Kabocha-Pomegranate Steel Cut Oatmeal with Pecans and Tahini

In the past year, I have reserved steel cut oats for savory recipes (it’s like a risotto!), but here I went all sweet. I’m pretty darn pleased with the result, too.


Earlier this year, I asked what ingredients I should use more of this autumn, and Melissa (@berries_n_green) suggested kabocha squash.

Truthfully, this was my first time even buying a kabocha squash! I’m pretty familiar with butternut and acorn and delicata, which all have fairly similar flavors, so it wasn’t too intimidating to work with kabocha. Indeed, upon roasting it, I found that it tasted nearly identitical to delicata with a texture similar to an acorn.


Nevertheless, I did some internet browsing to see how other people were using kabocha squash. I found (and fell in love with) this Warm Fall Salad from Carolyn’s Pantry. I decided immediately that I would 1) make this salad, and 2) use it as inspiration for my first kabocha oatmeal recipe.


If you are eating this by yourself, make sure to store the toppings (tahini, pecans, and pomegranate) separately from the remaining portions of oats. Don’t add them to the oats until you’re ready to eat them, or you will have sad, soggy pecans and unhappy pomegranate!

New commitment: more steel cut recipes. I have been hoarding canisters of steel-cut oats in my kitchen for months, and honestly, I need to stop being so lazy and use them. If you make more than a single serving at a time, the extra minutes in the cooking time pays off when you get to simply heat up the remaining portions throughout the week. While it certainly took me a while to make this, it was great having a serving of oatmeal ready to go the next morning. It saves time in the long run!

And yes, I’m still taking pictures on my iPhone. 🙁 Still can’t find my camera charger.


Random Recommendations:

Kabocha-Pomegranate Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Pecans and Tahini

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: serves 2

What you'll need:

    For the oatmeal
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1 cup water, or more milk
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats*
  • 3 pitted dates
  • 2/3 cup roasted & mashed kabocha squash**
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • heavy pinch of salt
  • For pecans
  • 1/4 cup raw pecan halves or pieces
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • For assembly
  • fresh pomegranate arils (handful for each serving)
  • 2-3 tbsp tahini***

How to make it:

  1. Add milk and water to a saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. While waiting for liquid to boil, prepare your dates. Slice into tiny pieces and add to saucepan.
  3. Once liquid comes to a low boil, add oats and reduce heat to medium or medium low. (If you'd like to add a teaspoon of flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
  4. Stir occasionally and let the oatmeal cook for about fifteen minutes.
  5. While the oats cook, prepare the pecans. In a small skillet over medium-low heat, add pecans, coconut oil, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Toss to coat. Stir constantly for about 3-5 minutes. The pecans should be evenly coated from the coconut oil and maple syrup mixture.
  6. Remove the pecans from the heat and spread out onto parchment paper (ideally) or just onto a plate (we do the best we can, right?). Let cool for about 5 minutes.
  7. Back to the oatmeal. Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add kabocha squash, vanilla extract, and salt. Continue stirring occasionally.
  8. When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to two bowls. For each serving, add a splash of your milk of choice, a handful of pomegranate arils, half of the pecans, a drizzle of tahini, and any other additional toppings (such as fresh or dried fruit, more maple syrup, coconut, etc.).

Just an FYI:

This recipe was heavily inspired by this Warm Fall Salad by Carolyn's Pantry.

*You could also make this using 1 cup rolled oats. The liquid remains 2 cups

**You can sub the kabocha squash for pumpkin, sweet potato, or other winter squashes like butternut or acorn.

***You can mix the tahini with maple syrup (or honey) to cut the bitterness, if you wish.


About Lauren Smith

Lauren is a herbivore, Slytherin, and connoisseur of oats. She is a former teacher who is currently studying to earn a master's degree in curriculum development. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

5 Responses to Kabocha-Pomegranate Steel Cut Oatmeal with Pecans and Tahini

  1. Christine says:

    Could you do more overnight recipes using steel cut oats? I haven’t had much success with them in stovetop recipes, but they work beautifully in overnight recipes. Your Dirt Pie Overnight Oatmeal is one of my favorites.

  2. I’m a bit confused. I feel like ALL your recipes have been with steel cut oats lately! Of course, you always add the note saying that they can also be made with rolled oats by changing the amounts of oats and liquid, which is what I do.

  3. Heidi says:

    I agree with Wendy I have noticed most of your recipes are with steel cut oats? I would love to see more fall overnight oat recipes using rolled oats! I like my steel cut oats cooked in the crockpot 🙂 Not sure I can find this type of squash around my area so may have to sub sweet potato or pumpkin. Thanks for all your fabulous recipes!

  4. Agos says:

    Looks delicious! I was pleasantly surprised when I tried kabocha and saw it was 100x better than butternut (especially since it was baked vs microwaved). By the way, have you tried making steel cut oats in a slow cooker? It works great for me.

  5. I haven’t had kabocha squash in a while, but I’m THRILLED to have bought another one at my local Food 4 Less store! This kabocha oatmeal is major inspiration, and I’m so happy that you’re using kabocha squash more because it’s delicious!

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