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Voluminous Oatmeal Trick

Do you ever wish for an overflowing oatmeal bowl?

As opposed to the measly amount you get from one serving of oats? If you answered “yes” to the above, then the Voluminous Oatmeal Trick is for you!

*Ends sales pitch*

voluminous oatmeal

What is the Voluminous Oatmeal Trick?

The idea is to add more than the recommended liquid to the oats, prior to cooking. Then you can either microwave or cook on the stovetop, but stop before all the water is absorbed. Come back the next day (or a few hours later), and all the liquid has been absorbed, leaving you with pillow-soft oats that are double the size of regular oats!

Step One: Measure out one serving of dry oats (40g). I also add 1/4 tsp salt.

voluminous oatmeal trick

Step Two: Add a little over 1 1/2 cups liquid (I add 400g).

oatmeal trick

Step Three: Microwave or cook on the stove, but stop before all the water is absorbed. (I microwave for 4 1/2 minutes, then leave in the closed microwave for 5 more minutes. You might have to watch if for the last minute, and stop and start the microwave, so it doesn’t spill over. It depends on your microwave’s wattage.)

microwave oatmeal

Step Four: Put in the fridge, uncovered. When you return the next day (or a few hours later), the watery mess above will have magically turned into 2 cups-worth of pillowy, voluminous oats! Now, I am strange and like my oatmeal cold (like pudding!). But if you want it hot, you can still re-heat the next day. Re-heat it just until it gets hot, and the volume will stay. Troubleshooting Note: Microwave wattages vary, and therefore if your oats haven’t thickened up by the next day it probably means you need to cook them longer next time.

Try this trick on any of the following:

50+ Healthy Oatmeal Recipes

Published on July 3, 2009

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
featured on The 
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Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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  1. Maria says

    Haha, Katie, I would have totally enjoyed that love letter—it’s not too weird for me ;). All those dessert pictures of tofu looks amazing. Mmmm, can’t believe that’s all tofu! Thanks for another fabulous recipe. Hope you have a lovely July 4th weekend!

  2. catherine says

    I love cinnamon too. What brand of cinnamon is that? I can’t tell from the linked picture. Thanks!

  3. mayapamela says

    That looks genius! When I first read the idea, I though ok tofu blended into cooked oatmeal I’ve heard of that, but this is really original! I’ll definitely be trying it.

  4. JB says

    oatmeal pudding?! i can’t wait to make some. anything with the word oatmeal in its name gets my attention. blueberry cheesecake oatmeal sounds particularly wonderful.

    my favorite childhood snack was a croissant with melted cheese on top. obviously i wasn’t vegan OR health-conscious as a child. haha. when i got older, my favorite after-school snack was a banana nut muffin and a glass of milk. (also pre-vegan days.) hmmm…now i want to look up a vegan recipe for banana nut muffins. yummmm.

    my 4th of july plans are to spend the day at my cousins’ house with family. we’ll probably all just swim/do fireworks/hang out/barbeque (well, i won’t be barbequing, but they will be.) hope you have a fun weekend!


  5. Katrina (gluten free gidget) says

    When I was little, I wrote an essay about how going grocery shopping at Sam’s Club and Albertsons were my favorite thing to do because of the free samples! That was my favorite after school snack. I was a little scavenger! hahahaha

  6. insideiamdancing says

    *still waiting for help retrieving my blender* 😉 I think I could live off Kozy Shack…

    My favorite after-school snack was raw mushrooms and raisins. Yes, they laughed at me 🙁

  7. jrsimon56 says

    I loved saltine cracker sandwiches. Saltines, cheese, salami, cream cheese, apples, all sorts of stuff…relates to my love of contiments and personalizing each bite 🙂
    My 4th will our final weekend living in the Big Apple. So, hopefully most of the packing will get done today, then tomorrow we’ll be chillin’ in Prospect Park picnicin’ with our best city friends. Have a great 4th and steer clear the patriotic spandex this year! Ha ha!

  8. Megan says

    My favorite childhood snack was goldfish. I loved how they made the cracker into cute smiling fish:)
    My fourth of july plans is to go to the golf course to watch the fire works with my friend visiting from out of state. I am so excited.

  9. Katharina says

    Okay.. lol my favorite afternoon snack as a child was.. lettuce or carrots with ranch dressing. I’m thinking I must’ve had a strange connection with rabbits or something?

    AND your oatmeal ideas make me want to have oatmeal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and anytime in between!

    Have a happy 4th of July girlie!


  10. Marianne says

    Looks creamy & delicious. You should still try blending oats with tofu though – uber creamy!

    Seeing as we don’t celebrate July 4th, I don’t have plans per se. Well, I am going to a pizza party in the evening, but otherwise, it’s just another weekend.

  11. t says

    I too have fond memories of rice pudding. Definitely my favorite of all puddings.

    My fourth will be spent at a wedding. (Who gets married on a holiday?!) Hope yours is a blast!

  12. Lauren says

    my fave childhood snack was either carrots and ranch dressing (not a vegan as a child obviously) or a peanut butter sandwich!
    your pudding sounds AMAZING…
    i need to make it soon!! hope you have a great 4th of july!! 🙂

  13. Jules says

    Yum, looks delicious!
    I always liked sugary snacks when I was younger (actually, I still do)…usually I could be found eating oatmeal raisin cookies or ice cream. Now I can be found eating chocolate soy ice cream or kabocha 🙂

  14. Erin says

    Fav childhood snack was ranch doritos, but Mom NEVER let me have them!

    If I liked rice pudding, I’d be all over your recipe. I guess I’ll just miss out and take your word for it, lol!

  15. Ruby Red Vegan says

    You are just a sneaky little experimenter, aren’t you?? Oh my goodness, I just know I need to try this! But it’s going to kill me waiting all those hours for killer oatmeal pudding! I know I’m crazy enough to do it though…I spend about 30-40 mins cooking up breakfast every day anyway. 🙂 You are a genius – I will never stop saying it!

  16. broccolihut says

    YUM! My dad is a total Kozy Shack fanatic, so perhaps I’ll make this for him for his bday. Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Kristie says

    I’ve tried tofu in oats before but never to THAT extent and it’s definitely never looked that good. Must try this recipe!

    I don’t even REMEMBER what my after school snacks were, how sad is that! I think celery with cheez whiz and “pizza” crackers with cheese and pasta sauce were pretty frequent after school eats though.

  18. Erin says

    MmmMMM! I’m so glad you’ve been loving that combination! So creamy and voluminous, right?
    Thanks for the mention love pie!

  19. Sünne says

    So I tried this recipe yesterday. It is really voluminous and kept me stuffed for quite a while. I think I’d use a little less water next time because my oats didn’t absorb a lot of the water.
    While I normally don’t use any sweetener in my cereals I added some maple syrup to the warmed up mix at the end.
    I’d say this really is comfort food!

  20. Mona says

    Entry for the close up giveaway photo contest!!! I want that scale soo bad!! That is nice of you to do this give away 🙂

      • Ashley says

        I love your concept of the voluminous oatmeal! I’ve also heard to double to cooking liquid and double the cooking time. Have you tried this?

        • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

          I haven’t. I’m always up for trying new ideas, though. I guess my “voluminous oat” idea is 1/2 of that equation, since it’s double the recipe. And then it cooks even after you take it out if you leave it overnight. It’s my go-to recipe for all oatmeal lately: cook the oats with double the water, then leave in fridge overnight, then add whatever you want :).

  21. Kathleen says

    I love your idea of voluminous oats. I’ve tried it before, but it has always been watery (as you said). I love your suggestion to put it in the refridgerator over night. I must try it out.

    Thanks for all of your inspiring recipes!

  22. lauren says

    Ooh…i’m excited to try this method…I usually soak my oatmeal overnight, without precooking it…they turn out pretty good…but this version sounds even more luscious. thanks!

  23. Jenn says

    Thanks Katie! I’m just curious – what brand of oats do you use?

    I just had a grainy oatmeal-“like” breakfast and your post was a good reminder to try it differently next time. Even though it wasn’t technically oatmeal, I still totally felt like it wasn’t enough while eating it. It went by way too fast, as does my regular oatmeal. I love oatmeal and I will definitely try this next time, hell maybe tonight for tomorrow, live dangerously eh?

    By the way, you’re always an inspiration for any chocolate on the agenda, and this morning was no different – I used leftover raw cacao nibs from my “Organic Superfood Mix” (way too expensive, so this was a treat) in my grainy concoction.

    I cooked my nine-grain hot cereal in almond milk and put a few bits of raw cacao in it while cooking, then transferred it to the magic bullet and added a few more bits of cacao, a couple goji berries, a little chunky peanut butter, a few frozen strawberries, a tablespoon of toasted wheat germ, and a quarter cup more almond milk, then I blended. Then I added more cacao bits and berries for texture. It was delish but still too grainy as I was trying to blend it enough to smooth out the grainy texture without turning it to liquid (which I’ve done). I thought of you because I realized I could’ve blended it longer last night and put it in the fridge overnight for a puddingish texture, but laziness got the better of me. I was still hungry when finished so I ate the rest of the cacao nibs in the bags, raw and naked, perhaps as they should’ve been eaten from the get-go. 😉

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      My favorite are the Old Wessex Irish organic oats. They come in a green container. But the other day I ran out, and I was forced to use Quaker… I actually liked them too :). The OW are still my #1, but at least I know I can survive (happily) on Quaker if need be.
      Happy Saturday, Jenn!

      • Jenn says

        Thanks!! I’ll check out Old Wessex when I run out of my grainy stuff and my Quaker packets. LOL, “Old Wessex” = OW. that doesn’t seem fair, ha.

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Ooh good question! I should edit that in my post, huh? lol I just never thought about it, because I like cold oatmeal! But yes, if you want it hot, you can still re-heat the next day. Re-heat it just until it gets hot, no longer, and the volume will stay 🙂 .

  24. Cailin @ Stir Crazy says

    I’ve been reading more about this, and your step-by-step is so simple I really need to give it a try!

  25. Bryana says

    Hi Katie,
    I clicked on the Kozyshack-Style Oatmeal Pudding link, and it directed me to this. Do you not have that recipe up anymore? If not, do you think you could maybe email it to me? 🙂

  26. Katie says

    Love the trick and here’s another: a serving of oats is 1/2 c not 1/3 c (at a mere 150 calories that aint too shabby) which in and of itself would add more volume. The types of oatmeal look so delicious must try the blueberry muffin one. I like to cook my oats with 1/2 a banana and eat the other half with almost butter while oats are cooking ; ) then top with crunchy cereal. Oatmeal is so yummy!

  27. clara says

    I usually make oatmeal another way and I always get a huge bowl of oatmeal!

    I use 1/4 Cup of oats, 1/2 cup of almondmilk or oat milk and 1/2 cup of water. I put this in a small pot and immediately add 2 Tbsp Chiaseeds, 1/2 Cup frozen blueberries and 1 banana (sliced). Then I turn the heat up quite high and wait (stirring) until it has a lovely texture. It does only take a maximum of 8 minutes and it turns out fabulously! I sometimes sweeten it with maple sirup if I am in the mood for something really sweet 🙂

    [sorry for any mistakes, I’m not a native speaker]

  28. Anonymous says

    This sounds fantanstic, who wouldn’t love a bigger bowl of oats:) I like banana in my oats, would you recommend cooking it in with the oats the night before or in the morning when you reheat it?

      • Emma says

        Oops didn’t mean to be anonymous:) Thanks, plan on trying it out tonight. And cold oats are totally yummy, not weird at all.

  29. Elizabeth A. says

    I just tried this and it’s still in the fridge, but it’s working!!!! I’m so excited! I love oatmeal, but the portion is too small and I am watching my weight. 1/3 cup is even less than I normally eat:)

  30. Emma says

    Have made this the last few nights and have been experimenting on combos. This morning I layered the oats in the jar with peanut flour sauce, strawberry jam & frozen strawberries. A yummy cold parfait…thanks for the recipe.

  31. Veronica says

    I tried the voluminous oat trick last night and am enjoying my bowl right now! I love it! I first tried this idea with Hungry Girl’s “grow your oatmeal” trick but she said to cook the oats with all that liquid until it was thick and that took forever. Like 15-20 minutes! I like your way much better! I didn’t do anything fancy, just used half water, half Silk coconut milk and stirred in some flax seeds an nuts today. And I’m eating it cold so if you’re crazy, I’m joining the team! 🙂

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      The highest ratio of water-to-oats I’ve tried with quick oats is 300g water to 1/3cup (40g) quick oats. Microwave 3 minutes, then leave in microwave 5 minutes, then fridge uncovered. This works well… but I haven’t tried quick oats with more water than that. If you do, I’d love to know how it works!

      • Nikki says

        I have tried it with quick oats. Volume-wise, it still works… but don’t expect much in the way of ‘fluffiness’ or texture (apart from goopy – which as terrible as it sounds, is sometimes nice). I find I enjoy blending this up after it is done more than eating as is.

  32. Amanda says

    After 3 tries, I finally got the hang of it! We bought a 5lb bag of oats last week and my wife promised to eat oatmeal if I made it for her. Now 1/2 cup make breakfast for two, supplemented by her necessary toast and my fruit/nuts.

    I concocted a new flavour today: gingerbread! After cooking the oats, I added a generous drizzle of molasses, a pinch of salt, and a generous pinch of ground ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg! Yummy, especially topped with pecans! 🙂

    Thanks for the vegan inspiration! It’s nice to see someone else takes a second breakfast… I find I need one after a 40-minute bike ride to school in the morning!

  33. Glenda says

    omg Katie! I tried this last night, and as i type this im sitting with my big ‘ol bowl of oatmeal! It is way to much and I’m too full to finish it! Haha but thank you for the awesome recipe!:)

  34. Kayla (Little Miss Healthify) says

    I have tried this a few times now and it never works for me!! I follow you instructions exactly, and I just have a big watery mess in the morning.

    Also, Carrie (movesnmunchies) told me she doesn 1/2 cup oatbran + 1.25 cups water, and I tried that and still didn’t work for me, overflowed and had a big mess in the microwave!

    I’m thinking that maybe my microwave is just more or less powerful than yours, or something! I don’t know!

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Wow, that is so weird :(. Over 100 people have left comments or trackbacks or emails about that post and you seem to be the only one for whom it doesn’t work :(. I have no idea why! Maybe it’s your fridge? Or where you live? I really don’t know, because I’ve used the trick all over the US and it even worked in my dad’s old microwave. I;m so sorry!

    • Emma says

      I have had to be careful about mine overflowing in the microwave. I usually use a huge bowl & still keep an eye on them. But that’s because my microwave is powerful & somehow got locked where I can’t change it to a lower setting.

      Last night I did 1/3 cups oats + 1 1/3 cup water for 3 minutes, let cool for like 5 minutes, then stirred in a tbsp of chia seeds and let them sit overnight. In the morning I added 1/2 container Strawberry Oikos with fresh strawberries and almond butter. It was one of the most filling breakfast I have had in a long time. Almost couldn’t finish it…almost 😀

  35. Jamie @ snacktress says

    I just put mine in the fridge and can’t wait to dig in tomorrow morning. I’m such a volume eater so this is gonna be awesoooome 🙂 Thanks!

  36. Mandaaa says

    When you say that you stop cooking it before all the water is absorbed do you mean as in almost all the water is gone or the oats have puffed up because I waited for most of the water to be absorbed but I ended up overcooking it and the next morning it was like a pudding that completely gelled together into one big jelly.

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      I’ve actually never done this on the stovetop, only in the microwave. When I stop cooking, it is still VERY liquidy (as shown in the photo). Also, I like cold oatmeal so I usually don’t re-heat it the next day.

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      It actually depends on what brand you’re using. For example, quaker rolled oats are 40g to a 1/2 cup, but old wessez 40g is only 1/3 cup. For 40g of oats, I use 400g water, so for 60g of oats (which would be 2/3 old wessex), try using 600g water. But you’ll have to find a huge dish… and I think you’d have to microwave longer too. So you’ll have to experiment!

  37. Bella says

    Hey katie, if wont go bad uncovered right?
    Also, im using stove top (no microwave dont ask y lol) and theres a white foam ..?

  38. Tiffany says

    Every time I try the trick, my oats never absorb all the liquid: they’re a watery mess! Too soupy. Is it possible to under-cook the oats which result in soup?

      • Tiffany says

        I used two kinds: Bob’s Red Mill steel cut and rolled oats. The rolled oats was the one I wrote about. I used about 1/4 cup oats to 1 cup water and microwaved it for 2 minutes (any more than that and it’ll boil over/dry up ) and the oats, though there were “alot,” was pretty soupy. Now the steel cut oats were tougher. In short, I just don’t know how long to cook the steel cut oats for ( the rolled oats too), because if there’s water left they look undercooked, so after they sit I nuke them again, but then there’s little water left and there’s little change in volume. Gah! I just want voluminous oats without raw oats and soupy-ness!

          • Tiffany says

            Yes ma’am! I will try again tonight! Why won’t steel cut oats work? It kind of doubled in volume for me but I think it’s because I heated the water separately then added the oats. I just don’t know if they’re properly cooked or not ( I’m new to them).

          • Tiffany says

            Ahh it worked! I think I microwaved it a bit too much because the resulting oats looked a bit dry, but a little extra milk made it perfect! I had a huge bowl of carrot cake oatmeal. Howeveeer I’m not a fan of the mushiness of rolled oats so I experimented with steeI-cut oats.The process is longer than the rolled oats since I had to heat the water prior to adding the oats, and I also had to stir and cook it again, BUT it was a success! My oats doubled in size! Now I enjoy my chewy oatmeal. Thank-you! I now have an (un)healthy obsession with oatmeal.

  39. Jenni says

    Your recipes are wonderful! I have been thoroughly enjoying your voluminous ice cream (with peanut butter yum!) Just wondering… I don’t do the best on oats but use amaranth sometimes… could this recipe be adapted using amaranth flakes? If so do you have any recommendations?

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      The only way to find out is to try! I do know that it will work (slightly adapted) with spelt flakes, but that kamut flakes won’t absorb enough of the water. But I’ve never tried amaranth. If you do try it, let me know!

      • Mike says

        Don’t you find when you microwave them for 4.5 minutes your oats are overflowing in the pan? even with 1/4 tsp salt it still does this for me. Any suggestions?

        • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

          I use a tall pyrex, and I microwave 3.5 minutes without watching at all. After that, I microwave a minute more, watching very closely! If it starts to overflow (which sometimes happens when there are around 20 seconds to go), I open the microwave very quickly and then keep microwaving in ten-second increments, stopping and starting again after the oats go back down. Then I leave it in the closed microwave for 5 minutes before transferring to the fridge.

  40. Erin says

    man . . .I can’t til I get paid so I can try this!

    Also, this is completely irreverent, but I love your blog. I am 5’4 and weigh about 135 or 140, and am somewhat overweight. I have struggled with various diets, starved myself for days, abused laxatives to such a degree that my digestive system no longer works correctly, and to no avail. However, I realized I was merely trying to make myself look ‘skinny’, as to please others, and didn’t care how I felt. I now realize that that was my problem. I walk nearly 10 miles a day now, do over 300 jumping jacks, eat healthier whenever I can, I still haven’t lost much weight, but I feel much better about myself.

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Aww Erin, thank you so much for this comment! Sometimes (a lot of times!) I get bogged down in caring about what others think of me (and my weight) and I need to remember that it really isn’t important what others think. YOU are the only one who needs to be happy with you. I’m so glad you’ve learned that… I need to learn it too. You can’t ever please everyone, so you have to be healthy for you. Thanks for the reminder 🙂 :).

    • Melissa says

      Tardy to the party here… you’re not overweight. At all.
      I am the same height about around 130-135 and my BMI is 22ish.
      22 is super healthy. You aren’t overweight until you hit 25.1 or higher.

      You are technically, scientifically a very healthy weight for your height.
      Just saying. It freaks me out to hear someone my size saying they are overweight.
      I’m a size 4! You must be similar. That’s not overweight! 😉 I also have EDNOS tendencies and yeah, you’re not overweight. Neither am I. (need to chant this to myself now since seeing my stats linked to “overweight” triggered the hell outta me!)

  41. Edward says

    Oh my gosh! I do the EXACT same thing! 😀
    Add more water, fridge overnight and eat next morning.
    Guilt free binging!

  42. judice says

    aww that sound awesome! gotta try but ive just got millet flakes @ home… do you think those might do it as well?

  43. Teresa says

    I love your recipes. I am trying to reduce sugar intake while still getting my “sweet tooth” fix, and I love your voluminous oatmeal with fruit for the sweet factor.
    But for those of use watching sodium, does the salt help with the volume or is it just a taste thing?

  44. margot says

    This just makes me so sad. If you want a “voluminous” bowl of oatmeal, just double the serving. Put whatever you want in your bowl. How weird to have a size trick regarding oatmeal of all things! Of all the ways there are to watch calories and portion size, I certainly don’t think oatmeal is critical. Food tricks like this make me worry about fostering women’s eating disorders.

    • Jenny says

      That’s great for you, honestly, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Some people don’t WANT to eat that much at once and some people may not be able to eat that much at once and lose weight. The way I make this (with soy milk, a full banana, and two tablespoons of peanut butter) I’m already at 550 calories. That doesn’t even include side items like extra fruit or a smoothie. I don’t really need the extra oats, but I love the texture.

      I’m not currently working on losing weight, but if you’re eating 1500 calories per day to lose weight (a number that is totally reasonable and can be healthy) then a 550 calorie breakfast is just fine. 700 might be pushing it. It’s all up to the individual. I think if you want extra food, you should add extra oats. If you don’t want extra food, but you do want the texture etc., then there’s no harm in trying this.

      I totally agree that we need to be careful about things like body image and eating disorders, etc. but there’s nothing wrong with making an old favorite in a new way. Just my two cents. I don’t feel like she’s framing it in an unhealthy way. I definitely don’t think it’s something to be sad over.

  45. Moni says

    This was soo helpful. Oatmeal used to never satisfy me but after this trick it really is never ending . I love it!

    P.S. I love your blog

  46. Jasmin says

    I just discovered your website. It’s so great, i love your recipes! I’m from Germany, so some ingredients
    I can’t find in our supermarket, e.g. coconut butter. Anyway, I want to try looooooots of recipes!

    I love oats and just prepared the voluminous oatmeal trick for tomorrow’s breakfast. Already curious about the outcome ^^

  47. Jasmin says

    it’s soooo awesome! Just enjoying it right now! I added rasberries and , cinnamon and cocoa powder. deeeeeeeeeeeeelicous!

  48. Chris says

    I am a relatively new reader and really enjoy reading your recipes. Hope I get to try more of them very soon! You may have heard about this but I do something similar and it really makes my oats stretch and (according to some) makes them more healthy too. I soak my oats overnight according the the Nourishing Traditions way (see book with the same name) with an acid like yogurt, whey, or apple cider vinegar. This makes them quick and easy to cook and really increases their volume and digestibility.

    I also wanted to tell you I made a 4x batch of your apple cinnamon boatmeal for our family yesterday. They worked great in a regular muffin pan when we baked them. I think it made 10. Since I used soaked oats I just drained them out little and didn’t add any milk or water just applesauce, rapadura, vanilla, and cinnamon.

    Thanks and keep up the good work! 🙂

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Hi Chris!
      Thanks for the fun comment… I’ve never actually tried soaking my oats, but maybe I should because I know a lot of people say it adds a fun flavor and texture.
      And thanks for letting me know that the boatmeals work in muffin tins. Someone actually asked me that yesterday, and I didn’t have an answer because I hadn’t tried it!

  49. Rachel says

    Hi Katie,

    You could also just add more oats! 1/3 cup isn’t even a full serving, a half a cup is! But with your metabolism, you could even double that. Then you’d REALLY have voluminous oats! It would probably keep you full for longer too, since you aren’t filling up on water. I am trying to gain weight as well, and a piddly 100ish calories for breakfast definitely won’t help us, haha! Oh, and you could also make them with milk instead to make them even creamier. (and extra healthy calories). I know that you said you would like to gain weight the healthy way, and oats are healthy AND delicious! So eat up girl! 🙂

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Hi Rachel,

      LOL I would never eat just 1/3 cup oats for breakfast ;). I run a blog where a lot of my readers are looking to fill up for fewer calories, and so I often try to include lower-cal ideas for them. But it doesn’t mean I, myself, use these ideas. Personally, I usually DO eat 1 and 1/2 servings of oats (as I wrote in my Snickerdoodle Oatmeal post I published awhile back). And I always have nut butters and other such things with my oats as well. I eat huge breakfasts :).

      (Same goes for my other recipes– for example, I offer applesauce as an option for some of my recipes, but I usually use the oil option when cooking for myself.)

  50. Judy @ JudiBakes says

    I tried this trick for the first time & I am in LOVE!!
    I was skeptical, how can 40g of oatmeal make a bowl full??
    My mom always made a pan full of oatmeal with just one cup of oatmeal but she let it slow cook in the slow cooker for hours.
    It always tastes sooo good!! way better than microwaving oats with milk & then eating it right away.
    This is easier and quicker (well it has to sit, but you can make it the night before & its done when you wake up!) It’s so creamy (and i used 1/2 water, and 1/2 milk with 1 tbsp of non dairy creamer)
    I will be using this trick way more!! It fills you up too!!
    I’m not vegan, but I love all your recipes & I will feature this recipe on my blog with a link to yours.

  51. Victoria says

    Won’t the oatmeal absorb all the taste from the fridge? I’ve tried this today and it was all watery and not very yummy. My dad covered it though, so it wasn’t in the fridge uncovered, is it because of that?

  52. Katy says

    This method is AMAZING with some added cocoa powder and sweetener/sugar! The chocolate gets extra-melty and it’s like eating a molten chocolate oatmeal cake for breakfast. Mmmmmm nothing wrong with that…

  53. Sara says

    Hey Katie! Love your recipes- they’ve changed my life! Quick question. If you cook the voluminous oatmeal overnight, how do you incorporate it to all the oatmeal recipes in the morning. I specifically want to try it with the 5 minute chocolate oatmeal. Any help would be great! Thanks:)

  54. Erin says

    Hi! I know this is an older post, but I just found your website a few days ago. I cannot tell you how amazing this tidbit is for me! I always had a love/hate relationship with oatmeal. I’ll like it for awhile but then I just can’t stand it. However, I always made it that morning..and after awhile I just can’t eat it anymore. I don’t even care about the volume. Doing this makes it so creamy and amazing that I feel like I’m eating something bad for me! No wonder you like it cold like pudding, because it tastes so sinful you’d think it is. In this form I don’t even want sugar in it anymore!

  55. Angela says

    Cant wait to try your oatmeal recipe! I love oatmeal and I also eat it cold not only because I think it taste better but I seem to have a problem with reflux if I eat it hot but it never bothers me when I eat it cold. I thouought I was weird also eating my oatmeal cold. Glad to know I’m not the only one who likes cold oatmeal. Thanks for all the great recipes!! sooo glad I found you!!

  56. Sabrina says


    I’ve tried this recipe 6 times now but I can’t seem to get it right. Granted, the first three times I was using quick oats, so that explains that mess-up. But I’ve tried rolled oats and followed the directions as you said, except, that on the back of my rolled oats it said to cook for 5-6 min. on 50% power, so I cooked them on 50% power for 4:30 minutes and the oats were extremely watery in the fridge when I came back the next day. Should I be cooking them for 4:30 minutes on full power instead? (Just FYI I’m using Wegman’s brand rolled oats, )

    The directions for Quaker rolled oats in the microwave are as follows:
    Combine water, oats and salt in medium microwaveable bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes. Stir before serving.

    The directions for Wegman’s brand rolled oats in the microwave are as follows:
    Cook for 5-6 min. on 50% power.

    Should I just try using the Quaker rolled oats (not quick) and cooking them in the microwave on regular power for 4:30 minutes? (who knew rolled oats could differ among brands so much???)

  57. Sabrina says

    Please ignore my previous ridiculously long comment.

    Ok so I just realized I’m a dummy and the point is to cook the oats fully and then some to absorb some of the extra water and I’ve pretty much been doing the exact opposite. Tomorrow I will go out and buy my third tub of oats (Quaker) and follow your directions exactly. Please let me know if I got it right this time!

    I wish I hadn’t wasted all those oats! I would’ve gladly eaten them except that I’m on ww and I’m pretty sure they discourage eating your weight in oats.

  58. Camie says

    I am soooo impressed by you! Whenever I click on a great idea on Pinterest….guess who’s blog I am redirected to! Thank you for sharing your ideas. I am new to the “healthy” eating. I went to the Dr. and found that I am in basically good shape other than my cholesterol is slightly high…it inspired me to get healthy! I am right around the corner! I love this idea and the cold oatmeal in the fridge. (along with many more you have) I had some cold oatemal with pineapple reminded me of rice pudding 🙂

  59. sam says

    hey katie! i try theese oats all the time bc i love oats and who wouldnt want to eat a gigantic bowl! however i cant seem to get this to work! it never absorbs all the water any tips or ideas?

      • sam says

        i will def give this a tr! thank katie! LOVE YOUR BLOG! your seriously amazing! such an inspiration! youve helped me in more ways than you know. your helping me on my road to recovery and getting over my fear of healthy fats! thanks so much for everything

  60. Rosa says

    Hello Katie,

    I just wanted to say thank you for your voluminous oatmeal trick. I couldn’t get the microwave method to work for me becaue it kept spilling over in my microwave! Instead, I did your alternative approach and heated it up at a low boil for 4-5 minutes, then let it sit for the 5-10 you suggested. The outcome is such a nice, substantial portion that the extra bit of effort is definitely worth it! I have enjoyed skimming through your website and look forward to trying your other recipes! Your pleasant and enthusiastic approach towards healthy eating is very contagious. I will be visiting regularly for that reason. =)

  61. Lauren says

    It doesn’t seem to work for me… I put it in the microwave, but it doesn’t seem to absorb all of the water. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

      • Lauren says

        Normally I cook my oatmeal for 2 1/2 minutes in the microwave, but that didn’t work. I think there was too much water left. Then I cooked it for 4 1/2 minutes and it had absorbed more water, but still the next morning hadn’t absorbed enough water.

  62. Sheliza says

    I’m a new visitor to your blog and must say I can’t get enough of the wonderful recipes you have concocted! I am currently in the process of making this oatmeal recipe with peanut butter and banana for dinner tonight (my hubby has taught me that breakfast for dinner = the spreading of warm, ooey, gooey comforting feelings throughout body). Thanks for such great recipes and keep up the excellent work!

  63. Beth says

    Wow – tried this for breakfast (left the pats soaking overnight) and it produced the biggest bowl of delicious oatmeal, took me forever to eat and filled me right up! Usually I am always tempted by a second bowl! This is going to become my new breakfast ritual!

  64. Leila says

    hey katie! i’ve tried this trick a gazillion times though it never seems to turn out the way it should be. i’d do as instructed and when i take the oats out of the microwave it would still have excess liquid so i’d put it in the microwave an extra minute or 2 and it’d come out still not liquid-free! and the oats would get jello-ey the next morning after refrigerating (uncovered). help!

  65. m says

    Thank you so much for this fantastic way of preparing oats!! I’ve tried this recipe before, unsuccessfully ): and was just about to give up when I decided to try it in the microwave rather than the stovetop – perfect!! Creamy, fluffy oats, and a huge bowl of them too! I think everyone should definetly try making it in the microwave because thats what makes the oats so fluffy. Also, I omitted the salt and they turned out fine!! This was fantastic!!!!

    • Dana Ottaviani says

      Could you please tell me what you did in order to not use any salt, I’d rather not use any at all in order to make this delicious recipe.

  66. Nikki says

    Hey Katie, have you tried this using other grains, such as barley flakes, a mixed grain cereal, millet, buckwheat, etc.? Or what about oat bran?

    • Nikki says

      Quick follow-up (#1)
      I used this trick on an 8-grain flake blend and it seems to have worked… I haven’t eaten it yet, but I can tell by how it feels and looks that it will be good…. only problem I had was my discovery of ‘the coldest spot in my fridge’ leading to my creation being partially frozen. Ha! Oh well, this babby is destined to not only be voluminous, but also blended!! Double CCK-oatmeal-trick goodness! (Will be blending with a banana and some peanut flour…. and if I’m feeling generous, some raspberries too… though I might want to hold off on those so that they are extra special in my pancakes I am also making today!!)
      If Only I didn’t feel guilty about eating so many grains…. I try not to, but I can’t seem to let myself have them more than twice a day before feeling like it is unhealthy…. I think I need to work on this!!

  67. Nick Topete says

    Hey Katie,

    I love all your oatmeal recopies! They make breakfast so much more fun. I just had a question about the Voluminous Oatmeal recipe. I was just wondering if you have ever used milk or if the trick only works with water? Because I have tried it twice and I don’t think I got it to work. The first I tried with with all whole milk, and the second, half whole milk half water and the same result. Maybe I am doing something else wrong? Thanks!

  68. Esmer says

    I was wondering… since microwaves (and cooking times) vary so much, could you cook the oats normally so you know they’re done, then heat up and add the extra water?

  69. Rita Santos says

    Hi Katie! Firstly, I would liek to say that I LOVE your blog and cannot wait to try out more of these delicious recipes! Now what I wanted to ask you is regarding the water absorsion of the oats, because I have tried this out today and my oats have been in the fridge for about 8 hours and I just checked on them and most of the water has been absorbed and they have thickened up a bit on the bottom but there is still quite a bit of water on the top. So I don’t think it will fully absorb until tomorrow morning, so what can I do different next time for them to come out perfect? Oh and I used 40g of oats with 400g of water and added a pinch of salt and a tsp of brown sugar; then microwved it in Medium for about 4 minutes, and then another 5 minutes more. Then I put it in the fridge, uncovered, until now and till tomorrow morning. Continue on with the awesome blog!

    Rita 🙂

  70. Melody says

    Hey katie! Before I try this, do you only cook the oats 4 1/2 minutes and let it sit in the microwave for 5 minutes with no heat? Or do you continue to cook for 5 minutes.

  71. marta says

    Weird question – but is there any way to make “bulk” voluminous oats. I’ve become obsessed and make them almost every night! Would love to save some time by making a big batch for a week?? is it possible??

  72. janelle says

    You are a brilliant lady!!
    i just tried this trick!
    With 25g of oats + 1 cup of water, microwave for 3 mins (it did overflow cause i didnt check on it neither did i cover it, but no fuss for a little clean up), waited for 5mins before opening the microwave, dumped it into the fridge. And just half an hour before i tuck in, i put it into the freezer cause i like it extra cold!

    Topped it off with your mashed banana sweetener trick, together with thinly sliced apple and a dash of cinnamon, vanilla protein (to boost the protein) and flaxseed meal (to make it more filling and sticky, i mean the oatmeal was already super creamy anw).

    Absolutely stunning meal for breakfast! (okie i had it for lunch actually but still)
    Im so thankful 🙂

  73. Sunrunner says

    Katie, thank you so much for all of your yummy, nutritious and nurturing recipes. I have been recovering from an eating disorder for three years now and your website has been one of the gifts that has contributed to my continued path of recovery. Re-teaching myself to listen to, feed and nurture my body has been the most difficult part of my recovery–angels like you are one of the main reasons why I have not had a major relapse. Thank you so much for your awesome blog. You’re such an inspiration!

  74. Ivy says

    My oats exploded for the second day in a row in the microwave, so I google trick to microwaving oats. And your post came up–and I already follow you so duh! Anyway, I made the oats yesterday after work, and had a delicious breakfast this morning. Thank you so much! I still think the oats would probably cook better on the stove top, so maybe I’ll try that today. Any difference if you use steel-cut oats? I have those, too, and it would be nice to use them.

  75. Chrissy says

    I know I’m tardy to the party, but do you have to heat/microwave first? You can just put it all in the fridge?

  76. AJ says

    Hi Katie,

    Wonderful trick with the oats! I tried this for the first time last night, and it worked wonderfully. I was able to make a delicious, over-flowing bowl of your “Chocolate-Raspberry Truffle Oatmeal” with the “Voluminous Oatmeal” which kept me full and energized until lunchtime. Thanks for the great idea!

  77. Alecia says

    Hi Katie!
    I’ve tried this trick so many times without success (didn’t absorb the liquid) but finally, today I succeeded!!! Turns out that the maximum volume of water my oats can absorb is 1 cup :p
    However I got a question for you, when I add the sweetener/jam/pb in the morning, I couldn’t really taste it! I stirred in 2 tbs of pb but could only tasted a tiny bit of it. What should I do? Even though the volume is WONDERFUL, I don’t want my oatmeal to taste like nothing but in fact packed with calories. Any advice? Thank you in advance!

  78. Amanda says

    Heyy Katie 🙂
    May I ask you something? The thing is… If you’d like to gain some weight, why do you make the oats with water at all? As for what I see, you would have no reaons to not use milk, and you have said you prefer it 😛 i have thought this because of this very post, but also because of the “never ending oatmel bowl”, in which you state the milk makes it muuch creamier, but you use still half water half milk.
    Just wondering… Don’t get me wrong though, you have the right to eat whatever you want 🙂

  79. Dana Ottaviani says

    I just tried this last night and it wasn’t very successful for me. I used 1/2 cup of Country’s Choice Organic Multigrain (rolled oats), and a little over 1 1/2 cup of water in a tall measuring cup, I microwaved it the amount of time you did and had absolutely no problem with it spilling over (it didn’t even reach the top of the cup). It still looked like a watery mess, but after I left it in the fridge overnight uncovered, it wasn’t “2 cups of pillowy voluminous oats.” I did not add any salt, was it necessary? The amount just seems like too much to me.
    Could you please help me?

      • Dana Ottaviani says

        I read it over too many times to count, was it because I left out the salt? After I microwaved it for 41/2 min, did I have to microwave it for another 5 min? I thought that “leave it in” meant to let it sit in the microwave with the door closed without microwaving it again. Could you please just tell me what I need to do, please?

  80. Rebecca says

    I have been meaning to try your “voluminous oats” recipe for a looong time now (clearly–since the recipe is from 2009 and it is now 2013!).

    However, I seem to be missing something. In the post, you write that the trick is to increase the regular amount of liquid by 1 1/2. However, when you are listing ingredients/amounts within the post, you say to use 1 1/2 cups water/liquid.

    1 1/2 times the regular amount would obviously be more than 1 1/2 cups!

    Can you clarify?

  81. Winter says

    This is amazing! Thank you!!!! Do you have a recommendation to make this in bulk (like in a crock pot)? I tried & failed miserably.
    Making one portion at a time isn’t too much trouble but I prefer to bulk cook for the week.

  82. Elaina Ryan says

    Hey Katie,

    Ive tried this trick many times and I love it! I also love putting banana in my oatmeal so when I make oatmeal the regular way I smash up the bananas and put them in during the cooking process. So today I did that with this but using this trick and when I went to put it in my fridge I realized that when I put banana in my fridge it makes the fridge smell and everything in it taste like banana ( I am in college so I have a mini-fridge so thats why it does this to the fridge) What would happen if I covered the oatmeal? I don’t have to make everything in my fridge have that banana taste.

  83. Stefanie says

    Another way to make creamier, puffier, oatmeal is to cook it is an electric steamer (like a rice cooker). It is now my favorite way to cook my oatmeal. 1/2 cup oatmeal to 1 cup of water and 30 minutes in the steamer. I own a 2 tier steamer so I can use the bowl that came with it or my own bowl. I set it before leaving for my workout and it is ready when I come home. I use different add ins depending on my mood that day. Add ins that I have used are 1 TBSP brown sugar or 1 serving size container Greek yogurt (plain or with fruit) or coconut oil. When I want crunch I had a 1/2 serving of granola on top. Sometimes I had in a 1/3 cup of raisins or craisins with the dry oatmeal and it steams right along. No adjustment on the water is necessary.

  84. Anthony says

    Hi ! I looooove this trick, I use it all the time now!

    I’ve been using plain, dry Quaker oats from the big cylinder. I’m wondering if this trick would work for the instant oatmeal packs as well? My thought is no, since those cook in about 1-2 minutes, but maybe with the excess water it would be okay? Perhaps there’s a similar tweak to get your instant oatmeal packs to expand a similar way??


  85. Samm says

    I tried this for the first time yesterday and I loved it so much I’m making it again for tomorrow! 🙂 I used your cinnamon raisin recipe, and added a little maple syrup! Soooo good and perfect for a humid summer day!!

  86. Tonya says

    I’ve used this trick the past three mornings and LOVE it!! I’ve been making (and loving) overnight oats (with raw oats and Greek yogurt) for years, but this takes it to a whole new level! What I’ve always liked about overnight oats is the pudding-like consistency — this just doubles that! 🙂 Now, I add in my Greek yogurt to this voluminous mix right before eating and it makes it nice and creamy. So far, I’ve done cherry-chocolate-almond, peanut butter-banana, and apple-cinnamon-peanut butter. Thanks, Katie!

  87. Sheri says

    This question is for “Chocolate Covered Katie”,
    What is your wattage for your Microwave to cook this recipe?
    “Step Three: Microwave or cook on the stove, but stop before all the water is absorbed. (I microwave for 4 1/2 minutes, then leave in the closed microwave for 5 more minutes. You might have to watch if for the last minute, and stop and start the microwave, so it doesn’t spill over. It depends on your microwave’s wattage.)”?

  88. Emily says

    I do the same thing all the time, completely by accident, but much more rapidly. Add extra water, and microwave until the edges start to bubble up, stir, microwave again until bubbling, repeat until it’s as thick as you like. Usually takes about 6 minutes, including stir time

  89. Hannah says

    Hi Katie!
    I was just wondering, would a recipe like this work if you blended the oats after they had soaked? I mean, would they still be voluminous if you used them in something like the peanut butter breakfast pudding? Thanks!

    • Marloe says

      Hi Hanna, I just mentioned that we both asked the same question but didn’t receive an answer so far. Did you already tried? And does it work?

  90. Lizzie says

    Hi, I just found your blog and tried the cookie dough baked oatmeal ( delish!) and I was wondering is you could do this trick ahead of time with the oats, then put the 2 cups that “magically” appeared into a bigger ramican and bake it with the same amount of sweetener and time as the cookie dough baked oatmeal? or do you believe it would not work?

    • Marloe says

      Hi Hanna, I just mentioned that we both asked the same question but didn’t receive an answer so far. Did you already tried? And does it work?

  91. Natalie R says

    This is a game changer.. I love overnight oats for the simple fact that I can prepare them the night before. Something I don’t like? I lose the volume and softness of regular cooked oats. THIS is the recipe I’ve been missing – I used 1 1/4 cup water with 1/2 cup oats and microwaved for 4 1/2 minutes.. rest overnight and all the liquid was soaked up. Thank you, thank you, thank you! A 2009 recipe still changing lives in 2016 🙂

  92. Rachel says

    This doesn’t work for me.

    What am I doing wrong.

    Other oats just don’t soak up all the fluid (almond milk) even after 24 hrs straight.


  93. Marloe says

    Did you already tried this with blended oats so it turnes out smooth? And do you think it’s possible to turn it into baked oats by baking it in the oven the next morning?

    Thank you! 🙏🏻

  94. Jo says

    I know this recipe was posted years ago but I still have to say it’s one of my favorite breakfast recipes. I love pats for breakfast and this is so much more filling then my usual. I also like to add chia seeds and frozen fruit on top when I pull it out of the microwave, in the morning I add protein powder. So delicious and filling!

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