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Savory Oatmeal

You all know how good oatmeal is for us, but I can't stand it with sugar or milk. I've found that I like it with onions, bell pepper, little garlic, tomato and seasonings. But I am not very creative, so can anyone help, So I can eat my oatmeal?

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  1. Sometimes I like it with a fried egg. I love oatmeal but, don't like eggs much. But, this works. If you enjoy sausage and eggs try puting the sausage in the oatmeal. - How about looking at your oatmeal as a polenta dish or a risotto?

    7 Replies
    1. re: Kitchen Queen

      I've never made risotto. Is it made with cream and parmesan cheese?

      1. re: geekgirl

        Risotto is easy. Try this link: http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs... . Add to the oatmeal if you like. I can imagine eating it with grilled fish. Heck, I'd even grill already cooked oatmeal - Use mesquite smoking chips, then add butter and your fav. freshly grated cheese then grill for a short time- Asiago ? Or make thin oatmeal crisps -patty already made oatmeal (thin), add a little cheese and or green onion, then fry/saute in a little EVOO, salt and top w/fresh grilled fish filet and a little reduced balsamic vinegar and maple syrup?? Side w/ grilled aspargus or green beans. I love the packages of orange squash and sweet potato from Trader Joes. I saute together and sweeten with a little maple syrup. Sound good?? :)KQ

        1. re: Kitchen Queen

          Also - Check out the comments from stove top stuffing - There's a nifty little spinach ball recipe. Use oatmeal instead of stuffing -just add the herbs and spices always found in stuffing -YUM!

          1. re: Kitchen Queen

            I love the idea of grilling the oatmeal. Hope I remember this when it BBQ time again. Thanks for the tip Kitchen Queen!

            1. re: marsprincess

              in the meantime, try pan-seared oatmeal. it's one of my favorites!

              here's a recent discussion we had about it:

              and a couple of recipes to get you started so you can see the method/process:

              you can just serve it with a savory sauce instead of sweet. try tomato, mushroom, pesto, curry, mole, tahini, peanut...

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Since it's fried in oil rather than a dry pan, I think 'pan fried' is probably a more accurate description, even if 'seared' sounds sexier.

                1. re: will47

                  searing ≠ dry pan (and i don't fry my food, pan or otherwise).

                  a swipe of the pan surface with a dab of coconut oil works for me and i'd hardly call that frying...

      2. I once saw an interesting recipe for leftover oatmeal made into little cakes (bound with egg, I think), but you could just make it a little less watery than usual, and then do the same thing. You could season and doctor it any way you might normally do a non-meat burger before pan-frying - e.g. mexican, with black beans, tomatoes, cumin and cilantro, asian, with lemongrass, lime, mint&basil, italian, with tomatoes, spinach, basil & cheese, indian, with chickpeas, curry spices, and mango pickle on the side.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Sam Ottawa

          I see a creative way with oatmeal! I'll give it a try, and restrain myself from adding my favorite topping for everything-cheese!

          1. I will use chicken broth to make my oatmeal most of the time - and then if you add other little bits like egg, meat, cilantro whatever, it reminds me of Chinese jook! YUM.

            4 Replies
            1. re: maybelle

              That's how my parents raised us: thin oatmeal with soy sauce or chicken stock when real jook wasn't ready. I didn't know people ate oatmeal with sweeteners until I moved away to college - how weird!

              1. re: Claudette

                And I thought I was the only weird one who puts soy sauce and white pepper in "oatmeal jook"!

                1. re: S U

                  This is why I love Chow! I was just sitting here thinking of what to do with my chicken stock - and decided to try making oatmeal juk for breakfast. Delicious and healthy!

                  So if I'm to make my oatmeal 'juk' style, should I increase the amount of water used for the right texture?

                  1. re: S U

                    Me too! My mother used to make us oatmeal for breakfast with little bits of minced beef in it and yes, soy sauce and white pepper, maybe a few bits of choong snipped over. It never occured to me that she made it as a substitute for jook.

                    Her sweet version is oats boiled in water, cooked thick, then a spoonful of sweetened condensed milk stirred in. That's how I still love it now. It's the only time I eat sweetened condensed milk.

              2. My Mom would make "sopa de Quaker" (oatmeal soup) for us when we were babies and when i had babies of my own I tried it and they loved it. its very good. Basically its chicken soup with oats instead of noodles.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bolivianita

                  Same here with the soup, but we toast the oats in a bit of butter then add the stock/veggies. It's really good!!

                2. The texture of the oatmeal can help; especially if you use steel cut oats or the Irish oats. They taste different from the rolled oats. You can think of it as a porridge or pilaf and put all kinds of neat things in it. I've had it with butter, butter and garlic, all kinds of fruit including cut up apples, strawberries and bananas, all cooked into the grains. A fried egg tasted great on top one day, another day I had a poached egg with ham on it. So let your imagination run wild. Besides oatmeal is supposed to lower your cholesterol.

                  1. Savory uses of oaties are spectacular, and initially a rough switch for those of us raised in the days of the sugar bowl and margarine holder on the kitchen table "just to make the oatmeal good".

                    Oats are the best thing we can eat daily because of the Soluble fiber, the french-maid feather duster of cholesterol.

                    I was astounded at the first time I tried the rather spartan thing of plain oatmeal with only fresh pepper. It was delicious in its simplicity, and signaled a doorway to other savory uses.

                    Yes, EclecticEater: texture. A nice step up from Quakers Old Fashioned is the Bob's Red Mill type, rolled a bit thicker. For some real fun, get some oat groats (whole seed) and spin them in the blender/spice grinder/Vitamix to chop a bit (akin to "steel cut", but more random). Soak overnite in your prefered liquid (whey from drained yogurt; water; milk; miso broth; etc) then cook in the morning. Soaking at room temperature will start some nice early fermentation/enzymatic reactions for fuller digestion.

                    Dried onions, reconstituted on cooking, are also fun.

                    I'm going to try that Sopa de Quaker :)

                    1. I much prefer savoury to sweet oatmeal - and definitely steel cut. Stir in butter, chopped scallions, toasted sesame seeds, a generous sprinkling of s&p and then grated parmesan. Or top with stir-fried garlic spinach, a poached/fried egg and a drizzle of olive oil (or a dollop of creme fraiche). Make oatmeal fritters or arancini with the leftovers - form into little patties and either fill with a piece of cheese or dip in grated cheese and then sesame seeds, sautee in butter until golden and toasty on the outside. Yum!

                      1. Wow! Thanks to everyone for help regarding savory oatmeal. My friends and family thought I was crazy not eat oatmeal sweetened. To them I say "Back off and pass the oatmeal"!

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: geekgirl

                          Adding my thanks too. I've always wanted to like oatmeal but even unsweeten versions with dried fruit leave me feeling....unfulfilled. Thanks to this thread, I'm going to treat it like conjee/jook and go to town with the dried shrimp, pork sausage, garlic, veggies, etc.

                          Nice to find kindred spirits.

                          1. re: tcamp

                            I've been eating chicken oatmeal jook every morning for a few days and i gotta say it's delicious! Make the oatmeal with chicken stock, add a drop of soy sauce and sesame oil at the end, plus a sprinkling of scallions. YUm!

                            1. re: joonjoon

                              I've been doing this too, but add fresh grated ginger, bay leaf, fresh lemon juice or a dash of orange juice along with a grate or two of zest, respectively. Sometimes golden raisins & fresh crushed rosemary. I also throw in some crushed peanuts. I'd add roasted shallots or (scallions like Mark Bittman), too, if it's not a work morning.

                          2. re: geekgirl

                            I'm getting on this train, I think. Every morning, when all around me are donuts and sweetened cereals and yogurt-with-granola and all those other sweet things, I wish there were a way to get "breakfasty" stuff in savory form. Toast with Smart Balance doesn't always cut it. I sometimes crave chicken broth instead of coffee or tea. And when I do reheat chicken noodle soup for breakfast, I get a lot of puzzled looks/comments. I will try the savory oatmeal ideas (I love oats, but am of the "add butter/margarine, brown sugar and milk" upbringing) and am looking forward to the recipes offered here!

                            1. re: CapreseStacy

                              When I take my oatmeal out of the microwave, I sometimes grate Parmigiano-Reggiano on it.

                              If I have a little tomato sauce, that can go on, too. I'm thinking of Marcella Hazan's Tomato-butter-onion sauce, not meat sauce. See here: http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/01/tom...

                          3. I also recently became a fan of savory oatmeal.....my favorite is steel cut oats with the sauce from leftover Indian curry (and small bits of meat, and even leftover vegetables) stirred in. A spicy, delicious breakfast!

                            1. Here's a link to more ideas. I tried Jacques Pepin's savory oatmeal soup (posted in the thread), and it was very good. Not necessarily low in fat, but quite tasty.


                              1. Eggs and bbq beans are a delicious combo. Sometimes when I'm in the mood for a creamy/crunchy texture, I'll add a few bits of avocado, toasted seeds/nuts of some sort (e.g. hemp, black sesame, almonds), and maybe even a little ripped up nori.

                                1. A very interesting post! DH needs to lower his cholesterol, but is not fond of oatmeal... hafta see if any of these ideas tickle his breakfast fancy. :)
                                  I have a recipe @ home for baked oatmeal that you could easily convert to savory... i can post it later if you like.

                                  1. I love mine with sesame oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and chopped scallions. I'll add some Srircha if I'm feeling adventurous in the morning.

                                    1. I like my oatmeal with lots of fresh black pepper, soy sauce, and fried shallots. mmmm

                                      1. I heat an empty pot, add very thick rolled oats and stir constantly until they brown a bit, then follow the cooking instructions on the package but substitute vegetable broth for water. When they're done, I add some butter and pepper.

                                        1. Wow, sorry I have no suggestions, but this topic struck a chord only because --when I was young and foolish-- I undertook an experiment to find out what I could do with oatmeal that wasn't sweet. I have to say it was my first "scientific" culinary investigation.

                                          I took every spice out of my cupboard and seasoned a little oatmeal with it: garlic oatmeal, oatmeal with thyme, with paprika, with curry, etc. Every Single Combination I found to be heinous and disgusting. There's just something about oatmeal....!

                                          1. I just had some with steamed broccoli, a bit of shredded mozzarella and some Tony's -- YUM!

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Laurawnm

                                              Oooh... broccoli and mozzarella on oatmeal sounds GREAT (and you can find low-fat or even non-fat mozzarella pretty easily). Please tell me what this "Tony's" is, though. I'm a foodie at heart, but have only just started to dip my toe in the vastness that are the culinary arts! :-)

                                              1. re: FitzChivalry

                                                I could be wrong, but I think Tony's refers to Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning. In New Orleans it's in everyone's spice rack, if not on their table next to the salt and pepper. There's just nothing like it that I've ever found. http://shop.tonychachere.com/original...

                                            2. I've always loved steel-cut oats with unsalted European butter, kosher salt or fleur de sel, and ground pepper - I was making this for a friend once and he suggested poaching eggs in the oatmeal. It took awhile, but it was really, really really good.

                                              1. I like mine simple, just with salt.

                                                1. Was surprised to find people eating savoury oatmeal in yemen, they called it "soup" (in arabic) and cooked it with a chicken or beef stock, washing the oats first and soaking for long periods of time. Served simply in a plate with other foods.
                                                  I'm sure the oats were the ordinary quaker quick cook or whatever.

                                                  1. i love making oatmeal risotto style with all sorts of different things mixed into it. good things that ive used to flavor it as it "risottos":

                                                    pasta sauce
                                                    curry paste/powder
                                                    your favorite taco seasoning
                                                    jerk seasoning

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: mattstolz

                                                      So on this train and happy for the ideas. Growing up Grandma would slow cook the steel cut oats with extra chicken or beef stock topped off by water to make enough liquid, then 'poach' or 'roast' eggs on the top just before serving depending on what all was going on. Less busy mornings for her, just put the eggs on top and a lid on the pot. Busier days eggs on top, foil then lid on pot, and into the oven. If a morning was expected to be especially busy, she'd make extra the day before and then bind it into a sort of cake with a little corn flour, pinch baking powder, some eggs, and usually some torn up bacon and very fine chopped onion baked in a larded baking pan. Yum!

                                                      1. re: GertieHound

                                                        I'd suggest using a salt-free broth to cook steel-cut oats. The oats are already hearty and are rather too hard when they're cooked with salt--just add it at the very end or at the table (or add some salted butter).

                                                      2. re: mattstolz

                                                        We recently had risotto made with spelt at Craftsteak and it was excellent.
                                                        Will have to try it with oatmeal. Was thinking of making bulk jaternice using
                                                        oatmeal and pork. It would be similar.

                                                      3. I couldn't resist, after reading these posts about savory oatmeal. I cooked a pot of steel cut oats and just finished eating a half cup of it with a splash of Soy Sauce, cut up green onion and my usual morning serving of chunked Avocado stirred in. I'm hooked! This was a most tasty dish of oatmeal and will never go back to sweetening it!
                                                        Thanks everyone for this wonderful idea! Now I'm going in to try making savory oatmeal patties with poached egg for my husband who hates avocados and oatmeal!

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: skaliwag

                                                          Next time try making the same oatmeal but with some chicken stock and a splash of sesame oil! Sooo good.

                                                          1. re: joonjoon

                                                            And then top with toasted sesame seeds - yum!

                                                            1. re: peppermint pate

                                                              and toasted nori shreds on top of that. and stir in some chopped roasted asparagus and/or wild mushrooms.

                                                              1. re: Emme

                                                                Chicken stock, mushroom, soy & sesame oil oatmeal with scallions, nori and sesame seeds on top? That sounds CRAZY good.

                                                                1. re: Emme

                                                                  I never thought of nori- brilliant!

                                                          2. A few tablespoons of raw Miso turned into those oaties
                                                            combine the best zest of two really strong cultures.

                                                            The Scots with their feedbag to strengthen the horses and also make porridge
                                                            The home culture of Miso in each farmhouse Japanese.

                                                            Best breakfast is one that trends toward ancestral,
                                                            the gruel that was candled on overnight hearth.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: FoodFuser

                                                              I actually prefer savory oatmeal as well and typically combine it with cottage cheese and some type of roasted veggies - brussel sprouts, broccoli or steamed spinach with garlic are my favs. The saltiness of the cottage cheese and the garlic flavored veggies area great combo. I know it sounds weird but tastes delicious. The key is using water (not milk) for the oatmeal and keeping it thick, not liquidy.

                                                              1. re: LarchmontPumpkin

                                                                I love the scottish pinhead oatmeal the best texturally. I always make extra so I can fry some up the next day like polenta. Then I top it off with whatever melty type of cheese I have and a fried egg. Sometimes I add finely diced spanish chorizo too.

                                                                I can't wait to try the soy, sesame oil and scallion version.

                                                            2. I cannot wait to try all of your ideas! For years, I have added butter, feta cheese, and coarse black pepper.

                                                              1. oats, egg white, Parmesan cheese, brown sugar, sea salt, lemon juice and milk. Try it. It's heavenly.

                                                                1. I just made oatmeal cacio e pepe -- cooked with veggie broth, topped with shaved pecorino and coarsely ground pepper. Like pasta for breakfast! :)

                                                                  1. My favorite is kind of sweet, kind of savory. I cook steel cut oats by Alton Brown's stove-top method, scaled out so that I start with 1 Cup of oats. Then I use a can of coconut milk instead of moo juice. I add about a cup of all-natural peanut butter and a tablespoon of Sriracha sauce and a few shreds of fresh Thai basil, if I have it on hand, and a little fresh ginger, which I always have on hand. Sweet heat to fire up my morning!

                                                                    1. And here I thought i was some kind of culinary freak- good to know there are others. I am dropping the "freak" and adding "Renegade"!
                                                                      Renegade Style- (a term soon to be copyrighted)
                                                                      #1 Just butter salt and pepper
                                                                      #2 With a tempered egg mixed in
                                                                      #3 Anything you'd toss in a pilaf or risotto or an omelette- works in oatmeal!

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: chitwngrl

                                                                        OMG! I'm gaining weight trying out these new ideas! I finally realized I should try one per day and not all the same day. LOL What boring menus we must have had without an internet for sharing! I thought I was a great cook, as so many have complimented about my beans ands cornbread type ( my name for it) cooking but I see I was just on the edge of "culinary knowledge". Of all the ideas, I still love the avocado/soy/green onions the best but I do sprinkle sunflowers seeds to top it off now.

                                                                        1. re: skaliwag

                                                                          Oh, now- thanks to you! - I have to start writing these down- the avocado/soy/green onions sounds just too good.

                                                                          1. re: rosewood

                                                                            Oh, yes, it's the best so far, although, there are many others that please my tastebuds! I don't use the steel-cut so much but keep some cooked in the freezer, just in case I want them for another dish.

                                                                            BTW, with all the fresh, yellow & green summer squash from my garden, I am also adding them, saute'd w/onions slices, garlic & jalepeno, seasoned with black pepper, to my oatmeal occasionally. Yum!

                                                                        2. re: chitwngrl

                                                                          So, in my head- I'm calling this stuff Ris0ato. You know, because of the oats- and I'm thinking I'm pretty clever- That maybe I'll start a trend using the new name.... So finally I get around to googling it to see if by some fluke, someone else was also clever. Darn It! Apparently "Risoato' is not only being bandies about- it's actually being SOLD in a restaurant NYC.

                                                                          "(S)he who hesitates is lost" Procrastination gets you nowhere every time.

                                                                          1. re: chitwngrl

                                                                            That's unfortunate because it's brilliant. Ah, well--think Newton and Leibniz.

                                                                        3. Wow, I never thought of savory oatmeal!! Thanks for opening my eyes!! I can't wait to try the suggestions :)

                                                                          1. Breakfast, I like steel-cut oats with a fried egg and parmesan or cheddar cheese. I usually make extra oatmeal for lunch the next day with parmesan, peas, and black pepper.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: lauraloo76

                                                                              Parmesan Peas and Black Pepper? YUM!

                                                                            2. Even for breakfast, I have been discovering savoury oatmeal.
                                                                              My favourite is using ponzu sauce since you get the citrus flavour with the salty tang from soy sauce.

                                                                              I also like pomegranate molasses, plain soy sauce with scallions and lately I made a sweet-savoury combo with lemon oatmeal, topped with fresh blueberries and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Delicious!

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: blinknoodle

                                                                                This is food porn! I can't wait to try some of the out!!!!

                                                                              2. Just found this thread, and just had to add my 2 cents... I'm sure some of the folks out there know about boosting the fiber in meatloaf by adding oatmeal and flax, but in our house when we do the Chinese version (steamed meat cake) we also add in a healthy dose of oatmeal -- after cooking it in a bit of savory broth to get it all gooey before mixing it into the raw meat mixture and then steaming. I didn't realize there were so many savory oatmeal ideas... I'm going to start using some interesting ingredients like Thai fish sauce, curry powder, etc and see if I can come up with some new ways of plating up oatmeal.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: S U

                                                                                  just made plain oatmeal this morning, and on a whim I folded in a generous dollup of cilantro jalepeno hummus... delish!! now I'm thinking -- make the oatmeal less moist, mix in the hummus, form into patties and then do a rendition of faux hash brown patties in the pan... and maybe even top w/ salsa or something!

                                                                                2. Made a quick savory oatmeal with fresh chicken broth, canned button mushrooms (drained), slivered tops of green onions, salt, and 1-minute rolled oats. Boil everything, then add your oats, and let sit for 1/2 hr with a tight lid. (Adjust your liquid as necessary. I prefer my porridge to be like a risotto.)

                                                                                  1. I feel vindicated. Co-workers used to mock me when I brought in my breakfast because I was into savory oatmeals. I use steel cut oats (they are reasonably price when bought in bulk at my favorite health food store- one of the few bargains to be had there) I cook it in a crock pot- works like a charm.

                                                                                    1. Mushrooms and smoked bacon Cook the bacon in a medium frying pan. Remove the meat and dices- put aside for later. Saute the mushrooms and spring onions (you can use chives or any other type of onion) in the same pan. Add the diced bacon. Turn off the heat and put a lid on the pan so that it steams a bits and the flavors meld. Sprinkle mixture on the top of cooked oatmeal.

                                                                                    2. Corn and cumin. This sounds strange but cook the corn, add a bit of butter and a sprinkle of cumin. Put on top of the cooked oatmeal.

                                                                                    3 spinach and oregano- Saute the spinach in olive oil. Chop the oregano finely and add to the spinach. Cook until limp. Add to cooked oatmeal.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: rosewood

                                                                                      Rosewood--those all sound good. Do you cook you oats in water, broth or what?

                                                                                      1. re: Jeri L

                                                                                        I cook the oats in a crock pot with half soy milk and half water. I also put in some sea salt.

                                                                                    2. Whole oats, usually called groats, work well in savory preparations. I have cooked them like brown rice, draining off any remaining liquid when tender enough. The liquid is rather milky, but the groats remain separate.

                                                                                      1. I throw a can of pumpkin and 3 cups of oats into my rice cooker and add water to the porridge line and a pinch of salt. It turns out so thick and creamy, and is great plain or with a drizzle of maple syrup or teaspoon of brown sugar. I just portion it out for the week, easy peasy.

                                                                                        Never have I heard of savory oatmeal or using it for jook -- and I love jook! So many of these ideas sound delicious. We've always used it in meatloaf, and I tell everyone my chocolate chip cookies are health food because I add a cup of oats....

                                                                                        1. Discovering savory oatmeal was a game changer for me. A friend pointed me here to Chowhound for savory oatmeal inspiration. I was never much a fan of sweet oatmeal, because I was not much of a 'sweets' fan to begin with and I would have to add tons of sweetener and fruit to make it pallitable for me. The savory, AMAZING. I like it cooked with stock and add many of the toppings I have found here. Green onion, Ginger, sesame oil and vegetables. Fried mushrooms and onions, with a poached egg. Avocado. Left over grilled veg. Left over vegetable curries with plenty of sauce.

                                                                                          Thank you to everyone who has shared their ideas. I eat it 3/4 times a week, at least, and it really has been a beneficial addition to my diet.

                                                                                          1. Last weekend for a dinner party one of our guests brought over a beef shank stew that was a bit on the soupy side - after most of the beef was eaten we had a big pot of stew/soup liquid left over. I threw a bunch of oatmeal into it and it has now become one of the best oatmeals I've ever eaten. Delicious!!

                                                                                            Edit: The stew/soup was pretty straight forward, it was an "osso bucco" preparation with beef shank, garlic, onion, tomato, carrot, celery. I also shredded up the rest of the meat and added it to the oatmeal. Fantastic for breakfast! Tomorrow I'm going to try it with an egg on top and maybe some hot sauce.

                                                                                            1. I just tried a new recipe that I like a lot. I made a corned beef and saved the broth. I then added the broth with some of the meat to my steel-cut oats the next day- loved it!

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: rosewood

                                                                                                That sounds awesome rosewood...I have some corned beef broth in my freezer now, I think I'm going to try making oatmeal with it! I think I'm going to make the following:

                                                                                                Corned beef water, korean chili paste, cheese, diced cured meats (whatever I have on hand), garlic. Finish with scallion. (Yes, it's a play on Budae Jjigae. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budae_jj...


                                                                                                Oh man I can't wait!

                                                                                              2. look at the Farro thread to see other ideas for cooking a whole grain. Farro is wheat like, but usually partially pollished (pearled) so it cooks faster and softer than wheat berries. There's even a risotto like dish using farro. As mentioned in another post, I like to use whole oats (groats), which release some of their soluble fiber, but not as much as cut or rolled oats.

                                                                                                1. I went through an oatmeal stage earlier this year. There seem to always be a jar of oats soaking in my fridge. My favourite had some fried disked of chorizo, and parmesan mixed in with a fried egg on top.

                                                                                                  1. Every once in a great while, I make biscuits and sausage gravy for my boyfriend. I don't eat much in the way of bread products, so instead, I stir the gravy into steel-cut oats. Delicious.

                                                                                                    1 Reply