Sugar-free slow cooker steel-cut oatmeal

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats

Start the slow cooker before you go to bed and wake up to a bowl of hot apple-cinnamon steel cut oats and the smell of cinnamon wafting through the house. This is one of my favourite breakfasts on cold winter days when I don’t have time to cook a big breakfast in the morning.  Just chop up an apple and mix up the ingredients at night, put the slow cooker on to the lowest setting, and go to bed.

This recipe uses steel cut oats, which are made by slicing oat groats into several pieces instead of steaming and rolling them. Because they are not processed as much as rolled oats, they retain more fibre and nutrients and they also have a firmer and chewier texture.  Steel cut oats have not become as popular as rolled oats, probably because they can take up to half an hour to boil on the stovetop.  But don’t worry! For this recipe you’ll use a slow cooker so the cook time won’t matter. You’ll be sleeping.

Steel cut oats can be found in most grocery stores, however they might not be sitting next to the big packages of rolled oats – often you find them with the small packages of specialty grains. If you want to make steel cut oats a part of your regular diet, it’s worth finding a place that sells large bags at a better price. My local big box store sells huge bags of them for the same price as some of the small bags in the grocery store.

This recipe uses apples and cinnamon, but don’t stop there! You can change the spices around and try other fruits like pears, quince, and peaches. (Add delicate fruit like berries just before serving if you don’t want them to dissolve). Just make sure to use 3 parts water for every 1 part steel cut oats, and have fun!

Slow cooker apple cinnamon steel cut oats
Prep Time
5 mins
Slow Cooker Time
8 hrs
Total Time
8 hrs 5 mins

Wake up to a bowl of hot apple cinnamon oatmeal and the smell of cinnamon wafting through the house. Start your slow cooker the night before and have "instant" steel cut oats the next morning!

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Slow Carb
Keyword: oatmeal, slow-cooker, steel-cut oats
Servings: 4
Calories: 169 kcal
  • cooking spray
  • 1 apple
  • cup Splenda (or sweetener to replace ⅓ cup sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup steel cut oats Irish oats
  • ¼ cup raisins (optional)
  1. Lightly spray the ceramic bowl of a slow cooker (crock pot) with cooking spray or a thin coat of vegetable oil.

  2. Core the apple, and cut it in to large chunks. You can leave the peel on.

  3. In a medium bowl, mix the apple, sweetener, and cinnamon.
  4. Add steel cut oats to the slow cooker, and sprinkle the raisins (optional) and the apple-cinnamon mixture on top.
  5. Add 3 cups of water and turn the slow cooker on low.

  6. Cook for approximately 8 hours, or overnight.
Recipe Notes

Try using a pear instead of an apple, or add other dried fruit. Fresh berries (e.g. blueberries, strawberries, raspberries) tend to disintegrate in the slow cooker, so add them at serving time.