Atole de Avena (Mexican Oatmeal Drink)
Atole de avena, aka Mexican oatmeal drink, is perfect to start your day. Is creamy, sweet, and comforting. Enjoy for breakfast or as a sweet treat in the afternoon.
About This Recipe
Atole de Avena is a sweet and thick beverage made with oats, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. It has a sweet and delicate taste with a thick and creamy texture.
This hot oat drink is nutritious, fulfilling, and flavorful. In Mexico is served mostly as breakfast, especially during the coldest months.
Even though most Mexican atole recipes are made of corn masa to achieve their particular thick texture, atole de avena doesn’t use it as the oats are enough to thicken the mixture.
Some Mexican beverages made with masa harina include atole de guayaba and champurrado.
Oatmeal atole brings so many memories to me. My grandma Julia used to make it for us every single morning and serve it with animal crackers or galletas Marías.
If I close my eyes, I can still smell the wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen or even hear the pot simmering.
So let me tell you how to make this comforting and cozy drink so you can enjoy it whenever possible.
- AVENA (oats): Old-fashioned oats are used in this recipe. You can also replace them with oats flour.
- MILK: Use whole milk for a creamy texture, or replace it with vegan beverages (coconut milk, soy milk, etc.) for a dairy-free version.
- SUGAR: I used regular granulated sugar and sometimes I like to use also piloncillo or brown sugar. You can replace it with your favorite sweetener.
- CINNAMON: Use a small stick of cinnamon, or replace it with 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
- VANILLA: Optional, I like the flavor and aroma, but you can simply leave it out.
- WATER: for boiling the cinnamon stick. If you use cinnamon powder, replace water with milk.
How To Make Atole de Avena
Place the old fashioned oats in a blender and pour half of the milk.
Blend at high speed for 1 minute. Don’t worry if some bits remain, those add a nice texture to this drink!
In a medium pot pour the water, and add the sugar and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, then set the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
After the water has been infused and flavored with cinnamon, add the oats mixture while stirring with a spoon.
Then pour in the remaining milk and vanilla extract, and bring to a gentle simmer.
Cook while stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches a thick consistency that coats the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes).
Adjust sugar if needed, then turn off the heat and serve this oatmeal drink in mugs. Enjoy!
- You can adjust the oatmeal drink consistency by adding more milk to make it thinner or cooking it longer to make it thicker.
- When you add the oats mixture to the cinnamon-flavored water, make sure you do it while stirring to prevent any lumps to form.
- Do not stop stirring the mixture; it will spill out of the pot, or even worse, burn on the bottom!
- You can make this drink vegan or dairy-free by using vegan beverages such as coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc. If you doing this, I recommend using 1/4 cup more of oats since you’ll be missing a bit of the creaminess from whole milk.
- Or you can simply leave the milk out and use only water, it is still a nutritious and fulfilling drink you can serve for breakfast. If you go this way, we recommend infusing the water with more spices, whole cloves, and anis star works wonderfully in this recipe.
How To Serve
There’s no better combo than atole + tamales, for breakfast or merienda, so here are our favorite tamales recipes to serve this atole de avena with:
- Pork Tamales. Made with chile rojo and shredded pork.
- Tamales de rajas. fluffy tamales stuffed with poblano peppers and cheese.
- Ground beef tamales. Deliciously made with picadillo and olives.
You can also serve it with other sweet treats like:
- Empanadas. Stuffed with pumpkin.
- Coricos. Mexican corn cookies.
- Gorditas de nata. Puffy cakes made with clotted cream.
- Polvorones. Traditional Mexican cookies.
Last, this oatmeal atole can be also served on its own with a sprinkle of cinnamon powder or grated chocolate on top for a sweet afternoon treat.
Perfect to warm you up on cold days!
How To Store And Reheat
Oatmeal atole leftovers can be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
You can also freeze it for up to 2 months and then thaw it overnight and have it ready the next morning for breakfast.
For reheating, place the avena atole in a saucepan or small pot and reheat in a medium setting while stirring constantly.
You can also reheat it in the microwave in the same mug where you’ll drink it in 30 seconds intervals, mixing it in between.
Watch The Video
Atole de Avena (Mexican oatmeal atole)
- 1 cup old fashioned oats, or oats flour
- 4 ⅙ cups whole milk
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 ¼ cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Place the old-fashioned oats in a blender and pour in half of the milk. Blend for 1 minute.
- Add water, sugar, and cinnamon stick to a pot.
- Bring to a boil, then set the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add the oats mixture, then the remaining milk and vanilla extract. Bring to a simmer.
- Cook atole while stirring constantly for about 10 minutes.
- Adjust sugar to taste, turn off the heat and serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon powder on top.
- Adjust the drink consistency by adding more milk to make it thinner or cooking it longer to make it thicker.
- Do not stop stirring the mixture; it will spill out of the pot, or even worse, burn on the bottom.
- You can make this oat drink vegan or dairy-free by using vegan beverages such as coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, etc.
- Or you can simply leave the milk out and use only water, it is still a nutritious and fulfilling drink you can serve for breakfast.
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Other Mexican Hot Drinks
- Ponche Navideño: The most traditional Mexican drink for Christmas made with fruits, tamarind, and hibiscus flowers.
- Atole de fresas: Made with strawberries and milk.
- Café de olla: Aromatic and infused with cinnamon, this Mexican coffee is definitely one of the best hot drinks to enjoy in winter.
Ooh, this sounds delicious. It sounds like liquid porridge and I adore porridge. I’m so going to have to give your atole a go.
Absolute heaven, what a delicious drink to wake up to!
I’ve never heard of this drink but I love the idea of an alternative to hot chocolate so its going straight on my “to-try” list!
What a fab breakfast for this time of year! I know a little Pea that will be trying this out at the weekend! Thanks for sharing :)
This sounds so cozy and wonderful for this dreary weather!
My grandmother made this as we were growing up. I remember not liking it, and now that she is no longer here I find myself looking for this recipes of delicious flavors and thanks to yours I can enjoy them again 😊 thank you.
You’re welcome, I hope you enjoy it and it brings sweet memories of your grandmother :)
Thank you for all of the info on the different drinks. I experienced some while teaching in Los Angeles. The vanilla atole is very comforting.
I’m excited to try your atole recipes. My kids binge off of our version of atole all fall and winter. I’ll be following up :)
Thank you :) try atole de Mazapán, its delicious! And is so easy to make too.
Saw it. Tried it. Loved it. This recipe was beyond amazing and the flavors were indescribable. Thank you for providing this recipe, I really enjoyed it. It warmed my heart. ❤️❤️❤️😊
Thank you Jocelyn! Atole de avena is really a cozy and comforting drink, glad you enjoyed it :)
Making this Now and I can’t wait to try it!!!
How was it?
I’ve been looking for an oatmeal version of this for years, now! Atole is the perfect breakfast choice when one is barred by allergy from Carnation Breakfast Beverages from the supermarket! Thank you so much for posting this recipe; it’s my new favorite.
I also enjoy pretending the base is made of cinnamon candy. ;)
Excellent recipe giving lots of information…delicious Avena.