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Maximizing Your Food Pantry: 16 Healthy Ways To Use Dried Oats

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Maximizing Your Food Pantry: 16 Healthy Ways To Use Dried Oats

Oats are a popular pantry staple, and for good reason: They are affordable, easy to store, and versatile. Packed with protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, thiamine, iron, and beta-glucan (which may help regulate blood sugar), oats are a true nutritional powerhouse. They also have been shown to reduce harmful cholesterol levels and may even boost the immune system.

They are commonly used in oatmeal, baked goods, and granola, but did you know oats can be used for everything from homemade non-dairy milk to pizza crusts to soothing itchy skin?

Here’s how to use all those oats sitting in your pantry.

1. Thickener for soups and stews: Stir a tablespoon or two of oats or oat flour into your soup, stew, or chili after it has been cooked and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until thickened. Alternatively, oats can be ground in a blender to make a natural protein powder to add to smoothies.

2. Binder for burgers: This works for regular burgers and veggie burgers. After you have made your burger base, toss in a handful of oats to add a great texture and a bit of binding power to the burgers. The oats help “set” the burgers as they cook, making them more tender and less crumbly.

3. Vegetarian oatmeal Patties: These patties contain oatmeal blended with broccoli, carrots, egg, and garlic, but other vegetables like asparagus and green beans work well in them, too. Get the recipe here: Vegetarian Oatmeal Patties

4, Use as breadcrumbs: Replace regular breadcrumbs with oats in just about any recipe.

5. Oat flour: Blend oats in a food processor until you have flour of your preferred fineness. This is used in place of regular flour in most recipes.

6. Oat milk: This recipe is from The Prepper’s Cookbook


  • 8 tablespoons rolled oats
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ quarts filtered water
  • Optional: sweetened coconut, agave nectar, or sugar for sweetening
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla


  1. Place the oats, salt, water, and desired sweetener in a pitcher. Stir until mixed.
  2. Allow mixture to soak in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. After the mixture has soaked overnight, pour the contents of the pitcher into the blender and blend.
  4. Pour contents of the blender into a fine mesh sieve that is placed over a large bowl, and strain it thoroughly. Strain again if needed. The leftover strained oats can be cooked and used for oatmeal or used in baking recipes.
  5. Add Vanilla and stir.
  6. Chill and shake before use. Oat milk lasts up to 5 days.

7. Pizza crust: Yes, you can make a pizza crust with oats, believe it or not. Check out this simple recipe: Oatmeal Pizza Crust with 3 Ingredients

8. Fruit Pizza: Speaking of pizza, try this tasty (and healthy) dessert recipe: Healthy Fruit Pizza with Oatmeal Cookie Crust

9. Pie and cheesecake crusts: Oats can be used in place of crushed graham crackers in cheesecake and pie crusts. Mix about 1 cup of oats with 3 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil and press into your pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Or, sprinkle some toasted oats on the bottom of a pie pan and pour the cheesecake batter right on top and bake as directed.

10. Fast oatmeal mixes: Follow these basic instructions and add your choice of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds – Instant Oatmeal Mix. Try adding any of the following to oatmeal – chia, flax, berries, fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, nut butter, seeds, dark chocolate, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon.

11. Savory Spanish oatmeal: This unique oatmeal recipe has some kick to it – there’s garlic, roasted red peppers, tomato, paprika, and cayenne in there! Click here for the recipe: Savory Spanish oatmeal

12. Oat Rolls: This recipe is from The Prepper’s Cookbook


  • 2 ½ cups water, divided
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 4-6 cups all-purpose flour


  1. In a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, bring 2 of the cups of water to a boil. Stir in the oats and reduce the heat to a simmer until oats are soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool until it reaches 110 degrees F.
  2. Stir in remaining ½ cup of water and the brown sugar, butter, and salt. Stir in the yeast. Let rest for 15 minutes and then stir in flour, 1 cup at a time. Mix until all the flour has been absorbed and the dough is smooth and elastic.
  3. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour, then punch down.
  4. Shape the dough into rolls on a greased baking sheet and cover, allowing to rise for another 30 minutes in a warm place until it begins to rise again.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the rolls have risen, bake them for 15-20 minutes.

13. Protein bars: Many of the protein bars on the market today contain some obscure and downright disgusting ingredients. And, some of the grains used in making bars may be genetically modified. Store bought protein bars are often exorbitantly priced, making the little nutrition they do offer not really worth the high price tag. Try this easy recipe instead: Four Ingredient Protein Bars.

14. Granola: Instead of buying granola mix at the store, try these two recipes: Crunchy Cran-Delight Granola and Homemade Granola.

Bonus: Non-edible things to do with oats

15. Soothe itchy, dry, inflamed skin: Oatmeal has long been used as a home remedy for irritated skin. To use oatmeal in a bath, put a half cup in an old sock. Tie a knot in the top of the sock. While you are filling the tub with warm (not hot) water, hold the sock under the water and squeeze it often.

16. Exfoliate: Make a scrub with oats, warm water, and coconut oil. Use as needed to smooth your skin.

What do you use oats for?

Have you found any unique ways to use oats? Please share your ideas in the comments!

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