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I’m not usually one to play matchmaker, but I was so firmly convinced that two of my longest-running, most-treasured breakfast besties—overnight oats and steel cut oatmeal—would hit it off that I couldn’t resist the urge to combine the two into a single bowl of Overnight Steel Cut Oats. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a match made for a 1990s rom-com classic! Ever since I stirred together my first batch of make-ahead steel cut oats, it’s been a ride-off-into-the-sunset breakfast love story.

The best recipe for overnight steel cut oats. An easy, healthy make ahead breakfast!

Now, if you are reading this and thinking to yourself, Isn’t the fact that you can use steel cut oats for overnight oats incredibly obvious?, please consider the great fictional romances of our time.

Wasn’t it also obvious that Harry would end up with Sally? That Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan were meant to be (twice)? That Ross would finally win over Rachel? Why, yes. But that doesn’t make the evolution of the love story any less satisfying.

The same is true of Overnight Steel Cut Oats.

If you are reading up to this point and wondering, What are overnight oats?, let me give you a brief rundown: overnight oats are dry oats that are stirred together with milk, a bit of sweetener such as honey or maple syrup, and whatever other deliciousness you like.

You can make overnight oats with chia seeds, peanut butter, fresh or dried fruit, and any other mix-ins. The limit is only your imagination (or perhaps your pantry). This Sugar Cookie Protein Oatmeal, for example, includes a scoop of protein powder.

You leave the oatmeal in the refrigerator overnight and then wake in the morning to a bit of breakfast magic.

Best Overnight Steel Cut Oats. An easy, healthy breakfast! Simply mix up the oats, stick them in the refrigerator overnight, and eat in the morning. Totally customizable (make these overnight steel cut oats vegan with nondairy milk) and delicious!

In the refrigerator, the oatmeal absorbs a portion of the milk and becomes irresistibly creamy. You give it a stir, pour it into a bowl, and sit down to reap the benefits of a filling, healthy, delicious breakfast that took seconds to prepare.

Overnight oats are typically enjoyed cold, similar to muesli. If you prefer a hot oatmeal that can be made overnight, you can check out my Overnight Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats. If you need a hot oatmeal that can be made in minutes, check out my Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats and original Steel Cut Oats recipe. 

So, What’s the Difference between Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal and Every Other Overnight Oats Recipe?

Up until the point of making this recipe, I’d always made my overnight oatmeal with rolled oats (a.k.a. old-fashioned oats). Rolled oats are whole oats that have been steamed and pressed, so they cook more quickly and have a more pliable texture. Overnight oats made with rolled oats are more creamy than chewy. They are also delicious. Start with my Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats and see if you agree.

Steel cut oats are closer to their original harvested state. They are not steamed but instead are cut into pieces with a steel blade (hence the name “steel cut”). Steel cut oats are chewier and nuttier.

The firmer texture of steel cut oats means they take longer to cook, but your reward is a bowl of oatmeal that has the most perfectly pleasing texture and is never ever mushy. Steel cut oats are also higher in fiber than regular rolled oats, and I find that they keep me fuller for longer.

Generally, you never want to substitute steel cut oats for rolled oats in a recipe, because the two have such different textures…

…unless, of course, you want to try making overnight oatmeal using steel cut oats, which is exactly what I did for us here!

(If you’d like to know more about the difference between different types of oats, this guide briefly explains).

Overnight Steel Cut Oats. Made with almond milk, peanut butter, and all sorts of optional mix-ins, these overnight steel cut oats with chia seeds will be your new favorite make-ahead breakfast.

Overnight Steel Cut Oats—Fall Asleep Dreaming of Breakfast

Overall, I found that I loved overnight oatmeal made with steel cut oats. It was definitely chewy and nutty, but in a way that I found refreshing and enjoyable.

I recommend soaking the steel cut oats for at least 10 hours before eating. They’ll be super chewy but yummy on Day 1 and will continue to soften throughout the week. Even on Day 5, the Overnight Steel Cut Oats still had a nice texture and were not at all mushy. Hearty oats only, please!

Falling asleep knowing that I don’t need to worry about a healthy breakfast in the morning gives me peace of mind. Being better rested is one of my Four Intentions for 2018, and of the four, it’s been my biggest focus so far.

I hope this Overnight Steel Cut Oats recipe gives you better sleep too. I’ve made dozens of versions of overnight oats, and today’s is the best steel cut oats recipe I’ve tried yet. Once you see how yummy it is, I think you’ll fall asleep dreaming about it too!

Easy Overnight Steel Cut Oats. These make ahead steel cut oats are perfect for storing in the refrigerator. Portion it out in a jar with your desired mix-ins for a healthy, delicious breakfast!

If you were hoping for an overnight steel cut oatmeal mason jar recipe, I have you covered there as well.

I recommend waiting until Day 2 to divide the steel cut oats into the mason jars, as they need at least one full night to soak up the liquid. Doing it right away was less convenient in the end.

Waiting to divide the oats also makes it easier to add other yummy mix-ins you know you’ll want in every jar too. Personally, I love my overnight steel cut oats with chia seeds, and if you were looking for overnight oatmeal with peanut butter, ME TOO! You’ll find a suggested amount of nut butter in the recipe as well.

Overnight Steel Cut Oats. This no cook breakfast recipe is endlessly customizable with regular or nondairy milk, optional mix-ins, and nut butter! Easy, delicious, and healthy!

I can’t overstate how flexible these make ahead steel cut oats truly are. If you need an overnight oatmeal vegan recipe, use almond milk or any other nondairy milk you love. Want to pack in some extra protein? Stir in a scoop of protein powder or Greek yogurt. Don’t have any fresh fruit on hand and want to use dried or frozen? GO FOR IT! Chocolate chips? YES!

I’ve come across a few leads on a hot overnight steel cut oatmeal recipe, so that’s my next experiment. Any other overnight oat requests? Send ’em my way!

Recommended Tools to Make Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

4.39 from 217 votes
How to make the best Overnight Steel Cut Oats. An easy, healthy no cook breakfast! Made with almond milk, peanut butter, and chia seeds, this delicious recipe is endlessly customizable, vegan friendly, and can be stored in a mason jar in the refrigerator all week.

Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 10 hours

Servings: 4 servings


Overnight Steel Cut Oats—Base Recipe:

Optional Additions:


  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, honey, nut butter, and any protein powder you may be adding until smooth. Stir in the oats, salt, and any other optional additions (wait to add fresh fruit or nuts so that they stay fresh/crisp). Cover the bowl tightly with plastic (or transfer it to an airtight storage container) and refrigerate overnight or for up to 5 days.
  • When ready to serve, stir the oats and portion the desired amount into your bowl. (At this point, you can also divide the oats into individual containers and refrigerate for the week.) Top with any desired fresh fruit, nuts, or other toppings. (If placing the oats in individual jars, feel free to add toppings to each, as they will store fine this way. If storing as a single larger batch for the week, I find it is best to wait to add the fresh toppings/nuts until just before serving so that they don't all sink to the bottom.) Enjoy cold and congratulate yourself for your breakfast-planning prowess.



  • Leftover steel cut oats can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Their texture will soften as they sit, so if they are too chewy for you on Day 1, you can let them hang out a bit longer.
  • The first day, the oats will be more liquidy, but they will continue to absorb more of the milk throughout the week. If at any point you'd like more milk, simply splash a little on top of your bowl or pour more in the individual mason jars if you are storing the steel cut oats that way.


Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 223kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 6gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 245mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7g

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How to make the best Overnight Steel Cut Oats. An easy, healthy no cook breakfast! Made with almond milk, peanut butter, and chia seeds, this delicious recipe is endlessly customizable, vegan friendly, and can be stored in a mason jar in the refrigerator all week.

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Hi Erin, I’m curious about the addition of salt. Is it necessary for the breakdown of the oats? Otherwise with a focus on reducing sodium intake for the general population it would make sense to omit it.

  2. I tried making this recipe, but it didn’t work out for me as I hoped it would after reading through the comments. I liked the thought of steel cut oats without having to cook, but after 4 days, I gave up and put the mixture in the microwave for 5 minutes, which absorbed the rest of the liquid, but still left the grain really chewy (which I did like).

    I think I’ll stick to making a batch in my pressure cooked instead, which I’ve been doing for months anyways. It doesn’t really take much time, since you don’t need to keep watch like you do when cooking on stovetop.

    I use the powdered peanut butter. It mixes just like protein powder, and is lower in fat than the solid form. The first time I found it, I was at a health food store, but it has become pretty popular over the years. I see it at Costco now.

    Good luck in your meal prep forays everyone.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Jennifer! We love our instant pot version too!

  3. Hi!
    I love your clear explanations and friendly, approachable style. This recipe is something I would like to try but I’m puzzled. Steel-cut oats are coarse and big (at least the ones I buy), to my understanding they must be cooked. Previous attempts at soaking them all night (using a recipe for “regular” oats) by pouring boiling water (with milk and cinnamon) before refrigeration rendered them softer but only slightly cooked and not so edible.
    What am I missing here? The coarse oats are much more filling that the well ground ones and are more nutritious. Yet saving time in the morning would be wonderful!
    Thank you for any advice on this matter.

    1. Hi Naomi! I’m not sure I understand what you are asking? Myself (and others) have successfully made overnight oats with steel cut oats and it is something you can do. The longer they soak the softer they become but they will still render a chewy texture. Hope this helps!

  4. The oats didn’t soften when I tried them the next day and so I had to cook them for a good 15 – 20 minutes. Did I do something wrong here?

    1. Hi Sharon! It’s really hard for me to know what went wrong without being in the kitchen with you. They need to soak for a minimum of 10 hours. They will still be super chewy on Day 1 but continue to soften for the next few days. Hope this helps!

  5. I have tried for years to eat oatmeal, but I can’t take the mush factor. This is the first recipe I’ve tried that I’ll make again. The peanut butter adds a lot of flavor, but I cut the honey in half since the PB I have on hand has sugar (and next time I’ll likely omit the honey entirely, unless I go back to natural PB.).5 stars

  6. The flavor turned out super yummy, but there was way too much liquid. The oats didn’t soak most of it up, even after 10 hours. I’ll try putting them in the microwave so I don’t waste all of these yummy ingredients.3 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear that Amanda. Not sure if you saw this in the notes of the recipe :The first day, the oats will be more liquidy, but they will continue to absorb more of the milk throughout the week. Hope this helps!

  7. Hello, I make 3/4 cup of overnight steel cut oats and that’s one serving; I add 3/4 cup steel cut oats to each container, each container is one serving. In your recipe, you only make one cup of oats and the divide it into four servings; am I understanding your process correctly?

    1. Hi Cindy! Yes, for this recipe I make it into 4 servings but feel free to portion up how you’d like. Enjoy!

  8. This was delicious! I made it with a chocolate muscle milk protein shake/almond milk base. I added collagen protein, pb fit powder and flax seed as a mix-in overnight. The texture was perfect/chewy after 16 hours when I portioned it into my pint jars.5 stars

    1. I’m truly sorry for any inconvenience the ads caused you, M. I will certainly keep paying close attention to the number of ads and how they load, as I never want them to hinder your ability to view the recipe or the blog post. I do truly appreciate your feedback and apologize again for the inconvenience! Also, there is a quick and convenient “jump to recipe” button that will help you get to the recipe faster and a print button to have the recipe quickly at your fingertips. Hope this helps

  9. Hey, could anyone half this 1x recipe for me? I really just need one serving as I do not have a large enough container. Thanks!!!4 stars

    1. Hi Lezlee! It’s pretty simple to just cut the recipe in half, there is also a slider button on the servings listed in the recipe card that lets you decrease the servings and it will change the amounts for you. Hope this helps!

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