosen up the consistency of the oatmeal when you bring it back to life. You can always replace water with milk or any liquid you prefer to make a creamy texture. 

Tip: Boil a small amount of water in a pot, only as much as you would like to stir into the oatmeal to loosen the consistency, then add the leftover oatmeal to the hot pot and boiling water.

Microwave Method

Reheating oatmeal in the microwave is the easiest method. The microwave is a convenient option for anyone that is short of time. It should take less than 2 minutes to warm up previously cooked oatmeal. 

Put the leftover oatmeal into a microwave-safe bowl, add a little liquid, cover the bowl and nuke it for 30 second increments. Stop and stir after each duration to ensure that the oatmeal reheats evenly in the microwave.

Repeat the process of short intervals with consistent stirring until the oatmeal is fully heated. In total, the microwaving time should be less than 2 minutes depending on how much oatmeal you are nuking.

Tip: Nuke a small amount of water in the microwave-safe bowl before adding the oatmeal, then add the leftover oatmeal to the hot bowl and boiling water.

Tip: Mush the oatmeal against the sides of the container to create more surface area and heat it more evenly. This step will also help the porridge to heat up much faster. 

Oven Baked Method

Reheating oatmeal in the oven is a bit more time consuming, but the option is still a possibility. Previously cooked oatmeal can be put into a oven proof baking dish, then topped with your favorite toppings or crumbles.

All you need to do is to put the leftover oatmeal into an oven-safe baking dish, add a little water or milk, cover the dish with foil and place into a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Oven baked oatmeal can have a nice crust when properly executed, and the topping can be toasted evenly for even more delicious flavor.

Tip: For extra deliciousness and crunchy edges, butter the sides of the baking dish so that the fat crisps the oatmeal and enhances the flavor.

How to Prepare and Store Oatmeal for the Week

If you want prepare oatmeal for the entire week, it can take up to 45 minutes depending on whether you select steel cut oats, rolled oats or quick oats. Taking the time to cook a large batch of steel cut oats will allow you to have a delicious breakfast meal prep for each day of the busy work week. 

A standard serving is ½ cup of dry oatmeal.

To make oatmeal, boil 5 cups of water, then add 2½ cups of oats. Simmer until the oats are fully cooked. Don’t forget to add a pinch of salt. 

Once the oatmeal is finished cooking, allow it to cool to room temperature. Then, store in a single airtight container, or divide the cooked oatmeal into small equally sized portions for a grab and go meal prep. You can store the cooked oatmeal in containers or mason jars for individually prepared make-ahead meals.

In the morning, you will be impressed with how quickly you can whip together a tasty, nutritious and well-balanced breakfast that will satisfy your hunger and get your rolling for the day.

Stick the container into the microwave or dump the contents into a pot for the stovetop or baking dish for the oven. 

Pre-cooked and reheated oatmeal is versatile. If you have concern about getting bored with eating plain oatmeal for a few days in a row, here are a oatmeal toppings, flavor combinations and add-ins for you to mix things up a bit:

  • Top with a fried egg for an add does of protein.
  • Top off your oatmeal with raw sugar and use the oven broiler to caramelize the sugars for a golden brown crunchy layer on top of the creamy porridge.
  • Mix in cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon or other spices to amaze your taste buds with a burst of sweet and spicy flavors.
  • As far as classics combinations are concerned, add fresh or dried fruits, berries, raisins, nuts, seeds, butters or syrups to your oatmeal

Store single serving portions of precooked oatmeal inside the fridge so that you can cut the preparation time in half, while still allowing you the opportunity to have a healthy breakfast that is full of options.

Another great feature about having precooked oatmeal in the fridge is that you can eat the nutritious meal for breakfast, but also for lunch, dinner or a late night snack.

If you prefer steel-cut oats, follow this recipe tutorial by Clean & Delicious on YouTube in order to shorten the cooking time each morning:

Can You Make Oatmeal in Advance?

If your morning schedule is hectic and you barely have time to make yourself a filling breakfast, then you might consider cooking some oatmeal in advance. 

Whether you like prefer steel cut oats, old fashioned oats, or quick oats, you can make a batch of porridge in advance that can last the entire week.

Follow the instructions to cook the oatmeal you enjoy most, then let it cool down before dividing into portions and storing in single serving containers.

If you are looking for a simple solution to cook one portion at a time, the quick oats may work well for you. Regular rolled oats take a few extra minutes, but can still be cooked in about 5 minutes. 

However, steel cut oats and oat groats are the whole grain version of oatmeal that require 45 minutes of cooking to completely soften the grains and make them palatable.

Furthermore, you can make overnight oats by mixing rolled oats or quick oats with liquid and store in an airtight container in the fridge. 

The oats will soak up the liquid, and it will only take a few minutes to finish cooking them in the morning. Simply nuke in the microwave for 2-3 minutes or cook on the stovetop until boiling.

Don’t forget to stop and stir. Add a bit more liquid if the oats have soaked up the initial amount that you started with.

Fruit, nuts, spices, syrup and seeds can be add before or after you begin. In total, it should take less than 5 minutes to reheat oatmeal that was precooked.

How Long Do You Reheat Oatmeal?

There is no set time to reheat cooked oatmeal. Whether you choose the microwave, stovetop or oven method, time is irrelevant.

Instead, the internal temperature is the gauge in which to determine whether the cooked oatmeal is fully reheated. Leftover foods should be reheated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 73 degrees Celsius.

To successfully achieve an envy temperature, the oatmeal should be stirred at intervals throughout the reheating process. When microwaving, stop and stir every 30 seconds; and when using the stovetop, continuously stir to prevent the bottom of the pan from burning or sticking.

Can You Reheat Baked Oatmeal?

If you enjoy a warm casserole style breakfast, then baked oatmeal might be the preparation method that you prefer the most. If making breakfast from scratch seems like a daunting task, then preparing oatmeal in advance and reheating it later on may be the best option to pursue.

Warming up baked oatmeal in the microwave is as easy as one, two, three. Easily reheat the entire batch or scoop out one portion at a time, whatever works best for you to have a healthy breakfast available for multiple days in a row.

Whether it is made with milk, water or another liquid, baked oatmeal should be stored in the fridge and covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

Baked oatmeal must be kept in the refrigerator, however to further extend the life it can be transferred to an airtight container and stored in the freezer. For added convenience, cut the baked oatmeal into squares and store the individual portions to make them easier to reheat.

Does Oatmeal Change Texture When Reheated?

Oatmeal soaks up the liquid while cooking, however it is during the cooling down period that oatmeal continues to absorb the remaining liquid. The longer precooked oatmeal is kept in the fridge, the more liquid it absorbs and the texture continues to change.

For this reason, it is recommended to add a splash of water or milk to the porridge when reheat it.

After the liquid is added and the oats are reheats, then the porridge will be smooth and creamy, the texture should be similar to fresh made oatmeal.

How Long Can You Keep Oatmeal in the Fridge?

If you are fond of making a weeks worth of meal prep at a time, then add oatmeal to your meal plan. Precooked oatmeal can be kept in the fridge for up to 6 days, which seems about right if you are preparing a weeks worth of make-ahead breakfasts.

For best results, leftover oatmeal should be kept in an airtight container or sealed plastic bag and stored in the fridge to maintain optimal condition.

Can You Freeze Oatmeal?

If you are one that prefers to freeze food in order to prevent it from spoiling, then cooked oatmeal is another prepared food product you might consider to keep in your freezer. 

Cooked oatmeal stored in the freezer between 3 to 6 months. The freezing method is suitable for any kind of oatmeal.

To keep the frozen oatmeal tasting fresh, store the frozen oatmeal in an airtight container or well-sealed plastic bag to prevent moisture from escaping and drying out. 

To reheat frozen oatmeal, put it in the microwave for about 2 minutes, or until it reaches the desired temperature. Don’t forget to add a splash of milk or water to loosen up the consistency if needed. 

Tip: Transfer the oatmeal from the freezer to the fridge to allow it to thaw overnight.

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