Can you add vegetables to oatmeal? Absolutely! Oats make a wonderful blank canvas for your favorite fruit or vegetable. Indian cuisine offers a variety of delicious veg oats recipes, such as vegetable oats upma and oats khichdi. In this vegetable oats recipe, we’ve got fresh pico de gallo salsa and protein-packed black beans for Mexican flavors. You'll love this easy veggie oatmeal that’s plant based and vegetarian.
Do oats count as a vegetable? No, oats actually count as a whole grain food on the MyPlate. That said, it’s easy to make vegetable oatmeal that incorporates a variety of your favorite veggies.
Many Americans prefer sweet breakfasts, and veg intake tends to fall by the wayside. With this veg oats recipe, we’re starting the day with a generous serving of veggies. We’re also covering other food groups, including fruit (from heart-healthy avocado), dairy (from yogurt and cheese), and protein (from eggs).
This vegetable oats porridge is a balanced meal that will have you rethinking your oatmeal. If you’d serve veggies over a grain like rice, toast, or polenta, why not try them with oats? Don’t be afraid to try this recipe- it might just end up being your new favorite healthy weekend breakfast idea!
⭐ Vegetable Oats Benefits
Why make vegetable oatmeal? Here’s why you’ll want to make this recipe ASAP:
- High-protein oatmeal: The eggs, cheese, yogurt, and black beans here are all rich sources of vegetarian protein to fill you up. Black beans are a legume that counts as part of the vegetable group or the protein group on the MyPlate.
- Healthy fat: The avocado here is rich in monounsaturated fats, the same type of healthy fats that are abundant in olive oil. They also contain an assortment of essential nutrients, such as folate, vitamin K, and vitamin C.
- Vegetables in oatmeal: This recipe is a super way to get some veggies into your morning. Vegetables are high in fiber, antioxidants (such as vitamin A and vitamin C), and beneficial but non-essential phytonutrients. Most of us can benefit from including more veggies in our diets.
- Low sugar oats: It’s common to pile dried fruits, maple syrup, honey, and other sweet foods on oatmeal. This savory vegetable oatmeal is a way to enjoy oatmeal without all the sugar.
- Oats vegetarian recipes: If you’re on a special diet, this veg oatmeal recipe may be a good fit. It’s vegetarian, and with some tweaks, you can make it vegan too.
- Inexpensive: Oats are very cheap, especially when you buy bulk packages at Costco. If you want to save money on your grocery bill, oats can add a lot of calories to meals inexpensively.
- Easy oats: The basic recipe here is simple, with minimal chopping. Just cook the oats with seasoning, and top them. There’s no need to roast the oats or other fussy stuff.
- Delicious: You can serve this tasty oats recipe for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Consider making a savory oatmeal bar, so each family member can top the oats with their favorite foods. Yum!
🥣 Vegetable Oats Ingredients
Here’s what you need to make oats with vegetables:
- Steel-cut oatmeal
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Fresh pico de gallo salsa (mild, medium, or hot- you pick!)
- Cooking spray
- Canned black beans
- Shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
- Sliced avocado
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Salsa verde (green salsa)
- Fresh cilantro
- Sliced limes
Specific quantities of ingredients are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post!
I don’t recommend taking a short cut and using instant oats, quick oatmeal, or old fashioned oats (Quaker oats) here. The coarse texture of steel-cut oats works perfectly as a rice, quinoa, or barley substitute in savory dishes. It’s worth the extra time to get the chewiness and nuttier flavor that you won’t find with faster-cooking rolled oats.
Need help picking a ripe avocado for oatmeal? Ripe avocados may have darker skin and they tend to give a little with a gentle squeeze. The stem of a ripe avocado usually pops off easily, but the area under the stem should not be dark brown.
The kitchen equipment you need are a pot to cook the oatmeal, a skillet for the eggs, and a good knife. These items should be in most well-equipped kitchens.
🔪 How to Make Vegetable Oats
Stir the chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder into the steel-cut oatmeal. Cook the oatmeal with water on the stovetop according to the package directions, stirring occasionally. I needed 3 cups of water, and the oats took 25-30 minutes to cook.
While the oats cook, rinse and drain the black beans, slice the avocado, slice the limes, and chop the cilantro.
Divide the oatmeal between three plates when it is finished cooking. Spread it thin; it is your canvas for the rest of the ingredients.
Sprinkle the cheese on top of the hot oatmeal. It should melt on top of the hot oats. Arrange the pico de gallo, black beans, avocado, yogurt, and salsa verde on the plates.
Mist a cast iron skillet with cooking spray and fry the eggs to your liking. Put two eggs on each plate.
Garnish the plates as desired with chopped cilantro, sliced limes, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Enjoy!
🌡️ How to Store Vegetable Oats
You can keep leftover cooked oatmeal in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Cover it with plastic wrap or use a lidded container so it does not dry out.
Reheat oatmeal in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl for 1-2 minutes on high. Stir in a little water if the oatmeal has become too thick. Top the oatmeal fresh (with a freshly fried egg, sliced avocado, etc.) after reheating.
You can also freeze cooked oatmeal without toppings. Allow the oatmeal to thaw in the fridge for 24-48 hours before reheating and topping.
🍛 What vegetables go well with oatmeal?
What can be mixed with oats? This savory oatmeal breakfast is a spin on classic huevos rancheros. However, you could also make masala oats with vegetables, or try one or more of these veggies on oatmeal:
- Bell peppers
- Roasted red peppers
- Green peas
- Green chillies
- Chana (chickpeas)
- Curry leaves (and other herbs)
Don’t forget about the options for oatmeal outside of the veggies as well! Mushrooms, nutritional yeast, nuts (such as cashews and almonds), seeds, dairy foods, and fruits are all tasty with oatmeal.
📋 Vegetable Oats Calories
How many calories in vegetable oats? One serving of this veg oats recipe has 705 calories, 45.1 grams net carbs, and 39.1 grams protein. This nutrition information includes the steel cut oatmeal recipe below with all the fixings.
💭 Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). This large, hearty meal will keep you going when you need some serious fuel to last you until lunch. The recipe (as written) has 39 grams of protein per serving. If you use one egg instead of two, you still get 33 grams of protein with this vegetarian entree.
If you are following a lower-carb way of eating, the obvious way to cut carbs in this meal is to skip the oatmeal. This time-saving move subtracts approximately 150 calories per serving. It works because the veggies are the star in the original dish, with oats as a supporting character.
No matter your way of eating, I recommend keeping the fresh fruits and veggies, as well as some sources of protein in this dish. These items will help to keep you full on fewer calories while providing an assortment of essential nutrients.
Are vegetable oats good for weight loss? Some studies support that front-loading calories may help with weight loss. This means eating a large, healthy breakfast, a moderate-calorie lunch, and a light dinner.
If you subscribe to this way of thinking, a big healthy bowl of veggie oats may fit well into your weight loss plan. Ideally, this high calorie meal would help keep you full, making it easy to eat low calorie meals later in the day.
In order to lose weight, you must maintain a calorie deficit over time. To make these vegetable oats low calorie, I recommend cutting back on the sources of fat, particularly the avocado and cheese. For vegetable oats for weight loss, adding lots of low calorie, non-starchy veggies, plus plenty of protein can help you feel full.
Oats are rather bland by themselves, and really require additional ingredients to make them palatable. The major disadvantage to oats is that they’re typically flavored with lots of added sugar. Additionally, oatmeal is a high carb food, and not appropriate for those on keto and low carb diets.
Oats are naturally gluten free, but often contaminated with gluten-containing grains during processing. To make gluten free vegetable oats, you must use oatmeal that is certified gluten free. Bob’s Red Mill offers GF steel-cut oats that are processed in a dedicated facility.
Vegans can eat oats, as long as the mix-ins and toppings used are entirely plant-based. To make this a vegan vegetable oatmeal, you’ll need to swap out the eggs, yogurt, and cheese for vegan-friendly foods.
To make baby vegetable oats, you can take baby oat cereal and mix in vegetable purees. Those using baby led weaning may prefer to cook veggies soft to serve as finger foods with oatmeal.
👩🏻🍳 Other Oatmeal with Veggies Recipes
Need more ideas for oatmeal with vegetables? Here are some other oats recipes you may want to check out next:
- Zoats Recipe (Chocolate Zucchini Oats)
- Instant Pot Savory Oats
- Overnight Oats for Weight Gain
- Baked Protein Oatmeal
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!
Vegetable Oats (Oatmeal with Veggies Recipe)
- ¾ cup steel-cut oatmeal, dry
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup pico de gallo
- 6 large eggs
- cooking oil spray
- 1 can black beans 14½ ounces/411 grams
- 4 ounces cheddar, shredded 113 grams
- 1 medium avocado
- ½ cup Greek yogurt, non-fat (plain, unsweetened)
- 6 tablespoons salsa verde
- cilantro, sliced limes, salt, pepper (as desired to garnish)
- Stir the chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder into the steel-cut oatmeal. Cook the oatmeal with water on the stovetop according to the package directions, stirring occasionally. I needed 3 cups of water, and the oats took 25-30 minutes to cook.
- While the oats cook, rinse and drain the black beans, slice the avocado, slice the limes, and chop the cilantro.
- Divide the oatmeal between three plates when it is finished cooking. Spread it thin; it is your canvas for the rest of the ingredients.
- Sprinkle the cheese on top of the hot oatmeal. It should melt on top of the hot oats. Arrange the pico de gallo, black beans, avocado, yogurt, and salsa verde on the plates.
- Mist a cast iron skillet with cooking spray and fry the eggs to your liking. Put two eggs on each plate.
- Garnish your plates as desired with chopped cilantro, sliced limes, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!