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Caramelized Onion Savory Oatmeal with Crunchy Chickpeas

Putting a twist on your morning oatmeal with this warming caramelized onion savory oatmeal. Spiced with cardamom, chopped dates and topped with these addictive crunchy pan fried chickpeas and toasted seeds for a comforting meal that also happens to be vegan!

caramelized onion and cardamom savory oatmeal

I have been eating oatmeal for breakfast pretty much every morning for the past five years. I’ve always enjoyed my oats with fruit and a little maple syrup, but I only recently discovered how much I love adding a savory twist!

This savory oatmeal recipe is pretty much the definition of comfort food. It’s warm, hearty and bonus: it’s really good for you. If you’re a little skeptical of savory oatmeal, I get it. I was too, but the oats actually take on such a nice nutty flavor when toasted in a bit of oil. With the sweetness from the onions and dates plus a little crunch from the chickpeas, it’s a pretty great meal all around.

How to Make Caramelized Onion Savory Oatmeal

Caramelize the onions: while it does take a while to get that deep golden brown color on the onions, the flavor is worth it in the end. Heat a large pan over medium heat for a few minutes then add your oil. When it’s shimmering, dump in the thinly sliced onions plus a pinch of salt which helps the onions release excess moisture. Stir that around and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the onions have shrunken down considerable and start to take on a dark brown, caramel color.

Make the crunchy chickpea topping: while the onions are caramelizing, I like to get started on the crunchy chickpeas. We want the chickpeas to be very dry before adding them to the oil, so make sure you pat them down with a few paper towels.

Heat another skillet over medium heat and add the oil, let that heat up then dump in the chickpeas. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown and crispy. About 10 minutes. Now, add in the seeds and cook for an additional 5 minutes or so until everything is nice and toasty. Turn off the heat and let the chickpeas sit in the skillet until ready to use.

Toast the oats: by now the onions should be done, so we can now stir in our oats and spices. By letting them hang out in the oil over direct heat, the spices will become more flavorful and the oats will get all nice and toasty.

Cook the oatmeal: Once everything is fragrant, you can add in the coconut cream, chopped dates and a little more salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the oats for about 10 minutes then remove from the heat. Let the pot sit covered for another few minutes to let the water fully absorb.

To serve, spoon the warm oatmeal into bowls and top with fresh chopped herbs (this is a must) and a sprinkle of crispy chickpeas. Enjoy!

caramelized onion savory oatmeal with crunchy chickpeas

Tips for Making Caramelized Onion Savory Oatmeal

  • Make sure you use thick cut oats for this recipe, not normal rolled oats or steel cut oats. Steel cut will take a lot longer to cook and I find that basic rolled oats just turn to mush in the pot. Thick cut are the best because they hold their shape, similar to brown rice or farro would.
  • The oatmeal can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The chickpeas lose their crunch when stored, so I recommend making those fresh.

More Recipes to Try:

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Yield: 4 servings

Caramelized Onion and Cardamom Savory Oatmeal

caramelized onion and cardamom savory oatmeal

Cozy savory oatmeal with warming spices, sweet carmelized onions and topped with crunchy chickpeas and fresh herbs. Vegan, easy to make and nutrient packed,

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp coconut cream*
  • 1 1/2 cups thick cut oats
  • 1/3 cup chopped dates
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Chopped herbs (cilantro, dill, parsley and/or mint) for serving

For the crispy chickpea topping

  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • Flaky salt (optional)


    1. To a large lidded pot, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add in the onion plus a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until deeply caramelized. About 20-25 minutes.
    2. Once caramelized, add the spices, cinnamon stick and thick cut oats. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant and toasted.
    3. Stir in the coconut cream, chopped dates and salt plus 2 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, cover then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes undisturbed.
    4. Turn off the heat and let the pot sit covered for another 10 minutes before serving. Divide among bowls and top with fresh chopped herbs and crispy chickpeas.

    For the crunchy chickpea topping

      1. Lay the drained and rinsed chickpeas on several sheets of paper towel and gently pat dry to remove as much excess moisture as you can.
      2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering then add the chickpeas in an even layer. Pan fry for about 10-12 minutes, tossing occasionally, until golden brown.
      3. Add in the seeds and toast for an additional 5 minutes or so until fragrant and toasty. Top with flaky salt if desired and serve immediately.


*coconut cream is the solid white part in a can of full fat, unsweetened coconut milk.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 560Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1157mgCarbohydrates: 71gFiber: 14gSugar: 20gProtein: 16g

All nutritional info is an estimation

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