Strawberry Overnight Steel Cut Oats in a Mason Jar

I urge you to try these strawberry overnight steel-cut oats. They are hearty, filling, and with just 3-ingredients, they are super easy to make.

You’ve probably searched the web for recipes to use up that big bag of steel-cut oats you have in your pantry; because let’s face it, nearly every other recipe for oats on the internet uses the traditional oat flakes, right?

Well, I’m here to tell you that steel-cut oats can be used to make oat flour or to make a delicious breakfast that practically cooks itself. I mean, there’s no “cooking” here, but you know what I mean 😉

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

If you’re wondering what are overnight steel-cut oats let me give you a brief summary: overnight oats are dry oats that are mixed with a liquid (milk preferably), some type of sweetener (totally optional) and any other add-ins you want (like fruit, nutritional boosters, and more).

You will either mix everything in a large bowl or inside individual jars, place the oat mixture in the refrigerator overnight, and wake up to a nutritious breakfast option. Sounds simple, right?

image: mason jar with overnight oats and strawberry slices.

Steel Cut Oats

Steel-cut oats also called coarse oatmeal, or Irish oatmeal is groats of whole oats chopped into two or three pinhead-sized pieces (sort of like long-grain rice).

Benefits of Steel Cut Oats

Steel-cut oats are an excellent source of protein, soluble and insoluble fiber and minerals. They make a terrific base for breakfast or grain-based meals. And, they can be ground into oat flour.

Steel Cut Oats vs. Rolled Oats or Old Fashioned Oats

Steel-cut oats are minimally processed, so they contain more fiber than rolled oats. Steel-cut oats are round, shaped like long-grain rice but larger, and they contain the whole grain.

In comparison, old fashioned oats are flat, large flakes of oat kernels that have been processed through a machine to “flatten” them and give them their flake-like shape and texture.

By flattening the groat (whole oat) cooking time is reduced, and therefore, rolled oats take less time to cook than steel-cut oats. Nutritionally, they are the same with slightly reduced fiber and protein content.

Steel Cut Oats Water Ratio

For every 1 cup of steel-cut oats, you’ll need 2 1/2 to 3 cups of liquid, depending on how thick you’d like them to be. Less liquid will yield a thicker bowl of oatmeal or overnight oats.

You can use either water or milk to make overnight oats. I personally love using milk or unsweetened almond milk, like you’ll see in the recipe below because it provides the oats a creamy texture that’s 100% delicious.

Steel Cut Oats Nutrition

The least “processing” to any grain or ingredient, the more nutritionally dense that ingredient will be. 1 serving, about 1/3 cup or 45g of dry Steel-cut oats has 170 calories, 3 grams of fat, 29g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 7g protein.

Image: mason jar with steel cut oats in the bottom.

How to Cook Steel Cut Oats Overnight

One of the advantages of making these overnight oats in the fridge is that it’s a no-cook method. Meaning, the oats are going to soak up the liquid while they are stored in the refrigerator in a jar overnight, and in the morning, they will be ready to eat.

This means that you don’t need to learn how to cook steel-cut oats when you make overnight oats because they practically “cook” themselves as they soak in the liquid.

Steel Cut Oats Recipe with Strawberries

This strawberry overnight steel cut oats recipe is the first recipe I tried when I made overnight steel cut oats.

I mean, oats + milk isn’t really that exciting and by adding strawberries I felt like it was more like a bowl of strawberries and cream.

The coarse texture of steel-cut oats is perfect when combined with sweet ripe strawberries and you can even use frozen strawberries, which will thaw themselves out in the jars overnight.

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • steel-cut oats
  • milk or dairy-free milk alternative
  • strawberries

How Far in Advance can I make Steel-Cut Overnight Oats?

One of the claims to fame of overnight oats is that they can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for several days. If you’re making overnight oats without fruit, you can make them up to 5 days in advance.

If you are adding fruit to your overnight oats, I recommend no more than 3 days since the fruit loses its texture and taste different -especially berries.

What are the best Jars to use for Overnight Oats?

Most recipes call for 8-ounce mason jars. These are available in glass or plastic. If you have young kids, these freezer jars are great for making overnight oats and freezing smoothies. 

You can also make overnight oats in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a lid, and then measure out the overnight oats mixture into individual bowls.

The biggest takeaway for the best “jar” is that the container has a lid to prevent any spills in the refrigerator and that they are covered airtight.

image: closeup of mason jar filled with steel cut oats and milk.

Steel-cut Oats Add-ins

What’s great about making oatmeal with overnight oats is that it’s a “base” for terrific add-ins. In this recipe, I use bananas but below are other ways you can customize your one-bowl meal. 

Some of my favorite add-ins:

  • ground flaxseed, 1/2 teaspoon per serving
  • honey or maple syrup, 1 teaspoon per serving
  • hemp seeds, 1 teaspoon per serving
  • chia seeds, 1/2 teaspoon per serving
  • nut butter, 1 teaspoon per serving
  • protein powder, 2 tablespoons per serving
  • fresh fruit, 1/2 cup per serving
  • dried fruit, 1 tablespoon per serving
  • chopped nuts, 1 tablespoon per serving

Whether you add the add-ins before you refrigerate or after, the possibilities are endless!

Do I need to add Yogurt in my Overnight Oats?

While most recipes out on the internet make you feel like yogurt is part of the recipe, I rarely add yogurt to my overnight oats recipes.

Adding yogurt to your overnight oats will thicken the mixture and make them creamier. Adding yogurt, about 1 tablespoon per serving, will thicken up your oat mixture and make them heavenly. This step is completely optional, of course.

How Long do Overnight Oats Take?

Since overnight oats don’t require cooking, they take time to soak in the liquid added to the jar or bowl. They are called “overnight” because they require 8 hours at a minimum to soak in the liquid. Steel-cut oats will take closer to 12 hours to soften up.

Should Overnight Oats be Hot or Cold

I personally love eating overnight oats cold, right out of the refrigerator. Some people, like them warm. Like most meals, this is a personal preference.

Can You Microwave Overnight Oats

You can microwave overnight oats to warm them up for about a minute, mix to combine and check that they are heated through.

image: closeup of strawberry overnight oats in a mason jar

How to Make Strawberry Overnight Steel Cut Oats

The recipe below shows you how to make strawberry overnight steel cut oats in single-serve jars. However, you can make one big bowl of overnight oats as well. Here is how to make them:

  1. Place 1/4 cup of steel-cut oats inside each jar. Add any “add-ins” like flaxseed, hemp, or chia seeds on top of the oats and mix to combine.
  2. Fill each jar with 1/2 cup of milk and stir to combine. Top with strawberries and mix.
  3. Place jars in the refrigerator for 8hours or overnight.
  4. In the morning, eat cold, straight out of the jar or warm up in the microwave if desired.

Other Recipes With Steel-Cut Oats

For an epic recipe that tastes like you’re visiting New Orleans and indulging on dessert, try these Bananas Foster Steel-Cut Oats recipe.

image: four small mason jars on a plate filled with banana overnight steel cut oats.

Strawberry Overnight Steel Cut Oats Recipe

These strawberry overnight steel cut oats are hearty, filling, and the easy recipe has 3 simple ingredients. Measure, mix, and refrigerate!

  • Author: Laura Fuentes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries

Instructions

  1. Place 1/4 cup of steel-cut oats inside each jar. Add any “add-ins” like flaxseed, hemp, or chia seeds on top of the oats and mix to combine.
  2. Fill each jar with 1/2 cup of milk and stir to combine. Top with strawberries and mix. You can also top the oats with strawberries in the morning.
  3. Place jars in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
  4. In the morning, eat cold, straight out of the jar, or warm up in the microwave if desired.

Notes

Nutritional data is calculated with the 3-main ingredients shown above.
Whether you add the add-ins before you refrigerate or after, the possibilities are endless!

  • ground flaxseed, 1/2 teaspoon per serving
  • honey or maple syrup, 1 teaspoon per serving
  • hemp seeds, 1 teaspoon per serving
  • chia seeds, 1/2 teaspoon per serving
  • nut butter, 1 teaspoon per serving
  • protein powder, 2 tablespoons per serving
  • fresh fruit, 1/2 cup per serving
  • dried fruit, 1 tablespoon per serving
  • chopped nuts, 1 tablespoon per serving

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 jar
  • Calories: 196
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 94
  • Fat: 4.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 0
  • Fiber: 5.7g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 0

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