Amp up your morning meal with these easy protein oats made with protein powder. This breakfast recipe is a delicious start to your day and made with only 3 ingredients! Toppings, of course, optional but highly recommended.
However, the one I consume most often is protein oatmeal made with protein powder, quick-cooking oats, and water. It’s a simple, quick, and delicious way to make a carb and protein-balanced breakfast that keeps me full until lunch.
While oats have some protein content, if you’re looking for high-protein oatmeal, you’ll need to add an additional source of protein to your mixture.
There are several ingredients that can increase the protein and flavor in your morning oats:
- Greek yogurt
- Peanut butter
- Egg whites
- Protein powder
- Chopped nuts
- Ground Flax
- Chia Seeds
- Cottage cheese (added after cooking)
- High protein milk
In today’s this recipe, I show you how to increase the protein content of your oats with protein powder. Whether you use whey, or a plant-based powder, any protein can be added to oatmeal for extra flavor and nutrition.
My biggest tip is to use a protein powder you already like the flavor since oats are plain and they will take on the flavor or protein.
How much Protein is in Oatmeal
Regular oatmeal is a nutrient-dense food with each serving containing 150 calories, 4 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein.
A serving of Old Fashioned Oats or Instant Oats is ½ cup dry and a serving of Steel-Cut Oats is ⅓ cup dry.
Compared to other carbohydrate-dense foods, oats are a good source of protein on their own per serving. And if you’re looking to give it a little boost, adding protein powder is an effective way to add an additional 15-20 grams of protein to each serving.
How to Make Oatmeal with Protein Powder
Making protein oatmeal is a 2 step process that starts with cooking the oats and adding a scoop of protein powder once the oats are cooked. I recommend using a protein flavor you know you’ll love, whether it’s chocolate, vanilla, or birthday cake!
Why add the powder after the oats are cooked? Because it helps the protein powder dissolve and eliminates clumps!
Whether you use quick cooking, traditional old-fashioned flakes, or steel-cut oats, here’s the step-by-step of how to make oatmeal with protein powder:
Cook the oats
Combine oats and water in a saucepan and cook according to the package directions.
Stir in the protein
Add a scoop or two of protein powder to the cooked oats and stir to combine.
Add water if needed
This step is optional, but if your oats are too thick, stir in a tablespoon of water at a time until the oats reach your desired consistency.
Top it Off
Add sliced fruit, a drizzle of nut butter, or whatever your heart desires and enjoy! In this case, I chose sliced strawberries, a drizzle of almond butter, and a dollop of Greek yogurt- incredible.
In case you need a visual, watch the video below to see how this breakfast comes together in less than 5 minutes:
Ratio of Oats to Water with Protein Powder
Depending on the type of oats, the ratio of oats to water to protein will vary. In this recipe, I use quick-cooking oats to speed things up a bit, but the type of oat doesn’t make a huge difference in the finished results so use what you have on hand.
The cooking directions on the back of the oats container are your go-to for the oatmeal base but when it comes to adding protein powder, I recommend a full serving, or scoop, per serving of oats.
Just for easy referencing, I’ve included the ratio of oats to water based on 1 serving:
|Type of Oats||Water to Oat Ratio|
|Old Fashioned||½ cup oats to 1 cup water|
|Quick Cooking||½ cup oats to 1 cup water|
|Steel Cut||⅓ cup oats to 1 cups water|
Best Protein Powder to Use in Oatmeal
The best protein powder for oats is the one with a flavor you can enjoy. I use several protein powders and even have a post on protein powder benefits, everything from whey to plant-based.
Personally, I like the way whey and pea protein work in this recipe; both give it a hearty texture, and I’ve found flavors that make the kitchen and my bowl of oats smell like a vanilla cake!
Here are a few protein powder options that are super versatile for this recipe, smoothies and protein pancakes.
Another honorable mention is Great Lakes Hydrolyzed Collagen. It has no flavor and doesn’t give as thick a texture to the oats compared to whey and pea protein, but it still adds a good 15 grams of protein and collagen that’s oh so good for our joints, skin, and nails.
Make Next: Overnight Crockpot Oatmeal
Oatmeal Texture with Protein Powder
There’s no denying that protein powder really helps to thicken and bulk up a bowl of oats. It’s certainly a favorite part of this recipe for me, but for those who like a thinner, creamier consistency, you can tone down the volume with a few tricks.
How to Keep Oatmeal with Protein Powder from Getting too Thick
When protein powder is heated, it tends to thicken, which gives the oatmeal a paste-like substance, not the most desirable texture. Adding it in the final step ensures there is less heat and cooking time, so the oats maintain their creamy, hearty texture.
Also, use enough water
Keep a small cup of water or almond milk while you make this recipe, if you see the oats are too thick, add a little liquid and stir until they are just right.
How to Make Protein Oats not Grainy
Adding protein to oats is an easy fix, but depending on the type of protein it can sometimes result in grainy or lumpy oats *cringe! You can avoid this mishap by mixing the protein powder with a tablespoon of water or milk until it’s completely smooth then stirring it into the hot oats. This “liquid” form of protein evenly incorporates into the oats and ensures there are no lumps.
Can you microwave protein powder in oats?
You can microwave protein powder oats, but they are more likely to develop that paste-like consistency.
Oatmeal with Protein Powder Benefits
Not only are protein oats a healthy breakfast that tastes like dessert but they also come with benefits that make them an optimal start to your day.
The perfect ratio of carbs, protein, and fats does exist and it’s found in a bowl of this protein oatmeal. Each bowl contains 28 grams of protein, 40 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of fat, it’s a powerful combination that’s satiating and will keep you full for hours.
Increased Protein Intake
High protein meals aren’t just for the athlete and avid gym-goers. There are several benefits to more protein that can contribute to overall health such as, decreased appetite, decreased cravings, and combined with regular weight lifting sessions, increased muscle mass, and overall strength.
Some protein powders are downright delicious and make our favorite smoothie recipes taste like a dessert! Adding it to oats definitely turns up the yum factor while adding more nutrition and minimal to no sugar.
Can You Add Protein Powder to Overnight Oats?
You can add protein powder to overnight oats, but the protein will absorb much of the liquid the oats need, so I recommend using only half a scoop. You’ll still get a good 10 grams of additional protein.
If you do decide to add protein powder to overnight oats make sure and combine the protein powder with the liquid before stirring into the oats. This way it fully dissolves and you don’t bite into clumps of protein the next morning.
Now, I kept the toppings for this protein oatmeal simple, but there are countless ways to take your bowl of oats to the next level. Here are a few ingredients to get you started:
- Almond or peanut butter
- Sliced banana
- Fresh berries
- Chocolate chips
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
Next time, I think I’m going for the sliced banana and almond butter combo. How will you top your protein oats?
Other Oatmeal Recipes to Try
If oats are a staple in your diet, check out these other oatmeal recipes.
Easy Protein Oats Recipe
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats
- 2 cups water
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
- ¼ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- ½ cup sliced strawberries
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the oats and water. Cook for 3 minutes or until thickened.
- Turn off the heat and add the protein powder. Stir to combine, making sure there are no lumps. Add a little additional water, a tablespoon, or two at a time until your oats have the desired consistency.
- Divide the cooked oats between 2 bowls and top with Greek yogurt, almond butter, and berries, if using.