Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats

Kickstart your day with a hearty bowl of apple cinnamon steel-cut oats! Packed with fiber and flavor, this nutritious breakfast features tender oats cooked with sweet apples and warm cinnamon. Follow this easy recipe for a satisfying morning treat that will keep you full and energized all day long!
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A bowl of apple cinnamon steel cut oats topped with apple slices and chopped nuts.
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Looking for a delicious and wholesome breakfast option? Apple cinnamon steel cut oats are the perfect choice! This hearty dish combines the nutty flavor of steel cut oats with the sweetness of apples and the warmth of cinnamon, creating a comforting and nutritious meal to start your day.

You’ll soon discover why it’s a favorite for breakfast lovers everywhere! With simple ingredients and easy preparation, this recipe is perfect for busy mornings or leisurely brunches. Plus, it’s customizable, so you can adjust the sweetness and spice to suit your taste. Let’s get cooking and enjoy a warm, satisfying bowl of steel cut oats with apples and cinnamon!

If you’re wild about oats, you’ll love these versatile and super yummy overnight oats recipes.

A bowl of apple cinnamon oats garnished with fresh apples.

Why You Must Make This Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

Discover the reasons why oatmeal with cinnamon and apples are a breakfast favorite. From their hearty texture to the comforting flavors, these oats are sure to become a morning staple in your home!

  • Healthy Breakfast: Oats are packed with fiber and nutrients, making this dish a nutritious (and delicious!) way to start your day.
  • Easy to Make: This recipe is simple and quick, perfect for busy mornings.
  • Filling and Satisfying: A bowl of apple cinnamon oats will keep you full and energized for hours.
  • Tasty Combo: Apples and cinnamon make a delicious pair, adding sweet and warm flavors to your oats.
  • Incredibly Customizable: You can adjust the sweetness and spice to suit your taste, making it a versatile vegan breakfast option.
  • Comforting and Cozy: The aroma of apples and cinnamon will make your kitchen feel warm and inviting.

Perfect for Meal Prepping Breakfast

Cook a batch and store in the fridge for quick breakfasts during the week. A super grab-and-go option. It reheats nicely in the microwave—just add a splash of water or plant-based milk to it. But it’s also great cold for a grab-and-go breakfast!

Key Ingredients

Let’s dive into the main ingredients that bring this apple and cinnamon oatmeal to life. Discover how each component adds to the rich, cozy flavors of this hearty breakfast treat. Such a delicious team!

Ingredients for apple cinnamon oats with labels.
  • Quick Steel Cut Oats: These types of oats are whole grain oats that have been chopped into smaller pieces. They add a hearty texture and nutty flavor to the oats and are quick to cook. Other substitutes for steel cut oats include rolled oats, quick oats, oat groats, quinoa, bulgar wheat, farro, and barley. Each of these has a different cooking time and water requirement, so double check before swapping them out.
  • Apples: Diced apples provide natural sweetness and a burst of fruity flavor. They also add a pleasant texture to the oats. Instead of apples, you can also use peaches, berries, mango, and bananas.
  • Cinnamon: This ingredient adds warm, spicy notes that brings out the sweetness of the apples. You can also use these spice options for oatmeal: nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves, vanilla, or even turmeric.
  • Maple Syrup: Adds a rich, sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with the apples and cinnamon. It gives the oats a touch of natural sweetness and depth. Feel free to swap for any liquid sweetener of your choice.
  • Brown Sugar: Enhances the overall sweetness of the dish and gives a hint of caramel flavor. Choose to leave out this ingredient if you’d like a less sweet bowl of oats or would like to use a whole foods option, such as dates or raisins.
  • Water: Water is used to cook the oats and helps to soften them. It also helps to create a creamy texture in the oats as they cook. If you’d like a richer oatmeal, use a plant-based milk (like cashew milk or almond milk) instead, either sweetened or unsweetened.

See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for full measurements.

Fun Steel Cut Oats Flavor Combinations

When you’re ready to switch it up, try these ten incredibly tasty fruit and flavor combos to further your steel-cut oat obsession! Share your own favorite pairings in the comments below!

  • Birthday Cake – Bananas, vegan sprinkles, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and optional topping of vegan buttercream frosting drizzle.
  • Triple Berry – Blueberry, raspberries, and blackberry and top with your jam of choice (or this delicious homemade chia seed jam).
  • Raspberry Chocolate Chip – Fresh raspberries with vegan chocolate chips (try white, too!), and dusted with crushed freeze-dried raspberries.
  • Black Forest Cake – Mix in a few tablespoons of cherry pie filling (or 1 cup of sweet dark cherries), 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, chopped walnuts, and finish with a dollop coconut whipped cream.
  • Peanut Butter and Banana – Add a mashed, ripe banana and a scoop (or two!) of peanut butter. Serve topped with a few roasted peanuts and a little maple syrup. You can even add jam to make it like these Peanut Butter & Jelly overnight oats.
  • Apple Pie – Sprinkle in apple pie spice along with a half of an apple (diced) and a few roughly chopped vegan oatmeal cookies, and a hearty helping of vegan whipped cream.
  • Pumpkin Pie – Same as the apple pie version, except use a few tablespoons of pumpkin puree and a dash of pumpkin pie spice.
  • Tropical Pina Colada – Mix in a few tablespoons of crushed pineapple, a mashed banana, and top with coconut flakes.

How To Cook Steel Cut Oats On The Stovetop

Making this apple cinnamon steel cut oats recipe is easy and rewarding. Follow these simple steps to create a hearty and flavorful breakfast that will warm your soul and fuel your day!

Step One: Boil the Water. In a medium saucepan, bring 1½  cups of water to a boil.

A saucepan with apples, cinnamon, and oats.

Step Two: Add Ingredients. Stir in ½ cup of quick cook steel cut oats, ½ apple (diced), 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.

A saucepan with apple cinnamon oats simmering.
Cooked apple cinnamon oats in a saucepan.

Step Three: Simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25-30 minutes (without lid), stirring occasionally, until oats are tender and creamy.

A bowl of apple cinnamon oats.

Step Four: Serve. Remove from heat, stir in the remaining maple syrup, and let it sit for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy your warm and comforting bowl of apple cinnamon oats!

Alternative Ways To Cook Steel Cut Oats

Cooking steel cut oats on the stovetop is not the only way to cook this hearty and satisfying breakfast. Here are two more methods for the best tasting cinnamon apple steel cut oatmeal:

Microwave Steel Cut Oats

Cooking up oats in the microwave is super simple! Just grab a microwave-safe bowl and combine 1/4 cup of steel cut oats with 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Pop it in the microwave on high for 3 minutes, give it a stir, and then microwave for another 2-3 minutes until the oats are tender and the liquid is absorbed. Let it sit for a minute or two to thicken, then dive into your warm and hearty bowl of steel cut oats.

Instant Pot

Making apple steel cut oats in an Instant Pot is a breeze! Start by rinsing the oats under cold water, then add them to your Instant Pot along with 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Seal the lid, set the valve to the sealing position, and cook on high pressure for just 4 minutes. After a natural release of 10 minutes, carefully release any remaining pressure. Give the oats a good stir, and they’re ready to be topped with your favorite goodies and enjoyed.

Helpful Serving Tips and Suggestions

Enhance this oatmeal from steel cut oats recipe with these clever tips and swaps. From toppings to creative twists, you’ll discover ways to make your morning bowl even more delicious! Yum!

  • Add Toppings: Sprinkle with nuts (raw or toasted), seeds, or dried fruits for extra flavor and texture. Freeze-dried fruits (especially berries) give a great texture to this recipe, too!
  • Sweets to the Sweet: Drizzle with vegan honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, or brown sugar if you like it sweeter.
  • Pour on Plant-Based Milk: Pour some oat milk or coconut whipped cream over your oats for a creamier texture. For an after-dinner dessert, use vegan whipped cream!
  • Experiment with Apples: Experiment with different apple varieties for varying levels of sweetness and texture. This handy apple sweetness chart will help you make the best choice!
  • Spice It Up: Mix in other spices like nutmeg or cloves for a unique flavor twist. The choices are endless!
  • Say Yes to Yogurt: A dollop of cool vegan yogurt into the warm, cooked oats is very refreshing. Plain dairy-free yogurt works well but, if you’d like it a little sweeter, use sweetened vanilla or fruity flavor.
A bowl of apple cinnamon oats with chunks of fresh apples.

Recipe FAQs

Are steel cut oats gluten-free?

Unfortunately, not all oats are gluten-free. Make sure to check the packaging to see if the oats are free of gluten. Our favorite brands include Bakery on Main, Bob’s Red Mill, Anthony’s, Nature’s Path, and Great River Milling.

Can I use rolled oats for this recipe?

Yes, you can use rolled oats instead of quick steel-cut oats. Since rolled oats are lighter and will cook faster than steel-cut oats, you’ll need to double the amount of oats and increase the amount of water. In this recipe, you would use 1 cup of rolled oats and 2 cups of water.

How do I store any leftover cinnamon apple steel cut oats?

To store leftover cooked steel cut oats, let them cool to room temperature. Then, transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of water or plant-based milk.

Can you eat raw steel cut oats?

Yes, you can eat raw steel-cut oats, but they are quite hard and chewy. They are typically soaked overnight in liquid like vegan milk or vegan yogurt to soften them before eating. This process, called overnight oats, makes them easier to digest and creates a creamy texture. Be careful when consuming raw oats, for there is a risk of bloating, gas, and other digestive problems.

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you make this apple cinnamon steel cut oats recipe, please leave a star rating and let me know what you think in the comments below! I love reading your comments!

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Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats

5 from 10 votes
Apple cinnamon steel cut oats are a cozy breakfast dish made with oats, diced apples, cinnamon, and water or plant-based milk. It's a delicious, satisfying, and comforting meal perfect for any morning of the week!
A bowl of apple cinnamon steel cut oats topped with apple slices and chopped nuts.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2


  • cups water
  • ½ cup quick cook steel cut oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ apple, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup, plus extra, to taste


  • In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Once boiling, add the steel cut oats and lower heat to medium-low.
  • Stir in the cinnamon, diced apple, and brown sugar, and simmer for 30 minutes, without a lid, stirring occasionally.
  • After 30 minutes, remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.
  • Serve in bowls and top with additional maple syrup and/or a sprinkle of cinnamon, to taste.


  • For quick cook steel cut oats, follow the package directions. Most call for 1 1/2 cups water per 1/2 cup quick cook steel cut oats, and to cook covered for 7 minutes. But, make sure to double check your specific brand.
  • The cinnamon flavor will vary based on the quality of your cinnamon. Add more to taste, if desired. 
  • For extra sweetness, use cinnamon sugar instead of plain cinnamon.
  • Prefer to cook it in the microwave or Instant Pot? Check out those cooking instructions in the above article for the details.


Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 15mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 28IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 2mg
Course — Breakfast
Cuisine — American
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5 from 10 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe has all my favourites rolled into one! I love the texture of steel cut oats and they keep me full for a long time. Thank you for the recipe.

  2. I can’t wait to try this oatmeal! Especially when apples are in season – this sounds so cozy!

  3. 5 stars
    So delish and comforting

  4. 5 stars
    This was such a good filling breakfast! Thank you for the excellent recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    I love apples for breakfast! This is the perfect, cozy, scrumptious meal to kick-start my day.

  6. 5 stars
    This apple oatmeal was so delicious!

  7. Andrea White says:

    5 stars
    love the flavor of these apple cinnamon oats!

  8. 5 stars
    Yum! I’ll have to add this to my breakfast rotation. It’s so delicious and easy to make!

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