Overnight Steel Cut Oats – the cold cereal method

4 from 1 review

Overnight Steel Cut Oats - the cold cereal method, 3 ingredients and good for you!Raise your hand if sometimes you don’t want to get up and get breakfast going in the morning *raising hand.* Now raise your hand if you get up and do it anyways *still raising hand.* Great job Momma! It’s not always easy but we do it. Ok, ok, enough of that. We all know that pre-school is not always the calmest part of the day. Not only do people need nourishment that will last them until lunch (because there are no snacks in first grade, folks), but they also need shoes relocated (for the millionth time), hair brushed, and homework signed.

My go-to meals are eggs and toast (backyard chickens are the best), whole wheat waffles (because they need less babysitting than pancakes), or oatmeal. I try my best to avoid cold cereal on school mornings because it just doesn’t keep my kids full, but sometimes I totally give in to the ease of cold cereal. That stuff is a million dollar (billion even) market for a reason; it’s easy. So in an effort to have a cold cereal-type option, I started playing around with soaking steel cut oats overnight in the fridge. I figured out a great ratio after a few tries and we totally love it. I’ll make up a batch of these the night before bed, stick them in the fridge, and they are ready to eat in the morning. I make them in glass jars and screw on the lid for the fridge, and we don’t even dump it in a bowl. We just eat it right out of the jar in the morning (yay for fewer dishes). Sometimes the kids will add a spoonful of yogurt, berries, or a cut up banana. All options are delicious and overnight steel cut oats might even be easier than cold cereal!

The overnight steel cut oats soak up a lot of the milk during the night, but still have a nice light chewiness to them. Mmmm! You can see in the picture below how much the oats swell overnight. Neat huh!

And because these are in a glass jar with a lid, they are really easy to take on the go and eat in the car if you need to. Convenient real food at it’s best! Enjoy!


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Overnight Steel Cut Oats – the cold cereal method



  • 1/4 cup steel-cut oats, uncooked
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1 dash cinnamon, optional


  1. Add the oats to the bottom of a pint mason jar. If you are going to eat out of the jar, we like the wide-mouth jars the best. Add the milk and a dash of cinnamon. Fit the jar with the lid (the flat and the screw on band) and stick in the fridge for 8 to 12 hours. In the morning just open it up and eat it like you would a bowl of cold cereal.


This is the serving I make for my kids and I, but if you want more, just double it. It works great. Vanilla almond milk is very sweet, so it works well for this. If you’d prefer to use plain almond milk I would suggest adding some honey or maple syrup in the morning to give your cereal some sweetness.

Stirring in nuts, dried fruit, frozen berries, chopped banana, and/or yogurt are fun ways to change up this recipe.

I have made this with cows milk and it works fine too. Again, just add a bit of sweetener in the morning or else it’s very bland.


If you thought these overnight steel-cut oats looked tasty, you might also like these recipes:
Homemade Bagels
Healthy Coconut and Walnut Granola
Smoothie Making 101: Good Better and Best
Pumpkin Waffles with Caramel Syrup

Steel Cut Oats Cold Cereal Method

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38 Recipes for Busy Moms
16 Responses
  1. Donna

    I made this too. The oats were saturated and soft with still a bit of chewy ness to them but there was too much milk. I added some chia seeds but it wasn’t enough. I will make again just using less milk.

  2. KaraLee

    I followed you directions and the oats have been sitting in my fridge two days now and they haven’t soaked up any of the milk.

    1. Melissa

      That is so odd, but you aren’t the first person who has said this. I’d love to know what brand you are using so that I can do some testing!

  3. deb c

    These are really great! I actually prefer a little longer soak……24-36 hours is great, less is fine….more I fear they might start sprouting! Vanilla almond milk is yummy…..2% is not a problem either. The secret is the spice. I started with cinnamon as you suggested, but graduated to pie spice….oh my oh my….no sweetening needed. I also throw the jar into the microwave to knock off the chill, 40 seconds or so….. Definitely keeps me feeling more energized and fuller than Tony Tiger in the morning……but I will never give up Tony Tiger completely!

      1. My are pleasantly chewy and “toothsome” I would say. They are about like eating other whole cooked grains, so not hard but still chewy if that makes sense.

  4. Holly

    What am I doing wrong? Got up in the morning and the steel cut oats were the same consistency as they were when I put them in the previous evening. Solid on the bottom of the jar with the almond milk on top.

    1. Sad! I have no idea… most grains, no matter what just love to soak up moisture. I make them about once a week with this method and have had no issues. I’m going to have to think about this. What milk did you use and do you know the percent of milk fat it was??

      1. Holly

        I bought a whole almond milk 2.5 grams. Tried this 2 more times, heated it up for 10 minutes before going to bed and stirred it around. Same hard consistency with the milk on the top. I then microwaved it for another several minutes to be able to even eat it. Normally love steel cut oats and the flavor with the almond milk is delicious. Such a disappointment. Thanks for your help, do you thin it’s the steel cut oats? Unfortunately I have thrown the container away and have it in another glass jar. Purchased through Whole Foods.

        1. John

          I tried this 1:4 ratio and after 12 hours, the steel cut oats were still at the bottom of half water. I had to place on the stove in a pot for a half hour to get them right.

    2. Julie B

      Same thing happened here. Seems steel cut oats must, in fact, be cooked? I’ve deduced overnight/rolled/steel cut are all quite different.

  5. Susan Carroll

    Hot oatmeal needs a dash of salt to keep it from tasting flat. Do you ever add salt to your oats? We never add the amount of salt it says on the package, that much salt makes the oatmeal inedible.

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Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.

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