Reduce food waste by making delicious and comforting Savory Oatmeal whenever you have cheese rinds and herbs that need using. Bonus recipe for subscribers! This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that I get a commission if you take advantage of the offer (thank you!).

Spring has not sprung, and I need comforting Savory Oatmeal

I know I talked about a Spring recipe on Friday, but that was before the temperature plummeted and the heat in my apartment failed on Saturday (it’s fixed, but still). I needed comfort, warmth, and to clear out my bins, so here is a recipe for Savory Oatmeal. I’ve made oatmeals savory before, inspired by a dish I had at Cambridge’s dearly departed Loyal Nine that served steel cut oats with greens.

Reduce food waste by making Savory Oatmeal

 This time, however, when I looked in the fridge, I remembered the extra arugula I’d ordered by mistake, and decided that I needed find a way to eat it before it became fodder for Fridge Purge. I prefer arugula uncooked, so I didn’t add it to my oatmeal.

Savory Oatmeal
Use cheese rinds, mean shallots, herbs that are the last of the bunch

Inspiration from my sister and a few ideas

My sister with her cooking Instagram @earnestcooking, talked about cheesy oats that she and her son have been making. I had some parmesan rind and some bits and bobs of Gruyere that needed using. My herb drawer had some parsley and thyme, and I had a mean looking shallot and some garlic.

I also had Simple Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (recipe for subscribers in the Wonder & Sundry Recipe Box!), some scallions, and an egg I needed cook. Hmmm . . . clearing my larder might result in a tasty lunch.

Savory Oatmeal? It’s not grits, but it is good

As my sister says in her Instagram post, you could think of Savory Oatmeal like the Northern approximation of cheese grits.  I love grits, but I have never cooked them, and I would never, ever post a recipe for them, for I like my Yankee head attached to my body. This dish is not grits. All the same, it is good.

Follow what you have in your larder

Savory Oatmeal is less a recipe than an idea, and you’ll have leftovers if you are dining solo, like me. I’ve included measurements and ingredients, but really, use what you have on hand that sounds good to you. Taste as you go along and adjust as needed. Steel cut oats do require you to be on hand to stir, but you don’t need to slave over the stove. Get everything else out and ready as you go, and you’ll be eating when your oatmeal’s cooked.

The general idea for Savory Oatmeal

In this version, cook some shallot and garlic in butter and olive oil until softened. Then add the steel cut oats, stirred to coat and toast a little teeny tiny bit. Add water, herbs you have on hand (they don’t need to be pretty), a little salt (not too much—you are working with cheese rinds), and some freshly ground black pepper.

Bring everything to a boil, and add the cheese rinds, and reduce the heat. Keep an eye on it, and stir every now and again. Once the cheese has melted some (you’ll notice it with the liquid), give it a taste. I added more salt and also a little apple cider vinegar. Maybe add a little more pepper. Or not. It’s all up to you.

Pick up the stirring a bit more once the liquid really starts to be absorbed. Test the oatmeal to see if you need a little more liquid (I didn’t). It’s done when the liquid is absorbed and the oatmeal is to your liking.

Savory Oatmeal
Serve with Simple Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, greens, and a fried egg (or however you want!)

A few serving ideas

Now comes the fun part—serving it. I fried an egg (and somehow whiffed that a bit, but it still tasted good). I tossed a bunch of arugula into a bowl, added a generous scoop of the Savory Oatmeal. On top of that went the egg. Then I added Simple Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and sprinkled some scallions on top. Delicious. Warm. Comforting.

Spring will come, my friends. Until then, bring on the comfort. Recipe below.

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Savory Oatmeal

Larder-Clearing Savory Oatmeal

Calling all cheese bits and bobs, mean shallots, and stray herbs! Cut down on food waste and make yourself a tasty meal by making savory steel cut oats. Great on its own, but even better with peppery greens, that egg you've been meaning to use, and roasted tomatoes (recipe for subscribers!).
Use what you have on hand and taste as you go to get it just the way you like it. For we single people, this makes at least another helping. This is a nice one to have in your back pocket for when you need something warm and comforting when the temperature drops and the heat breaks in your apartment (it's fixed now, but sheesh. Could have happened in April).
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 3


  • ¾ cup steel cut oats
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs shallot, minced
  • 3 cups water you might need a little more
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • hard cheese rind, cut into chunks, to taste I used a mix of some parmesan and some Gruyere in the demo
  • ¼ tsp cider vinegar, optional
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot and cook, stirring, until translucent, but not browned (about 2 minutes)
    Savory Oatmeal add the shallots
  • Have the water on hand. Add the oats to the garlic and shallots, and stir to coat and toast a little bit (less than a minute). Add the water, the herbs, a small pinch of salt (you can add more after tasting with your cheese, if desired), and a few twists of black pepper. Bring to a boil.
    Savory Oatmeal add the oats
  • Add the cheese rinds, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook the oatmeal, stirring occasionally. Start tasting when the cheese has melted some (depending on your cheese, you'll use more or less salt). Add the cider vinegar if using and adjust seasoning if desired. Continue stirring until the water is absorbed and the oats are cooked to your liking (add more water if necessary). Remove the herb stems and any remaining rinds.
    Savory Oats



Serving suggestion: Arugula, a fried egg, roasted tomato, and scallion 
Good idea: If you have some spinach on hand, you might stir that into the oatmeal near the end of cooking. Serve right away (it can get bitter if you don't).
Keyword oatmeal, reduce food waste, savory oatmeal, steel cut oats
Tried this recipe?Let me know what you think!

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