Overnight Oatmeal Breakfast: Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats Recipe

Breakfast and Brunch, Fall Recipes, Oatmeal, Seasonal Recipes | 49 comments

I love overnight steel cut oats. Soaking the steel cut oats overnight makes them cook up especially fast in the morning. And who doesn’t want to eat something that tastes like Apple Pie for breakfast?

If you find yourself rushed to get in a good breakfast in the morning before work or dropping kids off at school, you need to give this recipe for Overnight Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats a try!

Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats

I’ve had this recipe idea for Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats in my head for months but it’s only just recently been cool enough for me to want a bowl of hot cereal for breakfast. For the base recipe I used Cherry and Tangerine Oatmeal, another recipe that we love.

I definitely prefer steel cut oats to regular oatmeal, with the exception of my Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal.

I like texture in my oatmeal, something that I can chew. Steel cut oats provide that crunch. As far as nutrition benefits, from what I can see the steel cut oats have more fiber and they take longer to digest so you stay feeling full longer.

What’s so great about this base is that it’s an overnight recipe, so the oats hardly take any time in the morning to cook. I used Honeycrisp apples for this because they are my favorite, but Pink Lady, or Granny Smith would also work well.

Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats

This is the perfect no-effort breakfast for me. I like to eat a healthy and delicious breakfast, but that doesn’t mean I always do it.

We’re usually rushing to get out the door in time for school and if I haven’t eaten before the kids get up I’ll grab a string cheese and a granola bar to tie me over until I get home. I like that this is easy to put together the night before and only takes a few minutes to cook in the morning.

Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats

You can easily substitute other spices and fruit using the same proportions featured in this recipe for different flavors of overnight steel cut oats.

Try pureed pears or homemade pearsauce instead of applesauce for another fall breakfast idea. If you have a craving for oatmeal in the summer, try subtituting pureed peaches or apricots for the applesauce.

Overnight Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats

adapted from Cherry and Tangerine Oatmeal

2-4 servings

Print Save Recipe


1 cup steel cut oats
1 3/4 cups milk
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 ounces all-natural applesauce
3/4 - 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cardamom, if desired
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large apple, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup pecans, chopped


In a nonmetal bowl combine oats, brown sugar, applesauce, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and salt. Stir in milk; cover and chill for 8 to 24 hours.

To serve, transfer oatmeal mixture to a medium saucepan. Stir in 1 cup of apples, reserving the remaining 1/2 cup for garnish. Heat just to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until oatmeal is done, adding additional milk if desired and stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Spoon into 4 bowls; sprinkle with apples and pecans. Serve with additional milk, if desired.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Estela @ Weekly Bite - October 20, 2010 @ 6:09 am

    Love steel cut oats! Honey Crisp apples are my favorite too :) I can’t get enough of them this time of year :)


  • 2
    Sara - October 20, 2010 @ 6:13 am

    Lovely post! I love steel cut oats too especially with apples & pecans. healthy & tasty!


  • 3
    AManda - October 20, 2010 @ 6:33 am

    At one time I had no idea that steal cut oats were different then oatmeal, so I prepared them the same way I would have oatmeal. #FAIL Wow was it bad. No where near as beautiful and yummy looking as this!!



  • 4
    Becky - October 20, 2010 @ 7:08 am

    Oh my!! I can’t wait to try this!


  • 5
    Aimee @ Simple Bites - October 20, 2010 @ 7:27 am

    Totally bookmarking this, Katie. We love our oats around here. Thanks!


  • 6
    Noelle @Opera Singer in the Kitchen - October 20, 2010 @ 7:50 am

    I am totally making this for tomorrow AM to consume after my workout! Yum!


  • 7
    Alison @ Ingredients Inc. - October 20, 2010 @ 8:12 am

    Awesome idea! I love steel cut oats. Beautiful photo!


  • 8
    Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies - October 20, 2010 @ 8:21 am

    This looks so good I just want to dive right in. I’m going to have to pick up some steel cut oats. I love them too, but am out! I can just *taste* the apples and spices. Mmmm.


  • 9
    Regan - October 20, 2010 @ 8:26 am

    Yum! Can’t wait to try


  • 10
    Barbara | VinoLuciStyle - October 20, 2010 @ 8:34 am

    It’s just now getting cool enough that I’m craving some warm and simple dishes for breakfast too and this sure fits that bill. Looks, well, beautiful!


  • 11
    Sakura - October 20, 2010 @ 9:32 am

    I love the taste of steel cut oats but have never tried the overnight method. This recipe sounds delicious.


  • 12
    Jennifer @ Maple n Cornbread - October 20, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

    I love overnight oats and with steel cut I find it’s the perfect way! Love the apple pie twist! :)


  • 13
    Maria @ Scandi Foodie - October 20, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

    That is so delicious! Love the spices and the apple in this!


  • 14
    Kim @ Quit Eating Out - October 20, 2010 @ 5:11 pm

    Katie, I absolutely love your site! I feel like it’s one of those cookbooks you want to enjoy with a few cups of coffee. You’ve done just an amazing job here… and as someone who’s just getting started, I’m in awe.

    I love this recipe. We too are in such a rush that most mornings I skip breakfast and my kiddos have plain cereal. With cooler weather, this would be a such a great option for all of us.

    Looking forward to being a regular reader! Have a great night…


  • 15
    Liz @ Blog is the New Black - October 20, 2010 @ 6:42 pm

    Ok, now these look great!


  • 16
    Imwaytoobusy - October 20, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

    I have never added applesauce to my oats! I will have to try this. I love any apple-oats mixture!


  • 17
    the blissful baker - October 20, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

    this would make an INCREDIBLE breakfast tomorrow morning! :) it looks soo yummy!


  • 18
    Mirien Church - October 20, 2010 @ 10:25 pm

    What a great idea–I’ll be making this soon! One time I added home-canned pie filling to my steel cut oats, but this version looks healthier. I’m curious, though–why soak in a non-metal bowl? Couldn’t I soak the mixture in the saucepan overnight?


  • 19
    Lynda@Me and My Pink Mixer - October 21, 2010 @ 7:13 am

    I have oatmeal for breakfast every morning – I love it. I am definitely trying this recipe and your Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal when I have time on the weekend. They both look delish!!


  • 20
    Charlene Shaulis - October 21, 2010 @ 7:54 am

    Katie, I am lovin’ this recipe and can’t wait to try it! The steel cut oats from Costco are one of my favorites and I have a whole bowl of honey crisp apples sitting in front of me. Now you know what I’ll be having for breakfast tomorrow. Cheers!

    Charlene {Inspired Scrap Gal}


  • 21
    Heavenly Housewife - October 21, 2010 @ 8:41 am

    What a great apple dish. I’ve bookmarked this one. I have so many apples from my trees this year and I’m having trouble figuring out how to use as many of them as I can. This looks like a great recipe.
    *kisses* HH


  • 22
    DawnK - October 21, 2010 @ 9:10 am

    Delicious! Was worth a 9pm trip to the store for applesauce and milk. We forgot to put the extra apple pieces on top of our oatmeal before we ate it, though! LOL! We did remember the pecans, though. I’m so full now! I love the overnight recipes for the steel-cut oats, since, in the morning, it’s more like just cooking regular oats.

    (We almost had enough milk in the fridge. I only needed 1/8 cup from the new jug!)


  • 23
    Angie - October 21, 2010 @ 9:19 am

    I tried this recipe this morning and they taste good, but I find that even with overnight soaking and probably about 10 minutes of simmering that the oats are not cooked enough. I didn’t feel comfortable cooking them longer as I was short on liquid. Do you think adding extra milk to the recipe would allow me to cook them longer and make the oats less chewy? I love steel cut oats and am always looking for different ways to cook them.

    I love your site, by the way!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — October 21st, 2010 @ 10:00 AM

      I’m sorry you had trouble. I’ve used this method for several years and never had a problem. Steel Cut Oats are meant to be slightly chewy and have a bit of bite to them compared to regular rolled oats. I’m sure you can ad additional liquid if you’d like. Or perhaps let soak longer than overnight, as the recipe states: Stir in milk; cover and chill for 8 to 24 hours. Hope that helps.

  • 24
    Jenn from Much to My Delight - October 21, 2010 @ 9:26 am

    That sounds like a perfect fall breakfast. And I just cannot get over how beautiful your food styling and photography is. Seriously, so pretty.


  • 25
    Cynthia Mahaffey - October 21, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

    Could you make this in the crockpot the night before?


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — October 21st, 2010 @ 2:53 PM

      Hi Cynthia – I haven’t tried Steel Cut Oats in the crock pot before. Sorry.

  • 26
    Amy from She Wears Many Hats - October 21, 2010 @ 3:58 pm

    Pretty Katie!


  • 27
    Paper and Food - October 21, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

    This looks great… and healthy too! Thanks for sharing.


  • 28
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction - October 21, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

    These look like the perfect recipe for a cozy, fall Saturday morning. Beautiful as always!


  • 29
    Aggie - October 21, 2010 @ 7:15 pm

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I love steel cut oats and don’t make them often enough b/c of how long they take to cook. The overnight soaking is brilliant. And the apple flavors…this is perfect for fall mornings!


  • 30
    Michelle (What's Cooking) - October 21, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

    I have never done steel cut oats by letting them soak in cold liquid – I usually bring them to a boil in water, then cover and turn off the heat, leaving them on the back of the stove until morning. Then I add milk and other fixn’s in the morning when I heat it through. I love the flavor and texture – and especially adore that they are practically instant when you do them overnight! xo


  • 31
    LimeCake - October 21, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

    that looks like a delicious bowl of oats! very comforting for fall!


  • 32
    Nancy-The Sensitive Pantry - October 22, 2010 @ 6:13 am

    My sister swears by steel cut oats. The thing I love about this recipe — other than the lovely flavors — is the intention. You prep the meal the night before and when you wake up the decision of what to have for breakfast has been made. It’s something warm and yummy to look forward to.


  • 33
    Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer - October 22, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

    This is exactly what I have been looking for! Can’t wait to try! I love steel cut oats and have been looking for something exactly liek this.


  • 34
    teri eskandari - October 24, 2010 @ 10:39 am

    the addition of cardamom was unusual and very nice. Reminded me of baklava, very Middle Eastern. Nice touch. The thing I didn’t like about steel cut was cooking time. This is a great method. Will make again…and again.


    • Michelle replied: — November 14th, 2011 @ 9:17 AM

      I made these today and I thought the cardamom completely overpowered everything else and gave the oatmeal a really weird taste. It doesn’t taste like apple pie at all. I’m only eating it because it’ll take too long to make something else. If I make this again, I will definitely leave out the cardamom.

      • Katie Goodman

        Katie replied: — November 26th, 2011 @ 4:12 PM

        I’m sorry that you did not like the cardamom. It is a flavor that some people do not like. I personally enjoy it and did not find 1/8 of a teaspoon to be overpowering.

  • 35
    Marisa - October 25, 2010 @ 1:06 am

    Spicy goodness! Love it.


  • 36
    carlee - December 16, 2010 @ 11:09 pm

    wow!!!! Your photography is so freaking good!!!


  • 37
    Brooke - February 28, 2011 @ 4:20 am

    This was fantastic! I used vanilla almond milk and was able to leave out the brown sugar. I look forward to trying the adaptations.


  • 38
    Cecilia - August 25, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    I’ve followed your blog for a while now, but just found this recipe; it looks wonderful! I was wondering though, you soak the oats in the 1 3/4 c. milk, but you don’t add any more liquid when you heat it in the morning? Steel cut oats normally have a 1 to 4 ratio so I want to make sure that I’m not missing something.


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — August 29th, 2011 @ 12:22 PM

      Yes, this is how I make them. The oats soak over night so you need less liquids that way, but you can try adding additional if you like. I wouldn’t add more than 2 1/2 cups total milk.

      The recipe does say to “Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until oatmeal is done, adding additional milk if desired and stirring occasionally. So you do add extra milk to the 1 3/4 (that is the soak amount) when you cook it. I personally do not like mushy oatmeal so I don’t add a ton of milk.

  • 39
    TidyMom - September 17, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

    Look DELICIOUS Katie!

    Thanks for linking up! I featured your post in my wrap up http://tidymom.net/2011/fall-crafts-and-recipes/
    Have a great weekend!


  • 40
    Heidi - September 17, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

    Has anyone made this using splenda’s brown sugar? I am diabetic and it sounds delicious but I don’t know about the brown sugar.


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — September 18th, 2011 @ 2:58 PM

      I have never used Splenda. Sorry I can’t help on that.

  • 41
    Liza - September 19, 2011 @ 2:05 pm

    Heidi- would Agave nectar work for you? It is a natural sweetener


  • 42
    Amnah - August 09, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

    I came to your site via a search on Foodgawker for pearsauce. My 7 month old loves it!! I ended up at this recipe from the previous recipe. Me and my 3 year old loved the overnight steel cut oatmeal. It was my first time preparing steel cut oats. I’m hooked. Your website is gorgeous and I love all the recipes you share. Thank you!


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