16 Savory Oatmeal Recipes

Health & Fitness

Health Benefits of Oats: Oatmeal with Sauteed Mushrooms, Onion, and Thyme

A recent study found that people who consumed oatmeal—either instant or old-fashioned—felt fuller and had a suppressed appetite over four hours, compared to people who ate ready-to-eat boxed cereals. While we’re sure you’ve tried the hearty whole grain for breakfast, we have good news for you: It tastes equally as delicious as a savory snack or meal, any time of the day. Check out 16 ways to enjoy the filling food, any time of day.

“I love this on a cold morning, particularly as I prepare for an active weekend at the gym, on the road, or about town,” says David Olson, the man behind A Bachelor and His Grill. “This dish is gorgeous, fresh, nutrient-dense, full of rustic, earthy flavors, and fills the kitchen with the most amazing of aromas.”

Serves: 2 to 4

2 cups water (1 cup water if using old-fashioned oats)
1 cup steel-cut oatmeal (or rolled old-fashioned oats)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional to taste
1/2 medium onion, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 to 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
3 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup finely grated smoked gouda
Flaky sea salt to taste
Cracked black pepper to taste
2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, for garnish

1. Bring water to a boil in a pot. Pour in oatmeal, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until oats have reached desired tenderness.
2. Meanwhile pour oil into a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add onion and garlic and saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and thyme sprigs and saute until mushrooms turn golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. (If liquid dries too soon, add 1 teaspoon oil at a time.) Remove thyme sprigs.
3. When oatmeal finishes cooking, remove from heat and fold in gouda. Scoop into pan with vegetables and mix thoroughly. Transfer to serving bowls and add olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves.

Oatmeal with Avocado and Kale

“The avocado makes this oatmeal dish rich and creamy, while the kale gives it freshness and the cocoa nibs provide a slightly bitter crunch,” says Ilana Freddye, of the blog Whisked. “It’s all rounded out with a nice touch of spice from the chili flakes.”

Serves: 1

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup water
1 kale leaf, shredded
2 slices avocado
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cocoa nibs

Mix oats, water, and a pinch of salt in a microwavable bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Top with kale and avocado, sprinkling avocado with salt to taste. Top oatmeal with chili flakes, drizzled olive oil, and cocao nibs.

Oatmeal with Soy Nuts and Wakame Seaweed

“Wakame adds umami to the oatmeal, and there’s a nutty, crunchy textural contrast from the soy nuts,” says Escapades in Cookery’s William Chen. His recipe makes one large serving, so be sure you’re hungry.

Serves: 1

1 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup rolled (old-fashioned) oats
1/4 cup soymilk
1 handful dried, pre-cut wakame seaweed
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 handful soy nuts, for garnish

Bring water to boil in a small saucepan. Add oats and lower to medium heat. Simmer for 3 minutes, until water has reduced and oats are starting to thicken. Turn heat to medium-low and add soymilk and wakame, stirring for another minute. Add soy sauce and stir another minute or until seaweed has softened. Pour oatmeal into a bowl and garnish with soy nuts.

Oatmeal Congee

“The inspiration for this oatmeal recipe came from a Thai rice porridge breakfast I had in Bangkok,” says (Don’t Be) Too Timid and Squeamish blogger Marcy Light. “As with many savory, spicy, crunchy Thai recipes, you can adjust the condiments to suit your own tastes.

Serves: 1

1/2 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 egg, poached
1/4 cup mushrooms, sauteed
1/4 cup bean sprouts (optional)
2 scallions, sliced (optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro (optional)
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger (optional)
1 tablespoon soy sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (optional)

Combine oatmeal and stock in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour into a serving bowl and top with egg, mushrooms, and remaining ingredients as desired.

Spicy Oatmeal with Peanuts, Cilantro, and Ginger

“I love how colorful this oatmeal is!” says The Mija Chronicle’s Lesley Tellez. “It’s got a sweet tartness from the tomatoes and a spicy, gingery kick.”

Serves: 2

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups water
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 tablespoons unsalted peanuts
3 tablespoons chopped onion
1/2 serrano chile, with seeds, minced
1-inch piece ginger, minced
1 pinch red chili powder
2 pinches curry leaves
1 roma tomato, diced
Salt to taste
1 small handful cilantro (or to taste), chopped

1. Combine oats and water and cook on high heat in microwave for 2 and half minutes or until cooked. Set aside.
2. Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add mustard seeds. When they start to pop (about 1 to 2 minutes), add peanuts, onion, serrano, ginger, chili powder, and curry leaves. Stir and cook about 3 minutes, until peanuts are lightly toasted and spices are aromatic. Add tomato and salt to taste. Pour in oatmeal and cook another 1 to 2 minutes, until heated. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Spinach Oats

“With its classic Italian flavors, this oat dish reminds me of spaghetti bolognese. It has no meat, cheese, or pasta, but it’s just as hearty,” says Lilly Hippel, the human half of A Girl and Her Food Processor.

Serves: 1

1 cup water
1/4 cup steel-cut oats
1 cup frozen spinach
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/4 cup marinara sauce
1/3 cup ground beef-style vegetable or soy protein crumbles (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil water and stir in oats, reducing heat to medium. Cook for about 5 minutes, then taste-test oats; they should be about halfway done. Stir in spinach and nutritional yeast, and continue to simmer on medium heat about 5 minutes or until spinach is thawed and oats are at preferred chewiness. Stir in marinara, protein crumbles, salt, and pepper and cook another 1 to 2 minutes to evenly heat all ingredients.

Gluten-Free Savory Oats Porridge with Bacon, Cheddar, Fresh Tomatoes, and Chives

“The nutty, wholesome oats, plus the trio of smoky bacon, fresh ripe tomato, and sharp cheddar, makes for a surprisingly perfect combination,” promises Anne, who blogs with her mother, Donna, on Apron Strings.

Serves: 4

8 slices bacon
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup gluten-free steel-cut oats
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons for garnish
Salt and fresh place pepper to taste
1 heaping cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Cayenne pepper sauce (optional)

1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon in batches, turning frequently, until browned and crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside on a paper towel.
2. While bacon is cooking, bring milk, water, and stock just to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir in oats and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring regularly, for 25 to 30 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and oats are tender and cooked through. Stir in cheddar, chives, salt, and pepper and taste for seasoning. Just before serving, crumble bacon and stir into oatmeal. Top with cherry tomatoes and extra chives and serve cayenne pepper sauce on the side.

Curry Oatmeal

“A twist on an old favorite, this spicy one-pot oatmeal curry can be tweaked depending on whatever veggies you have in the fridge,” says Judy Trinh, of her namesake blog Judy’s Home. Her recipe makes one “gigantic” serving, she adds, so consider sharing.

Serves: 1

1/4 cup steel-cut oats
3/4 cup water (more or less, depending on if you like them softer or harder; or coconut milk)
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
Salt to taste
Vietnamese fish sauce to taste
1/8 red pepper, sliced
1/8 green pepper, sliced
1 bunch pea sprouts
2 shallots, sliced
1/4 to 1/3 cooked chicken breast, sliced
Green onions, sliced, for garnish

Bring oats and water to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-high and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated. Toss in curry powder, salt, and fish sauce and mix. Add veggies and chicken and remove from heat. Garnish with green onions.

Oatmeal with Bacon, Cheddar, and a Fried Egg

“This oat dish is similar to creamy polenta,” says An Edible Mosaic’s Faith. “Turkey bacon adds smokiness, onion deepens the flavor, adding both a touch of natural sweetness as well as savory notes, and sharp cheddar adds complexity. A fried egg with runny yolk is the perfect topper.”

Serves: 1

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 slices turkey bacon, diced
1/2 small onion, diced
1/3 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup water
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch black pepper, plus more to taste
2 ounces sharp cheddar, diced
1 fried egg

1. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer bacon to a small bowl and set aside.
2. Add onion to oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to turn brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in oats, water, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer until oats are tender, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in bacon and cheese. Transfer to a bowl and top with fried egg and more black pepper, if desired.

Mediterranean Oatmeal

“The rich, tangy flavors of kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta cheese will bring the sunny Mediterranean to your humble bowl of oatmeal,” Marcy Light says.

Serves: 1

1/2 cup oatmeal
1 cup vegetable stock
1 dash dried oregano
Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil or reconstituted), chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. Combine oatmeal, stock, oregano, and pepper in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a pan over low heat. Add garlic, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes and saute about 3 minutes, until tender.
3. Top oatmeal with vegetable mixture, add feta, and drizzle with remaining oil.

Oatmeal with Tofu

“By adding in unusual ingredients like cilantro, soy sauce, and tofu, oatmeal can be transformed into a bowl of comforting gooey, creamy mess packed with tons of Asian flavors and many good-for-you nutrients,” says Stephanie Chung, who posts at A Nutritious Plate.

Serves: 1

3 ounces silken tofu
1/4 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup edamame
1/4 cup peas
3/4 cup cooked steel-cut oats
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
1 egg, well beaten
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
Soy sauce to taste (optional)

Add first six ingredients to a small pan over high heat, stirring well and breaking tofu into chunks. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to simmer until tofu is heated thoroughly, about 5 minutes. (Add water if mixture gets too thick.) Slowly pour in egg while slowly stirring and bring mixture to a boil again. Remove from heat and stir in scallions. Serve with splash of soy sauce, if desired.

Vegetarian Oatmeal on a Bed of Spinach

“This recipe brings together a lot of my favorite foods, flavors, and textures. I love the combination of sweet and savory, as well as the soft texture of the oats and avocado with the crunchy pepper and juicy pineapple,” says Heather Nauta, who shares her recipes on Healthy Vegan Recipes.

Serves: 2 to 3

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons white wine (or vegetable broth)
3 cups sliced mushrooms
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon mixed dried herbs (basil, oregano, marjoram)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups water (or vegetable broth)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 cups spinach
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 avocado, sliced

1. Heat a pot over medium-high heat and cook onions and garlic in wine for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, lime zest and juice, herbs, paprika, and salt and cook for another 10 minutes, until mushrooms are softened. Add oats, water, and nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Turn heat down to medium-low and let cook for 5 minutes, or until oats are softened and liquid is absorbed.
2. You can either serve this over a bed of fresh spinach and topped with pepper, pineapple, and avocado, or stir spinach, pepper, and pineapple in to cook a little bit and then serve topped with avocado.

Sichuan Oatmeal

“A bowl of oatmeal built from the flavors of my favorite noodle dish, dan dan noodles, this is creamy, spicy, peanutty, and overall very flavorful,” Stephanie Chung says.

Serves: 1

2 cups water
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup shredded Taiwanese cabbage
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken stock
3/4 cup cooked steel-cut oats
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili sauce
1/2 tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 tablespoon Chinese sesame paste
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
Sesame oil

1. Bring water to a boil in a pot over high heat. Add bean sprouts and cabbage and simmer on medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. In the same pot over medium heat, add stock, oatmeal, sprouts, and cabbage. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix together chili sauce, peanut butter, and sesame paste. If mixture is too thick to stir well, add a splash of hot water to help paste blend together. Set aside.
4. When oatmeal is heated thoroughly, add sauce and scallions. Stir well and remove from heat. Cover pot and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve drizzled with sesame oil.

Basil Pesto Oats

“These Italian-style savory oats are full of rich flavors like garlic, basil, and tomato. The texture is similar to that of risotto, but the meal comes together much quicker than risotto would,” says Fear of Bananas’s Stephanie Smith.

Serves: 2

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 link sun-dried tomato and basil chicken sausage, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tablespoons fresh basil
1 tablespoon red wine (optional)
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup Coach’s Oats
3/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons pesto
1 1/4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup pickled vegetables (optional)

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add oil, sausage, garlic, and basil and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, until browned. Remove sausage from pan and set aside. Deglaze pan by pouring in wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add oats, reduce heat to medium, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until most liquid is absorbed. Mix in tomato sauce and pesto, then add sausage and cheese, mixing well until cheese is melted. Serve topped with pickled vegetables, if desired.

Spinach and Roasted Veggie Oatmeal

“The vegetables and spices transform creamy oatmeal into spicy, nutty dish that reminds me of southern-style grits without the grittiness,” says Alex, the blogger behind Spoonful of Sugar Free.

Serves: 1

1 cup water (or broth)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped spinach
1/4 cup cubed and roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon rosemary (or other spice of choice)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 fried egg (optional)

Boil water with oats in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in spinach, then remove from heat. Add squash, spices, and salt and pepper to taste. Top with fried egg, if desired, and serve warm.

Clean-Eating Savory Oatmeal


“This delicious oat dish is super creamy and wonderfully comforting—and guilt-free!” says Tiffany, of The Gracious Pantry.

Serves: 1

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
4 crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

Add oil to a non-stick pan over high heat. Once hot, add onions and mushrooms and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, until translucent. Stir in oatmeal and blend well. Once oats are hot enough (about 1 to 2 minutes if oatmeal has been sitting at room temperature or 4 to 6 minutes if it’s cold), stir in Parmesan, turn heat off, and allow cheese to melt as you continue stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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