Savory Oatmeal

$1.25 recipe
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 32 votes
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It’s funny how oats have been pigeonholed for use in mostly sweet dishes in the U.S. We tend to eat oats sweetened at breakfast, or as part of delicious crumbly desserts, but oats do just as well with savory flavors as do any other grain. This savory oatmeal is a delicious and hearty meal any time of day, and there are so many options for toppings and add-ins, so you can make it work with whatever ingredients you have on hand. This might just end up being your new favorite easy budget meal!

close up side view of a bowl of savory oatmeal

What Kind of Oats are Best for This Recipe?

You can technically make savory oats with any kind of oats, but the recipe below is written for old-fashioned rolled oats, which cook fairly quickly (about 5 minutes). I find that old-fashioned rolled oats are a nice balance between texture and convenience. Steel-cut oats take much longer to cook and you’ll need more liquid. Quick oats cook faster but don’t provide very much texture.

How to Flavor Savory Oatmeal

Oats on their own have a very bland flavor, and I think that’s why they often get a bad rap. Here are some tips for making sure your savory oatmeal is full of flavor:

  • Cook them in a really flavorful broth. I like to use Better Than Bouillon because it tends to have a nice vibrant flavor. Plus it comes in several flavors and options.
  • Use aromatics. A little bit of fresh garlic or ginger goes a long way! Green onion or shallots are also great.
  • Add your favorite seasoning blend. You could experiment with your favorite bottled seasonings like Everything Bagel Seasoning, jerk seasoning, steak seasoning, furikake, onion salt.
  • Top with your favorite sauce. Try adding a little chili garlic paste, sriracha, or gochujang!

Savory Oatmeal Topping Ideas

In addition to ingredients that can be added into your oatmeal, you can add all sorts of delicious toppings, too! Here are some oatmeal topping ideas:

Can I Make it Ahead?

Yes, savory oatmeal is great for making ahead! You can change the number of servings in the recipe card below and the ingredients will auto adjust for you. After cooking, divide your savory oatmeal into single-serving portions and refrigerate. To reheat, simply microwave on high for about 2 minutes, stirring half-way through. If the oatmeal is too thick, just add a splash of water.

Make it Vegan

You can make the savory oatmeal recipe below vegan by swapping out the butter for your favorite cooking oil. Coconut oil would be very nice here because it has a rich mouthfeel, similar to butter.

overhead view of a bowl full of savory oatmeal with ingredients on the sides
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Savory Oatmeal

5 from 32 votes
Savory oatmeal is a delicious, hearty, and inexpensive meal that can be customized to use ingredients you have on hand.
overhead view of a bowl full of savory oatmeal with ingredients on the sides
Servings 1
Prep 5 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 15 minutes


  • 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger ($0.05)
  • 4 mushrooms ($0.62)
  • 1 tsp butter ($0.04)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth ($0.13)
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats ($0.09)
  • 1/2 cup spinach ($0.19)
  • 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil ($0.05)


  • Mince the garlic, grate the ginger, and slice the mushrooms.
  • Add the butter, garlic, and ginger to a small saucepot. Sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté for a few minutes more, or until the mushrooms have wilted a bit.
  • Add the vegetable broth to the saucepot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and bring the broth up to a boil.
  • When the broth reaches a boil, add the rolled oats and stir to combine. Allow it to return to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Let the oats simmer for about 5 minutes, or until thickened.
  • While the oats are simmering, roughly chop the spinach. Stir the spinach into the thickened oats, along with the toasted sesame oil.
  • Taste and add salt to your liking, if needed, then top it off with your favorite toppings. Serve hot!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 1bowlCalories: 245kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 8gFat: 9gSodium: 995mgFiber: 5g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Close up of a spoonful of savory oats, the bowl in the background

How to Make Savory Oatmeal – Step by Step Photos

Butter, garlic, and ginger in a pot

Mince one clove of garlic, grate about ½ tsp of fresh ginger, and slice 3-4 mushrooms. Add the garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon butter to a small saucepot. Sauté the garlic and ginger in the butter over medium heat for about one minute.

sautéed mushrooms in the pot

Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes more, or just until the mushrooms have softened.

Vegetable broth being poured into the pot

Add one cup vegetable broth to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the broth up to a boil.

Oats being poured into the saucepot

When the broth reaches a boil, add ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats.

Cooked savory oatmeal in the saucepot

Allow the broth to come back up to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and let the oats simmer for about 5 minutes, or until thickened.

Chopped spinach stirred into the oats

While the oats are simmering, roughly chop a handful of spinach. Stir the chopped spinach and ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil into the oats.

Overhead view of a bowl full of savory oatmeal with ingredients on the sides

Give it a taste and add salt, if needed. Serve with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

A bowl of Savory Oatmeal with an egg on top

It’s also really good with an egg on top!

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  1. Surprisingly (if you don’t look at others ratings) satisfying and SIMPLE ❤️. I will be adding this to both my weekend brunch rotation and camping/hiking menu. Cracked an egg into the almost finished oats, put the lid on for 7 or 8 mins and ended up with a poached egg to boot. A real winner!!

  2. Well, I HAVE to leave a comment. Stubbled accross this recipe a year ago and never made it until today. What was I waiting for ??? I honestly wasn’t expecting anything great, savory oatmeal sounded kinda bland but the comments conviced me and OMG the result was amazing ! The texture and taste is difficult to describe, it’s just very good and soft, like a puree of overcooked pasta but in a good way lol. Added shredded cheese and it was super melty ! Will definitely make it again.

  3. Fantastic! Cooked 4 servings per instructions simmering 5 min. Used Chicken stock. Oatmeal absorbed liquid after standing a few minutes. Fluffed up like a basmati rice dish. Retained nice texture. Perfect alone or with topping. Reheats well.

  4. Very happy to have found this recipe! My doctor tells me my cholesteral numbers are a little bit higher, but I refuse to eat bad food Lol! I’m not much of a ‘sweet’ person, more savory, and I had bought a bag of 1 minute oats. I tried it the traditional sweet way, and meh. I really was hoping this recipe would work with my 1 minute oats and it did! I sauteed a little garlic in a little sesame oil, added ground ginger and chicken broth. Added chopped spinach with the oats, and added my egg directly in to poach! Some sesame seeds and chili-garlic sauce on top, and my stomach is very happy!

    1. The only place the sodium would be coming from is the vegetable stock, so if that’s too high for you you can always use low-sodium broth! (It’s also possible that the nutrition calculator is over-estimating a bit)

  5. Sooooooo good! My new favorite. The savory thing is my jam so this was perfect. I’ve made it twice now, once with mushrooms and once without (didn’t have any) and it is definitely better with the mushrooms.
    Thanks for the great recipe!

  6. This was fantastic! I didn’t have mushrooms so I just left them out and I used chicken broth because that’s all I had on hand. Fried egg on top. Was perfect! Thank you for another great recipe that I can add to my rotation and customize to suit what I have in the fridge!

  7. Hi Beth,

    I am a huge fan of your site, and your recipes. This was my first time trying savoury oatmeal and I loved it!

    Just wondering what a good substitute would be for mushrooms (no one else in my family likes them)?

    Thanks again

    1. Anything you like would be fine! I find that a little soy sauce or parmesan cheese (or both!) can mimic the umami flavor of mushrooms, but you can really sub with any vegetable you like or omit!

  8. WOW. This was my first time making savoury oats and I can 100% say that it’ll be my go to breakfast from now on. I used some frozen veggies and also added a little soy sauce. So warm and filling. The eggs were a nice touch as well.

  9. I have your book,so i assume these are some pretty good receipes,but just too damn many ads.At least run the ads to the sides or between rceipes.

  10. This is shockingly delicious
    I’ve been trying to get into oatmeal and have hated it every other way
    This is also the best it’s ever been cooked – maybe the microwave is my issue

  11. This is my favorite breakfast. I’ve made the recipe no less than 10 times. I usually cook a pot of steel cut oats in no-chikn better than bouillion while prepping the rest of your recipe The sub in for a super hearty breakfast all week. Each morning I heat the leftover savory oats and top with a basted egg and a half teaspoon of Laoganma or Momofuko Chili Crunch. SOOOOO delicious. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!