Blog Nutrition What are Rolled Oats? Explore the Benefits and Hearty Recipes 

What are Rolled Oats? Explore the Benefits and Hearty Recipes 

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People commonly use rolled oats for a straightforward breakfast or integrate them into more interesting recipes. Rolled oats are the personal top choices for many individuals who prefer a nicely tender texture without a long cooking time.


That said, they are not the only stars of the “whole-grain” show – there are also steel-cut and instant oats that can enrich our bodies with essential nutrients and long-lasting energy. There is a real misconception whirling around the idea that some oats are healthier, while others are not. 

Today you will learn something about rolled oats, steel-cut, and instant oats and unlock some practical and easy recipes.

What are rolled oats? Explore the benefits and hearty recipes. 

What is the difference between oats and rolled oats?

There are three main types of oats – steel-cut, rolled, and the quick one. Steel-cut, rolled, and quick oats start with the same step – they come from whole groats and then the outer shell is removed. 

Steel-cut oats, rolled oats, and quick or instant are three processed forms of these groats.

The oat groats are processed in versatile ways to create either steel-cut, rolled, or quick oats, all of which have distinct characteristics.

Now let’s look closely at their main differences. 

Steel-cut oats

As known as Irish oats, steel-cut oats are the least processed form of oats. They are closely related to original groats and take longer time to cook. Steel-cut oats aren’t rolled but cut in pieces with steel blades instead.

Such oats offer a toothsome, chewy texture that retains much of its shape even after cooking. They can be used in porridge, in meatloaf, or as a congee. Check out the nutritional value of steel-cut oats (40 grams or ½ cup) (7):

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Rolled Oats

Rolled oats are called like this as they are steamed and flattened between heavy rollers. When it comes to rolled oats vs old-fashioned oats difference, then there is none, as they are synonyms.

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To make old-fashioned or rolled oats, manufacturers steam the oats, and then flatten them with drums or large discs. 

Oats break apart, become softer and easier to cook. You spend less time preparing them, around 10 minutes. 

The nutritional value of rolled oats (40 grams or ½ cup) looks the following way (7):

Instant Oats

What are rolled oats vs quick oats? – some people may confuse their differences. Quick or instant oats are a type of rolled oats but are thinner and more finely chopped. They undergo other processes: manufacturers first precook the oat and then dry it out. It results in a shorter cooking time, making them the fastest to prepare. 

You can cook them by pouring boiling water over them and waiting about a minute. Despite being super convenient, some people find them too mushy. Besides, their fine texture is not good for making baked goods. 

Manufacturers of instant oat products may also add other ingredients, such as sugar to give more body or flavor. Therefore, watch the ingredients before buying the oats. 

Pulling off a Keto Oatmeal with sugar-free instant oats might be your go to satiating breakfast idea. 

Now take a look at the nutritional value of instant oats without additives (40 grams or ½ cup) (7):

what are rolled oats  

Are porridge oats rolled oats?

Porridge oats in the shops are usually the same as rolled oats, they are also called old-fashioned oats. As was mentioned, they are oat groats, which are softened by steaming and then rolled into flakes. They absorb liquid quickly so the cooking time is reduced to 5-10 minutes when making porridge (6).

Read more: Healthy Blueberry Muffins with Oats 3 Ways

Are Quaker Oats rolled oats?

Quaker rolled oats and rolled oats are related but different. The truth is, that Quaker Oats is a brand of oatmeal products offering a vast variety of oat-based products including old-fashioned rolled oats. 

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Rolled oats, on the contrary, are just a type of oats used in some of these products. 

What are rolled oats used for?

Rolled oats can be used in granola bars, muffins, cookies, and other baked goods. Keep reading to discover the top 4 rolled oats recipes. 

#1 Healthy Granola 


  • 50g soft ready-to-eat dried apricots
  • 25g flaked almonds
  • 3 x 120g pots bio yogurt
  • 3 large eggs, whites only (see tip to use up the yolks)
  • ½ tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 200g porridge oats
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 25g desiccated coconut
  • 25g pumpkin seeds
  • 3 peaches, to serve


  1. Heat oven to 180C and line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Tip the egg whites, apricots, and oil into a bowl then mix with a hand blender until very smooth. 
  3. Add the oats, vanilla, and cinnamon, then fold through the coconut, pumpkin seeds, and almonds.
  4. Create a granola by pinching the clusters of the mixture together and scattering it over the lined baking tray in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes, then toss and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden and crunchy.
  5. Cool the granola on the tray and pack it into a large airtight container. 
  6. Serve two portions over three days, filling the base of each bowl with yogurt and topping with half a sliced peach. 

Nutritional value per serving (recipe serves 6): 

#2 Oat Pancakes


  • 120g frozen berries
  • 1 zested and juiced orange
  • 1 small finely diced pink apple
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 50g fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon cold pressed rapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 100ml oat milk
  • 1 lightly beaten medium egg


  1. Make the compote by putting the berries, orange juice, and apple in a small saucepan and gently simmer over medium heat for 10-12 minutes. 
  2. Remove from the heat and leave to chill out. 
  3. Mix the oats in a food processor to form a coarse flour consistency, then tip the mixture into a mixing bowl. 
  4. Add the baking powder, the orange zest, and cinnamon, and stir well. 
  5. In a jug, whisk together the oat milk and egg, then add in the dry ingredients and combine to create a thick batter.
  6. Heat a little oil on the non-stick frying pan, then pour in 2 tablespoons of the batter to make a small pancake. 
  7. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes and flip the pancake over. 
  8. Repeat with the remaining oil and batter and stack the pancakes on two warm plates.
  9. Top the pancakes with a dollop of the Greek yogurt.
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Nutritional value per serving (recipe serves 2): 

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#3 Old-fashioned Oatmeal


  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons honey or brown sugar for serving
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat milk for serving
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup water or low-fat milk
  • Pinch of cinnamon


  1. Combine water and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. 
  2. Stir in oats and reduce heat to medium; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat, cover, and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Top with dried fruits, milk, sweetener, cinnamon, or nuts, if desired.

Nutritional value per serving (1 cup): 

what are rolled oats  

#4 Baked Oatmeal with Pears


  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats 
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts 
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt 
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk or 2% milk
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 small diced pears
  • ⅓ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt 


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. Coat a 9-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray.
  3. Mix dry ingredients (oats, cinnamon, walnuts, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cloves) in a large bowl. 
  4. Whisk almond milk, 1 cup yogurt, oil, maple syrup, and vanilla in a medium bowl.
  5. Foin the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Gently mix in pears. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish.
  6. Bake for 45-55 minutes until golden brown. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon of the remaining yogurt.
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Nutritional value per serving (1 ¼ cups): 

If you’re aiming to lose some pounds or manage a healthy weight, you can treat yourself with these Healthy Overnight Oats Recipes For Weight Loss. 

Are rolled oats healthy?

Yes, rolled oats and other types of oats are healthy for you. In addition, we have collected the top 5 benefits of eating oats. 

Oats offer a special beta-glucan fiber 

Oats are rich in a specific kind of soluble fiber, called beta-glucan, which is believed to have many health benefits. A 2015 review notes that consuming 3g of soluble oat beta-glucan fiber each day may lower blood cholesterol and reduce coronary heart disease risk (5).

Oats are high in antioxidants

Oats offer additional benefits in the form of various phytochemicals, which may act as antioxidants, or have anti-inflammatory and other beneficial properties  (5). 

Oats are a great deal for weight management

Eating oats may help you maintain a healthy weight. According to a study in 2017, consumption of oat products was associated with a reduced risk of obesity (4). It could be because oats are loaded with fiber which helps you feel satiated for longer, therefore, reducing calorie intake. 

Oats may help you lower blood cholesterol levels

The same review highlights that beta-glucan fiber in oats may be partially responsible for reducing blood cholesterol levels and oat consumption is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and cancer (4).

Oats are Gluten-Free

Being naturally gluten-free, oats may be an ideal substitute for many products containing gluten. However, oat products can be cross-contaminated with gluten, so if you’re sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease, you need to search for certified gluten-free oats. 

Oats may promote your gut health

The evidence in studies suggests the beneficial impact of oats on gastrointestinal health (your stomach, intestines, and colon). Yet, more studies need to be conducted to get a fuller picture of the overall effects of oats on your gut health, particularly with regards to the gut microbiome. Oats can improve diet quality, reduce cholesterol, regulate satiety, and protect against carcinogenesis in the colon (2).

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Read more: Banana Bread Overnight Oats Recipe and 6 Reasons to Eat This for Breakfast Often

Rolled oats vs quick oats, which is healthier?

Both rolled and quick oats are healthy ingredients for your delectable dishes. Instant oats are just simply more processed so that they cook more quickly. Nonetheless, as you observe their nutritional value at the beginning of the article, you will notice no big differences. 

Rolled oats have a little bit more fiber and calories, whilst the quick ones offer a slightly higher amount of protein. The differences are not that meaningful. You can choose to enjoy any oats you like, depending on the meal you will be preparing as some recipes require specific types of oats. 

what are rolled oats  


  • Are rolled oats and raw oats the same?

No, because raw oats are special oat kernels that haven’t been hulled, cleaned, and ready for processing. Rolled oats by contrast have been steamed and flattened by drums or heavy rollers to make them thinner and easier to cook. 

  • What type of oats is healthiest?

All types of oats are healthy. It is sometimes suggested that steel-cut oats are the healthiest because they are the least processed form of oats. However, their nutritional values per serving are virtually the same as rolled oats. They also take a longer time to cook and may not be suitable for certain recipes.

  • Can I use regular oats instead of rolled?

If you’re making porridge, of course, you can. If you’re baking with them, stick with the type of oats specified in your recipe to ensure the texture comes out right.  Also, if you’re sensitive to gluten, you should purchase gluten-free oats. Even though oats are naturally gluten-free, sometimes oats can be cross-contaminated during processing or even in the fields if they are grown near wheat or other gluten-containing grains. With that in mind, read the ingredients carefully before buying oats. 

  • Why are oats called rolled oats?

Oats are called rolled because they are steamed and flattened between heavy rollers. That’s why they got this name. 

The Bottom Line

What are rolled oats? Explore the benefits and hearty recipes. 

You have learned about rolled oats and what makes them different from instant and steel-cut versions. Steel-cut oats aren’t rolled but cut in pieces with steel blades instead. Rolled oats are so-called as they are steamed and flattened between heavy rollers. Quick or instant oats are a type of rolled oats but are thinner and more finely chopped.

All of these types of oats originate from groats which are then processed in different ways. 

Additionally, you have unveiled 4 practical recipes with rolled oats you can experiment with today. 

Oats are high in antioxidants, good for your digestion, might improve gut health, manage healthy weight, may help with blood cholesterol levels, and perfectly fit gluten-sensitive people. 

All of the oat product types are healthy for you, therefore, you might as well use them for your homemade meals. 


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. EatingWell. Oatmeal Recipes (2024,
  2. Effects of oats on gastrointestinal health as assessed by in vitro, animal, and human studies (2020,
  3. GoodFood recipes (
  4. Health benefits of oat: current evidence and molecular mechanisms (2017,
  5. Nutritional advantages of oats and opportunities for its processing as value added foods – a review (2013,
  6. The wonder of oats (
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