I absolutely love overnight oatmeal — it’s a fabulous healthy breakfast. This recipe for overnight steel cut oats is the easiest way to enjoy the benefits steel of cut oats! Spend just 5 minutes at night and wake up to perfectly cooked, whole grain goodness. Top with nut butter, berries and a drizzle of maple syrup!
I've been making this beauty of a recipe for YEARS. Jeff and I are obsessed because it's so foolproof, and now my toddler is on the bandwagon. I mean who wants to wait 25 minutes for oatmeal to cook? Not this family!
Chewy steel cut oats (also known as Irish or Scottish oats) have such a satisfying, hearty texture and nutty flavor compared to our more mushy friend, the rolled oat. We're talkin' approachable and accessible health food at its finest.
Nutritious breakfast recipes are kinda my thing, ya dig?
How to make overnight steel cut oats
The traditional way to cook steel cut oatmeal simmering the oats on the stovetop for about 30 minutes (like this yummy Mango Steel Cut Oatmeal). Overnight oats (like this zucchini banana version) involve soaking oats in liquid overnight in the refrigerator.
This is great, but what if you want a hot overnight steel cut oatmeal recipe? My hands-off variation where the oats cook themselves overnight is the answer!
- Bring oats, milk, water and salt to a boil. The milk helps make it nice and creamy!
- Let mixture boil for 2 minutes on medium heat, stirring often.
- Remove from heat, cover, and let sit out overnight. In the morning you've got fully cooked oatmeal!
For a fun flavor twist, try my Overnight Apple Steel Cut Oatmeal.
You can also make steel cut oatmeal in the slow cooker by cooking on low heat for 7-8 hours. Give my Crockpot Blueberry Steel Cut Oatmeal a whirl!
Is overnight oatmeal healthy?
Yes, quite. This Registered Dietitian loves that recipes with steel cut oats are crazy good for ya!
While all oatmeal types boast the same nutrition facts, steel cut oats are the least processed oat. They're cut with a blade and thus take longer to cook than rolled oats, which are steamed and flattened.
The key to maximizing the healthfulness of oats is balancing oats with fat and protein to stabilize blood sugar and keep you fuller longer. Add nut butter or hemp seeds, butter, avocado (love savory oatmeal!), or pair with scrambled eggs for a balanced meal.
More health benefits:
- They have a lower glycemic response than quick cooking or instant oats, meaning your blood sugar won't spike as quickly.
- They're high in a fiber called Beta-glucan, which has well-studied cholesterol-lowering and anti-diabetic effects.
- They can help lower cholesterol.
- Chunky monkey: Top with peanut butter or walnuts, banana, and chocolate chips.
- Berry almond: Fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or blackberries with a splash of almond extract maple syrup, and chopped toasted almonds.
- Carrot cake: Stir in grated carrot (or try zucchini!), cinnamon, almond butter, pecans, nutmeg and vanilla.
- Peach tahini: It may sound funky, but fresh peaches with tahini and sea salt is a go-to for me!
- Caramel apple: Add a pat of butter, brown sugar or maple syrup, and chopped apple.
How long does it need to sit?
Let oats sit for at least 6 hours, but ideally 8 hours to ensure they're fully cooked and tender. And yes, it is safe to leave the oatmeal overnight! Trust me, I've made this recipe a thousand times.
How long will it keep?
You can store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This recipe yields a lot--6 large or 8 smaller servings, so you could even cut the recipe in half.
You can eat these hot or cold! To reheat, simply mix your desired portion of steel cut oats with a little water or milk (optional) and warm it in the microwave or on the stove.
Can you freeze oatmeal?
Yes! You can freeze in pre-portioned containers for busy mornings and transfer them to the refrigerator the night before so they're ready to go in the morning.
You could also freeze flat in a large freezer baggie for up to 3 months.
Don't miss my other oatmeal recipes!
- Banana Zucchini Oatmeal Cups
- Salted Chocolate Covered Oatmeal Bites
- Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal
- Healthy Blueberry Oatmeal Snack Bars
I absolutely love overnight oatmeal — it’s a fabulous healthy breakfast. This recipe for overnight steel cut oats is the easiest way to enjoy the benefits of steel cut oats! Spend just 5 minutes at night and wake up to perfectly cooked, whole grain goodness. Top with nut butter, berries and a drizzle of maple syrup!
- Bring milk, water, oats, and pinch of salt to a boil in a large pot (I use my 3.5 qt dutch oven).
- Let it boil for 1-2 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring often make sure it doesn't boil over.
- Turn off burner. Cover pot with lid and let it sit out on the stove overnight at room temperature.
- In the morning, stir and eat hot or cold (I like hot) with your favorite toppings! Store leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.