Brown Sugar Pear Steel-Cut Oats

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Two bowls of Vegan Brown Sugar Pear Oats with pecans

Pears are kind of gorgeous, no? They’re also delicious. In fact, they were the only fruit besides bananas that I would eat when I was a kid. Thankfully I’ve evolved since then to love almost every other fruit in existence. Fruit: It’s like nature’s candy.

Plate of fresh pears for making a bowl of oats with pears
Cooking Brown Sugar Pears in a skillet

While pears are delicious all on their own, they’re even better browned in a little butter and brown sugar. This makes them tender and gives them a nice sweet, caramelized flavor.

Cooking oats in a saucepan for our Brown Sugar Pear Steel-Cut Oats recipe

Then come the oats! So simple and hearty and delicious and absolutely perfect for cold temps. Personally, few things sound more satisfying to me than a warm bowl of steel cut oats on chilly fall or winter morning. Topped with a layer of brown sugar pears and pecans? Perfection.

Bowls of Brown Sugar Pear Steel-Cut Oats for a delicious vegan breakfast
Bowls of Steel-Cut Oats topped with Caramelized Pears

Not only is this recipe simple and quick – requiring just 20 minutes from start to finish – it’s also customizable. If you’re not into steel cut oats, sub another grain like rolled oats, quinoa or millet. And if pears aren’t your thing, sub apples or even blueberries. Make this bowl your own and enjoy it often this winter. Cheers!

Big bowl of our Brown Sugar Pear Steel-Cut Oats recipe

Brown Sugar Pear Steel Cut Oats

Warm steel-cut oats with brown sugar pears and pecans. A simple vegan breakfast with full servings of fruit, fiber, and protein.
Author Minimalist Baker
Bowl of Brown Sugar Pear Steel Cut Oats topped with pecans
4.92 from 12 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan


  • 3/4 cup steel-cut oats (dry // GF for gluten-free eaters)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter or olive oil (non-dairy butter for vegan)
  • 2-3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Bosc pears (peeled, cored, and chopped*)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

For Topping (optional)


  • Start your oats by bringing water to a boil in a small saucepan. Once boiling add a pinch of salt and then your oats. Swirl to coat then cover and turn heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the oats are tender.
  • In the meantime, prepare your pears. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil or butter. Once bubbling, add brown sugar and stir. Then immediately add in pears, lemon juice and cinnamon and stir to coat. Cover to steam and soften the pears and cook for 10 or so minutes or until tender and golden brown. Once tender, remove the lid to allow them to caramelize a bit more. Remove from heat.
  • Divide oats between two bowls (as original recipe is written) and top with equal servings of pears. I also added a few pecans, which added a nice crunch and more protein.


*For the pears: Any firm pear will do, but Bosc pears are rumored to be best for baking and caramelizing.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without pecans.
*It’s recommended to cook steel-cut oats for up to 25 minutes, but I prefer mine a little chewy and only cook them for 15 minutes once I’ve added them to the boiling water. If you prefer softer oats, continue cooking until the 20- to 25-minute mark.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 349 Carbohydrates: 62 g Protein: 5 g Fat: 10 g Saturated Fat: 5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 23 mg Fiber: 9 g Sugar: 29 g

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My Rating:

  1. Desiree says

    I tried the original recipe and really liked it so I used the same ratio with apples and a chai spice mix (with an extra pinch of cinnamon) and it turned out great! It’s a great base recipe for different fruits and spices.

  2. Megan says

    Oh gosh this was so easy to make and so good. Makes this entire half of the apartment smell like heaven. I could seriously eat this every day.

  3. Sam says

    This was delicious. I wish I’d added the lemon juice to the pears first – the juice spattered and it ended up burning the sugar. Eventually it all melted back down into sauce anyway but that’s what I’ll do next time to prevent it, I think! Thanks!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Em, thanks for pointing that out! We’ll get it fixed. 1 serving is half of the full recipe.

  4. Joni says

    Simple and DELICIOUS! I needed to use up some pears, and my search for recipes led me here. I followed the recipe as written. I added sliced almonds because I had them on hand. Hubby loved it too. Thanks for a new favorite breakfast recipe!

  5. Dora says

    I followed this recipe to a T and it was so divine. I topped it off with some toasted pecans. This recipe is perfect. It is something I would have overpaid for in a restaurant that wouldn’t have been as good. This is a perfect fall breakfast. (Even though it doesn’t get cold in West Texas!)

  6. Amanda Raheb says

    My can of oats says to cook in 4 cups of water and keep overnight- how much water should we boil for 3/4c?

  7. No Fan of Fruit says

    You like this recipe because you like fruit. I enjoyed it because I dislike fruit. Someone gave me a bunch of pears for Christmas, & I didn’t want them to go to waste. So I modified this recipe a bit so that I could make it in my Instant Pot. It was fiberliciously good and the brown sugar/butter made the pears into an edible form of fruit. (-:

  8. Anna says

    This is just heavenly! I made it this morning for visiting family, and it was a delicious hit. I threw in some almonds as well, and served it with mugs of your new golden milk recipe. Thank you!

  9. snoCook says

    This recipe is now several years old. I assume (from other places in your blog) that if you have the time you would soak the steel-cut oats first, like overnight?

    The pears sound delicious, especially since I am discovering this in the Fall.

  10. Heather Gerhardt-Campbell says

    Delicious! I used 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar, but next time I am going to try it with only 1 to make it a little healthier. Thanks!

  11. Cindy says

    Delicious! I had 3 bosc pears to use up and was looking for a breakfast recipe. I had everything else on hand (except pecans?) so this was perfect to try. Definitely a keeper! Usually I do a milk/water mix with the oats but not needed here as the sweetness of the pears worked well with the plain-ness of the oats.

  12. Rachael says

    This looks incredible, and easy to make ahead of time for busy mornings; let the oats sit overnight and prepare the pears the night before, then top in the morning and reheat. I will add a touch of cardamom to the spices.

  13. Debbie says

    Pinned, made, and decided this is one our favorite oatmeal recipes ever! I used almond milk and topped w/toasted pecans. So delicious!

  14. Kimberly says

    Just discovered this recipe and going to make it first thing in the morning! I’m not as familiar with cooking steel-cut oats … I like to make my oats with coconut or almond milk for the extra protein. Can I substitute a milk product for water when cooking the oats? Or does something bad happen? :)

  15. Lee says

    This sounds great – I never thought of pears in oatmeal – I love oatmeal year round – blueberries, strawberries and banana, but will try the harder fruit now! Cinnamon and crushed walnuts – maple syrup works nice too!

  16. Ione Friend says

    I have a question about the White Rice Flour, before it had white rice starch on it. How am I suppose to know if this is the same product I am used to using in my bread recipe. If it is just flour it will not work. I have been on this site for over an hour and I do not see where to send questions to. I am not happy!!! Ione Friend.

  17. sBakes says

    So yummy and flavorful!! I was looking for a way to use up some pears before they went bad and am so glad I found this recipe. I used one pear and less butter and brown sugar, and it was still packed with tons of flavor. I also chopped up the pear into smaller bits which allowed it to go further when stirred into the oatmeal, so I got yummy goodness in every bite. This just might be my favorite way to eat oatmeal!!!!

  18. The Vegetarian Tourist says

    I can’t wait to try this recipe!!! I am totally obsessed with pears and this sounds delicious and healthy. Your blog and pictures are amazing. Keep up the great work.

  19. Kari Haliw says

    My new favorite breakfast. It’s so tasty, and I like that the fruit can be changed easily. Pears and apples worked great. I can’t wait to try blueberries. I’ve even added a little corriander to the mixture. I also like that if I have leftovers, they warm up nicely the next morning. Thanks for a great recipe.

  20. Jenny @ BAKE says

    Your photos are beautiful! I tried to photograph porridge a couple of weeks ago and found it impossible! this recipe sounds delicious I love the sound of the different textures (and flavours) of the pears and oats together.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Stephanie, I think you could though I haven’t tried it myself. If you made a big batch they’d keep in the fridge for several days. Then just reheat with almond milk or more water in the microwave. And store the pears separate :D Hope that helps!

      • No Fan of Fruit says

        I make big batches then use my vacuum sealer to bag the leftovers. Then I freeze those and take out one bag each week. It would last months, but I eat w/ in weeks.

  21. Nimbus says

    Looks beautiful! But how are you cooking steel cut oats un 10 minutes?? Every carton I’ve ever bought has suggested 25-30.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Good question! I just like mine kind of chewy! And really, I’ve been cooking oats most mornings for a while now and have found that at most they take 15 minutes once your water is boiling. BUT, if you prefer them softer definitely continue cooking until the 20-25 minute mark. I’ll add that in the notes!

      • Aura Lea says

        Ha! I just found and purchased quick cook steel cut oats, you only have to boil for 5 minutes! I can’t really get used to the texture versus whole oats though. Absolutely delicious, love me some pear anything!

  22. Kara says

    Just made this for breakfast and it is SO good! I used apples instead of pears as I didn’t have any but it’s still delicious. And very filling too!

  23. Vicki @ WITK says

    This breakfast looks beautiful and delicious. Thanks so much for sharing, I’m always looking for new toppings for my steel cut oats.

    <3 Vicki

  24. Two Red Bowls says

    Mm, fantastic. I have some poached pears that I made a few weeks ago that are frozen in my fridge — I may have just found a use for them. Thanks so much for posting this!

  25. Rochelle @ Oh So Sweet Baker says

    Im not usually a fan of oats, but your beautiful photography and those slightly caramelised pears are wanting me to try this.

  26. Abbie @ Needs Salt says

    These bowls are so perfect for fall. Cold temperatures really make you crave warm winter fruit and oats. This recipe is so beautifully done.

  27. Kate @ The Endless Pursuit says

    Yes!!! So in love with pears this fall. Oatmeal/steel oats are such the perfect breakfast, never thought to put this combo together. I might have to try caramelizing the pecans too…

  28. Samantha says

    Just ,add this for breakfast this morning with rolled oats! I think I like the texture of steel cut oats better but it was still so tasty and indulgent. Thanks for sharing!

  29. Brie @ Entrée the Giant says

    Gahhh! This looks so good. I always cheat and use quick oats, but I know I have steel cut somewhere in my pantry. Now I have a reason to go find them – thanks for sharing!

  30. De says

    I’ve never really known, so excuse the ignorance, but what’s the difference between steel cut oats and rolled oats? & do you generally prefer steel cut?