Classic Porridge

Soaked or slow-cooked oat groats create a classic porridge with a satisfying bite and familiar oat flavor, a perfect base for your fixings!


6 servings

Prep time:

2 minutes

Total Time:


Good For:



About this Recipe

You can’t get more classic as a breakfast food than porridge! But…what is it? Oatmeal? Something different? Technically, the word “porridge” describes any hot cereal made from whole grains…but the most classic version does indeed use oats: whole oat groats!

If you’re familiar with steel-cut oats, they’re the closest to groats, just already processed. But if you’re looking for a true WHOLE grain experience, grab a bag of groats, and then either soak or slow-cook them overnight. I’ve personally found the slow-cooker version to be preferable, but if you don’t like the chew of the whole grains, processing them in a blender or food processor after an overnight soak will yield a texture more like traditional steel-cut oatmeal.

This creates a great base…that you can then dress up as desired! We’ve done peanut butter and banana…strawberries and cream…brown sugar cinnamon…even maple and bacon. All were equally delicious. If you’re a one-flavor type of person, you can mix the whole batch into that flavor. Since my family likes variety, I just make the base recipe and then we fix our individual bowls to our tastes.



  • 1 cup oat groats
  • 4 ¼ cups water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Flavorings to taste


  1. Combine oat groats and water in a slow cooker the night before. Add a pinch of salt.
  2. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  3. Add cinnamon, maple syrup, brown sugar or alternative, fresh fruit, jam, cream, or any other toppings and stir-ins you desire! (Pictured with strawberry jam and fresh-cut strawberries, which pairs perfectly with a tablespoon of heavy cream.)
  4. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Alternate Instructions

  1. The night before, cover oat groats with 1-2 inches of water in a large bowl. Let soak overnight.
  2. In the morning, drain the groats, then combine them in a food processor blender with 2 cups of fresh water. Pulse for about 30 seconds or until the groats have broken up and resemble steel-cut oats.
  3. Add mixture to a pot, add an addition 2 cups of water, and cook for 20-30 minutes, until the oats reach you desire tenderness. Top or stir in your choice of flavorings, as above.

From the Books

Porridge would be enjoyed by all my English characters, and it gets a special shout-out in A Beautiful Disguise when (gasp!) the lord and lady make their own breakfast.

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