Genius Recipes

A Genius Trick for Quicker, Creamier Oatmeal—With No Sticky Pot to Clean

Starring this joyful cocoa almond riff from Samantha Seneviratne and the ‘Simply Genius’ cookbook.

January 18, 2023

The elevator pitch for the recipe is a really good one: With one little equipment swap, you can make a quicker, creamier bowl of oatmeal, and leave no stubborn pot soaking in the sink.

This was how talented food stylist, author, and TV star Samantha Seneviratne hooked me at a Genius video shoot years ago. She’d picked up the trick in a test kitchen and really put it to use feeding her toddler son Artie. Ready for it? Grab a nonstick skillet for cozy oats that cook down quicker and creamier than in a deep pot (and clean up way easier).


But, at least in my family, there’s even more to Sam’s genius than that. This is the breakfast my three-year-old asks for as she’s going to sleep. The one that taught her how to measure as we made it together morning after morning; the one with few ingredients to spill and slosh.

It’s the recipe we always double or triple now, because we all want more and the fridge and freezer welcome it. It’s the one that convinced me that Cocoa Puffs always had it right: Chocolate brings joy and ballast to bleary mornings. Only now, it’s powered by almond butter and sweetened with only as much maple as you like.

This is the recipe I squirreled away first for the Simply Genius cookbook, and the one I (and other parents) make the most. For the book, Sam also shared three more riffs: raspberry-cardamom, banana-cacao nib, and nutty multigrain—with leftover grains like quinoa or farro swirled in.

But the truth is, you can take Sam’s ratio and technique to any oatmeal you can dream up—again and again, no pots in the sink to hold you back.

The Simply Genius cookbook is out now—you can snag a copy in our Shop, or so many other places! Like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million,, Hudson Booksellers, IndieBound, Powell's, Target, Kitchen Arts & Letters, Now Serving, Omnivore Books on Food, Book Larder, or your favorite local bookstore.

Got a Genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected].

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Associate, Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.
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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

I'm an ex-economist, lifelong-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007, before returning to the land of Dutch Crunch bread and tri-tip barbecues in 2020. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."


carl January 30, 2023
Don't listen to this woman, she is dangerous.
NEVER USE a no stick pan or pot. They are far too toxic to use whatsoever. Don't even give them away, throw all nonstick pots into garbage.
If you want the healthiest oatmeal don't cook it at all. Insread, put oatmeal in milk or kefir, or both, let it sit overnight. In morning its ready to eat, no cooking, AND no wasted electric or gas. But for god's sake, don't use no stick anything.
Abby January 24, 2023
I mashed a banana into the cooked oatmeal as a sweetener