Cheesy Bacon Savory Oatmeal
This savory Cheesy Bacon Oatmeal is a necessary change on the sweet oatmeal that so many people love. Easy to make and great flavor!
Cheesy Bacon Savory OatmealJump to Recipe
I usually think of oatmeal as a sweet breakfast. I like it with a little butter, some brown sugar, and maybe a dollop of peanut butter. But oatmeal is basically a sponge for flavor. It’s kind of bland on its own, but is great at soaking up other flavors, which is why this savory Cheesy Bacon Oatmeal works so well!
Almost like an Asian congee bowl, this savory oatmeal is simmered with some onion and just a little bacon grease. The finished bowl is packed with umami savory notes. Once you have the basics down you can actually top this with lots of different topping options, but generally, I like some chives or scallions and a soft egg.
I’ve never had a huge sweet tooth so this savory bacon oatmeal is my new favorite weekend breakfast. Trust me when I say that these savory oats will jump way up your breakfast list once you try them!
- Want a sweeter oatmeal version? Check out this Fruit and Honey Muesli or my Overnight Coconut Muesli!
Table of contents
How to Make Savory Oatmeal Video
Using bacon in oatmeal
Bacon is wonderful for breakfast but sometimes people overdo the bacon thing. This recipe though does really benefit from bacon, but you don’t need a bunch of it. Just a few strips goes a long way to giving a breakfast bowl really deep, savory flavors.
When using bacon in something like oatmeal, that is inherently soggy, I like to crisp it up, then remove it, and then add it back near the end so it stays crispy. Start with thick bacon and chop it up and place it in a cold pot. You’ll cook everything except the egg in this one pot.
Cook the bacon over low heat for 10 minutes or so until the fat has rendered out of the bacon. A little patience helps here and you don’t want to rush the process or you will burn the bacon.
One the bacon is evenly cooked and crispy, you can remove the bacon bits and keep the bacon grease in the skillet. That’s all flavor!
If you have more than a tablespoon or two of bacon grease, drain off the extra, but given that you aren’t starting with a bunch of bacon, it’ll probably be okay unless you have very fatty bacon. You can eyeball it.
Then add the diced onion to the pan. Don’t overdo it on the onion. A little goes a long way.
What kind of oatmeal to use in this recipe?
I’m generally a steel-cut oatmeal fan like I used in these Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal Bowls and these Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal Bowls. You can absolutely use steel cut oatmeal for these savory bowls as well, but it will add 25-30 minutes onto your cooking time.
Generally, I like to keep my breakfast recipes in the 20-30 minute range so since we are already cooking the bacon and onions, I use rolled oats for this recipe which drastically reduces the cooking time.
Your choice ultimately, but I like the rolled oats for these savory oatmeal bowls.
Actually cook the oats in the bacon grease for a few seconds like you would a risotto. The pan will look really dry.
Then add the water and bring the pot to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and let the oatmeal simmer for 8-10 minutes until it’s nice and thick. If it gets too thick, add more water, but 2 cups should be about right.
Season the cooked oatmeal with a little salt and pepper.
I like to add the cheese in two installments. Serve some right on top of the finished oatmeal, but stir some into the oatmeal while it’s cooking.
Eggs and other add-in options
You don’t need to serve these bowls with an egg, but it really rounds out the bowl in my opinion. I recommend just cooking the over-easy. The soft egg kind of melts into the oatmeal bowl. Good stuff.
Divide the savory oatmeal between two bowls and top with some more cheese, crispy bacon, the egg, and some fresh chives.
Need some other topping ideas for these bowls? Here are a few ideas!
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Spicy chili sauce
- Leftover protein like steak or shredded chicken
- Roasted sesame oil
This is home comfort food at its best.
Have you ever tried savory oatmeal?? I imagine the topping ideas are endless.
Making this savory oatmeal in advance
You can absolutely make this oatmeal in advance. Cook the bacon and keep it separate from the oatmeal so it stays crispy. Cook the oatmeal as it is in the recipe and then you can chill it in the fridge for up to five days. Reheat it gently on the stovetop with a little water or stock and then add the toppings as you would originally.
My Cheesy Bacon Oatmeal Recipe
Bacon Cheddar Savory Oatmeal
- 2 strips thick bacon chopped
- 2 tablespoons diced onion
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 cups water
- 2-3 oz. cheddar cheese grated
- 2 large eggs over easy
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh chives garnish
- Roughly chop bacon and add to a medium pot over low heat. Cook slowly, rendering out bacon fat until bacon is crispy, about 10 minutes.
- Remove crispy bacon bits from pan and drain off most the bacon grease, leaving about a tablespoon. Add diced onion and cook for a minute, using the onion to scrape up any bits stuck to the pan.
- Add rolled oats to the pan and stir for 15 seconds. Then add water. Bring to a simmer, turn heat down to low, and simmer for 8-10 minutes until oatmeal is thick. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, cook eggs over-easy.
- Right before serving, stir in grated cheddar cheese.
- Divide oatmeal between two bowls. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and crispy bacon. Top each bowl with an over-easy egg and fresh chives.
Did you make this?
Snap a photo and tag @macheesmo so I can see your work.
33 Responses to “Cheesy Bacon Savory Oatmeal” Leave a comment
I love savory oatmeal! I treat it basically as any other grain. I’ve usually gone in an Asian direction with it – leftover Chinese pork with peas and soy sauce is good, as is Korean beef stirred in.
I did come across some rolled rye a while back that was different – it has the same consistency as oatmeal, but with, well, a rye flavor. It’s fantastic with some chopped corned beef and shredded Swiss stirred in. (Imaginative, I”m not!)
I think this is up for breakfast very soon. . .
Oh yum, thanks for the super ideas. Oatmeal at a whole new level!!
Have you tried cooking t oats in Earl Grey tea for 8 -10 minutes and then serving with Blue Berries, lemon zest and a sprinkling of sugar ? ? ? Don’t, it’s disgusting . . . just sayin’, (early experiment) . . .
I eat a lot of oatmeal too, but this sounds like such a wonderful change! Trying this out tomorrow and I know I’m going to love the change from sweet to savory! Thanks!
Now this is my kind of oatmeal! Can’t wait to try it out!! :)
Honestly, I think this sounds amazing for me at home! But I’m also thinking about how to make it for my patients at work. Probably the only change I’d make would be scrambled eggs on top. Over easy for thirty to forty people would be a bit too much…
Ha! Yes. I wouldn’t do over-easy for 40. You could actually just skip the egg entirely though. It’s a great bowl without it even. Good luck!
Baked whole eggs on a hot sheet pan @ 475°. You get sunny side up eggs for several people in 5 minutes.
It’s never occurred to me to make savory oatmeal but I want to try this. Looks yummy..
Great recipe. Diabetics cannot have too much of this. Perhaps once a month to celebrate stable blood sugar readings:-)
My kids loved it. Next time gonna use scrambled sausage and a little more onion. Didn’t use enough to make 6 cups of oats.
I am going to give this a try but with Steel Cut oats! I love their texture and I think they will be great as a savory! Good idea!
Could you use quick oats in the recipe?
My husband and I had something very similar to this at a B&B in Point Reyes, CA. It was served in individual crocks, using sausage instead of bacon. It was soooo good. This sounds wonderful also. You can also substitute grits for the oatmeal.
Have you tried this with turkey bacon?
Hey Jody, I haven’t but I think it’d be fine!
I’ve hated oatmeal all my life – which is a long time – because it was always served sweet and I don’t like sweet foods. I finally decided to cook it with salt and butter and I actually like it. This sounds so good, I can’t wait to try it. No more sweet oatmeal EVER.
I subbed left over Christmas ham for the bacon and chicken bone broth for the water. This recipe is so filling I couldn’t finish my portion. Saving this recipe. We loved it!
5.30 pm on New Year’s day and still suffering after a VERY good party last night – this is perfect comfort food! As a Scot I always make porridge savoury anyway, using water not milk, and a sprinkle of salt or Aromat maybe. But this is a cut above, all that lovely bacon & cheese, but healthy – well, healthy-ish – with the oats and onions. Sublime hangover food. Thank you!
Ha! I’ve definitely been known to make this sucker after a night out as well Linora! Happy 2018!
How many carbs and calories per serving ? Sounds so good, but I’m trying hard to watch my carb and calorie intake.
Amazing recipe. A sweet breakfast!
The day I learned that oatmeal could be given the savory treatment was the day oatmeal became a regular part of my diet. I usually make mine the regular way except I cook it in broth instead of water and add cheese and an egg when it’s done. I like the idea of cooking the oats in the pan with the onions and bacon grease. I’m adding bacon to my grocery list so I can make this tomorrow. THANKS!
I stumbled on the idea at Whole Foods when i decided to change up my morning oatmeal routine. They have the bacon bits and a whole buffet of other ingredients. It was a big success- tomorrow will be even better!!
I’m dying to try savory oatmeal. But I always forget.
I absolutely detest oatmeal, but I have high cholesterol and high blood sugar, so I was told I needed to eat it to help with those conditions. I made this yesterday, and for two days in a row, I have sucked this down! This was amazing! Thank you!
That was hysterical!!!
This sounds delicious. Need to try it.
I’m going to make this again this weekend, do you mind if I feature this on my blog & Instagram (thisisfuckingdelicious), with a link to your recipe page? I’ll probably tweak it slightly but full credit goes to you!
Bacon in any recipe kicks it up a notch. I’m obsessed with bacon and my bacon blanket from thefoodblankets.com.
I agree with the peanut butter. Peanut butter is great anytime.
Have been adding eggs to my oatmeal for years. First time I saw it was nearly 40 years ago when a cousin was doing for her children, making sure they got their protein.
Absolutely delicious and filling, Forgot to add cheese but didn’t need it. Just oatmeal, bacon, dippy egg, salt and pepper.