This is the only recipe for oatmeal you will ever need. I didn’t think I even needed a recipe — I’d always just thrown some oats and water together in a pot and let them boil until the oats broke down into a porridge. But this… this is what oatmeal should be. Soft yet chewy, this oatmeal is good warm or at room temperature, and requires little fuss — a dash of cinnamon, some maple syrup, perhaps a handful of crumbled walnuts if you want to add a bit of crunch.

The process might initially seem somewhat fussy (an extra tablespoon of water? 7 minutes?), but after trying these oats for the first time you’ll understand: Every step has its purpose. I didn’t think it was possible to reimagine such a tried-and-true breakfast (and late night snack), but Megan Gordon somehow did it.

  • coconut oil
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup milk, such as almond or hemp
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. water
  • pinch of salt and cinnamon

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add a spoonful of coconut oil and swirl till melted. Add oats and stir frequently with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes, careful not to burn.

While the oats are toasting, bring the milk, water, salt, and cinnamon to a slow boil over medium heat. Megan suggests using a bigger pot than the amount of oats would usually call for. You can try it both ways — I’ve used both a bigger and a smaller pot; which one I choose is largely a matter of which one’s available.

Once the water is at a boil, pour in the toasted oats and stir a couple times just to incorporate them. Cover and remove from the heat, and set the timer for 7 minutes. Yes, 7 minutes. It’s magic, so no peeking. Busy yourself with something else and those 7 minutes will fly by. Uncover and fluff with a spoon. I usually eat the oatmeal straight from the pot, taking just enough time to sprinkle with cinnamon and add a shot of maple syrup.

Adapted from The Very Best Oatmeal in Megan Gordon’s Whole Grain Mornings