Two-Minute Weekday Steel Cut Oatmeal


My husband used to tell me about this amazing oatmeal he’d had once as a houseguest. He’d go on and on about how creamy it was, how he wished he could have it just once more, just one more chance to enjoy this incredible oatmeal.

Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but it was definitely oatmeal to remember, which says something. And as the woman who feeds him (I did not marry a cook) I was beginning to get a complex about my oatmeal.

Then last year, I learned a new secret that revolutionized my breakfasts, my mornings, and my marriage, forever. And now, as soon as the weather turns cold, I have the most amazing, most crazy cheap, crazy simple and super healthy breakfast ever. And I have a satisfied husband. It’s almost more happiness than I can bear.

It is the breakfast of champions, I’m telling you. And it is totally houseguest worthy. It starts with one cup of steel cut oats.
Do you know your oats? The oats on the top have been rolled flat, the oats on the bottom have been chopped, or cut. There’s no MAJOR difference between the two, but I like steel cut oats because they taste a little nuttier, they’ve been slightly less processed, and because my houseguests are always more impressed when I say I made them steel-cut oatmeal.

So here’s the big secret. Once a week, on Mondays, I break out my dutch oven, I dump in one cup of oats for every four cups of water and milk, plus a dash of salt. Then I leave it in the oven for an hour.

That is it.

Then, on every weekday morning, I pull the oatmeal out of the fridge, I use my ice cream scoop to carve out enough for a bowlful. I warm it, I top it, and then I huddle over my simple, wonderful, warm cozy breakfast.

I always top with soy milk (it is so creamy with the oatmeal) and a little brown sugar. Then I like to mix it up with other toppings.

My latest favorite is homemade applesauce. It is like having an apple pie for breakfast. Only no guilt instead of tons of guilt.

It has won Brent’s admiration. It feels good to satisfy your man.

Here is the official recipe.

Two-Minute Weekday Steel Cut Oatmeal
1 cup steel-cut oats
3 cups water
1 cup milk
1 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 300.

Dump oats, water, and milk into a large, oven-safe pan with extra depth for oatmeal to expand. Add salt. All of this will take you a grand total of two minutes, hence the recipe name. Cover if you want. Or don’t. I’ve done both.

Bake for an hour or two. Seriously, can you believe how easy this is? If you bake a little longer, the oatmeal will be more custardy when you refrigerate. Bake a little shorter if you like your oatmeal saucy.

Store in the fridge. Oatmeal will keep for five days or so. When you’re ready to enjoy, scoop out a bowlful and warm in the microwave. Once it is warmed, drizzle with soy milk (my favorite) or cream. Add something sweet and enjoy.

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Sherry Cartwright November 12, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Thank you for the tip! I had always seen steel-cut oats with instructions to leave overnight and such, but this sounds easy enough. I just might use that box of neglected oats this weekend. :)


Charissa - The Gifted Blog November 12, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Well done you. I’ve gotten N hooked on oatmeal and have been experimenting with how to get it on the table (or high chair tray) with the least amount of fuss possible. Accidentally getting steel-cut oats at Trader Joe’s has been an added challenge, so it’s very timely to read your tips! Don’t have a dutch oven but agree that cooking ahead of time is the best way to have a reliable source of breakfast every morning!


Carla G. November 12, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Thanks! I can’t wait to try this. My hubby loves Steel Cut oats, and we have everything in my kitchen pantry right now!! That never happens!


Paula C. November 13, 2010 at 1:19 am

I am making this right now. Hubby tried some a couple of weeks ago and was so disappointed. I think this will be a wonderful surprise! Thank you!!!!


Marcie November 13, 2010 at 1:29 am

That looks delicious (and that’s saying something because I don’t really like oatmeal that much …) Too bad I don’t have a dutch oven! Maybe I could get similar results with a crockpot?? Hmmm


Michelle November 13, 2010 at 1:55 am

Love the applesauce idea! I like it with dried cranberries, and on occasion, a few chocolate chips — nom nom nom!


Whitney @ Whisker Graphics November 13, 2010 at 5:35 am

I’ve email the link to this post to my husband. He cooks and he’s an oatmeal lover. Thanks!


Annie November 13, 2010 at 4:48 pm

new reader and glad I found you!… I adoreeeeeee steel cut oats and my favorite thing is to “melt” frozen bananas in them (they blow up like marshmellows!) and then top with a tbsp of almond butter.. mmm or nutella!.. oh man, I done died and gone to heaven!

One more idea for you to try when you didn’t plan ahead… fix OAT BRAN (more fiber and protein than steel) instead of steel cut.. whip up 3-4 egg whites until stiff peaks.. once the bran is done (5 min) fold in the egg whites (they’ll cook) and you’ve got the fluffiest, oatiest, taste of heavenly breakfast evah!.. season your favorite way..



AmberLee November 15, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Holy moly I cannot wait to try frozen bananas and almond butter. It sounds like heaven! I will also be trying the oat bran. Yum.


alyssa November 13, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Um wow! I LOVE your blog and this oatmeal tip frees me up to do more of the fun projects from your site!


AmberLee November 15, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Hi Alyssa! You are too funny! But it’s true, this oatmeal will free you! Or at least free a couple minutes each day.


Kate @ the wooden spoon November 14, 2010 at 6:16 pm

I love the idea of cooking a big batch on Monday and eating it throughout the week. I bought a container of steel-cut oats once, but with the lengthy cooking time, I rarely ate it. Back on the grocery list they go!


jennybookworm November 15, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I love steel cut oats – I have never tried baking them in the oven though. I have cooked them on the stovetop many times and recently discovered that throwing them into my slow-cooker (crock-pot) just before bed results in amazing creamy oatmeal when I get up in the morning — which is especially welcome on a weekday when I would not have time to cook them when I get up.


Sarah November 15, 2010 at 2:33 pm

How’d you know I was JUST thinking the other morning when I woke up and was sitting in our chilly kitchen, “I wish there was a way to eat steel cut oatmeal without stirring it for 30 mins whenever I want to eat it”?! Thanks for the tips and delicious recipes!


AmberLee November 15, 2010 at 7:46 pm

We must be kindred spirits. Seriously this is so easy it’s nuts.


suswhit November 15, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Holy cow! This may change my life!! Can’t wait.


AmberLee November 15, 2010 at 7:45 pm

@ suswhit, your comment cracked me up. I hope you love it. I think you will.


Bree November 15, 2010 at 10:03 pm

This is so helpful. Thank you so much for sharing!


Rachel November 16, 2010 at 4:47 am

I just may have to try this! I feed oatmeal to my children because it’s healthy and they actually like it but I haven’t been able to find a way to eat it that I like! Maybe a texture thing? Anyway, thanks for the recipe and tips :)


Carla November 16, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Thanks for this. I love steel cut oatmeal but my son has no patience for me to prepare it in the morning. This solves that problem!!


Tambryn November 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm

I couldn’t find steel cut oats at my store, so I settled for rolled. I have to say though, I’ve had it all week at work and I’m loving it! Far better than my instant packs I’ve had for years. Thanks!


QDuck November 19, 2010 at 2:45 pm

I recently discovered Bob’s Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal, which is sort of like a more finely-ground steel cut oats. Pretty darn good! It comes in regular and organic.


Amy November 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm

To make the minerals in the oatmeal (or any grain) more available to your body you can soak it overnight with something acidic. So I throw a heaping spoonful of yogurt on the oats and water and leave it on the counter overnight. If you’re using clean bowls you’re not going to have to worry about the oatmeal going bad- the germs in the yogurt are going to have a head start on anything else that wants to grow. In the morning I cook the whole mess. If one works all day, you could do it backwards- soak it in yogurt during the day, cook it that evening and then have it ready for the morning.
I also throw some nuts, especially pecans, in there to soak too. And dried cherries, don’t forget the dried cherries.


Louise November 19, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Another easy way to do this if you have a rice cooker with a timer is just to set it with oats and water in it overnight and have it cooked automagically in the morning by the time you wake up. I use 1 cup oats, a pinch of salt, and 4 cups water in my small rice cooker. When it’s done, add in a little soy milk or almond milk and your’e done.

I like mine with maple syrup and dried currants. If I want something more porridgey, chopped green onions, more salt, pepper, and maybe a little olive oil.


Emily November 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm

This is a fantastic idea! I make steel cut oatmeal every morning (the long way), but recently it has been feeling like kind of a drag, and I have been switching it up with the faster cooking rolled oats. I can’t wait to try this out!


Katie November 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Sounds delicious and quick… exactly what I like. Thanks! :)


Chrissy November 21, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Am totally trying this. If you like them a little chewier, eat them like I do: 1/4 oats to 1/2 cup milk in a bowl, pop in fridge over night, warm up in the microwave in the AM. Oats make me happy.


Trish November 23, 2010 at 2:22 am

I tried making this last night. I’ll make it again, but I’ll skip the salt altogether. I think it detracts from the oatmeal flavour.


Melissa November 24, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Love it! Thanks so much. I added nuts, an apple and a dash of cinnamon to mine and it made my house smelly lovely while it was baking. Plus now I have a tasty tasty breakfast for the week. Thank you!


Rita November 30, 2010 at 8:04 pm

I’m in love! I adore steel-cut oatmeal, have just discovered that my super-picky 8 year old will eat it, but hadn’t found a good way to make a bunch in advance. Thank you!!!


Tess December 1, 2010 at 10:14 pm

I made this oatmeal and LOVE IT! Actually, I can eat this dish without any sugar. My left overs were scooped into a zip lock baggie and thrown into the fridge until the next meal – this is really great!


deb December 9, 2010 at 4:16 am

I tried this last night with rolled oats because that’s all I had, but after 2+ hours, it was basically soup. Are you sure the amounts of liquid are correct? Could be that you need less liquid if you’re using rolled oats? Please help – I SO want to love this!


AmberLee December 9, 2010 at 5:47 am

Hi Deb!
I haven’t tried this with rolled oats. ak! I have had this turn out a little more liquidy this winter than last for some reason, which is why I started leaving the lid off. but I seriously make this every week w steel cut oats and it works, so I wonder if maybe taking out some liquid would do it? i’d love to know if you figure it out. I want you to love it too!


quin December 10, 2010 at 6:03 pm

These are so easy and delicious!!! Thanks!


Brenda from Flatbush December 11, 2010 at 11:28 pm

I am going to try this Monday morning with my Expensive, Inconvenient McCann’s Irish Oatmeal, which I bought while delusional that I would stir anything on and off for an hour in the morning. If it is truly not gummy like reheated oatmeal of past experience, you get a Nobel prize!


AmberLee December 13, 2010 at 2:09 pm

THanks, Brenda!! I am crossing my fingers for you!!


AmberLee December 16, 2010 at 7:11 am

Brenda, I’m crossing my fingers for you. I hope your oatmeal is super nongummy!


Ivy December 17, 2010 at 3:14 am

I go from eating oatmeal to not eating it…. you’ve inspired me to start it up again!
Saw you over at Sarah’s Fab Day.



Donna Dobbins December 18, 2010 at 6:56 pm

That sounds absolutely wonderful with the exception of the microwaving part. We avoid the microwave at all costs so I hope warming on the stove will work.


Christi January 11, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I love steel cut oatmeal. I never understood why people thought it was so hard to make. I just microwave it with some water and milk for about 3 minutes, stirring once or twice, for a fast and easy breakfast at work.

I liked the idea of making a big batch of oatmeal at once so I tried your recipe last night. How great is it to have breakfast cooking while watching The Bachelor!


Denise Johnson February 16, 2011 at 12:23 am

This really is amazingly good. Thank you for sharing it! I’ve been making it regularly now for a few weeks and I look forward to my morning oatmeal every day! I was out to lunch with my mother in law and I raved about it to her. I’m printing out a copy to share. Thanks again!!


AmberLee February 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Hi Denise!
Thanks for taking a moment to stop back! I’m so happy you like it. And I am totally with you, a bowl of warm oatmeal makes a great morning ritual.


Ashley May 15, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Thank you so much for the great recipe! I made steel-cut oats according to the recipe on the box a couple of weeks ago and they were a complete failure. But I just tried this recipe and they are fantastic!! I didn’t have a dutch oven so I just used a large pot and covered it with aluminum foil, it worked perfectly!
I am looking forward to eating these oats all week!


AmberLee May 15, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Thanks for the note, Ashley! These are a complete favorite of mine, and I’m so happy you like them!


Susan D January 22, 2012 at 7:45 am

Just did this – turned out fantastic. Awesome technique. I did add a little vanilla extract.


Roisin January 28, 2012 at 8:48 am

Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! It’s changed the way I think about oatmeal. Hope you don’t mind that I shared my adapted version here:


AmberLee January 30, 2012 at 5:43 am

Hi Roisin,
Thanks so much for coming back to let me know! And for sharing too!


Tonya February 7, 2012 at 10:31 am

Been coming back to this recipe every month for about a year now. Thought I should tell you how much I love it!


AmberLee February 8, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Tonya! It was so good of you to let me know! It’s a classic around here too.


Canadian March 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Awesome time-saving, hassle-eliminating technique. I’ve tried it several times now. Only adjustment I’ve made is the amount of salt: I found 1 tsp far too much – 1/4 tsp is sufficient. I like to reheat it with a nice big dollop of peanut butter for added protein. Demerera sugar on top is great.


AmberLee March 20, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Thanks, Canadian! I have some Demerara sugar and will totally try. Great to know on the salt too. Thanks for taking a moment to come back and let me know!


Leave a Comment

{ 4 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: