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On cold days I want warm + filling breakfast options. So I created this steel cut oats recipe to have on hand during the cooler days ahead. You can make a large batch and refrigerate for a weeks’ worth of breakfasts. I’m going to teach you how to make steel cut oats, then how to jazz it up a few different ways.

protein boosted breakfast

Breakfast should be both filling and energizing to get you ready for the day. And while I love a good green smoothie to kickstart my morning… a cold smoothie just doesn’t always cut it during the cooler months or when i’m training for an endurance event (like the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim). Hearty warm oats can really make me happy some days. Have you tried my Carrot Cake Oatmeal, yet? Or my Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal? Those are both amazing.

Steel cut oats are even easier to make in big batches and give me protein, healthy fats and filling carbs to keep the mid-morning tummy rumble at bay.

Table of Contents
  1. How to Make Steel Cut Oats
  2. Storage Options
  3. Steel Cut Oats FAQs
  4. More Plant-Powered Breakfast Ideas
  5. Warm Steel Cut Oats Recipe
how to make steel cut oats

How to Make Steel Cut Oats

No baking required for this recipe, just use a medium to large saucepan and a stove top:

  1. In a saucepan, bring water to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Add oats to water then reduce the heat to medium-low, adjusting as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is very thick.
  3. Stir in salt, dates, cinnamon and protein powder. Continue to simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally and reducing the heat as necessary to prevent scorching the bottom, until all the liquid is absorbed. This takes about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir to mix in the watery top layer. Let the oatmeal rest for 5 minutes before serving so it can thicken further + cool down a bit.
  5. Portion the oatmeal into bowls and add pecans + maple syrup to portions has desired. Let the extra oatmeal cool completely before covering and refrigerating for future breakfasts.

The simmer times may vary depending on the thickness of the pan you use + what kind of stove top you have. My recipe adds the dried fruit in while cooking, yet feel free to add it in when serving. Use your sweetener of choice, like honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar or brown sugar.

delicious breakfast recipe

Alternative add-ins

Steel cut oats are fairly bland on their own and perfect for topping in a variety of ways. Here are a few ways I like to serve this simple breakfast:

  • Diced bananas + almond butter + maple syrup
  • Peanut butter + chocolate chips
  • Dried blueberries + maple syrup + sliced almonds
  • Diced apples + dried cranberries + almond butter
  • Strawberry chia jam + homemade nut butter

What do you like adding to your oatmeal? Leave a comment and share!

Storage Options

If you plan to use this recipe throughout the week, portion out the cooked oatmeal into single-serving containers. You can even prep your toppings ahead of time, especially if they are dried fruits and nuts. Store in the fridge until ready to enjoy. I use glass containers like these to store my oats.

When re-heating this recipe, I use a toaster oven and add a little bit of almond milk to bring the oats back to life. You can also use a microwave or stovetop if you’re short on time.

steel cut oats recipe

Steel Cut Oats FAQs

What is the ratio of water to steel cut oats?

I use 1 cup of steel cut oats to 4 cups water.

Should you soak steel cut oats before cooking?

You can soak steel cut oats up to a night before cooking, which will cut down on the cook time by 10-15 minutes. Yet this isn’t a necessary step.

Are steel cut or rolled oats healthier for you?

Steel cut oats have slightly more protein, slightly more fat, and slightly less sugar than other types of oats. Many kinds of oats are nutritious choices, so pick your favorite kind and go wild!

More Plant-Powered Breakfast Ideas

While green smoothies are my go-to breakfast, I do enjoy changing things up every once in a while. These recipes can be made ahead of time and grabbed throughout the week, and are great winter recipes ideas.

4.67 from 6 votes

Warm Steel Cut Oats

Spice up your breakfast routine with this yummy steel cut oats recipe. It's got sweetness + protein to help you stay full and focused throughout the day.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Author: Jen Hansard
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Plant-Based
Serves: 3 servings


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  • Simmer water in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add oats to simmering water. Reduce heat to medium-low, adjusting as necessary to keep a gentle simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is very thick.
  • Stir in salt, dates, cinnamon, and protein powder. Continue to simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to prevent bottom scorching until almost all the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir once more to thoroughly mix. Let oatmeal rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Portion oatmeal into bowls, add pecans + maple syrup to each if serving immediately. If saving for later, portion into air tight containers and allow to cool completely before refrigerating. Add pecans + maple syrup right before serving.



  • Swap maple syrup for your fav sweetener
  • Dates can be swapped with raisins or dried fruit
  • Use the nuts of your choice; chopped walnuts also work great


Calories: 334kcal, Carbohydrates: 64g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 210mg, Potassium: 314mg, Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 56IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 103mg, Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe? Show me!Mention @SimpleGreenSmoothies or tag #SimpleGreenSmoothies!

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  1. 5 stars
    I rarely use dates in mine. My favorite mixture is dried cranberries (tart & chewy), bananas (sweet and soft) and sunflower nuts (crunchy protein).

  2. 5 stars
    We love oatmeal during cold months! We usually by old fashioned oats but will definitely try steel cut this time. Yum!

  3. 4 stars
    Pro tip: toast the oats before you add the water!
    I use a little bit of grain fed butter and toast over medium heat until they smell toasty, then add water.