Chef's Chatter

Chef's Chatter Series

Get to know your chefs and learn something new; Enjoy a bite of something good, too!

Celebrate National Oatmeal Month and chat with Marketplace Executive Chef Mark Turner! Try a sampling of steel cut oat risotto made with butternut squash and kale! 


Featured Recipe:

Steel-Cut Oat “Risotto” with Butternut Squash and Kale

This hearty risotto is made with steel-cut oats instead of rice. It’s thick, creamy and rich like regular risotto, but with extra texture and nutty flavor, thanks to the oats. 

Recipe yields 4 generous or 6 more modest servings.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 small (2 pounds) butternut squash or 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½” cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided, more to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 ½ cups Quaker Steel-Cut Oats
  • 2 packed cups chopped kale, ribs removed (about ½ bunch)
  • ½ cup dry white wine* 
  • 6 cups water            
  • ¾ cup (1 ¾ ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste       


  1. In a medium Dutch oven or soup pot, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, butternut, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and the red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent and the butternut is mostly tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the oats and kale and cook, stirring often, until the kale has mostly wilted, about 2 minutes.  Add the wine and use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to scrape up any browned bits that have formed against the bottom of the pan. Cook, while stirring, for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add the water and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Raise the heat to high and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is very creamy and thick (see photos), about 20 to 30 minutes. As time goes on, you might need to stir more frequently and reduce the heat to prevent scorching the bottom.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, butter, lemon juice and several twists of black pepper. Let the risotto rest for 5 minutes before serving. Once you’re ready to serve, season generously with additional salt (I usually add at least ¼ teaspoon), and black pepper. Add an extra squeeze of lemon juice if it needs an extra boost of flavor. Divide into bowls and serve.


MAKE IT VEGAN: Omit the Parmesan altogether or replace it with cashew sour cream, to taste. Omit the butter altogether or stir in some extra-virgin olive oil for extra richness.

*WINE NOTE: Choose a dry, unoaked white wine, such as sauvignon blanc. If you don’t want to include alcohol in your risotto, simply omit it (no substitutions required).

PARMESAN NOTE: Vegetarian Parmesans do exist—look for the animal rennet-free varieties. There’s plenty of flavor in here without the Parmesan, if you’d rather leave it out.