Overnight Slow Cooker Steel-Cut Oats

The sudden cold snap here made me want to have a comforting bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. This is my basic recipe for overnight steel-cut oats that I make in my little 1.5-quart slow cooker; it’s the perfect size when I’m cooking just for myself or for two. All you have to do is turn it on the night before, and you have breakfast the next morning! This recipe is easily scaled up for a normal-size slow cooker as well. Just make sure you keep the ratio of oats to water 1:4. Some people prefer to cook their oats in milk, but I find that it can scorch easily in the slow cooker, so I prefer to add it afterwards. I’ve left this stuff cooking for as long as 10 hours without a problem, so you can sleep in all you want! (Pro dorm life tip: if you do plan on sleeping longer than that, it can be helpful to add a little extra water.)

Ingredients:

  • Canola oil
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • Pinch cinnamon

Toppings I like:

  • Raisins
  • Diced apple
  • Diced pear
  • Dried cranberries
  • Sliced banana
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Milk (dairy or non-dairy) — try it with coconut milk! 🙂

Special Equipment:

  • 1.5-quart slow cooker

Directions:

Grease the slow cooker with a small amount of canola oil, or omit it to make this recipe oil-free. Add the water, then the oats, vanilla (if using), and cinnamon in that order. Set slow cooker to low and cook for 8 hours. (Note: the oatmeal may stick a bit, especially if you don’t grease the slow cooker, so you’ll probably want to soak your crock pot straight away in soap and water after serving.) Some of my favorite toppings are listed above. Enjoy!

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