Dig into a healthy bowl of breakfast featuring overnight steel cut oats! Healthy, creamy, wholesome, and delicious, you can make the basic recipe with five ingredients and five minutes of prep time.
Overnight oats are one of my breakfast staples. They are filling and healthy and keep me energized right up until lunchtime!
For some variety, I love changing my regular rolled oats for steel cut oats, and the texture and satiety power is on another level.
Steel cut oats are less processed than rolled oats, so they have a chewier texture and a more impressive nutritional profile. The downside? They typically take longer to cook than standard quick or old-fashioned oats. However, there is a shortcut to that, and that is where steel cut overnight oats come into the picture!
Table of Contents
Why this recipe works
- Make ahead oatmeal. If you love the ease of overnight oats, you’ll love this version which is pretty much the same, just more satisfying!
- Easy to make. A simple 5 minute prep the night before will provide you quick grab-and-go breakfast in the morning. We love to meal prep around 5-6 servings on the weekend so breakfasts are sorted for the week ahead!
- It’s fun to customize. You can go in with as many different toppings as you like. You can also adapt it to your preferred dietary style, too, like making it vegan and/or gluten-free! And when it tastes like tiramisu or Snickers, you know you’ve got a winner!
- It has the perfect texture. Steel-cut oats often get a bad rap for being too tough or chewy. But when made with the right recipe, they are a delight. If you are not a fan of the mushy texture of quick oats, these oats are perfect for you.
Breakfast staples like oats, milk, and yogurt form the base of this delicious recipe. Here is what you’ll need:
- Steel cut oats. For this recipe, I suggest you go with quick-cooking steel-cut oats. They are finely cut regular steel-cut oats. It expedites the softening process without affecting the nutritional profile whatsoever. However, classic steel cut oats work, too.
- Chia seeds. Use black or white chia seeds for this recipe. It helps thicken the oats and gives them a creamy texture. It also packs in an impressive amount of fiber and protein.
- Milk. Depending on your dietary and flavor preferences, choose plant-based or dairy milk.
- Greek yogurt. I love how creamy the oats turn out with adding a few spoons of yogurt. It also increases the protein content of your recipe! If you don’t have Greek yogurt, opt for any thick yogurt.
- Honey. If you plan on eating your oats plain, adding some form of sweetness is a must! Liquid sweeteners like honey or maple syrup are better than granulated sweeteners, as a little goes a very long way.
How to make overnight steel cut oats
Mix the ingredients. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate them covered for a few hours.
Divide and serve. Portion the oats into separate jars, add toppings, and enjoy.
Flavor and recipe variations
Peanut butter. I am a die-hard fan of this classic combination. Add peanut butter while soaking the oats, or drizzle it as a topping. Always finish the recipe with toasted peanuts. Another indulgent addition to this mix is that of jam. Hello, PB&J!
Berries. You can never go wrong with a topping of mixed seasonal berries, coconut cream, and seeds like hemp, flax, or pumpkin.
Coffee. Get your caffeine fix IN your breakfast by adding a teaspoon of espresso powder or soaking your oats in a pre-made latte or cappuccino (or any milky coffee).
Coconut. Soak the steel-cut oats in coconut milk instead of dairy milk for a distinct coconut flavor. Like in a coconut chia pudding, finish the dish with coconut shavings. Tropical fruits and berries go well with this combination.
Add protein. As we do with protein overnight oats, add a scoop of your favorite protein powder and increase the liquid by two tablespoons.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Soak in hot milk. To help soften the steel-cut oats, sometimes I soak them in hot milk instead of cold milk.
- Adjust the consistency. With oats, adjusting the consistency could get tricky. Remember that the liquid-to-oats ratios for instant, rolled, and steel-cut will change. If you find your oats too runny, add more oats or add a spoonful of chia seeds.
- Reserve the add-ins for the next day. If you want the crunchy elements to retain their texture, I suggest you stir them on the day you eat the oats.
- Add a pinch of salt. A generous pinch of salt makes a world of difference to the dish! It brings out the natural sweetness of the recipe.
To store. Steel-cut overnight oats keep well for seven days in the refrigerator. Store them covered and enjoy them through the week.
To freeze. Freeze single-serve portions of these oats in freezer-safe containers for up to 6 months.
More delicious ways to enjoy oatmeal
Frequently asked questions
The main difference between the two oats types is how they are processed. Rolled oats are steamed and rolled flat, making them easy to cook. Whereas steel cut oats are unprocessed whole oat groats sliced into smaller bits.
Yes! Use plant-based milk and a dairy-free yogurt, like coconut yogurt, to make vegan steel-cut overnight oats.
If you’re using fine steel-cut oats, you need not cook them before soaking. Overnight soaking gives them ample time to absorb the liquid and become soft.
Overnight Steel Cut Oats
- In a large bowl, add the steel cut oats, chia seeds, milk, yogurt, and honey and mix well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- If the mixture is too thick, add a little extra milk. Divide into 4 portions, add toppings, and enjoy immediately.
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