Apple, Pecan and Brown Butter Steel Cut Oats


If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year I hope your stress level isn’t too bad.  Have you managed to beat the crowd and picked up all the items on your grocery list?  Have you been able to cross some of the make-ahead dishes off your list?  This is the second Thanksgiving in 12 years that I won’t be hosting–the pressure may be off but I’ll miss pulling my roast turkey out of the oven Thursday afternoon.  Instead, I’ll be doing that on Friday.  Whether I host the holiday or not I still get a turkey every year, thanks to a tradition my husband started a couple of decades ago.  55 Diestel turkeys are delivered to our office each Wednesday before Thanksgiving so each employee can have one to take home.  By the time I arrive tomorrow morning, the spare office will be full of 20-pound turkeys waiting to be picked up.  It’s quite the scene.

Maybe it’s because I have less holiday responsibilities this year–I only have appetizers, dessert and a salad to prepare–but I found myself (oddly) preoccupied by another meal besides Thanksgiving dinner.  Last night while I prepared a mental to-do list, an idea for breakfast came to mind.  Steel cut oats with apples and yogurt is my husband’s power breakfast almost every day.  Me?  I love it for a week or two then I move on to smoothies or don’t eat in the morning at all.  Strong black tea is what I crave at the start of each day.  So I couldn’t quite understand why my last thought last night was to create my version of oatmeal with apples for this morning’s breakfast.

This is what ended up in my bowl.  I sautéed apple pieces in brown butter and brown sugar to top my steel cut oats along with some toasted pecans and yogurt.  There’s not much butter or sugar here but the little I did add lent just enough nuttiness and sweetness to make this bowl of oatmeal seem more special than normal.  I didn’t even miss the cinnamon and raisins I originally intended to add to the mix–they weren’t necessary.  Both my taste buds and tummy were happy with this warm meal; methinks my breakfast has been decided for the weeks to come.


***There are so many things to be thankful for in my life–another year of blessings, another year of memories with family and friends and another year of you keeping me company on this blog.  I wish you and yours a safe, blessed and delicious Thanksgiving!***




5.0 from 4 reviews
Apple, Pecan and Brown Butter Steel Cut Oats
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 1
  • ½ cup stee cut oats
  • 1 - 1½ cups water
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, seeded and cut in ½-inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar, lightly packed (or 1 T, packed)
  • Pecans for topping
  • Yogurt for topping
  1. To prepare the oats: In a small saucepan combine the water and steel cut oats following a 2:1 ratio of water to oats. Bring to a boil then lower heat to simmer until the oats are tender, about 15 minutes. If the oats get too dry, add a couple of tablespoons of water at a time.
  2. To prepare the apples: While the oats cook, heat the butter in a small pan over medium-high heat. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the butter melts, turns brown and smells nutty. Add the apple pieces, cook over medium heat for 2 minutes then add the brown sugar. Cook for another 2 minutes or until the apple pieces are tender.
  3. Transfer the cooked oats to a bowl and top with cooked apples followed by the pecans and yogurt. Eat warm.

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  1. This looks immensely better than the Grape-Nuts and bowl of coffee that I’m about to inhale! Love the textures and colours (and the fact that you used brown butter!). This would make an ideal power breakfast on Thursday morning! 🙂

    Happy Thanksgiving, Jean! 🙂

  2. The scene of the office filled with turkeys had me giggle. 🙂 I have been thinking about jazzing up my morning oatmeal and your idea is perfect! I love the apple, pecans and brown butter combo – way to start the day. 🙂 Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Jean! I am so glad to have discovered your blog this year! xoxo

  3. Happy Thanksgiving, Jean! Have a good one! Surely, this brown butter and apple pecan steel-cut oats is a perfect starter for a busy holiday for you guys! That’s so very generous of your company to provide employees with turkey each thanksgiving! WOW! Is it usually a long weekend holiday for you guys there for Thanksgiving?

  4. A perfect bowl of oatmeal!

  5. Jean you are so talented at making your food look so delicious! You need to do this for magazines. This bowl is what I need to feel healthy before the feat begins. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  6. Can I come for breakfast and tea? 🙂 This looks fabulous!

  7. This is a very healthy breakfast. I have oats and fresh kiwi fruit without anything else added every morning. After a while, you don’t miss the sugar, which I am glad about. Happy Thanksgiving.

  8. Hi Jean, Like you, I’m not a big fan of breakfast – it’s either a green smoothie, or in the winter – oatmeal. Yours looks fabulous! I’ve lost the patience for steel-cut oats these days as I wish they would cook faster. Not the healthiest but I recently bought quick oats. 🙂 I imagine our leftover apples from apple picking, cooked in a tad of butter/sugar would be fabulous atop oatmeal. Must try! May you and your family enjoy a wonderful & blessed Thanksgiving.

  9. Jean – my breakfast is a greek yogurt and fruit, typically blueberries or a banana. However this breakfast you highlighted looks simply divine. Perfect way to start your morning. I wish you and your family the BEST thanksgiving!!! Enjoy!!!

  10. Jean, this sounds fantastic and a welcome respite to all the heavy holiday food! Pinned!

  11. Happy day after Thanksgiving Jean 😉 I would have been much better off starting my day with a bowl of steel cut oats with fruits and nuts than the piece of pumpkin banana bread that I ate, oh well…I’ll get back on the good eating routine when all the goodies run out, lol 😉 Your bowl of oaties looks wonderful, love the apples and pecans on top;-)

  12. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    I hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving (I saw you cooking again today-how fun!). This is how I should eat for breakfast. Thanks for the delicious reminder and recipe. The apples and pecans on top are delightful:)

  13. I’m an oatmeal breakfast girl and usually eat plain or throw in some fried fruit and/or nut but your version sounds so much better. Will have to try it these day. Thanks Jean.

  14. This would probably make me eat more oatmeal 🙂 Delicious flavors!
    Hope you and your family had a beautiful holiday Jean!

  15. Turkeys for all employees? That is a nice perk. This oatmeal looks hearty and a very filling breakfast!

  16. This looks like an awesome breakfast, Jean! Brown butter is always a winner in my book! A little late, but I hope you had a great thanksgiving!

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