The Ultimate Fast Breakfast: Batch Oatmeal

Never be without your dose of daily fiber with our delicious and versatile batch oatmeal recipes!

  • By Jess Dang
  • March 19, 2019

Although breakfast is a pretty important part of the day, if you’re anything like me, mornings are also one of the toughest times to truly cook something. You’re bleary-eyed, fumbling for coffee, and making sure your socks match, which 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 make-ahead breakfast solutions.

I love that oatmeal is a high-fiber breakfast (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 from steel cut oats.

The only downside of steel cut oats is that they take a lot longer to cook, which is why it’s a perfect candidate for a slow cooker recipe. On a Sunday night, I’ll spend 5 minutes dumping everything in the pot and turning it on low, and then let it go overnight for a fresh breakfast in the morning. The rest gets packaged away so I can simply pop the cooked oatmeal into the microwave for quick breakfasts the rest of the week.

I like to keep the base oatmeal simple and then mix it up with fun ingredients throughout the week. Some days I’ll add nuts and cinnamon. Other days I’ll stir 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.

Want more oatmeal ideas?

Here are dozens of ways to customize your oatmeal, so that you’ll always have an exciting variety of breakfasts to look forward to:


Make-Ahead Oatmeal Breakfast Recipe

Oatmeal is a fiber-filled, inexpensive breakfast, so wake up to a healthy morning with our free Make-Ahead Oatmeal Breakfasts recipes! 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, or normal milk all work well.

Equipment Smarts

  • Slow cooker – the perfect kitchen equipment that does all the work for you. With this amazing tool, you never have to keep a watchful eye on the pot and worry about stirring constantly!
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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.

A little note:

This blog post was originally published in March 2013 and has been updated with new and helpful resources.

Some of the above links are Amazon affiliate links, which means we earn a small percentage from those sales. We use this affiliate revenue to support the continued growth of Cook Smarts. Thank you!

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