Steel Cut Oats with Brown Sugar Bananas

It doesn’t get much healthier or easier than this 30 minute steel cut oats recipe
Steel Cut Oats Featured

By Mark Hinds | Updated August 19, 2022

Learning how to cook steel cut oats is an easy way to ensure a healthy breakfast is just around the corner.

For this steel cut oatmeal recipe, we toast the oats and add bananas to add texture and flavor. Toasting the oats in a little butter softens them up helping the oats cook faster and come out creamier.

Cooking the bananas in a little brown sugar gives them a sweet, well-rounded flavor that compliments this homemade oatmeal’s hearty flavors.

What’s the Difference Between Steel Cut Oats and Rolled Oats

The difference between steel cut, rolled, and instant oats are how they’re processed. All three are made from the same oat groats, which are oat kernels that have had their hulls removed. Steel cut are processed using a blade that chops the oat groat into small pieces that resemble grains of rice.

Steel Cut Oats
Slice with a blade steel cut oats resemble grains of rice

Rolled oats are steamed first to prevent them from cracking before being pressed flat, while instant oats are cooked first, before being dried and rolled out.

The main differences between the three types are how they cook up and their texture. Steel cut tend to feel heartier when you’re eating them and have more chew. They also take longer to cook. Rolled and instant oats cook up faster, have a lighter feel, and are often used in cookies, crisps, and other baking applications.

How to Cook Steel Cut Oats

Toasting the oats before adding the water helps to soften them up and deepens their flavor, making the finished oatmeal more interesting.

The secret to toasting steel cut oats is the same as it is with risotto, use a hot pan, drop in the butter and continue stirring everything until the oats smell toasted. A lot of the time we’ll hold the pot slightly off the fire in one hand as we stir with the other to make sure they don’t burn.

Toasting Oats
The oats need to be stirred as they get toasted

Once the oats are toasted, pour in the water and bring everything to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer. Bringing everything to a boil reduces the overall cooking time, producing a creamier oatmeal than the batches we cooked exclusively over low heat.

Another thing that helps reduce the cooking time and makes the oatmeal creamier is cooking it uncovered, so the steam has a place to go.

In our testing, we found that it takes 15 to 20 minutes to cook steel cut oats using this technique. If you prefer them a little more al dente try cooking them for 10 to 12 minutes if you like them soft and sticky go for 20 to 25 minutes.

Topping Homemade Oatmeal

The reason we add a little brown sugar and cinnamon to the oatmeal when it comes off the heat is to make sure every bite tastes delicious. This tiny bit of sweetness makes a big difference, giving the oatmeal a sweet, well-rounded, wholesome taste. To make an even creamier oatmeal add some warm milk when serving.

Bananas Close Up
The bananas give the a oatmeal a warm, wholesome flavor

A nice thing about this oatmeal recipe is it can be cooked ahead of time and kept in the fridge. Sometimes we’ll double it so there are enough leftovers for quick breakfasts.

To reheat the oatmeal, add a little water or milk and warm it on the stove or in the microwave until it’s heated through.

We love to serve this steel cut oats recipe with a fresh pot of coffee and a glass of Hawaiian POG Juice.

Steel Cut Oats Featured

Steel Cut Oats with Brown Sugar Bananas

5 from 5 votes
Print Save Pin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 servings


  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Brown Sugar Bananas

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon


  • Melt the butter in a sauce pan on medium-high heat and add the oats to start toasting them. Continue stirring the oats until they develop a nice toasted smell.
  • As soon as they’re done toasting pour in 3 cups of water, add the salt, and bring everything to a boil. 
  • Once the oats have come to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook them uncovered.
  • Cook the oats for 15 minutes or until they’ve reached your desired level of doneness before taking them off the heat. Make sure to stir the oats occasionally to prevent everything from sticking.
  • Stir in a tablespoon of brown sugar and a 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and allow the oatmeal rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Brown Sugar Bananas

  • To make the bananas, start by melting the butter in a small saucepan over low heat.
  • Once the butter has melted add in a tbsp of brown sugar and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, stirring until combined.
  • Peel and slice two bananas crosswise, adding them to the brown sugar mixture. Stir the bananas until they’re coated.
  • Cook the bananas for 3 to 5 minutes on low heat until they’re cooked all the way through.
  • To serve split the oatmeal between two bowls and top each bowl with half of the bananas. 
Tried this RecipeRate the recipe (we love lots of stars) & leave your thoughts in the comments.
Calories: 562kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 415mg | Potassium: 422mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 430IU | Vitamin C: 10.2mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 3.6mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate based on available ingredients and preparation.

Mark is an experienced food writer, recipe developer, and photographer who is also Umami’s publisher and CEO. A passionate cook who loves to cook for friends, he can often be found in the kitchen or by the grill testing new recipes.

More Info About Mark Hinds

Learn More

Find more recipes, tips, and ideas about these techniques, ingredients, and cuisines.




Let us know what you think

Let us know what you think, and share your thoughts with other cooks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Siddhi Raina

    This recipe is so easy to understand and looks so yummy. Even the information shared is so apt about steel cut oats and rolled oats and it is very detailed. A perfect blog for steel cut oats. I would recommend this blog and the recipe to my friends and family. I have been using Steel Cut Oats from True Elements – a clean label food brand and I am going to try this recipe now.