This savory oatmeal recipe is an ideal savory breakfast idea! It’s wholesome, delicious and easy to make, topped with an egg and veggies.
Have you tried Savory Oatmeal? If not, it’s high time to start. The American breakfast is built on sugar (pancakes, waffles, even yogurt and granola). But want more savory breakfast ideas? This recipe is the place to start! This makes a pot of chewy toasted oats that are irresistibly tasty. Top the bowl with a fried egg and garlicky sauteed kale, and the yolk makes a creamy sauce that covers everything in goodness. It’s no secret that we’re oatmeal obsessed around here…and eating a veggie-filled healthy breakfast just got easier.
The method for savory oatmeal: toasted and chewy!
This savory oatmeal recipe uses our standard method for oatmeal: toasted and textured! It’s a method we learned a while ago and have been riffing on ever since (see this Vegan Oatmeal). Instead of gooey, creamy and gloppy, you get chewy and toasty oats. Here’s the basic method:
- Toast the oats in butter for a few minutes. You’ll do this first before adding the water. It brings great flavor to the grains and floods your kitchen with an incredible smell.
- Add the water (less than typical oatmeal). Less liquid makes for chewier oats.
- Turn off the heat and allow to stand. Nope, no need to stir with this method! This solidifies the chewy texture — and gives you time to prep the toppings.
Best savory oatmeal toppings
You can simply make a pot of oatmeal and stop there. In fact, the way I eat my savory oatmeal on the daily? Oatmeal and peanut butter. (That’s it: no added sugar!) But for this savory oatmeal, we wanted to make it a colorful, beautiful bowl with a few veggies. Here’s the toppings we liked best, and a few other topping ideas:
- Fried egg: The egg is required in our minds! It makes a lovely sauce to cover the bowl, and adds protein. But want to make vegan savory oatmeal? Skip it and see below for more details.
- Sauteed greens: Saute greens with garlic and you’ve got an incredible savory topping! Our favorite is Tuscan kale: but you can use spinach, chard or even Collard greens (but cook them a little longer than specified until tender).
- Tomatoes: Mix them with a hint of balsamic vinegar to make them pop!
- Green onion: Green onion adds a lovely delicate onion flavor as a garnish, but it’s optional.
- Parmesan cheese: Another optional topping: but a few spinkles of shredded cheese takes it over the top.
More topping ideas!
Savory oatmeal is a place where you can use your creativity and utilize whatever you have on hand in your fridge and pantry! Here are some ideas that come to mind:
- Carrots: shredded raw or sauteed
- Onions: sauteed with the greens or pickled
- Bell peppers: bell peppers are loaded with vitamin C; try them sauteed plain or with onions
- Salsa: spicy salsa would be a great addition…or taco sauce
- Nuts: Add a crunch with chopped walnuts or pecans
- Cheese of any kind: try topping with feta or Cotija cheese crumbles
How to fry an egg for savory oatmeal
One skill you’ll need for this savory oatmeal: how to fry an egg perfectly! It’s not hard, but requires a bit of finesse. We like them best over easy here, so the yolk spills out and makes a savory sauce. But you can cook the yolk too if you prefer! Here’s what to know:
- Use medium low heat. It’s easy to over cook, so watch the heat! Butter has the best flavor; but you can sub olive oil if desired. Heat the butter over medium low heat. Then add the eggs and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds black pepper.
- Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the whites are firm but the yolk is runny. Don’t flip them!
- Or cook longer for a harder yolk. If you prefer over easy, medium, or hard, flip the egg and cook an additional 20 seconds, 1 minute, or 2 minutes, respectively.
This recipe serves 2 large or 4 small
One note on serving sizes! This savory oatmeal recipe makes 4 cups of cooked oatmeal. Depending on what you’re looking for, this can be either 2 large or 4 small servings.
- 1 cup cooked oatmeal is the standard serving size, but you may want a more filling breakfast. Typically we like a little more than 1 cup. But this recipe has toppings so it’s pretty filling.
- For 4, just cook 4 eggs! Then divide the veg between the servings.
Are you looking for vegan savory oatmeal instead? The egg is not required. Here are some ideas for adding plant-based protein to savory oatmeal:
- Beans or chickpeas: Add a serving of easy black beans, canned chickpeas, or white beans. Or try refried beans!
- Nuts: Go big on walnuts, pecans, or almonds.
- Tempeh bacon: Top it with crumbles of tempeh bacon.
More savory breakfast ideas
Need more savory breakfast ideas? We’ve got your back. Here are a few ideas we love:
- Scramble: This Breakfast Vegetable Scramble is full of bright, colorful veggies! Or try a vegan Easy Tofu Scramble.
- Tacos: Try these Amazing Egg Tacos…they truly are amazing (and fast).
- Breakfast Sandwich: This 5 Minute Pesto Breakfast Sandwich is quick and delicious.
This savory oatmeal recipe is…
Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, see the section above.Print
Savory oatmeal is an ideal savory breakfast idea! It’s wholesome, delicious and easy to make, topped with a fried egg and veggies. See vegan savory oatmeal ideas in the section above (scroll up).
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter, divided
- 2 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats (do not use instant oats or steel cut oats)*
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale (or 8 cups chopped spinach or chard, or baby greens)*
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 avocado. chopped (optional)
- 2 eggs**
- For the garnish: Thinly sliced green onion, Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Make the oatmeal: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the oats and toast for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant. Add 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour in the water, adding the lid immediately since the water will spit. Give the pan a swirl. Allow to sit for 7 minutes.
- Saute the kale: Meanwhile, wash and dry the kale leaves, then destem and roughly chop the kale. Smash and peel the garlic clove. Add the olive oil to a large nonstick or cast iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the smashed garlic and kale and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently until wilted and bright green. Remove from the heat and add 2 pinches kosher salt and several grinds of fresh ground pepper. Discard the garlic cloves and set aside.
- Prep the veggies: Slice the cherry tomatoes. Add 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 pinch kosher salt. If using, chop the avocado and slice the green onions.
- Cook the eggs: In a large cast iron or non-stick skillet, melt the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter over medium low heat until starting to foam. Add the eggs and sprinkle with 1 pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds black pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the whites are firm (do not flip). If you prefer over easy, medium, or hard, flip the egg and cook an additional 20 seconds, 1 minute, or 2 minutes, respectively.
- Serve: Place the oatmeal in bowls. Top with the sautéed kale, eggs, tomatoes, eggs, and avocado (if using). Garnish with thinly sliced green onions and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese (optional).
*We recommend Tuscan kale, a variety of kale that is dark green with flat leaves and a mild flavor. Curly kale is spicier and more bitter. But you can use it if that’s all you can find!
**You can stretch this recipe to feed 4 easily! Just make 4 eggs. The oatmeal quantity makes 4 cups cooked, enough for 4 small servings or 2 large.
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Oats
Keywords: Savory oatmeal, savory oatmeal recipes
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.