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Course: main course
Total time: half-day
Skill level: Easy
Cost: Inexpensive
Yield: Serves 4
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Put the ingredients in the slow cooker right before bed, and the oatmeal will be ready when you wake up six or eight hours later. It’ll have a little crust around the edge of the cooker, but it sure beats stirring the stuff on the stovetop for 45 minutes first thing in the morning. Be sure you use old-fashioned steel-cut oats: Do not use rolled oats or anything that says “instant” on the package or you’ll end up with mush.


  • 2 cups steel cut oats (not rolled oats)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4½ cups milk or water
  • Fixings (see Note)
  • 4-quart slow cooker


Put the oats, salt, butter, and milk in a 4-quart slow cooker. If you’re using raisins or other dried fruits, add them now (see Note). Cook, covered, on the low setting for 6 to 8 hours, until the oats are soft but still a bit chewy. Serve hot, with the fixings of your choice.

Oatmeal is good served like grits, with a pat of butter and salt and pepper. Or pour some cold buttermilk, cream, or milk over it. Or stir in some raisins or dried cranberries or cherries when you put the oats in the slow cooker, then top the finished oatmeal with brown sugar and cinnamon and serve with milk.

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Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving

Nutritional information is based on using water, not milk and does not include any fixings.

354kcal (18%)
52mg (5%)
0mg (0%)
49mcg RAE (2%)
15mg (5%)
301mg (13%)
5g (23%)
11g (17%)
4mg (20%)