Savory Pumpkin and Kale Steel Cut Oatmeal with Sausage

Looking for healthy, hearty meals during the holiday season, without sacrificing the classic flavors of fall and winter? This steel-cut, savory porridge might be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

The kale is sauteed with garlic and seasoned with good ol’ salt and pepper (and nutritional yeast, if you prefer, which I do). The pumpkin puree adds creaminess and just a tiny bit of earthy sweetness, just enough to counter the saltier kale and sausage (but not enough to make the dish sweet). Then, the Italian-style sausage on top adds a peppery, chewy bite.

My favorite way to use steel-cut oats is for savory oatmeal. The thick “pinhead” oats, as opposed to the more familiar flakes, make a texture much like risotto, without the constant stirring. (I feel like I’m supposed to say that. I’ve never made risotto before, but everyone’s always complaining about the “constant stirring.”)

Oh, and did you know you can freeze leftover pumpkin puree?

Random Recommendations:

  • [people] the account @nourishmybliss on Instagram for beautiful, moody, minimalist food shots
  • [people] the account @HistoryInPics on Twitter for rare photos from history, the candid moments that don’t end up in history books
  • [tunes] the song “This Town” by Niall Horan (of One Direction) is embarrassingly good 😉

Savory Pumpkin and Kale Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Sausage

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: serves 2

What you'll need:

    For Sausage
  • 1 tbsp oil (or just use cooking spray)
  • 1/2-1 link Tofurkey (or similar) Italian-style sausage
  • For Kale
  • 2 kale leaves
  • 1 tbsp oil of choice (I used coconut)
  • 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  • heavy pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • For Oatmeal
  • 1 cup unsweetened, unflavored milk (I used soy)
  • 1 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt (increase to 1/2 tsp if using water instead of broth)
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules (recommended) or garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules (recommended) or onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • black pepper, to taste (I used 1/4 tsp)

How to make it:

  1. Prep mix-ins first: Slice sausage into diagonal 1-cm slices, and prepare kale by separating the leaves from the stem and ripping or cutting the leaves into smaller, bite-size ribbons or chunks.
  2. In a saucepan over medium high heat, add milk, broth/water, and salt. When liquid begins to boil, add oats, stir, and reduce temperature to a simmer.
  3. Heat two pans, one large and one medium, over medium heat. In the medium-sized pan, cook sausage according to stovetop instructions, using the oil. I recommend cooking until you start seeing some char marks--that means it's getting crispy on the outside.
  4. In the larger pan, add oil, kale leaves, and garlic. Stir or toss to distribute garlic and oil on all the leaves.
  5. Stir occasionally. When the kale has cooked down (should take under five minutes), season with salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast (if using). Add more salt and pepper as desired.
  6. When sausage and kale finish, remove them from the heat and set aside.
  7. Back to the oatmeal. More of the liquid should be absorbed by now. Stir in pumpkin puree and spices.
  8. Stir occasionally, until texture becomes thick with no excess liquid. From the point of adding the oats, the process should take about 20-25 minutes.
  9. Mix in HALF of the kale leaves and HALF of the sausage.
  10. Transfer to two bowls. Top each with remaining kale and sausage, and any additional desired toppings (drizzle of tahini or finishing oil, fresh herbs, roasted tomatoes, veggie parmesan, or even some tofu ricotta or cashew ricotta).

Just an FYI:

If you're uncomfortable multitasking, prepare the sausage first, set aside, prepare the kale, set aside, and then make the oatmeal.

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.

2 Responses to Savory Pumpkin and Kale Steel Cut Oatmeal with Sausage

  1. How clever is this! Who knew that you could make a traditional Christmas feast in the form of oatmeal? The nutritional yeast sounds delicious in this recipe too, and I HAVE to try a Tofurky sausage one day!

  2. Charlotte Duda says:

    Thank you!! These recipes help my mom who has cancer she loves the variety and can digest the oatmeal easier than other grains.

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