Imagine waking up to the cozy scent of apples and cinnamon in the morning and breakfast ready to go. That’s exactly what you get with these Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats! These creamy, delicious crockpot steel cut oats are complete with tender chunks of apple, the warm flavor of cinnamon and are the easiest meal prep breakfast!

Crockpot steel cut oats in a bowl

**This recipe was originally published in October 2015. The photos have been updated, and the text has been modified to include more recipe information.

How often do you wake up to the cozy scent of apples and cinnamon? I’m thinking that the answer is never, and that my question has you intrigued.

The very possibility that breakfast is cooking while you sleep is almost a dream in itself. I think the only thing that would make it better is a pot of freshly brewed coffee as well.

That my friends is dreaming big. πŸ™‚

Coffee aside, these Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats cook all night while you dream away, and the scent alone might make you get up before your alarm goes off.

I’m a huge fan of steel cut oats for their hearty, chewy texture and have made them numerous ways. The refrigerator does the work for my overnight steel cut oats as they absorb the liquid and soften overnight. They’re not as cozy as this recipe, however, even if I warm them up.

My pumpkin baked steel cut oatmeal and quinoa oatmeal recipes are both cozy and comforting, but they don’t cook all night while I sleep. Overnight steel cut oats in the crockpot are the clear cut winner!

Crockpot steel cut oats in the slow cooker with apple slices on top

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Creamy, hearty steel cut oats are combined with tender chunks of apple and warm cinnamon spice for a breakfast that everyone will love.
  • Your slow cooker does the work so you don’t have to! Simply prep the ingredients the night before and your breakfast cooks overnight while you sleep.
  • Recipe is dairy and gluten-free, and includes only 5 ingredients.

Recipe ingredients

It doesn’t get better than apples and cinnamon, and these steel cut oats are reminiscent of apple pie! There are only 5 ingredients in this incredibly easy recipe, which can be customized any number of ways.

Slow cooker steel cut oats ingredients

Ingredient notes

  • Steel cut oats. These are made from whole oat groats, so they’re firmer and chewier in texture than rolled oats. Do not substitute the steel cut oats with quick cooking steel cut oats or rolled oats as they cook much more quickly.
  • Apples. Use baking apples such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp and Pink Lady in this recipe for best results as they hold their shape better. The apples will still be quite soft after 6-8 hours of cooking.
  • Milk. Any type of dairy or non-dairy milk will work perfectly in this recipe.
  • Maple syrup. I love maple syrup because it’s unrefined and has great flavor, but it may be substituted with your favorite sweetener.
  • Cinnamon. Ground cinnamon is the perfect compliment to the apples, but change things up with your favorite spices such as cardamom or my homemade chai spice!
Apple slow cooker steel cut oats in a bowl with sliced apples

How to make this recipe

Once you make steel cut oats in the crockpot you may never make them any other way. It takes mere minutes to prep the night before, and it does the work for you while you sleep.

Pro tip: When you make these slow cooker steel cut oats the first time, I suggest that you make them during the day and monitor how long it takes for them to cook to the best consistency for you.  The longer they cook, the crispier the edges get, and they can easily burn as well.  

I’ve made these several times, and highly recommend the following:

  • Spray the inside of the slow cooker generously with cooking spray to make clean-up easier
  • Use a slow cooker with a timer if it takes less time for the oats to cook than it does for you to wake up
  • If you prefer creamy oats with no crispy edges, you may want to line the inside of the slow cooker with a liner or foil.  The oats come out perfectly creamy this way!
How to make apple crockpot steel cut oats
  1. Spray the inside of the slow cooker generously with cooking spray. Place the diced apples in the bottom.
  2. Place the oats, milk, water, maple syrup, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl and stir to combine. Pour the oat mixture over the the apples.
  3. Cover and cook over low heat for 6-8 hours* or until the oats are cooked and the majority of the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Serve with additional milk if desired, and top with additional apples, cinnamon or your favorite toppings.
Wooden spoon digging into crockpot steel cut oats with apple

FAQs

Why are they called steel cut oats?

Steel cut oats are groats, which are the inner kernel of whole oats minus the outer hull. They are cut into 2-3 pieces, which is why they are referred to as steel-cut.

Can I substitute rolled oats for steel cut oats?

Rolled oats cook much more quickly than steel cut oats and require less liquid, so they can’t be used interchangeably.

Recipe notes

  • Pro tip: Cooking times will vary depending on your slow cooker. It’s best to cook the oats for the first time during the day so you know exactly how long it takes to get the perfect consistency for you. The oats get very crispy around the edges the longer they cook, and can even burn. Having a slow cooker with a timer is ideal if you sleep longer than the oats take to cook!
  • Cooking spray is a must as the oats stick to the sides of the slow cooker, making clean-up a chore. You can also use a slow cooker liner or foil.
  • This recipe makes enough for leftovers, which I store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in a microwave or pan on the stovetop with the milk of your choice.
Spoonful of slow cooker steel oats resting in a bowl

More oatmeal recipes you’ll love:

If you try this recipe I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and rating below or tag me at @flavorthemoments on Instagram!

Crockpot steel cut oats in a bowl

Apple Crockpot Steel Cut Oats

Apple Crockpot Steel Cut Oats are the easiest meal prep breakfast! They're wholesome and hearty with apples and cinnamon, and they're dairy and gluten-free!
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Ingredients

  • 2 medium apples cored, peeled, and cut into 1″ cubes (I like to use the Granny Smith and Pink Lady varieties)
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 2 cups almond milk or your favorite dairy or non dairy milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup or substitute with brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions 

  • Spray the inside of the slow cooker generously with cooking spray. Place the diced apples in the bottom.
  • Place the oats, milk, water, maple syrup, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl and stir to combine. Pour the oat mixture over the the apples.
  • Cover and cook over low heat for 6-8 hours* or until the oats are cooked and the majority of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Serve with additional milk if desired, and top with additional apples, cinnamon or your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Notes

  • *Cooking times will vary depending on your slow cooker. It’s best to cook the oats for the first time during the day so you know exactly how long it takes to get the perfect consistency for you. The oats get very crispy around the edges the longer they cook, and can even burn. Having a slow cooker with a timer is ideal if you sleep longer than the oats take to cook!
  • Cooking spray is a must as the oats stick to the sides of the slow cooker, making clean-up a chore. You can also use a slow cooker liner or foil.
  • This recipe makes enough for leftovers, which I store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in a microwave or pan on the stovetop with the milk of your choice.

Nutrition

Calories: 170kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 10mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 15g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!

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