These 10 Instant Oatmeal Hacks Will Magically Change Your Breakfast Game

With a few extra minutes and some basic storebought ingredients, instant oatmeal goes from ho-hum to OMG!

Mornings can be rough, and who among us hasn't dashed out the door—time and time again—clutching a lame energy bar? Or worse, skipped breakfast altogether? If you have time to buy a granola bar, you probably have time to buy a box of instant oatmeal packets. While you're at it, pick up a few extra ingredients and you've got the makings of an incredibly fast, incredibly delicious on-the-run breakfast: Simply microwave for 90 seconds and top with berries for a simple-and-sweet version, a kale-egg-bacon combo for an irresistible savory option, or one of these tasty hacks.

Photos by Rachel Johnson

1.  Raspberries and Cream Oatmeal

Combine 1 (28 gram) instant oatmeal packet and ⅔ cup milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 90 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in 2 tablespoons milk, 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese and 1 tablespoon of your favorite berry jam. Garnish with raspberries and mint leaves. 

2.  Truffle Butter Oatmeal

Combine 1 (28 gram) instant oatmeal packet and ⅔ cup water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 90 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in 2 tablespoons cottage cheese, 1 tablespoon salted butter, ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary and ½ teaspoon white truffle oil. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper.

3.  Fig and Honey Oatmeal

Combine 1 (28 gram) instant oatmeal packet and ⅔ cup milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 90 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in 2 tablespoons 2% greek yogurt and 1 tablespoon honey. Top with 2 teaspoons chopped dried figs and ½ teaspoon chia seeds (optional). 

4.  Tropical Oatmeal

Combine 1 (28 gram) instant oatmeal packet and ⅔ cup coconut milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 90 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in 2 tablespoons canned crushed pineapple, 1 tablespoon sugar (preferably turbinado sugar), 1 tablespoon mashed banana, and ½ teaspoon cardamom. Top with 1 tablespoon toasted coconut chips, 1 teaspoon banana chips and 1 tablespoon chopped dried mango. 

5.  Cherry Pistachio Oatmeal

Combine 1 (28 gram) instant oatmeal packet and ⅔ cup milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 90 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in 2 teaspoons cherry preserves and 1 teaspoon brown sugar. Top with 2 teaspoons chopped pistachios and ¼ cup chopped fresh (or dried) cherries.

6.  Oatmeal Cookie

Combine 1 (28 gram) instant oatmeal packet and ⅔ cup almond milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 90 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in 1 tablespoon almond butter. Top with 1 tablespoon raisins and 1 teaspoon chopped pecans. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons maple syrup and another 2 tablespoons almond milk. 

7.  Creamy Pumpkin Oatmeal

Combine 1 (28 gram) instant oatmeal packet and ⅔ cup milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 90 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon. Top with 2 teaspoons chopped pecans and another 2 tablespoons milk.

8.  Banana Nut Oatmeal

Combine 1 (28 gram) instant oatmeal packet and ⅔ cup almond milk in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 90 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in 2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter and 2 tablespoons mashed banana. Top with 1 tablespoon chopped toasted walnuts. 

And, if you're feeling a little more ambitious, try these two super-delicious hacks:

9.  Savory Butternut Oatmeal

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spread ¼ cup chopped butternut squash onto a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Roast 12-15 minutes, or until tender. Combine 1 (28 gram) instant oatmeal packet and ⅔ cup water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 90 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in 1 tablespoon butternut squash puree, 1 tablespoon salted butter, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Top with butternut squash cubes and 1 teaspoon chopped Italian parsley.

10.  Bacon, Kale and Egg Oatmeal

Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat. Cook 1 strip thick-cut bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon from pan and chop. Add 1 clove garlic, chopped, and ½ cup chopped kale; cook until wilted and remove from pan. Crack 1 medium egg into the pan and fry until desired doneness. Combine 1 (28 gram) instant oatmeal packet, ⅔ cup water, and ½ teaspoon kosher salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 90 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in 1 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese and kale. Top with bacon and egg, and sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper.

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