Avena (Old Fashioned Mexican Oatmeal)

This recipe is very dear to me. I used to make this into an atole for my mother by blending it and adding more water or milk – it’s the perfect warm meal and excellent for the elderly. My mother loved it and drank it every day. ~ Vangie

Avena (Old Fashioned Mexican Oatmeal)


  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • Condensed milk (optional)
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Ground cinnamon (optional)
  • Blueberries (optional)
  • Walnuts (optional)
  • Honey (optional)


  1. Boil water and cinnamon sticks. Remove from heat and let stand for about 1 hour (covered). Discard the cinnamon sticks, add a pinch of salt, and oats, let simmer for 45 minutes add more water to desired consistency. Add milk (optional) and sugar (optional) and let simmer for an additional 20 minutes until creamy.
  2. Serve in a bowl and add more milk or water if you want it thinner. Add honey to sweeten. Sprinkle with cinnamon and garnish with blueberries or walnuts.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 week.

Photography by Jeanine Thurston

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  2. This is a delightful recipe…loving your style of putting up the things !

    • Thank you Sonia! This recipe is very dear to us! Its amazing how a simple recipe can bring back so many memories. I think thats why we love our recipes, because they all have a story connected to them. Take care!

  3. Mmm avena! My mom used to make this for us as kids 🙂

  4. Yvette, my husband and I are sitting down together on our couch, looking through your beautiful website and delicious recipes. We loved your oatmeal recipe, especially with walnuts and blueberries. We’re making it on Saturday, for breakfast.

    Can’t wait for your cookbook!!


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  6. Thank you for this! My husband was so upset the other day because he tried to make some and it didn’t turn out. So I found your recipe and made him some, and put some in a new Thermos for Valentine’s Day! He loved it 🙂

    • Elizabeth what a sweet gesture on your part, I’m just glad we were able to help you on your quest for homemade avena. I’m sure it warmed his heart. Gracias for sharing your story y besitios amiga!

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  8. Having an ex mother of Mexican culture, I learned many things but one that left me boggled was a drink she called atole, she made it for me everyday and said that it would help me produce breast milk for my babies…indeed it did! But I’m not sure if the receipe you posted is intended for that also….I want to make it for my daughter, so I need your help!!! Thank you

    • Hola Elizabeth,

      I wish I could help, but I have not heard of atole/avena producing breast milk. Maybe its just the added milk or healthy oats in the recipe? Doen’t hurt for her to give it a try. Its a great healthy breakfast!

  9. Thank you for this recipe! I loved the avena in Mexico and hope with this recipe I can get it to turn out the same!

  10. What kind if milk can I add? The condensed milk or regular milk? And how much of the condensed milk? Thanks love your website. Already made the green enchiladasso delicious…right now I have the cinnamon sticks and water standing for 1 hr

  11. will be trying the recipe out soon looks delicious!

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  13. I’m so glad I found you your recipe’s are simply delicious is your cook book out already I just wanted you to know how wonderful your capirotada is ,it was the first time I made it and it was so good thank you . Your a wonderful cook thanks to your grandmother and mother .

  14. Thank you 

  15. I came out perfect! I am so happy to have found your recipe

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