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Slow cooker steel cut oats with topping on the side.

Savory Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats

Wake up to a hot, ready-to-eat breakfast with these savory slow cooker steel-cut oats. With a one minute prep time and only two ingredients, these oats are surprisingly full of flavor. Enjoy them as-is, or with a variety of delicious topping suggestions. 
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 192kcal
Author Gary White


  • 2 cups steel-cut oats
  • 8 cups chicken broth


  • Add oats to the slow cooker. Then add chicken broth, or your prefered liquid. For a vegan option, use vegetable broth. For rich and creamy oats, add ½ cup of heavy cream and reduce the amount of broth to 7 ½ cups. For the lighter option, use all chicken broth.
  • Give oats a good mix and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. At 6 hours, the oats will have a chewy texture. At 8 hours, the oats will be very soft. Again, it really is a matter of preference as to how long you cook them.
  • Serve them in a bowl and eat plain or topped with a vegetable medley.


Topping Suggestions:

While we often eat these oats plain, we love to add variety with different toppings. Here are a few topping ideas:
  • A basic mirepoix
  • Your favorite sauteed veggies. We chose sliced sweet peppers and spinach with minced garlic.
  • Diced tomatoes and your favorite herbs, such as parsley or basil.
  • A fried egg.
  • Crispy bacon crumbles.
  • Sausage crumbles.

Expert Tips

  1. To make this an easy, wake-up-and-go breakfast, prepare the toppings the night before. Store in a sealed container in the fridge, then reheat toppings for a few seconds in the microwave when ready to serve. Some toppings, such as diced tomatoes and herbs, require no reheating.
  2. If pressed for time, you can skip the toppings completely. When eating these without toppings, we prefer to make them creamier by adding ½ a cup of heavy cream. Add the cream with the broth, reducing the amount of broth by ½ cup.
  3. To make this recipe vegan, simply substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth.
  4. To make this recipe gluten-free, purchase gluten-free steel-cut oats. We use Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Steel Cut Oats.
  5. Leftover steel-cut oats can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Leftover oats are often a bit thicker, so I recommend adding a splash of broth to the bowl before reheating. 


Can I use old-fashioned oats instead of steel-cut oats? This recipe was specifically developed for steel-cut oats. The cook time and liquid ratio for old-fashioned oats would be quite different. For that reason, we recommend using a recipe specifically written for old-fashioned oats. We do not currently have a recipe for old-fashioned oats in the slow cooker.
Can I make these sweet? While this recipe is specifically for savory oats, yes, you may make them sweet. Sub water for the broth, and add as much sugar as desired. Then, top with your favorite fruit or sweet mix-ins. 
Can I use water instead of broth? Yes, however, you will need to add salt to taste.


Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 71mg | Potassium: 203mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 2mg