Making oatmeal with flaxseed adds a generous boost in nutrients to your breakfast, but also makes your oatmeal creamier and gives it a delicious nutty flavor. This oatmeal recipe is flavored simply with vanilla extract and maple syrup, but I'll share many ways you can customize your version! 100% dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan.
In the morning, I prefer cold creamy oats (aka overnight oats stuffed with fruits), but since my kids prefer steamy bowls of oats, then I find myself cooking oatmeal regularly.
Plus now that the weather is chilly, a cozy bowl of warm oatmeal is such a great way to start the day!
And oatmeal with flaxseed is one of my favorite ways to prepare it. This recipe simply combines thick old-fashioned rolled oats with ground flaxseeds, plant milk and a hint of cinnamon and vanilla extract. It is ready within 10 minutes, perfect for hungry bellies on busy mornings.
The ground flaxseed makes the oatmeal super creamy, rich and filled with a nutty flavor. Plus, there is so much goodness that comes with these tiny seeds: tons of plant-based protein, fiber and healthy omega-3 fats.
This oatmeal recipe will help you stay full all morning and you can customize it the way you want. I like it better simply flavored with vanilla and maple syrup, then garnished with fruits and nuts. But there are endless ways to make this recipe your own, such as adding fruit to the mixture while cooking, flavoring with more spices and even tossing in some chocolate chips for a treat!
Let me know if you gave it a try! ❤️
Why add flaxseed to your oatmeal
Flaxseed is an amazingly versatile health food you can add to so many of your recipes to boost them with more nutrients.
I like making a flaxseed pudding ahead of a busy week that we enjoy for breakfast, but you can also add this superfood to smoothies, baked goods, overnight oats, yogurt and like here, warm oatmeal. Flaxseed also makes for an excellent plant-based egg substitute and is not that expensive.
One tablespoon of flaxseed has:
- 1.3 grams of plant-based protein
- 2 grams of fiber (soluble and insoluble)
- 3 grams of omega-3 fatty acids (ALA)
Flaxseed also is packed with antioxidants (lignans), vitamin B, iron, folate and much more. You can find more about the health benefits of consuming flaxseed in this article from healthline.
As a side note, it is best to consume flaxseed in its ground state (flaxseed meal) as opposed to the whole seeds since its tough outer shell is hard to digest, leading to less effective absorption of nutrients.
Why you should make this recipe
- Easy and quick breakfast recipe
- Made using whole grain for a very filling and satisfying breakfast
- Comforting warm breakfast perfect for chilly mornings
- Made using only a few simple pantry-friendly healthy ingredients
- Easy to customize
- Naturally vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free
Ingredients you will need
- Rolled oats: I like the thick rolled oats for making oatmeal, this creates a nice texture that's not too mushy, plus rolled oats is loaded with nutrients. But, if you only have quick oats, then this will work too. Do not use steel-cut oats for this recipe, the ratio oats/liquid would be off and avoid instant oats, they would make your oatmeal too soft.
- Ground flaxseed: you can buy flaxseed already ground or do like me and grind your own flaxseed using a blender or coffee grinder until powdery. Once the seeds are ground, then keep them in the fridge for the best freshness (flax has lots of oil that can go rancid otherwise).
- Plant-based milk: I like oat milk for making oatmeal for its natural sweetness and creamy consistency. But, you can use almond milk (delicious nutty flavor), cashew milk (ultra creamy) or soy milk (protein-rich)
- Vanilla extract + Cinnamon: to lightly flavor the oatmeal, although you can use other spices if you wish. See below for more customization ideas.
- Sweetener: I used maple syrup, which adds sweetness but also a nice caramel-ish flavor.
- Salt: optional, but I find just a little salt enhances the overall flavor.
How to make oatmeal with flaxseed
Combine the ingredients
Combine the dry ingredients in a small saucepan (oats, flaxseed, cinnamon and salt). Then, add the water and milk and stir well to combine.
Cook on medium heat while stirring often. The mixture will thicken quickly, so simply remove it from the heat when done to your taste, about 5-7 minutes.
Then, add the vanilla extract and maple syrup, stir to combine and taste to adjust consistency and flavor.
Garnish and serve
Scoop in a bowl and then you can add a drizzle extra of milk. Garnish the flaxseed porridge with nuts and fruits and more maple syrup if you want. Enjoy!
- Watch carefully when cooking the oatmeal. You might have to lower the heat if it starts to bubble too much or stick to the bottom. Oatmeal cooks fast, so don't go too far from the stove!
- Oatmeal will keep thickening while resting. So adjust the consistency with more milk just before serving, especially if you let the oatmeal rest in the pot for a few minutes before scooping it.
- For sweeter oatmeal without having to add more maple syrup or sugar, then add some chopped dates, a mashed ripe banana or apple sauce.
Favorite oatmeal toppings
This is my favorite part: garnishing the steamy bowl of delicious flaxseed oatmeal! You can keep the oatmeal recipe very simple and only lightly sweetened it and then, top it off with all your yummy and wholesome food, such as:
- Fresh fruit: try adding berries, peaches, sliced bananas or mango. On the weekend when you have more time, you can try caramelizing some bananas or make a sweet cinnamon apple topping.
- Granola: I like adding a small handful of granola over oatmeal for a fun added crunch.
- Nuts: adds more nutrients, flavors but mostly, it adds a nice crunch to your bowl.
- Chocolate chips: my kids's favorite, obviously. If you add a few vegan chocolate chips when the oatmeal is still hot and gently stir, then it creates a swirl of chocolate. Hard to resist.
- Seeds: we love the tiny crunch from chia seeds contrasting with the creamy oatmeal. It also adds lots more fiber, protein and healthy fats. Sunflower seeds are great too.
- Shredded coconut: adds a nice tropical flavor. Pair with diced pineapple, mango or banana for a perfect match.
- Jam: we love serving oatmeal with a dollop of jam for extra sweetness. This blueberry chia jam or this cherry marmalade would be amazing!
Oatmeal is very easy to customize with more flavorful ingredients. You can have fun and try these variations:
- Chocolate: add 1-2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder to the saucepan and a little extra sweetener (cacao can be bitter) for a delicious chocolatey oatmeal.
- Matcha: you can add about 1-2 teaspoons of matcha powder (culinary grade is fine) to your oatmeal for such a yummy green tea flavor. Feel free to check out this matcha chocolate oatmeal for inspiration!
- Strawberry cream: add some fresh or frozen strawberries and a touch of vanilla coconut yogurt for a creamy sweet oatmeal. If the strawberries are frozen, you can add them first to your saucepan, cook on medium heat with a splash of water until soft, then add the oatmeal ingredients.
- Pumpkin spice: make a pumpkin oatmeal in the fall! Add ¼ cup of pumpkin purée with about 1-2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice and a small handful of pumpkin seeds for a warm and very autumn-y breakfast.
- Protein-packed: add some peanut butter, almond butter or even some protein powder for a boost in protein.
- Ultra-creamy: you can swap the regular plant milk for coconut milk for a rich and yummy oatmeal. Pair with chunks of pineapple and sprinkle shredded coconut over when serving.
Oatmeal is best when enjoyed right away as it tends to quickly thicken while resting (even after just a few minutes in the pot).
If you have more than you can eat, then store the extra in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, you will have to add a little extra milk and stir until creamy again (you can use the microwave or stove).
Can I use whole flaxseed?
I would not recommend making this recipe using whole flaxseed. The skin surrounding the flaxseed is hard to break through digestion, which is necessary to absorb all the nutrients from the seeds.
Can I use quick-cooking oats?
Yes, you can, although I personally prefer the texture of oatmeal when made with old-fashioned rolled oats: it is thicker and creamier. Quick-cooking oatmeal can be softer and lack in texture, I think.
Can I cook it in the microwave?
Yes, you can. I prefer cooking oatmeal on the stove so I can watch and control consistency, plus I can taste as I go. But the microwave is quicker and might be more convenient, which can be great if you are in a rush. Cook the oatmeal in a microwave-safe bowl for about 1 minute at a time, then stir and repeat until done.
How can I make gluten-free oatmeal?
To make your breakfast gluten-free, then make sure to use GF certified rolled oats.
More healthy oat breakfast recipes to try
- 3-Ingredient banana muffins
- Vegan baked oats
- Chocolate oatmeal bars (no bake)
- Easy turmeric oatmeal
- Vegan oat flour pancakes
- Strawberry baked oatmeal
- Oatmeal raisin bars
I hope you like this oatmeal with flaxseed recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Oatmeal with Flaxseed (Healthy Recipe)
- 1 cup rolled oats - thick old-fashioned style is best for this recipe
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed (or flax meal)
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup plant-based milk - or more to taste, I used oat milk from Oatly
- 2-3 tbsp sweetener - or to taste, I like maple syrup
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- fresh fruits and nuts - for serving, optional
- In a small saucepan, add the oats, flaxseed, pinch of salt, cinnamon, water and milk. Stir to combine and bring to a low simmer. Once it is bubbly, turn down the heat to low-medium and keep cooking stirring often for about 5-6 minutes or until thicker.
- Stir in the sweetener and vanilla extract. Add more milk if too thick and adjust sweetener if needed, then transfer to your serving bowl. Garnish with nuts and fresh fruits, enjoy!
- Storage: oatmeal is best when enjoyed right away as it thickens quickly while resting. If you have some extra, then transfer it to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, add more milk or water and stir until creamy, then use the stove top or microwave to warm up.
- This recipe is great garnished with more ingredients for a boost in texture and flavor. We love fresh fruits, nuts, peanut butter, chocolate chips, etc. You can also flavor the oatmeal mixture with cacao powder, pumpkin purée + pumpkin spices, pineapple + shredded coconut, etc. Check out the blog post for more ideas!