Overnight Steel Cut Oats*

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! :-)




















Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Yield: 3-4 servings

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


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


In a nonmetal bowl combine oats, brown sugar, applesauce, cinnamon and salt. Stir in milk; cover and chill for 8 to 24 hours.

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.

Remove from heat. Add your favorite mix-ins. Spoon into 2 bowls. Serve with additional milk, if desired.

Adapted from: Good Life Eats

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39 Responses to “Overnight Steel Cut Oats”

  1. 1

    Lisa (Dishes of Mrs. Fish) — March 22, 2011 @ 5:42 am

    I’ve never tried steel cut oats! This oats look great!

  2. 2

    Shannon O'Connell — March 22, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    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! : )

    • Jessica replied: — March 23rd, 2011 @ 11:05 pm

      Ha! 7am on a Saturday? You are way more dedicated them me! 😉

      • Shannon O'Connell replied: — March 24th, 2011 @ 9:16 am

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

  3. 3

    Mary @ Delightful Bitefuls — March 22, 2011 @ 10:19 am

    I LOVE oatmeal! This looks soooo tasty!!

    Mary xx
    Delightful Bitefuls

  4. 4

    mara z — March 22, 2011 @ 12:00 pm

    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 :)

    • Jessica replied: — March 23rd, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

      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!

      • mara z replied: — March 25th, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

        tastier even! they were so yummy, thanks!

  5. 5

    Samara Link — March 22, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

    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!

    • Jessica replied: — March 23rd, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

      Oh girl I hear ya! Love whole wheat pilaf too! :-)

  6. 6

    Charissa — March 22, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

    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.

    • Jessica replied: — March 23rd, 2011 @ 11:07 pm

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

  7. 7

    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — March 22, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

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

  8. 8

    jackie — March 22, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

    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??

    • Jessica replied: — March 23rd, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

      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?

  9. 9

    Kim @ Feed Me, Seymour — March 22, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

    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!!!

  10. 10

    Happy When Not Hungry — March 22, 2011 @ 8:00 pm

    Thanks for the tip about soaking the steel cut oats overnight. They look delicious!

  11. 11

    stephanie — March 23, 2011 @ 8:00 am

    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

  12. 12

    Nicole, RD — March 23, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

    Making this, for sure! Thanks!

  13. 13

    Barbara — March 24, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

    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!

    • Jessica replied: — March 24th, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

      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.

      • Jessica replied: — March 24th, 2011 @ 9:07 pm

        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?

    • Jen replied: — March 24th, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

      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!

  14. 14

    ErinsFoodFiles — March 25, 2011 @ 9:53 am

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

  15. 15

    Overnight Steel Cut Oats — March 29, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    […] The Novice Chef, originally from Good Life Eats Posted in […]

  16. 16

    Chris — April 4, 2011 @ 2:56 am

    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.

  17. 17

    Overnight Steel Cut Oats « Cooking with Chrissy — April 4, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

    […] Adapted from: Good Life Eats as seen on The Novice Chef […]

  18. 18

    Overnight Steel Cut Oats | Prevention RD — April 5, 2011 @ 9:50 am

    […] Overnight Steel Cut Oats adapted from Good Life Eats and The Novice Chef […]

  19. 19

    Girlfriends | Milk & Honey — July 8, 2011 @ 9:08 am

    […] discovering this super easy oatmeal technique from Jessica over at The Novice Chef, I just can’t get enough of the stuff. Normally, steel cut oats would take a good half hour […]

  20. 20

    My Weekly Menu Plan 10/30/11 | The Purposed Heart — October 30, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

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  21. 21

    Marie — October 31, 2011 @ 9:15 am

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

    • Jessica replied: — November 1st, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

      Thanks for the tip Marie! :-)

  22. 22

    Trader Joes Recipes — March 12, 2012 @ 10:51 am

    Oh my goodness, this looks delicious. I love steel cut oats. Can’t wait to try it!

  23. 23

    Katie — May 15, 2012 @ 9:00 am

    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.

  24. 24

    mari — August 21, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    my oats were still hard =( what i do wrong?

    • Jessica replied: — August 22nd, 2012 @ 2:28 pm


      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!

  25. 25

    Pat Noseworthy — September 1, 2015 @ 7:44 pm

    Can you heat these in microwave instead of a saucepan?

    • Jessica replied: — September 7th, 2015 @ 10:53 pm

      I personally have not tried it, but I believe you can! Just make sure and stir them often!

  26. 26

    Susan — September 25, 2015 @ 12:11 pm

    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!

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