How To Make Oatmeal Taste Good: 30 Recipes To Spice Up A Boring Bowl

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How to Make Oatmeal Taste Good: 30 Recipes to Spice Up a Boring Bowl

Take another look at the humble bowl of oatmeal. It may seem uninspiring and you probably read cookbooks to learn how to make oatmeal taste good, but this quick-to-make, filling-to-eat breakfast is really just a heart-healthy palate ready for you to layer delicious flavors on.

Whether you want a sinfully sweet dessert disguised as your morning meal, a super-healthy pick-me-up to start the day, or a warming, savory bowl of comfort, oatmeal is there for you. Just follow these easy oatmeal recipes to turn that glompy mainstay into a glam feast.

From overnight oats packed with chia seeds to a creamy risotto bowl and even a German chocolate cake, these recipes are — dare I say it —oatrageous.

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1. Chunky Monkey Overnight Oats

If you haven't eaten overnight oats yet, this must be your first time on the Internet. Welcome. We like make-ahead food in pretty mason jars here. This version uses bananas, peanut butter, chocolate chips and coconut shavings, which is about as good a reason to get up in the morning as there is.

2. Blueberry Muffin Oatmeal

It's a sad day when you realize that eating a blueberry muffin for breakfast isn't that all different than starting the day with a giant slice of cake. Cheer up by getting all the best parts of the muffin — fresh blueberries, brown sugar, walnuts — served up in a warm and wholesome bowl of oatmeal.

3. Banana Bread Oatmeal

Piling the flavors of your favorite muffins, breads, and sweets into oatmeal is a great gluten-free way to satisfy your craving. This version of banana bread uses caramelized bananas (which sounds fancier than it is — it's actually so easy) and chopped walnuts.

4. German Chocolate Cake Oatmeal

Chocolate for breakfast? If you insist. This recipe is super chocolatey thanks to cocoa powder, but not actually all that sweet, so it's totally doable any day of the week.

5. PB&J Oatmeal

This satisfying breakfast combines the classic salty-sweet combination of packed lunches of childhood with the hearty warming goodness of oatmeal. Toast your oats before combining with milk or water to add an even nuttier taste to your bowl.

6. Carrot Cake Oatmeal

There's an entire cup of shredded carrots in this dish, plus a handful of other healthy ingredients. You end up with a breakfast that's creamy, crunchy, chewy, and sweet, in just 25 minutes.

7. Date-Sweetened Apple Pie Oatmeal

Revelation: chopped up dates taste almost identical to a spoonful of brown sugar in your oatmeal, only better. You could stop just after figuring that out from this recipe, but you shouldn't. Throw some apples in the microwave and make a fall pie out of it.

8. Dark Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

This is one of the simplest but still decadent ways for how to make oatmeal taste good — all you need is a bit of cocoa powder and a sprinkle of chocolate chips and you're in business. And if you really want to go all out, top it with some whipped cream.

9. Cherry Almond Cookie Dough Oatmeal

These legit taste like eating sugar cookie dough topped with cherries. But for breakfast. In a not-insane, totally acceptable, I'm-an-adult kind of way. It's amazing and you'll love it.

10. Maple Orange Cayenne Oatmeal

For the mornings when you're feeling a little wild. The hit of cayenne will definitely wake you up, and combining it with sweet maple syrup, crunchy pistachios and citrus-y oranges is nothing short of genius.

11. Strawberry Banana Oatmeal

One of the most classic combinations out there. This standby oatmeal gets elevated by a little cinnamon and vanilla. And maybe all oatmeal aficionados know this, but this recipe suggests you mash up the banana and mix it into the oats rather than slice it and use as a topping. Brilliant!

12. Honey Nut Oatmeal

This isn't just oatmeal. It's two types of oats — steel cut and rolled — plus bulgur. So make it a triple grain morning, topped with the crunchy-sweet goodness of honey and sliced almonds.

13. Baked Pear Chocolate Hazelnut Oatmeal

If you ever envisioned having autumn for breakfast (just me?), this recipe will be your dream come true. The soft sweetness of the pears compliments the bite of the hazelnuts, and adding a bit of dark chocolate really makes it feel decadent.

14. Carrot Cranberry Oatmeal

Something about the colors in this oatmeal just make me want to gobble it up. And the sweet-tart combo of shredded carrots and cranberries is pretty drool-worthy. Add a swirl of cranberry sauce if it's any time close to Thanksgiving.

15. Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

In 10 minutes from now, you can have a healthy, whole-grain version of pumpkin pie ready to eat. What's stopping you? Seriously, just make this right now.

16. Indian Spiced Oatmeal

Kheer is an Indian rice pudding made with cardamom, raisins, saffron, and nuts. Add these flavors to oatmeal for a new but still time-tested combination. It's super creamy, rich, and sweet.

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17. Chocolate Strawberry Oatmeal

If you need another reason to add cocoa powder and chocolate chips to your oatmeal recipes, I've got one for you: strawberries. They brighten up the warm, rich flavors and make you realize that this chocolatey breakfast is actually pretty good for you.

18. Five-Minute Oatmeal Power Bowl

Delicious oatmeal doesn't always have to be a dessert in disguise. This version, topped with dried cranberries, Pepita seeds, and almond butter is as comforting as they come, and it'll help fuel you the entire day.

19. Chia Oatmeal Breakfast Bowl

This breakfast is chock full of all kinds of treats that will keep you energized throughout the day. If you have time, let the chia seeds soak in the milk for a fun, almost boba-like texture.

20. Peanut Butter Chia Seed Overnight Oats

These oats have everything! Sweet, creamy, savory, crunchy, energizing, and healthy. Plus, you can make them the night before and just grab it out of the fridge as you leave in the morning.

21. Spinach Mushroom and Egg Oatmeal

Savory oatmeal is a game-changer. And it's one of those things that looks really impressive, but is actually easy and quick to make. This version uses sauteed mushrooms, a handful of kale, and a poached egg.

22. Mediterranean Oatmeal

Linda of Veganosity likes to think of savory oatmeal as "breakfast risotto." And when it's prepared with tomatoes, basil, spinach, and Kalamata olives, it's a warming Mediterranean treat you'll love.

23. Kimchi Fried Egg Oatmeal

Look how beautiful this dish is! And believe it or not, it's just five ingredients. A jar of kimchi (Korean pickled cabbage) does most of the flavor work here, and also adds a gut-helping boost of probiotics to your morning.

24. Maple Bacon Oatmeal

If you really thought about it, you could probably come up with a food that doesn't pair well with maple-infused bacon. Oatmeal, however, definitely isn't that food. This is delicious as it is, or if you're feeling extra crazy, add a little Bourbon to your bowl!

25. Bacon Cheddar Oatmeal

This savory oatmeal is inspired by congee, a rice porridge popular in many parts of Asia. It uses crispy bacon, gooey cheese, and a perfectly over-easy egg to make a delicious oatmeal that just might become your new favorite.

26. Creamy Savory Vegan Oats

It’s true that steel cut oats, even when made vegan, can be deliciously creamy. It takes a tiny bit more prep than rolled oats (you have to set them out to soak overnight), but the result is both chewy and velvety. This uses miso, tahini, and tamari for a kick of umami flavor.

27. Turmeric Chickpea Oatmeal

This bowl's sunny disposition comes from turmeric, a mighty little spice that is purported to fight inflammation, keep blood sugar levels steady, ease menstrual cramps, and many other things. If that's not reason enough to try it, the hearty, filling chickpeas should do the trick.

28. Oatmeal with Garlicky Kale and Eggs

I love this breakfast so much I'd eat it for dinner. Using vegetable broth rather than water for the oats gives it a deeper flavor, and the fried egg and kale saute is just hearty enough to satisfy without leaving you overfull.

29. Mushroom and Herb Oatmeal Risotto

This is a classic risotto made with mushrooms and Parmesan, except for the fact that it doesn't actually use risotto. Sub in steel cut oats for a hearty breakfast version. Mushroom lovers will love that this is absolutely packed with them.

30. Mexican Oatmeal Bowl

Add taco seasoning to your pot of oatmeal as it cooks, and then top it with cilantro, corn, salsa, avocados, you name it. Olé!

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Catherine LeFebvre is a writer and editor living in LA with her goldendoodle, Grover Cleveland. Her husband and son live with them too. She’s done time with Martha Stewart (here, not here), Food Network, and Nickelodeon. You can follow her on Instagram @discolefebvre.