Skip to content

15 Healthiest Instant Oatmeals on Grocery Shelves

Whip up a nutritious breakfast in an instant with these deliciously healthy oats.
FACT CHECKED BY Samantha Boesch
The product recommendations in this post are recommendations by the writer and/or expert(s) interviewed and do not contain affiliate links. Meaning: If you use these links to buy something, we will not earn a commission.

Plain, whole-grain oatmeal is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It's rich in fiber (including a special kind called beta-glucan that's great for heart health), is a surprising source of protein, and is bursting with important vitamins and minerals like manganese, iron, zinc, and thiamine. Eating oatmeal has been linked with blood sugar control in people with diabetes, better weight management, and improved digestive health—told you it was good for you!

You can enjoy the benefits of oatmeal in a few different ways, either by cooking oats on the stovetop with boiling water, making your own overnight oats, or microwaving some easy instant oats.

The only downside of instant oatmeal is that some brands load their instant oats with added sugars and unwanted preservatives or additives, which can quickly turn this breakfast into a not-so-great meal. For healthier instant oats, here's how to spot packets and cups that keep you on track with your wellness goals, plus 15 tasty options to get you started.

How we chose the best instant oatmeal

  • Minimal added sugar. Not many of us want to eat our oats plain—but that doesn't mean we want tons of sugar in our breakfast, either. Our list highlights brands that supply enough sweetener for flavor, but not enough to send your blood sugar spiking.
  • Plenty of fiber and protein. These two nutrients are ones to watch for to keep you satiated throughout the morning.
  • Not a lot of unrecognizable ingredients. A short ingredient list is usually a good sign of a lower degree of processing. We nixed anything full of questionable fillers, preservatives, or artificial flavors.

Read on to find some healthy instant oatmeal brands to try next, then check out the 10 Unhealthiest Instant Oatmeals on Grocery Shelves.

Purley Elizabeth Superfood Banana Nut

Purely Elizabeth Banana Nut
Purely Elizabeth

Per packet: 160 calories, 4 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (6 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 5 g protein

If you're a banana fan, check out Purely Elizabeth's Banana Nut Oatmeal. It's got tons of banana flavor, plus some fun extras for added crunch. "Each packet contains 6 grams of fiber from the combination of oats, quinoa, amaranth, chia, and flax seeds, which makes this instant oatmeal more filling and satisfying," says Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD, CPO, owner of One Pot Wellness. "I particularly enjoy that the oatmeal is naturally sweetened with coconut sugar and freeze-fried bananas."

RELATED: 12 Unhealthiest Instant Oatmeals—Ranked by Sugar Content 

One Degree Sprouted Quinoa Hemp Instant Oatmeal

one degree sprouted quinoa hemp instant oatmeal
One Degree Organics

Per serving: 200 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 37 g carbs (4 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 6 g protein

Sprouting oats makes their nutrients more available to the body, creating an even more nutritious version of this grain. Reap the benefits of sprouted oats, quinoa, and hemp in One Degree's nutrient-packed, coconut sugar-sweetened instant oats.

Quaker High Fiber Instant Oatmeal Maple and Brown Sugar

Quaker High Fiber Oats
Quaker

Per packet: 150 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 210 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (10 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 4 g protein

"Quaker High Fiber Instant Oatmeal is my favorite because it provides an extra boost of dietary fiber, with 10 grams per pack. The added fiber helps to keep you full and satiated longer than a regular instant oatmeal," says Kat Durston, RDN, of Naturally Good Nutrition. Durston points out that this oatmeal doesn't contain artificial flavors or preservatives, either. It gets its sweetness from real sugar and a hint of monk fruit extract.

Mylk Labs Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Mylk Labs Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Mylk Labs

Per cup: 220 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 70 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (6 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 7 g protein

Jasmin Ilkay, MBA, MPH, RDN recommends Mylk Labs' gluten-free, vegan instant oats. "What sets Mylk apart from other brands is its sustainable approach, which includes using upcycled ingredients, glyphosate-free oats, and compostable packaging," she notes. That's not all these cups of convenience have to offer. They're also high in fiber at 6 grams per serving and contain all-natural ingredients.

RELATED: Exactly How Much Oatmeal To Eat To Reap Its Amazing Benefits

Bob's Red Mill Classic Instant Oatmeal

Bob's Red Mill Classic Instant Oatmeal
Bob's Red Mill

Per packet: 140 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 105 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (4 g fiber, 0 g sugar),  4 g protein

Bob's Red Mill Unsweetened Instant Oatmeal is clean eating at its finest. Its mere three ingredients include whole grain oats, salt, and the surprise bonus of flaxseed meal. "Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health and brain function," says Michelle Rauch, MSc, RDN, dietitian for The Actors Fund Home in Englewood, NJ.

Nature's Path Original Oatmeal

Nature's Path Original Oatmeal
Nature's Path

Per packet: 190 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (6 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 8 g protein

For those times when you want a blank canvas on which to create your breakfast masterpiece, try Nature's Path Original Instant Oatmeal. Here, what you see is what you get because it contains just one thing: whole-grain rolled oats.

"One serving boasts 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of dietary fiber," Rauch points out. "Eating a diet high in fiber has many health benefits, including but not limited to improving digestive health, weight management, improved gut health, and increased satiety."

Nature's Path Homestyle Gluten-Free Instant Oatmeal

Nature's Path Homestyle Gluten-Free
Nature's Path

Per packet: 170 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (4 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 6 g protein

If you're allergic or sensitive to gluten, you'll need to be on the watch when purchasing instant oatmeal. Though oats themselves don't contain gluten, they're sometimes processed with other grains that do. Fortunately, Nature's Path's Homestyle Instant Oatmeal is not only gluten-free, it's got 40 grams of whole grains, 4 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein per serving.

Kodiak Peak Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal

Kodiak PEAK Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Kodiak Cakes

Per packet: 290 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 280 mg sodium, 43 g carbs (5 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 20 g protein

Looking for an extra boost of protein in the mornings? Check out Kodiak's Peak Instant Oatmeal, which contains an impressive 20 grams. "It's rare to find instant oatmeal that has this much protein while also having a great balance of carbohydrates, fat, and fiber," says Umo Callins, MS, RD, CSSD, CPT, sports and fitness dietitian and fitness coach with Well Rooted Health and Nutrition. "This is great not only for athletes who need a balanced breakfast but also for the everyday person who is looking for healthy options on the go!"

RELATED: 6 Best Weight-Loss Breakfasts Under 400 Calories

Nature's Path Spiced Apple and Flax Instant Oatmeal

Nature's Path instant oatmeal
Nature's Path

Per packet: 170 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 90 mg sodium, 31 g carbs (4 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 4 g protein

Apples and oatmeal are a healthy combo, but some instant oatmeals add tons of unnatural flavors or preservatives to the mix. Not so with Nature's Path Spiced Apple and Flax Instant Oatmeal. Its ingredient list contains nothing artificial. "The addition of dried apple and cinnamon infuses a comforting fall flavor into every bowl, making it a delicious and nutritious start to your day," says Jessie Winstead, RD, LD, Atlanta-based creator of Health Down South.

Better Oats Steel Cut Instant Oatmeal

Better Oats Steel Cut Instant Oatmeal
Better Oats

 

Per packet: 130 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (3 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 4 g protein

Steel-cut oats are a hearty, delightfully chewy version of oatmeal—but they typically take quite a while to cook. "A standout instant oatmeal is Better Oats Steel Cut Instant Oatmeal. With this instant oatmeal, you get the chewy nuttiness of steel-cut oats without the long cooking time," says Steph Magill, MS, RD, CD, FAND, owner of Soccer Mom Nutrition. "The oatmeal packet even doubles as a measuring cup, so it's a perfect on-the-go or quick morning high-fiber breakfast."

Mylk Labs Strawberry Vanilla Instant Oatmeal

Mylk Labs Strawberry Vanilla Instant Oatmeal
Mylk Labs

Per cup: 200 calories, 4.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 70 mg sodium, 34 g carbs (5 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 6 g protein

Mylk Labs does it again with their Strawberry Vanilla Instant Oatmeal Cup. Sweetened with Medjool dates, coconut sugar, and strawberries, this breakfast keeps added sugar to a minimum without sacrificing rich, fruity flavor.

RELATED: 15 High-Fiber Breakfasts That Keep You Full

Better Oats Thick and Hearty Blueberry Muffin Instant Oats

better oats blueberry muffin
Better Oats

Per packet: 160 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 220 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (3 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 4 g protein

What tastes like a bakery muffin but has far better nutrition? Better Oats' Thick and Hearty Blueberry Muffin Instant Oats. Unlike the jumbo muffin you'd get at a coffee shop, this healthier choice contains 28 grams of whole grains per serving, Winstead points out. "Additionally, the inclusion of flaxseed, a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, adds an extra nutritional boost."

Nature's Path Blueberry Cinnamon Flax Instant Oatmeal

Nature's Path Blueberry Cinnamon Flax
Nature's Path

Per packet: 160 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 120 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (3 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 5 g protein

Blueberries are some of the most nutrient-dense fruits on the planet, so pairing them with oatmeal only increases the health factor of your morning meal. Nature's Path's Blueberry Cinnamon Flax Instant Oatmeal features wild blueberries, which contain even more antioxidants than regular blueberries.

"Each serving offers 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and 27 grams of whole grains," says Sarah Schlicter, MPH, RDN, of Bucket List Tummy. "This is a great option for those who don't love the taste of plain oatmeal and want a little sweetness."

Seven Sundays Wild Berry Protein Oats

Seven Sundays Protein Oats
Seven Sundays

Per serving: 230 calories, 4.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 135 mg sodium, 38 g carbs (7 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 10 g protein

Seven Sundays' Wildberry Protein Oats amp up the protein factor in the most obvious (and therefore seamless) way: extra oat protein. By adding more of this macronutrient derived from oats themselves, this breakfast manages to pack in 10 grams of protein.

RELATED: 38 High-Protein Breakfasts That Keep You Full

Kodiak Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal

Kodiak Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal
Kodiak

Per packet: 190 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 31 g carbs (3 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 12 g protein

Microwave your way to another morning protein boost with Kodiak's Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal. The 12 grams of protein derive from oats, pea protein, and milk protein (but if you make it with added milk, you can add even more).

Sarah Garone, NDTR
Sarah Garone, NDTR, is a registered nutrition and dietetic technician, and a health, nutrition, and food writer. Read more about Sarah
Filed Under
Sources referenced in this article
  1. Source:
  2. Source:
  3. Source:
  4. Source:
  5. Source: