If you’ve ever wondered How To Make Cream Of Wheat cereal (also known as farina), you’ve come to the right place. Soft, creamy, and oh-so-cozy, this breakfast staple is the quick & easy 2-ingredient breakfast you need in your busy life.
What Is Cream Of Wheat?
Cream of Wheat is an American brand of farina, which is a popular type of hot cereal made by milling the endosperm of wheat grains into a relatively fine grit but stopping short of continuing to mill it into flour. In this way, it is similar to grits, however, grits (like polenta) are made from corn rather than wheat.
So, what’s the difference between farina vs. Cream of Wheat? Just a little bit of branding!
About This Recipe
As part of my drive towards keeping my food budget in check, I’ve turned towards making breakfasts and coffees at home. Between my Starbucks copycat Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espressos and Iced Americanos, we’ve eliminated the need to visit our local barista.
I’ve also been more diligent about making sure we have plenty of tasty meals to fuel us up for our busy days — from berry-filled bowls of steel-cut oats to scrambled egg and cheese toasts, French toast to mini pancakes and quiches, our favorite café has nothing on our homemade breakfasts.
That said, there are definitely plenty of days when I just don’t have the time, patience, or energy to stand at the stove first thing after I get out of bed. When those days inevitably arise, I turn to this tried-and-true Cream of Wheat recipe as a great addition to a busy week.
Cook it in milk for a creamier experience, or use your favorite broth or stock to make it savory. Top it with fruit, nuts, and brown sugar for something sweet, or stir in some cheese and add roasted tomatoes, peppers, and onions for a totally restaurant-worthy brunch dish.
No matter how you serve it, one thing remains the same: Cream of Wheat is a powerful ally in the quest for breakfast excellence. So, let’s get to the kitchen and make a bowl or hot breakfast porridge, shall we?
Ingredients & Substitutions
As promised, you only need 2 basic ingredients to make a delicious bowl of farina porridge. Here’s what to grab at the grocery store:
- Oat Milk - You’re also welcome to use water, regular milk, or nearly any liquid of your choice. Coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk or soy milk are all great options!
- Cream of Wheat - The branded red box is easy to find in the cereal aisle, but feel free to price compare with the bulk aisle or any products labeled “farina.”
Wondering what to put in (or on) Cream of Wheat to dress it up? Here are some of my favorite toppings to garnish your healthy breakfast:
- Fresh Fruit or Frozen Berries
- Heavy Cream
- Dried Fruit
- Roasted Nuts
- Nut Butter or Seed Butter
- Chocolate Chips
- Stewed Pears or Apples
- Maple Syrup, Honey or a little sugar
- Store-Bought or Homemade Jam, Compote, or Preserves
If none of these items are piquing your interest, jump down to the “optional variations” section for even more delicious ideas!
How To Make Cream of Wheat
This recipe for cream of wheat couldn’t be easier or faster if it tried. Here’s how to make this hot breakfast cereal:
Step 1: Heat Milk. Bring oat milk (or the liquid of your choice) to a simmer/boil on medium heat in a medium-sized saucepan.
Step 2: Simmer. Add the Cream of Wheat (and optional dash of salt) in a steady stream as you whisk to combine, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Continue to stir while the cream of wheat absorbs the liquid (about 2-3 minutes) then remove from heat. If you're noticing that it looks a bit thick for your preference, you can always add some additional hot water or more liquid.
Step 3: Garnish & Serve.Top with fresh berries, dried coconut, dried fruit, bananas, peanut butter, and/or any other toppings your heart desires, then dig in!
When it comes to turning Cream of Wheat into a meal, your flavor options are basically endless. Here are a few more variations to consider:
- Chocolate Cream of Wheat - If you’re someone who likes chocolate for breakfast, I see you! Try using chocolate-flavored oat milk in place of plain, add a teaspoon or two of cocoa powder to the Cream of Wheat powder before adding it to the milk, and/or add a tablespoon or so of regular or mini chocolate chips to the bowl once it’s done cooking. Top with some berries to balance out the richness, then enjoy!
- Coffee Cream of Wheat - If you’re someone who likes the whole two birds, one stone way of living, feel free to use half coffee and half milk for a latte-flavored bowl of creamy goodness. (Or, make it a mocha bowl by using chocolate milk and coffee!) You can also use ALL coffee if you like, then drizzle on a little cream at the end for an extra dose of buzzy caffeine.
- Savory Cream of Wheat. Try using unsweetened milk and/or your favorite broth as your liquid, add salt and pepper to taste, then stir in your favorite melty cheese like cheddar, gruyere, or pepper jack, and top with a pat of butter for a seriously delicious side or meal. Bonus points if you add a jammy egg, sautéed or roasted veggies, and/or cooked shrimp for a quasi-shrimp & grits experience.
Gluten-Free Cream of Wheat
Since wheat is, by its very nature, filled with gluten, you can’t necessarily have a gluten-free cream of wheat.
That said, the company has created a similar product known as Cream of Rice that cooks up in roughly the same amount of time and has a similar consistency. Unfortunately, Cream of Rice isn’t quite as nutritionally dense as the fiber-packed original.
If you are willing to spend a bit more money, there is also another product known as Cream of Buckwheat made by a different brand. While “wheat” is in the name, buckwheat is actually completely free of wheat and gluten, and is still packed with fiber and nutrients.
- Whisk vigorously as you add the farina to the hot liquid to keep it from getting a bowl of lumpy cream of wheat. I also suggest pouring it in as a thin stream rather than dumping it all in at once to ensure that it incorporates well.
- Continue to stir as it cooks, paying particular attention to the corners and bottom of the pan so nothing scorches and you have a creamy texture
Dry, uncooked Cream of Wheat should keep well in an airtight container in the pantry for 1-2 years.
Cooked Cream of Wheat can be stored in the refrigerator for 5-7 days, or frozen for up to 6 months.
To reheat, use the microwave or a saucepan on the stovetop, adding more liquid as needed, For best results, mix with a wire whisk and enjoy your tasty breakfast.
Frequently Asked Questions
You’ll need 1 part farina to 4 parts of water.
Yes! Wheat has gluten, so it follows that farina does as well. If you are gluten-free, try Cream of Rice or Cream of Buckwheat instead. Head to the nutritional information within the recipe card for more information!
While the two are similar, Cream of Wheat is made with wheat (shocker, I know), whereas grits and polenta are made with corn. Also, while the consistency is similar, stone-ground grits will have more texture than creamy farina and they’ll also take much longer to cook.
It sure is! Just make sure to cook it with dairy-free milk or a vegan liquid to make your meal completely plant-based.
More Breakfast Recipes
As always, I love seeing your creations and hearing from you! If you try this recipe, please share your creation with me on social media! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest - for more delicious recipes sent straight to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter!
How to Make Cream of Wheat
- 2 cups Oat milk, or water, milk, dairy free option of your choice
- ⅓ cup Cream of wheat
- Fresh fruit, dried fruit, coconut, or toppings of your choice
- Bring Oat milk (or liquid of your choice) to a simmer/boil.2 cups Oat milk
- Add cream of wheat and reduce heat to low. Simmer while the cream of wheat absorbs the liquid.⅓ cup Cream of wheat
- Continue to stir while the cream of wheat cooks for about 2-3 minutes then remove from heat.
- Top with fresh berries, dried coconut, dried fruit, bananas, peanut butter - garnish to your heart's content!Fresh fruit
- Dry, uncooked Cream of Wheat should keep well in an airtight container in the pantry for 1-2 years.
- Cooked Cream of Wheat can be stored in the refrigerator for 5-7 days, or frozen for up to 6 months.
- To reheat, use the microwave or a saucepan on the stovetop, adding more liquid as needed, For best results, mix with a wire whisk and enjoy your tasty breakfast.
Leave a Reply