28 Tasty Oatmeal Toppings For A Better Breakfast

In the wise words of the "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" television character Captain Raymond Holt: "Love, it sustains you. It's like, oatmeal," (via YouTube). He couldn't be more right. Oatmeal, often praised for its healthy attributes, might just be the unsung hero of breakfast options. But there's more to this humble bowl of oats than meets the eye. It's not only life-sustaining but also versatile, ready to embark on a culinary adventure that can make your mornings much more exciting.

If you're tired of the same old boring oatmeal routine, we've compiled a list of 28 mouthwatering oatmeal toppings that will transform your breakfast experience from ordinary to extraordinary. These additions are like the supporting cast of your favorite show, elevating the leading character to new heights. Together, they create a symphony of flavors, textures, and aromas that will have your taste buds dancing with delight.

Whether you prefer your oats creamy, hearty, or lightly sweetened, there's a topping here for every oatmeal aficionado. From classic combinations to unexpected surprises, our selections cater to all taste preferences and dietary needs. Let's dig in!

1. Spices

Enhance your morning oatmeal by simply adding common sweet spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. Just a sprinkle of these aromatic favorites infuses your bowl with warmth and depth, creating a delightful flavor burst. 

If you're feeling more adventurous, experiment with a savory twist by using everything bagel seasoning, for a unique and unexpected flavor profile. Whether you prefer sweet or savory, a pinch of spice is all it takes to transform your ordinary oatmeal into a memorable breakfast experience.

2. Sugar

Sweeten up your oatmeal by incorporating sugar or rich brown sugar. For classic comfort, sprinkle a teaspoon or two over your piping hot oats. This will allow the granules to melt into a delectable syrupy embrace. 

To create a caramelized masterpiece, mix brown sugar with a bit of butter and let it melt into a sumptuous sauce, drizzling it over your oatmeal for a luscious treat. For added depth, experiment with different sugar varieties like coconut or demerara. These could add a slightly unique twist to your morning ritual.

3. Fresh fruit

Fresh fruit can transform your oatmeal into a delightful, nutritious powerhouse. For a burst of fruity goodness, slice ripe bananas, sprinkle some blueberries, or add slices of juicy strawberries on top of your oats. 

You could also create a tropical paradise by mixing in diced pineapple and mango. Berries like raspberries and blackberries bring a tangy zing while sliced peaches or nectarines offer a sweet, summer-inspired twist. To balance flavors, consider a drizzle of honey for an extra touch of natural sweetness.

4. Dried fruit

Don't forget fresh fruit's distant cousin. Adding dried fruit can be just as tasty, and comes with a longer shelf life than fresh fruit. Apricots, dates, and figs lend a rich, earthy flavor, while dried mango or pineapple offers a tropical twist. 

For a satisfying crunch, try dried apples or pears. To intensify the sweetness, infuse your oats with a medley of dried fruits or experiment with exotic choices like goji berries or dried cherries.

5. Orange zest

Orange zest can elevate your oatmeal to a new level of vibrancy and flavor. The fragrant oils from the orange peel can transform your morning bowl into a citrusy delight. Simply sprinkle some orange zest over your oats, and watch as it brightens the dish with a burst of fresh, tangy aroma.

To elevate this flavor, try mixing it with a dash of cinnamon. It's a simple yet ingenious way to infuse your oatmeal with complex flavors, making your breakfast an exciting start to the day.

6. Seeds

Seeds are nature's little powerhouses, and adding them to your oatmeal is a brilliant way to enhance both flavor and nutrition. Sprinkle chia seeds on your oats for a dose of omega-3 fatty acids (per Healthline) and a delightful texture. Flax seeds provide a nutty undertone and extra fiber, while sunflower seeds offer a satisfying crunch. Sesame seeds bring a subtle nutty flavor, and pumpkin seeds add a buttery richness. Hemp seeds alone are a complete protein source. 

To create a delightful contrast, consider a blend of different seeds. The combination of nutty, earthy notes and added health benefits make your oatmeal a dynamic, wholesome breakfast.

7. Nuts

Nuts are the perfect companions to oatmeal, providing a delightful combination of flavors, textures, and nutrients. Almonds, whether sliced or slivered, offer a pleasant crunch and a subtle, sweet nuttiness. Walnuts bring a rich, earthy taste and a dose of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Pecans provide a delightful buttery warmth, while hazelnuts offer a hint of indulgent chocolate-like notes.

Nuts also provide a satisfying protein boost, keeping you full longer. Whether you like your oatmeal sweet or savory, adding a handful of nuts is a simple yet effective way to enhance both the taste and nutrition of the dish.

8. Honey

Honey is nature's liquid gold when it comes to oatmeal. Drizzling a spoonful of this amber nectar over your oats adds a luscious, all-natural sweetness that beautifully complements the oat's earthy notes.

Whether you prefer classic, light honey, or the more robust flavor of dark honey, it's a versatile choice. For a twist, try infused honey varieties like lavender or cinnamon for an added layer of complexity. Honey pairs seamlessly with an array of toppings — from fresh berries to nuts and seeds — creating a harmonious symphony of flavors.

9. Chocolate

Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Elevate your morning oatmeal into a decadent delight by incorporating chocolate. Dark chocolate chips or cocoa powder add a rich, deep cocoa flavor that blends harmoniously with the oat's creamy texture. If you're feeling indulgent, consider semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips for a sweeter twist.

For a sophisticated touch, experiment with white chocolate shavings or cacao nibs for an added layer of complexity. To create a truly luxurious experience, swirl in a spoonful of creamy Nutella or a dollop of velvety chocolate almond butter.

10. Peanut butter

Peanut butter and oatmeal are a match made in heaven. Adding a dollop of peanut butter to your morning oats brings a creamy, nutty richness that's hard to resist. The gentle warmth of the oatmeal softens the peanut butter, creating a delightful fusion of flavors. 

For a sweet kick, drizzle honey or maple syrup over the combination, or top it with a handful of chocolate chips for an indulgent treat. To enhance the texture, sprinkle crushed peanuts on top. This will add a satisfying crunch.

11. Jellies, jams, and preserves

Transform your oatmeal into a fruity delight with the sweet addition of jellies, jams, and preserves. These spreads come in a spectrum of flavors, from classic strawberry to exotic apricot. A dollop of your favorite jam adds a burst of fruity goodness to your oats, infusing them with a natural sweetness that is both comforting and invigorating.

For a gourmet twist, explore unique options like fig or blueberry preserves. Mixing in these spreads also offers a delightful contrast in texture, with chunks of fruit adding a playful element.

12. Coconut flakes

Coconut flakes are the perfect twist to transform your oatmeal into a sunny breakfast paradise. A sprinkle of these toasted, sweet flakes adds a delightful crunch and a hint of tropical flavor. Combine them with your oats for a luscious coconut cream pie-inspired creation. 

Drizzle honey on top for an extra layer of sweetness or mix in some fresh pineapple for a truly tropical experience. It's a simple yet effective way to infuse your breakfast with a touch of paradise.

13. Veggies

While oatmeal is often associated with sweet toppings, exploring savory oatmeal options can be a game-changer. Consider adding chopped spinach or kale for a nutrient-packed green boost, or sauteed mushrooms with a hint of garlic for an earthy, aromatic touch. Greens like arugula or Swiss chard also bring a delightful peppery note to your oats.

To take it up a notch, try grated Parmesan or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a cheesy, umami kick. Savory oatmeal is a versatile canvas for your culinary creativity.

14. Matcha

Infuse your oatmeal with a vibrant and energizing twist by incorporating matcha. To create matcha oatmeal, whisk a teaspoon of matcha powder into your oats as they cook, allowing the earthy, slightly sweet notes to meld with the oat's creamy base. Matcha's invigorating properties provide a gentle caffeine boost, ideal for a focused start to your day. 

For added sweetness and depth, drizzle honey or maple syrup, and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds for a nutty contrast. This unique combination not only transforms your oatmeal into a visually stunning vibrant green but also elevates your breakfast into a peace-promoting treat.

15. Maple syrup

Maple syrup is the natural sweetener that can turn your oatmeal into an indulgent breakfast treat. Drizzle a generous pour of this liquid gold over your oats to infuse them with a rich, deep sweetness.

To balance the sweetness, consider adding a pinch of sea salt for a delectable salty-sweet combination. A dash of cinnamon or nutmeg can further enhance the flavors. For added texture, mix in chopped nuts or sprinkle toasted coconut flakes on top.

16. Dashi or broth

Using dashi or broth in oatmeal may not be a common choice, but it can open up a world of savory possibilities. To create a unique and flavorful oatmeal, substitute water with a mild vegetable or chicken broth as the cooking liquid. Add a splash of soy sauce and toss in some sliced mushrooms, scallions, or diced tofu to enhance the umami profile.

You can also experiment with traditional Japanese dashi, made from kombu and bonito flakes. The result is a savory oatmeal with a rich depth of flavor that's both filling and satisfying.

17. Tea

Tea-infused oatmeal is a delightful departure from the ordinary, offering a burst of unique flavors. To incorporate tea, start by steeping your favorite tea bag, such as chai, Earl Grey, or green tea, in hot water. Then, use this fragrant tea as the liquid base for your oatmeal instead of plain water or milk.

For an added layer of depth, pair complementary ingredients. For instance, chai-infused oatmeal can be enriched with a touch of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon, while green tea pairs wonderfully with sliced almonds and a drizzle of matcha for a vibrant, earthy twist.

18. Eggs

Incorporating eggs into your oatmeal adds a protein punch and a creamy texture. For a classic preparation, beat an egg and whisk it into your oatmeal as it cooks, creating a luscious, custard-like consistency. To enhance the flavor, consider adding salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of grated cheese for a savory twist.

For a sweet option, whisk an egg into your oatmeal with a touch of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of brown sugar or cinnamon. This creates a dessert-like oatmeal reminiscent of rice pudding. You can also keep it simple and put an egg, prepared your favorite way, on top!

19. Bacon

Adding bacon to oatmeal is an unexpected, yet delightful twist that combines sweet and savory flavors. You can opt for crispy, home-cooked bacon or the convenience of bacon bits to sprinkle over your oatmeal. The savory, smoky notes create a tantalizing contrast with the mild, creamy oats.

For a sweet addition, drizzle a bit of maple syrup over the dish. This sweet touch harmonizes with the rich bacon flavor, creating a balanced and satisfying breakfast.

20. Cheese

Cheese in oatmeal may seem unusual, but it can be a delightful and savory addition to your breakfast. Opt for types like cheddar, Gouda, or Parmesan, which melt beautifully and add a creamy, indulgent texture to your oats.

To incorporate cheese, simply stir it into your hot oatmeal until it melts, creating a luxurious, gooey consistency. For extra flavor, add a dash of black pepper, chives, or even some crispy bacon bits. The result is a savory oatmeal that resembles a risotto, offering a comforting, cheesy breakfast experience.

21. Pureed root veggies

Incorporating pureed root vegetables like sweet potato, pumpkin, or butternut squash into your oatmeal is a nutritious and unique idea. The natural sweetness and creamy texture of these veggies blend harmoniously with the oats, creating a wholesome and hearty breakfast.

You can further enhance the taste with a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, or a drizzle of honey for added sweetness. This unconventional combination delivers a warm, comforting oatmeal that's brimming with vitamins, fiber, and a delightful, natural sweetness, making it a nourishing and satisfying way to kickstart your day.

22. Protein powder

Protein powder can be a fantastic addition to your morning oatmeal, providing an essential energy boost and muscle support. Simply stir a scoop of your preferred protein powder, like whey, plant-based, or collagen, into your oats while they simmer.

To enhance the flavor and nutrition, pair it with complementary ingredients such as sliced almonds, fresh berries, or a dollop of nut butter. Protein powder in oatmeal not only fortifies your meal but also creates a satisfying, creamy texture that keeps you full and energized, making it an ideal choice for a balanced and protein-packed breakfast.

23. Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is a versatile and nutritious addition to oatmeal, creating a creamy, protein-rich breakfast that's both filling and satisfying. After your oatmeal has cooked and cooled slightly, stir in a generous spoonful of Greek yogurt.

To further elevate your dish, top your Greek yogurt-infused oatmeal with a medley of fresh berries, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of granola or nuts for a textural and flavor-packed experience. Greek yogurt in oatmeal is a balanced choice that combines the hearty goodness of oats with the richness of yogurt, making it a wholesome and delicious start to your day.

24. Granola

For those who love texture, and the health benefits of granola, add your favorite type on top of your oatmeal for some extra crunch. After cooking your oats to your preferred consistency, sprinkle a generous handful of granola on top.

Granola not only adds a satisfying crunch but also introduces a medley of flavors as you choose from various granola types, like honey-nut, fruit, and nut, or even chocolate chips for a sweet twist. Top it off with a drizzle of honey or a dollop of yogurt for extra depth and creaminess.

25. Raisins or craisins

Raisins and craisins (dried cranberries) are classic and delicious oatmeal companions. To incorporate these sweet gems, simply sprinkle a handful over your oats. As your oatmeal cooks, it absorbs moisture and plumps up, infusing the dish with its natural sweetness.

For added depth, mix in a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg, creating a comforting flavor combination. Whether you prefer the chewy richness of raisins or the zesty zing of craisins, their presence in your oatmeal enhances both the texture and flavor.

26. Mini marshmallows

The kid in all of us absolutely wants some sweetness in our day –- especially millennials who grew up with cookie cereals and Pop-Tarts. Adding some mini marshmallows into the mix will bring you right back to childhood. The result is a dessert-like oatmeal reminiscent of a campfire treat. 

Get wild and drizzle some chocolate sauce or caramel over the marshmallow-topped oatmeal. This fun and nostalgic twist transforms your breakfast into a delightful, cozy, and sweet experience, perfect for anyone who enjoys a bit of whimsy in their morning routine.

27. Milk

Swapping water for milk in your oatmeal can elevate your morning bowl in seconds. Whether you choose almond milk, oat milk, cow's milk, or even rich and creamy condensed milk, the results are deliciously creamy and satisfying. The milk infuses the oats with a luscious, velvety texture and a gentle, natural sweetness. 

Feel free to add a pinch of cinnamon, a drizzle of honey, or some chopped nuts for a flavor boost. This method allows for customization and turns your breakfast into a nourishing, indulgent treat, perfect for those who prefer their oatmeal rich, creamy, and bursting with flavor.

28. Apple butter

You may not think of apple butter when you think of oatmeal, but now is the time to make that connection. Simply swirl a spoonful of this sweet and spiced spread into your cooked oats and give it a good stir. The result is a luscious, apple-pie-like oatmeal with a rich, autumnal character.

To accentuate the cozy vibes, sprinkle some cinnamon or nutmeg on top, and perhaps add a handful of toasted pecans or walnuts for a delightful crunch. The combination of apple butter and oatmeal creates a harmonious blend of textures and a symphony of flavors.