Oatmeal with honey and berries is the quintessential, wholesome breakfast dish – filling, warm, and sweet.

The only problem is that having oatmeal for breakfast every day gets hella boring. If you find yourself with stocks of oats that just aren’t going away, start thinking about ways to use them for other meals.

Because of the way oatmeal thickens when it’s cooked in a liquid, it gets a porridge-like consistency that turns it into the perfect vehicle for other add-ins. Think of it as a replacement for a risotto or other rice dish. You can still get your nutrient and fiber fill in a healthy way, and you’ll be able to use up leftover ingredients for quick and easy dishes.


Photo by Jeanne Kessira

My favorite way to have savory oatmeal is to keep it simple and just add a bunch of cheese – cheddar, parmesan, muenster, or whatever tickles your fancy. You can also add in some vegetables like asparagus or mushrooms, or protein like chicken or tofu.


Photo by Jeanne Kessira

You can also take your favorite sturdy vegetables (like tomatoes, peppers or zucchinis) and hollow them out to fill them with an oatmeal mixture. The mixture can include any kinds of vegetables, meats and seasonings you like – again, think of an alternative version to risotto-stuffed vegetables.


Photo by Daisy Dolan

Finally, you can create a curry-inspired meal by cooking the oatmeal in coconut milk or water and adding curry powder and other spices like tumeric, coriander and cumin. Add in a vegetable purée or paste – tomato being a common one – to round out the flavors (and you don’t even need to make a side of rice, because the carbohydrate is already integrated in the dish). This one is vegan as is, but you can also add meats.

Savory Oatmeal

Photo by Kendra Valkema

If you want to get even more creative, you can use oats to make savory, latke-like pancakes.  Replace the shredded potatoes in a traditional latke recipe with oats and serve them up with sour cream and apple sauce.

Crab cakes 1

Photo by Lauren Kaplan

The oat flakes can even be used as crusts on foods to emulate a fried texture. Just grind them up, add some salt, pepper and parmesan, and use it to coat whatever you want to bake. The results will be golden and satisfyingly crispy.

For more ideas on how to use oats, check out these recipes:


The Ex-Boyfriend Cookies

Crunchy Granola

5 Ways to Vamp Up Instant Oatmeal