Overnight Oatmeal

Overnight Oatmeal

65 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, Winter 2004

Here is an easy way to serve a crowd a hearty breakfast before facing the elements for a day of winter sports. You can assemble it in the slow cooker in the evening and wake up to a bowl of hot, nourishing oatmeal. The slow cooker eliminates the need for constant stirring and ensures an exceptionally creamy consistency. It is important to use steel-cut oats; old-fashioned oats become too soft during slow-cooking.

Ingredients 8 servings

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Original recipe yields 8 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups steel-cut oats, (see Ingredient note)
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup dried apricots, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Combine water, oats, dried cranberries, dried apricots and salt in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Turn heat to low. Put the lid on and cook until the oats are tender and the porridge is creamy, 7 to 8 hours.
  2. Stovetop Variation
  3. Halve the above recipe to accommodate the size of most double boilers: Combine 4 cups water, 1 cup steel-cut oats, 3 tablespoons dried cranberries, 3 tablespoons dried apricots and ⅛ teaspoon salt in the top of a double boiler. Cover and cook over boiling water for about 1½ hours, checking the water level in the bottom of the double boiler from time to time.
  • Ingredient Note: Steel-cut oats, sometimes labeled “Irish oatmeal,” look like small pebbles. They are toasted oat groats—the oat kernel that has been removed from the husk—that have been cut in 2 or 3 pieces. Do not substitute regular rolled oats, which have a shorter cooking time, in the slow-cooker oatmeal recipe.
  • For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.
  • People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use oats that are labeled “gluten-free,” as oats are often cross-contaminated with wheat and barley.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Per serving: 188 calories; 3 g fat(0 g sat); 9 g fiber; 34 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 0 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 6 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 225 IU vitamin A; 0 mg vitamin C; 30 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 80 mg sodium; 197 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2 starch, ½ fruit

Reviews 65

January 28, 2019
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By: D.c. Will
Bland glue. 10 year old said it best: "It's like eating chewy hot water." What a waste.
January 23, 2017
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By: Lucy M. Casale
I tried this recipe out last night. Put it in my slow-cooker and woke up to a steaming bowl of yummy oatmeal. The apricot-cranberry combo is nice, but next time I might swap the apricots for another fruit.
November 17, 2015
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By: EatingWell User
To avoid clean-up, place oats and water in glass bowl or large glass 2 cup measuring cup. (You will probably have to half the recipe). Place in slow cooker and surround with a water bath to top of crockpot. Cover with lid and cook on low. We have found that 3 cups water and 3/4 cups oatmeal serves 4. We make this every night and awake to a delicious hot breakfast. After serving, The glass bowl goes right into the dishwasher. For just two or three, us a 2 cup glass measuring cup, 1.5 water with 3/8 c. oats or 2 cups water with 1/2 cup oats.
April 08, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
A Foul, Nasty Mess First, even on low setting, this was done in four hours. I can't recommend making this ahead of time for meals all week. What comes out of the refrigerator is a disgusting, congealed blob that tastes like glue. There was little hint of the fruit. I managed to eat an entire serving the first day, but just could force it down on the second day. The rest went down the disposal. Pros: Easy to prepare Cons: Flavorless
January 14, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
I agree with another comment about adding vanilla and cinnamon. I put the extras into individual containers I could heat at work if running late, or heat quickly in the morning. The extras lasted over a week when kept in the refrigerator. Not sure how it would do freezing.
November 12, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Super-easy delicious slow cooker oatmeal recipe This is a great, easy way to make steel-cut oats. Put it in the slow cooker the night before and wake up to a hot, healthy breakfast. MAKE SURE YOU SET YOUR SLOW COOKER TO LOW. I missed that part of the directions and cooked it on high for an hour before I realized my mistake. It turned out fine, but only took 5 hours total because of the error. That may be why some people have experienced burning. I would suggest added some cinnamon. This recipe makes a lot, but you can save the leftovers and re-heat. Pros: Easy, yummy, healthy Cons: Makes a lot
June 17, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
how do i freeze and reheat? could i just use some granny smith apples (fresh) cut up, with some cinnamon, brown sugar, raw honey and raisins if i have them? would that work?
April 12, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Pumpkin oatmeal I add a can of canned pumpkins to my slowcooker steel cut oatmeal recipe. I also sprinkle in some pumpkin pie spice. It turns out delicious!! If I don't have pumpkins, I add chopped apples and some vanilla to the recipe. Both ideas turn out great. Pros: Delicious Cons: None
January 07, 2013
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By: KimMart
Perfect Oatmeal in 4 hours I agree with other reviewers that 8hrs will overcook/burn the oatmeal. Instead, it usually only takes about 4 hrs. I don't like traditional oatmeal (never have - it's too mushy), but these steel cut oats are great. I normally get a nice chewy consistency. I typically add flaxseed meal and a touch of syrup when I heat a bowl up....delicious! Pros: simple, easy, healthy, eat for a week
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