Steel Cut Oats Recipe (2024)

Published: by Tammy Overhoff

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This Steel Cut Oats Recipe is one of my favorites to make for a healthy breakfast. There’s nothing like a wholesome bowl of hearty oatmeal drizzled with maple syrup and sprinkled with nuts to make my morning perfect. Today, I will share my foolproof recipe and tips for making the perfect bowl of steel cut oats.

Steel Cut Oats Recipe (1)

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We love all healthy oatmeal recipes at my house but this steel-cut oats recipe is always in a regular rotation. I love eating a bowl for breakfast when I want something filling and cozy. My kids are huge oatmeal fans too. And, when my kids are fans of something healthy, I’ll make it every day!

Jump to:
  • Reasons You’ll Love This Recipe
  • What are steel cut oats?
  • Ingredients
  • Shopping tips
  • Supplies
  • How to Make This Steel Cut Oats Recipe
  • Cooking tips
  • Variations
  • Meal Prep Tips
  • Freezer Tips
  • Other healthy steel cut oatmeal recipes
  • Steel Cut Oats Recipe
  • Did you make this recipe?

Reasons You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Super good for you. Steel-cut oats are minimally processed, making them whole grain and high in nutrients like fiber and protein. They have a low glycemic index and are naturally gluten-free. However, if you have a gluten allergy, purchase certified gluten-free steel-cut oats to ensure no cross-contamination. When you eat a hearty bowl, you can plan to be full and satisfied through lunch.
  • Inexpensive, healthy breakfast. A 24-ounce bag of steel-cut oats costs around $6. There are 15 servings per bag. If my math is correct, that’s only $.40 per serving.For reference, ordering steel-cut oats from a cafe will run you about $4 or 5 dollars a bowl.
  • Meal prep champion. Cooking time for steel-cut oats takes longer than instant oatmeal, but it can be made ahead of time and warmed up all week. I’ll give more meal prep tips below.
  • Variety. A bowl of steel-cut oats is like a blank canvas. You can top it with maple syrup, nut butter, fruit, yogurt, or even savory toppings.

What are steel cut oats?

Before I jump into all things steel-cut oats, I want to give a quick rundown on what steel-cut oats are and the difference between old-fashioned oats and instant oats.

Steel-cut oats is oatmeal that has been minimally processed. The inner part of the kernel (aka. the oat groat or whole oat groats) is cut into 2 to 3 pieces by a steel blade.

This is why steel-cut oats take the longest to cook, and it’s also why steel-cut oats transform into a nice chewy, creamy texture after it’s cooked.

Old fashioned oats, or rolled oats, are cooked slightly and flattened out, and this reduces the cooking time and makes them perfect for oatmeal recipes like overnight oats, granola, and cookies. The cooking time is shorter than steel-cut oats, and the texture isn’t as chewy as steel-cut oats, but it’s still firm without becoming too mushy.

Instant oats are the most processed of the three types of oats. The oats are cooked, dried, and then flattened out, and these cook quickly and can often turn mushy.

This is how I decide which types of oats to use:

  • When I want a bowl of oatmeal, I turn to steel cut oats.
  • I use rolled oats when I make overnight oats, baked oatmeal, granola, energy balls, or any baked good that calls for oatmeal.
  • I never use instant oats. But if I did, it’d be to throw together a quick bowl of oatmeal for my kids.

Ingredients

  • Steel-cut oats. You can find steel-cut oatmeal in your grocery store’s cereal, natural food, or a bulk section. Bob’s Red Mill is the brand I use most often.
  • Coconut or almond milk. Dairy milk or any non-dairy milk will work just fine.
  • Coconut oil or butter. Toasting the oats in either coconut oil or butter brings out a delicious nutty flavor with the oats.
  • Vanilla extract adds another layer of flavor to the oats.
  • Pinch of salt to bring out the other flavors.

Our favorite place to purchase organic gluten-free steel cut oats and other oatmeal ingredients is online at Thrive Market. They offer great prices, and everything gets delivered straight to your door. If you’re already a subscriber, you can view my oatmeal grocery list for easy shopping. Not a subscriber yet? Join here and get 40% off your first purchase. Need more information? Check out my Thrive Market Review.

Supplies

  • 5 ½ – 6-quart saucepan
  • Large spoon or spatula
  • Souper Cubes for freezing.
  • Ello round or square glass containers for storage.

How to Make This Steel Cut Oats Recipe

I prefer the stove top method when cooking steel-cut oats. Cooking steel-cut oats the old-fashioned way on the stovetop creates a creamy texture with a nice bite.

I turn to this slow cooker steel cut oats recipe when I want to make a big batch of steel cut oats.

Here’s my foolproof method for cooking the perfect bowl of steel cut oats on the stovetop.

Steel Cut Oats Recipe (2)
  • Melt the coconut oil or butter in a large saucepan. Once it melts, add in the steel cut oats and cook for 1-2 minutes until the oats are golden and fragrant.
  • Pour in 4 cups of hot water, then bring to a boil.
  • Turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes or until the oats start to absorb the water and thicken up. Stir the oats 1-2 times during this step.
  • Stir in 2 cups of milk and let the oats simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Again, stir 2-3 times, so the oats don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Let the oats sit for another 3-5 minutes or until thickened.
  • Serve hot with your favorite oatmeal toppings.

Cooking tips

  • This recipe works fine using all water if you’re out of milk. The milk does provide an additional creaminess so if you can, use milk.
  • Almond milk, rice milk, hemp milk, oat milk, dairy milk or any type of milk will work fine in this recipe.
  • You can add the sugar later on after the oatmeal cooks. Instead of adding sugar directly to the recipe as it cooks, stir in a couple of teaspoons of pure maple syrup to your bowl of oatmeal. I find this is all the sugar needed for the perfect amount of sweetness.
  • Stir in some superfoods. Bulk up the fiber and protein by stirring in chia seeds, hemp hearts, flaxseeds, or your favorite superfood.
  • The longer the oats sit, the thicker the texture will get. If the oats still seem liquidy after 35-40 minutes, don’t worry because they will thicken up as they sit on the stove. The oats will even thicken more when stored in the refrigerator.
  • Add more liquid for a creamier texture. The recipe I’m sharing creates a delicious creamy texture, but if you’d like a softer texture with less bite, add in more milk.
Steel Cut Oats Recipe (3)

Variations

There are so many steel cut oat topping ideas, here are some of our favorites.

  • Fruit. Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, pears, mangos, blackberries, apples, and bananas.
  • Dried fruit. Raisins, cranberries, cherries, blueberries, or shredded coconut.
  • Nuts. Pecans, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and cashews
  • Nut butter. Peanut butter and almond butter
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, cacao powder, or cacao nibs.
  • Superfoods like flaxseeds, chia seeds, or hemp hearts.
  • Top with yogurt, jams, or applesauce

Meal Prep Tips

  • After the oats have cooled, place them into a glass meal prep container and refrigerate.
  • To reheat steel-cut oats, place the desired amount into a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 1-2 minutes. Stir in maple syrup and additional milk, add toppings, and serve hot.

Freezer Tips

  • Steel-cut oats freeze and reheat beautifully.After the oats are cooked and cooled, place them into 1-cup Souper cubes or a freezer container. If you’re freezing using Souper Cubes, remove and place the oat blocks into a labeled freezer bag after the steel-cut oats are frozen.
  • When ready to eat, place the steel cut oats into a microwave-safe dish and heat on high for 2-3 minutes or until hot.
Steel Cut Oats Recipe (4)

Other healthy steel cut oatmeal recipes

  • Blueberry Oatmeal
  • Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
  • Slow Cooker Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats
  • Slow Cooker Morning Glory Steel Cut Oats
  • Slow Cooker Blueberry Banana Steel Cut Oats

Steel Cut Oats Recipe (5)

Steel Cut Oats Recipe

Steel-cut oats are one of my favorite healthy breakfast recipes! There’s nothing like a wholesome bowl of hearty oatmeal drizzled with maple syrup and sprinkled with nuts to make my morning perfect. Today, I’m going to share my foolproof recipe and tips for making the perfect pot of creamy, yet never mushy, steel-cut oats.

5 from 2 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: American

Keyword: how to cook steel cut oats, Steel cut oats, steel cut oats recipe

Cook Time: 45 minutes minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes minutes

Servings: 8 people

Calories: 206kcal

Author: Tammy Overhoff

Equipment

  • 5 quart saucepan

  • Large spoon or spatula

Ingredients

  • 2 cups steel-cut oats
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
  • 4 cups hot water
  • 2 cups coconut or almond milk you can use any milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Melt the coconut oil or butter in a large pot. Once it melts then add in the steel cut oats and cook for 1-2 minutes until the oats are golden and fragrant.

  • Pour in 4 cups of hot water then bring to a boil.

  • Turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes or until the oats start to absorb the water and thicken up. Stir the oats 1-2 times during this step.

  • Stir in 2 cups of milk and continue to let the oats simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Again, stirring 2-3 times so the oats don't stick to the bottom of the pot.

  • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Let the oats sit for another 3-5 minutes or until thickened.

  • Serve hot with your favorite toppings.

Video

Notes

Nutrition notes: The nutritional information wasn’t calculated with any sweetener or toppings. Please take that into consideration when figuring out the final calories.

Meal Prep Tips

After the oats have cooled, place them into a glass meal prep container and refrigerate.

To reheat the steel-cut oats place the desired amount into a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 1-2 minutes. Stir in maple syrup and/or additional milk, add toppings, and serve hot.

Freezer Tips

Steel-cut oats freeze and reheat beautifully.

After the oats are cooked and cooled place them into 1-cup Souper cubes or a freezer container. If you’re freezing using Souper Cubes then after the steel-cut oats are frozen remove and place the oat blocks into a labeled freezer bag.

When you’re ready to eat then place the steel cut oats into a microwave-safe dish and heat on high for 2-3 minutes or until hot.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fiber: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

Have you tried this Steel Cut Oats Recipe yet? If so, I’d love for you to rate this recipe and leave a comment below. We all learn from each other’s experiences. Also, it would be awesome if you could share a picture on Instagram and tag it #organizeyourselfskinny. I can’t wait to see it.

Steel Cut Oats Recipe (6)

About Tammy Overhoff

Hi, I’m Tammy Overhoff, a busy mom, wife, and entrepreneur. I am the owner, author, and recipe developer here at Organize Yourself Skinny. Since 2011 Organize Yourself Skinny has become a trusted resource for clean eating recipes to meal prep, reviews, and lifestyle hacks to help you fit healthy habits and routines into your busy schedule. Check out my online shop Reset & Flourish for all of my eBooks, Guides, and Bundles!

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Mary Troyer says

    Steel Cut Oats Recipe (7)
    I love this recipe! I store leftovers in the refrigerator and they reheat very well in the microwave. My kids love to eat these SCO with yogurt and fruit. I love it with unsweetened Greek yogurt, fruit and pure maple syrup.

    Reply

  2. Riya Agrawal says

    Steel Cut Oats Recipe (8)
    Thanks for sharing the recipe. Will definitely try with True Elements steel cut oats as they are really good and a clean label food brand. You can also give it a try!

    Reply

  3. Mary Graves says

    Could I use all low fat milk in this recipe ,,(instead of water in step 1) to give the oatmeal more protein??

    Reply

    • Tammy Overhoff says

      Hi Mary,

      Yes you can use all milk in the recipe. My advice is to watch it though so the milk doesn’t burn or stick on the bottom of the pan.

      Reply

  4. Morgan says

    A couple of years ago I discover Steel Cut Oatmeal-WOW!
    I’ve never had instant oatmeal since I try to stay away from over processed food so I was thrilled with the taste and texture of the SCO. I have a 1952 Chambers Stove, with a Well.
    Think original Slow Cooker built in. I prep the well, mix the oats and water as directed and in the morning it is perfect still with body and a bit of crunch. I alternate between stevia, plain and brown sugar. I had never liked milk add but recently started adding Kefir and love the added tartness. Will have to try the coconut oil instead of butter.
    Placed in a insulated coffee mug it is perfect when I arrive at work.

    Reply

  5. gena says

    I could never make steel cut oats right until I followed your recipe! I’m in love with the coconut oats but can’t wait to try the apple pie and pumpkin pie versions. I make a batch on Sunday night and take them to work every morning for breakfast, works perfectly. Thanks so much for posting!

    Reply

  6. Shay says

    ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!!! I make and freeze this recipe every week during the fall and winter seasons, I’m so glad the recipe is still here! Thanks!

    Reply

  7. Kayla says

    I love this oatmeal so much but i recently started a low carb diet. I’m just curious to know if the 38 carbs in this recipe accounts for the maple syrup or not?

    Reply

  8. Gil Ytuarte says

    Can you put fruit in them when you put then in the containers? If so how long are they good for?

    Is it recommended to use a food saver (vacuum pack machine) to store your meals?

    Reply

  9. Karen says

    I made this recipe last weekend after discovering your site. It is delicious! I look forward to it every morning.

    Reply

  10. weavergirl says

    Tammy,
    I usually do my steel cut oats in a crock pot. Instead of brown sugar or maple syrup I use coconut sugar since it has the lowest glycemic load. To the pot I add a tablespoon of ground flax seeds, hemp seeds and chia seeds. Finally I add two chopped apples. My husband loves this.

    Reply

  11. Beth says

    I always have a batch of steel cut oats in the freezer because it’s my husband’s breakfast of choice. I use a method very similar to this one except it’s even easier! What I do is melt about a tablespoon of butter, toast 2 cups steel cut oats, add 4 cups water and about 1/2 cup milk. Then I boil for 4 minutes, turn off the heat, cover, and go to bed. In the morning I use an ice cream scoop to portion onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment and flash freeze. Super easy and yummy. We prefer a firmer texture to our oats and this is perfect. I’ve also done this on a smaller scale for one or two people and just let them sit about 20 minutes or so.

    Actually, I need to get off my butt and go do this now so we have breakfast tomorrow!

    Reply

  12. Lora B says

    Crazy question, but for 1/4 of the recipe, it is 38 points plus????? Am I reading it wrong? Thank you.

    Reply

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