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Slow Cooker Oatmeal

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 5 mins
Servings 4 servings

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This Slow Cooker Oatmeal recipe is a hearty, healthy, easy breakfast idea that is meal prep and freezer friendly! Add different fruit and flavors to make it your own!

slow cooker oatmeal in crockpot

I’ll be totally honest here and say that I feel a little geeky when it comes to my love of oatmeal.

Oats are just such an awesome way to start your day (they’re just as awesome for lunch or a quick dinner or snack!), they’re filling and hearty and I always feel like I’m going to have a productive day if I start with this slow cooker oatmeal (see — totally cheesy, I warned you!).

There are a few tricks to make great oatmeal in your slow cooker, and I’m sharing my complete list down below, but my number one rule is always throw in a Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liner first.

While I have big love for my morning oatmeal, cooked oats are sticky, and the last thing I want to do is soak and scrub my crockpot after several hours of cooking!

Slow cooker liners make clean up a breeze (I mean, there’s literally none!), and I feel like I’m rocking mom life by providing a healthy, hearty, warm breakfast to the kiddos before they’re off to school.

What’s so great about Slow Cooker Oatmeal?

  • Oats are loaded with fiber, protein, and plenty of vitamins and minerals including a substantial amount of Iron, Zinc and Folate.
  • It’s easy — drop a Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liner in a small slow cooker, dump everything in, stir and you’ve got breakfast in a few hours (depending on which kinds of oats you’re using).
  • Crockpot oatmeal is the ultimate meal prep breakfast – it’s make ahead and freezer friendly, and if you use steel cut oats you can let it cook all night long.
  • They are a neutral whole grain and can take on a wide variety of flavors so there’s really something for everyone

slow cooker oatmeal in bowls overhead

How to make Slow Cooker Oatmeal: Two Ways

You know I’m not really one for rules, so I just have one when it comes to this crockpot oatmeal: no instant oats. No quick cooking of any kind.

There’s just really no reason to cook them in the slow cooker when they take a minute in the microwave, and you’re going to have an unappetizing pile of mush if you try.

Because of the extended cook time, I recommend using either regular large rolled oats or steel cut oats (not quick cooking!).

Slow Cooker Rolled Oats:

Rolled oats actually quick very quickly in the slow cooker, so this is not going to be an overnight breakfast. It is, however, a great option if you are having a late breakfast, or your kids are having a late breakfast, or if you just want to do a little hands-off breakfast meal prep.

  1. Add oats, water, cinnamon, sugar or sweetener of choice, salt and apple to the slow cooker and stir well.
  2. Cover and cook for 1.5-2 hours on low — don’t overcook! The exact cook time will depend a lot on how hot your slow cooker is, so test at the 1.5 hour mark and add 30 minutes or so if needed.
  3. Serve, or store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to enjoy.

Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats:

Let me start off by saying that the slow cooker is now my favorite way to make Steel Cut Oatmeal — it’s so easy, they turn out so creamy, and there’s no babysitting the stove for 20 minutes and stirring.

  1. Add oats, water, cinnamon, sugar or sweetener of choice, salt and apple to the slow cooker and stir well.
  2. Cover and cook for 4-6 hours on low — no stirring required! The exact cook time will depend a lot on how hot your slow cooker is, so test at the 4 hour mark and add an hour or two if needed.
  3. Serve, or store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to enjoy.

crockpot oatmeal in slow cooker

Tips for making the best Slow Cooker Oatmeal

  • Always, always use a Reynolds Kitchens slow cooker liner — trust me on this!
  • Don’t overcook — not all crockpot oatmeal recipes will be able to go all night. If you need to let it cook overnight, start it as late as possible and use steel cut oats. If you have a slow cooker that switches to warm after the cook time, you may be fine if it goes over the cook time. We still want the oats to have a nice texture and not be totally mushy. Don’t be afraid to open the lid up early, give it a stir and a taste a little early to ensure they’re not cooking too long!
  • The only time I’ve ever had issues with dark or burnt edges around the slow cooker is when I have overcooked my oatmeal — this is another reason it’s important to keep an eye on the clock and on the pot.
  • It also absolutely works to cook it during the day and refrigerate for the week. It tastes great warmed up in the microwave, just heat and add a splash of milk and stir. You can also make ahead and freeze for later — see my instructions for doing that below!

How to freeze oatmeal:

I love freezing this oatmeal in individual portions to thaw and reheat on busy mornings!

You can either portion out into individual containers, or you can portion it using a silicone muffin pan or something similar — this makes it super easy to freeze, then pop out your oatmeal “pucks”, toss in a large freezer bag or container, and just take out what you need, when you need it.

slow cooker oatmeal in blue bowls

Variations on this easy oatmeal recipe:

  • This oatmeal recipe is naturally dairy-free, but I usually serve mine with milk. You can serve as is, or with a splash of almond or coconut milk as desired.
  • This recipe is naturally gluten-free, provided you are using certified gluten-free oats
  • This oatmeal recipe is also vegan if you use maple syrup or brown sugar to sweeten
  • Feel free to add in different fruits (bananas, frozen berries, dried cranberries), nuts, peanut or almond butter, additional sweetener or milks before serving to customize — this oatmeal is great because everyone can really make it their own!
  • Stir in a teaspoon of cocoa powder and a tablespoon of peanut butter for a chocolate peanut butter twist!

*This post is generously sponsored by Reynolds Kitchens — I was compensated for my time but all opinions are my own.

Slow Cooker Oatmeal

5 from 6 votes
This Slow Cooker Oatmeal recipe is a hearty, healthy, easy breakfast idea that is meal prep and freezer friendly! Add different fruit and flavors to make it your own!4
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 5 mins
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Servings 4 servings
Calories 230kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 apple peeled and shredded
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Place a Reynolds Kitchens Slow Cooker Liner in a small slow cooker -- about 2.5-4 quarts.
  • Add all ingredients and stir well to combine.
  • Put the lid on the slow cooker, and cook on low for 4-6 hours, depending on your slow cooker and your preferences. (See post above for rolled oats cook times)
  • Open the lid, stir and serve as desired.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 66mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1.8mg
Keywords crockpot oatmeal, slow cooker oatmeal

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Susan says

    If I am making this for a large group of people and want to fill my 6 qt crock pot am I able to triple this recipe (I am planning on using Steel Cut Oats) and would this change the cook time?

    I will be having a Oatmeal Bar with different toppings to choose.

    Any advice would be great.

    Will update my comment with results and feedback from my group.

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Susan! I’ve never made a batch quite that large. I think it should work, but for best results you’ll probably need to increase cook time and want to stir it a couple times.

  2. Julie Blanner says

    This looks delicious, and I am always a fan of crockpot bags, they make life so much easier. I can’t wait to make this and use it for some meal prepping.

  3. Betty says

    This recipe sounds very good, but who wants to get up 4 to 6 hours ahead of time to make it?! Isn’t there another way of cooking this?

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