whole food ~ well made

Simple savory oatmeal ideas at

Dare to Take Your Morning Oatmeal to the Savory Side?

“You should try this!” is one off the most enticing sentences I know.  Especially when the person saying it is clearly enjoying her food.

This was the case the very first time I encountered the savory side of oatmeal at a ski shelter on Mt. Hood. It didn’t hurt that I was mighty hungry. A fellow skier tipped her bowl of standard issue oatmeal towards me. Melted butter puddled on the top graced with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Weird. Intriguing. But why would anyone do that? I wondered.

The world of porridge that includes oats, corn, rice, kasha, barley–and every other cultivated grain–is wide indeed. So, I realized that restricting myself to the sweet side of oatmeal is especially narrow.

Simple savory oatmeal ideas at

So, the real question is, why would anyone limit themselves to honey, brown sugar or maple syrup when there are so many other possibilities?

The only thing standing in my way was giving it a try. Well, first I had to get my brain around the fact that a bowl of hot breakfast cereal can go the savory way.

I had to think of it like soft polenta, congee or grits.

SImple Savory Oatmeal

Whether you go for standard boiled oats, overnight oats, crockpot or Instapot oats, I’m here to talk about toppings for this classic hot cereal.

Since this is breakfast, it’s go to be easy.

Simple savory oatmeal ideas at

At this time of day, I’m not into treating a bowl of hot cereal like a rice bowl, topping it with all manner of stir-fried vegetables or meats. My deal is that the toppings should be readily accessible for the pantry or fridge.

So, here’s a round up of ideas that fit my definition of simple and don’t turn breakfast into anything more than it is meant to be: nourishing, satisfying and efficient. I mean, we’ve all got things to do!

7 Simple Toppings

There are no hard-and-fast rules here. Apply the quantity of these topping combinations to please your own taste and mood:

  • grated sharp cheddar & chives
  • curry powder, golden raisins & toasted coconut
  • crispy fried egg & kimchi
  • brown butter, flake salt & toasted walnuts
  • 7-minute egg, edamame & furikake
  • leftover sauteed greens, olive oil & shaved parmesan

The recipe is idea #7. Start here, and, if you’re anything like me, oatmeal will take on a whole new meaning as a start for your day. Be well!


and become a forager

Savory Oatmeal with Tamari, Pumpkin & Sesame Seeds

This idea comes from the San Francisco restaurant Mission Pie where they offer a bowl of oatmeal with a sweet or savory topping. Once I'd tasted this combination, my perspective on oatmeal has never been the same.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Lynne Curry


  • 1 cup rolled oats organic
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 scallion, green part only, minced
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds


  • Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan with the salt. Add the oats and stir once. Reduce the heat to low to simmer.
  • While the oats cook, combine the tamari, sesame oil and green onion in a small bowl.
  • Portion the cooked oats into a serving bowl. Top to taste with the tamari mixture and the pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds, adding more as needed.


  1. SAVORY OATMEAL IS THE WAY. Everyone looks at me like I have two heads, but I am butter, tamari and hot sauce all the way (all the better if there are leftover greens around!) and I go into the day so much less sleepy than (admittedly delicious) sweet porridge leaves me feeling. Your combos sound delicious and it always makes me so happy to have company on this particular path.

    1. Luv it, Janet! I’m going to have to try your combo, too. What’s your a.m. hot sauce of choice? I’m with you 100%, which may go without saying, especially on the greens.

  2. Tapatio is definitely morning-strength hot sauce though I am not sure my standards are widely-applicable (or so my children tell me).

    1. I can get behind that!

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