Grains

Savory Oatmeal You Can Have Any Time of Day, Any Which Way

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February 29, 2016

Sometimes sweet's gotta take a backseat, so we partnered with The Quaker Oats Company to show you how to make savory oatmeal any way you like it—without a recipe.

What's as happy topped with peanut butter and jam as it is with a fried egg, scallions, and soy sauce? As good for breakfast as it is for lunch, and even dinner? Can feed one as easy as it could 20 people?

Oatmeal! Oatmeal's the answer. And while, yes, it makes for a wonderful breakfast topped with raisins, brown sugar, and cream, oatmeal's just as good savory as it is sweet. It's kind of like the grain bowl's easier-to-make sibling.

We recently showed you why oatmeal makes the best crowd-friendly breakfast, but put a fried egg on it, a smattering of grated Parmesan, and some chopped parsley and you have a bowl that shouldn't be relegated to the morning. The best part, however, is how easy and customizable savory oatmeal is. Really, it's a two-step process—just cook and build.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“If you are a Sriracha addict like me, you will love this super simple savory oatmeal add in -- some shredded cheese and a squirt of Sriracha and freshly ground pepper. Just add the cheese and hot sauce in the bowl over the cooked oatmeal and mix. Of course a poached egg on top would be awesome if you have the time.”
— maureen
Comment

Here's how to make savory oatmeal without a recipe:

These oats are made for cooking. Photo by James Ransom

1. Cook the oats.

If you've made oatmeal before, you know how to do this. Make it as you usually do, but omit the sugar and season with salt and pepper instead. As far as the number of servings go, keep the liquid-to-oat ratio 2:1 and you can scale the amount easily.

For more on how to cook oatmeal, here's a detailed explanation. As far as the liquids go, you can use 1/2 water and 1/2 milk, 1/2 water and 1/2 chicken or vegetable broth, or all broth. You might want to try toasting the oats in a bit of butter or oil prior to adding the liquid and/or stirring in a tablespoon or so of butter after the oats are done cooking.

2. Pick your toppings.

Here's a topping trick: Use whatever you like. Savory oatmeal is the perfect vehicle for using up those leftovers and dregs hiding in your fridge and pantry, too. Here are some suggestions, organized by mealtime:

Breakfast

Lunch

  • Chopped apples, gruyere, toasted and chopped walnuts, honey
  • Parmesan, flakey sea salt, olive oil, pepper flakes
  • Soy sauce eggs, scallions, furikake
  • Odd flavor sauce, leftover roast chicken, scallions
  • Roasted vegetables, hummus, toasted and chopped almonds, feta, chopped parsley
  • Pesto, sliced avocado, cheddar, sprouts

Dinner

Snacktime

  • Feta Pistachio Dip, toasted and chopped pistachios, olive oil
  • Fried egg and hot sauce
  • Sliced avocado and hummus

Late-night

Photo by James Ransom

3. Eat.

Okay, so this step isn't technically a "step." Grab a bowl and a spoon and getting to eating—savory oatmeal's not meant to be kept waiting!

We know oatmeal is personal—so comment below to tell us what's in your favorite savory bowl.

Oatmeal's just as good savory as it is sweet, so we partnered with The Quaker Oats Company to help them find their newest flavor of oatmeal. Submit your ideas to their contest here for a chance to win $250,000. Ends 3/12/16.

11 Comments

Sadie March 27, 2018
I love it with sauted mushrooms, spinach and onion. Mix in some feta cheese and it is an excellent breakfast!
 
Kate's K. January 14, 2018
My fav savory oatmeal is topped with extra sharp cheddar, medium chunky salsa and a little kimchi. Occasionally, a savory turkey sausage may find its way on top also. I make a batch (4 servings) of Quaker Oats Steel Cut oatmeal cooking it a couple of minutes longer than suggested to steam out more of the liquid, let it cool and store in a glass refrigerator container. When ready to eat, I portion out 1/4 of it, chop it up some and microwave the bowl for about 1 minute to warm it up. Toppings go on from there. This has been my breakfast for the last few years and I never seem to tire of it!
 
Annada R. February 29, 2016
Top your cooked oatmeal (cooked in water) with plain yogurt, a sprinkle of salt and spicy cilantro chutney.
 
Samantha W. March 1, 2016
Sounds so simple and delicious.
 
maureen February 29, 2016
If you are a Sriracha addict like me, you will love this super simple savory oatmeal add in -- some shredded cheese and a squirt of Sriracha and freshly ground pepper. Just add the cheese and hot sauce in the bowl over the cooked oatmeal and mix. Of course a poached egg on top would be awesome if you have the time.
 
Author Comment
Riddley G. February 29, 2016
That sounds amazing!! I will have to try it.
 
Cheryl February 29, 2016
Just read the article done on Food52 in INC magazine that came out today! Very <br />interesting concept. Love the idea of dressed up oatmeal for dinner!! I'm a new follower.
 
Samantha W. March 1, 2016
Welcome -- happy cooking!
 
Cherie February 29, 2016
Do you actually have recipes instead of suggestions?
 
Author Comment
Riddley G. February 29, 2016
Hi! This is actually a Not Recipe post! We hope to give you a base technique which you can then add your own twist (and toppings) to. If you’d like more of a recipe, here’s one for a savory oatmeal with poached eggs and ham: https://food52.com/recipes/30257-savory-oatmeal-with-ham-poached-eggs-and-hollandaise-sauce
 
Connor B. February 29, 2016
Hi Cherie,<br /><br />The top picture of the oatmeal with ham and hollandaise clicks out to its recipe. Here are a few other savory oatmeal recipes we feature on the site:<br /><br />https://food52.com/recipes/27296-savory-oatmeal-with-shiitake-bacon-and-spinach<br />https://food52.com/recipes/7783-savory-oatmeal-with-ricotta-salata-brazil-nuts-and-thyme<br /><br />Additionally, we tried a savory oatmeal seasoned with tumeric and black seasame seeds and topped with kimchi and a fried egg in our test kitchen and it was delicious! Definitely recommended :)