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Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Overnight Steel Cut Oats with a protein infusion for a balanced meal! Top it with fresh fruit, almond butter, and a drizzle of honey for an amazing breakfast.

close up image of steel cut oatmeal in a bowl with fresh fruit and a spoon.

If you’re looking for quick and easy breakfast recipes that cover all the macronutrient bases, this Overnight Steel Cut Oats recipe may just be your newest obsession.

Loaded with complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats, all of which are easy to adjust based on your health goals, this amazing grab and go breakfast is ideal for busy mornings.

Make it over the weekend in bulk to meal prep breakfast throughout the week!

So remarkably versatile, you can serve your morning porridge up with any of your favorite toppings. Change it up using seasonal fruit and various jams and nut butters to always keep your taste buds guessing!

White bowl of steel cut oatmeal, loaded with fresh fruit with a silver spoon and a bowl of blueberries to the side.

There’s a surplus of oatmeal recipes on this site because I absolutely love the flavor, texture, and nutrient breakdown of oats. 

Some of my personal favorites are my Banana Blended Baked Oats, Flourless Rolled Oat Pumpkin Brownies, and Sweet Potato Rolled Oat Protein Pancakes

I find oats to be so versatile and always so satiating and inviting. 

While I’ve shared many traditional overnight oats recipes in the past, including Peaches and Cream Overnight Oats, Carrot Cake Overnight Oatmeal, Vanilla Chai Overnight Oats (and more), which use regular rolled oats, I haven’t shared an overnight oats recipe with steel cut oats until today.

Let’s chat.

Difference Between Steel Cut Oats and Rolled Oats:

The main difference between steel cut oats and rolled oats is how they are processed. Whole oat groats are cut with a steel blade for steel cut oats, whereas rolled oats are steamed then flattened with a roller.

You’ll notice a remarkable difference in the texture of steel cut versus rolled oats, as rolled oats are much firmer and have a chew to them. Rolled oats become soft and creamy, whereas steel cut oats have almost a nut-like crunch, even after they are cooked.

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients needed to make steel cut overnight oatmeal.

Ingredients for Overnight Steel Cut Oats:

Steel Cut Oats: The main ingredient in this breakfast porridge extravaganza! Steel cut oats bring complex carbohydrates and fiber to your morning breakfast routine. An ideal pre or post-workout meal, oats are fabulous at replenishing muscle glycogen.

I use sprouted steel cut oats, which are gluten-free, glyphosate free, and the sprouting process enables the nutrients within the oats to be more bioavailable.

While you can make overnight oats using other oat varieties like instant oats, old-fashioned oats, or quick oats, we’re focusing on steel cut for this particular recipe.

Protein Powder (optional): Bringing an infusion of protein for a balanced meal, you can add your favorite protein powder. I use goat whey protein powder which doesn’t have added flavors or sugars.

I find starting the day with a protein-rich meal ensures I stay full for hours, versus getting hungry soon after breakfast.

You can also skip the protein powder if you aren’t concerned about getting protein in this meal.

Chia Seeds (optional): If you have chia seeds, hemp seeds, or flax seeds on hand, feel free to toss them in to add healthy omega 3 fatty acids to the oatmeal. Flax seeds and chia seeds will also help thicken the oats.

Sea Salt & Ground Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon brings a sweet warmth to the overnight oats and a pinch of salt enhances all of the individual flavors.

Oat Milk (or milk of choice): Oats require a great deal of liquid in order to soften up, so pick your favorite type of milk. I use oat milk, but cow’s milk works great, as does almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, etc.

top down photo of steel cut oats with berries and figs on top.

Optional Additions:

Add 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup to sweeten the oatmeal.

Stir in 2 tablespoons of almond butter or peanut butter for some added healthy fats.

If you love banana overnight oatmeal, mash up 1 to 2 large ripe bananas and mix it in with the rest of the ingredients, similar to my Banana Bread Overnight Oatmeal

If you have vanilla extract on hand, feel free to add 1 teaspoon.

At a minimum, all you need to make overnight steel-cut oats is steel cut oats and some form of liquid. 

Serving Ideas:

Top overnight steel cut oatmeal with chocolate chips, Greek yogurt, brown sugar (or sweetener of choice), berries, sliced banana, almond butter, homemade jam, homemade fruit compote, etc.

You can even make savory oats by combining these Irish oats with eggs, breakfast sausage or bacon, etc, sautéed vegetables, etc.

Now that we’ve discussed the main ingredients, let’s make this easy breakfast recipe!

How to Make Overnight Steel Cut Oats:

Add the steel cut oats, protein powder, chia seeds (if using), ground cinnamon and sea salt to a large mixing bowl and stir well until everything is combined.

mixing bowl with oats, chia seeds, protein powder, and cinnamon.

Pour in the oat milk (or non-dairy milk of choice) and stir well. If you’re adding a sweetener or nut butter to the oatmeal, do so now as well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours).

Milk being poured into the bowl with the oats.

Because steel cut oats are fairly hearty, they don’t soften up the same way regular oats do, so the longer they sit, the better. If you can stir the oatmeal every once in a while during the chilling process, feel free to do so.

Give the oats a good stir the next morning just before serving. Pour desired amount into a bowl and top with fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, almond butter, a drizzle of honey or pure maple syrup, etc.

horizontal photo of white bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit on top.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

You can portion the oatmeal out into small mason jars or individual glass containers for grab and go breakfast. If you’re taking this route as a meal prep approach, I recommend doubling or tripling the recipe.

The real quick and dirty version of this recipe is pouring everything into a large jar, seal it up with the lid, then shake well until everything is combined. I often take this approach.

And that’s it! Everything you need to make a delightful creamy cold cereal recipe for a make ahead breakfast with all sorts of health benefits.

In the fall and winter months, make Apple Cinnamon Crock Pot Steel Cut Oats for slow cooker steel cut oats.

close up image of steel cut oatmeal with fresh berries, figs, and honey on top with a golden napkin and a bowl of blueberries in the background.

If you love oats, also try out these reader favorites.

More Oatmeal Recipes:

Enjoy this quick and simple creamy oatmeal!

close up image of steel cut oatmeal in a bowl with fresh fruit and a spoon.

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes

A quick and easy well-balanced breakfast, this overnight steel cut protein oatmeal is creamy and absolutely delicious with fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey or pure maple syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp protein powder of choice, optional
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds*
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, optional
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk of choice

Optional Additions:

  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or honey
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened almond butter or peanut butter

Instructions

    1. Add the steel cut oats, protein powder, chia seeds (if using), ground cinnamon and sea salt to a large mixing bowl and stir well until everything is combined.

    mixing bowl with oats, chia seeds, protein powder, and cinnamon.

    2. Pour in the oat milk (or non-dairy milk of choice) and stir well. If you’re adding a sweetener or nut butter to the oatmeal, do so now as well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, ideally overnight.

    Milk being poured into the bowl with the oats.

    3. Give the oats a good stir the next morning just before serving. Pour desired amount into a bowl and top with fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, almond butter, a drizzle of honey or pure maple syrup, etc.

    horizontal photo of white bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit on top.

    Note: As an alternative, you can add everything into a large jar, seal it up with the lid, then shake well until everything is combined. I often take this approach.

Notes

*If you aren’t using chia seeds, you can reduce the amount of liquid you use to 1 ⅔ cups. You can also replace the chia seeds with sesame seeds, flax seeds, or hemp seeds.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

You can portion the oatmeal out into small mason jars or individual glass containers for grab and go breakfast. If you're taking this route as a meal prep approach, I recommend doubling or tripling the recipe.

Nutrition Facts are calculated for the oatmeal only, excluding toppings. Unsweetened protein powder is calculated in.

Nutrition Information
Yield 2 Serving Size 1 Serving (of 2)
Amount Per Serving Calories 334Total Fat 11gCarbohydrates 37gFiber 4gSugar 11gProtein 31g

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Caroline

Thursday 1st of September 2022

How large a jar if I do it that way? Quart mason jar?

Ellen

Wednesday 24th of August 2022

The next day do you heat in microwave or is this recipe meant to eat cold?

Julia

Wednesday 24th of August 2022

Hi Ellen! You can do either. Most people use overnight oatmeal as a cold cereal/porridge, but you can absolutely heat it up for a warm breakfast! Hope you enjoy! xoxo

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