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Seriously the Best Steel Cut Oats


This is the best set it and forget it steel cut oats recipe on the internet! Combine steel cut oats, almond milk, water, mashed banana, and spices in your slow cooker before bed and breakfast will be ready in the morning!

In this post, you’ll learn all about steel cut oats + how to make the most perfect bowl of steel cut oatmeal in every method.

steel cut oats in bowl with banana and peanut butter

Oatmeal is hands-down my favorite breakfast. Actually, favorite meal ? It’s filling, high in fiber, and makes you poop. I like overnight oatsmicrowave rolled oatsInstant Pot oatsinstant oats, you name it, I like it!

Today we are chatting all things steel cut oats. There is seriously nothing better than a warm bowl of steel cut oatmeal for breakfast. They’re chewy, nutty, and so good! I love topping mine with fresh fruit such as blueberries and banana slices with a dollop of peanut butter.

What are steel cut oats?

Steel cut oats are whole oat groats cut into 3 or 4 pieces to create smaller oat groats. Steel-cut oats are also referred to as Irish or Scottish Oats.

They feel like thick pieces of rice when uncooked and their cooked texture has a chewy bite to it. A typical bowl of stovetop steel-cut oats can take around 40 minutes to cook because it is less processed than rolled or quick-cooking oats.

What do steel cut oats taste like?

We love steel cut oats because they have a nutty flavor to them, but also take on whatever flavors you add to it. So, if you add pumpkin or mashed banana, they will taste like that.

Do they taste different than rolled oats? The taste of steel cut oatmeal is rather similar to the taste of rolled oats, however, the texture is what is most different. Steel cut oatmeal is thicker and has more of a bite to it.

Steel Cut vs Rolled Oats

Steel cut oatmeal and rolled oats are very similar. Like we mentioned above, Steel cut oats are whole oat groats cut into 3 or 4 pieces to create smaller oat groats.

Rolled oats are another by-product of the oat groat. They are steamed and then rolled to produce a thin, flat, rolled oat.

Rolled oats are more processed than steel cut, require less liquid, and cook much faster.

What are the health benefits of steel cut oats?

Steel cut oats are a healthy breakfast idea because they’re…

  • low in sugar
  • packed with protein (4g/serving!)
  • fibrous (4g fiber/serving!)
  • 100% whole grain
  • vegan & naturally gluten-free

Are steel cut oats gluten free? Steel cut oats are naturally gluten-free, but make sure you buy certified gluten-free steel cut oatmeal to make sure there is no cross-contamination.

steel cut oatmeal nutrition

This nutrition information is based on 1/4 cup uncooked steel-cut oats with NO liquid or add-ins.

  • 170 calories
  • 3.5g fat
  • 31g carb
  • 4g fiber
  • 1g sugar
  • 4g protein
uncooked steel cut oats

How to Cook Seel Cut Oats PERFECTLY

When searching for the best steel cut oats recipe on the Internet, you’ll find mostly stove top variations. We, however, beg to differ! Insert –> your slow cooker!

The slow cooker is seriously the easiest, most carefree way to make steel cut oats. It’s a set it and forget it kind of method AND, you can make a lot at once!

Your oats come out super fluffy, flavorful, and have the perfect nutty bite to them. Plus, compared to cooking steel cut oats on the stovetop, there is no stirring involved. Heck yes!


Our perfect bowl of oats is made with:

  • banana – banana is a great way to sweeten oatmeal without adding refined sugar! Don’t like bananas? Try adding applesauce or another pureed fruit isntead.
  • uncooked steel cut oatmeal – 1.5 cups may not look a lot of oatmeal, but once it cooks in the slow cooker it will expand and become super creamy and fluffy.
  • almond milk – any kind of milk works for this recipe. We recommend not skipping the milk because it really does help your steel cut oatmeal become ultra-creamy.
  • water – this recipe calls for a combination of almond milk and water. Feel free to use all water if you plase.
  • spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice) – these spices add such great flavor. Try using our homemade chai spice instead!
  • optional: 2-3 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)

oats to liquid ratio (slow cooker)

Our #1 tip when making steel cut oats in the slow cooker is getting the ratio correct. Per 1 cup of uncooked steel-cut oats you need 4 cups of liquid. This may seem like a lot, but we promise…it isn’t!

After 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high, your oats will be thick and luscious. So, remember, for slow cooker steel cut oats you need:

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 4 cups liquid

Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats Directions

We feel silly typing this because cooking steel cut oats in the slow cooker is SO EASY. Check out how easy this steel cut oats recipe truly is:

  1. Spray your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray and then place your banana inside of your slow cooker. Use a fork to mash it.
  2. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and mix to combine.
  3. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. If you can, stir every once in a while.

Can I make overnight slow cooker steel cut oats?

Yes! Make sure to cook your steel cut oats on low for 8 hours. Feel free to prep this recipe before bed so that your oats are ready for you in the morning!

cooked steel cut oats in slow cooker

More Ways to Cook Steel Cut Oats

Here you’ll learn how to cook steel cut oats in 3 more ways – 1. Instant Pot 2. Stovetop 3. No-Bake. Each method has its pros and cons. Enjoy!

Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats

Steel cut oats in the Instant Pot is definitely the fastest way to cook steel-cut oatmeal! This is a great way to make a lot of oats at once and not have to try very hard ? Oh, and it only takes 20 minutes, max!

Ratio: 1 to 3 (oats to liquid)

Method: Place steel cut oats and liquid in your Instant Pot, close, and seal. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes with a quick-release. It will take some time for your pressure cooker to heat up, but it will eventually start counting down from 10.

Get our favorite Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats recipe HERE.

instant pot steel cut oats

StoveTop Steel Cut Oats

The stovetop method is definitely the most popular way to make steel cut oats, but it’s also the most time-consuming. You basically have to stir on and off for 40 minutes.

However, stovetop steel cut oats are classic, delicious, and oh-so creamy. You can also monitor how thick or thin your oats are, which is super nice!

Ratio: 1 to 3 (oats to liquid)

Method: Place oats and liquid in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat while continuously stirring. Then, reduce heat to low and let simmer, uncovered, for around minutes, stirring every so often. Cook until steel-cut oats are thick and creamy.

Overnight Steel Cut Oats (NO-BAKE)

Overnight steel cut oats are essentially quick-cooking overnight oats soaked in some kind of liquid overnight. Our favorite overnight steel cut oats is made with chia seeds, almond milk, maple syrup, and spices.

Overnight steel cut oats are definitely a twist on classic steel cut oats, but oh-so-yummy during spring and summer. Oh, and pretty hands-off!

Ratio: 1 to 2 (oats to liquid)

Method: Simply combine all of your ingredients in a large bowl or container and stir to combine. Let oats soak for at least 2 hours, or for best results, overnight.

Get the full recipe for our Overnight Steel Cut Oats HERE.

overnight steel cut oats

Topping Ideas

Every bowl of oatmeal deserves to be topped with deliciousness! Here are some of my personal favorites: 

  • nut butter
  • nuts (walnuts, pecans, peanuts)
  • berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • granola
  • brown sugar


Let your oatmeal cool completely. Then, transfer it into a glass container and seal. Store in the fridge.

How long do steel cut oats last in the fridge? Your oatmeal will last up to 3-5 days depending on what kind of add-ins you use. If you use just oats and liquid, it should last longer!

Freezer Instructions

Steel cut oats are an excellent make-ahead breakfast idea. You can make a double or triple batch at once and then freeze the rest for later. Check it out!

how to freeze steel cut oats
  1. Let oatmeal cool completely.
  2. Generously spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon cooked oatmeal into each muffin cup, filling all the way to the top.
  3. Place in the freezer and freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Remove from the freezer and let sit on the countertop for around 10 minutes to thaw. OR, run hot water on the bottom of the muffin tin to loosen the oatmeal that way.
  5. Remove each oatmeal cup from the muffin tin (we use a knife and they pop right out) and transfer into a freezer-safe gallon-size bag.
  6. Remove as much air from the bag as possible and seal. Write: Oatmeal on the bag along with the eat by date (3 months from the time you made it) on it as well.
  7. Freeze for up to 3 months.

To Thaw/Reheat

Thaw/Reheat: To thaw, remove 2-3 muffin cups from the freezer and place into a microwave-safe bowl.

Defrost in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and then microwave on high for 30-60 seconds.

steel cut oats in bowl

steel cut oats in bowl

Best Steel Cut Oats Recipe (in the Slow Cooker)

Want to learn how to cook steel cut oats? Here’s our fool-proof steel cut oats recipe made right in your slow cooker only calling for a few ingredients and your favorite toppings!

Prep: 5 minutesCook: 8 hoursTotal: 8 hours 5 minutes

Fat 4 Carbs 41 Protein 8

Yield 6 1x


  • 1 medium banana, mashed
  • 1.5 cup steel-cut oatmeal
  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • optional: 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)


  1. First, spray your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray and mash 1 medium banana until pureed. Then, transfer into your slow cooker.
  2. First, spray your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray and mash 1 medium banana until pureed. Then, transfer into your slow cooker.
  3. Next, Add the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Turn slow cooker to low and cook for 8 hours OR turn slow cooker to high and cook for 4 hours. If you cook your oats on high, we recommend stirring every hour.
  5. Once your oats have thickened, stir to combine everything. Give your oats a taste and add sweetener, as needed.
  6. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings.

Tips & Notes

  • Stovetop directions: First, reduce the water to 1.5 cups. Then, place all ingredients into a medium saucepan. Turn heat to medium/high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and let simmer, uncovered, for around 30 minutes or until creamy. Make sure to stir every so often.
  • Instant Pot Directions: Place all ingredients into your Instant Pot, close, and seal. Cook on high for 10 minutes with a quick-release. It will take some time for your pressure cooker to heat up, but it will eventually start counting down from 10.
  • Nutrition information includes 3 tablespoons of maple syrup and does not include toppings.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/6 Calories: 230 Sugar: 9 Fat: 4 Carbohydrates: 41 Fiber: 6 Protein: 8

Author: Lee FunkeCategory: BreakfastMethod: Slow CookerCuisine: AmericanDiet: Vegan

Keywords: steel cut oats, steel cut oats recipe

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