Steel Cut Oat Risotto with Butternut Squash and Vegan Bacon
This creamy, smoky butternut squash and vegan bacon risotto is so easy to make and features nutritious steel cut oats.
I don’t think I need to tell you guys that I’m obsessed with oats. It’s pretty clear considering about 75% of the recipes on this website include them!
I haven’t always been a fan of steel cut oats, however. I like them – I’m just lazy. They take a bit longer to cook than instant or rolled oats, so that’s pretty much always been the deciding factor for me. More time? No, thanks.
But they’re really really good – both tasting and for you. And, they have some unique properties that regular rolled oats don’t.
Why Use Steel Cut Oats for Risotto?
Most recently, I learned that the dense, chewy texture and size of steel cut oats make them an excellent alternative to rice in dishes like paella, jambalaya, and risotto. So, I decided I could sack it up and find an additional 15 minutes to make them.
Boy, am I glad I gave them another try. I’ve been using One Degree Organics Sprouted Steel Cut Oats in all kinds of savory dishes lately (like my Savory Pizza Oat Bake!) and absolutely loving having another scrumptious whole grain option for lunch and dinner.
And, I’ve even come around to making them for breakfast on occasion instead of the quicker option of rolled oats. I batch cook several servings at a time so I can quickly reheat the leftovers and save time that way. In the end, it takes as much time total as it would to make a batch of rolled oats from scratch every day.
What Kind of Steel Cut Oats Do I Need for Risotto?
I especially love the steel cut oats from One Degree Organics because not only are they organic and sprouted, but they’re also certified glyphosate-free. You’d think that being organic would automatically mean that a product is also free of herbicides and pesticides, but that isn’t always the case. Pesticide (or chemical) drift, which occurs when wind carries chemicals from conventional farms to nearby organic farms, can result in glyphosate showing up in organic products. Luckily, One Degree Organics individually tests all of their products to ensure they’re completely glyphosate-free.
My whole family loves this nutritious recipe. Oats are pretty much my toddler’s favorite meal and my husband loves the smoky flavor the vegan bacon lends to the more neutral-tasting oats.
I love that I can sneak veggies into both of their bowls! The butternut squash adds a hefty dose of plant-based vitamin A and disease-fighting phytochemicals and the peas pack a protein punch (in addition to the protein from the steel cut oats).
Toppings for Steel Cut Oat Risotto
I serve my steel cut oat butternut squash ris-OAT-o with homemade vegan parmesan sprinkled on top, but for a more traditional risotto, you can stir a cup of meltable store-bought vegan parmesan into the oats when you add the tempeh bacon for extra cheesiness.
Fresh chopped herbs like thyme or sage add complexity to the dish and a little flair if you’re cooking for a crowd but aren’t a necessity. As you know, I like to keep things simple.
I hope you’ll enjoy this one as much as we do!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups butternut squash, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup One Degree Organic Steel Cut Oats, uncooked
- 4½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup peas, thawed from frozen
- 1 cup tempeh bacon, cooked and chopped
- salt to taste
- fresh sage or thyme, chopped
- vegan parmesan
- Warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and butternut squash and cook for about 10 minutes until squash has softened.
- Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add oats and 4 cups of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently. If mixture gets to dry, add additional vegetable broth.
- Once oats are cooked through and creamy, stir in tempeh bacon and peas and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve topped with vegan parmesan and chopped herbs.
PIN the recipe! >>
Weigh-in: Are you team rolled oats or steel cut oats? Have you tried steel cut oat risotto before?
*This post is sponsored by One Degree Organics but all opinions are my own. I thank you for your support of Whitney E. RD-approved partnerships that make this website possible!
Hey Whitney! If I were to substitute a cup of couscous for the oats, do you think the other ingredient amounts would be the same? Thank you!
Jennifer M. Bell says:
This recipe is a great way to incorporate steel cut oats in a savory dish, they have a chewy texture which makes them a perfect replacement for Arborio Rice in a risotto. The butternut squash gives a nice sweetness and texture to the dish, and the vegan bacon adds a smoky flavor. This recipe can also be adjusted to add other vegetables like mushrooms or kale, and you can use any plant-based bacon alternative that you like.