Traditional Scottish Porridge Recipe

Bowl of Hearty Porridge
  • 12 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 7 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings
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Discover the healthy and nutritious breakfast dish of Scottish porridge. This recipes calls for rolled oats which is one of the healthiest ways to start the day because this slowly released carbohydrate will keep you feeling satisfied from breakfast through to lunchtime. That makes Scottish porridge a real super food.

True porridge should be cooked in a pan and stirred with a wooden spurtle (stick) but don't worry, a wooden spoon will do just fine.

What You'll Need

  • 4 ounces/110 g rolled oats (or Scottish pinhead oats)
  • 9.5 ounces/275 ml milk (or water or a mixture of both)
  • Optional: pinch salt
  • Optional: maple syrup, brown sugar, golden syrup, jam

How to Make It

  • First decide whether you want your porridge made with all water, with all milk, or a mixture of the two. If in doubt, if you like a creamy porridge, all milk works best.
  • Place the oats in a heavy saucepan and add the milk or water.
  • Gently bring the oats to a slow boil, stirring all the time until the porridge begins to thicken.
  • Once thickening has begun, lower the heat so as not to burn the porridge. Allow the porridge to simmer for approximately 7 minutes (or less if the porridge is thick enough and heated all the way through).
  • Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 minute. This allows the porridge to cool slightly; eating it right off the fire can sometimes burn the mouth.
  • Serve the porridge in warmed bowls with either maple syrup, brown sugar, golden syrup or a teaspoon of jam if desired.

Types of Oats for Porridge

Goldilocks knew what she was doing when she ate the porridge from each bowl, finally choosing the tastiest. This traditional Scottish dish has many tastes and textures. Some like it thick and sweet, and others lilke it on the savory side with salt. Instant porridge (frowned on by porridge purists) is often smooth and a lighter consistency.

The oats used for porridge determine how hearty the final dish will be and how long to cook; the finer the oats the quicker the cooking time. The oats used for porridge are usually rolled rather than crushed and Scottish oats, also known as pinhead oats, are the ones used for Scottish porridge.

Choose rolled oats if you want a smooth consistency and a porridge that cooks quickly. Rolled oats have a medium grain and are used for oatcakes, biscuits, and stuffing.

Nutritional Value of Oats

All oats have the same nutritional value so no matter which type you choose, they are a slow-release carbohydrate and perfect for a low glycemic-index diet. Research also shows they are useful for lowering cholesterol.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 35
Total Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Unsaturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 151 mg
Carbohydrates 8 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 1 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)