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

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

A blue bowl of overnight steel cut oats with fresh berries on top

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

4.3 from 34 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 mins
Total: 10 hrs

Servings: 4 servings


Overnight Steel Cut Oats—Base Recipe:

  • 1 3/4 cups milk any kind you like (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter or other nut butter of choice, optional but delicious
  • 1 cup uncooked steel cut oats you can also use quick-cooking steel cut oats; the final oatmeal will have a softer, less chewy texture
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Optional Additions:

  • Chia seeds flaxseeds, or hemp seeds
  • Protein powder
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Citrus zest I love orange zest with honey and cinnamon!
  • Dried fruit favorites: reduced-sugar dried cranberries, raisins, chopped dates
  • Fresh fruit or frozen and thawed fruit
  • Toasted almonds walnuts, or pecans (add just before serving to maintain the most crunch)
  • An extra drizzle of honey or maple syrup


  • 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 wellplated.com 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! I’ve soaked it for a few days now. Is it ready to eat? No cooking necessary? Also, I’d like mine warm…I’m guessing I just heat it up!

    1. Definitely, Fyza! No cooking necessary. While I’ve never tried mine warmed up, I don’t see any reason why that wouldn’t work fine. I hope you enjoy it!

  2. Hello, I’ve been on a journey to take control of my health. I ran across steel cut oats and was trying to find a recipe. First one was a failure. Then I came across this recipe. I tried it and I was amazed at how delicious it was. I used almond milk, honey, and salt only. Then I top it with strawberries, or bananas, or blueberries. My daughter tried it, and she had literally put oatmeal to the side for forever, and loved this recipe. I have shared it with her, and my daughter in law. I’m on my second batch! Thank you!!5 stars

  3. I really like overnight oats made with rolled oats, so I was intrigued by your recipe. Don’t you need to cook the steel cut oats first??? I mean, that is just like putting rice in milk for 10 hours and then trying to eat it… I could pound the rice into smaller piece and it is still raw rice….. Oats are a grain…. and steel cut oats are just cut up raw oat grains. That is completely different from overnight rolled oats, rolled oats are steamed/cooked, then dried and rolled flat. I wonder if it would be digested…..

    1. Hi Pamela! You do not need to cook the oats first. The process of soaking them overnight helps to break down their starches and make them softer. I hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it!

      1. I have already ordered the oats and I will be trying this recipe. I love oatmeal but I have never used steel cut oats so this will be an interesting first for me. I like to have oats every day, every morning. And steel cut oats sounds so much more healthy!

  4. Love this recipe! I love that steel cut oats keep me full until lunch and give me that energy boost I need in the am. I cut back on the almond milk just a smidge (probably about 1 2/3 c) and they were perfect! I also used my stick blender to mix the almond milk, almond butter, protein powder and maple syrup before stirring in the oatmeal and it was a breeze!5 stars

  5. I’ve had good experiences with other Well Plated recipes, but sadly this one did not come out well! Are you sure all of the proportions are correct?? I followed the recipe using instant steel cut oats, and the only changes I made were to add 1 Tbsp maple syrup instead of 1.5 and almond butter instead of peanut butter. I soaked it overnight, and it came out very liquidy and salty. Any suggestions? I’d love to enjoy overnight steel cut oats, and I want to use up these instant oats!1 star

    1. Hi Emily, I’m very sorry to hear that this recipe didn’t turn out as you’d hoped. I (and other readers) have had success with the amounts listed. I have not tested this recipe with instant oats, so that may have affected the outcome. If you decide to try the recipe again, I’d recommend using regular steel cut oats or quick-cooking steel cut oats instead of instant. I hope this helps!

  6. I need a receipt (I am having a difficult time finding one)— for a single serving of steel cut oats—nothing fancy. I use water (no milk)—and cinnamon and chia seeds.

    1. Hi Steve! To clarify, are you looking for a recipe for overnight oats specifically? If so, this recipe for my overnight oats is delicious!

  7. I can’t believe I waited this long to try overnight oats. This recipe is easy and the end result is 4 delicious servings of overnight steel cut oats. I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk and soy protein with a sprinkling of dried orange peel and a healthy dash of cinnamon. We make our own peanut butter (no sugar or oil added) and I add 2 tablespoons of that along with 1 tablespoon of honey because I don’t like it too sweet. I really enjoy the chewiness of the oats. I like to add frozen blueberries (without added sugar) and fresh, raw walnuts on top right before I am ready to devour the oats.5 stars

    1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed the recipe, Nancy! Thank you for sharing this kind review!

  8. Great recipe! I used the quick cook steel cut oats from Aldi and the only change I made was reducing the honey to 2 tablespoons (personal sweetness preference). I ate it plain; it was fantastic and didn’t aggravate my pregnancy heartburn or nausea! Hubby prefers it hot and I prefer it cold.

    Ingredients used: aldi quick steel cut oats, costco giant honey bottle, costco organic peanut butter, diamond kosher salt, and 2% regular milk because it was expiring.5 stars

  9. If you want to add fresh or frozen fruit to your Overnight SCOs, you could still add them on top and then just store your sealed container upside down. Then the fruit would already be “on the bottom”. Next morning just flip the container back over and voilà, the fruit is on top!

  10. I just tried recipe for the first time according to instructions. Are the oats supposed to absorb most of the liquid? These didn’t. I used 1 3/4 c milk and 1 cup steel cut oats. Maybe sometimes it takes longer than 10 hours?
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Rachel! For these oats, as stated in the blog post, the oatmeal absorbs a portion of the milk, not all of the milk. Also stated in the recipe card notes it says 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. If you are looking for them to be more thick, definitely let them sit longer. Hope these suggestions help for the next time around! Thanks!

    1. Hi Serenity! Yes, you should be able to leave out the salt, but it might change the flavor slightly. Hope this helps!

  11. I like a lot of your recipes but unfortunately this was not one. Stew cut oats just don’t soak up the liquid like regular oats that are pressed flat, and so basically you are eating wet, uncooked oats…not appetizing. I’d still advise cooking these and then refrigerating if wanting to eat them cold. This ones not for me!1 star

    1. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the recipe, Josie. Many other readers have tried it and loved it, but I know everyone has different tastes. I truly wish you would have loved it!

  12. Did not like this recipe. Made it exactly as is but it came out too soupy – too much milk? Most overnight oatmeal recipes have Greek yogurt but this did not thicken up. Won’t make again!2 stars

    1. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the recipe, Leigh. Many other readers have tried it and loved it, but I know everyone has different tastes. I truly wish you would have loved it!

  13. I’m giving this recipe 4 stars because the recipe itself is spot on. I added a few chia seeds and whole flax seeds for extra fiber and did not think it affected the liquid content too dramatically. However, I just didn’t like the texture in the end. The steel-cut oats were still too chewy for my taste, even after three days in the refrigerator. I think I will return to my rolled-oat overnight oat recipes in the future.4 stars

  14. I did make this and added the chia seeds for more protein. I put it in a quart mason jar and had difficulty getting it out: should have realized that chia seeds also soak up liquid. It was ok, though as I pried it out of the jar, stirred it as I didn’t stir the oats and nut butter first…. and just added some boiling water as I wanted it warm, not cold….Perfect! I used the recipe but didn’t add sweetener: diabetic; used frozen blueberries and used heavy cream and 1/2 and 1/2 plus the chia seeds.
    I loved it. I used soaked steel cut oats as they are healthier for you. I keep forgetting to do at night….so just made some this morning, and can’t wait to eat it!5 stars

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