Hello and welcome to the latest chapter in our lives without a stove: Slow Cooker Overnight Steel Cut Oats. This oatmeal recipe is healthy, freezer-friendly, and cooks entirely in the crock pot while you sleep. When I awoke to the scent of warm cinnamon and sweet bananas wafting from my kitchen, I felt like my home had been turned into a bed and breakfast!
Our stove has been broken for three weeks, a tragedy that, while frustrating, has pushed me to embrace my slow cooker with a passion I didn’t realize I could muster for an appliance. I’ve seen overnight steel cut oatmeal recipes floating around the web for ages, but it took our stove’s demise to push me to finally try it myself. Friends, I need to do a lot of overnight oatmeal eating to make up for lost time—this recipe is fabulous!
If you’ve never had steel cut oats, prepare yourself for a serious oatmeal upgrade. Steel cut oats (whole oats that have been cut into a few pieces) are significantly less processed than instant oats, which are steamed, pressed, ground, and otherwise obliterated. This means that, unlike instant oatmeal, which has all the flavor and texture of a pile of wet sawdust, steel cut oatmeal has a hearty, pleasing texture and nutty taste. As a bonus, because steel cut oats take your body longer to break down, they keep you fuller too.
The one downfall of steel cut oats is that they take 30 minutes to cook on your stovetop, which is about 26 minutes longer than I’m willing to wait for my breakfast on an average morning. This recipe for overnight steel cut oats made in the slow cooker is the perfect solution. All of the oatmeal magic happens in the crock pot overnight, so in the morning, the only waiting you’ll do is for the coffee to brew.
To give my overnight steel cut oats some pizzazz, I took inspiration from my favorite healthy banana nut muffins and added mashed ripe bananas, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the oats before they cooked. The result was a filling, healthy breakfast with the cozy flavor of freshly baked banana bread.
Inspired by this banana bread theme, I couldn’t stop myself from topping my overnight steel cut oats with extra banana slices and walnuts. Combined with the bananas in the oatmeal itself, this was just the right amount of sweetness for me. If you prefer your oatmeal on the sweeter side, I suspect a drizzle of pure maple syrup or honey would do the trick.
Chocolate chips and a giant dollop of peanut butter wouldn’t hurt one bit either.
This recipe makes a big batch of slow cooker oatmeal, which I assure you will be happy to have on hand. Cooked overnight steel cut oats keep well in the refrigerator for days and in the freezer for months. To reheat, simply mix your desired portion of steel cut oats with a little water or milk and warm it in the microwave. I froze my leftovers in portioned containers, and I pull out a few at the beginning of each week. I love waking up knowing that I’m just a few minutes away from a warm, healthy bowl of steel cut oatmeal, with no work beyond lifting my spoon required.
Tools I used to make this recipe:
Slow cooker overnight steel cut oats that taste like yummy banana bread. Just put the ingredients in your crock pot and in the morning, breakfast is served!
Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours
Overnight steel cut oats can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months. To reheat, top desired amount with a few tablespoons of water or milk, then warm in the microwave or in a small saucepan until hot. If the oatmeal is frozen, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator first.
Serving Size: 1 (of 6, without toppings—about 1 1/4 cups)