Easy Overnight Steel Cut Oats (Make Ahead Breakfast)

Overnight Steel Cut Oats are an excellent breakfast idea for busy mornings. This recipe is made with a base of quick cooking steel cut oats, chia seeds, and almond milk.

This is a great basic overnight steel cut oatmeal recipe that you can make your own with add-ins. Get inspired by our other flavors: peanut butter overnight oats, apple cinnamon overnight oats, and chocolate chia overnight oats.

Overnight Steel Cut Oats in bowl.

Oatmeal fans, today we are taking overnight oats to the next level with a never-before-seen recipe on FFF –> Overnight Oats with Steel Cut Oats!

What are overnight steel cut oats?

Overnight steel cut oats are very similar to classic overnight oats, but have a little bit more of a bite to them and all the same benefits. They are made by soaking quick cooking steel cut oats in almond milk and other ingredients for a no-bake oatmeal recipe.

Can I use regular steel cut oats instead of quick cooking steel cut oats?

The burning question for overnight steel cut oats is: can I swap the quick cooking steel cut oats for normal steel cut oats and vice versa? The answer is YES, however, we 100% prefer quick cooking steel cut oats over normal steel cut oats because the texture is better.

Whole steel cut oats are much less processed than quick cooking, however, they do have a lot more of “a bite.”

Lots of people end up microwaving their overnight steel cut oats for a minute or two before placing in the refrigerator overnight to soak so that it has a creamier consistency.

Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats in a bag.

Ratio for Overnight Steel Cut Oats

The process of making overnight steel cut oatmeal is so easy! It’s all about your liquid to oats to chia seed ratio in order to get the perfect texture.

How to Thicken or Thin Your Oats

While we think the 1 cup to 1 tablespoon to 2 cups ratio of oats to chia seeds to almond milk is just perfect, here is how to thicken or thin your oats:

  • Thicken: to thicken your oats before serving, you can add Greek yogurt or a little bit more oatmeal.
  • Thin: the easiest way to thin your oats is by adding more liquid. We recommend adding it by the tablespoon.


Can you eat steel cut oats without cooking them?

For this recipe, if you are using traditional steel cut oats we recommend microwaving this recipe for one minute before soaking them in the refrigerator overnight.

What is the difference between steel cut oats and rolled oats? 

Steel cut oats are a less processed form of oat groats where they are simply just sliced. Rolled oats, on the other hand, are a more processed form of oat groats where they are steamed and pressed so that the oats cook faster.

Can you soak rolled oats overnight? 

Classic overnight oats are the process of soaking rolled oats in a liquid overnight in order to soften them enough to digest without cooking.

Are steel cut oats better? 

Steel cut oats are necessarily better than all of the other oats, but they are less processed than quick cooking and rolled oats.

Oats in Pyrex.

Steel Cut Overnight Oats Variations

Once you’ve got your base figured out, you can add other things such as maple syrup, ground cinnamon, and vanilla extract.

If you’d like a little more protein in your overnight steel cut oats, you can even add things such as Greek yogurt and/or protein powder! Here are some flavor ideas:

Lemon Cheesecake: add a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt and about 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon zest.

Peanut Butter Banana: mash about 1/2 a banana before adding the rest of the overnight steel cut oats ingredients and then add 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: mix in 2 tablespoons of cashew butter and 1 tablespoon of mini chocolate chips. This tastes like dessert for breakfast.

Carrot Cake: grate about 2 tablespoons of carrot and add a pinch of nutmeg and ginger (there’s already cinnamon in the recipe). You can top it with vanilla Greek yogurt for “frosting.”



We recommend storing your overnight steel cut oats in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This specific recipe should last you up to 5 days, so feel free to double or triple it if you are meal-prepping!

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

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