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Here’s how to make the perfect bowl of creamy overnight steel-cut oats. It’s a healthy make-ahead breakfast that you can enjoy all week long with all kinds of toppings!

An overhead shot of oats with berries and peanut butter.
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Easy Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Oh how I miss my leisurely mornings when I could get up, brew myself a cup of tea, enjoy a bowl of freshly cooked oatmeal, brush my teeth (nowadays I don’t even get to it until after 9!)…

Thanks to my lovely little human beings who wake up ready to conquer the world, I NEED breakfast to be quick and easy but also nourishing. I don’t know what I would do without make-ahead breakfasts.

Oh I know! Cereal or yogurt, which I don’t mind eating every day, but my kids? Not so much. They may be little but they sure have big opinions about…everything.

We absolutely adore this banana overnight oats and and overnight quinoa oats because I can quickly make them after putting the kids down for the night, and breakfast will be ready when we are!

And because many of you have been asking for a steel-cut oats version, here it is! The process is a bit more involved because you do have to cook it slightly.

The result is soft and creamy oats that you would expect from rolled oats but with a bit more chew and nutty flavor.

It will be a great texture exposure for your baby and toddler, especially!

And if you’d like to experiment with different cooking methods, here’s how to cook steel cut oats on the stove, or in the Instant Pot or the slow cooker.

Related: Easy Oatmeal Recipes for Babies and Kids

Steel-cut Oats Vs. Rolled oats?

While you may have heard that steel cut oats are better for you, the truth is ALL types of oats are healthy with very similar nutritional profiles. They all start out as whole oat groats, which are the entire kernel of the oat grain.

Ingredients

All the ingredients laid out on a white background and labled.
  • Regular steel-cut oats (Irish oats) – You will most likely find them in the cereal aisle or bulk section. I find that the latter option is cheaper.
  • Water and milk – Adjust the ratio to your liking. I personally like 3 cups of water to 1 cup of milk. I recommend whole milk for babies and toddlers. If there is an allergy, use any non-dairy milk of choice, such as almond milk or coconut milk. You can also use all water. The result won’t be as creamy though.
  • Chia seeds – helps thicken the mixture upon refrigeration while adding healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
  • Salt – a pinch is all you need to really bring the oat flavor to life.
  • Toppings – see below for all the ideas!

Step-by-Step Instructions

A four image collage showing cooking process.
  1. Pour water and milk to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add oats and salt and stir and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Turn off the heat and let it cool for at least 10 minutes. Stir in the chia seeds and either close the lid and refrigerate the entire pot or transfer the oatmeal into a large airtight container and place in the fridge.
  4. Allow the oats to sit for at least 8 hours. Enjoy cold or reheat with a splash of milk. And don’t forget the toppings!

Favorite Toppings

Simply by changing up the toppings, you can make every morning a fun and unique experience!

It works really well for my kids who don’t like to eat the same breakfast more than two days in a row. This and chia puddings.

Sweet Overnight Oats

A toddler wrapping his hands around a bowl of oats.

Savory Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Savory overnight steel cut oats with carrots, spinach, and finely minced beef.

Tips for Success

A close up shot of oats scooped with a wooden spoon.
  • While you may come across recipes that tell you to cover the pot and let it sit overnight, I don’t recommend this from a food safety standpoint. It’s better to be safe than sorry especially when serving to your little one.
  • After soaking the steel-cut oats for at least 8 hours, you can portion into single servings (these small jars are great along with these reusable lids) for an easy grab-n-go breakfast or snack.
  • When my kids are sick, I like to serve this like a porridge. I simply warm up a bowl and add some chopped vegetables and protein.

Storage

Store any leftovers in airtight containers or mason jars. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They will continue to soften.

To freeze, divide into single-serving portions and store in freezer safe bags (lay flat) or containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does steel-cut oats need to sit?

You want to give it at least 8 hours so it has a chance to get soft. I recommend soaking overnight.

Do I eat overnight oats cold or warm?

Either way is fine! If you are in the mood for something cold, simply give the overnight oats a good stir and enjoy with various toppings. Or you can warm it up in the microwave or on the stove with a splash of water or milk.

Can babies eat overnight steel cut oats?

Yes! Overall, the texture is soft and creamy with a little bit of chew. It would be a great texture experience for your baby. You can either preload the spoon and hand it to your baby or place on the bowl for your baby to pick up and bring to their mouth. This baby spoon has the perfect design for tiny hands, and I can’t recommend it enough.

Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!

5 from 6 votes

Creamy Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Here's how to make the perfect bowl of creamy overnight steel-cut oats. It's a healthy make-ahead breakfast that you can enjoy all week long with all kinds of toppings!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Resting Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 7 minutes
Servings: 7 makes 3 1/2 cups
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Ingredients 

  • 4 cups liquid (I like to use 3 cups water and 1 cup milk)
  • 1 cup Steel-cut oats (180g)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Instructions 

  • Pour water and milk to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add oats and salt and stir and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring often.
  • Turn off the heat and let it cool for at least 10 minutes. Stir in the chia seeds and either close the lid and refrigerate the entire pot or transfer the oatmeal into a large airtight container and place in the fridge.
  • Allow the oats to sit for at least 8 hours. Enjoy cold or reheat with a splash of milk. And don't forget the toppings!

Notes

  • After soaking the steel-cut oats for at least 8 hours, you can portion into single servings (these small jars are great along with these reusable lids) for an easy grab-n-go breakfast or snack.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this in an effort to get a quick breakfast served to my toddler one particular morning. Really does come out SO wonderfully creamy. I don’t tend to make steel cut oats that often due to how long they take to cook, and this recipe eliminated all that time! I omitted the salt but otherwise followed the recipe. Served it with mashed banana and peanut butter 🙂 We both gobbled it up.