How to Add Protein to Your Oatmeal in 10 Creative Ways

By April Dupee

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Mmmm, oatmeal. It’s basically cozy comfort in the form of a healthy breakfast. But what makes it even healthier is adding protein to it. If you’re wondering how to add protein to oatmeal, we have some inventive ideas and suggestions for you.

Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta glucan that can help stabilize blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, and foster good-for-you gut bacteria. Oats are also loaded with vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium and several B vitamins, which are necessary for energy and cell growth.

Plus, oatmeal is easy to make and superrrr customizable (you can make it both sweet and savory!), so there’s a bowl of oats everyone can enjoy—5-year-old Zac and Grandma alike.

But here’s the catch: A half-cup serving of oats only packs about 5 grams of protein. So, if you feel hungry an hour after you’ve eaten your oatmeal, perhaps the fiber alone didn’t do the trick. You may need to add some appetite-taming protein for a breakfast that will keep you full and satisfied all morning long.

RELATED: 20 High-Protein Lunch Ideas to Avoid the Afternoon Slump

Ready to give your oatmeal a protein boost? Try these creative and simple high-protein additions for an irresistible—dare we say, perfect—bowl of oats.
(Images: Shutterstock)

Wondering How to Add Protein to Oatmeal? Here are 10 Ways

Greek Yogurt

Two glass bowls with white yogurt on old wooden desk.

You may not have thought to combine these two breakfast food staples before, but that’s what we’re here for! Stir some Greek yogurt into your morning oats for extra creaminess or add a dollop on top. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Half a cup of yogurt provides about 7 grams of protein, as well as a healthy dose of bone-building calcium and gut-friendly probiotics. Pair the plain variety with your favorite nut butter and fruit to limit your added sugar.

Try this recipe for Peanut Butter Overnight Oats from Eating Bird Food … you won’t be disappointed! (Pro tip: If you’re watching your sugar intake, skip the maple syrup entirely, or opt for some monk fruit instead.)

We also love this twist on Greek yogurt: The recipe calls for kefir, grated ginger, blueberries, almonds and a dash of honey.

The best part? You make both of them the night before, and they’re ready and waiting for you in the morning rush.

Eggs or Egg Whites

eggs health benefits

Do you already enjoy eggs for breakfast? Try combining them with oatmeal for a nutrient-packed meal filled with 6 grams of protein per egg. It may not be your typical add-in, but it’s worth experimenting if you haven’t tried.

There are two ways to enjoy this quality protein with your oats: 1) Once your oatmeal reaches a creamy consistency, crack an egg or egg white and stir until fully cooked. 2) Prepare your oatmeal as you normally would, then top with a poached or fried egg. Add other savory elements like hot sauce and avocado or cheese and chives.

We especially like this Savory Oatmeal With Cheddar and Fried Egg from Healthy Nibbles and Bits.

Protein Powder

healthiest protein powder

Probably the easiest way to add protein to your oatmeal: Stir in some protein powder. This chocolate plant protein powder provides 15 grams of the filling macronutrient in just one scoop. Add an extra scoop of antioxidant-rich cacao powder and top with peanut butter and fiber-rich raspberries for a super chocolatey, fruity and nourishing bowl of oats worth waking up for.


milk glass on blue

If you’ve been making oatmeal with water, then here’s your cue to switch to milk. This simple swap is an effortless way to boost protein, with one cup of milk providing an additional 8 grams. Vegans can take advantage of this smart strategy, too. Soy milk packs 6 grams of protein per cup!

Try this Protein Oatmeal With Bananas recipe from Feel Good Foodie, which offers tips for best ways to mix your milk and oatmeal, and adds a boost of protein powder.


Chickpeas aren’t just for hummus. You’ve probably noticed these nutritious legumes popping up in baked goods and grocery store snack aisles thanks to their subtle flavor and filling balance of fiber and protein.

Now introducing … chickpea oatmeal. Mash half a cup (7 grams of protein), stir, and see how they blend seamlessly with your oats. Go savory by adding in flavors like turmeric and tahini, or try a sweet version with bananas and dark chocolate chips. Mind = blown.

We like this savory Turmeric Chickpea Oats from The Full Helping, which are packed with protein and fiber and ready in 15 minutes.

Nut Butter

Almond nut butter in glass jar. Homemade raw organic almond nuts paste on grey background. Healthy natural food.

Do you love topping your bowl of oats with nut butter? Then, here’s some good news: Just 2 tablespoons of peanut or almond butter provides about 8 grams of protein. So easy. So tasty … especially this Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal (that Reeses’s fans will especially l-o-v-e.)


Delicious fresh raw bacon cut with slices on a grey plate against a dark concrete background. Making a delicious nutritious breakfast

Turn your favorite breakfast food into a nourishing bowl of oats. Top your oatmeal with crispy bacon, which provides about 6 grams of protein per slice, and combine with other delicious savory ingredients like cheese, sweet potatoes, onion and mushrooms. Just remember to look for nitrite-free bacon.

Cottage Cheese

cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is a health-food classic and for good reason. With a decadent, chunky texture and an impressive 19 grams of protein per cup, you definitely want to try adding some to your oatmeal. Pair with blueberries and strawberries for a yummy berry-dairy combo.


which nuts are healthiest

Get creative with your combos: almonds + blueberries or pistachios + dried cranberries make for a delish breakfast, and you’ll score about 6 grams of protein per ¼ cup of nuts!

Get even more creative with this Sunrise Mango Oatmeal recipe with macadamia nuts and … you guessed it … mango! It’ll not only fill you up with its punch of protein, but this tropical treat will transport you straight under a palm tree with the sound of waves crashing onto sand. Who’s hungry?

Need more ideas for incorporating protein into your breakfast? Here’s 35 ways to do that (which don’t involve eggs)

(Images: Shutterstock)

About April Dupee
MS in Nutrition Interventions, Communications, and Behavior Change

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