I can’t believe I used to the the girl who hated oatmeal.  Well, sometimes I liked it when we were all out of cereal and by “oatmeal”, I mean the artificially flavored instant stuff from the paper packets.  When I started looking for breakfast options to kick my boxed cereal habit, I considered oatmeal with a large dose of skepticism.  I have a couple recipes for baked oatmeal that see a lot of action around here, but lots of you wonderful readers suggested I try steel cut oats and I haven’t looked back since.  Steel cut oats are so different than the tough, tasteless stuff I used to know as oatmeal.  I make it in large batches and eat it throughout the week.  I mix in apples and raisins, peanut butter and banana, or sometimes just a handful of dried cranberries.

One morning a few weeks ago, we were out of peanut butter so I scrounged around in the pantry until I surfaced with a jar of Nutella.  That seemed like a pretty good idea so I swirled in a dollop with a handful of strawberries.  Oh.my.word.  People, this is like dessert oatmeal.  Oatmeal I could actually eat for dessert and be decently satisfied.  That’s kind of a big deal.  This may not seem all that revolutionary to you but in our house, it’s caused a bit of a stir and I thought it was worth sharing.  Thankfully a little bit of Nutella goes a long way so you don’t need to feel guilty about enjoying this for breakfast or dessert.  I haven’t tried it yet but I’m sure raspberries would be equally wonderful.  Happy breakfast!

  • Yield 4-6 servings


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar

For serving:

  • 4-6 tbsp. chocolate hazelnut spread
  • Fresh sliced strawberries


  • 01

    Combine the water and milk in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a simmer.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add the oats and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.

  • 02

    Stir the toasted oats into the simmering liquid.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the mixture is very thick, about 20 minutes.  Stir in the salt and brown sugar.  Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the oatmeal is creamy, about 10 minutes more.  Remove from the heat and let stand 10 minutes before serving.*

  • 03

    Portion the oatmeal into serving bowls.  Top each serving with 1 tablespoon of chocolate hazelnut spread and swirl gently into the oatmeal with a knife or a spoon.  Garnish each serving with a handful of sliced strawberries.  Serve immediately.

  • 04

    *The oatmeal can be prepared up to this point and refrigerated for later meals.  I reheat each serving in the microwave in short intervals, adding in splashes of milk until the texture is sufficiently creamy and not at all dry.