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Savory Steel Cut Oats with Cheese

5 from 4 community reviews

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Make savory steel cut oats for breakfast or any time of day, with pecorino cheese, black pepper and a softly poached egg.

A white ceramic bowl of breakfast steel cut oats with pecorino cheese and poached egg, with a spoon and glass of orange juice.

Have you tried mixing up your oatmeal routine lately? Try these savory steel-cut oats to start the day — or make a bowl for dinner!

If you’re like me, you don’t skip breakfast.

In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s my growling stomach that motivates me to get out of bed in the first place.

Some mornings call for simple oats with almond milk or a healthy blueberry oat muffin.

But most of the time I’m a person in search of savories and a soft-boiled or poached egg is my usual go-to.

A white ceramic bowl of breakfast steel cut oats with pecorino cheese and poached egg, with a spoon and glass of orange juice.

Going out for breakfast doesn’t happen often either, but last time I had a friend visiting from out of town we had brunch on a Sunday morning.

Steel cut oats for breakfast

One of the specials on the menu that day was savory steel cut oats with olive oil and black pepper — the unexpected twist on a usually sweet breakfast preparation made me very happy.

I wondered why I didn’t cook steel cut oats at home regularly..hmm, let’s see.

Could it be that 2 minutes in the microwave for rolled oats versus more than 10 times that much on the stovetop has something to do with it? Um, yeah. 

But after experimenting on a few cold mornings recently, I found that steel cut oats can take under 30 minutes to cook – totally agreeable, even for someone with a hollow, hungry stomach.

A white ceramic bowl of breakfast steel cut oats with pecorino cheese and poached egg, with a spoon and glass of orange juice.

Adding a poached egg and Pecorino cheese makes this a perfect alternative to a sweet bowl of oats, with added protein.

You can cook the oats ahead and reheat servings in a microwave to have on multiple mornings (stir in a little water first).

Savory Steel Cut Oats with Poached Egg

Karen Tedesco
A delicious twist on classic Scottish steel cut oats, with grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese and a poached egg.
Print Pin
5 from 4 community reviews
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine whole grains/vegetarian
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 cup (160 g) steel cut oats
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup (25 g) grated pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Fresh coarsely cracked black pepper
  • 3-4 eggs, depending on servings
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar


  • Put the oats and 3½ cups water into a heavy medium saucepan along with the salt — use 4 cups water if you prefer a looser porridge texture. Bring to a boil, stir the oats, then lower heat to a slow simmer.
  • Cook until most of the water is absorbed (stirring occasionally) and the oats begin to get creamy, 25-30 minutes (they won't be totally soft at this point, but pleasantly chewy).
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the olive oil, cheese and about 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

To make the poached eggs:

  • When the oats are almost ready, bring a small skillet of water to a boil with the vinegar – a non-stick pan makes for easier cleaning. Crack the eggs into the water and adjust the heat down from a boil to a simmer. Cook the eggs until they are done to your liking, about 5 minutes for softly-set yolks.
  • Serve the oats with a poached egg on top. Top with more cheese to taste. If you have a hunk of cheese, use a swivel vegetable peeler to shave additional cheese over the top.

Karen’s Notes and Tips

  • Serving ideas: Top with a fried egg instead, and add a spoonful of your favorite pesto. So good!
  • To make ahead: Cool and refrigerate up to 3 days. Stir in a little water and reheat gently on the stovetop until hot.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 729mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 227IU | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe? Search @Familystylefood or tag #familystylefood on Pinterest

Hey, I’m Karen

Creator of Familystyle Food

I’m a food obsessed super-taster and professionally trained cook ALL about creating elevated dinners with everyday ingredients. Find simplified recipes made from scratch and enjoy incredibly tasty food! Read more about me here.

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  1. A take on oats I would never have considered but after trying this recipe once I am hooked! So good!

  2. Ooh, that egg looks so wonderful! I love the idea of punching up a savory oatmeal with the richness of egg yolk. 🙂

    1. Thanks Eileen! I would probably put a poached egg on just about anything!