Wondering what to make with that jar of steel cut oats that is hiding in the dark corners of your pantry? Well, you have come to the right place! In addition to this savory steel cut oatmeal recipe, we have crockpot steel cut oats and pressure cooker steel cut oatmeal to help you use this versatile ingredient with only a few minutes of hands-on time.
New to cooking steel-cut oats? Learn why I choose steel-cut oats over any other type of oats for my morning breakfast in this Rolled vs. Steel Cut Oats article.
To make this tasty, savory oatmeal recipe, you will need two sets of ingredients:
- Steel-cut oats: Gather vegetable stock, steel cut oats (aka Irish Oats) and kosher salt.
- Vegetable toppings: For the savory vegetable topping, you will need olive oil, ground cumin, ground paprika, Baby Bella mushrooms, baby spinach, a fresh garlic clove, kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
- Optional toppings: While they are optional, you can also top it off with fried eggs, hard-boiled eggs, soft-boiled eggs, or even poached eggs for some extra protein. I think savory oatmeal with an egg on top is a tasty, high-protein meal that happens to be one of my favorite steel cut oats dinner recipes. However, if you prefer this recipe to be vegan, you can omit it.
Substitutions & Variations
- Quick cooking steel cut oats: Steel-cut oats do take a while to cook, so to shorten the cooking time we are soaking them overnight. However, if you can find quick cooking steel cut oats (such as Bob’s Red Mills brand – affiliate link) in your grocery store, you can skip the overnight soaking and make this creamy savory steel cut oatmeal recipe in the morning in just about 5-7 minutes. Simply, skip steps one and two of the recipe and simply follow the directions on the package to boil the quick oats with the vegetable stock (or water.)
- Oil: Replace the olive oil with unsalted butter, avocado oil, or coconut oil.
- Cooking liquid: Water or chicken broth can be used in place of vegetable stock. Use homemade chicken stock to make my savory oats, but a storebought version would also work.
- Kale: Amongst all types of kale, my favorite ones to use are curly kale or lacinato kale as a substitution for baby spinach in this savory breakfast recipe.
- Fresh herbs: Alternatively, in place of greens, you can also use fresh herbs such as parsley and basil.
- Optional mix-ins: With endless mix-in options, this steel cut oatmeal will never get boring. Add shredded cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, chia seeds, peppers, or fresh avocado to your bowl of savory oatmeal.
How to Make This Recipe?
Making this savory steel cut oats dish could not be easier. Here are the steps:
- Soak the steel cut oats: Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a small saucepan. Turn the heat off and stir in the oats and salt. Cover it with a tight-fitting lid and let the oats sit overnight.
- Make the toppings: Start by heating the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the ground cumin and paprika and cook for about a minute. Add the sliced Baby Bella mushrooms and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until they are softened and have released some of their juices. Stir in the spinach and cook until it wilts. Add the minced garlic (if using) and season it with salt and pepper. Set it aside while you finish making the steel cut oatmeal.
- Prepare the additional toppings (optional): If you are planning to make your savory oats with egg on top, this is the best time to cook them. I like to fry mine with a bit of butter, but you can cook your eggs any way you like.
- Prepare the steel-cut oatmeal: Place the pot of steel cut oats and broth back on the stove and stir it frequently while heating over medium-high heat. The steel cut oatmeal will get thicker and creamier as it cooks. If it is too thick, feel free to add ¼ cup of water (or vegetable broth) to make it the perfect consistency. Be sure to taste the oatmeal and add more seasonings if necessary.
- Assemble the savory steel cut oats: Scoop the steel-cut oatmeal into a bowl and top it with the mushroom spinach topping. If you are using eggs, add one (or more) on top of the warm oats. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, if using.
How to Store Leftovers?
Go ahead and put this savory steel cut oatmeal recipe on your weekly meal prep list because it can easily be made ahead and put together in a pinch when you are short on time. This is how I make ahead, store and reheat:
- Make ahead: You can prep the steel cut oatmeal and savory toppings and store them in separate air-tight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days. When you are ready to serve, you can reheat (following the instructions below) each component and assemble it as directed.
- Storing leftovers: If possible, I recommend storing the savory oatmeal and vegetable toppings in separate airtight containers. Ensure the oats and toppings are at room temperature, not hot, and then place them in an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Reheating: To reheat the cooked oats, microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after heating, until they are warm. You can also heat it on the stovetop in a small pot. Simply heat it over medium heat and stir frequently until the oats are warm, which will take about 3-5 minutes. You may need to add an extra splash of vegetable stock, coconut milk, or water to thin out the oats a little bit.
Variations- Other Topping Ideas
I love to serve my family a big bowl of savory steel cut oatmeal because it offers numerous health benefits and, with a little bit of creativity, they can customize it to their liking. Simply take the basic recipe below and change it up with just a few additions and ingredient swaps. Get creative with whatever vegetables, spices, and herbs you have in your pantry and fridge. Think of this savory steel cut oatmeal recipe as a blank canvas!
Here are a few of my other favorite ways to make this savory steel cut oatmeal recipe:
- Utilize your leftovers: Try using leftover sauteed veggies or roasted veggies as your savory oatmeal toppings. Baked shiitake mushrooms, sauteed asparagus, or roasted butternut squash make fantastic toppings for this dish. Using leftovers will also save you time since your toppings are already prepared!
- Create Indian steel cut oats: Indian-inspired steel cut oats make for an incredible breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Mix a teaspoon of my golden paste into the cooked steel cut oats, then top it with some roasted chickpeas for an amazing Indian-cuisine inspired bowl of steel-cut oats. Alternatively, if you do not have the golden paste, you can use a touch of curry powder to make this recipe one of the best savory breakfasts you can make in minutes.
- Asian savory steel cut oatmeal: Make the steel cut oatmeal topping with shiitake mushrooms, baby spinach, and sesame oil. Add a splash of soy sauce and garnish the oatmeal with edamame or steamed broccoli.
- Mediterranean steel cut oats: Make a Mediterranean bowl of steel cut oats simply by topping it with my Turkish White Bean Salad. And, if you want to take it a step further and make this savory dish umami-rich, you can mix vegetable broth (or water) with a tablespoon of tomato paste.
- Mexican steel cut oats: Add a little ground cumin, coriander, and red chili powder to make a flavorful, Mexican-style steel-cut oats breakfast. Taking inspiration from my Mexican Quinoa recipe, you can make a warm topping by sauteing some onions, tomatoes, bell pepper, jalapenos, and black beans to use as a topping. Some fresh avocado, a squeeze of lime juice, or a few tablespoons of pickled Mexican red onion are also great oatmeal toppings.
Other Ways of Cooking Savory Steel Cut Oats
I like to make overnight steel-cut oats as it is a very hands-off recipe. However, you can make steel cut oats in different ways. Here are a few other methods you may want to try:
Bring your vegetable broth to a boil, then add the steel-cut oats. Let the oats simmer over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes. The liquid will be completely absorbed, and the oats will be tender and soft. Be sure to keep a close eye on it and stir it a few times during cooking.
To cook steel cut oats in the crockpot, add vegetable stock, steel-cut oats, and salt to a slow cooker. Cover and cook over low heat for 4-5 hours. If you need to know more about this cooking method, check out my detailed recipe for crockpot steel cut oatmeal.
Stir the vegetable stock, steel-cut oats, and salt in the bowl of your pressure cooker. Cover, seal and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, open the lid, give it a stir, and ladle it into bowls. For more information on cooking oats in a pressure cooker, check out my Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats recipe.
You can use this recipe to make savory oatmeal with rolled oats with a few adjustments. Simply bring the vegetable broth to a boil and then add 1 cup of rolled oats. Simmer the rolled oats for 5-7 minutes or until creamy, stirring frequently while cooking. While that is cooking, make the savory oatmeal toppings and assemble the savory oatmeal as directed in the instructions.
Yes, you can use quick cooking steel cut oats. However, since they cook much faster there is no need to let the quick-cooking oats sit overnight. Simply follow these preparation instructions on the packaging to cook them.
Studies have shown that steel-cut oats may be good for weight loss mainly because, as a whole, grain oats are packed with fiber. Therefore, including oats in your daily diet may contribute to the feeling of fullness, which in turn helps you with consuming fewer calories.
Other Oatmeal Breakfasts You Might Like
If you are a fan of recipes with steel cut oats, chances are you often enjoy a bowl of oatmeal in the morning. Below are a few more oatmeal recipes you might like:
If you try this Savory Steel Cut Oatmeal recipe, please take a minute to leave a comment or even a picture below. It is great to hear how much you love the recipes on my site and will help others who may be planning to make the recipe. And, if you took any pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories. Enjoy!
Savory Steel Cut Oats Recipe
For The Steel Cut Oats
- 2 cups vegetable stock or water plus a bit more if needed
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
For The Topping:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground paprika
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms sliced / or any other one of your favorite mushrooms
- 5 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 clove garlic minced or ½ teaspoon garlic powder – optional
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs – fried or soft boiled – optional
- 1/8 teaspoon Red pepper flakes optional
- To soak steel cut oats: Place vegetable stock (or water) in a medium saucepan with a lid. Bring it to a boil. Off the heat, stir in the steel-cut oats and salt. Cover it with the lid and let it sit on the kitchen counter overnight.
- To make the veggie topping: In the morning, before cooking the steel-cut oatmeal, prepare the topping. To do so, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add spices and cook them for a minute or so.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they are fully cooked, for about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the baby spinach and cook until wilted, for 3-4 minutes.
- If using, add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Finish it off with salt and pepper and set it aside.
- To prepare the savory steel-cut oatmeal: Put the saucepan back on the stove and heat it over medium heat. Stir it frequently using a wooden spoon to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. As it cooks, the excess liquid will evaporate, and the steel-cut oatmeal will form a thicker and creamier texture. If it gets too thick, feel free to add ¼ cup of water (or vegetable broth) to thin it out. This process happens in 3-4 minutes, so do not leave site of it.
- Taste steel-cut oatmeal for seasoning and add more if necessary.
- When ready to serve, ladle steel-cut oatmeal into a bowl. Top it off with cooked mushrooms and spinach. If using, add a fried egg on top.
- Finish it off with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes. Serve.
- Serving size: This recipe yields about 2 to 2 1/4 cups of cooked steel cut oatmeal. I listed it as 2 servings (as shown in the photos), but if you keep the portions smaller, it could be served to 4 people.
- Steel cut oats: If you are following a gluten-free diet, be sure to purchase gluten-free certified steel cut oats.
- Make-Ahead Instructions: You can prep the steel cut oatmeal and the toppings and store them in separate air-tight containers in the fridge for up to 4 days. When you are ready to serve, you can reheat each component and assemble it as directed.
- Storing Leftovers: I recommend storing the savory oatmeal and vegetable toppings in separate airtight containers if you can. Bring them to room temperature and store them in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Reheating: To reheat, microwave the steel-cut oatmeal in 30-second increments, stirring after heating, until they are warm. You can also heat it on the stovetop in a small pot. Simply heat it over medium heat and stir frequently until the oats are warm, which will take about 3-5 minutes. You may need to add an extra splash of vegetable stock, coconut milk, or water to thin out the oats a little bit.
- Nutrition Information: The calorie and nutrition information below does not include the optional egg on top.
Eek, only way I can eat Steel cut oats is the Scottish way, salt and butter! 🙂
Interesting combination though for any other grain.
I have just made some Scottish oats for breakfast today and it tasted very similar. Good to know that the right way of eating it is with salt and butter. Thanks for sharing Susan.
Last night, I wanted to finally make something with our steel cut oats. I had a hard time finding a savory recipe, but then I found yours. OMG, it tastes so delicious–just as it seemed! I made tomato chutney and kabob on the side, but this is a very wholesome dish on its own!
Thank you for this recipe, Aysegul! This will be a repeat for sure 🙂
This makes so SO happy. This recipe is such a creative way of using steel cut oats. We make it often in our house for sure.
So happy to hear that you liked it as well. Thanks for coming by and taking the time to leave a review.
Thanks for the recipe – I always like when they come with videos!! I have every ingredient except fresh ginger, can I use ground ginger instead?
Nevermind! My lovely husband ran to store for fresh ginger ?
I am so sorry to have seen this too late. You could have used ground ginger but I am glad he picked it up for you.
I make this dish whenever I have veggies that are about to go bad in the fridge. I love the fact that I can put anything I want in there.
It is not only super healthy, but also delicious and filling.
I hope you thought so too. 🙂
Well done video Aysegul!
Thank you Monica.. I hope you’ll get a chance to make it. 🙂
Thanks for making this into an actual recipe, so excited to have this to share with people who always ask me how I make my oats savory! 🙂
Ahh you are welcome.. Thank you for a wonderful recipe my friend!