toasted overnight steel cut oats
Toasting the oats in butter adds a new depth of flavor and richness, as well as a chewier and nuttier taste and texture.
Recipe type: easy
Cuisine: breakfast
  • 3 cups filtered water (see my note on water below) - I recommend using filtered water as tap water can have too much alkaine in it thus causing a greenish slime to occur on the oats. The oats are totally safe to eat, but it’s not very appealing.
  • 1 cup steel cut oats – I love and use McCann’s steel cut irish oats - You can make this gluten-free by using gluten-free oats
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or unrefined coconut oil
  1. Note: Toasted oats don't absorb the water the way regular steel cut oats do, (that's why I went down to 3 cups for this version) so you may want to play around with the water ratio, sometimes 3 cups is perfect, and sometimes I think I could go down to a bit under 3 cups. If there seems to be too much water when heating up the oats the next day, then just skim off some of the excess water.
  2. You just toast up the oats while the water is coming to a boil, so it may be one extra step, but it doesn't require any additional time, as you're toasting the oats while the water is coming to a boil.
  3. Get out a medium saucepan, soup pan or Dutch oven and pour in the 3 cups water. Turn on the heat to medium-high and bring the water to a rapid boil.
  4. At the same time, in a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  5. Once the butter has melted, add in the 1 cup oats.
  6. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the oats are a few shades darker and start to smell almost like popcorn, about 5 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat and set the toasted oats aside, if the water hasn't come to a boil yet.
  8. When the water comes to a full boil, pour in the toasted steel cut oats and ¼ teaspoon salt.
  9. Stir and let the oats cook for 1 minute. I always set my timer here. If your oats start bubbling and rising up, then just give them a quick stir and that should take care of it, but if they still keep rising up, then turn down the heat a bit.
  10. After one minute, turn off the heat, give the oats a quick stir, cover and then let them sit out overnight.
  11. In the morning uncover the oats and turn the heat up to medium or medium-low. FYI: Sometimes tap water can cause a greenish slime to appear on top of the oats. It’s not mold and the oats are still safe to eat, you just need to scrape off the slime. Oats can turn brown-green or even blue-green in color when they are cooked in alkaline conditions. Alkaline conditions are achieved when the water used to cook the oats has a pH balance of 9 to 12, so use filtered water when making oats, if you can. If it’s not the water, it may be your pan. Sometimes a new pan can leach metal ions into your food and that could cause the same reaction.
  12. Stir occasionally until the oats are heated through. There will be a bit of water in the mixture still, but the oats will thicken up as they sit. I really like this consistency because they're not to thick, goopy or dry. Toasted oats don't absorb the water overnight the way regular steel cut oats do, so if there seems to be too much water when heating up the oats the next day, then just skim off some of the excess water, or you can try using a bit less than 3 cups next time.
  13. Ladle the oats into a bowl and top with your favorite fixings. I love mine topped with a bit of honey and some fresh blueberries. I also love them topped with some peanut butter and fresh berries.
  14. Store the leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge. The leftover oats will last for up to a week.
  15. To re-heat the leftovers, just put the oats in a sauce pan, over medium-low heat. The oats will thicken as they sit in the fridge, so you'll definitely want to add a bit of water or milk to thin them up as they're cooking.
Recipe by Marin Mama Cooks at