Steel Cut Oats

Steel Cut Oats are a healthy and hearty breakfast and they are easy to cook! You will love this simple steel cut oats recipe!

Healthy Steel Cut Oats Recipe

I eat oatmeal every morning for breakfast.  Josh is not a big oatmeal fan, he prefers cold cereal, toast, or a frittata in the morning. He doesn’t like the mushy texture of oatmeal. I recently got him to try steel cut oats though and he is hooked.

What Are Steel Cut Oats

Steel cut oats have a different texture, they are chewy and a little crunchy-not mushy at all. I made a batch one weekend and offered him a bowl. He was a little hesitant, but said sure. He scarfed down the bowl. He loved them! Now we enjoy them all of the time. Last week, I got home from work and he said he had a craving…I was pretty sure he was going to say pizza, but nope, he was craving steel cut oats, so we had them for dinner:)

If you haven’t tried steel cut oats before, here is a little background information. Steel cut oats are unrefined whole grain groats that have been dried and cut into two to three pieces by steel, rather than being rolled. They are rich in B-vitamins, calcium, protein and fiber. They look like tiny grains of rice or chopped up nuts. You can find them in most grocery stores. I buy mine in the bulk food section.

How To Cook Steel Cut Oats

Steel cut oats take longer to cook than rolled oats, about 30-40 minutes, but they are so worth the wait. I usually make a big batch on Sunday so I have oats during the week. I portion them out into little containers and take them to work to heat up. They taste just as good reheated. I just add a splash of milk and stir them up. My favorite toppings are cinnamon and raisins.

I made bruleed steel cut oats for Josh one morning-for a special treat. I never add sugar to the oats, but I knew Josh would appreciate a sweet surprise. I sprinkled brown sugar and turbinado sugar on the top of the oats and fired them up with my creme brulee torch. He loved the sugary crust on top of the oats.

You can top your steel cut oats with:

  • cinnamon
  • dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries, blueberries)
  • fresh fruit (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, banana slices)
  • nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans)

If you haven’t tried steel cut oats, give them a try. They are so good and good for your heart too!

If you like this steel cut oats recipe, you might also like:

How to cook steel cut oats

Steel Cut Oats Recipe

This steel cut oats recipe is an easy and healthy breakfast! Serve with berries, bananas, dried fruit, nuts or cinnamon.


  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup milk almond milk, or soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Toppings: cinnamon dried fruit, fresh fruit, nuts


  • Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the steel cut oats and and salt. Stir.
  • Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 30 minutes. Make sure you stir the oats occasionally so they don't stick to the pan.
  • When the oats start to thicken, at about 30 minutes, add in the milk and vanilla. I think the milk makes the oats creamier. Stir the oats, milk, and vanilla together and cook for ten more minutes.
  • Add in the cinnamon and raisins or whatever toppings you wish.
  • If you want to make bruleed oats-put the oats in a bowl, sprinkle with brown sugar and turbinado sugar. With a creme brulee torch, fire the top of the oats until the sugar is crystalized.
  • Serve the oats hot. If you want you can let the oats cool and then portion them out into smaller containers. To reheat, I add a splash of milk and reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
  • *Note-you can use 4 cups of water and omit the milk, I just like the creaminess the milk adds.*

Have you tried this recipe?

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. I love oats of all kinds but steel cut oats are especially good. Love the texture. I would have never thought you could creme brulee them, but that is a fantastic idea!

    1. I make them overnight.
      Brown 1 cup of steel cut oatmeal in a pat of butter, till they are fragrant, a few minutes, Add 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt, stir, bring to a rolling boil, then turn off the heat, stir and cover. Leave on the stop top till morning. They will be fully cooked, just reheat your portion, add your toppings and milk, I love bananas, walnuts and brown sugar and enjoy. Refrigerate any remaining oatmeal.

    2. I make them overnight.
      Brown 1 cup of steel cut oatmeal in a pat of butter, till they are fragrant, a few minutes, Add 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt, stir, bring to a rolling boil, then turn off the heat, stir and cover. Leave on the stop top till morning. They will be fully cooked, just reheat your portion, add your toppings and milk, I love bananas, walnuts and brown sugar and enjoy. Refrigerate any remaining oatmeal.

  2. I love steel cut oats! I haven’t made them in a while because they are time consuming. I love you brulee idea 🙂

  3. These looks just heavenly! Glad to hear Josh is enjoying them too. My Josh is a big oatmeal fan but I don’t think we’ve ever tried steel cut oats! Keep pushing at that protein girly! Whats really working for me is starting my day off with a good amount. That eases the stress the rest of the day on getting it all in. Protein powder working out at all?

  4. I love oatmeal and eat either porridge or Müesli everyday. That looks great! I’ve never seen steel cut oats here…



  5. What a great way to have oats with that crispy, sweet topping. I love steel cut and my mom feels the same way about outs and was really surprised when I had her try the steel cut.

  6. I’ve been wanting to try steel cut oats and this recipe sounds perfect! I love the idea of bruleed oatmeal. mmmmm.

  7. New reader of your blog; love it! Just wanted to add that there are several quick ways to prepare steel cut oats, and they’re worth trying out: I either soak mine overnight in some almond milk or water and then cook in the microwave (only takes 2-3 minutes) in the morning, or if I forget, you can cook in the microwave (usually 1/4 cup and 2/3-3/4 cup water or milk and 1 minute on high, 5 minutes on a lower power setting so they don’t boil over), and then let them sit out for 15 minutes or so to soak up the liquid.

  8. We love steel cut oats, too! I like to soak them overnight to reduce cooking time as another reader commented. or I make them overnight in my crockpot on low.

  9. I’ve seen you tweet about steel cut oats, but didn’t really know what they were! Thanks for the informative post- I’ll have to look for these at my next grocery trip.

  10. Sounds so good Maria! I’ve been eating oatmeal for 2 weeks now due to stomach problems and so far it’s still tasting good to me!

  11. Looks delicious Maria! I think I might have to try these steel cut oats ; ) I’m not a fan of mushy oatmeal either so this might be just the thing for me!

  12. I’ve never had steel cut oats but I think your brulee topping has me wanting them. I even bought a mini crockpot once just for steel cut oatmeal but never did by the oats. Come to think of it, I have never used that mini crockpot for anything. 🙁 Time to change that!

  13. What a great way to enjoy your oats! I confess, I don’t need a crunchy sugary top to love my oats, but as a special treat? Oh yeah…

  14. This looks devine. I’m a big fan of steel oats also. I use 3/4 cup of oats and 1/2 cup of ground flaxseed to about 5 cups of water. After it has cooked for about 30 minutes, I add 1/4 cup of pumpkin, a little brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. I portion it out over 6 days and add milk when warming it up. I eat this nearly every day and love it. I think I’ll try adding some milk, as you suggest, while cooking it.

  15. YUM! Love the bruleed effect. I made steel cuts oats two weeks ago for the first time and have yet to post them!

  16. As much as I would love to have a brulee torch, i don’t. But those like me can just stick the bowl (if oven safe) under the broiler.
    I love love steel cut oats. The oatmeal flavor without the glue-y texture of instant oats.

  17. What a great idea! Too bad I don’t have a blow torch! I once made a big batch of steel cut oats with pumpkin mixed in. YUM!

  18. I’ve never had steel cut oats, but they are now on my list for the bulk food store. I usually alternate between old fashioned large flake rolled oats and Red River cereal for breakfast. If you haven’t had it, Red River is cracked wheat, cracked rye, flax (cracked and whole). O Canada, baby! Great flavor.

  19. i have never tried steel cut oats, but i eat oatmeal nearly every day! i should really give it a try. thanks for posting this! have a great (rainy!) day 🙂

  20. I eat oatmeal every day too. It’s so filling and seems to last a lot longer in the tummy then anything else I have tried! I love steel cut oats too. I don’t eat them as much but this reminded me I need too! I love your pictures and Im glad your husband is coming over to the Oat side!

  21. I’m going to be totally honest and say that the only steel cut oats I’ve had are the frozen kind from Trader Joes. But bruleed oats?! Oh my.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, what an honor 🙂 So excited to hear you’ll be at blogher food!

  22. I love oatmeal and eat it on many mornings as well. I haven’t experimented with steel cut oats as much as I’d like, but this seems like a great way to start! I love that you bruleed the top!

  23. I keep hearing about steel cut oats, but I haven’t tried them yet. I’m going to have to make room in my grocery budget to get some.

  24. I usually make a big batch of old-fashioned oats and portion them into little containers to reheat at work. it’s nice that oats reheat so well. And they taste a whole lot better than the instant packages — though I eat those too when I’m running short on time. I definitely need to switch over to steel-cut oats every now and then. I forget how delicious they are!

  25. YAY I’ve been waiting for this! I love steel cut oats but have never tried to make them myself…now I will 🙂

  26. i don’t care for oatmeal either, as i associate it with a goopy, snot-like mess. i guess i need to try steel-cut oats before i rule out the grain entirely. 🙂

  27. Erica-I am still working on the protein:)

    Callina-thanks for finding our blog and thanks for the great tips!

    Emily-I buy them in the bulk bins at Whole Foods or Sunflower Market. Smith’s has them too. Or try any cereal aisle, most stores carry them. Sometimes they are called Irish oats.

    If you don’t have a blow torch you can stick an oven safe bowl under the broiler for a minute. Just watch them closely!

    Thanks everyone for your comments!

  28. Thanks for the great idea! I’ve been curious about the steel oats as well and will have to give them a try soon. They sound much better than instant oatmeal!
    Keep up the good work!

  29. I have always been an oatmeal hater, that is until I tried steal cut oats. They are the only ones I can eat. Great Post! I love the brulee idea, really turns it up a notch.

  30. If you have a rice cooker you can make them in 15-20 minutes with out even stiring! I use a 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of skim milk put the lid on press the lever and by the time I get out of the shower and into my work duds they are done! And the rice cooker I has turns from cooking to warm all by itself. It’s funny I don’t even use the cooker for rice anymore!

  31. I LOVE steel cut oats! Our favorite recipe that we use is for Overnight Oatmeal from Alton Brown. If you’d like me to share, please just drop me a note and I’ll find it in our “moving” mess. 🙂


  32. I haven’t had steel cut oats in soooo long and this makes me want to run out and get them right now. How beautiful and delicious!

    1. We had them a a friends place over New Years. My husband has always hated Oatmeal as they ate it everyday at Military School. Now he loves them. They were made with chopped almonds, dried fruit a dash of Vanilla,and some pumpkin spice. It was delish. Now we have it 3x week. Make a big batch on Sunday that lasts all week. I love it as he was having too many eggs. Stick with the Steel Cut they have sooo much falvor.

  33. I’m so glad I just saw this recipe! I have some leftover steel cut oats from a recipe and have been pondering what to do with them… going to try this for sure! Yum!

  34. I’ve been eating more oatmeal, love cinnamon and I like adding raisins or other dried fruit in the mix as you have. The vanilla is a nice touch.

  35. I’m just impressed you have a creme brulee torch 🙂 I completely agree steel cut oats are worth the wait!!

  36. I have never heard of these, I am wondering if they are called something different in the UK. Off to find out!

  37. I just bought some steel cut oats and your post is the perfect enticement to go make it. I love that you used your torch on your husband’s!

  38. Oatmeal rocks, but bruleed oatmeal… I’m seriously swooning. Steel cut oats are my absolute favorite — and not just because they’re better for me (though that’s a nice added bonus).

  39. I’ve never tried them! My husband loves oatmeal and I do too, although I eat mine with salt. I know that sounds weird, but it’s how my dad eats it too. I think we are the only two people on Earth who do!

  40. Bruleed oatmeal is one of my favorites, so delish. I typically use quick-cooking steel cut oats though—when I’m craving oats, I can hardly stand waiting the 5 minutes, much less 30!

  41. Yum!! Steel cut oats and creme brulee are two of my most favorite things!!! I soak my steel cut oats overnight and it takes just 5 minutes or so to perfection!

  42. I knew there was a great reason I waited all day to read this post…I wanted it full size and not mini on my phone. I love having a big batch of steel cuts in the fridge for grab and go goodness. They are so worth the longer cooking time. Your oats are finally in the mail from my giveaway….they have a similar “nutty” profile with a 5 minute cook time. The brulée concept is awesome!

  43. My Chinese son-in-law thinks he hates oats. I convinced him to try them steel-cut & Chinese-style and now he’s a convert! He adds soy sauce, sliced scallions, few drops of sesame oil, and sometimes an egg on top.

  44. Mmm, those look so good (and healthy!). I will have to give them another try. I have an almost-full box languishing in the pantry after a not-so-hot overnight crockpot recipe.

  45. I can already tell I’m going to love your website! Last month I started making steel cut oats every Sunday, then me and my 17 month old daughter share a bowl every morning. I mix it with brown sugar, blueberries and milk.

  46. Oh wow! I make steel cute oats a lot and they tend to get a bit boring..but THESE look like dessert for breakfast, and who doesn’t get into that?!?!?

  47. You have just convinced me to try this recipe, which is AMAZING, since you know how much I despise all things oatmeal (except oatmeal cookies). You rock, Maria. Will you move in with me so you can be my full-time healthy eating cheerleader? 🙂

  48. LOVE that fact that your Hub requested your favorite dish. I had a moment like that this week when my Hub requested hot, spicy soup with noodles. It made me feel good that we are on the same path.

  49. I just made your steel cut oats, and they taste really good! But mine look much mushier and gloppier than yours. Yours look so dry (in a good way). Any advice?

    1. Rachel-did you overcook them? Maybe that is why they got mushy? Let me know if you try them again!

  50. I’ve heard nothing but good things about steel cut oats. I think I will try your recipe and make it on a Sunday like you to have for the week.

  51. I love steel cut oats as well. We usually cook ours in a crockpot for a couple of hours on low then turn it to warm overnight. We also add in dried fruit which ends up getting really moist and juicy overnight. It is amazing!

  52. LOVE steel cut oats! I never thought to “brulee” them, but I’ll give it a try… I usually do dates and pecans in mine…

  53. I cook steel cut oats in the microwave and they cook in 4 minutes. I use Coaches Oats and add ground flaxseed, walnuts and dried cranberries. When cooked I top with fresh blueberries and soy milk, YUMMY!! Love your ideas!

  54. I love steel cut oats but it’s been a while…I have a package in the pantry, I think you just inspired me to make a big batch for breakfast this week!

  55. I tried this for the first time today. Great, but it didn’t take near the cooking time. I cooked it for 10 minutes, added the milk and cooked for 5 minutes more and it was done.

  56. I was so inspired by this, that I told my doctor I was going to stop taken my cholesterol pill, since I was convinced it caused me aches and pains. This was 3 months ago. I started to eat this Steel cut oats every morning, changed my diet, joined an exercise club and lost 14 lbs, only needed to lose 10.
    Today I went to see the doctor and I was convinced my cholesterol would be down quite a bit.
    Well, surprise surprise, my cholesterol had doubled and needed to go back to the pills instantly.
    It probably is genetic, but I had really hoped for a diffferent result. So this steel cut oats may work for some people, but it didn’t do diddly squat for me. Too bad.

  57. If you like these oats you will also probably like cracked wheat cereal. How to follows:
    1) start with whole wheat kernels – not the flour – the actual wheat.
    2) put around 1/2 cup of whole wheat at a time into a blender. pulse briefly to break the kernels in half.
    3) boil water 2 cups water with two or three pinches of salt.
    4) add 1/2 cup cracked wheat (from blender) to water. Stir.
    5) cover and reduce to simmer. stir every 5-10 minutes.
    6) after 40 minutes most of the water should be gone.
    7) serve with milk, raisins, brown sugar, blueberries, sliced almonds, cinnamon, yogurt, or whatever else you like to eat on your cereal …

    When I add the cereal to the water in step 4, I often also add a little barley, rye, pepitas, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds … stuff like that.

  58. I love steel cut oats! My only difference is that I add the salt late in the cooking process so the oats soak up more liquid. Instead of a breakfast dish ( I usually have miso soup for breakfast), I generally serve oats as a side during dinner.

  59. Please can u suggest some oatmeal recipe for breakfast which is not sweet in taste. Someone suggested a chinese recipe with soya sauce and all but it is not clear.

  60. I’m all for hot cereal during the winter months and I love oatmeal and brown sugar. Have never tried steel cut oats and your photo certainly makes me want to give them a go.

  61. Just made this, and it was quite good. I used buttermilk for the milk, but otherwise proceeded just as written. Thanks for the recipe!

  62. This sounds wonderful! Sadly my kids won’t wait an hour for breakfast.. I’ve heard you can soak them overnight and they’ll cook quicker? Do you know anything about that?


    1. You can make them the night before and keep them in the fridge. Just reheat in the morning.

  63. I’ve been cooking these for about an hour now and they still have so much more liquid to absorb. Is the pot supposed to be covered? If so, that’s not indicated. This is taking foooooooooreverrrrrrr. Wah.

    1. No, we never cover our pot. Do you have the temperature up high enough? It never takes ours that long to cook and absorb the liquid.

  64. I purchased steel cut oats last week. Today, I found your recipe and tried it for dinner. Very tasty.

    I used 1/2 cup of regular soy milk rather than 1/4 skim milk and I added the raisins and cinnamon at the same time as the soy milk and vanilla.

    I also added about 2 tsp of agave for sweetness, but I think I could have left it out and simply added more raisins.

  65. Nice. I east these every morning. My cholesterol is in check now. I will give the Bruleed recipe a shot. Sounds and looks delicious.

  66. My husband is the exact same way! He won’t touch oatmeal, but seems to tolerate steel cut oats. I can’t believe you don’t add any sweetener. I love oatmeal and STO, but I have to add a little agave or maple syrup.

  67. Lots of great recipes there, but my breakfast is healthy, quick and relatively plain and filling to fight off the hunger pangs until noon.
    Steel-cut oats – as many as required in a bowl.
    Throw in some raisins to suit, and cover with water. Leave overnight.
    Top up water just over the oats placing in microwave.
    Microwave till just beginning to boil and remove from microwave.
    add cinnamon to taste, or other flavouring and and stir in.
    Cool if required with almond milk or other milk.

    Prep time and cooking about 5 minutes max.

  68. I like all forms of oatmeal, but I like the idea of the lower GI of steel cut oats. I’m sold on the fact that it’s healthier. I make mine different from other recipes I’ve read. I bring 3 cups of water & half tsp salt to a boil. I pour in 2 cups of steel cut oats and a cup of raisins. I turn the heat back to the lowest setting … I guess simmer. I turn the heat off after 15 minutes and stir it. It thickens within a minute or 2 and I dish out a bowl. It’s somewhat thinner that fires breakfast, but I like it that way too. I let it cool in the pan and then put it into plastic containers and refrigerate for my breakfasts the rest of the week. I used to do the 30 to 40 minute cook time, but found I got similar results in just 15 minutes. I really like inexpensive with healthy nutrition.

  69. I LOVE steel cut oats…the ones I get u only have to cook for 5~7 minutes though? I add cinnamon, brown sugar and mollasses and some of my homemade apple sauce(no sugar)…and if I have some walnuts I throw them in too:) I’m pregnant and this is super packed with goodies for me and baby!! I stay full longer than with cereal too!! Great recipe!

  70. This was delicious! This was my first time eating steel cut oats and I loved them. I used almond milk instead of skim milk and although I forgot the vanilla, it was still really tasty! This is my new breakfast food.

  71. For those of us without torches, years ago, I tried a recipe for just this….but instead of putting the topping on and torching it, you put it on greased tinfoil, careful to put it on in the shape of your dish (the recipe was not for individual ramekins.) then you broiled it…to a nice crispy candy topping…flipped it onto the seving dish filled with yummy steel cut oats, and voila! It turned out great!

    I’m not sure, but think it was sunset. This is especially helpful if the serving container isn’t broiler proof! (I was serving Christmas breakfast using fine china..)

  72. Oh my goodness..can’t believe this is actually online after all these years…the recipe for a topping you can broil separately that I mentioned above:
    From a **1990** Sunset:

    On a sheet of foil, set dish that will hold baked oats. Gently trace around the base with a pencil, taking care not to tear foil.

    Coat area within outline with about 2 tablespoons soft butter or margarine. Set foil on a 12- by 15-inch baking sheet (without sides). Rub 1/2 cup dark brown sugar through a fine strainer to evenly coat buttered area.

    Bake in a 500[deg] oven until sugar begins to melt and bubble (some sugar doesn’t melt), 2 to 5 minutes, rotating pan to melt sugar evenly. Let crust cool, then slide a slender spatula under it to release from foil. If made ahead, leave on pan, seal airtight, and hold up until next day.

  73. I purchased a small crockpot and leave the steel cut oats cooking on low overnight. What a great breakfast to find warm and ready first thing in the morning. (I just mix the oats and water – not sure if this would work with milk).

  74. I have recently tried steel cut oats at work and have fallen in love with them. Since I have been trying to find a good way to cook them and all about their nutritional benefits… Just one note to you, to get the full health benefits out of the steel cut oats, add in some kind of nut like peanut or pecans, then it will have a full 9-amino acids and can be considered a protein! And it’s even more delicious with nuts added into it with the fruit 🙂

  75. Ive been making baked oatmeal & love it! I’d like to try the steel oats in my recipe but not sure how much to use? My recipe calls for 1 cup reg. oatmeal. I’m thinking 1/4 cup instead of 1cup regular maybe soak over night before I make my recipe? Thanks for the encouragement 🙂

  76. Please upload more movies related to cooking if you
    have, for the reason that I would like to learn more and
    more about all recipes of cooking.

  77. I use a crockpot overnight using 1/2 almond milk and 1/2 water using about an extra 1/2 cup liquid so they don’t dry out. They are really creamy. I add what I want to put in them when I get up and by the time I am ready for them, they are ready for me. This added touch sounds like a keeper.

  78. I just made myself a bowl of banana cocounut oatmeal for 2 mornings in a row! cook the steel cut oats with water & coconut milk (ratio depends on how coconut-y you want it to be). after it’s cooked, dump some mashed overripe banana (good way to get rid of them), a swirl of cream & a sprinkling of cinnamon powder. no sugar necessary cos the banana is already very sweet. try it.

  79. I am trying this for breakfast today. I found some information missing that would have been helpful for me. How many servings does the recipe make? Should the pan be covered or uncovered?