How to Cook Steel Cut Oats – This cozy, healthy breakfast is anything but boring. Learn my secrets for perfect oats every time and check out the list of topping ideas!
Post updated from the archives.
With cooler weather approaching, I’m gravitating away from my colder breakfasts (like overnight oats or smoothies), and more toward warm breakfasts, like potato and veggie scrambles and steel cut oatmeal.
There are so many reasons to love steel cut oats, and I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know to get a perfect bowl every time.
I’ve mentioned this before, but steel cut oats aren’t nutritionally different from other forms of oats (like quick-cooking or rolled/old-fashioned). They’ve been prepared differently (cut by a large steel blade instead of being rolled or sliced), but they have the same basic nutrients (protein, fiber, etc.) as any other form of oats. What IS different is the glycemic index, or how quickly the carbohydrates enter your bloodstream. Think of steel cut oats as a slow-releasing form compared to quick or rolled oats. This means that while they take a bit longer to cook, they won’t cause any sharp blood sugar spikes and they’ll stay with you a little bit longer.
The extra cooking time is sometimes what keeps people from trying steel cut oatmeal, but for me, it’s worth every moment of that time. If you’re really strapped for time in the mornings, you can actually make them the night before and reheat them. Their cut will keep them from getting gluey or losing their texture, and you can finish cooking them in the time it takes to clean up dinner!
Tips for Perfect Oatmeal Every Time
- Cook them long enough. You might be tempted to pull them off the heat early. I say give them a good 20 minutes of simmering time. They’ll be at their best texture and will have absorbed the most liquid.
- Don’t be afraid to add more liquid. After cooking, I always stir in extra milk at the end. I use non-dairy milk (almond, cashew, or coconut), but dairy milk works great too.
- Make the most of non-sugar flavor boosters. Adding a little vanilla extract or cinnamon will give your brain and tongue the feeling of sweetness without adding any extra sugar. You’ll end up using less sweetener overall if they’ve already got a little taste of sweetness.
TOPPING IDEAS FOR STEEL-CUT OATS
- Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Butter (amazing with fresh or dried cherries or sliced bananas)
- Peanut Butter (or almond butter) + Honey
- Pure Maple Syrup + Pecans
- Almonds + Dried Cherries
- Frozen berries
- Pomegranate Arils
- Sliced Bananas
- Diced Apples
- Hemp Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seed
- Collagen Powder (it’s flavorless, so you just stir it in)
- Vanilla Extract
- Chai Spice
- Applesauce or Spiced Pear Sauce (no added sugar)
TIPS & TRICKS FOR STEEL-CUT OATS
MAKE THEM IN ADVANCE. A great thing about steel cut oats is that it’s almost impossible for them to end up gluey. They maintain their slightly chewy texture and can even be reheated, so you can make a batch Monday and warm up a bowl each morning for the rest of the week.
BREAKFAST ON THE GO! You can even pack them in single-serving jars or containers for a quick on-the-go breakfast to warm up at work or right before school.
GLUTEN-FREE? READ THIS! Oats themselves are gluten-free, though farming and processing procedures often cause cross-contamination with gluten/wheat. If this is a concern for you, you can try certified gluten-free oats. We love these.
LOVE OATMEAL? YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…
- 7 Ways with Overnight Oats
- How to Make Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats (+7 Flavors to Try!)
- Overnight Oatmeal Waffles
- Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
- Blender Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup steel cut oats (gluten free, if needed)
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup milk (I use almond, cashew, or coconut), plus more as desired
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When the water is boiling, add oats and a pinch of salt.
- Reduce heat to low and cook 15-20 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed and the oats are tender.
- Stir in milk and vanilla and remove from heat. Top with your favorite toppings!
Make them ahead! A great thing about steel cut oats is that it’s almost impossible for them to end up gluey. They maintain their slightly chewy texture and can even be re-heated, so you can make a batch Monday and warm up a bowl each morning for the rest of the week.
Breakfast on the go. You can pack cooked oats in single serving jars or containers for a quick on-the-go breakfast to warm up at work or right before school.
Gluten Free? Oats themselves are gluten free, though farming and processing procedures often cause cross contamination with gluten/wheat. If this is a concern for you, be sure to buy certified gluten free oats. We love these.
- Category: Breakfast, oatmeal
- Method: stovetop
Keywords: oatmeal, oats, steel cut oatmeal, vegan, gluten free