Upgrade Your Oatmeal Breakfast With A Parfait Spin

If you're looking for healthy and hearty breakfast recipe ideas that are anything but boring, take our advice and turn to oatmeal. Yes, really. Don't be fooled by its bland reputation — unlike plain old eggs and bacon, the subtle oat dish lends itself to a ton of different iterations and flavor combinations, making it a versatile base for all sorts of exciting snacks. Whether you soak your oats in a jar overnight or whip up a warm bowl, you can top it with fruit, a sweet sprinkling of brown sugar and cinnamon, or even give it a Nordic-style savory twist by mixing it with sausage, beans, and a poached egg.

But to get the most bang for your breakfast buck, we suggest getting a little creative with your next serving of oatmeal by turning it into a multilayered masterpiece, inspired by none other than a fellow breakfast favorite: the parfait. While it's true that most traditional versions are crafted with fluffy scoops of custard or yogurt, oatmeal makes for a surprisingly decadent substitute in the dish. From its sturdy texture, which is ideal for separating stacks of different ingredients without sacrificing structural integrity, to its goes-with-everything earthy taste, oatmeal was practically made to be given the parfait treatment. Better yet, you'll be able to customize your concept with a seemingly endless selection of yummy additions, so you'll never get bored.

A creative take with endless flavor combinations

When you think about it, oatmeal is a starchy sponge that can soak up flavors and present them in hearty oat form. So, by layering your ingredients, rather than just sprinkling them on top, you can allow them to really infuse with the oats, providing a punch of flavor with every spoonful. Take, for example, Tasting Table's own overnight oat parfait recipe. Recipe developer Maren Epstein brilliantly stacks oatmeal, apple butter, and chunks of cinnamon-stewed apples in a mason jar to create a rich breakfast dish that tastes like an apple pie. Her secret? Letting the oats soak in flax milk in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours before constructing the parfait, which leaves them particularly soft and creamy.

Prefer your oatmeal served warm and fast? Simply heat a fresh batch and layer it into a cup or jar with your favorite toppings. From berries and jam, to bananas and peanut butter, or perhaps cacao nibs and coconut flakes, there's no limit to what you can combine in your oatmeal parfait. Make it fruity and fresh, or turn it into a treat worthy of your sweet tooth. You can even go the more traditional route and add alternating scoops of yogurt to break up the starch if you wish. In any case, you'll be left with a wholesome, filling, and nutrient-packed snack that not only tastes good, but also looks like it belongs on a dessert platter.