Make Ahead Vanilla Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Some mornings I crave oatmeal but I don't have the time or the ingredients handy to make my own, and I'm not crazy about some of the packaged varieties. This Make Ahead Vanilla Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal is perfect for hectic mornings or for grabbing something hot on the go. 

This recipe is great for sending off with your college kids, busy mornings at home or any time you need a quick and hearty breakfast! Be sure to Pin it for future use.

First, let me give credit where credit is due! This is not a sponsored post but I did adapt it from Kraft Recipes, so if you want to see the original, well, there ya go.

This is a recipe that makes mini portions of oatmeal that you freeze ahead of time and then pop into the microwave when you're ready to eat them. Scroll down for the complete recipe!

You Will Need:

-2 packages (3.4 oz each) Jell-O Simply Good Vanilla Bean Flavor Instant Pudding (you can use their regular instant vanilla flavor, too, but I really liked this bean one- it had such a nice, natural flavor!)
-1 qt (4 cups) cold milk
-4 cups old fashioned or quick cooking oats (I used quick cooking)
-1 Gala apple, chopped
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (more/less, to your liking)

*recipe makes 12 muffin cup sized servings. 2 muffin cups = 1 bowl of oatmeal, so the whole recipe makes 6 bowls of oatmeal. Got all that?

*Also please note that I cut this entire recipe in half when I made it for myself because I wanted to have 3 bowls frozen instead of 6. So feel free to adjust accordingly!


In a large bowl, beat pudding and milk with a whisk for 2 minutes. Stir in oats, cinnamon and apples until combined. Let stand 2 minutes or until thickened. 

Spoon into 12 muffin cups that have been sprayed with cooking spray, adding about 1/2 cup of mixture to each cup. **Note that I chose to line the muffin cups with plastic wrap first, then sprayed the plastic wrap with cooking spray. It made clean up much easier, and they were easier to take out of the muffin tin when frozen, too!** 

Freeze for 4 hours or until firm (preferably overnight). 2 frozen oat cups = 1 serving

To eat: put 2 frozen oat cups (remove plastic wrap if you used that method) in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.

Remove and stir. If consistency is too thick, add a little milk! 

I found this had a nice, sweet flavor (but not too sweet). If you prefer it less sweet, then use an apple that's a little more tart, since Galas tend to be very sweet. If you opt to use the regular instant vanilla pudding instead of the vanilla bean, it will also be on the sweeter (more vanilla pudding flavored) side. Enjoy!                                                      


  1. If you use old fashioned oats, will it take longer to cook?

    1. I don't think so, but you can always play with the time on your microwave and see what works. It might be thicker after you cook it in the microwave if you use old fashioned oats (it's definitely a recipe that makes a thick oatmeal anyway). You might need to add milk or hot water to your liking to make it thinner. Hope that helps!


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