Maybe I have an old-fashioned taste for breakfast, but if I could only have one morning meal for the rest of my life, it would be a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal. Introducing steel cut oats Creamy and perfect every time.
They’re endlessly customizable, never mushy, and can be made all week long for a healthy breakfast.
If oatmeal seems bland, unappealing, or (as one reader expressed) “totally unputable,” this foolproof steel-cut oat recipe is worth another try.
My oatmeal journey is proof of that.
- Growing up, we always packed boxes of fruity flavored oatmeal packets under the bottom shelf of our pantry. They were sweet (the part I didn’t care for), turned into a sort of slop in the microwave, and changed shades depending on the fruit flavor they were supposed to mimic.
- Then I got older and wiser. I bought an oatmeal pack without sugar. They tasted awful. No wonder people thought oatmeal was terrible!
- T.Hen, I’m finally in a cute cafe, and I see something called “Steel Cut Oats” on the top of the menu. With some leniency (but mostly curiosity), I decided to give this steel-cut oatmeal business a chance.
Instead of the bland, textureless mud that was my previous bowl of oatmeal, The steel cut oats were rich and creamy with a pleasant crunch and nutty flavor that satisfied me in a deeply healthy way. I thought it was reserved only for those who practice yoga.
The difference between steel cut oats and the instant oatmeal you’ve been eating is like eating different foods.
Are steel cut oats the same as rolled oats or instant oatmeal?
In the sense that they all come from the same grain, yes. However, how they are handled is different.
- Steel cut oats: Best bowl of oatmeal. Oats are left whole and finely cut in a steel mill. Steel-cut oats are the least processed and retain the best texture when cooked.It also takes the longest to cook (as you’ll see later, it’s worth the wait).
- Rolled barley: A nice bowl of oatmeal, but not otherworldly. Oats are steamed and pressed flat. If you’re in a hurry and need breakfast in minutes, rolled oats are a reliable choice. not available).
- Instant Oats: Say no to bowls of instant oatmeal. These are rolled oats cut into small pieces. By the time you heat them up, they’ll lose all texture (and thus become mushy). . healthy no bake cookiesbut not suitable for good breakfast.
How to make steel cut oats (stove method)
For a cozy daily breakfast, a steaming and creamy bowl of classic stovetop steel-cut oatmeal is my eternal love.
Easy, healthy, and perfect with all your favorite toppings.
Step 1: Choose your liquid.
- You need 3 1/2 to 4 cups of liquid for every 1 cup of steel cut oatsdepending on how thick you want it (less liquid = thicker steel cut oatmeal).
- I like to mix water and milk to make my steel cut oats even creamier. The ratio is flexible. I usually use 2 1/2 cups water and 1 cup milk.
- You can use any milk you like. Dairy or non-dairy milks like coconut milk or almond milk work best (best if you want vegan steel cut oats). If you’re into luxury (or if you’re an Ina Garten or Pioneer Woman), whole milk is definitely delicious.
Step 2: Place liquid, oats and salt into saucepan.
- Note the emphasis on salt above. Add appropriate amount to each cup of steel cut oats.
- I always recommend kosher salt for its clean taste. Also, since the grains are large, it is easier to avoid taking too much salt.
- Salt doesn’t make the oats taste salty. Rather, it helps awaken the flavor of the oats and keep them from being downright bland.
- Use a medium or medium large pot. Oats need space to expand.
Step 3: Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
- Cook the oats over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. No need to babysit. Stir the oatmeal occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom, and remember how delicious this bowl of steel-cut oatmeal tastes.
Step 4: Select Texture.
- After the oats have been cooked for 20 minutes, they should be cooked for about 5-10 more minutes until they reach their ideal texture.
- You of oatmeal chef decides “ideal”! Love oats with a chewy texture? Please stop cooking as soon as possible. Softer, thicker, creamier is your style? Let them go for a full half hour. A total of 30 minutes is my personal Steel Cut Oatmeal sweet spot.
- Oats will harden as they cool, so don’t panic if they are too thin.
Step 5: Top ’em off!
- This is the fun part. Oats are a healthy blank canvas for your favorite toppings and mix-ins.
Topping ideas and variations
Toppings and mixins are one of the best parts about steel cut oats. Use them to add flavor and nutritional benefits alike.
- fresh fruitSliced bananas, blueberries, or strawberries are classics. Or try seasonal variations like pears, apples, cherries, and peaches.
- Dried fruitTry dried cranberries, raisins and chopped dried apricots.
- chocolateChocolate chips are delicious as always. For double chocolate, add a few teaspoons of cocoa powder and a sweetener like this chocolate oatmeal.
- nutsTry toasting chopped pecans or walnuts, or using nut butters like peanut butter or almond butter.
- seedDo you have chia seeds, flaxseeds, or sunflower seeds in your pantry?
- spicesA pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Pumpkin pie spice is also delicious (look at this pumpkin oatmeal to get it really spiced).
- sweetenerA tablespoon or two of honey or pure maple syrup works wonders in convincing oatmeal skeptics.
- creamJust a little bit of fresh cream will increase the special feeling.
- protein powder1/2 to 1 scoop will add flavor and make the oats even more filling.
- greek yogurtI love adding a cold chunk of vanilla Greek yogurt over hot oatmeal. It proves a great contrast and adds even more calcium and protein.
How to store steel cut oats
Steel cut oatmeal takes longer to make than a typical weekday morning, so I like to make it in bulk on weekends and store it for a week for a healthy breakfast.
- refrigerateIf you’re super organized or want to easily get a single serving, divide your oatmeal into individual containers. You can also scoop the amount into a bowl. Steel-cut oatmeal can be refrigerated for up to a week.
- To freezeDivide the desired amount of cooked oats into a container of your choice. Freezes for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
How to Reheat Steel Cut Oats
- Place the steel-cut oatmeal in a microwave-safe bowl or pan. Add some milk or water. Gently reheat in the microwave or stovetop, stirring all together a few times, adding more liquid as needed to keep it from drying out.
- A note about portions: Oatmeal quadruples when reheated. OK, don’t quote me on that exact calculation. But by the time the oats soak up the excess liquid, I found it was a lot more serving than when I first scooped it into the bowl.
question? idea? Confessions of love (or hate!) to oatmeal? Let us know!
Let us know what you think of Steel Cut Oats and your favorite toppings.
Frequently Asked Questions
absolutely! For the recipe, see Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats. Keep the Instant Pot tightly closed and use non-dairy milk.
absolutely. See my Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats for the recipe. Great for big batches and crowds.
If you prefer to soak overnight oats in liquid, we recommend this recipe for overnight steel cut oats. It’s one of my favorite pre-made breakfasts.
Quick-Cooking Steel Cut Oats cut regular Steel Cut Oats into slightly smaller pieces for faster cooking. Their texture is not as nice and chewy as regular steel-cut oats, but they are better suited for oatmeal bowls than instant or quick-cooking oats.
A whole grain and rich in soluble fiber, oats have been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. For people with celiac disease, oats are a gluten-free grain. (There is privilege information here).
Groats are whole grains after the husk has been removed. Steel cut oats are finely chopped toasted oats.
- 2 1/2 cup water plus add if needed
- 1 cup milk Optional (use unsweetened almond milk)
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 1/4 tea spoon kosher salt Do not omit this!
- Choice of toppings and mixins See the blog post above for suggestions
Place 2 1/2 cups water and milk in a medium or large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat.
As soon as the liquid boils, stir in the oats and salt. Return the mixture to a steady boil and quickly reduce the heat to allow the oats to simmer gently. Do not leave the pot at this point as oats like to boil occasionally. If it bothers you the first time, remove the pan from the heat and allow it to settle for a bit, then put the pan back on the heat to finish cooking.
Simmer the oats gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, stirring along the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking. For softer, creamier oats, continue cooking for an additional 5-10 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until the oatmeal is as soft as you like. If the oatmeal is thicker than you like, add a little water or milk to thin it down to your desired consistency.
Remove the oatmeal from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes until thickened. Enjoy hot with your favorite toppings.
- Leftover steel-cut oatmeal is a meal prepper’s dream! Store leftovers in the refrigerator in one large batch or in individual portions for up to 5 days. Oatmeal hardens when chilled. Gently reheat in the microwave or stovetop, splashing off excess liquid to thin.
- Steel cut oats are also very good in the freezer. Freezes in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Serving: 1(out of 4) about 1 cupcalorie: 158kcalcarbohydrates: 27gprotein: Fivegobesity: 3gsaturated fat: 1gfiber: Fourgsugar: 1g
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