Breakfast, Oatmeal, Recipes

Fantastical Food Fight: Everyday Stovetop Oatmeal

Everyday stovetop oatmeal… don’t settle for a bowl of cold cereal for breakfast. If you have 10 minutes, you can have a delicious, hot bowl of oatmeal. And it’s practically hands free, so you can make it while you’re getting the rest of your day in order. 

Everyday stovetop oatmeal... don't settle for a bowl of cold cereal for breakfast. If you have 10 minutes, you can have a delicious, hot bowl of oatmeal. And it's practically hands free, so you can make it while you're getting the rest of your day in order.  #FantasticalFoodFight

When I saw that the Fantastical Food Fight theme for January was oatmeal, I may have squealed. You see, I love oatmeal SO much. I agonized over what I was going to make for this fun event. A new baked oatmeal recipe? A new overnight oat recipe? Finally try my hand at savory oats (that my husband thinks sound disgusting)? But then I talked some sense into myself. Don’t make it complicated! Many days I just make a bowl of oatmeal on the stovetop. And I’ve never shared my method on the blog! Perfecttt!

Everyday stovetop oatmeal... don't settle for a bowl of cold cereal for breakfast. If you have 10 minutes, you can have a delicious, hot bowl of oatmeal. And it's practically hands free, so you can make it while you're getting the rest of your day in order.  #FantasticalFoodFight

I know you can make oatmeal in the microwave, or you can use those instant oat packets, or even use those fancy single serving tubs. There’s a time and a place for all of those (I keep instant oats at work for emergencies, for instance). But most days? I make a quick batch of my everyday stovetop oats for breakfast. My son LOVES oatmeal mornings and so do I. What I love about these oats is how easy they are–literally dump, stir, cook, forget it (set a timer)! I let these oats cook on my stove when I’m running around the house getting ready in the morning… and they are so simple and pretty much foolproof. I also love how creamy they are! Half milk, half water is my preferred liquid ratio for taste and creaminess. I also add some chia seeds and the consistency is so great! I know it’s weird to say oatmeal is luxurious, but these oats are! Lastly, I love how these oats are the perfect vehicle for your favorite toppings. You can find an ultimate list of oatmeal toppings in the recipe notes below, but for starters… here are some of my favorite combos. Fresh blueberries, sliced almonds, and a touch of brown sugar. S’mores. Peanut butter and strawberry jam. Sliced bananas, sliced almonds, toasted coconut, and maple syrup. Fresh strawberries, almond butter, and honey. The possibilities are endless! The toppings in the pictures are diced Bosc pear, sliced almonds, and dark brown sugar. SO good. Enjoy, friends! Hope you hop on my oatmeal bandwagon. 🙂

Everyday stovetop oatmeal... don't settle for a bowl of cold cereal for breakfast. If you have 10 minutes, you can have a delicious, hot bowl of oatmeal. And it's practically hands free, so you can make it while you're getting the rest of your day in order.  #FantasticalFoodFight

one year ago: Annette’s Layered Chicken Enchiladas
two years ago: Amish Cheeseburger Soup
three years ago: Healthy Tropical Banana Muffins
four years ago: Cranberry Steel Cut Oats with Caramelized Pears
five years ago: Mexican Cornbread Pot Pie
six years ago: Lasagna Soup
seven years ago: Whole-Wheat Corn Bread

Find more oatmeal recipes at the link below!

Everyday Stovetop Oatmeal

  • Servings: 1
  • Print

  • 1/2 cup milk*
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds**
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • any desired toppings***


Combine milk, water, oats, chia seeds, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Stir to combine.

Cook over medium heat, uncovered, for 7-10 minutes. Do NOT stir… resist the urge! Stir only when the oatmeal starts bubbling, usually about 6-7 minutes on my stove. Allow to cook until oatmeal reaches desired consistency.

Remove from heat and immediately transfer oatmeal to a bowl. Add desired toppings and enjoy!


Recipe as written serves one adult. You can scale it up to serve more, or scale it down if the serving size is too big for you. When I’m making some for my toddler as well, I add an extra 2 tablespoons oats, 2 tablespoons milk, and 2 tablespoons water. It doesn’t sound like much but makes enough for him (and he probably gets a little of my portion as well).

*MILK… I usually have both dairy milk and almond milk in my fridge, so this oatmeal works with either. I usually use skim or 2% milk OR unsweetened regular or vanilla almond milk. Any kind of milk should be fine.

**CHIA…The chia seeds help thicken the oatmeal and give it a great consistency. A similar consistency can be achieved with flax or hemp seeds, but I wouldn’t substitute nuts in this step. But you can add them as a topping.


  • Fruit: I prefer fresh fruit instead of frozen in my oatmeal. Frozen blueberries or cranberries are the exception–just add them at the beginning of the cooking time. My favorite fruits for oatmeal include: any berries, sliced bananas, diced peaches, diced pears, and grated apples. Sauteed apples are good too, but usually too time consuming for busy mornings.
  • Dried fruit: Any kind! Soak them in the cooked oatmeal before eating. It’ll change your life!!
  • Jam: Any kind! Usually when I add jam I find I don’t need other sweetener.
  • Nuts: Any kind! Sliced almonds are my go-to.
  • Nut butter: Lots of people love nut butter in oatmeal… I personally am a little iffy on it because it feels too heavy. I can occasionally do a little peanut or almond butter with sliced bananas, or with jam for a pb&j twist.
  • Coconut: Bonus points if it’s toasted… sometimes I toast extra for a recipe so I can have some on hand for oatmeal.
  • Chocolate chips: A fun indulgence… usually means I don’t need any other sweetener, or just a tiny bit.
  • Sweetener: I like about 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup in my oatmeal. My husband uses more like a tablespoon, and I don’t give our toddler any most days. You do you!

Main Dishes, Pasta, Recipes

Fettuccine with Pistachio-Mint Pesto + Summer Vegetables

I’ve tried so many non-basil pestos this summer. It has been absolutely great! Though I love love love this kale pesto, I think I have found a new favorite… and it’s really fun. This pesto is made from two of my favorite herbs and my favorite nut. Already sounds like a winner, huh?

Fettuccine with Pistachio-Mint Pesto + Summer Vegetables |

Mint, parsley, and pistachio. YUM! It’s pretty much the most awesome combination ever. Though I can’t take credit for it [Cooking Light wins here], I can take credit for the addition of some fun summer vegetables. Tossing tomatoes, zucchini, and red bell peppers in with a herby, nutty pesto make this dish SO filling and incredibly flavorful. Mint is an herb that I love to use in iced tea and the occasional fruit salad, but I loved how it worked in this fresh, savory pasta.

Fettuccine with Pistachio-Mint Pesto + Summer Vegetables |

Topping everything off with some asiago cheese is highly recommended too, but I won’t cry if you use Parmesan instead. Asiago is just my ultimate cheese pick though! Normally I have a 50/50 track record with “topping” dishes off with whatever suggestion a recipe makes, but it’s essential to this dish since the pesto doesn’t include cheese. I almost added some but decided not to once I gave it a taste. Totally unnecessary with all the fresh flavor in that pesto. Hope you try this pasta out before the summer’s up. I know I’ll be making it again soon!

one year ago… Peaches and Cream Pancakes
two years ago… Roasted Tomato Sauce

three years ago… Cran-Oat Muffins

Fettuccine with Pistachio-Mint Pesto + Summer Vegetables [adapted from Cooking Light]
click to print


  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup unsalted, shelled dry-roast pistachios, plus 4 teaspoons for sprinkling [divided]
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 ounces dried fettuccine [or 9 ounces fresh fettuccine]
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced [about 1 cup]
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 ounce freshly shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of water to boil.

In a food processor, combine mint, parsley, 1/4 cup pistachios, salt, pepper, and garlic. Pulse several times to combine, then stream in 3 tablespoons olive oil, scraping the sides if necessary.

Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add zucchini and peppers and saute for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add tomatoes and heat until pasta is ready.

When pasta is fully cooked, return to pot and toss with pesto. Add vegetables and toss again, then serve with cheese and pistachios.

Time: 30 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings.

Linked up with: Tuesday Talent Show.

Main Dishes, Recipes, Salads, Sides, Vegetables

Roasted Chickpea, Carrot, & Radish Salad with Lemon-Dijon Dressing

Last week was my spring break, and Ben and I took a quick four-day/three-night trip down to Cumberland Gap, TN.

Cumberland Gap Trip | The Pajama Chef

It’s just a short five hour drive from Bloomington, and if you’re not familiar with this area, three states come together in the park–Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky. We had never been before but had a blast. Even though winter is still lingering, hiking up in the woods and trails was just beautiful. The toughest hike was a 7 mile round trip hike up to White Rocks, a site that was a landmark to pioneers making the westward trek demonstrating that the Cumberland Gap pass was just a day’s walk ahead. Up top in the White Rocks area it was frosty, snowy, and terribly cold. I was so glad I chose to wear my vest instead of leaving it in the car!!

Cumberland Gap Trip | The Pajama Chef

Aside from hiking, we had fun just hanging out together… reading, relaxing, and exploring a few of the nearby towns. We stayed at the Olde Mille Inn Bed & Breakfast, which I highly recommend if you’re ever in the area. It is so cute, and even though it was built in the 1800s, everything was very modern and comfortable inside. I never wanted to leave our room! It was so nice, and the breakfast everyday was amazing. Upside down pancakes, sausage gravy & biscuits, french toast, and the best steel cut oats I have ever had! We were the youngest guests by a longshot [at least 30 years] but breakfasts were served together, and it was really fun to chat with the other guests. Can I just say that I love southern accents? 🙂

Cumberland Gap Trip | The Pajama Chef

We ate lunch everyday at this adorable cottage turned coffeshop–Gap Creek Coffee. My favorite drink was their Peanut Butter Cup. PB in coffee sounds a lil weird, but you can bet I’ll be looking for that on coffeshop menus in the future. Our dinners were nothing compared to the other meals of the day, but we did enjoy some good Tennessee BBQ! This area of the country definitely wasn’t gourmet restaurant central, but the area’s natural beauty sure made up for it!! Be sure to visit Cumberland Gap if you can! We’d love to go back someday.

Cumberland Gap Trip | The Pajama Chef

Before we left, I made this wonderful salad as an excuse to use up as much of my produce as I could before going out of town. But seriously, you shouldn’t wait til you need to use things up… adding hot roasted, crisp veggies and chickpeas on cold salad greens is my new favorite thing!

Roasted Chickpea, Carrot, & Radish Salad with Lemon-Dijon Dressing | The Pajama Chef

The contrasting temperatures are just perfect! I didn’t really measure the seasonings used to roast the chickpeas, carrots, and radishes but just used a little cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, ginger, and allspice to make a spicy-sweet spice mixture to rub on with EVOO.

Roasted Chickpea, Carrot, & Radish Salad with Lemon-Dijon Dressing | The Pajama Chef

The dressing is a very basic lemon-olive oil-dijon mustard mixture, which paired so well with the light greens and crispy toppings. I thought about adding some vinegar to make more of a vinaigrette, but decided against it. You certainly could if you wanted, though–I just liked the tartness of the lemony dressing with the vinegary tang.

Roasted Chickpea, Carrot, & Radish Salad with Lemon-Dijon Dressing | The Pajama Chef

This is just a great salad! I meant to add some cheese, nuts, or avocado as my inspiration recipe suggested… but I forgot about the cheese and nuts after the roasted veggies came out of the oven, and my avocado was nasty inside. Sad day. But the good news is that none of those things are needed for this awesome salad. It’s a crunchy, hearty, flavorful salad that I am sure you will just adore!! Enjoy! 🙂

Roasted Chickpea, Carrot, & Radish Salad with Lemon-Dijon Dressing | The Pajama Chef

Roasted Chickpea, Carrot, & Radish Salad with Lemon-Dijon Dressing [adapted from Baker by Nature]
click to print


  • 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
  • 3 large carrots, scrubbed and chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 8 radishes, scrubbed and sliced into thirds
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • cumin
  • garlic powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ginger
  • allspice
  • baby spring mix

for Lemon-Dijon Dressing

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • crushed red pepper

for topping, optional

  • avocado
  • feta or parmesan cheese
  • nuts


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a large baking sheet, combine chickpeas, carrots, and radishes. Pour olive oil over top, then season with cumin, garlic, black pepper, ginger, and allspice. I didn’t measure these, but was heavy on the cumin, garlic, and black pepper, and a little lighter on ginger and allspice. Use your hands to mix oil and seasoning on chickpeas, carrots, and radishes. Bake for 30 minutes, turning once or twice.

Meanwhile, make the dressing. Whisk lemon juice, oil, mustard, and garlic powder together in a bowl or shake together in a jar. Season to taste with crushed red pepper.

After everything is roasted, combine baby spring mix with roasted chickpeas, carrots, and radishes as desired. Drizzle with Lemon-Dijon Dressing, and top with feta or parmesan cheese, nuts, and avocado if desired. Serve immediately.

Time: 40 minutes [10 minutes active].

Yield: 2 large salads or 4 side salads.

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck.