One of my absolute, most favourite parts of winter is OATMEAL.  I know, I know.  I almost bored myself into a stupor with that sentence.  But as dull as a bowl of oatmeal might seem, you can’t ignore the stick to you ribs goodness of a pot of warm, creamy oatmeal on a snowy morning.  Or a chilly morning. Or a morning.

Skip right to the recipe.

It was my favourite as a kid too, but back then I wasn’t really eating oatmeal, I was eating instant Oatmeal in a packet with kid friendly flavours like Sugar & Sugar.  I think the official name for the flavour is Maple & Brown Sugar, but what that amounts to is sugar and sugar flavour, which I then topped off with a little extra sugar while my mother had her breakfast of a cigarette and cup of Sanka.

There are 3 types of Oatmeal

Steel cut oats – this is oat exactly how it comes off of the stalk of the Oat plant, but it’s been cut into smaller pieces.  Processed by roasting at a low temperature before sale for shelf stability.  Chewy.

Rolled oats – exactly what it sounds like.  Oat from the plant is cooked to soften it a bit, then rolled ’til it’s squished flat.  Processed by steaming then pressing flat.  Mushier than steel cut.

Instant oats – These are rolled oats that have been completely cooked and pressed even flatter than rolled oats.

Steel cut oats take the longest to cook (25-30 minutes), followed by rolled oats and lastly of course, the instant oats.

This weekend try making a big pot of overnight Steel Cut oatmeal.  It eliminates any time you need to stand around the stove stirring AND you end up with a big pot of oatmeal that you can dip into all week long.


I started making overnight oatmeal (as opposed to cooking up a pot in the morning) about a year ago and there are 2 reasons I love it so much.  The first being, overnight oatmeal has a creamier texture than oatmeal you’ve cooked for half an hour on the stove.  I assume this is because all of the water is absorbed into the oat mixture as opposed to simmering away into the air.

The second reason I love the overnight oatmeal is because you wake up, and breakfast is not only done, it’s ready and waiting on the stove for you.




The steps are easy.  Grab a pot, throw a pat of butter or coconut oil into the pot and let it melt.  Once it’s melted, throw in 1 cup of Steel Cut Oats and stir it all together.



Keep cooking and stirring until your oats smell toasty.  That’s my spurtle by the way. It’s the official stir stick  of the world of Oatmeal.  I got mine from Cattails Woodwork.


Once it’s all toasty, add a big pinch of salt.



Throw in 3 cups of water, and bring it to a rolling boil.



As soon as it boils ….



Turn the heat off and put a lid on the pot.  Then go to bed and dream sweet dreams.




In the morning when you remove the lid from the pot your oatmeal will be perfectly cooked and creamy, with just the right amount of bite left in the oat pieces.



Give it a stir and add a slosh of milk if you like (I like) and heat that pot back up.  Breakfast for the family is ready.



Or you can do what I do, which is portion the oatmeal into individual containers and keep them in the fridge.  In the morning you can just grab it and go.

I top my oatmeal with different things, but my go-to topping is red berries (strawberries or raspberries), chopped nuts like walnuts, pecans or almonds and a splash of Almond milk or regular milk.  To bring the whole thing to the next level I drizzle it with my homemade Maple Syrup, but a sprinkle of regular old store bought Maple Syrup would be exactly as good.

You just wouldn’t get the satisfaction of saying “Hey!  I made that maple syrup myself you know!”, to anyone who walked by while you were eating.

Also, don’t rule out good old brown sugar.  Sure it’s a bunch of white sugar with molasses added to it to church it up a bit, but you’re eating oatmeal for breakfast.  Who’s gonna yell at you for having a little brown sugar on it?  Not me.

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Overnight oatmeal creates a creamier, chewier version of Steel Cut Oats than regular simmering in a pot does. PLUS breakfast is served the second you wake up.
Course: Breakfast
Author: The Art of Doing Stuff
  • 1 cup Steel Cut Oats
  • 3 cups water
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp butter of coconut oil
  • Regular milk or Almond milk to taste.
  1. Melt 1 tsp. of butter of coconut oil in heavy bottom pot.
  2. Stir in 1 cup of Steel Cut Oats and cook until toasty smelling.
  3. Add 1 pinch of salt and 3 cups of water to pot and bring to boil.
  4. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, turn heat off and cover pot with lid.
  5. Leave on stove overnight.
  6. In the morning just stir in a bit of milk to loosen the mixture up a tiny bit, heat and serve.
  7. Makes enough for 4 medium servings.





So this is what I’m recommending you do this Sunday night.  Put your pajamas on, watch some television or listen to music.  Have some sex.  Wash your hands.  Then head into the kitchen to put on a pot of Overnight Oatmeal.

The coziest, most nostalgic way to make Monday morning bearable.

Have a great weekend!



  1. TucsonPatty says:

    I love the chewiness of the steel cut oats. I began cooking dried sweetened cranberries (also a red berry btw) with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg into the oats and it is delish. I love it and haven’t had it for a while. Got out of the habit, and thank you for the reminder!

  2. Alena says:

    That sounds like a lot of work. 😛
    I make in a small crockpot (also overnight), I put in just the steel-cut oatmeal and water. But I am sure butter or coconut oil would make it even better, I will try that.

    Today, I caught a rerun of two episodes of My House Your Money and immediately put aside what I was [supposed to be] doing. In spite of the extremely entitled-feeling kids I always loved the show because of your wisecracks.

  3. Karin says:

    I so love the IDEA of overnight oats….and so many people love them. The only time I tried them they tasted gummy and cold. I’m not sure I can get past that memory! Are they really ok cold? I’m sure the gummy part might have been my fault?.

  4. Catherine Naulin says:

    Love Oatmeal, and love my spurtle (Lee Valley) Definetely will try this recipe.

  5. Melissa says:

    Well, so much for going to bed, NOW I’m craving oatmeal!

    I’m from the south (Texas, to be exact), and as a child, we had hot oatmeal on a daily basis. Or, I should say, we had oatmeal with our sugar and butter! The more butter the better!

    Sweet memories! I’ll have to try your delish recipe!! I mean, it’s January and 80 degrees, so I’ll have to pretend to be cold by turning the AC on!

  6. Kath says:

    While I have to admit oatmeal is a pretty darn fascinating subject, all I really came looking for today was the skinny on your Valentines Day plans. How high are you gonna bid? I’m liquidating assets as I type this.

  7. Karen says:

    Well, you know what? Idris and I gave it our all a few years ago in my imagination and it didn’t end well. I have no reason to believe that it would be any different in real life. In fact in real life I wouldn’t even have an English accent or live in a French chateau so … it’d never work. ~ karen!

  8. Karen says:

    Ha! It’s not all that cold here either, but that’s just a fluke. It’ll be cold again soon enough. ~ karen!

  9. Gayle M says:

    Our breakfast de semaine lately has been equal parts fruit, cottage cheese, and oatmeal. (Don’t knock it til you try it. Gives you a bit of protein that helps those oats stick to your ribs.) I never have eaten oatmeal made with water (because I gag on it and it just won’t go down). My mother always made it with milk–soooo creamy and yummy with a pat of butter and a touch of sugar. Sweet memories.

  10. Alyssa says:

    Ooh, I will be trying this! I tried mine in the crockpot and it crusted to the sides, even on warm overnight. Not appetizing. I get a large bag of Bob’s red mill from Costco, they are “quick cooking steel cut oats” and my favourite. Much heartier than quick oats. I’ve been experimenting with flavours, and while I will always have a special place in my heart for cinnamon and raisins, we also really love coconut oil, coconut flakes and orange zest, and a touch of nutmeg. Cheers to oatmeal!

  11. Mark says:

    This! I shall try this weekend.

    I make oatmeal for one of my dogs every morning – he’s a fussy eater but he loves his porridge. It was a suggestion from the vet because he is a fussy eater.

  12. Karen says:

    My chickens love oatmeal too! I make it for them on really cold days with raisins. 🙂 ~ karen!

  13. RachelSD says:

    Okay, okay, you convinced me! I always walk by the barrel of bulk steel cut oats and buy rolled oats instead to make stovetop oatmeal for my toddler (oats, water, milk, tons of cinnamon, and a banana stirred in), but this sounds yummy and a good way to cut down on the time it takes to cook the steel cut oats. Have you ever tried cooking steel cut oats in a pressure cooker? I’m still too chicken to use my new pressure cooker for anything but making beans. 🙁

  14. TucsonPatty says:

    Nonono, reheat them!

  15. Robert says:

    A few years ago you were also swearing you would NEVER even try brussel sprouts in any way or shape and just a few months ago you even gave us a recipe!
    Things change

  16. Teri says:

    Ya, ya. Oatmeal. Me ‘n’ Bob’s Red Mill are old pals. Big pot, store in fridge. Nuke as required. Done and done. Your other Sunday Evening recommendations caught my attention…

  17. Sherry in Alaska says:

    Hey, will you just eat your oatmeal and skip the weather boasting? Warm here too at
    + 2 F and rubbing in your AC problem is not funny. 🙂

  18. Sherry in Alaska says:

    Tried steel cut oats once. They were rancid and no fun. Waiting to try them again. Love rolled oats oatmeal. Cook in already boiling salted water adding more oats than the recipe calls for. Cook & stir about a minute. Turn to low. Cover. Cook a bit more. Turn off. Wait a bit. Spoon into bowl. Top with turbinado sugar and sliced bananas and drizzle heavy cream into the bowl. YUM!

  19. maggie van sickle says:

    Love, love steel cut oats and eat them all winter with my favourite topping. Blueberries are the trick, no milk , no sugar. I will try the overnite method. Thanks Karen have a great weekend.

  20. Jenny W says:

    Wash your hands after sex – that is all I have to say 🙂

  21. Sandra Lea says:

    I love this idea of coconut, orange zest and nutmeg. Definitely trying it this weekend. Thanks!

  22. lori says:

    spurtle is my new favourite word!

  23. Danni says:

    Love steel cut oats and have done a version of overnight, but never toasted them first. THAT needs to be added to my recipe pronto!

  24. Marilyn says:

    Yummy I do mine in the slow cooker. But I may try this too.

  25. Donna Horne says:

    We seniors have our big meal at noon sooooo oatmeal is often on the menu for the evening meal, with cream and brown sugar—comfort food.

  26. Thera says:

    Does it have to be Steel Cut oats? I have a huge jar of Instant oats I would love to use up.

  27. Kim C says:

    Ahhh, the little packets of sugared up oats, Sanka and cigarettes…And my Mum in a thin zippered robe and the cold vinyl kitchen chair.
    Fellow ’70s sister here. ?

  28. ronda says:

    steel cut oats with milk and brown sugar! the bomb!! They even have them in the cafeteria where I work, and they go fast!

  29. Toni Guerrero says:

    Agreed, oatmeal is wonderful and I have the best memories from my childhood around a bowl of it.

    However, I’m astounded nobody called you out on those bowls and that pot! TOTALLY eclipsed the oats, I tell you!

    If you’ll excuse the pun, give us the dish on that set!!!!!

  30. Kelly says:

    Sounds good. Shoulda done that last night since it’s -38C here today and cold cheerios don’t cut it!

  31. Lyn says:

    My kids who are now in their 20’s still love the maple brown sugar instant oatmeal! Always way too sweet for me. I eat the quick oats with half a teaspoon of sugar and lots of milk. But I can’t wait to try this! I feel healthier already.

  32. Erin says:

    Thank you so much! My husband and daughter have been on a “porridge kick” for breakfast. This will be a nice addition to their growing list of cooked grains. Does it leave less of a mess in the cooking pot than regular cooked rolled oats? That’s my only complaint to our switch to hot breakfasts (and it’s minor considering all the benefits of dropping highly processed, sugar-n-sugar breakfast cereal from our diet!)

  33. Collette says:

    Steal cut oats in the pressure cooker are THE BOMB! Much quicker (but what’s quicker than already having made it YESTERDAY and just eating it this morning… lol) I made a batch in my PC and kept it in the fridge and ate it all week. yum………

  34. Tracy says:

    These look fantastic! Definitely can’t wait to try your recipe. My former hairdresser only ate a raw diet. NOTHING was ever cooked. She gave me a recipe for steel cut oats. They aren’t cooked and warm, like yours, but still delicious and filling. Throw some steel cut oats (enough to layer the bottom of a lidded container), handful of frozen berries of your choice, handful of raw almonds and shredded coconut, if you like. Pour cold water to just barely cover everything. Pop in fridge overnight. In the morning, drain well and eat it like cereal with almond milk or my fav is mix it in with Greek yogurt. Texture of the oats are soft yet still has some tooth to it.

  35. Jenny says:

    I respect everyone’s enthusiasm, but I have to laugh because oatmeal is definitely my Brussels sprouts. I’ve tried all different ways of making them–sweet, savory, steel-cut, rolled oats, even Cream of Wheat….I try and try because they are a good healthy option but it’s just no good, I don’t like them! I admit I haven’t tried overnight oats, so maybe I should try one last time. But after that, no more attempts. I’ll just stick to my egg sandwich for breakfast. 🙂

  36. Chris White says:

    When my boys were little they loved the packaged maple & brown sugar oatmeal. They couldn’t get the name right though and called it “hot sugar”. Came home to a very cross babysitter one evening who sent them to bed without night lunch because they tried to convince her they were allowed to eat “hot sugar” before bed…..

  37. Amie Melnychuk says:

    You can’t forget the fourth class of oatmeal, though it falls more into porridge realm, Red River Cereal!

    My Mother-in-law was shocked at how I ate my oatmeal when I was a month or so post partum with my first, boiled, then add cream and brown sugar and some fruit. Her family only ever had water with theirs. I won her over to a rich and quasi-healthy breakfast 😉

    Chewy, stick-to-your-ribs oatmeal was a staple in my house growing up. You knew it was done when Mom stuck the wooden spoon in to scoop it, and the whole mass would come out at once. YUM!

  38. Linda in Illinois says:

    Memories of my mom feeding us that slop, where you could stand a spoon upright in it and it wouldn’t move. Impossible to swallow. Awful flavor to it, no sweetener, no syrup, no fruit, and powdered milk.. gag.. As an adult I may have to try it your way. Sunday night sounds like a good time for you.. hummmm

  39. Eileen says:

    We eat steel cut oatmeal, but the long time cooking and stirring wears on me when my energy level is higher in the am and I’m tired of stirring. I’ll try this method.

  40. Gretchen Sexton says:

    Excellent plan! I’m on it! Monday mornings will never be the same. (I believe it could only be made better if I had some of your copperware=gorgeous!)

  41. Melissa says:

    Hmmm, did I mention it was 80 degrees yesterday? Now…it’s 40. I mean, it’s Texas!
    Now, excuse me while I go devour some damn oatmeal. Lol

  42. jainegayer says:

    LOL Enquiring minds want to know!

  43. jainegayer says:

    I eat Bob’s too from Costco and it’s delicious and I think Scotland voted them the best oatmeal, says so on the bag.

  44. Melissa says:

    For steel cut in a microwave, I put a portion of oats in a large bowl, then 3-4 times that in water and let it sit overnight. In the am, I microwave for 4 or 5 minutes on 50% power and it’s great. Just remember the bowl needs to be large enough that it won’t boil over towards the end of the cooking time. Also, the “quick cook” steel cut oats are helpful (I think they are just re-cut steel cut oats.)

  45. Karen says:

    Hi Rachel! I actually never really pressure cook anything. For one thing my pressure cooker (which is also my pressure canner) is so HUGE, lol. I love the idea of making beans in it but that’d make enough beans for a civil war reenactment. ~ karen!

  46. Karen says:

    That does sound good doesn’t it? 🙂 ~ karen!

  47. Alena says:

    I should try it. My dog is a fussy eater at times, too. I wonder if she will want butter, maple syrup and raspberries on her oatmeal, too.

  48. Karen says:

    I know, right?! ~ karen

  49. Karen says:

    Hi Thera! These particular ratios are for steel cut oats. ~ karen!

  50. Kimberly says:

    I and my puppies love oatmeal! I use the Bob’s red Mill quick cooking steel cut oats. My version though is a cup of boiling water, add a half cup of the oats, stir a couple of times and then put a lid on the container. I do this at night time before I go to sleep, I leave it sitting on the counter, and when I wake up in the morning it’s done. I work double shift, and this way is quick and easy. I’ll nuke it in the microwave and then I’ll stir in pumpkin, or banana, or butternut squash… That’s for the puppies. For myself, I just use a handful of frozen blueberries with a splash of soy milk. Yum Yum

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