How to make overnight steel cut oats, no cooking required! Vegan and gluten free, with just 4 ingredients required and ready in just 5 minutes of meal prep.
After hearing about overnight steel cut oats in our Meal Prep Challenge Facebook Group, I thought I was hearing things wrong. Steel cut oats couldn’t possibly soften just by soaking, right? Wrong.
Well, kind of wrong.
These overnight steel cut oats do soften up in the fridge, but they are SO different in texture from traditional overnight oats, and also very different in texture to traditional steel cut oats. They soften but retain a really good chew to them….in fact, they remind me of a chewy muesli or granola.
I have tested these steel cut overnight oats with about a million different variables and can’t wait to share my findings with you!
Don’t forget to pin this recipe to save it for later!
How to make overnight steel cut oats
Just like traditional overnight oats, you are going to portion out your oatmeal into different containers. I like using 12.5 oz Weck Jars for my oats, but you can use pint sized mason jars or even plastic tupperware containers. I use 1/4 cup portions of steel cut oats per serving.
Next, you add your liquid. I tested this will almond milk and cow’s milk and actually found the almond milk to absorb slightly better. Not really sure why, maybe because it is slightly thinner?
Finally, add in some flavorings. For the basic recipe, I add a teaspoon of maple syrup and a tiny bit of vanilla extract. I/8 teaspoon is perfect.
Give them a good stir up (this is actually important, and in fact if you can give them another stir up after a few more hours, they will absorb even more liquid), and let the overnight steel cut oats sit in the fridge…overnight. You saw that coming, right? 😉
Enjoy cold, with toppings of your choice, and extra almond milk if desired.
Now let’s talk texture on these overnight steel cut oats, because I don’t want you to expect it to be like traditional steel cut oats, or even rolled oats. It is much chewier!
I found the texture to be the best after 2 days of soaking, but I also found that you could give the oats a head start by soaking the oats with boiling water, before draining and adding the almond milk. 5-10 minutes helps, but one hour is best.
But honestly, I happily chowed down on my overnight steel cut oats on day 1, despite the extra bit of chew.
Overnight steel cut oats recipe FAQ:
1. Can I use instant steel cut oats for this recipe? NO. Unfortunately, instant steel cut oats will give you one big jar full of mush after sitting overnight. Not good at all.
2. How can I make this recipe thicker? Two ways: you can add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (pictured above; and increase the almond milk to 3/4 cup), or you can add 1/4-1/2 cup yogurt (I recommend adding the yogurt after day 2 of soaking as it seemed to hinder the steel cut oats from absorbing the almond milk).
3. What kind of toppings go with these overnight steel cut oats? Anything and everything! I tried it with peanut butter, blueberries, almonds, frozen berries, mini chocolate chips, pumpkin puree, apple sauce, yogurt, fresh fruit of any kind, protein powder, etc etc etc.
4. How can I make these steel cut overnight oats more filling? You can add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (plus an extra 1/4 cup of almond milk), 1-2 tablespoons of nut butter, and/or a bit of protein powder would not be a bad idea either!
5. These overnight steel cut oats are too chewy! How can I soften them? The texture softens quite a bit after day 2, but if you want to speed things up you can pre-soak the oats in boiling water. I soaked mine for 5 minutes, but the longer the better, even up to 1 hour! Drain before and portioning out with the almond milk etc.
Tips & equipment for steel cut overnight oats
- I love these 12.5 oz Weck Jars, but you could use pint sized mason jars or plastic storage containers
- Make sure you don’t accidentally grab instant steel cut oats!
- looking for more oatmeal recipes? Check out this post with 7 Healthy Steel Cut Oats recipes, or this Fruit on the Bottom Overnight Oats recipe.
Overnight Steel Cut Oats
- 1 cup steel cut oats (NOT instant steel cut oats!)
- 2 cups almond milk (see *)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 teaspoons maple syrup
- In four 1.5 cup jars, measure out: 1/4 cup steel cut oats, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon maple syrup.
- Stir up and refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours. Oats are best after 48 hours.
- Stir up and enjoy cold as is, or with extra toppings such as fresh berries, yogurt, seeds, nut butter etc.