Overnight Steel Cut Oats


5 from 17 votes
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These overnight steel cut oats make the best healthy make-ahead breakfast! Using just five simple ingredients, it’s easy to prep and customize. 

overnight steel cut oats.

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 overnight oats and making overnight steel cut oatmeal, 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
  1. Why this recipe works
  2. Ingredients Needed
  3. How to make overnight steel cut oats
  4. Can I make this stovetop?
  5. Recipe tips and variations
  6. Storage instructions
  7. More oatmeal recipes to try
  8. Frequently asked questions
  9. Overnight Steel Cut Oats (Recipe Card)

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. Like with my protein overnight oats, 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 healthy. There are tons of health benefits associated with steel-cut oats, including all the nutrients they provide, but my favorite is that it balances out my blood sugar, so I’m not hungry two minutes later (similar to protein oatmeal).
  • It has the perfect texture. These oats often get a bad rap for being too tough or chewy. But we’ve nailed the perfect combination to ensure every bite is creamy and satisfying with just the right amount of chew.
steel cut overnight oats.

Ingredients Needed

Breakfast staples like oats, milk, and yogurt form the base of this delicious overnight steel cut oatmeal 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. Use almond milk or dairy milk depending on your dietary and flavor preferences. I typically use whole milk as that is what we have on hand, which adds some healthy fats and protein.
  • 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.
  • Vanilla extract. It’s optional, but I love the added flavor it provides to the breakfast.
  • 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.
  • Salt. Just a pinch of salt can bring out the natural sweetness of the overall breakfast bowl.
  • Mix-ins. Cinnamon, almonds, chopped apples, sliced banana, or walnuts.
  • Toppings. Nut butter, chopped nuts, strawberries, etc.

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.

how to make steel cut overnight oats.

Can I make this stovetop?

Not everyone is a fan of the overnight oatmeal method, which is fine! If you do prefer to have your steel cut oats fully cooked, you can prep them that way and still enjoy them directly from the fridge.

To make- Combine the oats, milk, and chia seeds in a medium saucepan, place over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, until some of the moisture has reduced. Transfer the oats into a bowl, add the yogurt, vanilla extract and drizzle of honey then cover and refrigerate overnight. 

Recipe tips and variations

Soak in hot milk: To help soften the steel-cut oats, sometimes I soak them in hot milk instead of cold milk. The oats will still be enjoyed cold, but this trick is a surefire way for them to be soft and creamy. 

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 protein. As we do with protein overnight oats, add a scoop of your favorite protein powder and increase the liquid by two tablespoons.

Make fun flavors: Oats are like a blank canvas, and you can dress them up in many ways. Add peanut butter and jam for a PB&J-inspired breakfast or add some espresso and chocolate chips for a coffee-flavored bowl.

Storage instructions

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.

overnight oats steel cut.

More oatmeal recipes to try

Frequently asked questions

How are steel cut oats different from rolled oats?

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. 

Can I make this recipe vegan?

Yes! Use plant-based milk and a dairy-free yogurt, like coconut yogurt, to make vegan steel-cut overnight oats.

Should I microwave the steel-cut oats before soaking them?

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. You can, however, heat up overnight oats.

overnight steel cut oats recipe.

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

5 from 17 votes
Learn how to make the best overnight steel cut oats using just 5 simple ingredients! They make a healthy and delicious make ahead breakfast.
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes



  • In a large bowl, add the steel cut oats, chia seeds, salt, milk, yogurt, vanilla extract, 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.


* I used quick cooking steel cut oats but standard steel cut oats work. 
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.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 234kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 10gFat: 5gSodium: 172mgPotassium: 53mgFiber: 6gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 3IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 217mgIron: 2mgNET CARBS: 32g
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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5 from 17 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    The best and easiest breakfast ever! I use almond milk, and maple syrup to make it sweet. Also just use normal oats. I love putting frozen berries and chocolate chips in. Such a hit in my house! Great for a grab and go breakfast. Or even as lunch or a snack.

  2. I can’t have oats I’m Céliac and allergic to oats that I LOVED. Do you have a substitute? I would so love to find one.