Whole Oat Porridge

This whole oat porridge recipe transformed me from an oatmeal skeptic to a devoted fan! Creamy, hearty, and warming, it can be made sweet or savory.


It’s no secret that I haven’t been a huge fan of oatmeal. See, every morning in college, I cooked instant oats for breakfast. They were cheap, quick, and they filled me up, but after years of eating them day after day, I got sick of their mushy texture and bland taste. I thought that nothing could convince me to try oatmeal again, until I saw the Porridge section of Amy Chaplin’s new book, Whole Food Cooking Every Day.

I’ve been a fan of Amy for years – she’s the former executive chef of Angelica Kitchen (the NYC restaurant that first inspired me to eat more plant-based), and her first book, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen, is one of my absolute favorite cookbooks. Her second book certainly lived up to expectations  – it’s packed with gorgeous photos and recipes for plant-based breads, soups, sauces, and more! Each chapter consists of a few base recipes with variations, which is a format I LOVE (see here, here, and here). The book is filled with creative ideas, but the Porridge section looked so stunning and inventive that, despite my hot oatmeal aversion, I had to try her porridge recipes.

Whole oat porridge recipe

Porridge vs. Oatmeal

As Amy explains in the book, oatmeal is a type of porridge, but porridge doesn’t just have to be made with oats, and it doesn’t have to be sweet. She shares recipes for making it with grains ranging from black rice to millet. In addition to including a base recipe for each grain, she has endless ideas for sweet and savory toppings, plus insights on ingredients’ nutritional value.

Putting my oatmeal qualms aside, I opted to try her whole oat porridge. Instead of using whole rolled oats or even steel cut oats, Amy uses whole oat groats, which I found in the bulk section of my grocery store. She starts by soaking them overnight and lightly blending them. When cooked, they create a satisfying, lusciously creamy porridge. Honestly, they’ve made me an oatmeal convert! Smooth, hearty, and delicious, her recipe makes the perfect porridge for warming up on cool fall mornings.

Breakfast porridge

Porridge Recipe Variations

Once I made the base recipe, I tried two of Amy’s suggested variations:

  • Butternut Squash and Ginger – For this variation, Amy adds cubed winter squash and ginger to the porridge oats as they simmer. Amy’s recipe yields a simple, delicious breakfast with clean flavors. I amped mine up a bit with garlic and extra tamari. I also served it with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil in addition to the parsley, scallions, and herbs that Amy suggested.
  • Miso and Avocado – Miso & avocado make this one a super flavorful, velvety breakfast dish. Once you add the miso, the cereal will thin considerably. Continue cooking until it thickens, about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Top with avocado, sesame seeds, scallions, and tamari, and enjoy!

I loved both of these savory variations, but if you prefer a sweeter breakfast, you can still use the base recipe! Top it with dried or fresh fruit, nuts and seeds, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, brown sugar, or a drizzle of coconut milk. Or, stir spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom into the oat base.

This porridge keeps well in the fridge, so make a batch of one kind and enjoy it all week! Alternatively, prep the base recipe ahead of time, and make a bowl of porridge with different toppings each day. Reheat leftovers on the stove and stir in milk or water, as needed, to reach the perfect creamy consistency.

Oat porridge recipe

If you love this porridge recipe…

Try my chia pudding, oatmeal, overnight oats, or baked oatmeal next! Or check out this post with tons of healthy breakfast ideas!

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rate this recipe:
4.94 from 29 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves 4
You'll LOVE this healthy breakfast porridge recipe! Made with whole oat groats, it's super creamy, hearty, and satisfying. Adapted from Whole Food Cooking Every Day by Amy Chaplin.


Whole Oat Porridge

  • 1 cup whole oat groats, soaked overnight* (SEE NOTE)
  • 4 cups additional filtered water
  • Pinch of sea salt

Variation 1: Butternut Squash & Ginger

  • Ingredients for 1 recipe Whole Oat Porridge, above
  • 3 ½ cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon tamari, more for serving
  • 4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • ½ garlic clove, grated
  • for serving: scallions, toasted pepitas, parsley, toasted sesame oil

Variation 2: Miso & Avocado

  • Ingredients for 1 recipe Whole Oat Porridge, above
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • for serving: avocado, tamari, scallions, sesame seeds, microgreens


  • For the Whole Oat Porridge (base recipe): Drain and rinse the oat groats and transfer them to a blender. Add 4 cups fresh water salt and pulse until the grains are coarsely ground. Pour into a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking frequently. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the grains are soft and the porridge is creamy. Serve hot, with desired toppings.
  • For the Butternut Squash & Ginger Variation: Follow the directions for the oat porridge recipe above, adding the squash, ginger, and garlic to the pot along with the oat mixture and cook as directed until the porridge is creamy and the squash is soft. Add the tamari and adjust the seasoning to taste. Garnish with scallions, pepitas, parsley, and serve with sesame oil and tamari, for drizzling.
  • For the Miso & Avocado Variation: Follow the directions for the oat porridge recipe above. Once your porridge has thickened, turn the heat off and stir the miso paste into the hot porridge until it's dissolved. If your porridge becomes thinner at this point (like mine did), continue stirring over low heat until it thickens, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with sliced avocado, tamari, scallions, sesame seeds, and microgreens.


*You CANNOT substitute rolled oats or steel cut oats for the oat groats in this recipe because the water ratio will be incorrect and your porridge will not thicken. If you want to use another type of oat, follow the cooking directions on the package of your oats.



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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Kevin from jamesskii.pizza

    3 stars
    why avocado tho
    I put it in and it taste kinda bad
    I don’t recommend

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I would check your printer, it’s looking fine on my end.

  2. Chris

    There is a much easier way to make whole oat groats in a crock pot. They turn out unbelievably creamy, thoroughly cooked and toothesome.
    Put 1 cup oat groats and 4 and 1/2 cups water in a crock pot. Add cinnamon, dried fruit if you like.
    Cook overnight on low and your oatmeal is all set to eat in the morning. We sweeten ours with maple syrup and sometimes a little milk.

  3. Jason Peterson

    This is a method to use up whole grains if you happen to have them. But the grind size in a blender is not uniform. By the time the load gets mixed, the bottom of the jug is already finely ground. The porridge needs to be cooked for longer to get the biggest remaining pieces soft, and then they are surrounded by overcooked fine particles/flour. Commercially milled grain (or steel cut) is better if you can find it.

  4. Alex

    Weird question, but when you process the soaked whole oats in a blender, are they like steel cut oats at that point?

    I love steel cut oats, but I moved to Germany recently and stores don’t carry it here. They do have whole oats though, so this seems like a good workaround.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Alex, yes the end result is like the texture of steel cut oats. I’d say it’s a workaround.

      • Alex

        Perfect! I’ll try it out!

  5. Angie Broyles

    5 stars
    Came out nice and creamy! We loved it, thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you enjoyed!

  6. jp

    i tried this, and the result was horrible. the tough
    shell of the oat grouts would not soften. i followed
    directions to the tee. i had to throw it all away. what
    brand and type of oats did you use?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi JP, I used Bob’s Red Mill – I might try blending the grains a little longer to break them up more.

  7. Linda

    5 stars
    This was surprisingly really good. It was naturally a different taste than the usual – but it was good. It takes a second to process in your head to rethink oats – almost like “hmm not sure, oats are supposed to taste this other way” but the more I ate and adapted to this new taste it really grew on me that I had to have seconds. I am excited to play around more with this recipe.

  8. Lori H

    5 stars
    I love this idea of makeing a big batch to last all week in the fridge. Would increasing the ingredience by 5 be a good idea? And would I use the same cooking times? Thanks.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lori, one recipe makes quite a bit (4 good servings), so 5x would be quite a lot. You might have to increase the time, you’ll know it’s done when it’s creamy.

  9. daisies

    Thank you for wonderful recipe!! Looks so tempting and nutritious too!!

  10. Vikki

    Quickly question. By blending the frosts does this end up like fine oatmeal? I know you say not to sub other types of oats cos of liquid oat ratio but I was wondering whether you could soak fine oatmeal then cook, cutting out the blending step?? Ever tried?

    • Vikki

      I meant groats not frosts! Auto correct!

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        Hi Vikki, blending the oat groats makes it the texture of regular oatmeal. The difference is that the whole oat groat needs to be broken down to become more like the texture of steel cut or rolled oats.

        If you want to make steel cut oats or regular rolled oats, there’s no need to soak or blend them. Soaking would make them too mushy, and blending would make them oat milk. For those, I’d just follow the instructions on your package for the water ratio and cook time. For example, I cook 1/2 cup steel cut oats in 1 1/2 cups water, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Rolled oats will take less time, and instant oats, even less.

        Here’s a good explanation of the different type of oats:

        I hope that helps!

        • Vikki

          Ta very much! I used to love porridge before quitting dairy but now I have many oat issues cooking without cows milk! I used to just have rolled oats and milk microwaved but I haven’t found a plant milk that works: soya stops the oats cooking, homemade or no additive nut milk too creamy and sickly, and I don’t like the idea of heavily processed oat milk (they use enzymes commercially to break starches to sugar). I’ve settled on sprouted oats with water and dates but the same recipe doesn’t work with rolled oats – too mushy / pastey or ends up like gruel! Sprouted oats are so expensive I need another option that’s not too sweet (I get hypoglycaemia after sugar). I can’t tell you the amount of porridge experiments that have gone on in my kitchen!!! Perhaps I don’t like porridge!! Haha! Thanks again! Ps can you eat soaked oat groats raw?

        • Vikki

          Do oat groats taste better than steel cut or fine oatmeal?

          • Jeanine Donofrio

            They taste similar to steel cut. These or steel cut are my favorite. Instant microwave oatmeal is definitely last place for me, it’s just so mushy.

            I also just realized that I should have sent you this link for how I make my steel cut oats. I use water and then flavor them with spices and/or toppings: https://www.loveandlemons.com/how-to-make-oatmeal/

            You might also like these overnight oats (the easiest recipe of them all). I use almond milk which doesn’t get sticky because it’s not cooked. You eat these cold, but the oats thicken overnight and become nice and creamy. If you wanted them warm, you could heat them very gently in the morning just until warmed through.. https://www.loveandlemons.com/overnight-oats-recipe/

            I definitely wouldn’t eat the soaked groats raw, they need to be cooked in order to soften.

            I hope that helps!

          • Vikki

            Thank you thank you thank you! You’re a star!

  11. john

    can you share guidance on soaking the oats overnight? e.g. should it be with water or milk, how much in proportion to the amount of oats, for how long. thanks!

      • john

        thanks Jeanine. so to make 1 cup of whole oat groats, I should soak overnight with a 1 cup of milk (almond, regular, etc), per the overnight oats recipe – is that right?
        thanks for your help!

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          Hi John, for overnight oats, I use whole rolled oats, not oat groats. Whole oat groats won’t work as overnight oats. In other words, follow the instructions in the overnight oats recipe, not this one. Hope that helps!

          • Jamie

            Hi Janine, I have the same question as John. I think you misunderstood him. For this recipe you say to soak the whole oats overnight. But you haven’t mentioned with what, milk or water? and of what quantity?

          • Jeanine Donofrio

            Hi Jamie, soak them in water, enough to cover the oats by an inch or two. You’ll drain the water out before making the recipe, so it doesn’t need to be exact. I hope that helps!

  12. Lauren Neciuk

    I’ve never liked oatmeal that much, but this recipe has made me want to give it another chance! Looks amazing!

  13. Kizi Mizi

    5 stars
    I’ve never liked oatmeal, but that’s a revelation!

  14. Melanie

    These flavors sound awesome and I think they would go great with grits, too!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      oooh yes, they would!!

  15. 5 stars
    Those loooook soooooo goooood……I usually don’t have oatmeal but I’m gonna try that!

  16. Sabrina from newkitchenlife.com

    thank you for sharing, especially since I have similar reservations about oatmeal in its commonly made or served

  17. Emily from carvingajourney.com

    Wow these look so appetizing. I have never been an oatmeal fan because I thought it was bland…but this may convert me. Worth a try!

  18. Joshua Howard

    5 stars
    Wow! Thank for this breakfast idea! I always don’t know what to eat for breakfast, usually I make some smoothies. But this recipe sounds soooo delicious! I’m going to give it a try tomorrow!

  19. Stacey

    Thoughts on using red miso paste? I have a big bucket in my fridge, trying to figure out ways to use it. This would be great!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Stacey, I think it would be fine. It might have a stronger flavor (you could start with half the amount and taste), but overall I find the miso flavor in this recipe to be pretty mild in relation to the amount of oats. Hope that helps!

    • Danielle

      This is the best recipe ever! I love it! I add sliced dehydrated strawberries and cook it… so so good! I now double the recipe and freeze it in silicone muffin pan… and then put them in a ziplock… just perfect

      One question: could I use the exact recipe with whole grain pot barley? I think it woul be really nice too. What do you think? Thank you so much for the recipe!!

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I haven’t tried it with barley, but it should be similar (I think!).

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.