This best oatmeal recipe is quick and easy and makes for a hot and hearty breakfast. Packed with flavor and nutrition, this oatmeal will become a fall staple!
First Published September 2011; Updated July 2020
Best Oatmeal Recipe Backstory
I have never been much of a breakfast person, until I tried this best oatmeal recipe. I remember being a kid that was forced to eat breakfast. For some reason, I couldn't stomach milk in the morning so I would eat dry cereal. You couldn't even get me to eat a donut. Sweets in the early morning is not my thing. It still isn't. I'd much rather have a savory omelet with potatoes than a big stack of pancakes covered with fruit and whipped cream. If I am working out or have to be somewhere early, I force myself to have a banana or bowl of cereal. Otherwise I prefer to eat breakfast later in the morning rather then when I first wake up.
Oatmeal has never been one of my desired breakfasts. But it is so good for you and provides many nutrients, antioxidants and fiber. It also can help reduce cholesterol. So why wouldn't I want to start my day out with a bowl of oatmeal? I have always thought of it as boring with not much taste.
Recently, I decided to change my way of thinking and start out with a bowl several mornings a week. I have experimented with adding different kinds of seasonal fruits to my oats. This way, my bowl never gets boring. With the fall weather here, I thought pears, walnuts and figs would make the perfect topping. I have to say I enjoyed my oatmeal this morning.
What's your favorite oatmeal topped with?
Variations On My Best Oatmeal Recipe
- If fresh figs aren't in season, dry figs can be substituted.
- You can also make the old fashioned or steel cut oatmeal and use this as a topping. While those are both much more wholesome, I like making the quick cooked oats in less than 5 minutes. I also love the Greek yogurt to make it just a little more creamy.
- For some more fall flair, add some nutmeg or even pumpkin pie spice to bring out those autumnal flavors.
- You could use apples instead of pears if you prefer, which would hearken back to the classic fall dessert: apple pie!
- Some of the ingredients may be omitted entirely if you don't want to include them. This oatmeal would still be delicious without the walnuts.
- If you aren't a fan of figs but still want something sweet and a little sticky, consider using dates or apricots instead.
Choosing the Best Pears
- Press a finger gently into the top of the pear, right where the stem enters the fruit. It should have a little bit of give there. If it's soft or bruised anywhere else, try a different pear; this could mean over ripeness and results in mushiness and mealy skin.
- If you have to buy pears that are under ripe and want to speed up the process, place them in a paper bag with a ripe banana or apple.
Choosing the Best Figs
- The fruit should be soft to the touch. It may even release a bit of nectar if you give it a little squeeze, which means it's ripe.
- Your figs should also have a pleasant smell to them. Anything funky or fermented means they've gone past freshness.
- Figs don't ripen off the tree, so whatever state they're in at the store is what you get.
- Be sure to buy your figs not too long before using them; they typically only last 3 days or so.
Other Breakfast Recipes
- Strawberry Yogurt Breakfast Parfaits
- Skinny Mini Mexican Frittatas
- Healthy Banana Pancakes with Pecans
- Lemon Blueberry Muffins
- Brioche French Toast from Valerie's Kitchen
- Pumpkin Spice Waffles from Kylee Cooks
- Philadelphia Cheesesteak Breakfast Sandwich
- Broccoli and Roasted Red Pepper Quiche
If you like my Best Oatmeal Recipe, please give it a 5-star rating below!
Best Oatmeal Recipe with Pears, Figs and Walnuts
- 3 Tablespoons walnuts coarsely chopped
- 3-4 cups water (depending on if you like your oatmeal thick or thin)
- 2 cups quick cooking oats
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 large pears
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- ½ Teaspoon cinnamon plus extra for garnish
- 4 fresh figs chopped
- ¼ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- Stir walnuts in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Bring 3 or more cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add oats and stir over medium heat until oats are softened and very thick, about 1 minute.
- In the skillet, melt the butter on medium heat. Toss together pears, sugar and cinnamon. Saute pears for 5 minutes or until softened.
- Add the figs and reserved walnuts. Cook for a minute or two and mix to make sure the figs are coated with the syrup from the pears.
- Top the oatmeal with the warm pear mixture in individual bowls. Top with the yogurt and sprinkle with cinnamon for garnish.