The 10 Greatest Instant Oatmeals for On-the-Go Breakfast

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If you don’t have time to cook traditional oatmeal in the morning, instant oatmeal is a convenient alternative. Instant oatmeal, made with whole grain oats, is also rich in the soluble fiber beta glucan, which has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease as well as helping us feel satisfied for longer.

While quick oatmeal contains entire grains, flavored instant oatmeals may have more sugar and salt than plain instant oatmeals, and some may also contain artificial additives. In this post, we discuss instant oatmeal and what you should look for when purchasing instant oatmeal. We also examine 10 of the finest instant oatmeals, both flavored and plain, to help you choose your morning oatmeal.

Best Selection

Natures Path original instant oats are our top choice for unflavored instant oatmeal that is certified organic and free of GMOs.

Budget Selection

Our budget selection is the Quaker instant oatmeal flavor variant, which is ready to eat in 90 seconds and available in a range of flavors sweetened with a plant-based sweetener.

Product Name Grade
Nature’s Path Original Instant Oats A
Quaker Instant Oatmeal A-
Bakery on Main Ancient Grains Gluten Free Instant Oatmeal A-
Better Oats 100 Calories Instant Oatmeal by Post B+
think! Protein & Fiber Hot Oatmeal A-
Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods Gluten Free Oatmeal A-
Love Grown Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal A-
Kodiak Cakes Instant Protein Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal B+
Bob’s Red Mill Organic Rolled Oats A
McCann’s Regular Instant Irish Oatmeal A-

1. ​Nature’s Path Original Instant Oats  

Highlighted Characteristics

  • Instant oats that take five minutes to cook
  • Can be served hot or used as an overnight oatmeal
  • Made with pure rolled oats and sea salt
  • Suitable for vegetarians, these oats are also Non-GMO Project Verified

Natures Path original instant oats are certified USDA organic and may be served hot or as overnight oatmeal. This oatmeal cooks in five minutes with water and comes in six packs of eight 1.7 oz pouches, with each pouch containing just pure rolled oats and a pinch of sea salt. These oats are sugar free, trans fat free, and vegetarian, as well as non-GMO Project Verified.

Since this is salted oatmeal, you may not like the taste, and you may need to experiment with boiling water to reach the consistency you enjoy.


  • Organic
  • Salted oatmeal
  • GMO-free
  • No additives


  • Needs five minutes to cook
  • As a salted oatmeal, it may not be to all tastes
  • May need to experiment with the preparation to find the right consistency for you

2. Quaker Instant Oatmeal 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • Variety box of instant oatmeal which is ready to eat in 90 seconds
  • Made with pure whole grain oats
  • This variety pack includes maple and brown sugar, apples & cinnamon, cinnamon & spice and peaches & cream
  • Sweetened with Monk Fruit extract rather than sucralose

Quaker instant oatmeal flavors include maple and brown sugar, apples and cinnamon, cinnamon and spice, and peaches and cream in a carton of 48 pouches. Composed entirely of healthy grains, all you have to do is add water, mix, and allow it stand for 90 seconds before consuming. Instead of sucralose, this oatmeal is now sweetened with a plant-based sweetener (Monk Fruit extract).

You should double-check that you got the proper varieties when ordering, and some of these tastes may be on the sweeter side for instant oatmeal.


  • Variety pack
  • Pure oats
  • Ready to eat in 90 seconds
  • Sucralose free


  • As flavored oatmeal these are sweeter than unflavored oatmeal
  • There can be a risk of receiving the wrong flavors

3. Bakery on Main Ancient Grains Gluten Free Instant Oatmeal

Highlighted Characteristics

  • An instant oatmeal made with rolled oats, amaranth, quinoa, flax and chia
  • Certified gluten free and kosher
  • Also Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Sweetened with natural cane sugar
  • Available as Blueberry Scone and other flavors

The Bakery on Main ancient grains gluten free instant oatmeal with blueberry scone taste comprises rolled oats, quinoa, amaranth, flax, and chia, as well as luscious blueberries. This gluten-free oatmeal is also kosher and Non-GMO Project Certified. It does include natural cane sugar as a sweetener, making it significantly sweeter than other oatmeals, and some customers have expressed dissatisfaction with the taste when compared to other blueberry oatmeals.


  • Ancient grain instant oatmeal
  • Gluten free
  • Non-GMO
  • Kosher


  • ​Is sweetened with natural cane sugar
  • ​Not all buyers have enjoyed this as much as other blueberry oatmeals

4. Better Oats 100 Calories Instant Oatmeal by Post 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • Instant oatmeal which contains just 100 calories and is kosher
  • Made with thick cut premium oats and flax seeds
  • Available in a maple brown sugar and other flavors
  • The pouch can be used to measure out the water

Better Oats 100 Calories instant oatmeal is available in many varieties, including maple brown sugar. This oatmeal includes flax seeds as well as thick cut quality oats. The oatmeal packets may also be used to measure out the water, and it cooks in 90 seconds. This product is also Kosher Pareve. The odd consumer did not like the flavor of this instant oatmeal, and it may be a little salty.


  • 100 calories per serving
  • Thick cut oats
  • Includes flax seed
  • Kosher
  • ​90 seconds to prepare


  • You may not be as impressed with the flavor of this oatmeal
  • This can also be on the salty side

5. think! Protein & Fiber Hot Oatmeal 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • Instant oatmeal made with rolled oats, steel cut oats and quinoa
  • Available in a range of flavors including Farmer’s Market Berry Crumble with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
  • Does not contain any artificial colors or flavors
  • One serving provides 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber
  • Kosher and Non-GMO Project Verified

The thinkThin Protein & Fiber Hot Oatmeal is made with whole rolled oats, steel cut oats, and quinoa and comes in a number of flavors, including Farmers Market Berry Crumble, which has blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. This has 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per serving, is devoid of artificial flavors and colors, and is Non-GMO Project Verified and kosher. This contains dried cane syrup as a sweetener, therefore the texture may vary from that of other varieties of quick oatmeal. You may also need to tweak the preparation time to get the desired uniformity.


  • Oats and quinoa
  • Range of flavors
  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • Non-GMO
  • Kosher


  • This oatmeal has a different texture than other oatmeals
  • The preparation time may need some adjustment
  • Is sweetened with cane sugar syrup

6. Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods Gluten Free Oatmeal 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • Certified gluten free maple oats in single serve cups
  • Made with rolled oats, organic maple sugar and sea salt
  • Each serving offers 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber
  • Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Suitable for kosher and vegan diets

One serving of Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods gluten free maple oats has 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber. This is created with certified gluten free rolled oats, organic maple sugar, and sea salt and comes in single serving cups ready to add water. Moreover, it is Non-GMO Project Certified, kosher, and vegan. You may not like the consistency of this, and some consumers believe it has more calories than other quick oatmeals.


  • Instant maple oats
  • Certified gluten free
  • GMO-free
  • Kosher
  • Vegan


  • Comes as cups rather than pouches which can take up more room on the move
  • This is higher in calories than other instant oatmeal
  • Not all buyers are as keen on the consistency

7. Love Grown Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Highlighted Characteristics

  • 2.22 oz cups of instant oatmeal that can also be used to make instant muffins
  • These are certified gluten free and are also Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Ready to eat in three minutes
  • Available in a range of flavors such as Apple Cinnamon

The Love Grown gluten free hot oats come in an eight pack of 2.22 oz cups and come in a number of flavors, including Apple Cinnamon. A cup of these gluten-free and Non-GMO Project Verified oats is ready in three minutes and has 7 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.

They are sweetened with brown sugar and, in addition to oatmeal, may be used to create a microwave muffin with an egg and some water. Some customers are put off by the fact that this oatmeal contains sugar.


  • Instant oatmeal cups
  • Gluten free
  • Variety of flavors
  • 5 grams of fiber per serving
  • Non-GMO


  • This does contain brown sugar for sweetening as well as cinnamon
  • As cups these take up more room compared to pouched instant oatmeal

8. Kodiak Cakes Instant Protein Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • Higher protein non-GMO instant oatmeal in 2.12 oz cups
  • Made with pure whole grain rolled oats this oatmeal is ready to eat in under one minute
  • One serving offers 14 grams of protein from oat, pea, milk and other proteins
  • Available in a selection of flavors

The Kodiak Cakes Oatmeal Unleashed comes in a variety of flavors, including maple and brown sugar. This quick oatmeal is prepared with pure whole grain rolled oats and comes in 2.12 oz cups. One serving of this non-GMO oatmeal has 14 grams of protein due to the inclusion of pea, milk, and other proteins and is ready in less than a minute.

Several customers were dissatisfied with the texture of this oatmeal, and you may need to tweak the cooking time to get the consistency you desire.


  • Instant oatmeal cups
  • Higher protein
  • Non-GMO
  • Ready to serve in under a minute
  • Range of flavors


  • Although GMO ingredient free, these are not Non-GMO Project Verified
  • You may not get the best consistency when following the instructions
  • This higher protein oatmeal does have a different texture to other oatmeals

9. Bob’s Red Mill Organic Rolled Oats 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • 16 oz resealable packs of whole grain rolled oats with 7 grams of protein per serving
  • Can be cooked on the stovetop or in the microwave
  • Ready to eat in four minutes
  • Kosher Pareve and certified USDA organic

Bobs Red Mill organic rolled oats are pure whole grain and ready to eat in four minutes. A serving has 7 grams of protein. These oats may be made in the microwave or on the stovetop. These 16 oz packets are certified USDA Organic, Kosher Pareve, and resealable. As rolled oats, they are smaller than other varieties of oats, and the occasional consumer has been disappointed by their blandness.


  • Whole grain rolled oats
  • 4 minute cook
  • Microwave or stovetop
  • USDA organic
  • Kosher
  • Resealable pack


  • Come in a 16 oz bag so oats need measuring out before cooking
  • Some buyers consider these oats to be bland tasting

​10. McCann’s Regular Instant Irish Oatmeal 

Highlighted Characteristics

  • An Instant Irish oatmeal made with pure whole grain oats with other added ingredients
  • Source of protein and eight vitamins
  • The oats are locally grown by Irish farmers
  • Non-GMO and kosher certified

McCanns ordinary instant Irish oatmeal is certified kosher and made with genuine whole grain oats that are non-GMO and cultivated locally by Irish farmers. This oatmeal comprises oats, oat flour, guar gum, salt, and added vitamins, making it a source of eight vitamins as well as protein.

Add sweetener to increase the taste. Some consumers have been dissatisfied since it is an instant oatmeal that does not have the same texture as normal Irish oatmeal, and many buyers add other flavorings and spices.


  • Instant Irish oatmeal
  • Whole grain oats
  • Non-GMO
  • Kosher


  • Contains a variety of other additives including salt
  • You may also have to add extra flavors or sweetener to this

Considerations When Purchasing Instant Oatmeal

Oat groats are the raw material for all types of oatmeal. These are whole grain oats with just the hard outer husk removed. Steel-cut oats are oat groats that have been sliced into two or three pieces, requiring more cooking time. Rolled oats are oat groats that have been cooked before being rolled thin and flaked. They take less time to cook than steel-cut oats.

Instant oatmeal is created from rolled oats that have been chopped into tiny pieces and pre-steamed. This implies that quick oatmeal requires less boiling time, but it lacks the texture of other forms of oatmeal and has a blander natural taste.

Oats are an annual grass that was originally farmed roughly 2,000 years ago; before to that, they grew wild or as weeds. Oats were popular in Scotland in the fourteenth century, owing to its short and rainy growing seasons. Scottish oats are made by soaking them overnight in salted water and then cooking them over low heat in the morning. In 1755, Samuel Johnson’s lexicon classified oats as a grain that is mainly fed to horses in England but is fed to humans in Scotland. There was a retort along the lines of great men and excellent horses; I’m sure you can anticipate what happened next!

A lot of civilizations utilized oats as animal fodder, and others believed that oats were sick wheat; nonetheless, oat eating grew popular in Ireland, Scandinavian nations, and Germany. Scottish immigrants brought them to America in the early 1600s, and they ultimately were a significant American crop until the 1920s, when commercial crops such as soy beans took over.

The Drawbacks of Instant Oatmeal

Several flavored instant oatmeals have a lot of added sugar, salt, and even artificial substances. Ideally, quick oatmeal should have six grams of sugar or less, although this might be difficult to obtain in flavored oatmeal.

Certain quick oatmeals may additionally include additional fiber from isolated fiber sources such as inulin. While fibers, their nutritional value is not as high as soluble fiber acquired directly from oats or other whole grains.

Calorie management, on-the-go meals, and a time-saving option, but it may also cost far more in the long term than preparing old-fashioned oatmeal at home. While quick oatmeal has benefits for rigorous portion control,

When selecting instant oatmeal, seek for oatmeal that comes in pouches or cups that may be easily recycled after use, rather than ones that include plastics.

Choose a Healthy Instant Oatmeal

Always seek for instant oatmeal produced with whole grain oats, which should be the first component on the ingredients list. A healthy option is instant oatmeal with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Not just because of the health advantages of oats, but also because additional fiber helps you remain satisfied for longer. This is particularly crucial with quick oatmeal since it digests faster than other forms of oatmeal because it is processed more to enable it to cook faster.

Old-fashioned oatmeal has a GI (glycemic index) value of 55, but instant oatmeal has a GI of roughly 83, indicating that instant oatmeal may swiftly elevate blood sugar levels. Adding additional protein or healthy fats, such as almonds or seeds, to instant oatmeal will help slow down digestion and minimize blood sugar spikes.

The best choice is always to choose natural or unsweetened oatmeal with no extra additives. You could always add a bit of cinnamon to it, which functions as a natural sweetener while also imparting a warming and spicy taste to the oats. A sprinkle of nutmeg may also be added to spice it up. A spoonful of maple syrup adds 60 calories and 16 grams of sugar to porridge!

Fresh fruit, such as berries, bananas, apples, raisins, or even dried fruits, will not only boost the nutritional value of instant oatmeal, but will also provide natural sweetness and taste. Additional options for toppings include Greek yogurt, avocado, or even a fried egg if you like savory rather than sweet oatmeal.

If your instant oatmeal includes salt, go for one with fewer than 200 milligrams of sodium per serving.

Many instant oatmeals are meant to be cooked with water, but if you like milk, using skim milk or a low fat plant milk may also help reduce the fat and sugar content of your instant oatmeal.

Gluten-free diets and oats

While oats are inherently gluten-free, they are occasionally farmed alongside wheat crops, and they are frequently processed in the same facilities as wheat and other gluten-containing cereals. If you are gluten sensitive, search for instant oatmeal that has been verified as gluten free. This signifies that the product will have a gluten content of fewer than 20 ppm (parts per million).

Why Are Oats Beneficial to Our Diets?

Oats have been utilized as a dietary grain for millennia, and their health advantages were known centuries ago. We now know that oats contain beta glucan. Beta glucan, a soluble fiber (partially dissolves in water), reduces cholesterol absorption in our digestive system as well as the quantity of bile acid reabsorbed. Since bile acid is what the body produces from cholesterol, when the body is unable to re-absorb as much bile acid, it is forced to produce new bile acids from the cholesterol circulating in the body.

This suggests that beta glucan not only decreases cholesterol absorption, but it also reduces the quantity of cholesterol in our bloodstreams. When beta glucan travels through our systems, it transports cholesterol with it. A nutritious diet that includes at least 3 grams of beta glucan per day may lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 5% to 7%. Lowering LDL cholesterol levels may assist to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Since humans cannot digest beta glucan, it improves the health of our gut microbes. Since it is a fiber, it keeps us fuller for longer and may help improve the levels of some hormones associated with appetite control.

Beta glucan consumption may also aid improve blood sugar and insulin regulation after meals, most likely by reducing interactions between food and digestive enzymes in the stomach. This inhibits glucose reabsorption and the subsequent glucose or blood sugar increases.

Beta glucan may also aid in immune support, and oats in general have been related to decrease incidence of asthma in children. Several studies discovered that children who consumed oats early in life had a decreased chance of acquiring asthma.

The FDA approved the health claim that beta glucan from oats might lessen the risk of heart disease in 1997. This claim is legal in other countries, including Canada.

Oats contain soluble fiber in addition to insoluble fiber. It is suggested that we ingest 14 grams of fiber per 1000 calories (kcal). This equates to around 25 grams of fiber for women and 28 grams for men per day. Sadly, many of us do not consume this quantity of fiber, resulting in what is now known as the fiber gap in our diets. Consuming more fiber-rich meals like oats and other whole grains is the simplest method to address the fiber gap.

Oats also include a variety of additional minerals, including B vitamins.


While quick oatmeal contains beta glucan, we discovered in this article that we need be cautious when selecting instant oatmeals. Several types have more sugars and salts than plain oatmeal, as well as artificial additives. While flavored oatmeals make a delightful breakfast, they are definitely best taken on occasion rather than everyday for some of us. Instead, a more natural instant oatmeal that is naturally sweetened makes a healthier option as part of a healthy lifestyle.

We hope you liked reading our instant oatmeal article and that you now know what to look for when choosing the finest instant oatmeal. We also believe that our instant oatmeal reviews will aid you in your future selection of instant oatmeal.

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