Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is also the most busy time of a weekday in many households. That is when easy instant vegan oatmeal recipes come in very handy. These single serve recipes cook under 2-3 minutes.
Here are 4 savory instant oatmeal recipes, a quick fix for a healthy breakfast. All the recipes are vegan and you can use dairy if it is not a dietary restriction.
The 4 flavors are vegetable masala oatmeal, instant oatmeal pongal, oatmeal yogurt and oatmeal with nuts & seeds. Sweeter version of nuts & seeds also tastes good.
About the Recipes
All the recipes use unflavored instant oatmeal packets and a good substitute is quick cooking 1-minute oats. Cooking time in a microwave is 1½ – 3 minutes, depending on the recipe. Nutrition of instant oats is almost similar to regular oats.
These recipes require very little or no prep work and great for breakfast when pressed for time. Addition of veggies, nuts, seeds and lentils not only enhances the flavor but also the nutrients.
Masala oats and oats pongal require some prep work which is less than 5 minutes. First one requires chopping veggies and pongal requires grinding the dal. Both these recipes call for butter. Use vegan butter or oil and cook time is about 2 ½ minutes.
Oatmeal yogurt does not require any prep work but needs at least 5 minutes to cool oatmeal before mixing yogurt. Use dairy free yogurt of your choice and my preference is coconut yogurt. Season it with coconut garlic powder, pickle or peanut podi.
I also make old fashioned oats pulihora and oats upma on stovetop, and steel cut oats khichdi in Instant Pot. These are best alternatives to instant packets but require more than 3 minutes of cooking time.
Iron Rich Ingredient
Oats are healthy and rich in nutrients and so is instant oatmeal. Each packet of instant oatmeal is about ⅓ cup and weighs 28 grams. This has 40% daily required iron, 9% of fiber and 4 grams protein.
Only concern with instant oatmeal is that these digest faster than regular oats. Thus a potential for quick increase in blood sugar levels, which is a bit of a concern for diabetics.
For A-Z iron rich ingredients series, for alphabet ‘I’ it is instant oatmeal. This is the only ingredient I could think of. If you know any other iron rich ingredient starting with ‘I’, please share in the comments section. Few recipes from the series are:
Ingredients & Preparation
Instant Oatmeal Packet Original Flavor – is what I used here. It cooks really fast in the microwave, 1 ½ minutes to be precise. Cook time is longer when cooking with veggies and lentils as these take longer to took. A good substitute to these packets are quick cooking oats.
Veggies & Dal – Use vegetables of you choice for masala oats and moong dal for pongal. You can also use both veggies and dal to come with another flavor, khichdi.
Seasoning – Depending on the recipe, seasoning are chili powder, pepper powder, garam masala, pickle and coconut garlic powder. Seasoning for each recipe varies depending on the flavor and check below sections or the recipe card.
Butter & Yogurt – Use vegan butter of your choice or oil. If dairy is not an issue, use butter. I tried all three and all work just fine. For vegan yogurt, I prefer coconut yogurt but feel free to use any plant based yogurt you like.
Nuts & Seeds – Hemps seeds, peanuts and coconut flakes is what I use for oatmeal with nuts & seeds. Use the nuts you like.
Preparation – Take oatmeal in a microwave safe bowl and cook as per directions. I used ramekins but a wide or cereal bowl is the best. Depending on the recipe, cook with vegetables, dal or as is for 1½ – 2½ minutes. For detailed instructions, check below.
Recipe 1 – Vegetable Masala Oats
Vegetables – use chopped carrots, beans, spinach and peas. Use any vegetable that cooks fast.
Seasoning – Garlic powder, cumin seeds or powder, chili powder, salt and garam masala (optional). You can substitute chili powder with pepper powder or use dash of both. Other seasoning ideas are curry powder and pav bhaji masala.
Butter – Use vegan butter or oil.
Preparation – Take all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl, add little less than a cup of water and microwave for 2-2 ½ minutes or until veggies cook. After 1½ minutes into cooking, stir every 20 seconds until veggies are cooked.
Recipe 2 – Instant Oats Pongal
Pongal Spice Mix – Take moong dal, cumin seeds and peppercorns in spice grinder and grind to a powder. For a more flavorful pongal, dry roast moong dal, cool and then grind to a powder. You can do a big batch of this mix and use it as needed.
Even better, you can make your own DIY oatmeal cups or packets. Mix a packet of instant oats, pongal spice mix, garlic and store in Ziploc bags or microwave safe containers or mason jars. To cook, add vegan butter, water to the mix and microwave.
Butter – Use vegan butter or oil. Using butter gives a yummy pongal but oil is fine too.
Preparation – Take oats, pongal mix, garlic powder. vegan butter or oil, less than a cup of water in a microwave safe bowl and mix well. Cook in a microwave for 2 ½ – 3 minutes.
After 1 ½ minutes of cooking, keep stirring very 20 seconds until pongal is cooked and there is no raw taste of dal. Keep an eye on the bowl after 1½ minutes of cooking as pongal can over flow.
Recipe 3 – Savory Oatmeal Yogurt
Yogurt – Use any plant based yogurt and I use coconut yogurt.
Preparation – Cook oatmeal as per direction on the back of the packet or for 1½ minutes, cool and then add yogurt. Season it with mango pickle or any pickle of your choice. For overnight oats, check Vidhya’s savory overnight oats.
My favorite is mango pickle with lots of garlic, dondakaya ava pachadi and carrot cauliflower pickle. I like biting on the veggies. Tomato pickle and lime juice pickle also taste good but these do not have any veggies in it.
Recipe 4 – Oatmeal with Nuts & Seeds
If you do not have any podis handy, make a quick one by coarsely grinding together roasted peanuts, some cumin seeds and garlic powder.
Nuts & Seeds – Roasted and lightly crushed peanuts, hulled hemp seeds and coconut flakes. Sometimes I throw in some almonds as well. These are the regular nuts and seeds I use. But feel free to use any nuts and seeds you like in your oatmeal.
Preparation – Cook oatmeal, season it with a spice mix such as coconut garlic powder, peanut podi or any podi of your choice. You can even use pickle. Top it with hemp seeds, coconut flakes and peanuts. Or use nuts and seeds of your choice.
Tips & Frequently Asked Questions
Yes and no. It has same nutritional value and health benefits as regular oats. However, matter of concern is glycemic index. Instant oatmeal is partly cooked, hence it cooks fast. So, it is absorbed very quickly into bloodstream compared to regular oats. Thus results in raising blood sugar levels. Regular oats digest slowly and also absorbed slowly into bloodsttream.
You can use quick cooking 1 minute oats. Cook time is similar to instant oatmeal. You can also pulse old fashioned rolled a few times and use it. Steel cut oats taker longer to cook and those will not work with these instant oatmeal recipes.
Take oatmeal, all the dry ingredients and mix well. Store about ⅓ – ½ cup of mix in Ziploc bags or in 12-16 oz microwave safe container or mason jars. When ready to cook, add water and cook. Also add butter/oil or vegetables depending on the recipe.
Detailed, Printable Recipe
4 Savory, Vegan Oatmeal Recipes for Breakfast
- Cutting Board and Knife
- Spice grinder
- Microwave Safe Ramekins or Bowls
- 1 packet Instant Oatmeal Original or unflavored
Vegetable Masala Oats
- 2 tbsp chopped Carrots
- 2 tbsp chopped Green Beans
- 2 tbsp chopped Spinach
- 1 tbsp frozen Green Peas
- ⅛ tsp Chili Powder or Black Pepper Powder adjust to taste
- ⅕ tsp Garam Masala optional and adjust to taste
- ¼ tsp Salt or to taste
- ⅛ tsp Cumin Powder or Cumin Seeds
- ⅛ tsp Garlic Powder you can use ¼ tsp if you like the garlic flavor
- 1 tsp Oil or Vegan Butter
- 1 cup Water less than a cup
Instant Oats Pongal
- 1 ½ tbsp Moong Dal
- 4 Black Peppercorns adjust to taste
- ⅛ – ¼ tsp Cumin Powder or Cumin Seeds
- ⅛ – ¼ tsp Garlic Powder use as per your liking
- ⅛ – ¼ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Vegan Butter or Oil
- 1 cup Water less than cup
Savory Oatmeal Yogurt
- ⅔ cup Water
- ½ cup Coconut Yogurt or any plant based yogurt
- 1 tsp Mango Pickle or pickle of your choice adjust quantity to taste
Oats with Nuts & Seeds
- 1 Packet Instant Oatmeal
- ⅔ cup Water
- 1 tsp Coconut Garlic Podi or spice powder of your choice check notes
- ½ tbsp Hemp Seeds
- 1 tbsp Roasted Peanuts light crushed
Vegetable Masala Oats
- Chop veggies into small pieces. You can do this night before and store the veggies in the fridge.
- Take instant oatmeal in a microwave safe bowl. I used a ramekin but a cereal bowl works the best. Add veggies, seasoning and less than a cup of water. You can use curry powder or pav bhaji masala for seasoning.
- Microwave for 1½ of minutes. Stir and continue to cook for another minute, stirring every 20 seconds.
- Cooking time depends on the power of the microwave. Cook until veggies are soft. Oatmeal cooks in 1½ minutes and extra cook time is for veggies.
Instant Oats Pongal
- Grind moong dal, cumin seeds and black pepper corns to a fine powder. I recommend fine powder. For more flavor, wash, pat dry, dry roast moong dal and let cool. Then grind to a fine powder. You can make a big batch and store in a ry container, use as needed. Check notes below.
- Take oatmeal, moong dal powder, salt, vegan butter or oil, water in a microwave safe bowl. Give a good stir to evenly mix everything.
- Microwave for 2½-3 minutes or until moong dal powder is cooked. First cook for 1½ minutes, stir and cook until done, stirring every 20 seconds. Keep an eye on the pongal after 1½ minutes as it can overflow when cooking.
Savory Oatmeal Yogurt
- Take oatmeal and water in a microwave safe bowl and cook as per packer directions or for 1½ minutes.
- Cool oatmeal until lukewarm and add yogurt. Mix immediately.
- Add some pickle to taste, mix and serve.
Oats with Nuts & Seeds
- Cook oatmeal as per packer instructions or for 1½ minutes in the microwave.
- Add coconut garlic powder or any seasoning of your choice and mix. Or prepare an instant spice mix by lightly crushing together roasted peanuts, cumin seeds and salt. You can sprinkle some garlic powder as well.
- Sprinkle hemp seeds, crushed peanuts, coconut flakes and serve. I prefer these nuts and seeds. Feel free to use nuts & seeds of your choice.
- Oatmeal – Recipe calls for instant oatmeal unflavored or original. One packet is close to a ⅓ cup of instant oatmeal. A substitute is ⅓ cup of quick cooking 1-minute oats.
- Cook Time – In my microwave plain instant oatmeal cooks in 1½ minutes. When using veggies or moong dal powder for oats pongal, cook for 2½ – 3 minutes stirring every 20 seconds after 1½ minutes mark. Also keep an eye as it could overflow.
- Veggie Masala Oatmeal – Use vegetables of your choice and cut into small pieces. Use the veggies that cook fast. I used chili powder, garam masala, garlic powder and cumin for seasoning. Curry powder, pav bhaji masala or any curry powder that you like are a good seasoning for masala oats.
- Oats Pongal – Key to pongal is moong dal. Since this is an instant version and cook time is less than 3 minutes, grind moong dal. For enhanced flavor, wash, pat dry, dry roast and then grind moong dal along with pepper corns. You can use cumin as is or grind it along with dal. Recipe above yields about 2½ tbsp of powder.
- You can make big batch of pongal mix and use it as needed. Even better is to mix a packer of instant oatmeal or ⅓ cup of quick oats and 2½ tbsp of pongal mix and store in Ziploc bags or in mason jars. If using mason jars, just fill it with water and microwave.
- Oatmeal Yogurt – Use coconut yogurt or any vegan, plant based yogurt. For seasoning, use mango pickle, vegetable pickle such as carrot cauliflower pickle, tomato pickle or lime pickle. You can even use any spicy South Indian podi such as coconut garlic powder, idli podi, peanut podi.
- Nutrition Values – are approximate. Calories for each recipes is between 236-252 kcal.
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