A Bite Inspired by… Easter:
When I was growing up, my mom always cooked savory oatmeal for my breakfast and I loved it! Oatmeal has such a nice, chewy texture and a beautiful creaminess, which makes it a great canvas or any flavors, sweet or salty. I adapted my mom’s original recipe to create the perfect Easter brunch item or side dish for you and your family. I added carrots to give it an Easter twist and fresh herbs for spring! This yummy, easy dish is guaranteed to be a new favorite for anytime of the year!
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I love savory oatmeal. It’s one of my absolute favorite things to have for breakfast. Now, I know most people are used to eating their oatmeal sweet, but savory oatmeal has definitely been a growing trend in the past year or two. So, I thought I would share my delicious recipe for Savory Carrot and Thyme Oatmeal, just in time for Easter!
This recipe is adapted from oatmeal that my mom used to cook for me when I was little. Yup, that’s right. I grew up eating savory oatmeal, which is probably part of the reason why I love it so much. The other reason is that it’s DELICIOUS! Oatmeal has a chewier texture than most grains and a lovely creaminess when it’s cooked down in liquid. It picks up flavors beautifully and tastes amazing with anything. Plus, it’s good for you. What more could you want?
My mom uses McCanns Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal , so that’s what I use too. Steel cut oats take a little longer to make than instant oats (about 30 minutes), but it’s SO worth it. They taste completely different and so much better! I love McCanns—it’s the real deal grown by local Irish farmers. Plus, the tin is so classy! But, you can use any brand you come across at your local store.
I cooked the steel cut oatmeal down with carrots, chicken broth, and a hint of vegetable bouillon. The vegetable bouillon is my secret weapon. Most people don’t think to add bouillon when they already have broth. I admit—it sounds a little kooky and redundant, but TRUST me. It adds so much extra flavor to the dish. I just use a tiny bit, so it elevates the flavors of the chicken broth and adds to it without overshadowing it. I always use Better Than Bouillon Organic Vegetable Base (the name’s a bit deceiving, but it is vegetable bouillon!) It’s organic and super flavorful. Feel free to use bouillon cubes instead, but you may need to adjust the amount, since the the salt content varies. Be sure to taste along the way!
After the oatmeal is done cooking and it has that delightful creaminess, I add some fresh thyme to build another layer of fresh, spring flavor. You’ll know the oatmeal is done when most of the liquid is absorbed and it’s thickened up, but it still has a chewy bite to it. The oats have a great texture, the chicken broth/bouillon combo is super flavorful, the carrots are crunchy and add a pretty orange color, and the thyme lends a beautiful freshness. It’s the most deliciously balanced dish!
This Savory Carrot and Thyme Oatmeal is the PERFECT dish for your Easter brunch. Your friends and family will oooh and ahhhh at your creativity for incorporating both carrots and fresh Spring herbs into your dish. And, the best part? This oatmeal also doubles as a side dish for Easter dinner. You can serve it in place of rice and really pique your guests’ interest! It almost tastes like a risotto, but without any dairy products. It goes well with any protein.
And, of course, this oatmeal dish isn’t just for Easter either. If you unveil it at Easter brunch or dinner, I can guarantee your friends and family will be eating this year-round for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks… anything! It’s so versatile.
Make this hearty breakfast for your kids, spouse, friends, the Easter Bunny… anyone you want! I guarantee they will love you for it! It’s the perfect way to spread some of that Easter togetherness anytime of the year. My mom made it for me as a kid and, now, I’m sharing it with you. Happy Easter!
P.S. If you have a gluten intolerance, be sure to use gluten-free steel cut oats. I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats.
- 4 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup steel-cut oatmeal
- ½ cup carrots, shredded
- 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- Heat chicken broth and vegetable bouillon in a medium-sized saucepan over high heat until boiling.
- Add oatmeal and carrots. Stir well. Continue to cook on high heat for 3-5 minutes until it starts to thicken.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir occasionally.
- Remove from heat and stir in fresh thyme. Enjoy!
If you have a gluten sensitivity, be sure to use gluten-free steel cut oats for this recipe.
Romain, a fellow food blogger at Glebekitchen, came up with the idea of adding a bit of butter to this dish. I gave it a try and it was delicious! If you would like, once you remove the pan from the heat, you can stir 1 tablespoon of butter into the oatmeal until it melts, before you add the thyme. It gives it a slightly richer flavor.