Eating oatmeal for dinner isn’t as crazy as it sounds with these mushroom-filled savory steel cut oats. Bookmark this as a cheap, delicious, hearty vegetarian meal!

Small purple pot filled with mushroom risotto and topped with parmesan cheese.

While I’m not a strict adherent to a “meatless Monday” menu, I do try to eat meat-free meals, like vegetarian fajitas, vegan lentil curry or an apple grilled cheese, once in awhile.

Today, I’m trying out something that I’ve had on my “to try” list for a very long time: risotto made from steel cut oats. I’d seen it on a restaurant menu, although hadn’t tried it at home yet.

A quick spin through the Google machine led me to a blog post which confirmed that the process for this risotto was exactly the same as it is for traditional risotto made with arborio rice.

Which is perfect, because I bet I could make mushroom and kale risotto with a blindfold on and one hand tied behind my back. Turns out, this savory steel cut oat recipe is very similar.

Stainless steel saucepan filled with savory dinner oatmeal topped with cheese.

Why I love eating oatmeal for dinner:

I’m so in love with this mushroom oatmeal for dinner recipe for a couple of reasons. Primarily, because it alleviated my feelings of guilt for buying a tin of oatmeal purely for the adorable metal container.

Now, anyone who’s ever been out to breakfast with me knows: I’m really not in the mood for sweet breakfast all that often.

Brioche French toast and waffles and ice cream only rarely have their place at my table, and that’s only at dinner time. Never in the morning.

So, the chances of me eating this oatmeal, in a sweet capacity, for breakfast, were non-existent. This oatmeal risotto allowed me to eat them in a savory way, and it was damn tasty.

Three small purple pots filled with steel cut oat risotto.

These savory steel cut oats are filled with mushrooms!

I made this a mushroom risotto just because that’s my favorite type of risotto to make. I’ve made all different flavors, but I keep coming back to basic mushroom Parmesan risotto. It’s like an old friend.

In my opinion, mushrooms are just so delicious and add a “meaty” quality to a meatless meal, like my lentil pasta sauce.

For this mushroom oatmeal, I used a large package (8 ounces) of traditional white button mushrooms, as well as a smaller package (4 ounces) of “gourmet mushroom blend” (which included cremini, shitake and oyster), just to keep things interesting.

This savory steel cut oat recipe was PACKED with mushrooms, making it a very satisfying meatless meal (just like my Greek yogurt pasta!). I also flavored it up with a leek and a generous amount of dried ground sage and fresh thyme.

This oatmeal for dinner recipe can be kept vegetarian.

I kept it vegetarian by using the homemade vegetable stock that I learned to make in culinary school. But store bought veggie stock is always absolutely fine.

To keep this oatmeal for dinner recipe vegetarian, please skip the Parmesan cheese. Parmesan cheese is not vegetarian because it contains rennet (an enzyme that’s found in the lining of a goat or calf’s stomach).

Stainless steel skilled filled with oat risotto.

Or, this savory steel cut oat recipe can be made with meat stock and cheese.

You can also use chicken stock or beef stock to make this mushroom oatmeal if you’re not vegetarian and happen to have it around.

And if you’re not vegetarian, don’t forget to sprinkle this oat risotto with Parmesan cheese at the end for another layer of umami!

What to serve with this mushroom oatmeal risotto?

My favorite thing to serve with any kind of risotto, including this oatmeal risotto, is a fresh salad. A classic green salad with miso salad dressing or citrus salad dressing is always a great choice.

When it’s the right season for tomatoes, a beet and tomato salad is another excellent option to serve with this oat risotto.

I also like maple Brussels sprouts right alongside, or even on top of, this savory oatmeal.

Small purple bowl filled with savory mushroom oatmeal for dinner.

Tips for making this oat risotto successful:

  • Be sure to use traditional steel cut Irish oatmeal for this oatmeal for dinner recipe, NOT the quick-cooking kind.
  • It’s tempting to skip the part where you warm the stock in the first step, but don’t. Making oatmeal risotto with hot stock is essential. It keeps the oats cooking at a consistent temperature rather than cooling the skillet down by adding cold or room temperature stock, heating it up again, and repeating. Consistent heat will give you the best final product.
  • Lots of people think that you have to stir risotto constantly, but that’s kind of a myth. You do NOT need to stand in front of the stove and stir these savory steel cut oats constantly, but you should stir frequently, so just do some other stuff around the kitchen while you linger (I use it a chance to unload the dishwasher or clean a few shelves in the fridge).

More great oatmeal recipes:

While mushroom oatmeal is super savory, I also occasionally enjoy oatmeal that balances the sweet with the savory, like the recipes below.

Small purple bowl filled with savory mushroom oatmeal for dinner.

Oatmeal For Dinner (Savory Steel Cut Oats)

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Eating oatmeal for dinner isn't as crazy as it sounds with these mushroom-filled savory steel cut oats. Bookmark this as a cheap, delicious, hearty vegetarian meal!


  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 leek (white and light green part only), halved lengthwise then cut crosswise into thin slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 ounces assorted mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried sage
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup steel cut Irish oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. In medium saucepan with lid, heat stock over medium heat until simmering, then reduce heat to low and keep covered.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek and salt; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, mushrooms, thyme and sage; cook 7 to 8 minutes or until mushrooms are very deeply browned, stirring frequently. Add wine, cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Add oatmeal; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 2 ladles of hot stock, cook until oats have absorbed almost all of the liquid. From this point, you’ll continue adding stock, 1 ladle at a time, and stirring frequently (you do NOT need to stir constantly). The oats should take about 25 minutes to cook (taste to make sure they are tender).
  4. To finish, vigorously stir in 1/4 cup cheese. Serve in warm bowls garnished with parsley and extra cheese.


Home Chef Notes:

  • chicken or beef stock may also be used
  • any variety of fresh mushroom may be used. I used 8 ounces white mushrooms + 4 ounces “gourmet mushroom blend”
  • use traditional steel cut Irish oatmeal, NOT the quick-cooking kind

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 375Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 2774mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 7gSugar: 10gProtein: 13g

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Collage of images of oatmeal for dinner with overlay: cheap, delicious + hearty! SAVORY MUSHROOM OATMEAL.