Stretchy Breakfast: Fried Mush – Two Ways

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One of my favorite breakfasts growing up was fried mush. My mama always made it out of cornmeal mush. It was a true ‘Stretchy’ food since day one we had cooked hot cornmeal mush cereal in a bowl topped with milk and sugar or molasses and day two the left over mush became fried mush.

I don’t make cornmeal mush very often these days (and when I do I use organic masa flour instead of cornmeal with plans to try using soaked whole corn as outlined in this post) but on the occasions we do have it I consider it to be a treat and always try to make enough to enjoy fried mush the next day.  We do often have soaked oatmeal for breakfast and leftovers of that now become fried mush the next morning, get used as a meat stretcher such as in these meatloaf burgers, or sometimes just reheated the next morning for a quick and easy porridge.

When doing either cornmeal or oatmeal fried mush my preferred method is super simple. Here’s what I do;

Take the left over porridge and put in either a wide mouth jar (the pint size is perfect), a cup or (if there is enough) a loaf pan.  Press it down, cover and put in the fridge until the next morning.

Run a butter knife along the edge then turn out the now solid mush onto a cutting board. Usually it stays in one piece and can then be sliced into slabs.  Keep them around 1/2 inch thick so they hold together but still heat nicely.  These are ready to fry in your choice of sizzling healthy fat (I like ghee or coconut oil). Be gentle with them so they don’t fall apart on the way to your pan or when you flip them.

The second method that I’ve used and works particularly well with the oatmeal is to store the leftover porridge in any container and then the next morning mix in a slightly beaten egg, then form into patties (this is the method also outlined in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell).  I’ve also used this method for leftover millet and rice with wonderful results using two eggs instead of one.

Whichever cooking method or type of porridge they are terrific either topped with traditional pancake toppings or as a base for a fried egg (the way my husband prefers his fried mush).

One of my goals with stretchy meals is to decrease my meal prep time. For the most part, fried mush doesn’t really meet that goal since I still have to fry the mush on day two. However, it does help since I have already done the preparation of the grain (soaking) and I have the breakfast planned for the next day so no additional thinking is required (always a plus). And cost wise this is very economical especially when using the oatmeal option.

Have you tried fried mush? What is your cooking method?

This post is shared at Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable

Millie Copper
Millie Copper is a Wyoming wife and mama. After reading Nourishing Traditions in early 2009, her family began transforming their diet to whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods—a little at a time while stretching their food dollars. Millie is passionate to share how, with a little creativity, anyone can transition to a real foods diet without overwhelming their food budget. Millie began blogging in late 2009 and has amassed a collection of frugal recipes and methods. Her specialties include cooking with wild game and creating “Stretchy Beans”. Discovering a love of writing, she has penned four books focusing on healthy eating on a budget and is trying her hand at fiction writing. Learn more at


  1. Monica

    My dad always made fried mush on the weekends. It was my favorite. He was able to get it so super crispy on the outside, something I have never been able to do well. Mine always falls apart and we end up with bits and pieces of it, which isn’t bad, it’s just not the way it should be.

    We make breakfast muffins from our leftover oatmeal and the kids love them.
    1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of sugar (I use cane sugar and a tablespoon of molasses, but I have used honey as well) 1/2 t. baking soda, 1/2 t. baking powder, 2 eggs, 1 cup leftover oatmeal, 1 t. cinnamon, 1 t. vanilla, 1/2 c. melted butter, ghee, coconut oil, or oil of your choice, 1 cup of raisins, and whatever seeds or nuts you want to add. I like chia and flax. It’s good with cranberries and walnuts as well. Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes for us highly elevated people 🙂 18 minutes should do it for those who are in the low lands. This makes a dozen muffins.

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      I like the crispy outside on the cornmeal mush too. Yum!
      The muffins sound great. Your cooking times remind me what a baking challenge I had when we first moved here from Oregon. We had lots of undercooked items in the beginning! It’s better now but I’m still challenged at getting my bread done ‘just right’.

      1. Monica

        Oh, I am still having a difficult time. I didn’t know that I had to alter my times for about 6 months after moving here. It’s been a year and a half and I am just now getting the hang of it. 🙂 My brownies still don’t turn out right.

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