Savory Steel Cut Oats: Oatmeal for Dinner! (vegan)

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Savory oatmeal? YES! Full of nutrient-dense ingredients like leeks, mushrooms, and kale, this healthy plant-based meal is so deliciously rich & flavorful that you’ll forget it’s good for you. In fact, this savory steel cut oats recipe is all you need to start craving oatmeal for dinner!

Savory steel cut oats topped with roasted tomatoes and parsley.
Savory steelcut oats topped with roasted tomatoes.

I have a confession: I don’t like oatmeal.

To clarify, I don’t enjoy oatmeal for breakfast. Sure it’s one of the healthiest breakfasts around, and I feed it to my kiddos all the time. Personally, I’m just not in the mood for warm, sweetened grains in the morning hours.

Savory oatmeal on the other hand?!? GAME CHANGER! All grains are delicious for dinner, so why not oats?!

If you have been wondering how to make oats more flavorful and unique, this savory oats recipe is for you!

Oatmeal Risotto”: a healthier alternative to to original

Savory oats are not only addictively delicious, but SO heart healthy. Essentially, this vegan savory oats recipe cooks like risotto, only easier! That is, you don’t need to stir the entire time ;).

Is oatmeal is healthier than rice? Yup. Steel cut oats are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In fact, steel cuts are far superior to arborio rice when it comes to health benefits:

  • Double the amount of fiber at 4 grams per serving
  • 20% more protein, at 5-6 grams per serving
  • 10% of your daily iron intake, compared to 1% from arborio rice
  • low glycemic index food at 42 compared to 69 in arborio rice

Steel Cut Oats vs. Rolled Oats

A quick note about oats. Both types of oats are delicious in savory oats. I personally prefer the nuttier, chewier texture from the steel cut oats so I recommend them.

If you want to use rolled oats for this simple savory oatmeal recipe, simply cook for less time. You may also use slightly less liquid so add it more slowly and taste for doneness more often.

Health wise, steel cut beat out rolled oats slightly with a lower glycemic index and more fiber. Another reason I like to use steel cut!

Flavor profile for this savory vegan oats recipe

This healthy savory oats recipe features leeks, mushrooms, and kale. The addition of vegan butter, white wine, nutritional yeast, garlic, herbs, and lemon bring an impressive depth of flavor to the dish:

  • Umami: the slow cooking mushrooms along with nutritional yeast pack an umami punch
  • Rich: the combination of plant-based butter, white wine, mushrooms, leeks, and nutritional yeast creates an addictive taste that will have you craving seconds
  • Vegetable-forward: while the leeks and garlic are more subtle, the mushrooms and kale are the delicious stars in the dish (and optional roasted veggies join them on stage!)
  • Bright: the risotto is finished with fresh lemon, finishing it with a bright tang
Savory steel cut oats with kale, mushrooms, and leeks.
Savory Oats with mushrooms, leeks, and kale

Vegan Savory Oatmeal Serving Suggestions:

Perhaps you have already seen the savory oats trends, often shown with breakfast foods. But if you’re looking for savory oatmeal recipes without eggs, these are for you!

  • Simply serve steel cut savory oatmeal recipe as is, or topped with cheese. Loaded with veggies and heart healthy oats, it is a complete meal on its own. (Check out the best plant-based cheese by category!)
Savory steel cut oats with plant-based cheese.
Savory Oats with veggies and vegan cheese
  • Add roasted vegetables on top, like tomatoes or asparagus (or both!). Roast at least 1/2 pound of your favorite roasted veggies while the savory oats are cooking.
Oatmeal risotto aka savory oats with roasted tomatoes.
Savory Steel Cut Oats with roasted heirloom tomatoes.
Savory oatmeal with roasted tomatoes and asparagus on top.
Savory Steel Cut Oats with roasted tomatoes and asparagus

Adapt Recipe for WFPB Savory Oats

Recipe can easily be adapted for a whole food plant based diet. Simply sub water for plant-based butter, and stir in 1/2 cup of plant-based milk during the cooking process to give it more creaminess.

For more healthy dinner recipes, check out:

Without further ado, here is the Savory Steel Cut Oats recipe. Enjoy oatmeal for dinner!

Savory Steel Cut Oats (vegan)

Enjoy oatmeal for dinner! This steel cut oats recipe is essentially risotto made from steel cut oats instead of rice. Savory, full of flavor and SO healthy. Enjoy as is, or top with your favorite roasted vegetables.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Vegan
Servings 4 people
Calories 267 kcal


  • 1 1/2 tablespoon plant-based butter see WFPB note above
  • 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped or 1 large onion
  • 8 ounces mushrooms of choice, chopped optional
  • 2 teaspoons dried herbs of choice like thyme, sage, parseley
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chopped raw garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine optional
  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or stock
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast optional, but it adds a cheesy flavor
  • 3 heaping cups chopped kale
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • fresh herbs, cheese, and/or roasted veggies for topping optional


  • If topping savory oats with roasted vegetables, turn on oven and prep veggies for roasting. See above for veggie roasting ideas and details.
  • Begin on savory oats. Melt plant-based butter on medium heat in large saute pan or sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Add leeks (or onions). Cook for 3-4 minutes, until leeks/onions soften.
  • Add mushrooms and herbs. Cook for 3 more minutes.
  • Add garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add white wine if using. Stir for 1-2 minutes, until liquid is mostly absorbed, using cooking spoon to scrape off bottom of pan.
  • Add 2 cups of broth. Stir occasionally. Add 1 more cup of broth at a time, every 6-7 minutes for about 25 minutes until oats are tender.
  • Add in nutritional yeast. Cook for another 3-4 minutes on low.
  • Squeeze in lemon and mix. Plate.
  • Top with roasted vegetables, fresh herbs, and/or cheese (optional).


Store leftovers in fridge for you to 6 days.
Freezes well.


Calories: 267kcal
Keyword oatmeal risotto, savory oatmeal, savory oats, savory steel cut oats
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I hope you enjoy these savoury vegan oats! Please let me know what you think by rating and reviewing this recipe below.



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