Southern Fried Oatmeal

by Heather

It’s kind of a joke around here about what to eat for breakfast in the morning.

Husband: “What are you making me for breakfast?”

Me: “Umm, nothing? It’s not the 1940s.”

Husband: “Well what are you making for yourself”

Both: “Duh, oatmeal.”

{Unless of course I got bored the night before and spontaneously whipped up a batch of vegan sticky buns. Or cinnamon rolls. Or scones… It’s been known to happen.}

whole wheat cinnamon rollsvegan scones recipesticky bunsvegan cinnamon rolls

I know. It’s boring. And horribly overplayed. Nobody, I mean nobody, wants to hear about my 1,394th bowl of oatmeal. {Yeah, I counted….ok I might be lying.}

oatmeal overload

But I promise you want to hear about this one. I’ll go eat a tomato if you don’t like it. {I might be lying again…but maybe.} I hate tomatoes.

Last month I had meeting at restaurant that only serves brunch on the weekends. Everybody ordered fancy things like quinoa salmon salad and duck a la something, but me? I ordered the one thing that literally spoke to me. It called me name off the menu; said I had to order it or else. Seriously. People at the table heard it.

So I did. I ordered it: fried oatmeal.

See, the ‘fried’ cancels out the ‘oatmeal’, so it didn’t count as healthy…or boring. But it was fabulously delicious. Those that mocked me for ordering something so silly were putting feet in their mouths all around. They pleaded and hoped that I’d offer them a bite. But there was no sharing. You mock = I get selfish: every bite is mine.

Now, a month later, I woke up craving fried oatmeal. And by craving I mean have-to-have-it-or-someone-gets-hurt. But there’s no brunch served until Saturday. Fortunately I know a thing or two about oatmeal. Winking smile

Pan-fried Oatmeal

Don’t let the word fried scare you. Keep reading.

This works best with leftover steel cut oats, but if you have time, feel free to whip up a batch and toss them in the fridge to chill.

steel cut oats

To prepare steel cut oats:

Use 1 part oats to 4 parts liquid. Even if you normally make oatmeal with water, I highly suggest using 1/4 to 1/2 parts milk {I use almond milk} for steel cut oats. {Example: 1 cup oats, 1 cup almond milk, 3 cups water.} The difference in creaminess is life-changing. What? I never exaggerate.

You can make the oats on the stove by boiling the water then adding the oats, simmering for 30-40 minutes until the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, or you can cheat and use my sneaky-super-speedy overnight steel cut oats method. Your choice.

Add vanilla & cinnamon.

For fried oatmeal:

Spread leftover steel cut oatmeal in a 1 to 1 1/2 inch layer in a pan or baking dish. Refrigerate overnight {or chill until firm}.

leftover steel cut oatmealsteel oatmeal

Once chilled, empty pan on cutting board. Slice oatmeal into triangles.

molded oatmeal

Heat a small amount of butter/oil in a shallow frying pan. I used 1 T Earth Balance & 1 T coconut oil.

frying oatmeal wedges

Place oatmeal wedges in hot pan. Cook each side until browned and crispy.

Optional: coat wedges with coconut before cooking.

coconut covered oatmealfried oats

Serve with honey, toasted pecans, and Greek yogurt. My Greek yogurt is invisible. Toasted pecans is key.

fried oatmeal

pecans and honey

fried oatmeal recipe

I think I’m going to start having breakfast 3 times a day….

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Pretty Pauline January 18, 2011 at 11:03 am

OH that looks divine! YUM! Thanks for sharing all those oatmeal variations and a now yummy recipe to try!


Katie (Sweet Tater) January 18, 2011 at 11:32 am

this is so brilliant


Heather January 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

That looks amazing! I saw a recipe similar to that in a cooking light cookbook and have been wanting to try it.

Enjoy your Tuesday!
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Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman January 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Genius. That is all.
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Amy B @ Second City Randomness January 18, 2011 at 12:33 pm

You are seriously the queen of breakfast. I have a huge bag of steel cut oats and am so lazy about making them because they’re kind of labor intensive (vs my standard oatmeal routine). I love this!

And totally agree- using even just half milk and half water makes ALL the difference.
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Heather @ Side of Sneakers January 18, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Oh my gosh I’m so lazy about them too. I congratulate myself when I remember even soak them overnight and that takes all of 2 minutes hahaa.


Alex @ I Eat Asphalt January 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Such a great idea! I recently came across a recipe for polenta french toast, but this looks so much better.


Heather @ Side of Sneakers January 18, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Polenta french toast?!! Whaaat? This I gotta hear about 😉
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sarah (sarah learns) January 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm

wow! usually i skim any post that begins with oatmeal, but when i saw “fried” in the title, i had to see what this was about. it looks crazy good!
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Heather @ Side of Sneakers January 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm

I almost left oatmeal out of the title for that exact reason haha
Heather @ Side of Sneakers Just blogged…Southern Fried Oatmeal


Jess@atasteofconfidence January 18, 2011 at 1:59 pm

wow this is so unique!
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Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers January 18, 2011 at 2:39 pm

how creative! this looks fantastic and i love your writing style. it was fun to read about AND fun to look at. now i just have to make it…
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Heather @ Side of Sneakers January 18, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Aww thanks! :)
Heather @ Side of Sneakers Just blogged…Southern Fried Oatmeal


Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine January 18, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Damn. That is awesome. This must happen in my near future.
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Lisa (bakebikeblog) January 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm

What unique way to serve oatmeal!! Looks wonderful!


Lauren January 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm

I’ve never heard of this before, but I’m open to oatmeal in any shape or form!
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Vanessa January 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Genius idea!
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Jess January 18, 2011 at 6:01 pm

Whoa. THAT is some original oat cooking ridiculousness if I ever saw it! And now DYING to try it…maybe next time I do brunch that would be a fun one to add to the mix. Yummmmy!
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Laura @ Backstage Pass January 18, 2011 at 8:06 pm

I sense a new blogger breakfast trend with this recipe! :-)
This sounds so fun and unique, yet it’s still a solid, healthy breakfast. I must try this!
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Mary @ Fervent Foodie January 19, 2011 at 8:28 am

Holy. Moly.


Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) January 19, 2011 at 10:03 am

Mmm…I made this a while back and absolutely loved it as well. I made a simple sauce of apples and brown sugar on the side, and it was delicious. I think it’s my favorite way to eat the steel cut oat variety. 😀
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Heather January 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm

That sauce sounds spectacular :)


brandi January 19, 2011 at 10:29 am

What a fun idea! I’ve seen polenta made like this, but never oatmeal.


TheHealthyapron January 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

I can’t wait to try this this weekend!! How delicious does that look!! Thanks girlie! ps. I would have ordered something like that too!!


Heather January 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Good to know I’m not alone! 😉


Kelly January 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Well hell yes..this looks amazing!!


Christine (The Raw Project) January 19, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Holy smokes, this looks wonderful! Thanks!


amy January 20, 2011 at 5:45 pm

you think you could use regular oats? that looks so amazing!!


Heather January 25, 2011 at 9:34 am

I’m not sure- the steel cut oats are sticker and denser so it olds the shape together, but you could certainly try regular oats! Maybe just use a little less liquid than normal?


Megan (Braise The Roof) January 20, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Amazing. I seriously need that in my life. Right now. :) Did you grease the casserole dish before pouring the oats in it?
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Heather January 25, 2011 at 9:34 am

Nope! And they still came right out!


Ashley January 23, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Ahhh, nice job Heather!! Freaking amazing. :)


Holly January 23, 2011 at 6:41 pm


that is genius. i mean, what doesn’t taste good fried?

and your pics are gorge :)


Tanya @ Vegan Faith January 23, 2011 at 8:10 pm

This is fabulous! I can’t wait to try!


J.Lynn January 25, 2011 at 8:38 pm

OMG, for starters, I LOVE oatmeal. I’d eat it all day in different ways if it weren’t necessary to have a varied diet that includes veggies :)

Secondly, I can not wait to make this. My mouth is watering just looking at the photos. Thank you very much!


Coach Lizzy September 28, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Fried Oatmeal! Never tried that one…will definitely have to try it soon. Maybe fried pumpkin oatmeal for fall..yum! Thanks for sharing, very creative.


BigHungryBelly November 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Hi Heather,

I tried this a couple of times, but for some reason, my leftover oatmeal was never firm enough. It seemed to be too liquidy, even though I followed the water – oats ratio. Do you happen to know any solution to this problem? Thanks!


Heather November 22, 2011 at 11:00 am

Are you using steel cut oats? If so, try lowering the water ratio. The size the oats are cut in can vary and that might affect how it solidifies. Let me know if that doesn’t work and I’ll do some experimenting for you. 😉


Bob April 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Add some banana fried in butter for a real treat!


Bob April 28, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Add a banana fried in butter for real treat!


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