Make Ahead

Overnight Steel-Cut Oats With Almond Butter & Honey

February  8, 2010
9 Ratings
Author Notes

Slow cooker as bain-marie! This is an effortless, hot family breakfast that lets us sit down together before charging forth on weekdays. We change up the flavorings, but tend to break out the almond butter and honey at least once a week. —ying

Test Kitchen Notes

We'll admit that before this week, we were somewhat bemused by the recent slow cooker revival. Ying's porridge helped change our minds. We love her idea of using a slow cooker as a bain marie, and what better way to be greeted on a chilly morning than with a steaming batch of steel cut oats, ready for a dollop of rich, toasty almond butter and a swirl of honey. (If you don't have almond butter, any nut butter will do.) We'll take this over Wheaties any day. - A&M —The Editors

Watch This Recipe
Overnight Steel-Cut Oats With Almond Butter & Honey
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 12 hours
  • Serves 2 to 3
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup steel-cut oatmeal
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons flavourful honey, plus more to taste
In This Recipe
  1. In a 4-cup glass measuring jug, stir together the water, milk, steel-cut oatmeal and salt. Place in a large slow-cooker, add enough cold water to come halfway up the side of the jug (less is fine, because there's so little evaporation with a slow-cooker), switch on "low" and go to bed.
  2. In the morning, stir in the almond butter and honey. There will be a tablespoon's worth of grain clumped together at the bottom of the glass jug; it is fully cooked, though, and needs only to be mixed in. Serve. You'll have a halo of warmth around you for the rest of the morning.
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96 Reviews

Kidlit October 19, 2020
Can this be done in the instant pot, on a slo cook setting?
KateMac November 7, 2020
That's how I do it and it works fine!
chlo March 16, 2020
I’ve been making this oatmeal for 10 years! Crazy! I don’t even like oatmeal, and I love this method. It’s really creamy. It’s not chunky (I hate chunky oatmeal). I just add some brown sugar and cinnamon. Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly healthy, I add half of a banana instead of the brown sugar. I’ve tried nut butters, and those are good too. This is just a fantastic way to make steel cut oats.
Alma D. November 21, 2019
I made the overnight oats last night. This morning I had the best oatmeal ever.
I added banana, cranberries, walnuts and a drizzle of maple cream, a wonderful product I picked up on a whim from Trader Joe’s. Making a smooth amazing warm breakfast. Shared with my husband who loved it. Thanks for sharing.
Hannah November 7, 2019
I love getting back from a cold run on a winter morning and having this little bowl of goodness ready to go. Such a simple joy. Recipe is perfect exactly as is, but sometimes I swap the almond butter and honey for savory toppings like wilted greens and a poached egg. Great with a little hot sauce!
ehrrin October 19, 2015
Made this last night. I didn't have almond butter, so used cashew butter. And this morning added some bananas, chopped pecans, and brown sugar. Really good!
MrsK October 14, 2015
Do I conclude this will cook on low for 8 hours? (In case I make during day time.) Thanks for the great recipe, by the way!
The N. October 27, 2015
I cook it this way all of the time. I'll this up to cook overnight anywhere between 8 and 11 hours on low, and they are SO creamy and wonderful (thank you, ying, for a recipe that finally lets me love steel-cut oats!).

By the way, I generally use less liquid than the author, one cup milk plus one cup water, for half a cup of steel-cut oats. I've been the zest and juice of an orange to replace some of the water and coconut milk instead of cow milk - definitely recommended.
Anne W. September 16, 2015
This slow cooker oatmeal is my absolute favorite and it is amazing when you just need a warm pick me up! I tend to add some brown sugar, vanilla, and a tad of butter. Delicious!
Mitzi A. February 25, 2015
This has been our breakfast for many years! I triple the recipe and refrigerate so we can have more during the week. It's an instant breakfast! I cook it with some brown sugar and raisins. You can replace and add all sorts of things; apricots anyone? Prunes? Chocolate chips (ugh). Milk, cream, coconut milk, whatever you like. It's the very health oats that makes this satisfying breakfast.
Anne W. February 3, 2015
I made these twice in the past month! It's lovely! Thanks so much for the recipe!
Myrna L. January 10, 2015
How can you do just one serving?
Diana J. January 13, 2015
You could probably reduce quantities using a recipe conversion calculator like this one - , but why? Steel cut oats store and reheat well. I live alone but when I make oatmeal I always make enough so I don't have to cook the next day (particularly if I'm coming down with a cold or something). It makes for a fast, easy meal without 'instant stuff'.
Kimberly A. January 10, 2015
Is this supposed to be covered with the lid? I'm confused
Aenea E. January 10, 2015
This is how I've been cooking mine, except in a Pyrex glass container (I don't recall off-hand how big it is, but I'd guess two large cups, vertical rather than horizontally wide), a 1/4 cup of oats, a chopped apple, and about a cup's worth of liquid.
Nicole M. January 10, 2015
What's the nutrition info? I am a recently diagnosed diabetic and was wondering about the carbs specifically, especially with the added honey. Thanks!
Lynn L. December 12, 2019
I work out carb content from ingredient list, it’s easily done.
Jessica36 January 9, 2015
I use almond milk all the time and it works well
cathy January 9, 2015
Can I substitute almond milk?
Debbie T. December 19, 2014
This recipe was delicious. I used 2% milk and it still tasted wonderful. Next time, I think I will just use maple syrup or brown sugar to flavor and add pecans. The almond butter wasn't my favorite. But it was still very tasty and great to have ready to eat in the morning.
robin L. March 28, 2014
robin L. March 27, 2014
oh boy...dumb question, know, but do you put the lid on the slowcooker?? i can't tell in the instructions or pictures...i want to make this tonite...
Jackie C. March 27, 2014
Yes you do! This dish is awesome!
oregon C. March 27, 2014
All slow cookers are different. Mine is old-school -- the plastic lid just sits loosely on top of the ceramic pot, not a tight fit at all. Great recipe, try it.
Jessica36 March 13, 2014
I absolutely love this cooking method--this recipe is my go-to for cold winter mornings now. Thanks for sharing!!
missbellpepper February 11, 2014
Vegans rejoice, this is AMAZING with coconut milk! Super rich, filling and perfect for the winter.