Stir together a few healthy ingredients in the crockpot, set it to cook overnight, and wake up to this nutritious Apple Steel Cut Oatmeal recipe to share with the whole family—babies and toddlers included. (With an easy stovetop option too.)

overnight steel cut oats with apples in pink and purple bowls

Easy Steel Cut Oatmeal Recipe

I’m always looking for new ways to make easy toddler breakfasts that the whole family will eat that don’t require a lot of work in the morning. With kids who get up at vastly different times (I have one early bird and one who sleeps and sleeps!), my own desire to drink a hot cup of coffee without reheating it over and overt, and juggling who knows what else each day, it’s breakfasts like this steel cut oats recipe.

You literally just need to stir the ingredients together (and okay, chop an apple), put the lid onto the slow cooker, and turn it on to cook. When you come down in the morning, it needs a quick stir but is otherwise ready to serve.

I’ve even been known to make this during the day, then stick it into an airtight container in the fridge for future mornings. It’s so nourishing and it tastes just sweet enough to appease the kids.

TIP: You can make this Sunday night and then warm it up throughout the week for quick and healthy meals. Or see the Notes for an easy stovetop version you can make right before you want to eat it.

Ingredients You Need

This steel cut oatmeal includes:

ingredients-in-steel-cut-oatmeal
  • Steel cut oats: Look for these in the cereal aisle in your supermarket. Steel cut oats are whole oat groats so they take longer to cook than rolled or instant oats (which are cut up).
  • Applesauce: You can use homemade or store-bought applesauce.
  • Apple: Any variety of apple works, though we prefer firmer cooking apples like Granny Smith or Pink Lady.
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla extract
  • Milk: You can use dairy or nondairy milk.

Step-by-Step Instructions

The process of making this steel cut oatmeal recipe is so easy. Here’s a look at the steps involved. Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full information.

ingredients-for-oatmeal-in-crock-pot
  1. Chop your apple and stir together with the rest of the ingredients into a slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low or high. (It’s okay if it sits on warm for a bit.)
  3. Remove cover and stir. Top with additional apples, a drizzle of honey or milk, or nuts, as desired.

TIP: I like to coat the inside of the slow cooker with butter to avoid sticking.

apple-slow-cooker-oatmeal-in-crock-pot

Can I make this Healthy Steel Cut Oatmeal on the stovetop?

Sure! Use the same ingredients and simmer over medium or medium-low for 25-35 minutes, stirring often (as the oats can stick to the bottom of the pan if you don’t stir regularly) or until soft. See the Notes at the bottom of the recipe for the full information.

Can I make this Apple Oatmeal dairy-free?

Absolutely! I like to use unsweetened soy or nut milk in this recipe and it works great. With all milks, you may see some separation when you take the lid off when the recipe is done, but just ignore it and give it a good stir and it’s ready to serve.

Is this a good baby oatmeal?

Yes! If you use unsweetened applesauce, there’s no added sugars and the texture is nicely smooth and soft for a baby. You may want to use a nondairy milk if your baby is under 1 and hasn’t started drinking dairy milk, but otherwise it’s an oatmeal that’s great for all ages.

(You may also like my Baby Cereal.)

steel cut oatmeal recipe with apples in three pink and purple bowls with baby bowl

How to Store

To store leftover steel cut oatmeal is to put them into an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 5 days. They will thicken slightly as they cool, so add a little water or milk when you heat them up and stir to create the desired consistency.

You can also stir cold oats into plain whole milk yogurt for another baby or toddler (or mama!) breakfast or snack. It’s sort of like overnight oats.

Best Tips for Success

  • Add a little water or milk when you heat them up and stir to create the desired consistency.
  • Use any apple you like such as Pink Lady, Jonathan, Cortland, or Granny Smith.
  • Use unsweetened applesauce and unsweetened nondairy milk if your baby is under 1.
  • To make this on the stovetop: Reduce the water by about a cup, and simmer over medium or medium-low for 25-35 minutes, stirring often (as the oats can stick to the bottom of the pan if you don’t stir regularly) or until soft.
  • To make this gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free steel cut oats.
  • Stir leftover cold oats into plain whole milk yogurt for another baby or toddler (or mama!) breakfast or snack.

Related Recipes

I’d love to hear if you make this recipe so please share your feedback in the comments below!

overnight steel cut oats with apples

Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal Recipe with Apples

You can make this overnight the and enjoy it for breakfast the following day, or make a whole batch ahead and eat it throughout the week. *To do this overnight, choose the LOW heat option and cook time.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 10 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Calories 237kcal
Servings 6 -8

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups milk (dairy or nondairy)
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup chopped apples (about 1 medium)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Chopped walnuts, cashews, nut butter, yogurt, and/or milk to top as desired

Instructions

  • Coat the bowl of the slow cooker with nonstick spray or rub with butter.
  • Stir together all ingredients into a 4-5 quart slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for about 3-4 hours. (It's okay if they sit on warm for a bit.)
  • Remove cover and stir.
  • Top with additional apples, a drizzle of honey or milk, or nuts, as desired.

Notes

  • Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Warm individual servings in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, adding milk or water to thin as needed. Add a little water or milk when you heat them up and stir to create the desired consistency.
  • Use any apple you like such as Pink Lady, Jonathan, Cortland, or Granny Smith.
  • Use unsweetened applesauce and unsweetened nondairy milk if your baby is under 1.
  • If there appears to be any separation after you take the lid off of the slow cooker, stir it well and it should resolve.
  • To make this on the stovetop: Add 5 cups of water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Add the oats, reduce to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the chopped apple, cinnamon, and vanilla, and simmer for another 15-20 minutes or until soft. Stir in a little applesauce and milk as desired to flavor. Stir often while cooking as the oats can stick to the bottom of the pan if you don’t stir regularly.
  • Gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free steel cut oats.
  • Stir leftover cold oats into plain whole milk yogurt for another baby or toddler (or mama!) breakfast or snack

Nutrition

Calories: 237kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 44mg, Potassium: 165mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 157IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 126mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is so easy to understand and looks so yummy. Even the information shared is so apt about steel cut oats and and it is very detailed. A perfect blog for steel cut oats. I would recommend this blog and the recipe to my friends and family.