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4 Super Nutritious Gluten-Free Slow-Cooker Porridge Recipes

I enjoy passing along yummy traditional recipes that have been modified ro meet the health requirements of those who are gluten-sensitive!

Any Excuse Slow-Cooker Oatmeal

Any Excuse Slow-Cooker Oatmeal

Growing up in the 50s and 60s in wintry Rural Saskatchewan, Canada, I believe that most farm kids took in a breakfast that included either oatmeal or cream of wheat or some other such hot cereal variety. My mother was a big promoter (at least in our family) of the benefits of eating oatmeal porridge. She said it "stuck to your ribs". We ate it with a generous coating of brown sugar and milk. Some days it tasted like a lovely creamy pudding, possibly even a little too decadent for breakfast, and other days it was dry-lumpy, cold, and gritty.

When I attended boarding school (technically, a convent) at age 11, the morning porridge was an oatmeal gruel . . . heavy on the water and thin on the oats (think Dickens' "Oliver Twist"). I was also introduced to the cream of wheat cereal there. I didn't much like it, because I am a fan of creamy texture, and in spite of it being called "cream" of wheat, it was actually a sort of gritty, taste-less white concoction, not at all creamy.

When I married, my German mother-in-law dazzled me with her wonderful creamy oatmeal, made in a double boiler.

Over the years I have discovered that there are other ways to prepare breakfast porridges that sometimes don't even contain oats (and certainly not wheat) and that are healthier, heartier, and definitely in the "comfort foods" category. And I find that the slow-cooker or crock-pot is by far the easiest method of putting together a yummy, nutritious breakfast meal with a minimum of morning stress. Because I am gluten-sensitive and vegan, the following recipes are designed to use gluten-free ingredients and are dairy- and egg-free.

I hope you enjoy the recipes that follow. Two are what you might call "traditional" and two are a little more exotic. Enjoy!

This densely nutritious porridge will run your brain on high gear all morning!

This densely nutritious porridge will run your brain on high gear all morning!

Any Excuse Decadent Slow-Cooker Oatmeal

Just like you might look for any excuse to use your grandmother's "best china" or to wear a favourite dress, you will look for any excuse to cook up this delicious, dessert-like take on traditional oats.

Tools needed:

  • slow-cooker or crock-pot with the low setting


  • 2 cups steel-cut gluten-free oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seed
  • 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut shreds
  • Handful of dried cranberries
  • 4 Turkish dried apricots, unsulphured, chopped
  • Pinch of Celtic sea salt
  • 6-8 cups water
  • coconut or almond milk
  • splash of maple syrup (optional)
  • chopped raw walnuts or hemp hearts

Directions (Night Before):

  • Combine oats, chia seed, coconut shreds, cranberries, apricots and salt in water in slow-cooker or crock-pot.
  • Turn on to low heat.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon for about 10-15 minutes until the chia seed is beginning to gel and is not clumped but absorbed into the rest of the ingredients
  • Put on the lid and leave until morning
  • Stir when you take the lid off to serve
  • Spoon into bowls and pour on almond milk and a splash of maple syrup (or other sweetener or not).
  • Sprinkle on chopped walnuts and/or hemp hearts (both high in healthy omega-3s)
hearty start to the day—and corn grill cakes tomorrow!

hearty start to the day—and corn grill cakes tomorrow!

Cornmeal Polenta Porridge in a Slow-Cooker (Gluten-Free)

When you cook up cornmeal with water it turns into a thick viscous material called "polenta". The original porridge here is still fairly moist early in the morning and will turn into polenta as more water evaporates. I put the remainder of our porridge into a small glass baking pan and put it into the freezer with plastic wrap over it. The next day we cut the thawed polenta into squares and fried it as you would pancakes on a griddle. Another hot breakfast, served up with maple syrup!


  • 1 1/2 cups medium or coarse ground cornmeal
  • 6-8 cups water
  • pinch Celtic salt
  • 1/2 cups chopped dried figs and raisins
  • almond Milk or non-dairy yogurt
  • walnut pieces
  • maple syrup


  • Combine cornmeal, water, salt and dried fruit in a 4-quart slow-cooker or crock-pot
  • Cover and cook on low 6 hours
  • Pour on a little almond milk or spoon on non-dairy yogurt.
  • Crown with walnuts or hemp hearts when the porridge is ready to serve.
  • Spoon into serving bowls and drizzle with maple syrup.
A savory breakfast can be a nice change from sweet.

A savory breakfast can be a nice change from sweet.

Brown Rice and Green Tea Slow-Cooker Porridge with Brown Lentils

This is one of the "exotic" porridges I referred to—a version of "peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold". It can be eaten throughout the day as a rest from rich foods, a light cleanse. It is delicious and a nice change-up from the sweet porridges.


  • 1 cups short-grain brown rice
  • 1/4 cup firm brown lentils (not red lentils, which will turn into mush)
  • 3 green tea bags (macrobiotic purists might use loose tea in a sort of bouquet garni cheesecloth rig-up, but tea bags are by the far the easiest)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 6 cups water


  • Rinse the brown rice in cold water and discard floaters.
  • Put lentils, salt and rice into slow-cooker
  • Add tea bags, and pour water over top.
  • Turn to low heat and put on the lid.
  • Take out the tea bags first
  • Stir and serve. It might be a little soupy but it will be comforting to the tummy.
  • You may want to add in some salty sesame seeds (gomashio), tamari sauce, umiboshi plum pickle, or miso. I dissolved a little miso in the sauce in my bowl and then added my porridge to that, mixing it up. So tasty and comforting!
Tasty Quinoa, Squash and Veggies

Tasty Quinoa, Squash and Veggies

Amazing Instant Pot-- Slow Cooker-Pressure Cooker

Quinoa-Veggie Slow-Cooker Porridge

This is another gluten-free savory porridge that some might recognize from a long-ago macrobiotic cooking class (although they probably used brown rice or millet instead of the quinoa). This porridge is a satisfying and pleasant way to start your day.


  • 1 piece kombu, dried sea vegetable
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 1 cup kuri squash, peeled and chopped (or other squash)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 8 cups water
  • 2-3 green onions, sliced thin on the diagonal
  • miso


  • Layer kombu, onion, celery, squash, and quinoa in a slow cooker.
  • Gently add in water.
  • Turn cooker to low and put on the lid.
  • In the morning, turn off the cooker. Add miso (to taste) to your porridge bowl and mix in some of the liquid from the porridge. Stir to dissolve. Add in the rest of the porridge serving and enjoy!
  • Makes about 6 servings and is appropriate for all meals.


Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on July 30, 2020:


Thanks for dropping by and checking out the porridge recipes!

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 29, 2020:

You have a good variety here, including some surprising savory combinations. You have an interesting background with the boarding school!

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on March 12, 2017:

You are most welcome Sharilee-- thank you for your kind words! I hope you enjoy the porridge recipes!

Sharilee Swaity from Canada on March 09, 2017:

Cynthia, these recipes look absolutely delicious! The first one appeals to me the most because I guess it is closest to my idea of "breakfast" but they all look delicious, perhaps even for another meal, such as dinner.

This hub is very timely for me because I have been looking for some breakfast ideas. I, too, am on a low-carb diet and have my husband on it, too, for the most part. Finding ideas for breakfast can be challenging. Sometimes I want an alternative to eggs and sausage!

Thanks so much for this well-written, comprehensive hub! I will be pinning! :)

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on July 05, 2016:

Dear Greensleeves-- thank you for your encouraging words!

I invite you to try one of these "from scratch" porridge recipes and see how they stack up against the packets you are used to. Any of the 4 could be assembled for a camping trip! xx Cynthia

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on July 02, 2016:

They say variety is the spice of life, so having four choices makes this article four times more useful! Very well presented hub with a good introduction, illustrations of each dish, and clear instructions. The only porridge I've ever eaten came out of a packet - maybe I should revise my thinking on what porridge is all about! :) Alun

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on April 03, 2016:

My dear Besarien, I don't know how I missed your comment (except I was away for three weeks with my granddaughters, the "Chicklettes"-- that might be the reason). In any case, I am delighted to read what you have to say, as usual. I, too, could eat gussied up oatmeal for most meals, with perhaps a savory one thrown in at the end of the day.

I also was "pathologically well-behaved," or most of the time, as a youngster, and actually was once given a "Good Manners" award, whatever that was. I am introverted now, and was then, and found it rather easy to be quiet and self-contained, at least until the hormones hit in the teen years. I have no recollections of nuns beating any of us with anything, but you are right about the powers of hellfire and the various classifications of sin-- I'll never forget those: venial, mortal... oops, I guess I have forgotten-- wasn't there a middle class of sins, not as wicked as mortal, but a little more culpable than the venial bunch?

Besarien from South Florida on March 28, 2016:

We called cornmeal concoctions mush, which was a breakfast staple at our house growing up. I have never used a slow-cooker for porridges. Now I will have to try it. I love the sound of all these recipes- so nutritious and chock full of deliciousness. I could eat these for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and maybe even for dessert too! Your days in "the convent" sound like a whole slew of hubs waiting to happen. I went to Catholic school back in the day. Just knowing you were going to hell for whatever you did wrong was bad enough withour Sister Mary-Brodie beating you bruised with a ruler. I was pathologically well-behaved just because I never wanted to be that kid.

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on May 04, 2014:

Well, I think that porridges are a bit of an acquired taste, so I hope that at this point in your life you find one of these recipes works for you! Thank you for your kind words, and all the best, Cynthia

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on May 04, 2014:

Thank you Candle, I'm not sure I can live up to your extremely generous praise! I just think I might print it out and put it on my fridge for those times when I accidentally burn something (happens more often these days, alas) or if my dear hubby is picky when I try something new. All the best, Cynthia

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on April 17, 2014:

I've never had porridge. The only porridge I've even heard about is the porridge in "Goldilocks and the Three Bears." LOL! These recipes look good and healthy!

CANDLE on April 09, 2014:

Although most of us are far from being "cordons bleus"

(we're so recipe-challenged, that even boiling water is

a choir best left to the experts in the kitchen), we can

rest assured that, as long Techygran and her mouth-watering recipes are around to guide us, we'll succeed in whipping up a delicious and nutritious meal.

According to a french expression (Une femme qui possède

ses dix doigts est un trésor inépuisable pour son foyer.), a woman who knows her way around the kitchen is an inexhaustible culinary treasure to her household.

Well, Techygran, you are more than just a treasure trove of culinary recipes; you are indeed, to Hubpagesr readership, a true treasure to cherish.

Thanks for your esthetically and clearly laid out recipes.

How To Have Lighting- Hurricane Or Not http://solarnia.com/lighting-hurricane/

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on June 08, 2012:

Thanks alocsin.. a couple are a little on the exotic side, depending on where you come from, I guess ;) Quinoa is my fave comfort food as well. All the best, Cynthia

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on June 08, 2012:

Some of these recipes are quite exotic. I'll pick the quinoa one as my favorite. Voting this Up and Useful.

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on April 02, 2012:

Om Parmpoonya... thank you for your positive comments... hope you do try them and enjoy them!

Om Paramapoonya on March 30, 2012:

Oh wow! I want to try them all. Thanks for sharing these yummy recipes and lovely photos. Rated up and bookmarked!

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on February 22, 2012:

thanks for your comments Jennifer! I hope you enjoy these gluten-free yummy recipes! Cheers! ~Cynthia

jennifertaylor91 from USA on February 21, 2012:

Looks yummy.My mouth is watering seeing this delicious dish.I like gluten free recipes.I am going to try this.Thank you.


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Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on February 17, 2012:

Picadilly-- brown rice and chia...mmm... hope you enjoy these recipes!

Priscill Anne Alvik from Schaumburg, IL on February 17, 2012:

These recipes are awesome!!! I love chia seed, and brown rice!!! I cannot waite to try them..thank you!

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 25, 2012:

Thanks B.A.-- the slow cooker is a great investment for toothsome fare any time of day! Excellent way for us morning zombies to get a good wholesome breaky! Thanks for your comments!

B. A. Williams from USA on January 24, 2012:

Sounds delicious never thought to have my slow cooker on for morning breakfast. Since I am quite in a zombie state when waking up this sounds great.

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 24, 2012:

DzyMsLizzy thanks for the great feedback-- I agree that porriges 3 & 4 are less like breaky and more like dinner-- and that is what I did, ate them throughout the day! LoriSoard, slow-cookers rock! PhetsyDutchko, I think the word "luscious" is a great describer for porriges! Thank you!Emma Harvey, congrats on your coming wedding! Honoured to think that one of these recipes might be the first in your slow-cooker's life! (**I note that I have spelled porridge and porrige interchangeably throughout the hub article and my comments)

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 24, 2012:

RTalloni thank you for your encouraging good wishes!Claudia Tello--I must say that I am not a big fan of millet, but it certainly DOES have its fans... you can use it interchangeably with the Quinoa recipe above, or just go ahead and cook it in the place of oats. It's a good gluten-free alternative! Cheers! Denise Handlon, thanks for your kind words! REALfoodie, you are welcome! MP50 thanks for kindly commenting even though you can't eat the fancy, over-laden porridges...ahhh! brsmom68, slow-cookers and other time-saving gadgets are definitely welcome in my kitchen! nina64 I know what you mean about wishing your children would eat a hearty breakfast-- it's tough! I wish you calm acceptance during this phase of your lives together! revortay1, thank you for your encouraging words! hypnosis4u2, congrats on "leaving the sweets behind"! Wow! But I do agree that savory breakfasts make a nice alternative!

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 24, 2012:

CookiesNoCrumbs I'm happy to revive precious breakfast memories! Dr Kavita Shaikh, thanks for your kind comments! vespawoolf I know that you will find some great alternative grains, fruits & nuts in Peru-- I'm loving what I'm discovering about S. American vegan fare! Swetankraj, thanks for your great response!

Emma Kisby from Berkshire, UK on January 23, 2012:

I love oats and there are so many fantastic ways to cook them. A slow cooker is on my wedding list and one of these recipes will be the first thing I'll cook in it!

Great hub :)

PhetsyDutchko from West Point, CA & Shelby, NC on January 23, 2012:

Sounds absolutely luscious--looking forward to trying these as the weather gets even colder.

LoriSoard from Henryville, Indiana on January 23, 2012:

Love my slow cooker. I'll have to try these out.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on January 23, 2012:

Congratulations on Hub of the Day! Great job!

The first two sound like delicious breakfasts to me; the remaining two sound more like dinner. In any case, they all sound good.

For me, breakfast needs to be sweet, so I tend to go heavy on the brown sugar, even with store-bought instant oatmeal packets. (I know..bad, bad, bad!)

I haven't even thought of polenta in years; but we used to fry it for dinner and top with spaghetti sauce. As long as you don't use sweetening in the original cooking of the cornmeal, it makes a nice change from pasta.

I'm definitely bookmarking, voting up across the board, and sharing.

hypnosis4u2 from Massachusetts on January 23, 2012:

Yes, I've begun to switch to more savory breakfasts now and left the sweets behind. Love to see all the nuts on your meals - great stuff.

revortay1 from PA on January 23, 2012:

Wow great hub, All of them look delicious!

Nina L James from chicago, Illinois on January 23, 2012:

That first picture of the steel cut oatmeal with the shredded coconut, cranberries and walnuts looks very tasty and nutritious!!!!! If only could I get my family to eat a hearty breakfast like that. They are such picky eaters. You have some great recipes here. I'm tempted to try one of them. Great hub.

Diane Ziomek from Alberta, Canada on January 23, 2012:

These do look good! I like the idea of making it in the slow cooker, as mornings seem to be rushed. Voted up, useful and bookmarked for future reference. Thank you!

MP50 on January 23, 2012:

I grew up on oatmeal/porrige too, I still eat it for breakfast most day's.

Unfortunately due to my illness I can only eat plain porrige, with none of the above trimmings.

You have brought back some good memories an I am drooling.

Voted up and away.

C De Melo on January 23, 2012:


Thanks for the recipes!

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on January 23, 2012:

These recipes look good-I've bookmarked it for a review. Thanks for sharing.

Claudia Tello from Mexico on January 23, 2012:

A friend gave me a millet package she bought at the green store and I have it stuck in my pantry because I do not know what to do with it!!!! Do you think I could make any of these recipes with millet instead of the suggested grain? For example the first one, replacing the oats with millet? I have never cooked millet, maybe this could help :)

Nice hub and congratulations for the nomination!!

RTalloni on January 23, 2012:

Just stopping back by to say congrats on Hub of the Day! :)

Swetank Raj from India on January 23, 2012:

Really yummy and healthy too. Images are so taste by one watch and a must eat recipe. Thankx XD

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on January 23, 2012:

I love these recipes, and although we don't have all the ingredients in Peru will try them out with appropriate substitute. Thanks!

Dr Kavita Shaikh from MUSCAT on January 23, 2012:

They look yummy and must say the images look so amazing. Congrats on being selected as Hub of the Day!

CookiesNoCrumbs from New Jersey on January 23, 2012:

Techygran porridge is one of the most nutritional breakfast. Especially the cornmeal is one of our favorite from the caribbean. Thanks you brought back my childhood memories.

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 18, 2012:

Gotta say that they are pretty darned delish, Simone... and if you don't have a slow-cooker I think you might put the ingredients in a heavy pot with a lid on on low temp (150-200 degrees) in the oven overnight... that might work. Of course it's not as efficient as a slow cooker, but the results would be worth it once or twice ;) Thanks for your comments!

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 18, 2012:

Hope you enjoy them Conrad!

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on January 18, 2012:

Oh my goodness, my mouth is watering! All of these look so amazing- forget the gluten-free part, I just want these because they look delicious!

Now, if only I had a slow cooker T_______T

conrad on January 18, 2012:

yummy..I am a big fan of a good porridge

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 16, 2012:

Sallieannluvslife-- hope you enjoy the savory porridge; I find it a nice change from the sweeter stuff! suejanet, I suggest that your daughter makes sure that the oats are indeed gluten/wheat-free and it is good to look for non-GMO cornmeal as well. Thanks for the kind comments, and blessings!

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 16, 2012:

well, my dear chspublish, not to come across as offensive, but I will take that as a great compliment from someone who no doubt knows her way around a great bowl of porridge (my mother having been of Irish descent)! Now I am going to go and read some of your many hubs... you are a busy writer! thank you for the comment!

chspublish from Ireland on January 16, 2012:

Looks absolutely delicious...mmm!

suejanet on January 16, 2012:

These look great. My daughter is alergic to gluten and is always look for recipes. I will definitely give these to her.

sallieannluvslife from Eastern Shore on January 16, 2012:

Oh My, these porridges look amazing! I am definitely going to try a couple of your recipes. The one with the cranberries, coconut and walnuts....YUMM!! I have never tried a savory porridge, but the brown rice and green tea with lentils sounds very interesting!

Cynthia Zirkwitz (author) from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 15, 2012:

Thanks RTalloni-- they all tasted splendidly last week when we test-ran the batch... think we need to crank up the slow-cooker again this week since the temps have plunged...brrr... thanks for your kind input!

RTalloni on January 15, 2012:

Although number 3 might have to be lunch for me, these adventurous breakfasts look like must try recipes. Voted up and bookmarked. Thanks for sharing!

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