Recipe: Overnight Crock Pot Oatmeal

by Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on January 14, 2010

Photo by Abby Ladybug

Photo by Abby Ladybug

Cold winter mornings are the worst.  Knowing that I have to crawl out of my nice warm bed into the cold air, stumble down the stairs and get the kiddos ready for school. . . Sometimes I just wish there were a nice, hot breakfast waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs.

Well, with Overnight Crock Pot Oatmeal there is! With this recipe there will be plenty of oatmeal to feed 4-6 adults.  Don’t need to feed that many? Just toss it in the fridge and reheat the next day.

Oatmeal is a frugal person’s friend.  Oats can be purchased inexpensively at most stores-and if you have the option of a bulk food/healthfood store you can pay even less.  Oatmeal is also an extremely healthy & filling breakfast.  It is naturally high in fiber and low in fat.

*****NOTE: People have been experiencing difficulty with this recipe-coming out way too soupy & mushy.  I did a huge experiment, with help from readers, to try to figure it out.  Please check the info out before you cook.*****

Overnight Crockpot Oatmeal

1 cup steel cut or regular oats (NOT Quick Oats!)
4 cups water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1  TBS butter
1/2  tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

Combine all in crockpot and cook on low for 8hrs.  Serve with milk & cinnamon sugar.


Add up to 1 C raisins/dried fruit before cooking.
Add 1 chopped fresh apple before cooking.
Top with fresh fruit (in season) or canned fruit (drained).
Add a pat of butter or a dollop of jam/preserves.
Drizzle with honey.

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{ 189 comments… read them below or add one }

Rhonda January 19, 2014 at 10:46 pm

I actually cook my overnight steel cut oats on the warm setting and it works perfectly. Low is too high with my crockpot.


Gina March 4, 2014 at 9:04 am

I tried this last night on my low setting but it was all burnt when I looked at it this morning. I will try this again on the warm setting. Dangit.


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate March 4, 2014 at 10:53 am

I’m so sorry Gina. This recipe gives me fits–I always feel so bad when other folks try it and it doesn’t work out. :( Hopefully the “warm” will do better for you.


Car March 29, 2014 at 10:13 am

I followed the original recipe with steel cut oats and ended up with oatmeal soup. :-/
Should I have left the lid off while it cooked?


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate March 29, 2014 at 5:37 pm

No, the lid is supposed to be on. I’m sorry the recipe has given you trouble. Were the oats completely cooked?


Breda August 1, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Well I went with 4 cups oatmeal and 1cup milk and 8 cups water, 2 tablespoons butter , a little vanilla and cinnamon and a small amount of brown sugar. I set it for 8 hours on simmer, I hope it is not too watery now:(


Breda August 2, 2010 at 6:28 am

Well it is now am eating time and the oatmeal smells and looks so creamy, cannot wait for my husband to get up and try it as this will be true test:)


Meagan September 21, 2012 at 10:58 am

I did this too and mine never turned out!


Breda August 2, 2010 at 2:17 pm

It was incredible and I have the small 3.5 quart cuisinart ! It was fantastic! Lot’s of left overs!


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate August 2, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Yay! I’m glad it worked out for you. I tell you, no other recipe on the planet has given me as varied results as this one.


Alex May 12, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Get a good thermometer.

Different crock pots have different temps. Seriously, there can be a big variance between brands and even years…..olders ones seem to be a lot more consistant, but some of the really new CHEAP ones run pretty hot.

I am willing to bet money if you were to get ten people on here to participate by making the exact recipe and checking the temp after cooking you would find the unhappy results have higher temps.


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate May 15, 2011 at 9:09 pm

Alex-I think you are right! It’s funny though, most crock pot recipes come out fine, regardless of the variations, but this oatmeal is a little more sensitive.


Sarah October 4, 2011 at 12:00 am

Newer crock pots cook hotter than the old ones from the 70s and 80s for safety reasons. If you are cooking meat the old one’s keep it at an unsafe temperature for too long. That being said, I may start scanning the thrift stores for an old one just for oatmeal.


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate October 4, 2011 at 8:02 am

Sarah-I appreciate your point. Everyone should realize that there is a risk involved and then make an informed choice about what is right for their family! That being said-I think your compromise of looking for an older pot just for your oatmeal is a good one!


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