Slow cooker oatmeal is an easy overnight recipe! Use your slow cooker and have a warm breakfast ready to eat the morning. This overnight slow cooker oatmeal recipe uses steel cut oats.
Slow Cooker Oatmeal - an easy overnight recipe
Making oatmeal in the slow cooker is easy! Using the slow cooker for breakfast is a major time saving hack to get breakfast on the table quickly in the morning.
Cooking oatmeal in the slow cooker not only saves you time in front of a stove. It also results in a very delicious bowl of oatmeal.
If I know my family wants oatmeal in the morning, I'll always make it in the slow cooker. Breakfast is ready when we wake up, and I think slow cooker oatmeal tastes better that stovetop oatmeal.
Why use steel cut oats for overnight slow cooker oatmeal?
Steel cut oats work best for overnight slow cooker oatmeal because the steel cut oats can withstand the long cooking time and still hold its texture.
Do not substitute old fashioned rolled oats for the steel cut oats in this recipe. It won't work!
If you use old fashioned rolled oats in the slow cooker, you need to adjust the liquid amount. It will be about 2 ¼ cup of liquid to 1 cup rolled oats, but I haven't tested that ratio just yet. (I'll update this post when I do.)
How to make oatmeal using a slow cooker?
To make oatmeal using a slow cooker, you literally just need to mix everything together into the pot and cook. You don't stir the oatmeal as it cooks. And you don't even need to open the lid.
I always grease the slow cooker pot before adding in the oats because I use every measure to prevent oatmeal from sticking. You can use a bit of oil on paper towel, or a non-stick cooking spray.
How long to cook steel cut oatmeal overnight?
Cook steel cut oats for 7 hours in the slow cooker overnight.
I tend to set my slow cooker on before bed, and then turn on the keep warm function. That way, it's still warm when I am ready for breakfast.
What temperature should I use to cook this overnight slow cooker oatmeal?
Make this slow cooker oatmeal on the low setting.
Technically you can make this oatmeal recipe on the high setting, but from my experience, the oats tend to stick to the pot more. That's why this recipe uses a low setting.
If you are using an Instant Pot as a slow cooker to make this oatmeal recipe, the “Medium” setting equals a slow cooker “Low" setting.
How much water to use for steel cut oats in the slow cooker?
If you read around for slow cooker oatmeal recipes, you might see other recipes suggest using 4 cups of water to 1 cup of steel cut oats. That ratio will give you an ok basic bowl of slow cooker steel cut oats.
But if you want a really spectacular bowl of oats (and you do!), try this:
Ratio: Use 1 cup of steel cut oats to 3.5 cups of water and 1 cup of coconut milk.
Adding coconut milk to slow cooker oatmeal makes it extra creamy and non-stick
The coconut milk in this oatmeal recipe gives the oats an extra creamy richness. And more practically, it keeps the steel cut oats from sticking to the slow cooker pot.
While many slow cooker oatmeal recipes use a ratio of 4 cups liquid to 1 cup oats, I use a ratio of 4.5 cups liquid to 1 cup oats. The extra ½ cup of liquid also is a preventative measure so you don't end up with your oatmeal sticking on the sides of your pot.
So with this recipe you not only get an extra creamy bowl of steel cut oats, you also save on cleaning time.
This recipe gives you perfectly textured oatmeal
You can see in the pictures, the oats aren't overly liquid. The oatmeal is ready to eat!
- The pictures of the oatmeal in the slow cooker pot and in the wooden bowl are before I mixed in any extra milk.
- The picture of the oatmeal in the yellow bowl is with a bit of extra milk mixed in.
Typically, I always mix in a bit of fresh milk when I eat my bowl of slow cooker oatmeal. You can see the added milk in the overhead shot of the oatmeal below.
How you eat your bowl of oatmeal is a personal choice, but you won't go wrong with the 4.5 cup of liquid to 1 cup steel cut oat ratio.
Using an Instant Pot or Crock Pot for Slow Cooker Oatmeal
This steel cut oatmeal recipe should work in a Crock Pot, an Instant Pot, and other multi-cookers.
I use my Sage (Breville) Fast Slow Pro to make this slow cooker oatmeal recipe. If you aren't familiar with it, it is essentially an Instant Pot, and similar to other multi-cookers. There are so many models on the market these days, and each is slightly different, but generally the same.
How steam escapes from slow cookers and multi-cookers, such as an Instant Pot can vary
This next piece of information is a bit technical, but in order to help you make the best oatmeal, it's worth mentioning.
Depending on the model of slow cooker you use, you may get a bit of variation to your slow cooker oatmeal. Why? This is because different models will allow varying amounts of steam to escape.
TIP: If you are using a multi-cooker, steam escapes from the valve. You absolutely need to leave the valve open when using any of these multi-cookers as a slow cooker.
But the difference is, I think it escapes at a slower speed than if you use a Crock-Pot.
If you use your Instant Pot as a slow cooker frequently, you can buy this lid, which will make your Instant Pot function more like a traditional slow cooker in terms of allowing steam to escape.
It's not necessary for this recipe, but handy to keep around.
Can I double this slow cooker oatmeal recipe?
Yes! You definitely can double this recipe to make a large batch of oatmeal if you are feeding a group. Keep everything in the recipe the same, and simply double the ingredients.
It's also a great recipe to double if you want to make a batch of oatmeal to last several days. This recipe will feed a hungry family of four, so if your family wants oatmeal multiple times a week, go ahead and double the recipe.
How long can you store this oatmeal in the refrigerator?
Some sites suggest storing oatmeal for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. I tend to store for only 3 days maximum.
If you are storing this oatmeal in the refrigerator, make sure it is in an airtight container. Also, don't mix in any fresh milk (dairy or non-dairy) before refrigerating it.
If you want oatmeal as grab and go breakfast options, you can portion it out into individual containers and store it that way too.
When eating this slow cooker oatmeal as leftovers, we simply warm up the oatmeal in the microwave and add in a bit more milk. As with all leftover oatmeal, give it a good stir to make it creamy again.
What makes this slow cooker oatmeal so creamy?
The secret ingredient in this slow cooker oatmeal recipe is coconut milk! The coconut milk makes this oatmeal extra creamy, as well as prevents the oatmeal from sticking to the side of the slow cooker pot.
It does impart a fruity flavor, but it's not overwhelming. Make sure you use a canned coconut milk.
Don't use the coconut milk beverages sold in tetra-packs. The coconut milk beverage is often rice milk or water mixed in with a bit of coconut milk.
Enjoy this oatmeal breakfast recipe! Any questions or comments, let me know below.
Slow Cooker Oatmeal - Overnight with Steel Cut OatsPrint Recipe Save RecipeSaved!
- 1 cup steel cut oats (pinhead oats)
- 1 cup coconut milk (canned)
- 3.5 cups water
- maple syrup
- brown sugar
- Coat your slow cooker with oil. I just rub a bit on with paper towel, but you can also use a non-stick spray.
- Add in the oats, coconut milk and water. Gently give it a stir.
- Close and set your slow cooker to cook on low heat for 7 hours. If you have a keep warm function, you can use that setting for after the 7 hours are up.
- When the oats are done, give them a quick stir. If you would like, you can add in some more milk or water to get to your desired consistency.
- Serve with your favorite toppings.
- Low temperature setting option
- Automatic steam release valve
- Keep warm setting
- Nonstick pot
Can I use almond milk instead of coconut milk
LuAnn Louttit says
I made this last night and also added some chopped apples and cinnamon. Perfect! As I am a full time RVer I use my slow cooker a lot. Great recipe for winter camping.
Janet Baker says
I was really keen to try this recipe, as it just sounded so easy and I loved the thought of using coconut milk. I cooked mine the day before as I don't have a Keep Warm setting on my slow cooker and did not want it to overcook. Unfortunately I totally forgot, in my haste to make this, to oil my bowl first! Can definitely see why you recommend doing this .... I served mine with coconut kefir and fresh berries and mango with some LSA sprinkled on top and it was absolutely delicious. Also didn't have much prep work to do for breakfast for a few days. This recipe is a winner - thanks for sharing with us and being so exacting with your instructions (even though I forgot to oil the bowl- oops!)
Hey, might be a stupid question but when you said you set the slow cooker on low before bed and then set to keep warm so its still warm in the morning - did you mean you cooked it for the 7 hours before you went to bed then left it on keep warm overnight, or does your slow cooker have a timer and settings you can adjust?
My slow cooker isn't that advanced (if they even make them so lol). I tried to cook overnight porridge - set it on low at 9pm, checked it at 1am (came downstairs for a drink) and it was done and burnt round the edges - so I cant imagine what 7 hours would of done as thats only 4. Please help - what have I done wrong??
Tina Jui says
Hi Louise, thanks for your comment. I mention it in the post, but the one I normally use is a multi-cooker which has a slow cooker function. It has a timer and temperature setting, so you can set the total cook time and high or low heat. After the cook time is over, it automatically switches to a keep warm function. We make this recipe almost weekly these days, and I've never had any issue with the edges burning though, even after 7+ hours. Are you sure you used the right type of oats - steel cut oats - and enough liquid? My only other guess is that your slow cooker lets more steam escape or is hotter than the average slow cooker.
I'd love to try this. What size slow cooker should I use?
I experimented with slow cooker steel oats a year or so ago and was dissuaded by the resulting crusty mess and annoying cleanup. I just gave this method a try using one 13.5 oz can of coconut milk, 7.5 cups of water and two cups of steel cut oats.
I gave my slow cooker a light mist of cooking spray and used the KEEP WARM setting, which I switched on a 9:30pm. At 8am (10.5 hours on Keep Warm), the results are amazing! Perfectly cooked oats and absolutely no crusty sticky mess!
Tina Jui says
I'm so glad to hear that you tried making the slow cooker steel oats again, and thanks or leaving the feedback.
Try an easy cleanup slow cooker liner . I love them and no longer stress about food sticking to the sides or messy cleanup.
Can you use regular milk instead?
Tina Jui says
Hi Susie. Yes, you can. It won't be as creamy or have the same richness, but it's possible. Enjoy!
What steam release method do you use with your Breville?
Tina Jui says
Hi Charles, so the Breville uses an automatic steam release valve system so you don't have to set anything for the slow cooker function. It's different from the Instant Pot, where you need to set the steam release handle to the “venting” position during slow cook.
Teresa Jui says
Hi what a good recipe. Your details and explanation are very clear and very helpful.. Good job ! I love it. I will try to make it.
Teresa Jui says
Hi what a good recipe. Your details and explanation are very clear and very helpful.
Good job! I love it. I will try to make it.