Breakfast ruts happen to the best of us. But what do we do when we’re sick of oatmeal but still craving something comforting? That’s where porridge comes in. Typically made with finer grains, porridge provides the best of oatmeal but has serious range when it comes to flavor. These 17 healthy porridge recipes will keep you warm, full, and anything but bored.
Fried food for breakfast?! If this gets you excited, then yes! If fried foods aren’t exactly part of your morning routine, then don’t worry: The banana is simply flash fried, meaning it’s quickly cooked in a hot pan coated with coconut oil. Not so bad, right? And believe us when we say the caramelized flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture are worth it.
But bananas aren’t the only ingredient to get excited about. This piping hot breakfast is also full of healthy fats from almond butter, hemp seeds, and chopped nuts, and spiced with cinnamon and a splash of maple for a little extra sweetness.
As much as we love avocado toast, it’s nice to change up our source of grains. This recipe uses oats cooked in vegetable broth (bone broth would also be delicious) for a savory twist on the typically sweet breakfast. We love the added creaminess from tahini, which also happens to perfectly complement that runny egg. Feel free to poach, boil, or fry—is there a wrong way to cook an egg?—and top with chili flakes, garlic salt, or anything else that feels just right.
Not everyone enjoys filling up on oats in the morning. If you fall into that category but still crave a hearty, warming breakfast, try an option that combines fruit, nuts, and healthy fats (think nut butter and chia seeds) as its base.
Apple’s sturdy flesh make it the perfect pick, but you could easily swap in pear (go for a firm variety, like Bosc) for an equally delicious option. We don’t think it needs the added coconut sugar, but if you like things on the sweeter side, you can always add a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
If you’re one of those people who runs out the door in the morning, often forgetting to even eat, baked porridge is the way to go. Baking the oats the night before allows the flavors to fully combine, meaning you get that much more out of every bite. While we love the look of baking in the skillet for a healthy weekend brunch, cooking single-serve portions in ramekins is also a great option—particularly for you busy morning bees. (P.S. If nectarines aren’t in season, feel free to use frozen peaches or mango.)
This recipe is full of all kinds of secret ingredients. Lentils mixed with protein powder, you say? Why, yes, yes we did. Though lentils are often associated with savory dishes, their neutral flavor means they work well with a variety of tastes—including sweet. It also means you’re getting protein from multiple sources—quinoa, lentils, protein powder, nut butter—to help you recover from that workout (or that night of sleep if you decided to hit snooze). Add berries for extra texture and tartness and shredded coconut for a touch more sweetness.
Can we talk about how awesome it is that there are so many healthy iterations of our favorite cake flavors? Take this carrot cake porridge, which magically matches the moist texture of the actual cake thanks to the sneaky addition of egg. Though you don’t get a cream cheese frosting fix with this one, there’s plenty of flavor to keep you fully satisfied. Plus, the combination of nut milk and vanilla extract gets pretty close. (Or you could go rogue and add a spoonful of ricotta.)
If you like the idea of porridge but can’t wrap your head around eating a pile of mush, try subbing quinoa for oats. Not only does the ancient grain mean you’re filling up on more protein, but its thicker grains also allow you to enjoy a moderate crunch. (Think crunchy cereal meets creamy porridge.)
Using canned coconut means it’s pretty darn sweet, so feel free to use your nut milk of choice for something more moderate. Another pro tip: Add chopped dried fruit, like apricots, to the quinoa while it’s cooking.
When it comes to bacon, we say Hakuna Matata. What better way to enjoy no worries for the rest of your days than to start those days with crispy, savory, bacon? But there’s way more to the dish than that. Nutritional yeast gives it a robust hit without adding dairy, and spinach, tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms mean you’re loading up on veggies too. (OK, I know we just finished singing bacon’s praises, but chicken sausage tastes pretty good in this too.)
If mushy porridge is your thing, and even oats don’t do the trick, use a grainier base like semolina (a very fine type of wheat). The fine texture means you won’t be stirring—and waiting—for 20 minutes for the base to soften and thicken (steel cut oats, we’re looking at you).
While maple syrup and cinnamon are common porridge add-ins, this recipe uses some less expected spices, like ginger and cardamom, for a punchy flavor that wakes up you, your taste buds, and even your digestive system.
This recipe incorporates so many amazing tricks, it’s worth cooking it at least once to become fully primed in porridge prowess. It starts by toasting the quinoa—something we recommend whether making porridge or a quinoa salad—and after cooking, it goes ultra (ultra creamy) by blending the main ingredients to create a dense yet airy texture. (Hence calling it “whipped” porridge.)
Though the result is a decadent flavor, the recipe sticks to healthy ingredients like cacao powder and coconut oil for its richness so you won’t feel overloaded after scarfing it down.
We love sneaking veggies into every meal—breakfast included. Whether throwing secret handfuls into smoothies or scrambling them in our eggs, it’s a great way to load up on more nutrients. This recipe uses peppery arugula and crunchy scallions to liven up savory oats that are cooked in ghee (clarified butter) and sea salt. Feel free to stick to one or two grains to keep things simple and season with any spices that feel right (like a pinch of cumin).
This recipe had us at “healthy banana bread in a bowl.” Gluten-free and full of banana bread favorites like walnuts and cinnamon (and banana, of course), this recipe is a lighter way to load up on the coffee shop favorite. Top with a teaspoon of melted ghee for an extra bread-like experience or a dollop of Greek yogurt for added protein. We also love mixing blueberries for extra antioxidants.
Calling a recipe perfect is a pretty bold claim. But one look (and bite) of this recipe and you’ll be convinced it’s perfect too. Dried figs are a fun and unexpected way to incorporate fruit, and the addition of toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds provide just the right amount of crunch. Ready to eat in fewer than 10 minutes, this recipe also skips the sometimes laborious steps that come with porridge and keep things simply perfect.
Carb-free porridge? Come again? The secret to this grain-like (but grain-free) dish lies in cauliflower rice, one of our favorite ways to carb up without, well, the carbs. The makeshift rice is cooked with chicken stock and almond milk for dairy-free creaminess and mixed with bacon and mushrooms for added texture, protein, and, of course, salty flavor. Add spinach or kale for extra greens and do not—we repeat—do not skip topping it with a runny egg. It really brings all of the flavors together—not to mention, #yolkporn.
If you’re sick of nut butter—yes, it does happen—opt for another creamy topping like tahini. Made with only five ingredients, this recipe may look bare bones, but it seriously delivers when it comes to taste. The bitter tahini perfectly complements the sweetness of honey and means every bite of oats is not only filling but also super interesting. (The chopped nuts don’t hurt either.) We like it as is, but golden raisins or currants make a great addition.
This is for all you time-savers out there. Instead of drinking your coffee and chowing down on breakfast, why not chow down on coffee porridge? Oats are cooked with freshly brewed joe, milk, and a splash of maple syrup and topped with walnuts and raisins to make it extra cake-like. If you’re extra crunched on time—or just like being super efficient—use instant coffee and skip the brewing altogether. (It’s honestly just as good.)
Bacon porridge we’ve heard of. But salmon porridge? With miso? Shut the front door. (Oh, and there’s avocado too.) Ground oats are cooked with miso paste for an extra umami flavor, and toppings are added with abandon. Sprouts, hazelnuts, tzatziki, chili salt… nothing about this dish is average or boring. What it is is absolutely tasty and all kinds of interesting. Because it’s quite rich, we say skip the coffee and pair this bad boy with green tea.