Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal

We haven’t done a whole lot of breakfasts on our site, and I need to fix this because breakfast is a pretty important part of the day.

I also know it’s one of the toughest to truly cook something for. You’re bleary-eyed, fumbling for coffee, and making sure your socks match is about all your brain can handle in the morning (at least that’s how I operate).

That’s why it’s best if breakfast is already pre-made and just needs a quick warming up.

Making a big batch of steel cut oatmeal in a slow cooker is one of my favorite simple and easy pre-made breakfast solutions.

I love the fiber in oatmeal (c’mon admit it, your digestive system could use a little fibrous “push” too, right?), but I’ve never enjoyed oatmeal made out of rolled oats. The texture was just not for me, but I absolutely love oatmeal made of steel cut oats.

The only downside of steel cut oats are they take a lot longer to cook, which is why it’s a perfect candidate for slow cooking. On a Sunday night, I’ll dump everything in the pot, turn it on low, and let it go overnight for a fresh breakfast in the morning. The rest gets packaged away for the week.

I like to keep the base simple and then mix it up throughout the week.

Some days I’ll add nuts and cinnamon. I also love stirring in yogurt for some extra morning protein. And of course, you can never go wrong with any fresh fruit – bananas, apples, and berries all make great toppings. I’ll even add preserves or shaved coconut to make it a sweeter treat. Drizzle with maple syrup and this breakfast almost seems like a healthy dessert.

need more ideas?

Here are more ways to customize your oatmeal, so that you’ll always have a variety for breakfast:


Run the World: Make-Ahead Steel Cut Oatmeal

Fuel your day with a fiber-filled and hearty breakfast! Our 3 recipes for make-ahead oatmeal are healthy, tasty, and great… Read more.

Prepping Smarts

  • Steel cut oats use a 4:1 liquid to oats ratio. You can use any combination for the liquid – water, soy milk, almond milk, normal milk all work well.

Equipment Smarts

  • Slow cooker – the perfect kitchen equipment that does all the work for you. You don’t have to keep a watchful eye on the pot and worry about stirring constantly!

Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal

Most of us are too busy to make breakfast in the morning, so a big pot of steel cut oatmeal made in a slow cooker is the perfect solution to make sure you always have a healthy meal to start the day.

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 8 hr

Total time: 8 hr 5 min

Serves: 10-12


  • Steel cut oats – 2 cups
  • Water – 6 cups
  • Milk (any type) – 2 cups
  • Butter – 2 Tbsp
  • Apples, peeled & chopped (optional) – 2 to 3
  • Brown sugar – ¼ cup
  • Kosher salt – 2 tsp
  • Cinnamon – 1 Tbsp
  • Star anise (optional) – 2 to 3



  1. Apples (if using) – Prep as directed.


  1. Optional: Give the slow cooker a quick spray of cooking oil or brush with cooking oil to prevent sticking of ingredients.
  2. Put all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or 4 hours on high.
  3. Top with nuts, yogurt, fruit, jams, coconut shavings!
  4. If you don’t have a slow cooker, bring the ingredients to boil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and then simmer for 45 minutes, stirring here and there to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Join our community

Enjoy free tips in your inbox

Discover a smarter and happier way to cook

Get Started

Sign up for the Cook Smarts Newsletter


Privacy Policy: We hate SPAM & promise to keep your email address safe.