Oatmeal Doesn’t Have to Be Sweet

If dressing oatmeal with brown sugar or dried fruit doesn't float your boat, why not make it savory? You can give oatmeal lots of flavor by cooking it in vegetable or chicken broth. Top it with whatever appeals to you: Soy sauce, sesame oil, and green onions are a popular combo with hounds; other favored toppings are cheese or a fried or poached egg and fresh herbs of all kinds. Minimalists stick with butter, salt, and pepper.

"I just made oatmeal cacio e pepe—cooked with veggie broth, topped with shaved Pecorino and coarsely ground pepper," says piccola. "Like pasta for breakfast!" Others treat oatmeal as they do jook (Chinese rice porridge), making it thin and adding seasonings and bits of meat and vegetables. "My favorite is steel cut oats with the sauce from leftover Indian curry (and small bits of meat, and even leftover vegetables) stirred in," says 4Snisl. "A spicy, delicious breakfast!"

Some hounds allow thick oatmeal to firm up in the fridge, then slice it or form it into patties and pan-fry in oil or butter, as you would polenta. Top with a sauce, vegetables, cheese, or an egg. "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," says bolivianita. "Basically it's chicken soup with oats instead of noodles."

For tips on making perfect, velvety (not gluey!) oatmeal, see CHOW's You're Doing It All Wrong: How to Top and Cook Oatmeal with Jeremy Oldfield.

Discuss: Savory Oatmeal

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