Love steel cut oats, but hate how long they take to cook? Cooking steel cut oats in the microwave cuts down preparation time by more than half. You can have a nutritious bowl of steel cut oatmeal ready to eat in about 10 minutes! Add your favorite healthy oatmeal toppings for a filling and delicious weekday breakfast.

bowl of steel cut oatmeal topped with sliced almonds and berries, surrounded by small bowls of ingredients, a striped dish towel, and a spoon

As a Registered Dietitian, oatmeal is my all time favorite breakfast. Oats are affordable, easy to prepare, and full of nutrients, like dietary fiber. If you’re a regular Daisybeet reader, you know I have plenty of healthy oatmeal recipes, including stovetop oatmeal, overnight oats, and baked oatmeal recipes.

I love the chewy, hearty texture of steel cut oatmeal, but I don’t love how long they take to prepare. On the stovetop, it takes about 30 minutes to cook steel cut oats. I like my breakfast to be ready FAST, especially on busy mornings!

That’s why I microwave steel cut oats! In the microwave, you’ll have a perfect bowl of steel cut oats to eat in 10 minutes. Once cooked, portion into bowls and add your favorite oatmeal toppings. Steel cut oats in the microwave are quick enough for a weekday, and just as delicious as stovetop steel cut oats.

If you are wondering how to make microwave oatmeal with old fashioned rolled oats, I’ve got you covered!

This steel cut oatmeal recipe makes two servings. To make it, you just need a deep microwave-safe bowl. I used a 2 1/2 quart size bowl.

Step-by-step video

What are steel cut oats?

Steel cut oats are a type of whole grain oat. You may see steel cut oats called Irish oats, pinhead oats, or coarse oats. The whole oat is chopped into 2-3 pinhead-sized pieces, which resemble small rice grains.

Compared to old fashioned rolled oats or quick oats, steel cut oats are the least processed. This is why they take so long to cook. Steel cut oats have a pleasant chewy texture when cooked and a nutty, slightly sweet flavor.

Small bowl of uncooked steel cut oats on a light grey backdrop

Are steel cut oats healthy?

Yes, steel cut oats are a very nutritious whole grain food. One serving of steel cut oats, or 1/4 cup dry steel cut oats, provides:

  • 4 grams of dietary fiber (14% of your daily needs)
  • 5 grams of plant-based protein
  • 1.7 mg iron (10% of your daily needs)
  • 0.186 mg thiamin (16% of your daily needs)
  • 55.89 mg magnesium (13% of your daily needs)

Oats are one of the best food sources of the soluble fiber beta-glucan. This type of fiber may help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, and is linked to health benefits supporting gut health.

Are steel cut oats healthier than rolled oats?

Steel cut oats are equally as nutritious as rolled oats, and quick oats for that matter. All types of oats come from the same source (whole grain oats), so their nutrient composition is the same. When it comes down to it, choose the type of oat that you like best, and reap the same nutrition benefits!

Two bowls of steel cut oatmeal with berries, bananas, and almonds, on a light grey backdrop with a striped dish towel

How to make microwave steel cut oatmeal

  1. Add half a cup of steel cut oats to a deep microwave safe bowl.
  2. Add about 2 cups of water.
  3. Microwave the oats on high (this should be your microwave’s default power setting) for 5 minutes.
  4. Carefully remove the bowl and give the oatmeal a good stir.
  5. Return to the microwave and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Remove and stir. If needed, cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  7. Stir well and let sit for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Portion oatmeal into two bowls, add whatever toppings you like, and dig in!

Microwave steel cut oatmeal tip: Using a deep bowl ensures the oatmeal will not boil over while cooking.

Healthy oatmeal toppings

Steel cut oatmeal is the perfect blank canvas for toppings that not only add flavor, but also additional nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, and protein.

  • Fresh fruit: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, banana, apple, mango, pomegranate seeds
  • Dried fruit: raisins, dried cranberries, dates, dried figs, dried blueberries, shredded coconut
  • Nuts and seedstoasted almondstoasted pecans, hemp seeds, ground flax seeds, pistachios, walnuts, sunflower seeds
  • Nut butter: peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, tahini
  • Spices: ginger, cardamom, turmeric, nutmeg
  • Dairy: a splash of milk (or plant-based milk), a dollop of Greek yogurt, a dollop of labne
  • Sweetener: A few teaspoons of maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar.

Storage

You can prepare microwave steel cut oatmeal up to three days in advance. Store cooked oatmeal in an airtight container in the fridge.

When you are ready to eat it, mash up the cooked oatmeal a bit with a fork and add a splash of milk. Microwave for 1 -2 minutes, or until warmed through.

Add the toppings after reheating the oatmeal.

Let me know if you love these recipes by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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bowl of steel cut oatmeal topped with sliced almonds and berries, surrounded by small bowls of ingredients, a striped dish towel, and a spoon

10-Minute Steel Cut Oats in the Microwave

  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: serves 2
  • Category: breakfast
  • Method: microwave
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Love steel cut oats, but hate how long they take to cook? Cooking steel cut oats in the microwave cuts down preparation time by more than half. You can have a nutritious bowl of steel cut oatmeal ready to eat in about 10 minutes! Add your favorite healthy oatmeal toppings for a filling and delicious weekday breakfast.


Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Add steel cut oats and water to a deep microwave-safe bowl. I used a 2.5 quart bowl.
    steel cut oats and water in a large white bowl before being cooked in the microwave
  2. Microwave on high for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from the microwave (with oven mitts if the bowl is hot), and stir well.
    hand stirring up a bowl of oatmeal being cooked in a white bowl
  4. Return the bowl to the microwave and microwave for another 5 minutes.
  5. Give the oatmeal another good stir. If still watery, microwave for another 1-2 minutes.
  6. Stir the oats well and let them sit for 1-2 minutes.
    White bowl with cooked oatmeal with a silver spoon
  7. Portion oats into two serving bowls. Add your favorite oatmeal toppings and enjoy!

Notes

Healthy oatmeal toppings

  • Fresh fruit: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, banana, apple, mango, pomegranate seeds
  • Dried fruit: raisins, dried cranberries, dates, dried figs, dried blueberries, shredded coconut
  • Nuts and seedstoasted almondstoasted pecans, hemp seeds, ground flax seeds, pistachios, walnuts, sunflower seeds
  • Nut butter: peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, tahini
  • Spices: ginger, cardamom, turmeric, nutmeg
  • Dairy: a splash of milk (or plant-based milk), a dollop of Greek yogurt, a dollop of labne
  • Sweetener: A few teaspoons of maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar

Storage

You can prepare microwave steel cut oatmeal up to three days in advance. Store cooked oatmeal in an airtight container in the fridge.

When you are ready to eat it, mash up the cooked oatmeal a bit with a fork and add a splash of milk. Microwave for 1 -2 minutes, or until warmed through.

Add the toppings after reheating the oatmeal.

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