Ode to Savory Oats

Savory Oats have been a staple in my diet ever since the weather got cold. Traditionally I think of oats as a sweeter breakfast, but there’s something so satisfying about a fluffy bowl of oats with cheese in the morning that has been doing it for me lately. I first got the idea in a Women’s Health Magazine, and it sounded so delicious I knew I had to try it. I get lots of questions about exactly how I make it and what I put in there, so I figured a tutorial was in order.

The method I use to cook the steel cut oats is amazing because it just takes a little foresight and two minutes of your time. You can certainly flavor your oats any way you wish using the same method, and I often flavor them up one serving at a time in case I want something different.

Prepping the Steel Cut Oats

To start, the night before I measure out my steel cut oats.

Measured Out

I use 1/4 cup per serving, which is 40 grams and turns into 1 cup of cooked oats.

After you measure out the oats, you add 1 cup of water for every 1/4 cup of oats… so this pot had 3 cups added to it.

Add Water

Next, you bring it to a rolling boil for 2 minutes. Watch it to make sure it doesn’t overflow, and after it’s been boiling for 2 minutes (which is not scientific, so don’t freak out if you leave it on too long or take it off too soon), remove it from the heat and cover it.


You can even center it on the turned off burner if you like.

The last step involves leaving it out overnight (off the heat) while still covered. In the morning, the liquid will be fully absorbed and the oats will look like this:

in the AM

Give it a little stir.

All Stirred Up

And the oats are done and ready to heat up and eat. So simple and SUCH a time saver, since steel cut oats take 30-40 minutes to cook if you boil them.

Savor-ifying The Oats

Yes, that’s a technical term.

Since I eat my breakfast at work, I use a tupperware container to transport the oats and then heat them in the microwave at my office. I add in one serving of the oats, one egg white, and then some garlic powder, salt, and red pepper flakes.

With Eggs Whites   Flavors

I stir it up, and then add in 1/4 cup of low-fat cottage cheese.

With Egg Whites   Cottage Cheese

Then, a handful of spinach.

Ready for Transport

And it’s ready to transport.

When I get to my office, I dump the contents into a bowl.

Ready for Micro

And then heat it up for 1 minute at a time, usually for 2:30 all together.

Savory Oats

How fluffy and creamy does that bowl of oats look?! The egg whites fluff up so much during the heating process and the cottage cheese gets really melty. If you’re not a fan of cottage cheese, though you can’t really taste it at all, you can certainly use a different kind of cheese. I’d actually been using regular sliced cheese last week but am out, and I waited to stir that in until the oats were heated through right before eating.

Besides the type of cheese, there are tons of different combos you can use with this method. You could use kale or another type of green, or omit it all together if greens for breakfast sketch you out. You can also use different spices, add a fried egg on top (which I do if I ever eat savory oats at home), or really use any combo you can think of.

So there you have it! A 5 pts+ fluffy bowl of savory oats.

Have you ever had savory oats? What is your staple breakfast when the weather gets cold?

25 Comments on Ode to Savory Oats

  1. Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner
    January 18, 2012 at 10:34 am (9 years ago)

    I have been known to replace rice with steel cut oats at dinner time, but for some reason I can’t get on board with savory oats for breakfast! I can’t wait to try your method of cooking steel cut oats! It looks so easy.

  2. Sue
    January 18, 2012 at 10:42 am (9 years ago)

    I’ll have to try the savory oats, it sounds very interesting. I read about your method of cooking the steel cut oats here : http://www.leadingtheweigh.com/2010/06/hot-tip-cooking-steal-cut-oats.html — i love the name “boil and dump ” ! The first time I tried it, my husband put them in the fridge not knowing I wanted them to stay out all night. That worked ok too.

  3. Alicia at Poise in Parma
    January 18, 2012 at 11:26 am (9 years ago)

    I LOVE savory oats. I eat them practically every morning! I am a bit lazier with mine as of late – I used to use a stove top method, but now rely on the microwave. I microwave 2/3 cups quick oats (plus salt, pepper & garlic powder) with lots of water (I need to measure the amount – there’s a lot that goes in) for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, I crack one egg into the mix, add a bit more water and stir for a good minute to combine. It goes back in for a minute and a half. Take it out, add one last splash of water, taste to make sure I put in enough salt, and off I go! If I have turkey sausage or ham available, I’ll add that in during that second microwave portion. I also like adding cheddar or pepper jack cheese. YUM.

  4. Jamie
    January 18, 2012 at 11:26 am (9 years ago)

    I am going to have to try this. I think I might like it and the egg would keep me fuller than oatmeal usually does.

  5. Sara
    January 18, 2012 at 11:45 am (9 years ago)

    Dude, THANK YOU for this post! I was just thinking this morning about how I’ve gotten into such a breakfast rut lately (I do either smoothies or yogurt/fruit/granola bowls every morning). I love oatmeal and make it on the stove when I’m home during the weekends, but never thought it was something I could make enough time for in the morning. This way of cooking them is perfect and I’m excited to have another 5-6 pts+ breakfast in my arsenal!

  6. Stefanie
    January 18, 2012 at 11:45 am (9 years ago)

    I eat a savory breakfast every day. I usually put 1/2c oats, 4 egg whites, little bit of water with lots of seasonings (salt free) in a bowl and microwave. Maybe even some hot sauce. Super good and only 4 points plus!

  7. Dena @ 40 Fit in the Mitt
    January 18, 2012 at 12:29 pm (9 years ago)

    Very creative, I must try it. You always have such great ideas and recipes on your blog, I always look forward to your tofu posts and recipes

  8. Sarah
    January 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm (9 years ago)

    I’ve been loving oats lately, too. I’ve been making feeble attempts at convincing myself to make a smoothie, but the oats always seem to win out!
    Yours look delicious.

  9. Tina @ Best Body Fitness
    January 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm (9 years ago)

    I keep meaning to try savory oats but never do. I always chicken out for some reason!

  10. Life's a Bowl
    January 18, 2012 at 5:47 pm (9 years ago)

    Yummm! I’ve actually been thinking about a savory bowl of oats all day- pretty sure it’s gonna be on the menu for dinner soon 😀

  11. Laura Jane @ Recovering Chocoholic
    January 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm (9 years ago)

    I bought some steel cut oats recently, but I haven’t eaten them yet since I didn’t quite know what to do with them. This post will come in handy! How was your first WW meeting yesterday?

  12. Sarah
    January 19, 2012 at 5:35 am (9 years ago)

    I’ve always loved egg whites in my oats but I’ve only ever made it on the stove. Glad to know you can microwave 🙂

    One of my biggest winter comfort food is cooking a huge batch of frozen broccoli and then adding blacks and toppping with salsa. The salsa makes me think I’m in a more Southerm (aka warmer) climate.

  13. Alice
    January 19, 2012 at 8:00 am (9 years ago)

    I’m much more partial to savory oats than sweet oats! I love nutritional yeast in oats, great source of B vitamins 🙂

  14. Theresa
    January 19, 2012 at 9:19 am (9 years ago)

    LOVE savory oats. People always gave me a hard time when I told them I added an egg, garlic powder, onion powder, cheese and bacon to my regular oatmeal. Mmmmmmm.. so yummy! I just bought steel cut oats and tried to go sweet but it just wasn’t hitting the spot. Had my first savory steel cut oats this morning and SO much better.

  15. Ann
    January 19, 2012 at 11:21 am (9 years ago)

    I’m going to try these for lunch today. It’s a cold, gloomy day…hopefully this will brighten up the day!

  16. Hilary
    January 19, 2012 at 8:19 pm (9 years ago)

    Such a cool idea! I’ve never tried savoury oats…they sound pretty tasty but I’ll be honest, I’m more of a sweet girl. I really like oat bran for breakfast when it’s cold…all the comfort and flavour of oatmeal, but way faster!

  17. Lisa
    January 23, 2012 at 12:17 pm (9 years ago)

    I tried this today with Oat Bran and it was great! Very filling! Thank you for the suggestion. I am not a sweet oatmeal eater, nor do I like making it with milk, and I’ve never tried adding any savory items.

  18. Christine
    January 24, 2012 at 9:38 am (9 years ago)

    I’m eating this for breakfast right now and it is super delicious. I love the fluffy, chewy texture and the flavor hits the spot this morning. I generally eat a savory breakfast, fried rice being my favorite, so this will most definitely be a staple in my morning routine. Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

  19. Dana
    February 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm (9 years ago)

    This looks amazing! I’ve been searching for a new (savory) breakfast option other than my usual egg whites, black beans and hot sauce. Thanks for posting!

  20. Jason Hardesty
    March 6, 2013 at 11:06 pm (8 years ago)

    Hi Beth! Recently started following you and you’ve given me tons of ideas already. We make your lentil mushroom tacos at least every other week! Tried this recipe for the savory oats this AM and they were great but have a random measuring question. You say 1 cup of water per 1/4 cups of oats but you used 3 cups above, which I did also. Seemed to turn out fine but wondering if 1 more cup of water would have made it better?

    • Beth
      March 11, 2013 at 9:03 am (8 years ago)

      Hey Jason! So glad you found my blog and are enjoying it. I do use a 1:4 ratio, so the above did have 3 cups, but that’s because I used 3 servings (3/4) a cup of oats! It would probably give you more volume if you use the regular 1:4 ratio!


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