The savory oatmeal recipes in this post will keep your belly full and have you coming back for more!
Oats are a very versatile ingredient, perfect for any time of the day. Below, you’ll see the best savory combinations, the best type of oats to use, toppings, and more. That’s right, oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast anymore!
Oats are a staple ingredient in many of our pantries which is why I love sharing delicious recipes you can whip up fast, prep ahead, and even oat-based meals.
Sure, I have nutritious and delicious Baked Oatmeal bites and a delicious breakfast smoothie made with oats on this blog; but when I first shared my Savory Oatmeal and Roasted Veggies recipe, it was such a hit that I received many requests for more savory oatmeal recipes.
This post shares many of the ways you can enjoy savory oatmeal; although, if you’re new to savory oats, you’ll find that this post is a complete guide to enjoying them!
Table of contents
Does Oatmeal Have to Be Sweet?
Contrary to popular belief, oats are not just for sweet oatmeal and to be used in baking. Oatmeal is a neutral-flavored base that can also be paired with savory foods like proteins, roasted vegetables, and more.
Best Types of Oats to Use
Typically, for savory oatmeal recipes, the more robust the oat itself, the better. Old fashioned or rolled oats (they are the same thing) and steel-cut oats make the best base for this type of recipe.
Of course, you can use quick-cooking oats, but you’ll want to make sure the texture remains as thick as possible to build a sturdy base.
Savory Oatmeal Recipes
The savory oatmeal base is the star ingredient in the recipes because they’re hearty and so versatile paired with ingredients you already love. Together, they’re going to become the comfort-food you didn’t know existed, to be enjoyed at any meal.
Greek Oatmeal with Vegetables
Bulk up your favorite Greek salad with a scoop of plain oatmeal. It will soak up the dressing and keep you full longer.
Savory Oats with Chicken
Give your chicken leftovers new life with some fresh greens, juicy tomatoes, and a side of plain or savory oats.
Salmon and Savory Oatmeal
Sushi-grade salmon paired with fresh salad greens, juicy tomatoes, an over-easy egg, and your oatmeal base is now loaded up! Bonus: add a tablespoon of cream cheese when cooking plain oats for a creamy texture.
Savory Oats with Radishes
Add a handful of sharp white cheddar or Jack to plain oats and them it with fresh garden veggies and a hard-boiled egg.
Savory Oats with Egg and Cucumber
Soft-boiled eggs pair great with everything, including fresh ribbons of cucumber tossed in an Italian vinaigrette and oats to soak up all the flavor.
Savory Oats with Mushroom sand Spinach
Sautéed mushrooms pair great with this oatmeal base made with chicken or beef broth instead of water served with fresh spinach and eggs for protein.
Savory Oats with Figs
These savory oats have goat cheese in the base, which pairs in epic proportions with ripe figs!
Avocado and Savory Oatmeal
This savory oatmeal base has added cheddar, and a little taco seasoning and is topped with ripe avocado, cucumber, and hard-boiled eggs for protein.
Mediterranean Savory Oats
Top your favorite Mediterranean-inspired salad with a scoop of oats to keep you full longer!
More Savory Oatmeal Combinations
Convinced that oats are the new meal builder? Here are more savory oatmeal combinations you’re going to love:
- Curried Bowl: top the oats with roasted curried cauliflower, chopped cilantro, and feta (or goat cheese).
- The California: roast cherry tomatoes in the oven and top them over the oats with fresh avocado, a fried egg, and sprinkle of Everything But the Bagel seasoning.
- Autumn Glow: prepare a batch of roasted root vegetables, place them over the bowl of oats, and top with a fried egg.
- Caramelized Onion: cook some bacon in a skillet until crispy. Remove and finely chop. Sauté sliced onions in the bacon drippings and served both over the oats. Add a soft-boiled egg.
How to Make Savory Oatmeal
Making savory oats is a little different from the usual plain oatmeal recipe. To get a smooth, creamy consistency, much like risotto, but without the 25 minutes of stirring, there are a few simple steps:
- Toast the oats:
Add the oats to a medium saucepan over medium heat and toast for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add water:
Add the water and bring to a simmer before turning the heat to low.
Allow the oats to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes when using old-fashioned oats until they reach a thick consistency. The consistency should be creamy, not watery, but don’t worry; just follow the recipe below for an incredible outcome.
- Add the mix-ins:
Stir in the salt, a touch of black pepper, and your choice of add-ins as listed in the recipe. Most often, you’ll find cheese to be the key ingredient to add flavor.
Best Toppings and Additions
Think of savory oats as the perfect base for any “bowl.” It’s a deliciously hearty and creamy base for all sorts of toppings and add-ins.
And as far as toppings go, I prefer to stick with savory ingredients. Oats are the ultimate comfort food, and keep this recipe simple. But of course, we want to up the game on our bowl of oats so here are a few topping and add-ins ideas to steer you in the right direction:
- Fried Egg
- Bacon, cooked crispy
- Roasted Veggies
- Roasted Butternut Squash
- Avocado, easy guacamole, or spicy guacamole
- Pico de Gallo
- That homemade canned salsa you’ve kept in the pantry
- Corn and Black Bean Salsa
- Cilantro Lime Sauce drizzled over the top
- Grilled chicken with avocado
- Leftover Pork Carnitas
- Salsa Verde Chicken
- Leftover Pulled Pork from taco night
Flavor Enhancing Tips
Want to turn up the flavor of your savory oats a notch? Add in some of these seasonings and take that recipe for a spin with:
Make it spicy
Add ⅛ teaspoon of cajun seasoning to the oats while they cook to turn up the spice. Or, add a squirt or two of Sriracha.
Switch up the cheese
While cheddar is a popular cheese in many savory oat recipes, you can change things up a bit by using provolone, pepper Jack, or even goat cheese!
Skip the milk
Save milk as the liquid base for sweet recipes. Using water or broth allows the savory flavors to shine through.
Add bacon bits
Bacon bits are not just for simple side salads, they can be added to the oatmeal as it cooks to turn up the smoky flavor.
Keep it thick
Savory oats should have a thick texture similar to risotto, not like runny porridge. You’ll be able to taste the oats’ flavor as well as provide a sturdy base for the toppings. You don’t want oat soup!
When to Serve Savory Oats
While you might think that savory oats are the perfect brunch option, you can serve them for lunch or dinner! Many of the recipes above utilize leftovers from another meal and use the oatmeal in the recipe below as the base for unlimited flavor and topping combinations!
Savory Oatmeal with Turkey Bacon and Eggs
- 4 slices turkey bacon
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 2 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- In a large pot over medium low heat, brown the bacon for 7 minutes or until crispy. Remove from the pot and set aside onto a paper towel lined plate.
- To the bacon drippings, add oats and cook for 30 seconds to toast. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and allow to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until the oats reach a thick consistency, adding more water in necessary. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add half the cheese and stir to combine. Keep warm.
- While the oatmeal cooks, in a large greased non-stick pan cook eggs sunny-side up or over easy.
- Once the oatmeal is cooked, serve it in a bowl, top with remaining shredded cheese, an egg, bacon bits, and chopped chives, if using.