Hey, you KNOW you’re curious about this one! With this baked protein oatmeal, we’re going to “beef” up the nutrition of your boring morning oats. Oatmeal with meat might be the weirdest breakfast you’ve never eaten that is made with entirely common ingredients! It’s beefy, it’s cheesy, it’s strangely delicious! Why not shake up the status quo on what breakfast should be with this savory breakfast protein loaf?
Here's a savory proats dish that you can enjoy as a spin on my other proats recipe (AKA “protein oats”). Let me tell ya, I’ve definitely engaged in some out-of-the-box thinking with this savory breakfast oat bake.
How did I get to this point?
A few weeks ago, a fellow dietitian shared a really interesting recipe for chocolate beefy brownies. In this recipe, all of the white flour had been replaced by cooked ground beef that had been ground in a food processor. She claimed that they turned out well, but good taste isn’t the only benefit.
Health-wise, replacing your white flour with beef bumps up the protein, vitamin B12, and highly bioavailable heme iron (the kind in animal-based foods). It seemed like a win all around to me!
And it got me thinking, what other classic dishes could benefit from the nutrition that beef provides? That is how my journey began in creating beef oatmeal (or oats de boeuf, because it sounds better).
Oatmeal is the perfect contender for the addition of beef because oats are not a rich source of protein. The beef helps to make this a one-pan meal that you don’t have to add protein-packed side dishes to.
- 🥩 Oatmeal with Meat
- 🔥 High Protein Baked Oatmeal Ingredients
- 🥓 Toppings for Oatmeal with Meat
- ❓ Is oatmeal with meat healthy?
- 💡 Why add meat to oatmeal?
- ⭐ Baked Protein Oatmeal Benefits
- 🔪 How to Make Oatmeal with Meat
- 🌡️ How to Reheat Leftovers
- 😋 What to Serve with Oatmeal
- 📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
- 💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
- 👨🏾🍳 Other Savory Oatmeal Ideas
- The Disclaimer…
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
🥩 Oatmeal with Meat
The concept of beef oats loses some novelty when you think of another dish where these two foods are commonly paired: meatloaf. Indeed, my family remarked that this pretty much tastes like a meatloaf!
It isn’t really correct to think of it as a meatloaf, though. That's because you’re getting a far larger volume of oats than meat. It’s more of an oatloaf with meat, as opposed to a meatloaf with oats.
I was also kind of impressed with how much this tasted like a meatloaf. It was surprising that there are only two ounces of beef per serving. (Actually, two ounces of beef is the raw weight; you get even less once you cook it.)
I don’t typically want a big and meaty meal first thing in the morning. However, I do want to get a high-protein breakfast in. While a meatloaf may be what I want later in the day, this high-protein, no sugar oat bake fits well into my mornings.
🔥 High Protein Baked Oatmeal Ingredients
By the way, the beef isn’t the only protein-packed food in this recipe. We’ve also incorporated some cheese and eggs. Meat, dairy, and eggs are all super options for adding whole food sources of high-quality protein to your savory oatmeal recipes.
Another benefit of making savory oat bakes (versus typical sweet oatmeal bakes) is that vegetables are a natural fit. In this baked protein oatmeal, I’m using zucchini, onions, and jalapeno. Here’s what you need to make this beef oat bake:
- Lean ground beef
- Dry rolled oatmeal
- Vegetable broth or beef broth
- Shredded zucchini
- Grated red onion
- Finely chopped jalapeno
- Large eggs
- Low-sodium soy sauce
- Dried parsley
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Shredded cheddar cheese or pepper jack cheese
- Cooking oil spray
Specific quantities of ingredients are located in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
🥓 Toppings for Oatmeal with Meat
The ingredients shown above are what you need to make the basic baked oatmeal without toppings. I chose to add some barbecue sauce, fresh chives, and a bit of crumbly bacon to make the dish extra special. Check out my recipe video below, where I cover how to make baked protein oats from start to finish!
Here are some other toppings for meat oatmeal you could try:
- Bacon bits
- Feta cheese
Wondering what mixes well with oatmeal? Here are some other ingredients you could mix into an oatmeal meat recipe:
- Wilted spinach
- Onion powder and other spices or herbs
- Wilted kale
- Nutritional yeast
❓ Is oatmeal with meat healthy?
Dietitians get questions all of the time that go something like this…
- Which is healthier, cheddar cheese or pepper jack cheese?
- Oatmeal is “healthier” than meat, right? So, replacing my meat as much as possible with oats is healthy, right?
OK. So, for question 1, instead of trying to rank foods that have remarkably similar nutritional profiles, enjoy a variety of cheeses. Or just go for the ones you enjoy the most if you don’t like certain types of cheese.
Question 2 is trying to compare whole foods from different food groups that aren’t suitable nutritional substitutions for each other. It’s like trying to compare apples and oranges (but even worse, since at least apples and oranges are in the same food group).
The truth is that oats aren’t always healthier than beef. Likewise, beef is not always healthier than oats. Context is always critical when we’re having a conversation about nutrition.
💡 Why add meat to oatmeal?
Here are a few examples of why you might want to put meat in oatmeal (none of these constitute personal medical advice):
- You are using a low-carb approach to help manage your type 2 diabetes (leaving the oats out of a meatloaf might actually be best in this case)
- You struggle with iron deficiency (beef contains a more highly bioavailable type of iron than oats)
- A health goal of yours is to have meals that are higher in protein (beef is a rich source of high-quality protein; oats are not a member of the protein group)
- Your diet tends to be low in vitamin B12 (this nutrient is not naturally present in plant-based foods, such as oats)
⭐ Baked Protein Oatmeal Benefits
As I mentioned above, I don’t tend to want a big meaty meal right when I wake up. My taste preferences have dictated that this savory oat loaf might be the best choice for me (at least sometimes).
There are lots of other reasons that someone may opt for a no added sugar oat loaf that contains less meat than meatloaf. (A reverse meatloaf? lol) Here are a few of reasons:
- You are trying to lower your LDL cholesterol levels
- A health goal of yours is to increase the fiber in your diet and lower the saturated fat
- Oats are less expensive than beef; including more oats and less beef may be kinder to your grocery budget
Either can be “healthier,” depending on the circumstances. However, beef and oats cannot serve as a complete replacement for the other nutritionally. I would consider both to be healthy foods, and I enjoy both oats and beef fairly regularly in my diet.
Trying to rank healthy whole food options can be detrimental in some circumstances. The item deemed “healthier” may not be what is healthier for you. Also, always choosing whatever you believe is the “healthier” option can lead to unnecessary food restrictions (and potential nutrient deficiencies).
Alright, enough with the talk. Let’s learn to make this baked protein oatmeal!
🔪 How to Make Oatmeal with Meat
Time to make some easy one-pan oatmeal! Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Mist an 8x8-inch (20x20 cm) glass baking dish with cooking oil spray.
Pour the hot broth on the rolled oats and let them soak.
Cook the ground beef over medium heat in your skillet, breaking it up with a spatula as it browns. When it has finished cooking, grind the beef finer in a food processor.
Add the beef, soaked oats, zucchini, onion, jalapeno, eggs, soy sauce, mustard, parsley, garlic powder, and black pepper to a large bowl. Mix well.
Transfer the oatmeal mixture to your prepared baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes on a rack ⅓ down from the top of the oven.
Top the baked protein oatmeal with the pepper jack cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes.
After baking, you can add BBQ sauce, chopped chives, and cooked bacon, if desired. Enjoy your oatmeal bake while it is still warm!
🌡️ How to Reheat Leftovers
Leftover meat oatmeal will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Cover it with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out. To reheat oatmeal with meat, put a slice on a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes.
You can freeze individual portions of this oatmeal recipe if it hasn’t been topped yet. Otherwise, the bacon will lose its crisp texture when frozen and thawed.
😋 What to Serve with Oatmeal
I like to serve baked oatmeal with fresh fruit, such as raspberries. Here are some other side dishes for oatmeal with meat:
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of oatmeal with meat has 442 calories, 31.7 grams net carbs, and 32.1 grams protein. This is for a serving of the oatmeal with the toppings.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). If you’re looking to expand your options for (relatively) high-protein oatmeal, this might be a good one for you! My preference is to get my protein from whole foods rather than protein powders and other supplements. Beef is an excellent “real food” way to get some additional protein into meals.
Without the toppings (bacon, BBQ sauce, and chives), this dish offers about 400 calories per serving and 30 grams protein. The toppings only add about 35 calories per serving (depending on the barbecue sauce you use).
I would consider this one an excellent way to start the day if you have a weight loss goal. It’s a well-balanced meal that should keep you going strong until lunchtime.
Each serving of this recipe contains under 100 calories of lean beef that provides 12g of protein. Lean ground beef is a healthy and convenient way to pack more complete protein into your meals. There’s no need to fear it!
If you are vegetarian, you can experiment with making this recipe with vegan protein crumbles. You’ll also want to be sure to use veggie broth, not beef broth in the recipe (of course).
Can you eat oatmeal every day?
You can eat oatmeal every day but I don’t recommend having it for every meal. You don’t want oatmeal to crowd out the variety of nutritious foods from other food groups that should be in your diet.
Aside from beef, many other meats go with oatmeal. For example, you can make oatmeal with sausage for additional flavor. Note that using ground pork sausage instead of lean beef with change the nutritional info for this recipe.
Eating oatmeal with chicken may seem weird, but why not? To make chicken oatmeal, simply substitute the ground beef in this recipe for ground chicken. You can reduce the fat and calories in this recipe if you use lean ground chicken.
Oatmeal is a food in the grains food group and not high in protein. Steel cut oats provides 5 grams protein and 150 calories per ¼ cup dry. Old fashioned oats (AKA rolled oats) provide 5 grams protein and 150 calories per ½ cup dry.
Goetta is a German breakfast meat popular in Cincinnati that has similar vibes to this dish. To make goetta, ground meat is mixed with cooked steel cut oats and sausage spices, then pan fried until crisp.
👨🏾🍳 Other Savory Oatmeal Ideas
Need more recipes for savory oatmeal? Try these:
You may also enjoy this Air Fryer Meatloaf recipe for another way to serve ground beef and oats.
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Baked Protein Oatmeal with Meat (Savory Oatmeal Bake Recipe)
- 2 cups rolled oats, dry
- 1 cup hot vegetable broth (or beef broth)
- ½ lb. lean ground beef (227 grams)
- ½ medium zucchini, shredded approximately 4 ounces/ 113 grams
- ½ medium red onion, grated approximately 3½ ounces/ 99 grams
- 1 jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 3 tablespoons dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese 85 grams
- cooking oil spray of choice
- 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
- 2 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives or scallions
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Mist an 8x8-inch (20x20 cm) glass baking dish with cooking oil spray.
- Pour the hot vegetable broth on the rolled oats and let them soak.
- Cook the ground beef over medium heat in your skillet, breaking it up with a spatula as it browns. When it has finished cooking, grind the beef finer in a food processor.
- Add the beef, soaked oats, zucchini, onion, jalapeno, eggs, soy sauce, mustard, parsley, garlic powder, and black pepper to a large bowl. Mix well.
- Transfer the oatmeal mixture to your prepared baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes on a rack ⅓ down from the top of the oven.
- Top the baked protein oatmeal with the pepper jack cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes.
- After baking, you can add BBQ sauce, chopped chives, and cooked bacon, if desired. Enjoy your oatmeal bake while it is still warm!
Can you eat oatmeal every day?You can eat oatmeal every day but I don’t recommend having it for every meal. You don’t want oatmeal to crowd out the variety of nutritious foods from other food groups that should be in your diet. Nutrition information is for one serving of meat oatmeal with toppings.
Don’t forget to let me know if you try this beef and oats baked protein oatmeal. I would love to hear whether you and your family enjoyed it!