The Buttery Secret Ingredient That Can Elevate The Blandest Instant Oatmeal

creamy oatmeal in white bowl
creamy oatmeal in white bowl - Vladislav Noseek/Shutterstock

Oatmeal makes for a healthy, hearty, pretty darn delicious breakfast. It's versatile and full of fiber and healthy whole grains to help keep us full in between meals. Oats have a neutral taste, so it's easy for even skilled chefs to end up with a bland pot of oatmeal without proper seasoning. Fortunately, one common kitchen ingredient can liven up your oatmeal -- and you don't need to put in extra elbow grease. We're talking about butter.

Adding butter to oatmeal lends a rich flavor profile that can bind to additional seasonings -- sweet or savory -- to enhance their flavor. Since oats are naturally dry and granular, even when cooked down, they might not boast the soft, tender texture you want for a high-quality batch. However, including some butter in your oatmeal recipe is one surefire way to achieve a noticeably smooth, thick, and creamy texture.

You don't have to stick with plain butter, either. For example, if you're making savory oatmeal, consider using garlic or herb-infused butter to liven up the dish with aromatics. If you're making sweet oats, combine butter and cinnamon or use toasty brown butter to bring a nutty, caramelized essence to your bowl.

Read more: 18 Types Of Butter And The Best Ways To Use Them

The Best Ways To Use Butter In Oatmeal

butter melting in a bowl of oatmeal
butter melting in a bowl of oatmeal - Mizina/Getty Images

Whether you prefer cooking old-fashioned, steel-cut, or instant oats, using butter in your favorite oatmeal recipe requires no culinary expertise. It's as simple as melting butter and pouring it atop your oats! Using pre-melted butter promotes even distribution for a more uniform flavor and texture. However, melting room temperature or refrigerated butter directly into the oatmeal is fine. Before going this route, be aware that this method takes extra time and could leave clumps of butter due to uneven melting.

As you're cooking your oats, heat a bit of butter on the stove over medium heat until it's melted -- a tablespoon of butter should be enough, but feel free to add more if you prefer an ultra-buttery flair. After assembling your oats with spices and seasonings, add the melted butter and stir to combine. If you want to use brown butter, an ideal choice for sweet oatmeal, melt butter over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally until the butter shines with a light, golden-brown hue. Exercise caution with this method, as butter can go from brown to burnt quickly. Once it has achieved the ideal color, remove the pan from the heat and mix the brown butter into your oats. Gone are the days of bland pots of oatmeal -- as long as you have butter, you'll never make a boring batch again.

Read the original article on Mashed.