Overnight Steel Cut Oats

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The best method for making overnight steel cut oats that actually get soft and creamy. They’re such an easy, healthy breakfast to prep and delicious served with fresh fruit as a topping.

Being an overnight oats lover I really wanted to try making overnight oats with steel cut oats instead of rolled oats, but after testing this recipe a few times I was defeated and almost gave up, figuring that overnight steel cut oats just weren’t in the cards for me.

Lucky for you, I finally figured out a way to make them that resulted in creamy (and little chewy) cold steel cut oats that were delicious rather than hard and inedible, like most of my test batches.

Two glass bowls of overnight steel cut oats. One it topped with blueberries and the other is topped with banana, maple and chia seeds.

This recipe couldn’t be simpler. It does involve quick cooking the oats (for literally a minute) but then it is pretty hands-off until you’re ready to indulge in the morning.

Steel Cut Oatmeal vs. Rolled Oats

To start, let’s cover the basics! Steel cut oats are the least processed type of oats. The oat groat (the full oat “grain”) is simply cut into two or three parts to get steel cut oats. Because they are less processed, they absorb more liquid and take longer to cook/soak than rolled oats.

Rolled oats are oat groats that have been steamed and then rolled. This processing allows rolled oats to soak up liquid rather quickly, which is why traditional overnight oats don’t need to be cooked at all.

Water, steel cut oats and salt measured out in containers or cups.

Here’s What You Need

  • steel cut oats – make sure you grab gluten-free steel cut oats if needed. My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill steel cut oats. I used regular steel cut oats, and I haven’t tested the recipe with quick cooking overnight oats but it should work just fine.
  • water – I prefer using filtered water for this recipe but you can use milk if you want the end result to be super creamy.
  • sea salt – trust me on this one. The salt brings out the flavor of the oats (and other mix-ins!).
Glass food storage containers with creamy steel cut oats.

How to Make Overnight Steel Cut Oats

This recipe couldn’t get any simpler! First, place oats, water and salt into a saucepan and bring to a boil, watching carefully so the water doesn’t boil over. Turn down heat quickly and allow the oats to simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool.

Transfer to a container with a lid, cover and place in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, portion the oatmeal into jars. The recipe should make 2 servings.

Add toppings of choice and enjoy cold. I love banana slices, berries, chopped nuts, chia seeds and nut butter for toppings.

How simple is that?!

Hemp seeds, blueberries, maple syrup, chia seeds, banana and cinnamon measured out.

Have Fun With the Toppings!

After nailing this base recipe, you can really get creative with your toppings and mix-ins to add flavor and texture to the oats!

  • cinnamon – one of my go-to add-ins for instant flavor!
  • banana – I love mixing in banana before letting sit overnight and then adding extra slices on top before serving.
  • berries – same as the banana – add some in before letting sit and more on top in the morning!
  • hemp seeds – add a protein punch with hemp seeds. I like to sprinkle these on top for added crunch.
  • chia seeds – packed with healthy fats and fiber, you can add chia seeds during soaking or just sprinkle some on top.
  • maple syrup – I love adding this natural sweetener for a hint of extra sweetness!
  • chopped nuts – add extra crunch and healthy fats with chopped nuts of your choice.
  • nut butter – I almost always add a drizzle of nut butter to my overnight oats! If you’re interested in making your own nut butter, check out my post for how to make homemade almond butter.
Two glass bowls of overnight steel cut oats. One it topped with blueberries and the other is topped with banana, maple and chia seeds.

How Long Will They Last?

When stored in an airtight container in the fridge overnight oats should last for up to 5 days. They will soften more the longer they sit so I find they’re best on days 1-3, but they’re still safe to eat on days 4 and 5. With this said, overnight oats are great for meal prep. Feel free to make a whole batch for the week on Sunday. I like prepping them in wide mouth 16 oz mason jars.

More Steel Cut Oats Recipes

More Overnight Oats Recipes to Try

Be sure to check out all the oatmeal recipes on eBF!

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

5 from 9 votes
The best method for making overnight steel cut oats that actually get soft and creamy. They're such an easy, healthy breakfast to prep and delicious served with fresh fruit as a topping.
Two glass bowls of overnight steel cut oats. One it topped with blueberries and the other is topped with banana, maple and chia seeds.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Soak Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 6 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • ½ cup steel cut oats
  • 2 cups water
  • pinch of sea salt
  • toppings of choice – cinnamon, banana, berries, hemp seeds, chia seeds, maple syrup, etc.

Instructions
 

  • Place oats, water and salt into a saucepan and bring to a boil, watching carefully so the water doesn’t boil over. Turn down heat quickly and allow the oats to simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool.
    Pot with steel cut oats and water.
  • Transfer to a container with a lid, cover and place in the fridge overnight.
    Glass food storage container with creamy steel cut oats.
  • The next morning, portion the oatmeal into jars. The recipe should make 2 servings.
  • Add toppings of choice and enjoy cold. I love banana slices, berries, chopped nuts, chia seeds and nut butter for toppings.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 of recipe without toppings Calories: 150kcal Carbohydrates: 27g Protein: 4g Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Sodium: 83mg Fiber: 3g
Course: Breakast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: overnight steel cut oats

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    10 comments
    1. Chantal
      October 23, 2022 AT 3:17 pm

      5 stars
      I love this! I read another recipe where they do almost the exact same thing, except they leave theirs covered on the stove overnight!!! As someone who has gone through food safety courses and worked in a kitchen, I can say that is NOT safe and promotes bacteria growth.
      This, however is wonderful. Perfect texture the next day with minimal work, and you get the extra advantage of the enhanced resistant starch from refrigerating.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 24, 2022 AT 10:10 am

        I am so happy that you are enjoying this recipe, Chantal. Thank you so much for sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

    2. Barbara Stegman
      March 16, 2022 AT 9:46 pm

      Can I heat the oats in the morning? I’ve just started eating oats and really new to it!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 17, 2022 AT 9:58 am

        Hi, Barbara. Overnight oats are intended to be eaten cold. I do have a regular Creamy Steel Cut Oats recipe that is intended to be eaten warm!

    3. Anna Marie
      March 8, 2022 AT 4:45 pm

      5 stars
      This is so good! I put bananas and a little nut butter on top. How much chia seeds do you put on?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 9, 2022 AT 8:13 am

        Hi, Anna Marie. You can sprinkle whatever you’d like! I probably used about 1/2 teaspoon to a full teaspoon. I’m glad you’re loving the recipe, thank you!

    4. Zay
      February 16, 2022 AT 9:23 pm

      5 stars
      Thanks for the fantastic recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 17, 2022 AT 9:34 am

        I’m so glad this recipe worked out for you, Zay! Thanks for coming back to leave a review and star rating, it means the world to me.

    5. Blythe
      January 25, 2022 AT 12:48 am

      5 stars
      Loved how soft the steel cut oats became. I just mixed mine with flavoured yogurt this morning and had to fight my cat off, she also wanted her share!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 25, 2022 AT 4:47 pm

        So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Blythe! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

4 bowls of oatmeal topped with a variety of fruit, nuts, nut butter, chocolate chips and toppings.

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