Savory Oats: How to Make RISOTTO from Rolled Oats

Okay. Well… What happened here may be one of the most surprising experiences in all my years of developing recipes.

For years I have been doing my best to ignore those annoying “savory oats” people who not only eat oats for breakfast, but also for dinner. Well, I could ignore them no longer and decided to start experimenting with savory oats recipes (this will not be the last one you see this week!).

So as I started thinking about how to use oats in savory recipes, I realized that rolled oats release a lot of starch as they cook, which is exactly what makes risotto so great, and if you followed the same procedure of slowly adding broth and stirring, you might end up with something of a similar texture as risotto. Maybe??

I’ve made a few risottos in my day and they are 1) slow, 2) unhealthy, 3) difficult, but 4) incredibly delicious.

Oats would solve all the “problems” of risotto. They are less finicky, much healthier than white arborio (risotto) rice, AND oats cook to the right texture so quickly that you can literally make this creamy risotto in under 15 minutes from start to finish.

For those of you familiar, the process is identical. You slowly stir veg broth into a base of oats, celery, and red onion, wait until it absorbs, and repeat. What you end up with (in 10 minutes, not 45) is an impossibly creamy, flowing, starchy dish with amazing savory flavors.

For this one, I’ve thrown in some fresh green peas and meaty caramelized mushrooms, but you could use any risotto add-ins you want. What really makes this work is a little bit of tahini and nutritional yeast (you’ve been seeing those guys around here a lot lately!) to add a slightly creamy, cheesy component that brings this risotto to live.

Incredibly, it works. It all works so well! An oat risotto, who would have thought?!

Makes: 4 servings


  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 12 oz peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 8 oz sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Step One

We’ll start by cooking the mushrooms separately, because the longer they cook, the better they will be. Slice about 10-12 crimini mushrooms fairly thin and add them to a skillet over medium heat with a generous splash of water. Allow them to cook down for 5-10 minutes while working on the other steps…

Step Two

Finely chop the celery and onion and add them to a large skillet over medium heat with a splash of water and a dash of salt and pepper. Give them a few minutes to soften and turn translucent. Then add the 2 cups of rolled oats and slowly start folding in vegetable broth about a half a cup at a time, wait for it to absorb into the oats, and continue.

Step Three

Returning to the mushrooms, after they have reduced significantly, drain the water and drizzle on a little soy sauce with a dash of garlic powder and black pepper. Let them continue cooking on medium-low until the liquid evaporates and they become all caramelized and delicious.

Step Four

After 6-8 minutes, once the oats have absorbed 3+ cups of broth and the “risotto” has a flowing, lava-like consistency, add in about 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast and 2 tablespoons of tahini and incorporate well. This adds a delicious cheesy flavor, but it will thicken things, so add a little more broth if needed.

Step Five

Finally, fold in the peas (defrosted if using frozen) and the mushrooms (trust me, cooking them separately to build up those delicious flavors was definitely worth the effort!) and you’re done.


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  1. I made it already using some of the 25 pounds of Oat Groats that I just purchased! Delicious! I’ll send a picture later.

    • I saw it on Instagram, that’s very cool! It was a great idea to make this with oat groats, which is even more like rice.

  2. This looks and sounds so amazing! Just found your site and man am I happy I did! I live in Germany and it is not always easy to find things that are so readily available in the US… but oats are always available haha. Thank you so much for this wonderful idea! Excited to try this out after my next shopping trip!!

    • Hi sorry for the really late reply. I really can’t think of anything that works in place of nutritional yeast, unfortunately, it’s such a unique flavor. It may be worth buying some online, where you can get it in bulk very affordably.

  3. Okay, so I realize you posted this two years ago, but I just found it, and made it this evening and it was amazing:) And, random run story here. I actually remembered about your website because I frequently make your cauliflower alfredo sauce–so I’d made that a few nights ago and thought I’d check in and see what was new (to me) here. So, when I made THIS recipe tonight, instead of adding the tahini/soy sauce/nutritional yeast to make it cheesier, I used a few tablespoons of leftover One-Ingredient-Chef-cauliflower-alfredo-sauce. So that was delicious and a nice full-circle kind of thing (thank you!:)

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