Overnight Steel-Cut or Oat Groats in the Slow Cooker

by Oct 17, 2018

Cool autumn mornings call for something warm at breakfast, but there’s still the same, never a spare minute, amount of time to get everyone on their way. How about a bowl of steel-cut oats that cooked by themselves while you were sleeping?

Thanks to Erin from Well Plated for the slow cooker method, and Montana Gluten Free for the “Naked Oats” which are just steel cut oats that haven’t yet been cut up (“oat groats”). I cooked my first batch using water and milk then at serving topped it with a spoon of dark muscovado sugar from India Tree (Tara stocks it at Joe’s Parkway in Bozeman), cooked apples and toasted walnuts. Yum! Next batch I used steel-cut oats from Bob’s Red Mill and all water for the cooking. It turned out tasty, just porridge-y instead of risotto-y like the groats.

This recipe is very versatile, just keep the ratio of oats to liquid and you can use whatever you like—milk, dairy-alternatives, water, or any combo. Same with seasonings. Don’t like cinnamon?  Leave it out or swap for a sprinkle of coriander, cardamom or something you do like. And toppings, that’s where oatmeal gets really delicious. I like a little sweet, some crunch, and a fruit of some sort. If you need some inspiration, check out Cookie + Kate’s ideas for toppings. Cheers to a hearty, healthy breakfast!

Overnight Steel-Cut or Oat Groats in the Slow Cooker

adapted from Well-Plated "Overnight Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats"

makes 6 - 8 servings


  • 2 cups oat groats or steel-cut oats
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground or fresh-grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt


  1. Stir together the oats, water, milk, and seasonings in your slow cooker.  Cook on low for 7 - 8 hours.  

Recipe Notes / Tips

  • To bump up the nutrition, add 3 Tbsp. ground flax meal 
  • To bump up the flavor, toast the oats first (frying pan over medium-high heat for a couple minutes)
  • To smooth the texture of groats (or if you just don't have enough, as happened to me once), substitute 1/4 amount with rolled oats (so 1 1/2 cups groats, 1/2 cup oats)
  • "Banana Bread" style:  add 2 large mashed bananas to the slow cooker stuff and cook 

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