Slow Cooker Oat Risotto with Butternut Squash

I could have never guessed a bedtime confession would lead to a recipe for savory oat risotto but, the world is full of inspiration, and you’ve got to take it whenever and wherever it arrives.

Oat Risotto-1-2

Recipe Highlights:

  • Versatile & easy, works for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.
  • Slow cooker oat risotto, a savory twist on steel cut oats, perfect for busy families.
  • Low in fat, a good source of protein, 5 Weight Watchers Points Plus per serving.

Slow Cooker Oat Risotto

I was snuggled in bed one night reading quietly when Mike straighten himself and asked, “do you know what I fantasize about?”

Talk about a conversation starter!

I dropped my book and gave him my full attention. “Umm. No. But, you have my attention.”

Sighing a bit as he relaxed into his pillows, Mike confessed, “I fantasize about all of us getting up in the morning and having oatmeal for breakfast.”

Huh? After the build up, his response, was not at all what I was expecting. However, I wasn’t surprised.

Before kids, we used to start our days together, barley coherent, but, together. When I changed jobs, to stay home with our kids, Mike lost his morning companion. We do enjoy long weekend breakfasts with the kids. Weekday mornings, on the other hand, he gets up first and is out the door while the rest of us are still blinking the sleep from our eyes.

I laughed at the unexpected announcement but, fulfilling his fantasy of eating oatmeal together seemed pretty reasonable.

Oat Risotto with sausage and butternut squash

I have been cooking steel cut oats with savory ingredients for a few years after discovering I like preparing them risotto style by slowly adding liquid and stirring to create a creamy flavorful dish. However, I rarely make them because they take so long to cook and need to be attended to constantly.

I started making oat risotto in the rice cooker last spring. It worked pretty well until our rice cooker broke and Mike replaced it with a smaller one. This recipe needs room to grow. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize the size difference until there was a big puddle all over the counter.

Now, I make oat risotto in the crockpot, which, it turns out, works better than rice cooker. The oats cook up even creamier and more tender when simmered for a long time.

Slow Cooker Oat Risotto

Imagine how rewarding weeknight dinner will feel when sitting down to creamy savory oats served with a leafy salad, dotted with ruby pomegranate seeds, and a few toasted walnuts. Now, imagine having guests for the holidays. You can brown the sausage a few days ahead then prepare a hearty fall breakfast with almost no time in the kitchen. Add some toasted pumpkin seeds and you’ll surely knock their socks off.

Slow cooker Oat Risotto with sausage and butternut squash


Slow Cooker Oat Risotto with Butternut Squash
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An easy recipe to serve any time of day, from a hearty breakfast to comforting weeknight dinner. I recommend using breakfast sausage for this recipe because it has a hint of sweetness and a milder blend of spices than Italian sausage. Breakfast sausage compliments, rather than competes with, the sage. Using the breakfast sausage also makes this dish an easy sell any time of day.
Serves: 7 cups
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken stock (recommend Kitchen Basics, Unsalted Chicken Cooking Stock)
  • 16 oz uncased chicken sausage (recommend Isernio's Breakfast)
  • 1 cup, chopped onions
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh sage
  • 1 cup steel cut oats, dry
  • 2 cups, cubed butternut squash
  • ½ cup dry Chardonay
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Into a 4 quart or larger crock-pot, add the chicken stock then cover and set on high heat.
  2. In a large skillet, brown the sausage and onions, break the sausage into crumbles as it cooks and sprinkle with a pinch each of salt and pepper. When the sausage has cooked through and is brown around the edges, stir in the sage and continue cooking for an additional minute.
  3. Transfer the sausage and onion mixture to the warm crock-pot then add the oats, squash, wine and a few hearty grinds of black pepper.
  4. Cover and cook on high for 8 hours. Serve warm.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup Calories: 213 Fat: 4 g Carbohydrates: 25 g Sugar: 0 g Sodium: 500 mg Fiber: 4.5 g Protein: 19 g Weight Watchers Points Plus: 5


Don’t you just love the little pumpkin I used to serve the oat risotto? It is one of many gifts generously given to the bloggers who attended the International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC) excursion hosted by Sur la Table and KitchenAid in September. We were treated us to an afternoon of product education and treats in the gorgeous Sur la Table test kitchen in Seattle’s SODO district. This little guy (.75 qt) and his big brother (3.5 qt) are made by Staub so you know they are high quality cookware. They can go from the oven (up to 575F) to the table and are just as charming as can be! I am not usually a lover of seasonal cookware but this dish has warmed my heart.


  1. Top notch recipe! The flavors were firstbrate. I was concerned that I might not care for the texture of the butternut squash, since I do typically care for steamed butternut squash, but with the risotto, it was absolutely fine! —- I had the nerve to make three changes though. First, I usually am disappointed with sausage cooked into anything stew like in the slow cooker, so I precooked them and only added them to the pot long enough to warm them…. (Sorry….. shhhhh……!!!) Secondly, I didn’t get started on time, so I used a slow cooker with an adjustable dial that heats up at a higher temp when I need it to (and I cranked it to super high for a little while). Thirdly, I also dared to add extra veggies, and it was still a smash! I added an extra onion, three cloves of garlic, a pound of sliced and we’ll sauteed mushrooms, and at the end, I slipped in a couple cups of chopped, fresh spinach. Enjoyed this immeasurably topped with parmesan and chopped walnuts. This will become a standard recipe in my kitchen all year. Substituting asparagus or peas or etc for the butternut squash in spring should be easy by simply putting them into the pot later in the cooking process or cooking them ahead in a steam bath and then reheating them in the slow cooker at the moments as I did the sausages should work out well. Mushrooms and herbs will work well any time of year, etc. Thank you, Rose, for sharing your lovely recipe! It helped me work up the nerve to finally make oat risotto!!! I rotate my carbs to stave off diabetes, and this is an amazing addition to my “oat day” recipes! Wow! I couldn’t be more pleased with a recipe than I am with this one! Thank you again!

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