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Nutritious and Delicious: Cooking Steel-Cut Oats with Varied Toppings

Steel-cut oats, also known as Irish or pinhead oats, is a superb breakfast choice that can be particularly beneficial during the holy month of Ramadan. Whether you’re preparing your meal for Iftar or Suhoor, steel-cut oats offer a nutritious, satisfying, and adaptable option that can help sustain your energy levels throughout the day or night.

Unlike their rolled or instant counterparts, steel-cut oats are less processed, which contributes to their characteristic nutty flavour and chewy texture. This minimally processed nature not only preserves more of their natural nutrients but also provides a slow release of energy, making them an ideal food for fasting periods.

In the following sections, we’ll introduce a simple yet effective method for cooking steel-cut oats, ensuring you get a perfect consistency every time. Additionally, we will explore eight creative and delicious variations to enhance your oatmeal, making it an exciting and flavourful meal to look forward to. Whether you prefer your oats sweet or savoury, there’s a combination for every palate, ensuring your Ramadan meals are both nourishing and enjoyable.

Diabetic-Friendly Aspects

Low Glycemic Index: Steel-cut oats have a lower glycemic index, leading to a slower increase in blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for managing diabetes.

High soluble Fiber Content: Steel-cut oats are rich in soluble fiber, promoting slower digestion and aiding in blood sugar control by preventing rapid spikes in glucose level.In addition soluble fiber are heart healthy

Healthy Fats and Proteins: Toppings like nuts, seeds, and Greek yogurt provide healthy fats and proteins, which help regulate blood sugar levels and promote satiety, preventing overeating and sugar cravings.

Thyroid-Friendly Aspects

Nutrient-Rich Ingredients: Steel-cut oats contain essential minerals like selenium and zinc, which are vital for thyroid function, supporting hormone production and metabolism.

Anti-inflammatory Properties: Ingredients such as nuts, seeds, and fruits offer anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body, supporting thyroid health.

Balanced Macronutrient Profile

Calories: Approximately 250-300 kcal per serving, providing a moderate yet satisfying energy source to start your day.

Protein: Each serving delivers around 6-8g of protein, promoting muscle repair and satiety.

Carbohydrates: With approximately 30-40g of carbohydrates per serving, primarily from the oats and fruits.

Fat: The addition of nuts, seeds, contributes approximately 10-15g of healthy fats per serving, supporting overall health and satiety.

Ingredients and Steel-Cut Oats Health Benefits

Steel-Cut Oats:

Steel-Cut Oats: These oats are integral to the dish, providing a hearty, chewy texture and a rich, nutty flavour. They are a great source of fibre and protein, offering sustained energy throughout the day.

Water or Milk: Water is essential for cooking the oats, but using a mix with milk enhances the creaminess and adds a hint of sweetness and additional nutrients to the oatmeal.

Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the flavours of the oats and any added toppings, creating a balanced taste profile.

Vanilla Extract: Vanilla adds a warm, comforting aroma and a subtle sweetness that pairs well with a variety of toppings, enhancing the overall flavour of the dish.

alternative ingredients

Liquid Base: Almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk can be used instead of dairy milk or water for different flavours and dietary preferences.

Sweeteners: Maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar can be added for extra sweetness if desired.

Preparation Tips for Steel-Cut Oats

  • Water to Oat Ratio: The typical ratio for cooking steel-cut oats is 3:1, meaning 3 cups of liquid for every cup of oats. This ratio ensures that the oats have enough liquid to absorb and become tender without being overly mushy.
  • Boiling the Liquid: Start by bringing your liquid (water, milk, or a combination) to a boil before adding the oats. This helps to kickstart the cooking process and ensures the oats cook evenly.
  • Adding the Oats: Once your liquid is boiling, add the steel-cut oats gradually, stirring as you go. This gradual addition helps prevent clumping and ensures each oat is surrounded by liquid.
  • Seasoning: Add a pinch of salt at the beginning of the cooking process. Salt is a flavour enhancer and will bring out the natural nuttiness of the oats without making the dish taste salty.
  • Stirring: While the oats simmer, stir them occasionally. This will prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot and ensure they cook evenly. It will also help you monitor the texture of the oats as they cook.
  • Simmering: After the oats have been added and stirred, reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cooking the oats gently ensures they soften without losing their texture.
  • Adding Vanilla: Incorporate vanilla extract towards the end of the cooking process. Adding it too early can cause the flavour to cook off, so stirring it in at the end ensures its aromatic qualities are preserved.
  • Consistency Check: As the oats near the end of their cooking time, check their consistency. If they’re too thick, you can add more liquid. If they’re too thin, continue cooking for a few more minutes.
  • Resting Time: Once the oats are cooked to your liking, remove them from heat and let them sit for a few minutes. This resting time allows the oats to absorb any remaining liquid and thicken to the perfect consistency.
  • Taste Test: Before serving, taste the oatmeal and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Serving Tips for Steel-Cut Oats

  • Toppings: Offer a variety of toppings like fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, or yoghurt to allow for customisation based on individual preferences.
  • Warmth: Serve the oatmeal warm to maximise the flavours and enjoy the comforting aspect of the dish.

storage tips

Refrigeration: Store leftover oatmeal in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When ready to eat, you may need to add a little extra milk or water to adjust the consistency.

Freezing: Freeze in individual portions for a quick and easy meal. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or use the microwave for a fast reheat.

Reheating: Warm the oatmeal on the stove or in the microwave, stirring well to restore the creamy texture, and add a little milk or water if necessary.

Steel-Cut Oats with Varied Toppings

Servings: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 cup high-quality steel-cut oats
  • 3 cups water (or a mix of water and milk for a creamier texture)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Boil: In a medium saucepan, bring the water or water-milk mixture to a boil.
  • Add Oats and Salt: Gently stir in the steel-cut oats and a pinch of salt.
  • Simmer: Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add in the vanilla.
  • Check Consistency: The oats are ready when they have absorbed most of the liquid and achieved a creamy yet chewy texture.
  • Rest: Remove the saucepan from heat and let the oats sit for a few minutes.
  • Serve warm with your favourite toppings.

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