Food & Drink Magazine

7 Healthy Steel Cut Oats Recipes (Crock Pot, Instant Pot, Stove Top)

By Sweetpeasandsaffron

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

7 Healthy Steel Cut Oats Recipes (Crock Pot, Instant Pot, Stove Top)

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top!  Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

Yay!  I’m so happy to be back doing one of my favorite posts — of the epic variety 😉

If you’re new around here, I love taking a type of easy meal prep recipe and sharing seven different flavor varieties, so we never have to be bored with breakfast/lunch/dinner.  Check out my last one: 7 Freezable Chicken Marinades!

This month, we are talking oatmeal.  Steel cut oats to be specific, because to be honest, it’s the only kind I will eat.  I know there’ s a ton of hype about overnight oats, and rolled oats in general but I just can never get past that texture.

Steel cut oats?  That’s a whole different matter.  They are not soggy at all.  Steel cut oats have a much….chewier texture, which is perfect for cooking ahead and re-heating for several days.

The downside of steel cut oats would definitely be the effort involved.  They take 30-ish minutes to cook on the stove-top, and often you do have to babysit them so they don’t burn/boil over.  That was a bit of a turn off for me, until I discovered you can cook them in the Instant Pot.  Now I don’t cook them any other way!

7 Healthy Steel Cut Oats Recipes (Crock Pot, Instant Pot, Stove Top)

Alright, friends, pictured above, you have three options to cook these oats.

A) The Instant Pot: just in case you’ve been under a rock, it’s an electric pressure cooker, and it happens to be my all-time favorite way to cook steel cut oats.  No babysitting, just set it and continue on with your other prep recipes.  I do 10 minutes manual high pressure followed by 10 minutes of natural pressure release (translation: unplug the Instant Pot).  Then you release any remaining pressure and are rewarded with perfectly cooked steel cut oats.

  • ratio: 1 cup oats, 3 cups water
  • time: 10 minutes high pressure, 10 minutes natural pressure release

B) The Slow Cooker: OK, not my favorite method.  Why?  Because I can’t get it to work.  I have tried in my 5 quart and my 2.5 quart crock pots, using different ratios of water, spraying the inside with cooking oil first, and every time: oatmeal burned onto the side of my crock pot, requiring hours of soaking and scrubbing.

HOWEVER, many people swear by this method, so I suspect it really depends on your slow cooker model (mine definitely cooks on the hotter side).  You could also try using slow cooker liners, but this goes against my New Year’s Resolution of reducing my plastic waste in the kitchen.  My good friend Marcie at Flavor the Moments has some great tips for using your slow cooker to cook steel cut oats.  I have included instructions based on highly rated recipes I’ve seen on the internet.

  • ratio: 1 cup oats, 4 cups water
  • time: low, 6-8 hours

C) Stove Top:  You can absolutely, 100% use a pot.  No problems whatsoever, but I will warn you that you’re going to need to keep an eye on your pot to make sure it doesn’t boil over, and near the end you’re going to need to stir frequently.

  • ratio: 1 cup oats, 4 cups water
  • time: simmer for 25-35 minutes (I prefer 25 minutes to make ahead because they soften over time in the fridge)
  • method: add oats to boiling water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently for 25-35 minutes

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

Storing your steel cut oats:

The best thing about these oats is how amazingly well they keep!  Here are two ways you can store your steel cut oats:

  1. In the fridge: I keep mine up to 4 days in the fridge, in individual portions.  They firm up quite a bit, so when re-heating, I add a splash of milk, which really helps them ‘loosen up’.
  2. In the freezer: portion out your steel cut oats into a lightly greased muffin tin.  Freeze till solid, then allow to sit on the counter for 10 or so minutes.  Slipping a knife into the muffin tin should pop the steel cut oats right out and you can store them in a large freezer bag or other storage container.
    To re-heat, heat in 30 second increments in the microwave with a splash of milk.  Heat for several minutes until thawed all the way through.

7 Healthy Steel Cut Oats Recipes

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

First, the base recipe.  Steel cut oats + water + maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla.  Add your maple syrup to taste, if you like it really sweet, you’re going to want more!  Top with your favorite fruit, nuts, chia seeds, hemp hearts, you name it.  You can totally make this recipe your own!

Steel Cut Oats (Base Recipe)   Print Author: Denise Serves: 4 Ingredients
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 (Instant Pot) or 4 (slow cooker, stove-top) cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
After cooking
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or more to taste).
Instructions Instant Pot
  1. Stir together the steel cut oats, water, vanilla extract and cinnamon.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, followed by natural pressure release (aka: unplug your Instant Pot).
  3. Remove lid and stir in the maple syrup.
Slow Cooker:
  1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray or use a slow cooker liner.
  2. Stir together the steel cut oats, water, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Stir in the maple syrup.
Stove Top:
  1. Heat water in a medium pot until boiling.
  2. Add the steel cut oats, vanilla extract and cinnamon, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25-35 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup.
Notes Nutritional Information: 1/4 batch
Calories 161 // Total Fat 1 g // Saturated Fat 0 g // Cholesterol 0 mg // Sodium 1 mg // Carbohydrate 31 g // Fiber 7 g // Sugars 6 g // Protein 6 g 3.5.3226

1. Maple Apple Steel Cut Oats

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

If this one looks familiar, it’s because I published it back in the fall, and it was even part of our Breakfast Prep Challenge.  This recipe swaps one of the cups of water with unsweetened applesauce for an extra dose of apple flavor and extra creamy steel cut oats!  The maple extract is optional; it adds a touch of maple flavor, but is delicious without.

Maple Apple Steel Cut Oats   Print Author: Denise Serves: 4 Ingredients
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 cups water (3-4 cups for slow cooker and stove top; 4= creamier)
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 large apple, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons maple extract (optional)
After cooking
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or more to taste)
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
Instructions Instant Pot
  1. Stir together the steel cut oats, water, apple sauce, apple, cinnamon, cardamom, and maple extract.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, followed by natural pressure release (aka: unplug your Instant Pot).
  3. Remove lid and stir in the maple syrup and chopped pecans.
Slow Cooker:
  1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray or use a slow cooker liner.
  2. Stir together the steel cut oats, water, apple sauce, apple, cinnamon, cardamom, and maple extract. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Stir in the maple syrup and chopped pecans
Stove Top:
  1. Heat water in a medium pot until boiling.
  2. Add the steel cut oats, water, apple sauce, apple, cinnamon, cardamom, and maple extract, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25-35 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup and chopped pecans.
Notes Nutritional Information: ¼ batch
Calories 257 // Fat 8 g // Saturated Fat 1 g // Cholesterol 0 mg // Sodium 13 mg // Carbohydrate 41 g // Fiber 7 g // Sugars 16 g // Protein 7 g 3.5.3226

2. Spiced Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

Another familiar face!  These spiced pumpkin steel cut oats were originally published back in the fall but I just couldn’t leave them out of this collection because they are oh so tasty.  Pumpkin puree plus all the delicious spices you’ll find in pumpkin pie will have your kitchen smelling amazing.  Add a grated or chopped apple for an extra boost of fruit.

Spiced Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats   Print Author: Denise Serves: 4 Ingredients
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 cups water (3-4 cups for slow cooker and stove top; 4= creamier)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 apple, peeled and grated with the fine part of a box grater
After cooking
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or more to sweeten)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds/pepitas (optional)
Instructions Instant Pot
  1. Stir together the steel cut oats, water, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla extract and grated apple.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, followed by natural pressure release (aka: unplug your Instant Pot).
  3. Remove lid and stir in the maple syrup; top with pepitas.
Slow Cooker:
  1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray or use a slow cooker liner.
  2. Stir together the steel cut oats, water, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla extract and grated apple. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Stir in the maple syrup; top with pepitas.
Stove Top:
  1. Heat water in a medium pot until boiling.
  2. Add the steel cut oats, water, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla extract and grated apple, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25-35 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup; top with pepitas.
Notes Nutritional Information: ¼ batch
Calories 221 // Fat 3 g // Saturated Fat 0 g // Cholesterol 0 mg // Sodium 4 mg // Carbohydrate 39 g // Fiber 8 g // Sugars 12 g // Protein 8 g 3.5.3226

3. Blueberry Lemon Steel Cut Oats

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

This recipe is so simple and SO tasty!  I stir in the lemon zest at the very end so it doesn’t get bitter during cooking.  Add chia seeds to taste, fresh for a little crunch.  Perfectly light and slightly sweet, the perfect way to start your day.

Blueberry Lemon Steel Cut Oats   Print Author: Denise Serves: 4 Ingredients
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 cups water (3-4 cups for slow cooker and stove top; 4= creamier)
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
After cooking:
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1-2 cups blueberries
  • chia seeds
Instructions Instant Pot
  1. Stir together the steel cut oats, water, applesauce, and vanilla.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, followed by natural pressure release (aka: unplug your Instant Pot).
  3. Remove lid and stir in the maple syrup and lemon zest. Top with blueberries and chia seeds.
Slow Cooker:
  1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray or use a slow cooker liner.
  2. Stir together the steel cut oats, water, applesauce, and vanilla. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Stir in the maple syrup and lemon zest. Top with blueberries and chia seeds.
Stove Top:
  1. Heat water in a medium pot until boiling.
  2. Add the steel cut oats, water, applesauce, and vanilla, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25-35 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup and lemon zest. Top with blueberries and chia seeds.
Notes Nutritional Information: ¼ batch, excludes chia seeds
Calories 208 // Fat 1 g // Saturated Fat 0 g // Cholesterol 0 mg // Sodium 6 mg // Carbohydrate 42 g // Fiber 7 g // Sugars 16 g // Protein 6 g 3.5.3226

4. Peanut Butter Chocolate Steel Cut Oats

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

These chocolate peanut butter steel cut oats are deceptively healthy!  Peanut butter gives a boost of extra protein, and you can feel free to swap it out with your favorite nut butter.  This steel cut oats recipe benefits from a little bit of extra maple syrup…adjust to your tastes.  Top with raspberries, strawberries, or sliced banana.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Steel Cut Oats   Print Author: Denise Serves: 5 Ingredients
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 (Instant Pot) or 4 (slow cooker, stove-top) cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
After cooking:
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1-2 cups berries (fresh or frozen)
  • chia seeds
Instructions Instant Pot
  1. Stir together the steel cut oats, water, vanilla, cocoa powder and cinnamon.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, followed by natural pressure release (aka: unplug your Instant Pot).
  3. Remove lid and stir in the peanut butter and maple syrup. Top with raspberries or strawberries and sprinkle with chia seeds.
Slow Cooker:
  1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray or use a slow cooker liner.
  2. Stir together the steel cut oats, water, vanilla, cocoa powder and cinnamon. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Stir in the peanut butter and maple syrup. Top with raspberries or strawberries and sprinkle with chia seeds.
Stove Top:
  1. Heat water in a medium pot until boiling.
  2. Add the steel cut oats, water, vanilla, cocoa powder and cinnamon, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25-35 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and maple syrup. Top with raspberries or strawberries and sprinkle with chia seeds.
Notes Nutritional Information: ¼ batch, chia seeds excluded
Calories 233 // Fat 6 g // Saturated Fat 1 g // Cholesterol 0 mg // Sodium 42 mg // Carbohydrate 39 g // Fiber 8 g // Sugars 11 g // Protein 8 g 3.5.3226

5. Coconut Key Lime Steel Cut Oats

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

These coconut key lime steel cut oats are the best way to bring some tropical flavors to your morning!  A touch of key lime zest plus some toasted coconut goes perfectly with kiwi or strawberries.  If you want to add some coconut milk to the mix, try this recipe from Shutterbean, which replaces 1 cup of water with a can of coconut milk!

Coconut Key Lime Steel Cut Oats   Print Author: Denise Serves: 4 Ingredients
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 (Instant Pot) or 4 (slow cooker, stove-top) cups water
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
After cooking
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon key lime zest
  • 1-2 cups strawberries, kiwis or pineapple
  • ¼ cup toasted coconut to garnish
Instructions Instant Pot
  1. Stir together the steel cut oats, water, and coconut extract.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, followed by natural pressure release (aka: unplug your Instant Pot).
  3. Remove lid and stir in the maple syrup and key lime zest. Top with kiwis, strawberries or pineapple chunks along with the toasted coconut.
Slow Cooker:
  1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray or use a slow cooker liner.
  2. Stir together the steel cut oats, water, and coconut extract. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Stir in the maple syrup and key lime zest. Top with kiwis, strawberries or pineapple chunks along with the toasted coconut.
Stove Top:
  1. Heat water in a medium pot until boiling.
  2. Add the steel cut oats, water, and coconut extract, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25-35 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup and key lime zest. Top with kiwis, strawberries or pineapple chunks along with the toasted coconut.
Notes Nutritional Information: ¼ batch
Calories 232 // Fat 12 g // Saturated Fat 8 g // Cholesterol 0 mg // Sodium 39 mg // Carbohydrate 29 g // Fiber 7 g // Sugars 11 g // Protein 4 g 3.5.3226

6. Zucchini Chocolate Chip Steel Cut Oats

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

Zucchini season will soon be upon us and we will be trying to put zucchini in everything we possibly can…so why not start with your breakfast?  I used 1 cup of shredded zucchini here (be sure to finely shred it), but you could push it even further!  Combined with cinnamon and chocolate chips, it tastes very similar to zucchini bread.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Steel Cut Oats   Print Author: Denise Serves: 4 Ingredients
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 cup water (3-4 cups for slow cooker and stove top; 4= creamier)
  • 1 cup applesauce (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
After cooking:
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (drained of excess liquid)
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips
Instructions Instant Pot
  1. Stir together the steel cut oats, water, applesauce, vanilla extract and cinnamon.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, followed by natural pressure release (aka: unplug your Instant Pot).
  3. Remove lid and stir in the maple syrup and shredded zucchini. Top with chocolate chips.
Slow Cooker:
  1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray or use a slow cooker liner.
  2. Stir together the steel cut oats, water, applesauce, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Stir in the maple syrup and shredded zucchini. Top with chocolate chips.
Stove Top:
  1. Heat water in a medium pot until boiling.
  2. Add the steel cut oats, water, applesauce, vanilla extract and cinnamon, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25-35 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup and shredded zucchini. Top with chocolate chips..
Notes Nutritional Information: 1/4 batch
Calories 271 // Fat 5 g // Saturated Fat 3 g // Cholesterol 0 mg // Sodium 9 mg // Carbohydrate 48 g // Fiber 9 g // Sugars 19 g // Protein 8 g 3.5.3226

7. Strawberry Chai Steel Cut Oats

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.

7 healthy steel cut oats recipes: make these guys in the Crock Pot, Instant Pot or on your stove top! Steel cut oats are easy to make ahead and store in your fridge and freezer for an effortless breakfast during the week.  

Berries & chai are an unusual but delicious flavor combination!  I use this chai spice baking blend, but you can make your own!  I've used this one in the past.

Strawberry Vanilla Chai Steel Cut Oats   Print Author: Denise Serves: 4 Ingredients
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 (Instant Pot) or 4 (slow cooker, stove-top) cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon chai spice blend (*see note)
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
After cooking:
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1-2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
Instructions Instant Pot
  1. Stir together the steel cut oats, water, vanilla extract, chai spice blend, and strawberries.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, followed by natural pressure release (aka: unplug your Instant Pot).
  3. Remove lid and stir in the maple syrup. Top with additional strawberries.
Slow Cooker:
  1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray or use a slow cooker liner.
  2. Stir together the steel cut oats, water, vanilla extract, chai spice blend, and strawberries. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  3. Stir in the maple syrup. Top with additional strawberries.
Stove Top:
  1. Heat water in a medium pot until boiling.
  2. Add the steel cut oats, water, vanilla extract, chai spice blend, and strawberries, and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25-35 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup. Top with additional strawberries.
Notes Nutritional Information: ¼ batch
Calories 183 // Fat 1 g // Saturated Fat 0 g // Cholesterol 0 mg // Sodium 2 mg // Carbohydrate 36 g // Fiber 6 g // Sugars 11 g // Protein 7 g
I've made my own chai spice blend using this recipe in the past. 3.5.3226

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