Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal
This method of cooking produces creamy oatmeal with a hint of nuttiness and is virtually clean-up free. No goopy slow cooker to scrub as the oats are much harder to overcook. When finished, simply cover the container in which you cooked the oats and refrigerate any leftovers.

Yields 4 servings.


  • 1 cup steel cut oats (make sure it is a level cup)
  • 4 cups milk (regular, almond, soy or coconut) or water (see note)

Optional add-ins

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree or chopped apples (firm or pureed fruit work best; see notes)
  • Toppings: honey, brown sugar, or maple syrup to taste; chopped nuts; bananas, raisins, shredded coconut or other fruit of choice; chia seeds, etc.


  1. Before bedtime, place milk and/or water, oats and optional add-ins in a 2-quart casserole or bowl that fits in your slow cooker.
  2. Fill your slow cooker with a couple inches of water and place the casserole in the slow cooker. You want the dish to float. Carefully, add a little more water if the dish sits on the bottom of the cooker. You may also place the casserole on a rack or a ring made of foil to keep the casserole dish off the bottom of the cooker, still adding an inch or two of water to the cooker. This will cause the oats to cook more slowly, which you want.
  3. Cook on low for 6 hours ideally, but up to 8 hours. My cooker will change to “warm” setting after the allotted cooking time is up, but I have cooked for just over 8 hours as an experiment and the oats are still delicious, perhaps a bit creamier.
  4. Portion the oatmeal into bowls and top as desired.


  • While you may use all water for this recipe, I like all milk for the extra nutrients, creaminess, and flavor. I often use a 50-50 combination of almond or coconut and 2% milk. A 50-50 combination of milk and water is fine, too. Use whatever combination appeals to you.
  • You may also omit the fruit entirely or add fruit of choice as a topping once cooked.

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