The first time I heard the words "savory" and "oatmeal" together, I cringed (as you may have done when reading this). It sounded awful. Who in their right mind would combine oatmeal, a creamy canvas for brown sugar and butter, with cheese or fried eggs or--gasp--bacon? Turns out, a lot of people and for good reason. After all, if you remove your preconceived notions for what oatmeal represents and look at it as just another grain, it's an incredibly versatile, nutritious whole grain. Besides, not everyone likes a sweet breakfast.
Oats are, as we know, extremely good for you. They're high in fiber, deliver a nice protein package, are easy to digest, and are pretty allergen-friendly (assuming you're not allergic to oats, that is). If you can think beyond brown sugar, oats are a perfect grain to use in a risotto (oats-otto?), replace corn grits, and use in place of barley in soups. They're light in flavor and, if you buy the right variety, are extremely creamy in slow cooking applications. You probably don't want to use rolled oats to try a risotto, but steel cut oats are a delightful alternative to white rice.
We've gathered up some of our favorite savory oat recipes for you to try. If you still can't hack the idea of savory oatmeal, try one of these for lunch or dinner as a jumping off point. If you just want to start somewhere simple, try adding some cheddar cheese to your oats and topping it with a fried egg. It's divine!
- Asian Style Steel Cut Oats with Fried Egg and Sriracha (pictured above)
- Savory Oatmeal Breakfast Bowls with Smoky Garlic Greens and Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette from An Edible Mosaic
- Savory Steel Cut Oats from Cookie and Kate (a guide to making savory oats with what you have in the fridge)
- Savory Oats with Kale, Mushroom and Walnuts from Pamela Salzman
- Carrot and Leek Steel Cut Oat Risotto from Bran Appetit
- Savory Baked Oatmeal Skillet from Reclaiming Provincial
- Creole Oatmeal with Grilled Prawns from A Bachelor and His Grill
- Thai Stir Fried Oats (pictured above)
- Savory Oatmeal with Poached Egg and Hollandaise Sauce from What Should I Eat for Breakfast Today
- Savory Oatmeal with Cheddar and Fried Egg from Healthy Nibbles and Bits