Steel-Cut Oats Faster Than Instant

February 5, 2015   47 Comments

It is winter and I have the desire for a hot breakfast. Actually, I have a desire for trip to the Bahamas but that isn’t going to happen.

Steel Cut Oats

We have mountains of snow in our yard and there are super mountains in parking lots. This year, I convinced my husband to purchase a snow blower so I have been clearing the driveway by making my own personal storm of blowing snow.

School, this time of year, seems optional. A mom friend of mine was telling me how much she likes it when she and her kids are home so she has time to make a hot breakfast.

I am here to tell you that you don’t need a snow day for a hot breakfast of seriously delicious oatmeal. First, start with the best oatmeal that you can buy – steel-cut oats. These can be found next to the other oatmeals and much more nutty and crunchy than regular whole oats.

The main difference between steel cut oats and regular oatmeal is that steel cut oats are less processed. Rolled oats are steamed, rolled, steamed again and toasted. Steel cut oats are just coarsely chopped.

Because steel cut oats aren’t processed, when you cook them it can take 30-40 minutes on the stove before they are done. Does anyone have that kind of time in the morning?

But, if you boil them on the stove the night before you want to serve them – they are creamy and waiting for you as you wipe the sleep from your eyes. You can make them one day and then put the servings you don’t eat in the fridge and heat them as needed.

All you have to do is heat it up (on the stove or in the microwave) and serve it the way you want.

Steel-cut oats taste so much better than instant oats and will stay with you longer because they have a LOWER glycemic index than regular oats. They have 10% of your daily value of iron, five grams of protein, and four grams of fiber per serving.

My favorite toppings for oatmeal:

  • peanut butter, almond butter, sunbutter, etc.
  • raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dried figs
  • blueberries, mango pieces, chopped apples
  • walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc.
  • brown sugar, maple syrup

Have you tried overnight oats?

Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal

1.8 from 25 reviews

Makes 4 – 1 cup servings

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1 cup steel-cut oats
3 cups water
pinch of salt


The night before you want to eat oatmeal put oats, water, and salt in a large saucepan (allow room for oatmeal expansion). Boil for one minute.

Cover the pot, remove from heat and leave on stove until morning.

When you wake up, heat the pan and add more water to get a thinner consistency.

Nutrition Facts

One cup cooked oatmeal without toppings = 140 calories, 2.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 27.0 g carbohydrates, 0 g sugar, 5.0 g protein, 4.0 g fiber, 4 mg sodium, 3 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 47 )

Wow! I never realized that you could leave the pot out overnight - makes it easy, doesn't it?

just making sure I understand. You just bring them to a rolling boil and then take them off the heat and leave out overnight? If that's the case, I'm going to have to try these!

I love to eat steel cut oats for breakfast, but mine are even easier to make. I use the water bath crockpot overnight method. In a 4 cup glass measuring cup, I place 1/4 cup oats and 1 cup water for each serving I want to make. Add a pinch of salt and a splash of vanilla, then place the whole thing in your empty crockpot. Fill the crock (around the measuring cup) with water at least halfway up the cup. Cover and cook on low for at least 5 hours but as many as 10. When you wake up, take the cup out with a hot pad, stir and serve. Let the water in the crockpot cool before dumping, or leave it in with the lid on and reuse it for the next night's batch. You can even add fruit at night and (as long as everyone agrees on the flavor) and it will all cook together. I leave my water-filled crockpot on my counter now, so a hot breakfast takes me 5 minutes a night now!

Yes, prepare Steel Cut Oats the night before according to package directions, 4 cups of water to 1 cup Steel Cut Oats...

Portion 1 cup in the morning and add toppings.

My favorites are :
2 Egg Whites
1/2 Chopped Apple
3/4 Tbsp Chia Seeds
2 Tbsp PB2
and drizzle Honey

Top with 1/3 cup Unsweetened Almond Breeze...


Wow-great ideas! I will be trying both methods-on the stove and the crock-pot water bath! Love oatmeal-always too hungry to wait in the mornings! Thanks!

I found the following from the American Diabetes Association about Steel Cut Oats:

Low GI Foods (55 or less) 100% stone-ground whole wheat or pumpernickel bread, Oatmeal (rolled or steel-cut), oat bran, muesli Pasta, converted rice, barley, bulgar Sweet potato, corn, yam, lima/butter beans, peas, legumes and lentils Most fruits, non-starchy vegetables and carrots - See more at: And a 1/4 cup of steel cut oats provides 4 g. fiber.

I love your site but I wanted to point out that the steel cut oats are a lower glycemic index food which prevents blood sugar spikes.

Any way you fix them steel cut oats are great!I like crystallized ginger, pecans, and apples.

Does anyone know if these could be thrown into a slow cooker on low all night and be ready for breakfast?

Mmmmm I love oatmeal too! We call them "groats" around here, we love that word, it sounds like horsefeed, :) I keep 2 lbs. organic thick-cut rolled oats as backup to my oatmeal cannister all year-round. Then I keep Bob's Red Mill "groats" for another cannister. My fav toppings:chopped apple, nuts, cinnamon, 1 Tbs flax-meal, splash almond milk. Also chopped dates, apricots, raisins, prunes, and any other fresh fruit like bananas, pears, peaches in summer, etc. I must try peanut butter someday, keep forgetting that idea. This might be interesting to some, the story behind Bob's Red Mill groats contest in Scotland :)

A couple things I should have mentioned in my post. I have tried this in a crockpot and found that it burned before I got to it. Also, I used 3 cups of water (instead of 4 as package directions say) because then your oatmeal is thicker and you can add milk or more water to get it to the right texture.

Thanks for all your wonderful comments!

Steel cut oats have a low glycemic index. They "stay with you longer" because they contain more fiber and fat than more processed oats. Also, probably not a good idea to leave them out on the stove overnight. You should cook them, cool them quickly, and refrigerate. Then reheat in the morning. Or, use the crockpot method.

I'm a huge steel cut oats fan! I make a big batch in advance and freeze in individual servings. Whenever I want a yummy, hot and healthy breakfast, all I have to do is defrost it and it's ready. I cook my steel cut oats with chopped apples, protein powder, cinnamon and coconut sugar. My favorite topping is maple syrup and walnuts.

I boil 2 cups of water add 1 cup steel oat,s turn off stove for 30-45 min, done when cool just put in fridge, take out what I need for the am, been doing this way for years,

Love all these ideas. I use my rice cooker on the porridge setting and timer. Great to wake up to smooth delicious oatmeal.

Snack Girl, I think what I appreciate most about you is your sincerity. Sometimes I shake my head at your blunders (steel-cut oats do not have a high glycemic index, and if you want a grilled sandwich at Chick-fil-A, then ask for a grilled sandwich), but I appreciate how committed you are to a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

Love this! Can't wait to try it. I've done the crock pot method and I'm never happy with the consistency. They always over cook. I love the idea of using less liquid so I can add some almond or coconut milk in the morning! Yum! Thanks.

I was at the super market yesterday and saw they had quick serve steel cut oatmeal. Wonder if it is good as the long version. Since I need gluten free, don't know if steel cut oatmeal is for me.

McCann's are the best.I make them in the microwave 1/4 cup oats to 1 cup water in a big glass bowl. They will cook in about 5 to 7 minutes with a stir or two in between.I mix in chopped nectarines or peaches and dried cranberries. I also toss in some toasted pecans and cinnamon.Makes it more like dessert than breakfast......

I use a 1 1/2 quart crockpot to prepare my oatmeal and it doesn't burn or dry out. You also don't have to worry about possibly burning yourself lifting a measuring cup out of hot water. I put 4 cups of water or a few drops more along with 1 cup steel cut oats into the crock pot. Turn it on about 10 PM and it's perfect when I wake up at 5:30 or 6 AM. Snack Girl is correct that it's too dry in the larger crock pots. So, if that's what you have, double the recipe and then freeze the extra cooked oatmeal. It's easy to microwave in the morning. I love the topping ideas.

I purchased my small Proctor Silex crock slow cooker from Amazon for less than $20 just for my oatmeal. If you order it with Bob's Red Mill steel cut oats (those were the cheapest) you get free shipping.

In Scotland they soak the oats overnight in milk. They are the BEST I have ever eaten. You could soak during the day, cook at night.

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