Risotto with oats? I’d be skeptical if I were you, but let me tell you—I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I love this twist on risotto. Traditional risotto is time consuming, rich and delicious, but doesn’t have much to offer in the nutrition department.
I’ve learned how to make a baked version with brown rice and lots of vegetables, but it still takes a little too much time to qualify as an easy weeknight meal.
Enter steel-cut oat risotto! Also known as, another way to use those steel-cut oats in your pantry, for something other than steel-cut oatmeal. Like arborio rice, steel-cut oats get nice and creamy when cooked.
Unlike brown arborio rice, steel-cut oats require about 25 minutes on the stove, with minimal fuss. Steel-cut oats are 100% whole grain and are a good source of fiber, so this risotto will stick with you.
This recipe is my second, and final, recipe in partnership with Quaker’s More Taste, Less Waste campaign, which was launched in partnership with the James Beard Foundation. The idea is to combine fall produce that often languishes away unused with oats, which are likely in your pantry already, to help you rethink ways to eat more nutritiously every day and help reduce food waste.
This flexible risotto recipe is the perfect solution for your extra fall produce. I used a combination of kale and butternut squash here, but you could easily replace the kale with chard, spinach or collard greens. Try sweet potato or carrots in place of the butternut squash!
For more recipe inspiration, check out Quaker’s More Taste, Less Waste Pinterest board or share your own recipes using #JustAddOats.
For another flexible recipe with oats, don’t miss my kale, apple and goat cheese salad with granola “croutons.” As always, please let me know how you like this recipe in the comments.
Watch How to Make Steel-Cut Oat Risotto
Steel-Cut Oat “Risotto” with Butternut Squash and Kale
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
This hearty risotto is made with steel-cut oats instead of rice! It’s thick, creamy and rich like regular risotto, but with extra texture and nutty flavor, thanks to the oats. You’re going to love it! Recipe yields 4 generous or 6 more modest servings.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 small (2 pounds) butternut squash or 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½” cubes
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided, more to taste
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 ½ cups Quaker Steel-Cut Oats
- 2 packed cups chopped kale, ribs removed (about ½ bunch)
- ½ cup dry white wine*
- 6 cups water
- ¾ cup (1 ¾ ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a medium Dutch oven or soup pot, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, butternut, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and the red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent and the butternut is mostly tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the oats and kale and cook, stirring often, until the kale has mostly wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to scrape up any browned bits that have formed against the bottom of the pan. Cook, while stirring, for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the water and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is very creamy and thick (see photos), about 20 to 30 minutes. As time goes on, you might need to stir more frequently and reduce the heat to prevent scorching the bottom.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, butter, lemon juice and several twists of black pepper. Let the risotto rest for 5 minutes before serving. Once you’re ready to serve, season generously with additional salt (I usually add at least ¼ teaspoon), and black pepper. Add an extra squeeze of lemon juice if it needs an extra boost of flavor. Divide into bowls and serve.
Make it vegan: Omit the Parmesan altogether or replace it with cashew sour cream, to taste (see my cookbook, page 217). Omit the butter altogether or stir in some extra-virgin olive oil for extra richness.
*Wine note: Choose a dry, unoaked white wine, such as sauvignon blanc. If you don’t want to include alcohol in your risotto, simply omit it (no substitutions required).
Parmesan note: Vegetarian Parmesans do exist—look for the animal rennet-free varieties. There’s plenty of flavor in here without the Parmesan, if you’d rather leave it out.
▸ Nutrition Information
This post was created in partnership with Quaker and I received compensation for my participation. Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K!