If you are wondering if you can freeze oatmeal, let me answer this for you! Maybe you made too much oatmeal and have leftovers, or maybe you want to meal prep. Whatever the reason, freezing is a great option! This freezer-friendly breakfast is one you can customize and everyone will love.
I love oatmeal, have made it for years, and have several oatmeal recipes you will love and would love to share with you! Each of these examples will freeze really well with the methods listed below. So once you get the basics, head to the recipe to get started!
Carrot cake oatmeal is a really good recipe that is a favorite! Cinnamon spice oatmeal is another great recipe if you love those oatmeal packets. Cranberry oatmeal is a good recipe for when you have leftover cranberry sauce. Or what about blueberry oatmeal? If you are looking for steel-cut oats, I have a great pumpkin steel-cut oat recipe! Oat groats are the whole oat grain and I love cooking and using them too.
Can you freeze oats?
The simple answer is, YES! In almost all cases, cooked oatmeal freezes really well. Keep reading and find out my methods and tips for using this method to avoid food waste and meal prepping.
Freezing oatmeal is a great way to preserve cooked oatmeal even longer and have a great breakfast with no effort. If you have never tried it before, let me talk you through the simple steps.
How to freeze oatmeal
One of the easiest ways to freeze oatmeal is in muffin tins. For even easier removal, use silicone pans or silicone liners as I did. They are so simple to remove the cups when they are frozen. Using the tins will give you about ½-3/4 cup serving size.
- Start by cooking your oats according to the directions. Let me just say I prefer regular oats or steel-cut oats to quick oats (instant oats). They reheat better without turning into mush! Double or triple and make a big batch for freezing.
- Spoon the oatmeal into your tins or silicone cups.
- Let the oatmeal cool all the way before placing it in the freezer.
- Freeze the oatmeal until it is frozen all the way.
- Once it is frozen, remove it from the muffin tin or silicone liners. If you used a muffin pan, turn it on its side and run hot water over the bottom to loosen the cups. You can also gently pry them out with a butter knife to loosen them.
- Now you can move the individual portions to a freezer bag.
- The oatmeal will hold in these freezer bags for at least 3 months! Just be sure they are closed and most of the air removed.
How to reheat the oatmeal cups
If you plan, which I am not great at, pull the cups out the night before and let them thaw in the fridge.
When they are thawed, you can reheat them quickly. Place it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for about 30 seconds to 1 minute covered. I like to add in just a splash of milk when reheating to steam the oatmeal. You can read more about how to reheat oatmeal in this article.
Now, if you have not had the time to thaw, no problem. It will take a little longer but still reheats well. Add the frozen oats to your microwave-safe container with about 2 tablespoons of milk and cover. Microwave for about 2 minutes on high. You may need to add another 30 seconds- 1 minute.
That's it, in a matter of seconds, you will have a hot bowl of oatmeal ready to go and with no mess!
One note I have for you from experience is I like to add in about 2-4 tablespoons of milk before heating. This will add to the creamy texture. You can use cow's milk or even a plant-based milk.
Customizing your oatmeal.
I love to add extras to my oatmeal. You can mix maple syrup or brown sugar into your cooked oatmeal for sweeteners. Don't worry the oatmeal will still freeze and reheat well with the add-ins. Plain white sugar or even coconut sugar can also be used.
You can also add fresh fruit or your other favorite toppings to the oatmeal. The only caution I have for this is don't use fruits that will brown after they are cut- like apples and pears. Berries work well, especially blueberries, blackberries, etc. Mix them in and freeze them in the cups, or you can also customize each one with the fruits you love.
Nuts are a great way to get in more protein than oatmeal or even peanut butter. Mix it when it is cooking, then put it into cups. This will also freeze well.
- If you are not worried about serving sizes or individual servings, you can also freeze your oatmeal in an airtight container or a freezer bag.
- Be sure your oatmeal is cooled to room temperature before freezing. Otherwise, the oatmeal will sweat and get condensation on top.
- I do not recommend freezing in glass containers, the risk of them shattering if the oatmeal expands at all is too great. Be sure to use a freezer-safe container instead.
- You can use your choice of liquid for the oatmeal, but my favorite is a blend of almond milk and water. This produces a really creamy oatmeal I can't resist!
- For best results, be sure to cover when you are reheating.
- The easiest way to reheat it on busy mornings is to make sure to thaw it overnight first. This takes forethought but makes reheating so much easier.
Freezing uncooked oatmeal
In case you were wondering about freezing uncooked oatmeal, this can also be done.
I used to do this a lot when we lived in Texas where it is hot, humid, and filled with bugs. If you are not going to eat your oats right away, it is good to freeze them to extend their shelf life and keep them from getting infested with bugs.
Store the dry oatmeal in freezer-safe bags or zip-top bags and remove as much air as possible. The uncooked oats can also hold well in a freezer container. The oats will hold well like this for at least a year.
Raw oats freeze well and are easy to thaw and use. In fact, I don't even usually even thaw them, I just add them to the boiling water.
Freezing the oats will also help to maintain the best quality.