I posted a photo of these savory turmeric chickpea oats to Instagram last week and was immediately asked if I would share the recipe. I’m glad you asked! If you’re new to the whole savory oats thing, this recipe is a wonderful place to start–and an even easier intro than my savory steel cut oats (which I also love, but the cook time is a little longer).
Anti-inflammatory turmeric is what gives these oats their golden hue and slightly pungent, bitter flavor. It contrasts perfectly with spicy black pepper and a nice, heaping spoonful of nutritional yeast, which of course I had to add because heck, I add it to everything. (Also, protein. And B vitamins. And umami. And “cheesiness.” I never lack for reasons to use nooch.)
I add baby spinach or frozen, chopped spinach to these oats, but this is truly one of those “template” recipes that can be adapted to fit whatever you have. If you’re out of turmeric, try using curry. If you don’t have spinach but you do have kale, bok choy, chard, beet greens, or another leafy green, add what you have. Frozen, chopped broccoli florets would be an excellent addition, as would green peas, snap peas, or green beans. No matter how you make these savory oats, they’ll remain easy, quick, and really nutritious.
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup unsweetened soy or almond milk
- ½ cup water
- Pinch salt
- Pinch black pepper
- 1 heaping cup baby spinach or ½ cup frozen, chopped spinach, rinsed well before adding
- 1 heaping tablespoon nutritional yeast
- Scant ½ teaspoon turmeric (between ¼ and ½ teaspoon, depending on how much you like turmeric's flavor)
- ⅓ cup cooked chickpeas
- Optional additions: 1 tablespoon tahini, chopped cilantro or green onion tops, slivered almonds or chopped cashews, cubed tofu or tempeh, coconut bacon
- Shortcut method: Place the oats, plant milk, water, salt, and pepper into a small bowl or saucepan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, bring oats to a boil in a small saucepan. When they're boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, put the baby spinach on top of the oats, and cover the saucepan to let the spinach wilt (it'll only take a moment). When the spinach is wilted down, stir it completely into the oats. (Alternately, add the frozen, chopped spinach after you reduce heat to a simmer and proceed with cooking).
- Add the turmeric. Cook the oats, stirring frequently, until they're thick and creamy. It will only take a couple minutes, since you soaked the oats overnight. Stir in the nutritional yeast, extra salt and/or pepper to taste, and any of the optional toppings/additions you like, along with an extra splash of plant milk if desired. Top with chickpeas and serve.
- Slightly longer method: Add the oats, water, plant milk, salt, and pepper to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and proceed cooking as instructed above. It'll just take a few minutes extra than if you had soaked the oats. Enjoy!
Lately I’ve been soaking rolled oats overnight because it takes very little effort, and it reduces the simmering time to only a few minutes. If I wake up particularly early, I might start soaking them when I get out of bed and let them soak until I make breakfast an hour or two later, which still cuts cooking time a little. But of course, rolled oats don’t take long to cook at all, relatively speaking, and the soaking is optional. Just an easy way to save a few minutes if you want to.
I hope that you enjoy these oats and find a way to make them your own very soon! During my SNAP Challenge week, I made a bowl of oats that featured lentils, spinach, and nutritional yeast, and it was great, so I imagine lentils, split peas, and many other legumes would work in place of the chickpeas (and if you’re loving the idea of high-protein, pulse-based breakfasts, check out my yellow split pea coconut breakfast porridge).
On that note, happy Tuesday! I’ll be back later in the week with a soup recipe that’s perfect for the transition from winter to spring. Can’t wait to share.