Home > Breakfast > Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal June 1, 2020 | 59 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. A mixture of steel-cut oatmeal and quinoa that can be cooked overnight in your slow cooker. Top this Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal with fresh berries and a splash of milk for a delicious and healthy breakfast the whole family will love. Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal This breakfast is one of my favorites! Similar to overnight oats, there is virtually no morning prep required. A healthful, warm, creamy, sweet and comforting breakfast awaits you the minute you’re ready to start the day. It’s simple, with minimal prep required; it takes about 10 minutes (maybe even less) to throw everything together. The only tricky component for figuring out this recipe was how to allow it to cook in the slow cooker without getting overly mushy. It’s perfect after about 3 hours, but nobody wants to get up in the middle of the night to turn off the slow cooker! So after loads of testing, I’m excited to share how you can have this oatmeal piping hot, not at all mushy, loaded with flavor AND ready to eat after a good 7-8 hours of sleeping time. Steel-cut oats Why use steel cut oats? For one, they are the only oats I’ve found to work overnight in the slow cooker. Rolled oats or quick oats end up way too mushy and absorb too much of the liquid. Here are a few other reasons why it’s great to add steel-cut oats into your diet: Because steel-cut oats are minimally processed, they contain more fiber and density and are one of the most nutritious grains you can eat. As a complex carbohydrate, steel-cut oats are a great way to give your body energy to last through the day. Complex carbs are harder for the body to break down and use, so they take longer to digest while providing a more sustained energy source. Steel-cut oats are denser than other oats, meaning you can eat less of them, feel satiated longer, all while gaining the same nutritional benefits found in rolled oats. Steel-cut oats contain 7g of protein in every 1/4 cup of dry oats. QUICK TIP Are you confused about the various types of oats? It all has to do with how thin they are and how fast they cook. Steel-cut oats are cut 2 to 3 times with a steel blade (hence the name). Old-fashioned rolled oats are steamed and rolled into flakes. Quick-cooking rolled oats are rolled flatter and steamed even longer; Instant oats are rolled and steamed even more than that. Steel-cut oats require the most cooking time, and instant oats take just a few seconds. The other types fall in between those varieties. Quinoa I love the textural add of combining quinoa with steel-cut oats in this breakfast! Quinoa is full of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. It is also a great source of protein with 8 grams of protein per 1 cup of dry quinoa. Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin which can make it taste bitter. Make sure to first rinse the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and wash thoroughly for 30 seconds to one minute to remove that coating. I don’t recommend any substitutes for the quinoa; it absorbs the liquid and really thickens up these oats. It also adds a deep, savory, almost nutty flavor to this Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal. Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal tips Use a 6-quart slow cooker. I have tested this recipe multiple times in 6-quart slow cookers, but have not personally tested in smaller cookers, so I can’t vouch for how they will work. Generously grease or line the slow cooker. Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal can be messy to clean up without a prepared (greased or lined) slow cooker. Do not remove the lid. As tempting as it may be to check on the oats after they’ve cooked on low for 30 minutes, do not remove the lid! This allows heat to escape and the dish won’t properly cook. Make sure to use steel-cut oats, not rolled oats or quick oats. I haven’t had success with cooking any other types of oats overnight in the slow cooker. We love almond milk in these oats. While you can use water in a pinch, the almond milk gives these oats a phenomenal flavor and creaminess. Do not use cow’s milk in place of the almond milk; it will curdle overnight. Don’t forget the toppings! More on this below. Toppings Don’t get me wrong, Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal is luscious, creamy, and perfectly sweet, but some great toppings make it spectacular! Hands down, Off Beat nut butters are our favorite additions to these oats. I’m not sponsored or affiliated by this company, but I’ve included the links below to order online. While a bit spendy, they are the best nut butters I’ve ever tried! Here are our favorite topping combos: Banana: Combine extra cinnamon, thinly sliced banana, a big scoop of cinnamon bun nut butter, almond butter, or peanut butter and a splash of milk and stir into the oatmeal. Berry: Use a handful of frozen raspberries mixed into the oats and topped with fresh strawberries, fresh raspberries, and/or any other berries with a splash of milk and a spoonful of almond butter or aloha nut butter. Apple: Add some extra cinnamon, diced Honey Crisp or Fuji apple, big scoop of cinnamon bun nut butter, almond butter, or peanut butter and a splash of milk. Strawberries and Cream: This one has diced strawberries, a splash of milk or coffee creamer, and lemon coconut bliss butter or almond butter. Nuts and Seeds: Go with a handful of toasted and coarsely chopped nuts (sliced almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, etc), a small handful of sunflower or pumpkin seeds, another small handful of dried cranberries, dried blueberries, raisins, or dried tart cherries, and a big scoop of almond or peanut butter. Additional sweetener: Depending on how sweet you like your breakfast and what toppings have been added, you may want to add an extra drizzle of honey, maple syrup, or a sprinkle of brown sugar to top the oats. For a zero-calorie sweetener, try liquid stevia. Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal cooking options For morning brunch: Cook on low for 2-1/2 to 4 hours. I don’t recommend cooking these oats on the high setting. Overnight – with quick-cooking steel-cut oats: Cook on low for 30 minutes and then turn to warm for 6-7 hours. Overnight – with regular steel-cut oats: Cook on low for 1 hour and then turn to warm for 8-9 hours. Note: Not all slow cookers are the same; some cook at a higher temperature than others. If your slow cooker has a tendency to cook quicker, it may be done even sooner than the times indicated. More delicious breakfast ideas 30-minute Cinnamon Roll Skillet Cake Chunky cinnamon French Toast Peanut Butter Overnight Oats with Greek yogurt Dutch Baby also called German pancakes How to Make Oatmeal with four different recipes FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal 4.65 from 14 votes - Review this recipe A mixture of steel-cut oatmeal and quinoa can be cooked overnight in your slow cooker. Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal can be topped with fresh berries and a splash of milk for a delicious and healthy breakfast the whole family will love. SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal 4.65 from 14 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe A mixture of steel-cut oatmeal and quinoa can be cooked overnight in your slow cooker. Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal can be topped with fresh berries and a splash of milk for a delicious and healthy breakfast the whole family will love. Course Breakfast Cuisine American Keyword Overnight oats and quinoa Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 8 hours Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes Servings 6 Calories 387kcal Cost $3.23 Ingredients1 and 1/2 cups (215g) steel-cut oatmeal (See Note 1)1/2 cup (90g) white quinoa5 cups (1265) unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or water; we prefer almond milk!)4 tablespoons (50g) brown sugar2 tablespoons real maple syrup1/4 teaspoon salt1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extractOptional: 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, fresh berries, a splash of milk, additional sugar for topping InstructionsPREP: Spray slow cooker generously with non-stick spray or line with a slow cooker liner. In a mesh strainer, rinse the quinoa under cold water for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Let dry.FILL UP SLOW COOKER: Combine the steel-cut outs, rinsed quinoa, almond milk, brown sugar, maple syrup, salt, vanilla extract, and cinnamon (if desired) in the slow cooker.COOK OVERNIGHT: Stir everything together, place the lid on the slow cooker, and then set your slow cooker to low for 1 hour. Then, without opening the slow cooker or disturbing it (otherwise the heat escapes!), switch the dial to the warm setting. Allow to cook overnight for 8-9 hours (longer than that and it becomes mushy). See Note 2.IN THE MORNING: Once you wake up, immediately turn it off the heat and stir the oats. They may still have some liquid, but it continues to soak in as they are served (we like them better with extra liquid rather than dry and mushy/gummy!) These oats are intended to be fairly creamy.SERVE: We have plenty of serving suggestions in the post, but add your favorite toppings such as fresh fruit, an extra splash of milk, any additional brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup, and a big scoop of nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, etc.). Recipe NotesNote 1: Do not use regular old-fashioned, rolled or quick oats -- they won't work. If you use instant or quick-cooking steel-cut oats, (Be sure to check the package--sometimes it's hard to tell if they are instant steel-cut oats at first glance), it will be done in about 6-8 hours. For the best results, I recommend regular steel-cut oatmeal. Note 2: Different cooking options: For morning brunch: Cook on low for 2-1/2 to 4 hours. I don't recommend cooking these overnight steel cut oats on the high setting. Overnight - with quick-cooking steel-cut oats: Cook on low for 30 minutes and then turn to warm for 6-7 hours. Overnight - with regular steel-cut oats: Cook on low for 1 hour and then turn to warm for 8-9 hours. Note that not all slow cookers are the same; some cook at a higher temperature than others. If your slow cooker has a tendency to cook quicker, it may be done even sooner than the times indicated. If it is left in the slow cooker too long it will likely become mushy and gummy. If your slow cooker cooks slower and oats/quinoa aren't tender, turn the slow cooker back on to low for 30 or so minutes in the morning. Nutrition FactsServing: 1serving | Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 358mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 14g | Calcium: 291mg | Iron: 3mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.