Apple cinnamon steel cut oatmeal is the best warm & cozy breakfast for chilly mornings. Prepared on the stovetop, chewy steel cut oats are seasoned with cinnamon and maple syrup, then topped with soft and tender cinnamon stewed apples. Ready to eat in 30 minutes!

If you want this recipe to be ready in half the time, make it with microwave steel cut oats.

two bowls of apple cinnamon steel cut oatmeal with silver spoons, an apple and cinnamon sticks next to the bowls

It’s no surprise that I adore oatmeal recipes for breakfast.

I don’t discriminate – I love to make and eat steel cut oats, stovetop old fashioned oatmeal, overnight oats, and baked oatmeal.

As a Registered Dietitian, I appreciate that oats are a nutritious whole grain food with fiber, plant-based protein, vitamins, and minerals.

This apple steel cut oatmeal recipe is ideal for apple season, when the mornings start to get a little chilly! If you love apples + cinnamon together, you’ve got to put this on your breakfast menu.

This recipe is the healthier homemade version of those apple cinnamon instant oatmeal packets you may have enjoyed as a kid.

This recipe takes 30 minutes to prepare on the stovetop. It’s vegan, nut free, soy free, and can be gluten free if you use certified gluten free steel cut oats.

two bowls of apple cinnamon steel cut oatmeal with silver spoons

Steel cut oats vs rolled oats

Steel cut oats and old fashioned rolled oats come from the exact same cereal grain. The difference is in how they are processed.

Steel cut oats (are also known as Irish oats) are the least processed of the two. The oat grain, or “groat” is chopped into two or three pieces to make steel cut oats.

Old fashioned rolled oats are processed first by steaming the grains, then are flattened by rolling through a mill.

Are steel cut oats healthier than rolled oats?

Steel cut oats and rolled oats have the same nutrient make up, so they are both equally good for you! More on oatmeal nutrition, below.

The differences simply lie in the texture and cooking time. Steel cut oats have a chewy texture and take longer to cook.

Rolled oats cook faster and have a softer, mushier texture.

apple cinnamon steel cut oatmeal ingredients measured out

Ingredients

Here is everything you need to make this recipe:

  • Steel cut oats
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Maple syrup

You’ll need a batch of stewed apples, too. While the oatmeal cooks, you’ll prepare the stewed apples simultaneously. The additional ingredients you need are:

  • Apples: You can use whatever apple variety you like for stewed apples. I recommend Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Macoun, or Jonagold.
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Cornstarch

You can also use these cinnamon stewed apples to make apple cinnamon Greek yogurt parfaits!

Kitchen equipment needed

  • Two medium sized pots
  • Chef’s knife, 6 or 8 inch
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Mixing spoon

Step-by-step instructions

steel cut oats in a pot with water
1. Boil three cups of water, then add one cup of steel cut oats, cinnamon, salt, and maple syrup to begin cooking. Reduce heat.
Cooked steel cut oats in a pot
2. Cook the steel cut oats for about 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until they are chewy and all the water is absorbed.
cubed apples in a pot with a wooden mixing spoon
3. While the oats are cooking, prepare the stewed apples in a separate pot.
two bowls of apple cinnamon steel cut oatmeal
4. Portion oats into 4 bowls, then top each bowl with an equal amount of the stewed apples.

Stir the stewed apples into the oats and dig in!

If you love this recipe, you’ll also love my pumpkin steel cut oats!

Storage

Did you know you can prep steel cut oatmeal ahead of time?

Store cooked and cooled oats in an airtight container for you to 5 days.

Reheat individual portions in the microwave, with a splash of water or milk, until warmed through.

Freezer: Portion out cooked steel cut oats into muffin tins. Freeze, then transfer the oat “muffins” to a freezer safe container or baggie.

Microwave individual portions of frozen steel cut oats for 2 minutes, then add a splash of liquid and stir. Microwave in 30 second intervals until it is heated through.

Use frozen steel cut oats within 3 months.

Healthy oatmeal toppings

If you’d like, you can add additional toppings to your oatmeal bowls. Here are some ideas:

  • Toasted almonds or toasted pecans
  • Peanut butter
  • Almond butter
  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Ground flax meal
  • Raisins
  • A scoop of Greek yogurt
  • A splash of milk
two bowls of apple cinnamon steel cut oatmeal

Steel cut oatmeal nutrition benefits

Steel cut oats (and regular oats) are a nutritious whole grain food. One serving of steel cut oats (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 a good source of a type soluble fiber called beta-glucan. This type of fiber may help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, and is linked to health benefits supporting gut health.

Apples nutrition benefits

Apples are a nutritious and widely available fruit! One medium apple provides:

  • 4.4 grams of dietary fiber (16% of your daily needs) – most of the fiber is found in apple skin
  • 8.4 mg Vitamin C (9% of your daily needs)
  • A source of several other micronutrients, including potassium, copper, B vitamins, and Vitamin K

Just like oats, apples are also a source of soluble fiber – 1 medium apple has 1 gram of soluble fiber.

Let me know if you love this post 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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two bowls of apple cinnamon steel cut oatmeal with silver spoons, an apple and cinnamon sticks next to the bowls

Stovetop Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats

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  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh, RD
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
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Description

Apple cinnamon steel cut oatmeal is the best warm & cozy breakfast for chilly mornings. Prepared on the stovetop, chewy steel cut oats are seasoned with cinnamon and maple syrup, then topped with soft and tender cinnamon stewed apples. Ready to eat in 30 minutes!


Ingredients

Scale

Steel cut oatmeal

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup dry steel cut oats
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • Heaping 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Stewed apples

  • 2 medium-large apples, such as Gala, Honeycrisp, or Jonagold
  • Scant 1/4 cup water + 2 tbsp water, divided
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp cornstarch


Instructions

  1. Make the steel cut oats: Bring water to a boil in a medium pot.
  2. Stir the oats, salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup into the boiling water and reduce heat to medium-low.
  3. Cook the oats, stirring regularly, for 20-25 minutes until thickened. The oats will be done when all the water is absorbed and they have a chewy texture.
  4. Make the stewed apples as the oats are cooking. Dice apples into 1/4 inch cubes.
  5. Combine diced apples, 1/4 cup water, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla extract, and salt in a separate medium pot. Stir to combine.
  6. Bring the liquid to a gentle boil, then cover the pot and cook for 5-7 minutes until apples are fork tender.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and remaining 2 tbsp water to make a cornstarch slurry.
  8. Reduce the apple pot heat to low and stir in the cornstarch slurry. This will thicken up the liquid to a syrupy consistency.
  9. Portion steel cut oats into 4 bowls. Top each bowl with a few generous scoops of the stewed apples.
  10. Mix the apples into the oats and enjoy!

Notes

Storage

Store cooked and cooled oats in an airtight container for you to 5 days.

Reheat individual portions in the microwave, with a splash of water or milk, until warmed through.

Freezer: Portion out cooked steel cut oats into muffin tins. Freeze, then transfer the oat “muffins” to a freezer safe container or baggie.

Microwave individual portions of frozen steel cut oats for 2 minutes, then add a splash of liquid and stir. Microwave in 30 second intervals until it is heated through.

Use frozen steel cut oats within 3 months.