Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal

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Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal is easy to make, ultra nutritious, and absolutely delicious. Load it up with your favorite toppings or grab a bowl on your way out the door for the perfect quick and healthy breakfast!

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Crockpot Steel Cut Oatmeal is the ultimate way to start your day. Picture this: You wake up to your alarm clock, well-rested and ready to take on the world. For a split second you realize you need to make breakfast, but the smell of fresh oatmeal instantly reminds you that it’s already done. Life is good.

If you’re looking for a healthy breakfast that guarantees to make your life a whole lot easier, then you have come to the right place. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to throw a bunch of ingredients into the slow cooker before bed and wake up to breakfast cooked and ready to go.

This recipe for creamy Steel Cut Oatmeal is made with wholesome ingredients like oats, bananas, eggs, almond milk, and vanilla extract. It’s beyond easy to make, loaded with fiber and nutrients, and makes for the perfect nourishing breakfast.

Because this recipe is so customizable, you can dress it up with different toppings for every day of the week. In the mood for chocolate peanut butter oatmeal? Just add chocolate chips and nut butter. Want something fruitier? Toss in some fresh fruit and shredded coconut for a tropical twist.

No matter how you choose to enjoy this Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal, it’s bound to be a hit. After all, what’s better than waking up to the smell of breakfast in the kitchen waiting for you?

Love oatmeal? Don't miss these this Guide to Overnight Oatmeal, Baked Blueberry Oatmeal, and Microwave Apple Oatmeal.

Crockpot steel cut oatmeal served in two bowls with fresh fruit and a slow cooker with oats on the side.

What Are Steel Cut Oats?

While most people are familiar with rolled oats and quick oats, there seems to be a lot of speculation surrounding steel cut oats. What are steel cut oats? Are they good for you? For starters, steel cut oats are very good for you! Much like their counterparts, these oats are loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

All oats start out the same: as oat groats. These are the whole and unbroken forms of the grain. The main difference between the types of oats is the way they are all processed. Unlike rolled and quick oats that are rolled flat and steamed, steel cut oats are simply oat groats that are chopped into smaller pieces.

This way of processing results in oats that are chewier in texture and take longer to cook than other types of oats. Steel cut oats are slightly higher in fiber and have a lower glycemic index than rolled and quick oats. Because they take longer to cook, steel cut oats work great in slow cooker recipes like this one!

Key Ingredients

You will need the following key ingredients to make this delicious slow cooker recipe:

  • Steel cut oats: Because these are the closest type of oats to the unprocessed version, they take longer to cook and are therefore perfect for a slow cooker recipe like this one.
  • Almond milk: This recipe calls for unsweetened plain almond milk, but feel free to use vanilla almond milk or any other type of milk you prefer.
  • Water: I like to use equal parts water and almond milk, but feel free to swap out the combo for all of either one of them.
  • Bananas: Who needs sugar when you have bananas? When choosing your bananas, keep in mind that the riper bananas are sweeter. If you like your oatmeal on the sweeter side, opt for brown bananas!
  • Flaxseed meal: The nutty flavor of this superfood beautifully complements the nutty flavor of the steel cut oats. It also adds a ton of beneficial nutrients.
  • Chia seeds: These tiny seeds are bursting with nutrients, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. They also soak up some of the liquid, ensuring that the oatmeal gets nice and thick.
  • Vanilla extract: This ingredient not only adds great flavor on its own, but it also enhances the rest of the delicious flavors of our slow cooker oatmeal.
  • Spices: A little cinnamon and salt go a long way here, trust me! The cinnamon adds a delicious warm flavor and the salt enhances the flavors of our other ingredients.

Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal Cooking Tips

Here are some of my top tips to help you make this recipe:

  • Do not swap out the steel cut oats for another type of oats. For this recipe, it’s important to use steel cut oats or you will likely wind up with super mushy oats!
  • Make sure to spray the slow cooker with cooking spray so that it’s completely covered to ensure that the oatmeal doesn’t stick.
  • To prevent burning and ensure even cooking throughout, I recommend stirring the oatmeal every few hours.

Steel cut oatmeal cooked in the slow cooker and served with milk, fresh berries, bananas, and chia seeds in a bowl.

How to Store Cooked Steel Cut Oatmeal

If you wind up with leftover oatmeal, you can easily store it for later. Before storing this dish, you will first need to let it cool to room temperature. Once it’s cooled, transfer the oatmeal to airtight storage bags or containers and store it as follows:

  • In the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
  • In the freezer for up to 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this dish:

Steel cut oats are very similar in nutrition to rolled oats. However, they do contain slightly more fiber and are lower on the glycemic index than rolled oats, making them just a bit healthier. Regardless, both types of oats are excellent additions to a healthy diet!

Absolutely! To freeze oatmeal, you will first need to allow it to cool down to room temperature. Once it’s cooled, transfer the oatmeal to airtight ziploc bags or storage containers and freeze it for up to 3 months.

You can cook this recipe in the slow cooker on Low for 7-8 hours or on High for 4 hours. I recommend choosing the Low setting for the best results, but either option will work.

Unfortunately, this recipe only works with steel-cut oats. Regular rolled oats become very soft and mushy in the slow cooker.

This recipe will turn out great without the bananas, but it won't be as sweet. You can add maple syrup or honey to taste. Additionally you could swap in applesauce, sweet potato puree, butternut squash puree, pumpkin, or another fruit puree. 

Steel cut oats cooked in the crockpot and served in a bowl with bananas, strawberries, raspberries, and milk.
The Recipe
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Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal

COOK TIME: 6 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 6 Hours, 5 Min
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  • 1.5 cups steel cut oats
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk (or skim milk)
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1.5 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

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Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all the ingredients and mix them together.

Steel cut oats being stirred with almond milk, bananas, chia seeds, flax seeds, and cinnamon.

Cook on low for 7-8 hours (preferred) or on high for 4 hours. If possible, stir a few times during cooking to prevent burning so that it cooks evenly.

Cooked steel cut oats in a slow cooker.

When finished, the oats should be cooked but still have some texture. Stir well, for about 1 minute, before serving.

Steel cut oats with fruit in a bowl with a spoon.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 3/4 cup (269g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 256
Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 180mg
Total Carbohydrate 43g
Dietary Fiber 8g
Sugars 8g
Protein 9g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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1 Comment
On Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal
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March 9, 2022 - 07:02
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I have used this recipe SO many times! It’s my go-to breakfast most mornings. I add blueberries, toasted sliced almonds and a little sugar free pancake syrup. Thank you!
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