Skip to Content

How to Make Overnight Steel Cut Oats (Easy Recipe)

These overnight steel-cut oats are delicious, nutritious, and filling. And the best part is that they don’t require any cooking! You can make them in advance and then just grab and go in the morning.

This overnight oats recipe is very customizable, so you can easily adapt it to your taste and dietary preferences.

Overnight steel cut oats in two jars standing on a purple tea towel. The oats are topped with blueberries.

Steel-cut oats are one of my favorite dishes to have for breakfast.

Unfortunately, they take a long time to cook.

If you decide to make a fresh bowl of steel-cut oatmeal in the morning, you are looking at about 20 to 30 minutes of cooking time.

Most people don’t have so much time in the morning to make breakfast. We all want something easy and healthy that we can just grab and go.

That’s why overnight oatmeal recipes have become so popular on the internet in the last couple of years.

Anything that helps us to make getting out the door in the morning less stressful is a winner.

Can You Eat Steel-Cut Oats Without Cooking Them?

Raw steel-cut oats are very hard, so you can’t really soak them the way you would do with rolled oats. They just don’t soften enough.

But there is still a way to prepare steel-cut oats without cooking them.

The trick is to soak them first in hot water and then place them in the fridge overnight. The hot water will speed up the process of soaking the oats, significantly reducing the required soaking time.

By the time you get up in the morning, the oats will have a nice chewy texture.

Why You Will Love This Recipe

A nourishing bowl of oats makes a delicious, hearty breakfast.

Here are a few reasons to try this easy recipe:

  • No-cook overnight steel-cut oatmeal is very easy to make. You don’t have to follow long recipes or learn complicated cooking techniques. Just put the ingredients together, mix them up a bit, and you are done.
  • It’s quick. Preparing the oats takes just a few minutes, so you won’t have to spend a long time in the kitchen.
  • Overnight steel-cut oats are portable. If you prefer to take your breakfast to work or school, overnight steel-cut oats are perfect for you because you can make them in mason jars or glass containers and then take them with you in the morning.
  • This recipe is very customizable. Once you know how to make the basic recipe, you can tailor it to your taste and dietary preference. For example, you can make them with different types of milk, such as cow’s or your favorite non-dairy milk. You can also experiment with adding your favorite oatmeal toppings (see below for some topping ideas).
  • Overnight steel-cut oats make a very healthy breakfast. Steel-cut oats are full of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and even fat. Adding chia seeds and other healthy toppings makes them a breakfast of champions.

Two jars with overnight steel cut oats topped with blueberries. A silver spoon is in one of the jars.

Ingredient Notes

Here is a brief overview of the ingredients you’ll need to make a batch of overnight steel-cut oats with chia seeds:

  • Steel-cut oats: Keep in mind that steel-cut oats are not the same as rolled oats (also known as traditional or old-fashioned oats). Steel-cut oats are less processed than rolled oats. They are also much harder and cook differently.
  • Chia seeds: One downside of no-cook overnight steel-cut oats is that they don’t get as creamy as regularly cooked steel-cut oatmeal. For this reason, I always add some chia seeds to overnight steel-cut oats. Chia seeds improve the mouthfeel of the dish by adding a subtle creamy texture. Chia seeds are also a nutritional powerhouse and will boost the nutritional benefits of the breakfast.
  • Milk: You can use any milk you like. Regular cow’s milk works perfectly for this recipe. Any non-dairy milk, such as coconut or almond milk, is also a great choice.

How to Make Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make overnight steel-cut oatmeal:

  1. Place the steel cut oats into a large bowl. You will need 1/4 cup of oats per portion. (Photo 1.)
  2. Carefully add boiling water to the bowl. The oats will swell quite a bit, so make sure that they are covered by at least 1 1/2 inches of water. The more portions you are making, the more water you will need. (Photo 2.)
  3. To keep the water warm longer, place a cover on the bowl. I just use a small plate because it fits perfectly over my bowl. Let the oats soak for at least one hour. (Photo 3.)
  4. Remove the cover and drain the oats. (Photo 4.)
  5. Divide the soaked oats equally between jars or glass containers. (Photo 5.)
  6. Add the chia seeds. You will need about 1 tablespoon per portion. (Photo 6.)
  7. Add your favorite non-dairy or cow’s milk, about 1/2 cup per portion, and mix to combine. Cover with a tight lid and place in the fridge overnight. (Photo 7.)
  8. Add your favorite toppings, such as nuts and fruits, before serving. (Photo 8.)

Collage of the step by step photos.

Recipe Video

Here is the recipe video to help you make it:



Here are a few ideas on how to customize this overnight steel-cut oats recipe with different toppings:


I don’t usually add any additional sweetener to my morning oatmeal because I find that with fruits and berries, it tastes sweet enough.

If you want it to taste sweeter, you can add a little bit of natural sweetener:

  • Maple syrup
  • Honey
  • Coconut sugar
  • Raisins
  • Dried dates

Topping Ideas

Toppings add flavor and nutrition to the overnight steel cut oats. Choose your favorite toppings or experiment with new ones.

There are so many combinations that you can create a new flavor every day.

Topping # 1 – Berries and Fruits:

I usually add about 1/2 cup of fresh berries or cut-up fresh fruit.

Here are some of my favorite fruits and berries to add to overnight steel cut oats:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Plums
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranates
  • Oranges
  • Mango
  • Kiwi
  • etc.

Topping # 2 – Nuts, Seeds, and Nut Butters:

Don’t forget to add some nuts or nut butter. I usually add about two tablespoons of chopped nuts or one tablespoon of nut butter:

  • Almonds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Almond Butter
  • Cashew Butter
  • Cacao Nibs
  • etc.

Overnight steel cut oats in two jars standing on a tea towel. Two silver spoons in front of the jars.


Store these overnight steel cut oats in the refrigerator in a glass jar with a tight lid. Consume within 48 hours

More Breakfast Recipes

If you are looking for healthy breakfast ideas, check out these recipes:

how to make overnight steel cut oats

How to Make Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Yield: 2 portions
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes

Very easy overnight steel cut oats recipe. No cooking required. Perfect for busy mornings.


  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup your favorite non-dairy or cow's milk


  • 1 cup of berries or cut up fruit
  • 2 Tbsp chopped nuts or 1 Tbsp nut butter


  1. Place the steel cut oats into a large bowl.
  2. Carefully add boiling water to the bowl making sure that the oats are covered by at least 1 1/2 inches of water.
  3. Place a cover on the bowl and let the oats soak for at least one hour.
  4. Remove the cover and drain the oats.
  5. Divide the soaked oats equally between 2 jars or glass containers.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon of the chia seeds to each jar.
  7. Add your favorite non-dairy or cow’s milk and mix to combine. Cover with a tight lid and place in the fridge overnight.
  8. Add your favorite toppings such as nuts and fruits before serving.


1. Consume within 48 hours.

2. Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 serving of the base recipe made with almond milk without any toppings or sweeteners.

Nutrition Information
Yield 2 portions Serving Size 1/2 of recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 184Total Fat 9.6gSaturated Fat 0.5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9.1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 25.5mgCarbohydrates 19.9gFiber 6.5gSugar 0.7gProtein 6.5g

Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.

Did you make this recipe?

If you tried this recipe, please give it a 5-star rating! To do this, click on the stars above. You can also leave a review or comment below. And don't forget to tag me if you share a picture on Instagram!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Tuesday 31st of July 2018

Do you use one cup of nondairy milk per portion, or half a cup? Both are stated in the recipe.

Maria Ushakova

Friday 17th of November 2023

@Kate, Oh, I see what you mean. Yes, there was a typo there. Thanks for catching it! The amounts in the recipe card are correct. So, the ratio per portion is 1/4 cup of steel cut oats, 1/2 cup of milk and 1 Tbsp of chia seeds.


Thursday 16th of November 2023

@Maria Ushakova, In your description above the recipe you state, one cup milk per 1/4 portion.

Maria Ushakova

Tuesday 31st of July 2018

Hi Amber! The recipe calls for 1 cup of milk which makes two portions of the oats. I am not sure where it says half a cup?


Friday 15th of December 2017

Is there supposed to be a lot of liquid in the morning? I found that nothing really dissolved into the milk overnight

Maria Ushakova

Friday 15th of December 2017

Hi Becky! Yes, there should be some liquid left. These oats are not the same consistency as cooked steel cut oats. This is why I add chia seeds to make them more creamy. It also depends on the quality of the steel cut oats you are using. One reader commented on pinterest that she puts less milk because she doesn't like too much liquid in the oats, so maybe try that?


Monday 12th of June 2017

those jars are precious!


Wednesday 16th of March 2016

To cook steel cut oats use this easy method.

Boil 4 cups water in heavy steel casserole dish that has a tight fitting lid. Once boiling rapidly add 1 cup steel cut oats. Return to fast boil and boil for 2 minutes. Place the tight fitting lid on the pot and leave to sit overnight.

In the morning remove oats to glass dish. Microwave warm enough for breakfast and put rest in fridge for next couple of days.

Easy as and delicious hot or cold. I add 1/2 cup thread coconut at cooking stage just for taste. Delicious and so good for you.


Wednesday 2nd of March 2016

Do u eat it cold?

Maria Ushakova

Thursday 3rd of March 2016

Hi Jessica! I think it tastes great cold or warm. I prefer it cold in summer but warm it up a bit in the winter time.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe