Overnight Slow Cooker Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal {with no burnt edges!}

Overnight Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal cooks in the slow cooker all night for an effortless breakfast the next day...with an easy trick for no burnt edges!

Apple Pie Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal with Text Overlay

Boy am I excited to share today's recipe with y'all! Like so many of you, several years back I came across a tempting Pinterest gem for cooking steel cut oats in the slow cooker all night long, resulting in a hot, ready-made breakfast in the morning. The version I found promised that the oatmeal would taste like apple pie, and boy was I excited to try it!

So I dutifully chopped my apples and stirred my ingredients and set my crock pot to low and headed to bed to happily dream of all-American pie as its heavenly aroma wafted through the house all night long. And sure enough, in the morning, my beautiful, creamy, apple studded, cinnamon-laced steel cut oats were ready and waiting. I was very eager to try the oatmeal, and my family was chomping at the bit for me to fill their bowls and hand them spoons. There was only one teensy-weensy problem...

The oats were browned and stuck around the edges of the slow cooker.

Aerial View of Apple Pie Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal with Nut Garnish

I assumed my crock pot must run a bit too hot. Or maybe I let the oats cook a bit too long. At any rate, we ate what was in the center of the slow cooker and I scraped the mess stuck to the edges when it was time to clean up. We loved the taste of the oatmeal, though, so despite my less-than-100% success, I made the recipe many more times...sometimes adding a bit more liquid in hopes that the edges wouldn't burn, sometimes getting up multiple times through the night to stir it (but only when a baby/toddler/child had already woken me up...I'm not that crazy). But I could never consistently get any variation of overnight slow cooker steel cut oatmeal to turn out perfectly without worrying about those darn burned edges.

UNTIL NOW. Friends, I can finally say that my overnight oatmeal woes are behind me. I have discovered a secret trick for preventing the darn stuff from sticking to the crock pot!

Close-Up in White Bowls and Spoon

The Secret to NO BURNING!

Are you ready???

  1. All you do is mix up your oatmeal recipe in an oven-safe baking dish (such as Corningware or Pyrex) that just so happens to fit down in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Then, once your Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal is assembled in said dish, place it in said slow cooker and pour water into the bottom of the slow cooker until it comes to an inch or so below the top of the baking dish.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours...and guess what???

Those oatmeal edges won't be stuck or burnt! It's a Festivus miracle!

Step-by-Step Collage from Start to Finish

The Specifics

My steel-cut oats cook perfectly in 8 hours using this method in two different slow cookers that I own. One is a 6 ½-quart slow cooker, and my 2.5-liter(quart) round Corningware baking dish fits down in it but is a tad too big to reach all the way to the bottom. Thus, it hangs "suspended," and the water not only buffers the sides but also the bottom. (Links for my particular slow cooker and baking dish can be found in the recipe card below, in case you'd like even more specifics.)

As an FYI, in my slightly larger 7-quart slow cooker, the same Corningware dish sits flat on the bottom. As a result, the oatmeal at the bottom of the dish does get thicker than the oatmeal at the top, but it still doesn't burn, and a quick stir distributes everything to a smooth, even oatmeal consistency.

Either way, since the oatmeal will be cooking all night with the buffer of a baking dish and water, the oats won't feel obligated to overcook around the edges of the crock pot. As a result, after a quick stir (since the apples and cinnamon do tend to rise to the top), the Apple Pie Oatmeal will be thick, creamy, delicious, and definitively not overdone!

Add that to the fact that this oatmeal is healthy, and it's as effortless as scooping into a bowl come breakfast time, and it makes a big enough batch to get your day off to a good start all week long (just reheat with a splash of milk)...and you've got a recipe that's a year-round winner!

Apple Pie Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal On Red Decorative Cloth

Type of Apples to Use

I typically use Honeycrisp apples in my oatmeal -- since those are my family's favorite, they're what I usually have on hand -- but feel free to use your preferred variety.

As with baking apples in any recipe, keep in mind that some apples will hold their shape better and some will turn to complete mush. Braeburns, Pink Lady, and Golden Delicious apples are other good choices, in case you're open to suggestions. 😉

So are you as excited to try this recipe as I am to share it??? Overnight Slow Cooker Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal might be a mouthful of a recipe title, but in the time it takes to spit it out, you can practically have tomorrow's breakfast mixed up and cooking away in the crock pot. And then you can drift off to sweet slumber enveloped by the heavenly scent of apple pie...and the knowledge that you won't have to scrape and scrub a slow cooker in the morning. 😉

More Yummy Oatmeal Recipes

Apple Pie Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal ~ loaded with steel cut oats and apple cinnamon goodness, this recipe is easy to throw in the slow cooker before bed for an effortless breakfast the next day. And with a special, no-stirring-required trick, you won't have to worry about burnt edges in the morning! | FiveHeartHome.com

{Overnight} Slow Cooker Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal

Overnight Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal is easy to throw in the slow cooker before bed for an effortless breakfast the next day...and with a special, no-stirring-required trick, you won't have to worry about burnt edges in the morning!
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Calories: 338kcal
Print Pin Rate


  • 1 cup steel cut oats, NO SUBSTITUTES
  • 2 medium apples, peeled & diced (about 2 ½ cups)
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ to ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Cream, maple syrup, cinnamon, chopped nuts


  • Locate an oven-safe, not-too-shallow baking dish (such as Corningware or Pyrex) that will fit in your slow cooker. In the baking dish, place oats, diced apples, apple juice, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; stir to combine. Carefully place baking dish down in slow cooker and slowly pour water into the bottom of the slow cooker until its level is about 1 inch below the top of the baking dish. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours. Stir before serving.


  • You may leave the skin on the apples, if you wish.
  • I use a 2.5-quart/liter round Corningware baking dish in a 6.5-quart slow cooker. It's okay if your baking dish is suspended by its sides on the edges of the slow cooker and doesn't touch the bottom...the lid of the slow cooker just needs to be able to close securely.
  • Once the oatmeal is cooked, be careful stirring it or removing the baking dish from the slow cooker as the water in the slow cooker will be extremely hot.
  • Some older model slow cookers run much cooler than newer slow cookers. In such a case, the oatmeal may still be liquid-y at the end of the directed cooking time and may need longer to cook or a higher temperature to finish thickening up.


Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 140mg | Potassium: 346mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 3.5mg | Calcium: 173mg | Iron: 1.4mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I've been making this for a few years now and everytime it's gone in a hurry! My kids love this as well!! It's great to have breakfast hot and ready for you when you wake up. Healthy and delicious!!

  2. I’m trying this recipe out for someone who is vegan. Can I substitute more apple juice for the milk?

    1. Sure! You may need to reduce or eliminate the maple syrup since using only juice would make it sweeter. Alternatively, you can use an unsweetened non-dairy milk in place of the regular milk (I've made this recipe with unsweetened almond milk before). Hope that helps! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    I greased my crock pot with coconut oil first and had no problem with sticking! Yay!!!! Great recipe! Thanks!!

    1. I haven't tried it, Allison, but I don't see why not. I imagine the liquid and long cooking time would at least somewhat rehydrate the fruit by the time the oats are done. Let us know how it turns out if you decide to give it a try! 🙂

  4. Didn’t do the whole water and baking dish thing and it turned out fine. A little burnt around the edges, just try to cut the cooking time short and switch it to keep warm after 6 ish hours

      1. Yes, old fashioned oates will work, however, put crockpot on high for 1.75 - 2 hours. I make it often with the old fashioned oates. You must also reduce the liquid. So 2 cups whatever milk, or 1 cup cider + 1 cup milk or even 2 cups water....basically 1 cup oats to 2 cups liquid. It makes the best oats.

  5. 4 stars
    This was the first time I made steel oats. I omitted the syrup and used a tablespoon of honey and then after it was finished, I ended up adding a sprinkle of salt. It really does taste like apple pie!!