The New Instant Oatmeal (Overnight Steel Cut Oats)

The New Instant Oatmeal (Overnight Steel Cut Oats)

Forgive me if I’m the last person to find out about this little tidbit, but did you realize that you can make instant oatmeal with steel cut oats? I had heard of the ever popular overnight oats in the slow cooker but had never gotten around to giving them a try. One of my close friends shared with me the way she makes her steal cut oats and it was so quick and simple I just had to try it out for myself. It seemed that as soon as she told me, I started to see this method of making steel cut oats everywhere. And for good reason. Are you ready for the secret?

The night before, you bring a pot of water to a boil. Stir in some steel cut oats and salt. Let it boil for one minute. Remove it from the heat, cover, and let it sit overnight. The next morning all you have to do is heat it up and stir in any add-ins you like. See? Easy. And the results are perfect.

The New Instant Oatmeal (Overnight Steel Cut Oats)

I’ve now forgone my instant oatmeal in the microwave and just stir the add-ins from my favourite recipes into this version when I heat it up in the morning. You can make all sorts of delicious flavours from this one base recipe. Here are some of my favourite mix-ins (you may need to adjust the amounts depending on the serving sizes).

I’ve learned that it’s important to make sure that everything is boiling vigorously. One of the first times I made it this way, I brought it to a simmer, rather than a boil, and the oats only soaked up half of the water. But, when brought to a rolling boil the oats soak it all up and by morning you have yourself a nice loose-set porridge. I like mine a little thicker so I do cook it down for a couple minutes, rather then just heat it up. But it’s still quicker then cooking rolled oats and definitely a lot quicker then traditional steel cut oats. We love it!

Have you heard of this method? What are you favourite mix-ins?

Overnight Steel Cut Oats
If making gluten free use gluten-free certified oats.
Makes: 4
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. Bring water to a rolling boil in a medium-sized pot. Stir in oats and salt. Boil vigorously for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Cover and let sit overnight (8-12 hours).
  2. In the morning, set pot over medium heat and stir until warmed through. Or, bring to a simmer and cook until thickened to desired consistency. Add sweeteners and toppings as desired.


  • Courtney Glantz

    genius! I love oatmeal and this could not be easier:)

  • Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Aww yeah, pure breakfast gold! This looks so good.

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe

    Great idea! I’ve been cooking steel cut oats in my slow cooker for the past couple of weeks and plan on sharing the recipe. This sounds like another great option for enjoying steel cut oats in way less time.

    • Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity

      I can’t wait to see the recipe, Amanda!

  • Nancy

    I’ve been seeing this floating around the blogosphere lately and I totally want to try it. I never wake up early enough to make breakfast so this is perfect!

    • Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity

      I hope you give it a try. It is a life saver in the mornings!

  • Michelle Moyer

    I love rolled oats and have never really tried steel cut, even though they are in my pantry. Bad girl I know! This seems extremely simple – I’ll have to give it a try soon.

  • Adela Lopez-Wellman

    Thank you! Thank you! This recipe is perfect! My husband and I enjoyed this recipe! We are recommending it to all our friends.

    • Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity

      Yay! So glad you guys like it! :)

  • Julia Tindall Bloom

    This is also really good if you toast the oats in a little oil for 3 minutes or so before adding water.

    • Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity

      Ooo.. great idea!

  • Hélène

    Can I suggest soaking your oats 24 hrs first in acidulated water with some rye flakes? These activates the phytase which eliminates alot of the phytic acid, lectins and tryposins found in grains as a defense mechanism from predators/grazers. These prevent mineral absorption in humans and can even leach minerals from your body.
    I start them at night so the next night I can cook/let sit overnight for brkfst next morning.
    2/3c steel cut oats
    2T rye flakes
    2T yogurt or whey (not whey powder)
    2c warmish water
    Stir in the yogurt into the grain in the pan you’re cooking in later. Stir in the water and let sit, covered 24 hrs. When you’re ready, stir it up again and go on with your original instructions.