Quick Oats vs Rolled Oats: Everything You Need to Know

If you’ve ever been confused about the differences between quick oats vs rolled oats, look no further. This article has everything you need to know!

brown bowl of oats

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Quick Oats vs Rolled Oats

Quick oats and rolled come from the same hulled kernel of wheat. The difference between quick oats vs rolled oats lie in its processing. Both varieties get steamed then rolled. Quick oats get steamed more and flattened thinner compared to rolled oats. That results in a thinner and more ‘cooked’ oat.

Quick oats can also be called minute oats because they usually only take a minute in the microwave to cook. Rolled oats are also sometimes called Old-Fashioned oats. If you ever see either, know the names can be used interchangeably.

quick oats vs rolled oats on checkered towel

When to use Quick Oats

Quick oats are the perfect option when you are crunched on time. They have already been broken down, so they will cook in a short amount of time.

If you are making a classic batch of oatmeal for breakfast and tight on time opt for quick oats. Or, if you want a bowl of oatmeal that is more, for a lack of a better term, mushy, then quick oats are what you are looking for.

For no-bake recipes or dessert recipes you are also going to want to use quick oats. These taste better and are easier on the stomach than rolled oats would be.

When to use Rolled Oats

Use rolled oats when you are looking for something that will maintain its texture and hold up well.

For example, you may want to use rolled oats in a hearty oat muffin. This muffin would be able to maintain its oat texture and break down as quick oats would.

Another time to use rolled oats are as a thickener. When making veggie burgers, homemade granola, meatballs, or meatloaf try using rolled oats in them!

oatmeal platter of quick oats vs rolled oats

How to Cook Quick Oats

You choose to use quick oats simply because they only take a single minute to cook in the microwave.

In a bowl add 1/2 cup of quick oats and 1 cup of liquid. For a lower calorie option use water and for a creamier option use milk. If you want a bit more flavor sprinkle on a pinch of salt. Mix everything together, cover with a paper towel, and cook in the microwave for 1 minute.

Voilà! You have a bowl of oats ready for any toppings your heart desires in almost no time.

How to Cook Rolled Oats

When I think of having rolled oats I think of a cold winter day with time to spare. Therefore, I love to make rolled oats on the stovetop.

In a small pot add 1 cup of water or milk and bring to just a boil. Then, pop in 1/2 cup of rolled oats, stirring occasionally. You can add a pinch of salt here, too!

This version doesn’t take too much longer than quick oats (which I love) but feels like I am actually making a hearty bowl of oats.

photo of granola on bowl quick oats vs rolled oats

Quick Oats Nutrition

A serving size of quick oats is 1/2 cup. Keep in mind that that does not mean you can only have 1/2 cup!

There are: 150 calories, 27 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fat, and 5 grams of protein in the popular brand of Quaker 1-Minute Oats.

Also, it has 4 grams of fiber!

Those concerned with glycemic index (typically those with diabetes) know that rolled oats may have a marginally lower level. Glycemic index is a measurement as to the spike in blood sugar after consuming a food. A high glycemic index may not ‘stick’ in your stomach as well (there is much more to glycemic index, if you are interested read Harvard’s article).

Rolled Oats Nutrition

As you know know that quick oats and rolled oats are the same food, just processed differently, you may not be surprised when I tell you…

There are: 150 calories, 27 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fat, and 5 grams of protein in Quaker Old Fashioned Oats.

And that there are also 4 grams of fiber.

Notice anything? Yup! Quick oats and rolled oats have the exact same nutrition content.

peach oatmeal

The Basics of Carbohydrates

Both types of oats mainly consist of carbohydrates (carbs). Awesome! Carbs are what a majority of your calories should be coming from everyday. This means you are on the right track, starting out early!

Some more details about carbs are that they come with 4 calories per gram. That stacks up pretty dang well. This bowl of carbs will be a base of a breakfast that will keep you filled and satisfied until lunch time!

Both of these oats have fiber. Fiber is best described as being a subset of carbs. If you want to learn more about fiber read my article: Fiber: An Important Carbohydrate.

Recipes that use Quick Oats

Quick oats has always been my go-to type of oat for its ability to cook so quickly but also for its versatility! You could probably add some quick oats into a batch of cookies for some extra fiber without even noticing.

Pistachio Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Pumpkin Baked Oats

The Easiest Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Balls

Banana Bread Oatmeal

Recipes that use Rolled Oats

Rolled oats are best used for foods that want to maintain the hearty texture of the oat. It is also great as an addition to meatballs and meatloaves! The next time you make one of these recipes, be sure you’re grabbing the correct type of oat!

BBQ Turkey Meatloaf

Healthy Fruit Pizza with Granola Crust

Vanilla Granola

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Quick Oats vs Rolled Oats Takeaways

  • Both types of oats come from the same wheat.
  • Rolled oats have a lower glycemic index than quick oats.
  • Different recipes will call for a different type or oat depending on the ultimate taste and texture goal of the recipes.

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