A simple creamy savory steel-cut oatmeal recipe made with cheddar cheese, sweet caramelized onions, miso and topped with a soft-boiled egg. A delicious way to enjoy breakfast or lunch!
Table of Contents
- What is Savory Oatmeal?
- Savory Cheese Oatmeal Ingredients
- Toppings for Savory Oatmeal
- Traditional vs Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats
- Can I Use Instant Oatmeal for Savory Oats?
- How to Make Savory Oatmeal More Flavorful
- Step 1: Toast the Oats
- Step 2: Caramelize the Onions
- Step 3: Use Miso and Cheese
- Step 4: Add an Egg to Your Savory Oats
- How to Reheat Savory Oatmeal
- More Recipes You May Like
- Recipe Card
What is Savory Oatmeal?
To most people (myself included), oatmeal is sweet and something that is eaten during breakfast. It's also creamy, sweet, and comforting and usually comes in the form of instant oatmeal.
Savory oatmeal, on the other hand, is savory and can be eaten anytime (like lunch and dinner) and usually is cooked with savory ingredients like cheese and a fried or boiled egg.
If you ever had Chinese congee, then you'll know that it is a very similar dish, that is also topped with savory toppings! The main difference is that congee is made with rice and savory oatmeal is made with oats.
If you're looking to add more toppings to your savory oatmeal, I also have a list of congee topping ideas that I will also use to garnish and top my savory oatmeal as well.
For this cheesy savory oatmeal recipe, I used miso to give the savory oatmeal its savoriness and umami base and I used caramelized onions to give the oatmeal a touch more flavor because I find that onions give amazing flavors to everything, especially when they have been caramelized.
The cheese gives this oatmeal its creaminess and I find it transforms the oatmeal from boring to comforting.
If you're looking for a recipe that's incredibly cheesy but with noodles instead, you definitely should also check out my easy cheese ramen recipe that only takes 10 minutes to make!
Savory Cheese Oatmeal Ingredients
- Steel-Cut Oats - For this recipe, I used quick-cooking steel-cut oats because it cooks faster. You can use traditional steel-cut oats but you will need to increase the cooking time and amount of water. Alternatively, you can also use instant oatmeal as well, but make sure it is unflavored.
- Miso - I like using white miso for this so that it doesn't overpower all the other flavors in the oatmeal (onions and cheese).
- Onions - You can use any type of onions to caramelize, I like to use whatever I have on hand.
- Cheese - I like to use bold flavor cheeses for this recipe. Aged or medium cheddar work great, as well as smoked cheddar!
- Milk - I like to use milk mixed with water/broth for this recipe but you can also use almond milk as well. Just make sure it is not sweetened or flavored.
Toppings for Savory Oatmeal
Besides adding cheese and an egg, there are many other ways to also flavor your oatmeal! Here are a few ideas I like to do to get you started.
- Sriracha Hot Sauce - To give my savory oats a spicy and garlicky kick, I like to drizzle a bit of sriracha on it.
- Mushrooms - I like to pan-fry shiitake (rehydrated from dried shiitake) or button mushrooms in a bit of salt and butter and mix this in for a bit of umami and flavor.
- Green Onions - Mix in finely minced green onions for a pop of onion flavor.
- Chicken - If you have any type of leftover rotisserie chicken, you can add shredded or cut pieces of chicken and add them right in!
- Miso Butter - A very easy condiment I like to make is miso butter. When melted over savory oatmeal, it's buttery, salty, and loaded with umami.
- Garlic - While I am pan-frying some onions, I sometimes will also add in a clove of finely minced garlic for an additional flavor boost.
- Avocado - You can add diced avocado for a healthier and buttery texture.
Traditional vs Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats
The main difference between the 2 styles of steel-cut oats is the way it is cut.
Quick-cooking steel-cut oats are cut into finer and thinner pieces and cook faster than the traditional steel-cut oats which are cut into chunkier pieces.
If you use traditional steel-cut oats, you will need to cook them longer and add slightly more water. I haven't tried this myself but I also was told that soaking them helps cook them more quickly as well. If you are using quick-cooking steel-cut oats, cook it like you would traditional oatmeal - for me, it is about 10 minutes of cooking.
Can I Use Instant Oatmeal for Savory Oats?
You definitely can use instant oatmeal for savory oats. It cuts the cooking time even more, and you don't even need to dirty any pot to cook it so it's an easier clean-up!
Just make sure you are using plain (unflavored) instant oatmeal if you plan on using it.
How to Make Savory Oatmeal More Flavorful
Step 1: Toast the Oats
I love adding flavors through layering and I truly believe that toasting ingredients add another depth of flavor to recipes by bringing out a toasty flavor to them.
While I am waiting for the water/milk to boil in the pot, I use that time to toast the steel-cut oats in a dry frying pan on low heat.
Remember to constantly shake the pan to keep it moving, so it doesn't burn.
Step 2: Caramelize the Onions
Another layer of flavor in this recipe is the sweet caramelized onions.
Caramelized onions are a labor of love and take a very long time to make because it is a low and slow process so I cheat whenever I make it, and use butter and a touch of maple syrup to it to speed up the caramelization process.
If you can't find maple syrup, you can use honey as well, but use a bit less and mix ¼ teaspoon of water with it.
Step 3: Use Miso and Cheese
Miso adds a lot of wonderful salty flavors to this savory oatmeal but it also adds umami! If you don't have it, you can substitute it with soy sauce as well for the same effect.
Alternatively, you can also add miso butter to it as well, which would give your savory oatmeal a bigger boost in flavor!
My favorite way to flavor savory oatmeal is to add cheese. I personally find cheddar and parmesan add the most flavor to it.
If you are planning on using cheddar, the older and sharper the cheddar, the more flavor it has.
Step 4: Add an Egg to Your Savory Oats
Last but not least, add an egg to it. You can add a fried sunny-side-up egg, or soft-boiled egg, any way you do it, the egg puts it over the top and makes it a truly cozy meal.
How to Reheat Savory Oatmeal
One thing I love about this recipe is, you can make a large batch and store it in the fridge to have any time you want.
I like to heat it up in the microwave until it is soft - but keep in mind that the fridge may dry the oatmeal out a little, so you may need to mix 1-2 tablespoons of hot water to it after it has been re-heated to give it back it's creaminess again.
If you do make a large batch of this and enjoy it with a soft-boiled egg, you can also boil a bunch of eggs ahead of time as well! Just remember not to peel them until you are ready to eat it.
More Recipes You May Like
- Easy Creamy Chicken Congee Recipe
- Breakfast Sandwich (with a hash brown)
- Crispy Hash Browns
- Lemon Pancakes with Candied Maple Bacon
- Cheese Ramen
If you made this Savory Oatmeal recipe, I want to see! Follow Pups with Chopsticks on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag and hashtag it with @pupswithchopsticks and #pupswithchopsticks. I love to know what you are making!
Savory Oatmeal with Miso, Cheese, and Egg
- Toasting the oats is optional, but adds a nuttiness to the oatmeal.
- For this recipe, I used quick cooking steel cut oats because it cooks faster. You can use traditional steel cut oats but you will need to increase the cooking time and amount of water.
- I like using a white miso for this so that it doesn't overpower all the other flavors in the oatmeal (onions and cheese).
- I like to use bold flavor cheeses for this recipe. Aged or medium cheddar work great, as well as smoked cheddar!
- I like to use milk mixed with water/broth for this recipe but you can also use almond milk as well. Just make sure it is not sweetened or flavored.
- If you are making a big batch and storing it in the fridge, it can be easily re-heated in a microwave! If it's too thick after it has been microwaved, add in 2 tablespoons of hot water to make it creamy again.
- If you can't find furikake, we have a homemade recipe for it here: Homemade Furikake!
- Grate the cheese, and set aside
- Peel the onion. Cut the onion in half and thinly slice it
- Add butter and oil into a frying pan and set the stove to medium heat
- Once the butter has melted, add in the sliced onions and cook until they are soft (approximately 10 minutes)
- Once the onions are soft, adjust the stove to medium low heat
- Add in the maple syrup and a pinch of salt and cook the onions until they are brown (approximately 5 minutes)
- Once they are brown and caramelized set it aside
Soft Boiled Egg (Optional)
- Place the eggs in a small pot and cover it with cold water.
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the water.
- Set the pot on the stove over medium heat and put the lid on. (Don't leave the stove area until the water starts to boil)
- Once the water starts to vigorously boil, set a timer for 4 minutes.
- Once 4 minutes is up, remove the lid and run cold tap water over the eggs for 2-3 minutes to stop the cooking.
- Once the eggs have cooled, they are ready to be peeled and cut in half to place on top of the oatmeal!
- (Note: If you are making a batch of these eggs ahead of time, store them in the fridge and don't peel them until you are ready to eat them)
Cooking the Oatmeal
- In a pot, add in the milk and water and set the stove to high heat
- (Optional, but highly recommended) While you are waiting for the water/milk to come to a boil, toast the steel cut oats on medium low heat on a dry frying pan. Make sure you are constantly stirring or shaking the pan so that it doesn't burn. Toast it until it is golden brown (approximately 3-4 minutes)
- Once the water/milk starts to boil, adjust the stove to medium-low heat
- Add in the steel cut oats and stir.
- Cook it for approximately 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed into the oats (approximately 10 minutes). Stir it occasionally so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the oats are cooked and creamy looking, adjust the stove to low heat and stir in the miso. Mix well until the miso has melted into the oatmeal.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the grated cheese and mix well until the cheese has melted and the oatmeal looks creamy. If it is too think, you can add a few tablespoons of hot water and tweak it to the consistency you like.
- Stir in the caramelized onions and it's done!
- Spoon some in a bowl, top it with a soft boiled egg and some additional garnishes and eat!
*Nutritional information is calculated using online tools and is an estimate*
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