How To Make Creamy Make-Ahead Steel-Cut Oatmeal

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Do you eat steel-cut oats for breakfast? This time of year I turn to them gladly; there’s nothing like a bowl of hot, tender, pearly oats, all creamy and delicious. Steel-cut oats take a little longer to cook than rolled oats, but that’s not a problem. Set them up the night before and you’ll have hot oatmeal in the morning almost instantly. It takes only two or three minutes to heat them up. Here’s how I prep my oatmeal the night before.

Creamy Make-Ahead Oatmeal: Watch the Video

One Pot to Last All Week

I call for one cup of oats here. This will make enough for three to five servings. Remember: When you make steel-cut oats you really should make enough for a whole week, or at least several days. Unlike gluey, sticky rolled-oat oatmeal, steel-cut oatmeal is great when reheated the next day. It just gets creamier — not ickier.

So make a big pot and eat out of it all week.

More on Steel-Cut Oats

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How To Cook Steel-Cut Oats for Breakfast the Night Before



  • 1 teaspoon

    butter or olive oil

  • 1 cup

    steel-cut oats

  • 3 cups


  • Pinch salt

  • 1 cup

    milk (optional)


  • 2-quart saucepan


  1. Measure out the oats. Start this the night before you want to have steel-cut oatmeal. Measure out your oats.

  2. Toast the oats. Heat the butter or oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the oats and fry them until they start smelling toasty, about 3 minutes.

  3. Add the water and salt. Stir in the water and salt. Bring to a rolling boil.

  4. Cover and let it sit overnight. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Leave it on the stove, and go to bed!

  5. Reheat the oatmeal the next morning. The next morning, uncover the pan and bring the oatmeal back up to a simmer. If you would like thinner and creamier oatmeal, stir in a cup of milk before reheating. When the oatmeal is warm, scoop out and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Storage: Cover and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 5 days. Reheat leftovers in just the same way: warm up on the stove, or in a bowl in the microwave.