Breakfast, Evergreen Recipes, recipes

Creamy British Porridge Oats – How to Make English Porridge

I’m certainly not the only one who says that porridge is my go-to breakfast. It’s so easy to make and so versatile. On top of that, a hot breakfast in the morning is always a good idea to start the day energized. I usually make my super quick and easy fitness oatmeal recipe, where you boil the oats and water together. However, I felt like trying out a typical and original English porridge recipe. And today I’m gonna show you how to make English porridge with simple ingredients at home. So, without further ado let’s dive right in.

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Here's how to make english porridge!
Here’s how to make english porridge!

How To Make English Porridge?

I’ve been doing a little research, looking for the secrets of how to make English porridge the original way. And one thing I can say up front: It’s no witchcraft and much easier and not so that different to our quick and easy variants. 

For an original English or Scottish porridge recipe, you typically use pinhead oatmeal or steel cut oats. To prepare a porridge according to the original English porridge recipe, first boil some water in a pot. Use exactly the double amount of water. For example, if you use 1 cup of oats (100 grams), you need 2 cups of water, which is 500 milliliters.

Once the water boils, reduce the heat, slowly add the oats, and stir them well into the water. Then bring it to a boil over medium-high heat before reducing the heat again. Now add a pinch of salt and let the oatmeal simmer for 20 to 30 minutes with the lid closed at low heat. It is important to stir the porridge every few minutes. Otherwise, it will quickly become lumpy or even burn.

As soon as it has reached the desired consistency, refine it with Golden Syrup and serve it in small wooden bowls. Traditional British porridge is served with a bowl of cream placed in the middle of the table. Before you take a bite, you dip the spoon into the cream, which everyone at the table can help themselves to.

bowl of oats with honey and berries
original British porridge with steel cut oats

Which Oats Are Best For Porridge?

Clearly, the choice of oats is probably the most important decision in a porridge. And although they are all made from the same product, there are so many different forms. They all have their peculiarities and different properties. And that’s why I’ve summarized the most important ones here for you.

Steel Cut Oats

Steel Cut or Pinhead Oats are actually nothing more than groats. Groats are the whole grain of a cereal product just like oats which are coarsely crushed. For this, the hulled grains are chopped slightly smaller with a steel blade into two or three pin-sized pieces. This is where the British name comes from. And the name Steel Cut Oats is derived from the steel blade used to chop the groats.

Steel Cut Oats therefore need to be cooked longer than rolled oats. They usually took between 20 and 30 minutes to become nicely soft and creamy.

Rolled Oats

To get rolled oats the groats have to be dehusked, steamed and then rolled into oat flakes using heavy rollers. You can distinguish between thick-rolled oats and thin-rolled oats which both can be eaten just like this or cooked into a porridge. The cooking time for both types is much shorter compared to the steel cut oats. However, the old-fashioned thin-rolled oats ones take a bit longer than the quick cooking or thin-rolled ones.

But now back to the question of which oats to use for the original porridge recipe. To make it as authentic as possible, I recommend you go with steel cut oats. However, old fashioned oats will work as well. By cooking them for a comparatively long time, they absorb all the liquid and thus provide a lot of volume.

different kind of oats: steel cut, instant and rolled oats
front left: steel cut oats – front right: instant oats – far left: rolled oats – far right: thin-rolled oats

Making English Porridge At Home

You can proceed in the same way as I have already described to you above as I told you how to make English porridge. First bring the water to a boil, then stir in the oats and let everything boil again briefly. Add a pinch of salt and let the porridge simmer on low heat with the lid closed for 20 minutes. Keep stirring during this time so that nothing clumps or burns.

At the end, you can just stir in a spoonful of honey or maple syrup. And instead of cream, I just served it with some Greek yogurt (2 to 5% fat) and fresh fruit. That way you’ve also got an extra serving of protein and vitamins along with it.

Traditional English Porridge Oats

As you can see it’s so easy to make English porridge yourself. However, it will work best by using steel cut oats, you’re still able to make English porridge with regular rolled oats.

I hope you like this recipe and give it a try. If you do so, be sure to tell me what kind of oats you used and how you served your English porridge.

Have fun trying it out and bon Appétit,

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how to make english porridge

English Porridge

The original British-style porridge recipe is perfect for a cozy breakfast or even for meal prep. Served with low-fat Greek yogurt and fresh fruit, the British classic becomes a balanced and macro-friendly breakfast.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine British
Servings 2 servings
Calories 322 kcal


  • pot


  • 1 cups water
  • ½ cup steel cut oats if using rolled oats use 1 cup of oats and 2 cups of water
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt (2 or 5 % fat)
  • fresh fruit of choice


  • Put water in a small pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat slightly, carefully sprinkle oats on top of the water and gently stir in with a wooden spoon. Bring to boil once again while stirring, add salt. Then simmer over low heat with lid closed for about 20minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Once porridge has the desired consistency, remove from heat, stir in honey or syrup and divide between two bowls. Serve with yogurt and fruit.


Note: You can also prepare 3 or 4 servings at once, put them in containers and store them in the refrigerator for the next days.
nutritional values per serving:
  • calories: 322 kcal
  • fats: 7 g
  • carbohydrates: 41 g
  • proteins: 22 g


Calories: 322kcal
Keyword classic, oatmeal, vegan
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