How to Make Ahead Steel Cut Oats for Breakfast All Week

As much as we try to eat a solid breakfast every morning, with a busy schedule and a few extra snoozes of the alarm, it never seems to happen on a consistent basis. Combine that with the never-satisfying-enough banana on the run and we’re left lethargic, hurried, and worst of all, hungry! This post is here to change that.

One of our favorite weekday breakfasts is oatmeal because it can be made in a snap and topped with a never-ending variety of additions like brown sugar, honey, dried fruit, nuts, and berries. While we typically stick to old fashioned oats from Monday through Friday, weekends are reserved for nutty, chewy, and unfortunately long-cooking steel cut oats.

Steel Cut Oats vs. Old Fashioned Rolled Oats

Rolled oats take only a few minutes on the stove or microwave but steel cut oats take considerably longer, from 30-40, minutes on the stove. And one thing is for certain – we don’t have time for that on the weekdays.

Until now.

Since they have a very coarse texture, steel cut oats actually hold their texture and shape, even after being cooked and stored for several days, making them the perfect target for a weekend-to-weekday breakfast conversion. By bringing the oats to a boil with just water and salt, then letting them soak overnight, you let time do the work with no stirring required. As you sleep, the oats soak up the liquid and soften just enough. In the morning, divide them up into jars, and toss in the fridge for breakfast all week.

When you’re ready to eat, pull out a jar, add a splash of milk, and just reheat in the microwave for a breakfast on the go. Yes, it’s that easy to have a nutritious, delicious, and filling breakfast every single day. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Melt 1 teaspoon of butter or oil in a saucepan over medium heat and toast 1 cup of steel cut oats for a few minutes to bring out their nutty flavor. This also helps them hold their shape.

Make Ahead Steel Cut Oats - Toasting the Oats


Step 2: Add 3 cups of water along with a big pinch of salt (about ½ teaspoon), bring to a simmer, and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let sit overnight (or at least 4 hours).

Make Ahead Steel Cut Oats - Letting the Oats Soak


Step 3: This is what the oats will look like after soaking overnight. Spoon the mixture into jars, filling them halfway. You’ll get about 4-5 depending on the size of your jar. Cover and store in the fridge.

Make Ahead Steel Cut Oats - Soaked Oats


Step 4: When you’re ready to eat, just remove the lid of the jar, add a splash of milk or cream and microwave for 1-2 minutes until head through. Top with your favorite fixins’ like brown sugar, nuts, and fresh berries.

Make Ahead Steel Cut Oats -Fill the Jars and Store in the Fridge


Want an even easier way to take these on the go? Every morning, add the milk and fixins, cover, and take with you on the go. Microwave it when you get to work for a quick, healthy, handheld breakfast.

How to Make Ahead Steel Cut Oats for Breakfast All Week

The best part about this “recipe” is that it’s not a recipe at all, just a simple ratio: 1 part oats to 3 parts water. Make as much or as little as you need for the week and kiss your no-breakfast excuses goodbye.


What are your favorite oatmeal toppings? Let us know in the comments below.


Make Ahead Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Yield: 4-5 servings


  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the oats and stir for 3-4 minutes until fragrant and lightly toasted.
  2. Add the water and salt. Increase the heat and bring the pan to a simmer. Cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let sit for at least for 4 hours or up to overnight.
  4. Divide the oatmeal between 4 or 5 jars, cover, and keep in the fridge for up to a week. To reheat, simply add a splash of milk and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir and add your favorite oatmeal toppings.