Few things are as revolutionizing to a homemaker’s routine than a good kitchen hack.
Freeze muffin batter? Yes, please.
Baking bread is a slow-cooker? Oh my…
Or even just leaving the measuring scoop in the container… why didn’t I think of that sooner?!
Friends, I just found a way to make a fast breakfast, even faster! Get this… slow cooker oatmeal!
We eat a lot of oatmeal in our house. It’s real food, inexpensive and I can dress it up in a million different ways so none of us get bored with it.
One of the key reasons we have it on most mornings though, is because it’s FAST.
If I’ve soaked my oats, breakfast is ready in 10 minutes, tops. If I didn’t soak oats, I’ve got a routine down to about 15 minutes, from start to finish.
It was an ordinary forgot-to-soak-my-oats type of day when the skies opened up, the clouds parted and I saw this (incredibly simple yet amazing) trick: oatmeal in a slow cooker.
Never heard-of before, earth-shattering breaking news? No.
I’ve been to pot-lucks where someone brought oatmeal in a slow cooker. But the whole “slow cooker oatmeal” thing? It kinda grosses me out. It’s goopy, sloppy and the fact that you scoop it out with the slap of a serving spoon makes it utterly unappetizing.
BUT, I’m all for a slow cooker making me breakfast while I sleep. (Aren’t we all?)
Armed with a few mason jars and some old fashioned rolls oats (why I choose them), I set out to find common ground. Friends, allow me to proudly introduce you to Single Serve Slow Cooker Oatmeal.
Goop, slop and slap gone – consider your breakfast routine revolutionized.
Slow Cooker Oatmeal
First, start with some glass jars. Here are the requirements:
- one jar per person you’re serving
- must hold at least 16 ounces
- must fit in your slow cooker
- must be wide enough to comfortably eat out of
I’ve found that these wide-mouth mason jars are a perfect fit. I can easily get 4 in my slow-cooker, but I bet I could get 6 if I tried. Plus since they’re wide-mouth like my quart-sized jars, I don’t have a bazillion different sized lids and rings driving me nuts in my kitchen drawers.
Next gather up your breakfast supplies. Oats are the obvious, but think of your favorite toppings too like fruit (fresh or dried), seeds, sweeteners…
The flavor combination that I’m totally addicted to right now (and the slow cooker oatmeal in the pictures):
- 1/4 cup chopped apples
- 2 Tbsp raisins
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 4-5 pecans, chopped
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cup oats
Homey + healthy + simple + affordable + a combination that everyone in the family can agree on? Sign me up.
Slow Cooker Oatmeal Method
Line up your jars on the kitchen counter and layer your ingredients as follows:
- fruit #1
- 1/4 cup oats
- fruit #2 / seeds
- spices / sweetener
- 1/4 cup oats
The burning question of the moment: Do you HAVE to layer it all in?
No, but it makes it a bit more pleasant to eat in the morning. If you’re in a no-fuss mood, feel free to dump it all in. I won’t tell.
But don’t dump in the nuts. Save those for later.
Add enough water JUST to cover the oats. Honestly, I always eyeball the water. Some people like runny oats, some people like them thick.
If you like it thick slow cooker oatmeal, you want the water just to cover the oats. If you like runnier oats, add an extra tablespoon or two.
Next up, place all your jars in the slow cooker. Fill the slow cooker – not the jars – with water so that the water line is at the top of the oats in the jar.
Make sense? The jars of oatmeal are now taking a bath in the slow cooker.
Put on the cover and set the slow cooker on low for 4 hours and when it’s done you’ve got Single Serve Slow Cooker Oatmeal. If you set the slow cooker before you go to bed, breakfast will already done for you!
PS – It’s totally fine for your slow cooker to turn off OR kick over to low. It won’t effect the oatmeal in any way. In fact, it’ll still be warm when you wake up!
AAAAAAAANNNDD… since the oatmeal in the jars are cooked apart from each other, you can create multiple flavors of oatmeal at one time. Satisfy every belly in one fell swoop!
If you like to add nuts, now is when you want to add them. If you add them early on, they’ll get soggy overnight… which I don’t recommend.
Remember that the jar has been sitting in a bowl full of fairly warm water, so be careful when you take the jar out. Use a towel just in case, and wipe down the sides and bottom so you don’t get wet as you’re eating breakfast. If your breakfast is truly to go (as in, taking it out of the house, and not just taking it to the table), tighten a lid around the jar and you’re golden.
Stir well before enjoying (although this is optional too)!
Did you make too much? Save it and make leftover oatmeal cakes!
- For One Serving of Oatmeal (multiply as needed)
- 1 glass jar
- ¼ cup chopped apples
- 2 Tbsp raisins
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 4-5 pecans, chopped
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- ½ cup oats
- Line up your jars on the kitchen counter and layer your ingredients as follows: fruit #1, ¼ cup oats, fruit #2 / seeds, spices / sweetener, ¼ cup oats. Do NOT add the nuts yet.
- Add enough water JUST to cover the oats. If you like it thick oatmeal, you want the water just to cover the oats. If you like runnier oats, add an extra tablespoon or two.
- Next up, place all your jars in the slow cooker. Fill the slow cooker - not the jars - with water so that the water line is at the top of the oats in the jar.
- Put on the cover and set the slow cooker on low for 4 hours before you go to bed. If the slow cooker turns off or to warm, that's fine. It won't effect the oatmeal.
- Add the nuts in the morning. Stir if you'd like, and enjoy!
One last tip for those who have issues with the slow cooker being on while they sleep – you can get this all ready for a morning cook too. Assemble the oatmeal and jars in the slow cooker, and add water to the slow cooker but NOT to the oats. Add that water in the morning and cook on high for 60-90 minutes.