Overnight Steel Cut Oats

5 from 471 votes

Overnight steel cut oats is perfect for make ahead breakfasts. Choose from four topping ideas and meal prep a batch of oatmeal for the week!

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Did you know you can make overnight oatmeal using steel cut oats? My overnight oats recipe is so popular and one that I make for breakfast often by soaking rolled oats with milk. The same principle can be applied here for the steel cut oat version with a few differences that I’ll share below, plus many topping possibilities!

4 bowls of overnight steel cut oats with different toppings
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What is steel cut oats?

Steel cut oats are less processed compared to rolled oats. The oat groat (or whole oat) is cut into pieces rather than being pressed and rolled. They have a chewier and nuttier texture and hold their shape once cooked. They don’t get mushy after being cooked, making them ideal for make-ahead breakfasts.

Collage of two images showing steel cut oats before and after cooking


How to make overnight steel cut oats

  • Stir the oats into boiling milk and water.
  • Turn off the heat. Let it come to room temperature, and then store it in the fridge overnight. 
Pot of steel cut oats with milk before and after stirring

Oatmeal topping ideas

Peanut Butter Banana: In this version, slice some bananas, top it with off with creamy peanut butter and then add crushed peanuts (to enforce that peanut taste). Finish it off with a dash of cinnamon to add some warmth.

Bananas and peanut butter over oatmeal in yellow bowl

Strawberry Nutella: Slice some fresh strawberries to place on top of your oatmeal and add some Nutella and chopped hazelnuts. Finish it off with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

Sliced strawberries, nutella and hazelnut over oatmeal

Caramel Apple: Slice a green apple to add to the steel cut oatmeal, add some chopped pecans for texture and drizzle with caramel sauce. If you don’t have caramel sauce, maple syrup works well. Finish it off with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or nutmeg.

Sliced green apples, caramel sauce and pecans over oatmeal

Chocolate Almond Butter: Add some chopped chocolate, a couple of tablespoons of almond butter and a couple of pitted chopped dates. Finish with a drizzle of honey and coconut flakes if you’d like. When you stir this one together, it looks like chocolate steel cut oatmeal – my kids’ favorite!

Almond butter, chocolate, dates and coconut over oatmeal

Tips for making overnight steel cut oats

  1. Heat water and milk before adding oats. There are methods of making overnight steel cut oatmeal where no heat is applied and the oats just soak the liquid. However, in my experience, the consistency is more creamy and thick when the liquid is heated first.
  2. Don’t skip the salt. Just a little really does make all the difference. It brings out the natural sweetness and nuttiness of the oats and it can taste quite bland if you don’t use it.
  3. Use a mixture of water and milk. I find that this creates that wonderfully creamy texture without adding too many calories or fat. You can use all milk or all water if you prefer.
  4. Heat for a thicker consistency. When you first take a peak in the pot the next morning, you might notice some liquid still in the pot. Stirring it will allow the oats to absorb more of that liquid. But reheating is will help most. Plus it’s already in a pot, so it’s a quick convenience step.

Frequently asked questions

How long should steel cut oats sit overnight to soften?

Steel oats are much tougher than rolled oats, so you need to let them sit in the liquid for at least 8 hours.

How long does it keep?

Steel cut oatmeal will keep well for up to a week in the fridge. In the morning, place the cooled oatmeal into an airtight container and you can reheat portions of it throughout the week. It’s great to batch cook for easy and quick breakfasts.

4 varieties of overnight steel cut oatmeal in 4 bowls with different toppings

Try this method of soaking steel cut oats with hot liquid overnight and you will probably never find yourself cooking steel cut oats on the stove top again!

More oatmeal recipes:

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Overnight Steel Cut Oats recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

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Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Overnight steel cut oats is perfect for make ahead breakfasts. Choose from four topping ideas and meal prep a batch of oatmeal for the week!
5 from 471 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Breakfast
Calories 258
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
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Base Recipe

Peanut Butter Banana

Strawberry Nutella

  • 4-5 strawberries sliced
  • 2 tablespoons nutella
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnuts chopped
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Caramel Apple

  • 1/2 green apple sliced
  • 2 tablespoons caramel sauce
  • 1 tablespoon pecans chopped
  • Dash of cinnamon

Chocolate Almond Butter


  • In a large pot over medium-high heat, bring the water, milk and salt to a boil.
  • Stir in the oats and continue mixing with the liquid for 2-3 minutes to warm up the oats.
  • Turn off the heat, Let it come to room temperature and then store in the fridge overnight. 
  • In the morning, heat for a couple minutes while stirring the mixture, and serve with your favorite topping combinations.


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about up to 7 days in the fridge.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However you can use all milk or all water in the recipe instead of doing half milk/half water. You can also use any type of milk you’d like.
* Please note the nutrition label does not include any toppings.


Calories: 258kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 543mg, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 1g, Calcium: 260mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American
Course: Breakfast

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Recipe Rating


  1. Erica says:

    I used steel cut oats (Quaker brand) and followed the original overnight oat process (half cup oats, half cup milk, quarter cup Greek yogurt) and it worked perfectly without having to heat or cook anything! I let mine set in the fridge for 12 hours. So if you want to avoid having to do anything more than put it all together just let it set a few hours longer

    1. Yumna says:

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. JJ Robinson says:

    I’ve been making and eating overnight oats for years, ever since I was diagnosed with high cholesterol. I’ve wanted to use steel cut oats since they are not only great for lowering cholesterol, they also add high amounts of fiber into my diet, which my doctor also advised. This recipe is easy, yet incredibly effective and yummy! Thank you, Yumna! You’ve saved the day!

    1. Yumna says:

      Wonderful to hear, so happy you enjoy this recipe!

  3. Dini says:

    What’s the diff of this and overnight oats?

  4. Shakeema says:

    Hi Yunma! I started cooking my steel-cut oats as normal when I came across this recipe. Would it still work if I had the oats cooking at low heat for about 15 min before letting cool to room temp & putting in the fridge? Thanks!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      I don’t see why not. Did you end up trying it?

  5. Kristin says:

    I fell in love with an overnight oats recipe more than a year ago, and I haven’t wanted to eat anything else for breakfast ever since… which means, my stash of steel-cut oats that I had on-hand (because I used to eat regular steel-cut oatmeal every day) was just sitting there (I had 4-5 big bags of Bob’s Red Mill SC oats). My mom told me how she was eating steel-cut overnight oats, so I was intrigued, because I thought it might be a way to use up my steel-cut oat stash, but still have the breakfast I adore. SO, I found a couple recipes… yours being one of them, and I decided to try yours first. I use 4 cups almond milk and 2 cups water. I really enjoyed the flavor and texture of using steel-cut oats for overnight oats! I divide the mixture into 6 parts, and add 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp chia seeds, and 1 Tbsp maple syrup to each part. In the morning, I top it with fresh fruit (blueberries, raspberries, and mango) and 2 Tbsp of nuts. Thanks for helping me discover a delicious way to use SC oats, so they don’t go to waste!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      So glad you liked this version! Steel cut oats does add a nice chewy element for a change of pace.

  6. Vivian Perry says:

    Very easy and good. I double it and eat it throughout the week

    1. Yumna J. says:

      So glad you liked it, Vivian!

  7. Janet says:

    Thank you so much for the recipe! Can’t wait to try. I am wondering if I can use 1/2 dairy milk + 1/2 almond milk? Or would that not work because of boiling in the beginning?

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Hi Janet, I have not tried this recipe with 1/2 dairy and 1/2 almond milk, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! Let me know what you think when you make it!

  8. Moira says:


    Your method in this recipe is great! Quick, easy and gives a better texture. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      You’re so welcome!!

  9. Heather says:

    Hello! I’ve used your recipe many times and shared it with friends. I haven’t used in a couple of months and now I’m puzzled – did your recipe previously state keep out overnight? I see it now states to cool and refrigerate. I understand the concerns noted by other reviewers about refrigerating but I never had any problems.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Hi Heather – Yes, I did change it due to an influx of comments in regard to food safety. You can still leave it out overnight if you’re okay with it (I still will.)

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