We’re Rolling Out the 5 Best Rolled Oats

If you think all rolled oats are the same, partner, you’d be dead wrong. That’s what I thought walking into this taste test, and now I’m eating my words (and oats). Heck, I’m not even a fan of oatmeal, but the difference in quality is stark among the various rolled oat brands. Oatmeal ingredients may seem simple and uniform, but like everything, they contain multitudes.

For all the rolled oats we tried, I microwaved them according to package directions. That usually entailed covering the microwave safe bowl with some plastic wrap and poking a couple holes in the top. I looked for texture and flavor, above all else. Texture is crucial here. When rolled oats are goopy and soft, it creates a rather unpleasant eating experience. But when they’re toothsome and oaty, they’re wonderful—warm, hearty, and satisfying. Prepared rolled oats should be savory and delicious on their own, providing a blank canvas for you to creatively adorn with fruity, sugary toppings. Or hey, just eat them plain if you prefer simplicity. 

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Best of the Best

One Degree Sprouted Rolled Oats

Pricey? Maybe, but One Degree is worth it. These rolled oats are exemplary, setting a high benchmark for what oatmeal should be. The flavor of One Degree is impeccable—very earthy and grainy. And the texture is complex and delightful. I love a good, noticeably organic product, and that’s what this is. You could experiment with toppings like seasonal fruits, nuts, and, hell, and even some chocolate. But I actually enjoyed the experience of eating these oats plain. One Degree might make an oatmeal convert out of me.

Credit: Merc / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best with Cinnamon

Sprouts Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

These oats from Sprouts have a similar vibe to One Degree—great texture and a simple earthy flavor. They kind of have a barley taste to them—grassy and fiber-forward. Again, rolled oats shine brightest when the consistency isn’t mush, and these Sprouts Old Fashioned Rolled Oats deliver a pleasantly coarse product. The natural, grassy flavor would go great with some brown sugar and cinnamon—amping up that earthiness, but adding some sweetness, too.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Best for Oatmeal Cookies

Bob’s Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

Bob’s Red Mill oats are chewy and toothsome, and deliver that stellar texture we’ve set as the standard. I think the texture here is perfect for oatmeal cookies or homemade granola bars. These oats have that perfect middle ground texture—not too chunky, not finely milled—that would make a fantastic oatmeal cookie. Bob’s Red Mill is a great brand to bake with because they make such quality products. Bob’s Red Mill oats seem like they could really take oatmeal cookies to the next level.

Credit: Merc / Amazon

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Best High Protein

Kodiak Protein Oats Classic Rolled Oats

If you’re trying to load up on protein, go with Kodiak Protein Oats. This oatmeal is made with rolled oats, pea protein concentrate, and whey protein crisps. One serving nets you ten grams of protein, which is impressive. I was surprised that the added protein ingredients didn’t negatively impact the taste. It does have that sort of mild protein powder flavor going on, but doesn’t veer too far in that direction. This still tastes like oatmeal. Kodiak has great balance.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Best Budget

Great Value Rolled Oats

Look, these aren’t organic or artisanal by any stretch, but they are dirt cheap and readily available. Great Value Rolled Oats are far cheaper than Quaker Oats, and quite honestly I don’t think they taste much different. These are the type of oats my mom or grandma would use to make oatmeal cookies. They don’t provide a great bowl of oatmeal experience—they came out rather mushy. But I would use them for baking. If you’re on a budget, you’re on a budget, and I personally don’t shy away from products like this if I’m trying to save some bucks.

Credit: Merc / Walmart

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Other products we tried: Simple Truth Rolled Oats, Quaker Oats, Kroger Old Fashioned Oats, Whole Foods 365 Rolled Oats, Happy Belly Rolled Oats, Better Oats Rolled Oats.

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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