How to Cook Oat Bran

By: Bob's Red Mill | December 7 2021

If you've taken the time to study up on the oat bran nutrition benefits, then you likely know just how wonderful it is for you. Though simple, adding oat bran to your diet might be a bit intimidating to those who haven't tried it before. While we all know how to cook oatmeal, oat bran's unique shape and texture leave us wondering how different the process can be. Making cooked oat bran is just as easy, if not easier, than making oatmeal. If you're ready to learn how to cook oat bran in minutes, continue scrolling as our Bob's Red Mill Food experts explain everything you need to know about this superfood.

What Is Oat Bran?

Oat bran cereal is a delicious and smooth hot cereal. Though it's often enjoyed for breakfast, this healthy dish can be eaten any time of the day. Made from whole oat groat, oat bran is the outer casing of the oat groat. It's low in saturated fat, packed with dietary fiber and cooks quickly. So, what is the difference between oat bran vs oatmeal? The difference is that oatmeal is the whole grain and the oat bran is the outer husk of the oat grain. The texture of oat bran is slightly creamier than oatmeal, which makes it easy to eat and digest. The ideal option when you are searching for a healthy breakfast, people of all ages can make oat bran and enjoy it.

How to Cook Oat Bran

Oat bran is simple to make and only requires a few ingredients. Make oat bran that's just the right amount of creamy and chewy by following the steps below.

What You'll Need

Though oat bran only requires two ingredients: water and oat bran, adding salt to oat bran will help keep it from tasting too bland. Cooked over the stove in a pan or saucer, all the ingredients of oat bran can be combined into one bowl, making it easier to clean up the kitchen afterward.

Toasting Oat Bran

Though entirely optional, toasting oat bran before adding it to the liquids will help enhance its overall flavor. However, if you're running short on time, disregard the first step of toasting oat bran and skip to boiling the water.


  • 2/3 cup Oat Bran Cereal or Organic Oat Bran Cereal
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Step-by-Step Instructions

tasty yogurt dessert with blueberry, blackberry, oat bran and mint in portion glass on dark concrete background

The perfect tasting hot oat bran cereal can be made in just a few steps. Here's the method that we've found works best.

Step 1: Prepare a medium saucepan by placing it over medium-high heat. Next, add the oat bran and begin to whisk it continuously for 30 seconds to 1 minute until you smell it toasting.

Step 2: Pour the toasted oat bran onto a plate and fill the saucepan with the water and salt, bringing it to a rolling boil.

Step 3: Once the water is boiling, add the toasted oat bran back into the saucepan and reduce the heat to a simmer, continuing to cook the oat bran for 3 minutes. As that oat bran is cooking, be sure to whisk it frequently to ensure that it cooks evenly.

Step 4: Once the oat bran is fully cooked, turn off the stove and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Step 5: Serve oat bran in bowls with a splash of plant-based milk like coconut milk or almond milk (optional) and your choice of toppings. Leftover oat bran can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Note: For a bowl of oat bran that is even creamier than most, we recommend adding a little extra water as it cooks. Or, if you'd rather have a thicker porridge, reduce the amount of water by a small amount.

Additional Cooking Methods

Though cooking oat bran on the stovetop is the most common cooking method, it's not the only one. Microwaving oat bran is another standard method that can be accomplished in just a few simple steps.


Looking for oat bran breakfast recipes that can be made in minutes? Cooking oat bran in the microwave is the fastest way to make it. Though the results may not be as rich and creamy as the stovetop method, it is still delicious.

To cook oat bran in the microwave, combine all ingredients into a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for two minutes. The result? A fluffy and smooth bowl of oat bran that you can dress up with whatever toppings you'd like.

Delicious Oat Bran Toppings

While oat bran can be enjoyed plain, we don't recommend it if you're a fan of flavorful food. However, its slightly nutty taste is so light that you can combine it with just about anything and it will taste good. To make a bowl of oat bran over the top delicious, we recommend topping it with some of the tasty foods below.

  • Fresh fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Yogurt
  • Nuts
  • Berries
  • Seeds
  • Chocolate chips

Additional Oat Bran Recipes

After trying a bowl full of delicious oat bran, you're bound to use it in other baked goods you create. Luckily, there are several different ways that you can use oat bran in the kitchen. Here are a few of our favorite oat bran recipes.


White Chocolate & Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

No great recipe list would be complete without a tasty cookie recipe, so we decided to start ours with one. Cookies are the ideal dessert, no matter the occasion. They're chewy, conveniently sized and super sweet, making them a treat that children and adults love. The perfect sweet snack to indulge in or after-dinner pleasure, having cookies around the house is a sure-fire way to lift everyone's mood. But, with so many cookie recipes out there, you may have trouble choosing just one.

Here at Bob's Red Mill, we've tried countless cookie recipes and one of our absolute favorites is this White Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookie Recipe. The delicious creamy texture of oat bran lends a chewy element to these cookies that can't be beaten. Plus, they're filled with tart dried cherries and sweet chocolate chips, taking the flavor of this dessert to the next level. So whip up a batch of these cookies to bring to your next gathering, or bake some to keep at home as the perfect after-dinner dessert. Either way, they're sure to be a crowd-pleaser.


Smoothies make for the perfect snack or meal when you're running short on time. Because smoothies can be made in a grab-and-go nature, we love packing ours with highly nutritious foods to ensure that we're getting the vitamins and minerals we need, even when we're in a crunch for time. While fruits and vegetables are often the featured ingredients in smoothie recipes, there are so many other things that you can add to them to take their flavor and texture up a notch. Nuts, protein powder and oat bran are just a few of the many ways you can give your everyday smoothie a much-needed upgrade.

Eager to try adding oat bran to your morning smoothie, test out this Berry Peachy Hemp Smoothie recipe. This flavorful smoothie uses our Hemp Protein Powder, fresh or frozen fruit, oat bran and a drizzle of maple syrup to create a thick and nutritious breakfast. Ideal for days when you're on a tight schedule, sipping on this smoothie is the perfect way to receive a much-needed boost of nutrients and energy for the day ahead.

Note: Eating raw oats is generally safe, but may cause digestive issues or increase the risk of foodborne illness.


Pumpkin oatmeal bars

Energy bars are another on-the-go treat that we love making for days when we don't have much free time. Sweet, filling and packed with nutrition; they make for the perfect snack between meals. And, when made with naturally sweet ingredients, they're an excellent alternative to that mid-day candy bar you usually reach for. While making energy bars at home might sound a bit complicated, we're here to reassure you it's not. Creating a large batch of bars at home is an easy way to ensure that you have something healthy to snack on all week long.

For a delicious bar recipe that's almost too good to be true, make these Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars. Made with a mixture of Oat Bran Cereal, Organic Golden Flaxseed Meal and Organic Quick Cooking Rolled Oats, they are then sweetened with pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon to harness all of the tasty flavors of fall. So whip up a batch to make for your kid's sports team, or make them for yourself and freeze until you are ready to enjoy.

The many ways that you can cook and use oat bran are endless. Choose from one of the recipes above, or get creative with your baking skills and create a recipe yourself. We're sure that no matter how you choose to use oat bran, it will be a fun and tasty experience. From everyone at Bob's Red Mill, have a deliciously oat-filled day!

Do you enjoy cooking with oat bran? We'd love to hear about the different recipes you make with this nutrient-rich ingredient. Let us know more about how you use oat bran in the comments below. We look forward to hearing from you!


  1. Carol Marshall
    Carol Marshall
    I am an RN in Cardiology and Vascular areas. My patients doctors highly recommend eating oat bran to lower their cholesterol. They give out homemade recipes for delicious oat bran muffins with low saturated fats. The results are truly amazing!
    1. Kathy
      Hi, I would love to have the recipe for the oat bran muffins that you mentioned your doctors give out. I have high cholesterol and am trying to bring it down with a change in my diet.
  2. Ray miller
    We’re can I get these healthy recipes?
  3. Manuel Tamara

    I am starting to introduce oat bran into my diet. It ‘s great but I get too much gas. Would washing the oat bran and rinsing the water before cooking them help with that?

    1. Elisabeth Allie
      I haven't heard of that helping! You might try cutting back on oat bran and other fiber-rich foods and introduce them to your system more slowly.

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