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Slow Cooker Cherry Vanilla Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal

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Overnight steel cut oatmeal made in a slow cooker is an easy breakfast that will keep everyone full!  Adding dried cherries and vanilla helps give this slow cooker oatmeal a boost of flavor.

Vanilla Cherry Oatmeal long

I’m not a big fan of oatmeal.  I grew up eating the instant packets of oatmeal, but they weren’t my favorite breakfast.  As an adult I discovered steel cut oats and I do like those better, but they can take a while to cook up on the stove top. Ain’t no one got 30 minutes to cook oatmeal in the morning!

So then I tried baking oatmeal and I love my Chocolate Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal Recipe. But again, it takes time to make in the morning.

I finally tried making slow cooker oatmeal hoping that I’d be able to wake up to breakfast in the morning. It totally worked! If you are a late sleep, watch the timing. The oatmeal will dry out the longer it cooks. I like mine nice and creamy.

If your slow cooker doesn’t have a timer, try using a programmable light timer.  Most of the smaller slow cookers aren’t programmable so I always uses this trick to make sure they food doesn’t over cook.

I love the flavor of this vanilla cherry oatmeal. I have a huge container of dried cherries in my pantry that I used. But you could definitely use dried cranberries or any other dried fruit in this recipe.

This recipe made enough for my husband and I to have 1 cup servings for three mornings and it re-heated really well on the stove with just a bit of extra milk added.

Vanilla CHerry oatmeal slider 2

 Cherry Vanilla Overnight Steel Cut Oatmeal in the Slow Cooker

Yield: 6

Cherry Vanilla Slow Cooker Oatmeal

Steel cut oats are cooked in a slow cooker overnight for a delicious hearty breakfast that's ready when you wake up!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 5 minutes


  • 2.5 cups water
  • 2.5 cups milk
  • 1 1/4 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Stir together all ingredients in a small slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 7 hours. Stir and serve immediately.
  3. If you think you'll need an hour or more to sleep, add a bit more liquid so the oatmeal doesn't dry out.

Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers

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  • Karis
    May 6, 2014

    Have you tried with almond extract? Almond and cherry go so well together! I’m going to make it tonight and will see how it goes!

  • Lilah
    February 3, 2014

    I have never thought to add cherries to my oatmeal. How, I am not sure. But this sounds lovely! Thanks so much for sharing this on Tell Me About It Tuesday. Looking forward to seeing what you share tomorrow!


  • Sarah
    January 30, 2014

    I might substitute another fruit for the cherries, but this sounds intriguing! I have never tried oatmeal in a crock pot! Thanks again for sharing and for linking up at the Weekend Wind-Down Party with us!!! God Bless!

  • Sara
    January 27, 2014

    I normally don’t like oatmeal, however I would love to try this recipe!
    Thanks for linking up at Tell Me About It Tuesday!
    I hope you hop over and share with us again tonight!

  • Melissa Miller
    January 25, 2014

    This looks like something I could definitely dig! I am bad about not eating breakfast. I need something that I can make ahead. Can you freeze this and reheat it during the week?

    Thanks for linking up to Tell Me About It Tuesday!

    • Camille Gabel
      January 25, 2014

      I’m not sure. I’ve never frozen it, but it seems like it’d work!

  • Miz Helen
    January 24, 2014

    What a great Oatmeal for a special Valentine! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope you have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen

  • Kim of Mo'Betta
    January 24, 2014

    I love oatmeal in all flavors and forms! This sounds yummy!

  • Sami
    January 23, 2014

    Yes please! I love oatmeal and being able to throw everything in the slow cooker makes me so happy!
    Thanks for a great recipe!

  • Rebecca
    January 21, 2014

    I love oatmeal, sometimes I’ll even eat it for breakfast and then a snack later! I’ve never thought of making it in a slow cooker before, but it looks delicious.

  • Becky Kopitzke
    January 21, 2014

    Hi, Camille! Thank you so much for this recipe. I love the idea of slow cooker oatmeal! I pinned this and will try it this week. I’m so glad I stopped by from Titus Tuesdays. Blessings!

    • Camille
      January 21, 2014

      Hi Becky! Thanks for coming by! It’s really yummy!

  • Kat Ryan
    January 20, 2014

    This looks wonderful. What a nice change, we eat oatmeal every morning and it gets a bit old.

  • Betsy
    January 6, 2014

    LOVE the idea of waking up to homemade oatmeal. The package variety just won’t do!!

  • […] Cherry Vanilla Slow Cooker Oatmeal from Growing Up Gabel […]

  • […] I don’t normally go on a healthy eating kick in January, but this year, I am!  I’m trying to get back to eating healthier and being more active.  I am a huge believer in eating a good, hearty breakfast, but I didn’t do that much in 2013 and I could really tell a difference.  So this year, I’m trying to do better and one way I’m doing that is by eating more oatmeal.  I have come to really enjoy steel cut oatmeal, but it does take a while to cook.  I’ve found that it cooks up perfectly in the slow cooker, though! I love my Vanilla Cherry Slow Cooker Oatmeal! […]