5 Ingredients or Fewer

Cocoa Almond Oatmeal From Samantha Seneviratne

January 24, 2023
17 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham. Food Styling: Anna Billingskog. Prop Styling: Alya Hameedi.
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 1 but scales up well (see Note)
Author Notes

Making a quick batch of oatmeal each day can be a happy, steadying ritual. Finding the sticky pot still soaking in the sink at 6 p.m. is not. So food stylist and The Joys of Baking author Samantha Seneviratne switched to a nonstick skillet—a trick she picked up in a test kitchen at some point in her career, but really put to use when feeding her toddler, Arthur. Not only is the skillet much easier to clean, but the oats also cook down swifter and creamier, as they bubble down over a wider surface area.

The following basic ratio works with any milk, mix-ins, and toppings, but you’ll want this chocolate-almond combo for mornings in need of glee. It will smell like hot cocoa as you stir it and remind you of the chocolatey cereals little-kid-you weren’t supposed to have— with a nutty, bittersweet depth to hug your grown-up heart.

In Simply Genius, 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.

Excerpted from Simply Genius: Recipes for Beginners, Busy Cooks & Curious People (Ten Speed Press, September 27, 2022).

Hear more about this recipe from Samantha herself on our podcast The Genius Recipe Tapes.Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Cocoa Almond Oatmeal From Samantha Seneviratne
  • 1/2 cup (50g) old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cups (300ml) unsweetened almond milk, plus more for serving
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt
  • 4 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons creamy or chunky almond butter
  • Maple syrup (optional)
  1. Simmer the oats: To a medium nonstick skillet, add the oats, almond milk, salt, and cocoa. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom and sides with a silicone spatula, until the oats are tender and creamy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat if it starts boiling too wildly, and don’t wander away or it might boil over on you. Stop cooking when the oatmeal is a little looser than you want, as it will thicken as it cools.
  2. Top and eat: Once the heat has been turned off, swirl in the almond butter and maple syrup. Add more milk if you’d like. Serve hot and clean up fast.
  3. Store: Leftover oatmeal will keep well in a container in the fridge for a few days, though it will thicken as it cools. Reheat in the microwave or in a nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring in a splash of milk or water.
  4. Note: This recipe scales up well, but it might take a few extra minutes to cook. At any scale, make sure your pan isn’t more than two-thirds full since it will bubble up as it simmers. An 8-inch (20cm) skillet is great for one serving; go with 10-inch (25cm) or larger for a double batch.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Regine
  • Gina Hemmings
    Gina Hemmings
  • Angel
  • christywillis7
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

14 Reviews

christywillis7 March 11, 2024
This has become the most requested breakfast for my 5 teens. Occasionally I'll sub in whole milk for almond milk when they need an extra bit of protein. We love the recipe as is, but usually top with fresh raspberries. It's amazingly indulgent - that drizzle of maple syrup it perfect
christywillis7 March 11, 2024
I often make a giant batch and refrigerate the rest for the next day - heats up great with the addition of a little bit of milk
Yolanda May 8, 2023
This is like having dessert for breakfast! We have it at least once a week!
Regine February 25, 2023
I was skeptical. I never understood why people would add nut butter to oatmeal until I tried this recipe. Wow. So delicious. The combination of cocoa and almond butter plus (hey I have a sweet tooth) a healthy dosing of maple syrup made this oatmeal dish tastebud blowing.
Charlene V. February 25, 2023
This was delicious although a bit rich, even for my chocolate tooth, so half of it is in the refrigerator for tomorrow. I love the added calcium from the almond milk and protein from the almond butter. I have a nonstick saucepan that I use for regular oatmeal and it worked just fine.
Nina C. February 11, 2023
This is one of those life-changing recipes where my world will never be the same going forward. First of all, the method is genius. I'm never making oats in a pot again! Adding in cocoa powder and nut butter? OH WOW. I'm trying to avoid sugars so I used a brown sugar substitute (Swerve) to add the sweetness, topped it with a little plain Greek yogurt and sliced almonds for texture. TO. DIE. FOR. Thank you so much for this brilliant recipe!!!
An L. February 9, 2023
OMG!!! WHY is this soooo good? I reconstituted coconut powder vs almond milk (hate all of the discarding of packaging) and added a pear vs the maple syrup. Only used 1T almond butter. This tastes extremely rich and the first time I have not been disappointed with chocolate oatmeal. TY :)
shelovesfood February 4, 2023
I made this oatmeal yesterday and it was absolutely scrumptious. The chocolate flavor is the perfect level of richness and I used natural salted peanut butter which paired perfectly with the oatmeal. I believe the bets part of this meal is the texture! The oats thicken the milk and create a silky pudding-like consistency... yum :)
Jfeath February 6, 2023
The only reason I was looking at reviews was to see if I could sub in peanut butter. Thank you
Gina H. February 1, 2023
I'm always looking for new ways to enjoy oats and this is fantastic. The almond butter makes it for me, rich and creamy. This was more than one portion for me, leftovers tomorrow morning.
erin January 24, 2023
Perfect 3pm pick-up (if you work from home). Tastes indulgent but is actually nourishing. I added a banana and used peanut butter. I'll make it again tomorrow.
Angel January 23, 2023
The more I eat it, the more I like it. Wow.

I distrust oatmeal recipes that don’t include butter and sugar. Oatmeal is already healthy— why rob it of its potential decadence.

That said, this oatmeal is luscious and rich. It doesn’t taste healthy. It tastes…. Sophisticated and grown up.

At first I thought it was a little too sophisticated for me. First thing in the morning, I love my oatmeal to taste like comfort food.

But as I said before, the more I eat it…. The more I love it.

10/10. So fast. So easy.

Also, a great option for when you want a sweet treat late at night.
ChristinaCooks January 23, 2023
Simple, clean, kid-friendly, affordable ingredients; easy clean-up, tasty cocoa oat warmth on a cold MN day. Perfect.
shopboston January 22, 2023
I made this oatmeal as soon as I heard about it on the Genius Recipe Tapes podcast. So easy and so so rich! This has totally changed the way I cook oatmeal! Using a non-stick skillet is brilliant. Thank you ladies!!!!!!!