This hearty oatmeal recipe is just as good for breakfast as it is for dinner or lunch. Eggs, avocado and garlic greens crown creamy steel oats.
If you’re used to topping your morning oats with nut butter and fresh fruit, the concept of savory oatmeal might sound strange. But give it a chance and I think you’ll be surprised. Oats (which, after all, are a whole grain like farro, brown rice, wheatberries, or anything else) pair perfectly with savory sides like avocado, sautéed veggies, and soft-boiled eggs. These savory toppings make this hearty oatmeal recipe a filling and nutritious breakfast, and they also take oatmeal beyond the breakfast zone, turning it into a delicious option for a quick lunch or dinner.
So even if you’re skeptical, I hope you give this hearty oatmeal recipe a try. It’s simple, healthy, and endlessly customizable (share your favorite ingredients in the comments!). I think you will love it!
How to make savory oatmeal
My #1 tip for this hearty oatmeal recipe? Use Steel Oats! Its creamy, chewy texture is almost risotto-like, making it a natural companion for toppings like veggies and eggs. Quick-cooking oats and even whole oats are too soft and mushy to use in this recipe.
To give the oats a savory umami flavor, I cook them with shallots and garlic. I start by sautéing a finely chopped shallot in olive oil in a medium saucepan.
Then I stir in the oatmeal and garlic and add water and salt. I bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat, and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until the oats are thick and creamy but still have a light bite, 15 to 20 minutes.
While the oats cook, I prepare the toppings. Find my favorites below!
Serving suggestions for savory oatmeal recipes
I love topping my hearty oatmeal with soft boiled eggs, sautéed spinach and avocado, with a sprinkling of spring onions for the onion bite and microgreens for a fresh finishing touch. But the topping options don’t end there! Feel free to customize your savory oatmeal to your liking. Here are a few top ideas to get you started:
- All kinds of eggs. Instead of using a soft-boiled egg, garnish your oats with a poached or fried egg.
- Vegetable Proteins. Skip the eggs and decorate your bowl with baked tofu or roasted chickpeas.
- Fried vegetables. Use sautéed mushrooms, broccoli, or kale instead of or in addition to the spinach.
- Fried vegetables. Add roasted broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and butternut squash in fall and winter, and roasted cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and bell peppers in summer.
- Cheese or “cheese”. Sprinkle with some freshly grated parmesan cheese or crumbled feta, or for a dairy-free option, use this vegan parmesan cheese made with cashews and nutritional yeast. Or, for a similar hit umami, you could garnish your hearty oatmeal bowl with caramelized onions.
- Roasted nuts or seeds. Roasted sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds and/or pepitas provide a delicious crunch.
- Fresh herbs. Sprinkle with fresh coriander or thyme leaves.
Serve with hot sauce or pesto!
Savory oatmeal can be a bit time-consuming to prepare on busy mornings, but you can make it ahead of time if you prefer. Cook the oats ahead of time, portion into meal prep containers, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave and garnish with your desired toppings just before eating.
More popular oat recipes
If you love those hearty oats, next try one of these delicious oat recipes:
Or, for more healthy breakfast ideas, check out this post!
serves 2 to 3
This easy savory oatmeal recipe is a healthy, delicious option for any meal of the day – breakfast, lunch or dinner! We love the toppings listed here, but feel free to experiment with them. See the post above for more suggestions!
- 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ Cup finely chopped shallot, about 1 small
- ¾ Cup steel-cut oats
- 1 clove of garlic, grated
- 2¼ cups water
- ½ teaspoon sea-salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add oatmeal and garlic and stir to coat the oil, then add water and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes, or until the oats are thick and creamy but still have a slight bite. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove from the stove and portion into bowls. Garnish with sautéed veggies, eggs, scallions, avocado, and microgreens. Serve with some hot sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice.