carrot and leek steel cut oat risotto

Well. This is right about the time I’m done with winter.

We’ve had a couple of good snows, a few days off of work (thanks to the snow), but now it’s just cold. I’m ready for spring, anytime.

I really love lazy, snowy days when we’re cooped up inside and have to catch up on movies or books and / or naps. And I love winter citrus and my comfy sweaters and boots. But after a few weeks of this, I’m ready for some warmer weather. Maybe not 90-degree summer days, but something other than dreary, gray, freezing cold winter days.

But we’re still in the thick of it, or so it seems.

So! To cheer us up, we’re making a new twist on risotto.

carrot and leek steel cut oat risotto

Are you already thinking I’m crazy with this one? I promise, if you like traditional risotto, you will love this.

If you love oats as much as we do, then you know how fun it is to find new ways to use it. And savory options are my favorite. Everyone always thinks you can only make breakfast with oats, but I’m here to tell you that you can do MUCH much more.

With a classic risotto, you slowly cook arborio rice, adding broth little by little, until the rice has released its starches and is tender and creamy. With these Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats, it’s the same process! Easy.

The most work, really, is stirring and pureeing a little bit of veggies.

carrot and leek steel cut oat risotto

I’ve made a few different versions of steel cut oat risotto, but I think this one is my favorite. A few years ago, I had this amazing carrot risotto at a little restaurant in Carmel, and I knew I wanted to use some roasted carrots in this batch (and I’m not normally a carrot lover!).

With the sweet carrots, we need salty parmesan and crispy bacon. And with bacon, you need leeks. Plain and simple.

Nuttiness from the oats, sweet from the carrots, salty from the parmesan and bacon – it’s the best kind of balance.

carrot and leek steel cut oat risotto

Plus, it’s oats.

This – right here – is a bowl of oatmeal. Just cooked a little differently and with veggies and bacon instead of blueberries and walnuts.

Whole grains are for any time of day. Even oatmeal.

carrot and leek steel cut oat risotto

Carrot and Leek Steel Cut Oat Risotto

Think risotto can only have peas? Think again. This creamy oat risotto has everything you love about classic risotto, plus some. The steel cut oats cook slowly, letting them release their starches little by little and turning the entire pot of oats super creamy. Roasted carrots and sweet leeks are stirred in, along with salty parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of bacon.


  • 10 medium carrots
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups Bob's Red Mill steel cut oats
  • 7-8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the carrots in half, lengthwise, and then into 2-inch pieces.
  2. Toss the carrots with 1 Tbsp olive oil and roast 20-25 minutes until tender.
  3. Put a large pot on medium heat. Cook the diced bacon until browned and crisp and remove from the pan.
  4. Swish the sliced leeks in some cold water to remove any sand or dirt. Add the leeks to the pan and the bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until tender.
  5. Remove the leeks from the pan and set aside.
  6. Add the steel cut oats to the pan and toast for 1 minute. Stir in 2 cups of chicken broth and let the mixture come up to a simmer.
  7. Every few minutes, add another cup of broth and let it cook into the oats before adding more.
  8. Repeat adding the broth and letting it cook in until the oats are tender and mixture is creamy, about 20-25 minutes. Once they are cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese.
  9. Put the roasted carrots and sauteed leeks into a blender or food processor, add a little water or broth (if needed), and puree until smooth.
  10. Stir the carrot and leek mixture into the risotto.
  11. Top with more cheese and bacon and serve with sprinkling of parsley.

I’m super excited to be working with Bob’s Red Mill again this year and to share some of my favorite items and new recipes with you! Thank you for supporting brands that support us! As always, all recipes and opinions are my own. Product and sponsored post provided by Bob’s Red Mill. 


  1. yummy! This looks really good!

  2. I like that you’ve taken oatmeal a step further than a simple sweet hot cereal, and given us a savory recipe.  For another alternative breakfast cereal, try a polenta recipe on my blog, “Hasty Pudding”.  Link to my profile for the web site address.

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