Steel-cut oats are the sort of creamy, whole-grain goodness we used to reserve for mornings with 30 minutes to spare (if ever). No more!
With this genius shortcut, weekday steel-cut oats are officially here—along with some brilliant, naturally sweet ways to jazz them up. Feel free to swap any fruit, sweetener, nut, spice, and so on. It’s the technique that matters most, and will make your rushed mornings so much better, you’ll find yourself wanting to try new flavors often.
As Maria Speck writes in Simply Ancient Grains, “Pedestrian steel-cut oats don't have the color of my dreams. But what if they had a magnificent hue? That’s why one day I decided to go overboard with the raspberries and turn my everyday oatmeal into a pink sensation. Add a dollop of tangy Greek yogurt, and this warm breakfast will power everyone in your family through the morning. Even your kids might be fascinated enough by the bold color to eat a good amount of fruit without having to be prodded. (Editor’s Note: Even my suddenly very picky 1-year-old lit up for this.)
“I never hesitate to use frozen berries, especially during the cooler months of the year when they are not in season—I always stash a few bags in my freezer. If you can get your hands on Iranian barberries, try them here: Their brazen sourness is unsurpassed. The Two-Step Method is my favorite way of cooking steel-cut oats, resulting in tender and creamy grains with just the right chewiness in a snap. The color depends on the oats—sometimes bold, sometimes subdued. Adding dried fruit in two stages releases some of their sweetness overnight, while the fruit added in the morning retains an appealing chew.”
Recipe adapted slightly from Simply Ancient Grains: Fresh and Flavorful Whole Grain Recipes for Living Well (Ten Speed Press, April 2015).
This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Associate, Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to. —Genius Recipes
- Prep time 12 hours
- Cook time 15 minutes
- Serves 4 to 6
- Steel-Cut Oats
steel-cut oats (gluten-free if desired)
dried cranberries or cherries
cinnamon stick (optional)
1 1/2 cups
whole or low-fat milk
1 1/2 cups
fresh or frozen raspberries (no need to thaw if frozen), plus any berries you like for garnish
dried barberries, sour cherries, or cranberries
1 to 2 tablespoons
turbinado sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups
whole or low-fat Greek yogurt
about 2 tablespoons
chopped lightly toasted shelled pistachios
Ground cinnamon, for sprinkling
- Start the steel-cut oats the night before: Add the oats, cranberries, and cinnamon stick to a heavy 4-quart saucepan. Pour over the boiling water, stir once, cover, and let sit at room temperature overnight (or chill, covered, for up to 2 days).
- The next morning, make the porridge. Add the milk, water, raspberries, barberries, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and the salt to the saucepan with the oats. Partially cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a steady but gentle bubble, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the oats are creamy but still slightly chewy, about 7 minutes.
- To finish, remove the cinnamon stick (if you haven’t used one, add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon). Taste for sweetness and add the remaining tablespoon of sugar if you like. Divide the oatmeal among four to six bowls. Top each with about 1/4 cup of the yogurt and 1 teaspoon of the pistachios. Garnish with raspberries, a sprinkle of turbinado sugar, and a dash of ground cinnamon. Serve right away.