Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Prep 8 hrs
Cook 5 mins
Add'l 8 hrs
Total 16 hrs 5 mins

Steel Cut Oats are very different from your normal oatmeal. For starters, they look different. They are like the weird, funky cousin of the oatmeal you knew as a kid. But just like the weird, funky cousin…they are sooo much better then the regular cousin. They aren’t smooth or fast like old fashioned oats…but are crunchy, nutty and can be a pain to deal with in the morning. They are also one of my absolute favorite things to have for breakfast. So after ordering it for breakfast every time I see it on the menu, I decided that I would no longer avoid it just because of the normal 30 minute cooking time. And after a little internet browsing, I discovered that you can leave them soaking over night and then only have to cook them for 5 minutes in the morning! Which is awesome! A healthy, wholesome, delicious breakfast in under 5 minutes? Count me in! πŸ™‚
















Yield: 3-4 servings

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Up close image of a oatmeal in a red bowl

Overnight Steel Cut Oats are the absolute best make-ahead breakfast. Why have regular old oatmeal when you can enjoy this healthy, hearty variation with your favorite fruits and chopped nuts mixed in?

Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 16 hours 5 minutes


  • You will need:
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 3/4 cups fat free milk
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 ounces all-natural applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt


  1. In a nonmetal bowl combine oats, brown sugar, applesauce, cinnamon and salt. Stir in milk; cover and chill for 8 to 24 hours.
  2. To serve, transfer oatmeal mixture to a medium saucepan. Heat just to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until oatmeal is done, adding additional milk if desired and stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat. Add your favorite mix-ins. Spoon into 2 bowls. Serve with additional milk, if desired.


Recipe Note: This is the bare bones recipe. Add your favorite mix ins! My favorite is pecans, dates, and a pinch of nutmeg!

Adapted from:Β Good Life Eats

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 110mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 6gSugar: 21gProtein: 12g

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34 Responses
  1. Susan

    Soaked mine in low-fat chocolate milk last night, and cooked them this morning for 10 minutes. Sprinkled walnuts and low-fat peanut butter powder on top after I dished them into my bowl. Oh yum!

    1. Jessica


      Can you give me a little more info? Did you follow the directions exactly?

      I made these again last week without any issues…. Sorry your oats were still hard!

  2. Katie

    Just made these this morning. Subbed the apple sauce for mushed banana. Threw in some walnuts and you have banana bread oatmeal! Delish. Thanks for a great recipe.

  3. Marie

    You can also cook Steel Cut Oats overnight in a crock-pot….depending on the pot either on the low or warm setting.

  4. Chris

    I’m a big fan of Steel Cut oats in the morning. I make a batch for the week and just take out servings as I go, just heating them up in the microwave. I like the oats chewy, I’ve found this prep always does the trick:
    Oat to water ratio, 1:2
    Boil the water, add a little salt.
    Add the oats, and then immediately take off the heat. The water will soak in over the course of an hour.
    add to a Tupperware container, adding cinnamon and brown sugar before sticking in the fridge.
    Toppings are: sliced banana, greek yogurt, some Almonds/pecans, and blueberries

    As a note — Wholefoods has the cheapest steel cut oats I can find. 99 cents per pound beats anything I’ve seen in any grocery store.

  5. ErinsFoodFiles

    Flax seeds & chopped up dried apricots are my favorite add in! Thanks for passing along the overnight soaking tip!

  6. Barbara

    We had this for breakfast this morning and it worked out pretty well, only it was perhaps a bit chewy so I think I’ll use more milk next time. But there will definitely be a next time, and soon. It’s so much nicer to have steel cut oats in 5 minutes instead of 45…… thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Jessica

      Steel Cut Oats are always supposed to be chewy. That is their appeal over regular old fashioned oats. They should not be hard, but should definitely have more of a chewy/nutty feel to them…which is why most people prefer them and think they have a more filling feeling. I doubt more milk would change that.

      1. Jessica

        Also, I usually only cook my steel cut oats for 30 minutes. So maybe by cooking them for 45 minutes in the past you have come out with a texture similar to Old Fashioned Oats oatmeal?

    2. Jen

      HI Jessica!
      LOVE LOVE LOVE overnight oats. Make them often. Chewy is definitely the textured outcome. Even better? The chewing takes longer to eat, so one might actually enjoy their food. Just sayin. I toss nuts, chia seeds, a scoop of almond butter and mashed bananas in there! I end up with loads of energy and full for hours! Great recipe!

  7. stephanie

    Oh yeah that looks good… and ALWAYS have fresh applesauce in my fridge…. super good. Try it with a splash of vanilla cream for example.. will def rock your world!
    thanks for the oats tip – never know how to handle the weird cousin!
    Ciao – Steph

  8. Kim @ Feed Me, Seymour

    I’ve never had steel cut oats before. I just passed them in the grocery store today, but passed them by. I think I might have to pick them up! I bet they’d be really delicious with some maple cashew granola!!!

  9. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite

    Yes! I love oatmeal…I haven’t actually had steel cut oats yet, but it will need to happen soon.

  10. jackie

    I have been hooked on steel cut oats since I had it recently at Jamba Juice. I can’t steel cut oats in my grocery story? Are the named something else or am I looking in the wrong place??

    1. Jessica

      Hmmm…I can find them in my regular grocery stores! I know for sure Whole Foods sells them, as does The Fresh Market. And as for my regular grocery store, Publix, they carry them in the oatmeal aisle. Maybe check the “health” food section of you grocery store?

  11. Samara Link

    YOU ARE AWESOME!! This is such a great tip. I had no idea. I love whole wheat pilaf (with milk, honey and berries or peaches) or steal cuts oats for breakfast, but I rarely make the time for it. Your idea to soak them could be a game changer. I’ll be trying this soon!

  12. mara z

    thank you for this! i LOVE steel-cut oats but it takes me about half an hour in the morning to make them! i can’t wait to try this πŸ™‚

    1. Jessica

      Let me know what you think when you do! I think they are almost exactly the same texture that you get when you spend the 30 minutes over the stove!

  13. Charissa

    I love steel cut oats…I don’t like the fact they take a little longer to cook, but it’s so worth it. Love the twist you did on this recipe.

    1. Jessica

      I agree! Which is exactly why I fell in love with this recipe! No longer cooking time when you soak them overnight!

  14. Shannon O'Connell

    I love these. I use the Irish Oats (which I think are the same thing). I was never an oatmeal fan until I got rid of the instant stuff. I will have to try this method.
    My husband once found me up at 7am on a Saturday morning making it! : )

      1. Shannon O'Connell

        LOL! You say dedicated. I say crazy. It’s a sickness, really. πŸ˜‰
        Last Saturday morning it was chocolate pizzelles at 6:30am. My husband was a heck of a lot happier waking up to those.

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I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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