Learn how to make steel cut oats in a slow cooker, which results in a shockingly creamy porridge – with minimal dairy. All for $.21 per serving!

How to make steel cut oats in a slow cooker: The easiest way to make creamy steel cut oats. Cooks overnight.

One of the most affordable food items you can incorporate into your diet – if you want to save money on food – is oats.

This goes for all types of oats: Quick, old-fashioned, and steel cut. 

My favorite of all is making steel cut oats in a slow cooker. Here’s why:

Minimal effort: This cooking method could not be easier. You simply place the ingredients in a slow cooker before bedtime, and 8 hours later you’re greeted with a Crock Pot full of warm, perfectly cooked steel cut oatmeal.

It’s super creamy: I can’t explain why, exactly, this cooking method results in really creamy oats. Once you taste it, you’ll be convinced the oats were slow cooked in heavy cream and butter, when in reality, all that was added was water and 2 tablespoons of butter.

It’s make-ahead: You can make a big batch of steel cut oats at the beginning of the week and eat it for several days. Just store refrigerated in a covered container, and eat cold or reheat in the microwave.

It’s cheap: This recipe is shockingly cheap to make. The entire recipe costs about $1.28, which works out to about 21 cents per serving.

  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats: $1.08
  • 2 tablespoons butter: $.20

Slow cooker steel cut oats: These delicious, creamy oats cook overnight. Add a variety of toppings!

Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats: The Method

While steel cut oats are great when cooked on the stovetop, cooking them in the slow cooker is my preferred method, for the reasons listed above.

Scroll down for detailed recipe, but here’s the process in a nutshell:

  • Slow cooker is coated with butter or non-stick cooking spray
  • Oats, water, salt, and butter are added to the slow cooker
  • The oats cook on low overnight (for 7 to 8 hours)
  • Give the oats a quick stir, and they’re ready to eat

Steel cut oats, made in the slow cooker. Add a variety of toppings for an incredibly cheap breakfast.

Topping And Serving Suggestions

These creamy steel cut oats can be eaten plain, but I prefer to eat them loaded with toppings and add-ins, such as:

  • Nuts: Sliced almonds, walnuts, pecans
  • Fruit: Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, apples, peaches
  • Nut (or non-nut) butters: Peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter
  • Sweetener: Honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, jam
  • Seeds: Chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Other toppings: cacao nibs, chocolate chips, cinnamon, dried cranberries


This is a basic recipe for making Crock Pot steel cut oats. Once you master how to make steel cut oats in a slow cooker, you can experiment with other similar recipes that incorporate additional ingredients and flavorings.

Slow cooker apple oatmeal is a variation on this recipe, calling for chopped apples, milk, and cinnamon.  This recipe incorporates banana, ground flaxseed, and vanilla.

How to make steel cut oats in a slow cooker: The easiest way to make creamy steel cut oats. Cooks overnight.

Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes

This is the best, basic recipe for slow cooker steel cut oats. No milk is needed, and if you're dairy free you can omit the butter.


  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Coat inside of slow cooker with butter - or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Pour oats, water, melted butter, and salt into crock. Stir.
  3. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  4. Once done cooking, give oats a good stir and serve warm, with desired toppings.

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