Easy, Quick-Start, Overnight Irish Oatmeal

I stopped eating cereal after visiting an organic farm in the Caribbean in 2011. We ate organic homemade granola for breakfast every morning, topped with freshly harvested coconut milk and tropical fruit. After that, I purged store-bought cereal from our diet.

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Sugar, sugar, everywhere, nor any food to eat
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You can’t make out some of the prices in the pic of the Safeway aisle of horrors up above, but a box of Reese’s Puffs, for example (I didn’t know there was such a thing), weighs 1 pound, 2 ounces and costs a whopping $5.49 (!). A pound of organic steel-cut oats, however, costs only $3.38 at Rainbow and is easy—convenient even—to quickly prepare at night and enjoy in the morning.

More important, unlike Reese’s Puffs, steel-cut oats are a whole grain. Rich in fiber, whole grains help reduce cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. And if you buy your steel-cut oats in bulk and bring your own container, they generate zero waste too (no plastic cereal box liners to toss in the trash).

And of course, I must mention the taste! Steel-cut oats have a nutty flavor and chewy texture, plus they fill you up. You can top them with fresh fruit like blueberries, strawberries or apricots; yogurt or milk; a little bit of sweetener; sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, flaked coconut; raisins; and so on.



  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 4 cups water
2 water and oats in pot


1. Add water and oats to a pot.

3 heat and whisk

2. Heat on medium-high and whisk occasionally.

4 heat until boiling

3. When the oats come to a boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Go to bed.

5 reheat

4. In the morning, heat up the oats.

6 toppings

5. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy. I topped mine with pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sucanat, a fresh, chopped peach and my homemade yogurt.


I added so many toppings, you can’t actually see the steel-cut oats in there. I topped this all off with fresh cherries from the yard.

Cooking your steel-cut oats this way saves not only time but energy. If you prepare them the usual way, they need to simmer for 35–40 minutes.


Easy, Quick-Start, Overnight Irish Oatmeal

Yields 3–4 servings


  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 4 cups water


1. The night before you want to eat your oatmeal, add water and oats to a pot.

2. Heat on medium-high and whisk occasionally.

3. When the oats come to a boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid.

4. In the morning, heat up the oats.

5. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy.

Find more breakfast ideas in my cookbook!

14 Replies to “Easy, Quick-Start, Overnight Irish Oatmeal”

    1. Thanks for reblogging!

    2. Have you ever fermented oats without dairy? I read sonewhere about sourdough oats. Seems interesting.

      1. My daughter makes it often. She loves fermented porridge. Here’s some good info on it: https://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/fermented-oat-porridge-recipe-zerz1608zfol

  1. Thanks for this… I gave up on steel cut oats for the old fashioned oats as a result of how long it took to make them in the morning. Making them the night before is a brilliant idea.

    1. You’re welcome! I’m glad you found the post helpful. Yes, cooking steel-cut oats in the morning for breakfast takes a while. By making them this way, I can sleep an extra half hour 🙂

  2. I can’t wait to look more into your blog; I dig finding ideas to reduce packaging and eat more natural. Very important information.

  3. […] can quickly prepare them the night before and wake up to delicious Irish oatmeal in the morning. Here’s the recipe. Someone gave me that glass moonshine jug in the pic for water. I live in an intentional community […]

  4. […] in bulk bins where I live and are great to have prepared in the fridge for breakfast. We use The Zero Waste Chef’s method of cooking steel cut […]

  5. Can you do this with other grains such as barley or grits?

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      I haven’t tried it but I think it would work. I have a bunch of teff and some buckwheat I will try this method with. I think you’ve just given me an idea for another blog post… Thanks!

  6. […] apple overnight steel cut oats recipe using zero waste chef’s method serves […]

  7. Try toasting the oats first. Gives a different taste.

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