Savor Your Oats: 10 Savory Oatmeal Ideas

By: Cassidy Stockton | March 7 2016

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.

Thai Stir-Fried Oats | Bob's Red Mill

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!

  1. Asian Style Steel Cut Oats with Fried Egg and Sriracha (pictured above)
  2. Savory Oatmeal Breakfast Bowls with Smoky Garlic Greens and Chipotle-Honey Vinaigrette from An Edible Mosaic
  3. Savory Steel Cut Oats from Cookie and Kate (a guide to making savory oats with what you have in the fridge)
  4. Savory Oats with Kale, Mushroom and Walnuts from Pamela Salzman
  5. Carrot and Leek Steel Cut Oat Risotto from Bran Appetit
  6. Savory Baked Oatmeal Skillet from Reclaiming Provincial
  7. Creole Oatmeal with Grilled Prawns from A Bachelor and His Grill
  8. Thai Stir Fried Oats (pictured above)
  9. Savory Oatmeal with Poached Egg and Hollandaise Sauce from What Should I Eat for Breakfast Today
  10. Savory Oatmeal with Cheddar and Fried Egg from Healthy Nibbles and Bits


  1. Lisa
    Thanks for including my savory oats in this delicious round-up, Cassidy!
  2. Brandi
    What a great round-up! I've got some recipes on my to-make list

    Thanks for including my risotto!
  3. Susannah
    These sound lovely! I like mine savory and sweet, together! Bacon and fresh peaches or strawberries. Mmmmm.
  4. leigh
    I make mine like stuffing, with sage, onion,celery, garlic, pepper, etc.. Cook the oats in vegan chicken broth or veggie broth.
    1. Tammy
      That sounds amazing! Totally doing it. I read through this list and none of them are appealing to me...until I read your comment. Lol. Thanks!
  5. Aileen H Gay
    I really appreciate your sharing these fine recipes, but I think I will stick wirh my steel cut oatmeal with brown sugar, walnuts and cream for breakfast!
  6. Gail
    My favorite breakfast oatmeal is rolled oats boiled in natural apple juice(no sugar or artificial sweeteners added, use instead of water), one whole apple(chopped), walnut pieces and a bit of cinnamon. Boil all together until done. Serve with butter...oh yum!!!

    But am now looking at savory options for the first time ever! Never once thought of putting oatmeal in my beef stew instead of barley, but it sounds good! So do some of the other recipes. May start thinking savory instead of sweet, oats instead of barley...hmmm.
  7. carol
    I have apples in my oatmeal with cinnamon sugar on top......
    Also I have blueberrys with brown sugar.
    Both of these are very good.
  8. BadMsM
    My husband has had to go gluten free, and oatmeal is one of the things he will eat without a lot of grumbling. Thank you for the recipes, this will open up my repertoire and keep him happy. :)
  9. Tammy
    Year-round so good and healthy. Can wait to try some that I never thought of using! Thanks for posting!
  10. Kitsambler
    For 1 serving:
    Bring 1/3c steel cut oats and 1-1/4c water to a simmer. Cook 23 minutes total to serve.
    During simmer: stem and chiffonade 3-4 leaves lacinto kale, making about 2c. Add to pot and stir. Add half a can of canned salmon, flaked. Season generously with salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Stir well and contine cooking until 23 minute timer finished.

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