Slow Cooker Overnight Cranberry Apple Oatmeal

This year, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with oatmeal.

Before, I’d always regarded it as a slightly boring dish that usually came in the overly processed instant variety, and tasted like it. It was a last resort, “I guess I should eat something…” type of breakfast.

Turn a boring breakfast into something special with this sweet cranberry apple oatmeal while saving time in the morning by preparing it the night before.

Then I decided to give it another chance. I found out that adding a few additional ingredients (hello, peanut butter and chocolate chip!) to the good ol’ standby made a world of difference, and turned what would otherwise be a bland morning meal into something truly delicious, healthy, and filling enough to easily carry me through to a late lunch.

Turn a boring breakfast into something special with this sweet cranberry apple oatmeal while saving time in the morning by preparing it the night before. Slow cooked oatmeal with fruit added turns a plain oatmeal breakfast into something fantastic! Say goodbye to instant oatmeal forever!

Although it usually takes less than 10 minutes to prepare (yes, I’ve said goodbye to instant!) those few minutes usually require a decent amount of babysitting. And with the way I usually get ready in the morning, sometimes I don’t even have that.

Slow Cooker Overnight Cranberry Apple Oatmeal Recipe |

I started seeing a few recipes for overnight oats done in the fridge, but I really like a hot bowl of oatmeal to wake me up in the morning, to start the day off right.

Since I just upgraded to this fantastic slow cooker with a timer, I decided to employ it to have breakfast ready and waiting for me in the morning! Steel cut oats are best for this method because, they’ll stand up to the slow cooking well.

Cranberry Apple Outmeal pepared the night before in a crockpot |

This method of preparing oatmeal turned out wonderfully. At first I was just topping it with sliced strawberries, but once fall came around, I wanted something that would be a little more appropriate for the colder months. So, I added diced apples and dried cranberries to the mixture.

This breakfast takes just a few minutes to prep before bed, and it is truly phenomenal. Since it cooks slowly, the apples break down just right, and the cranberries rehydrate a bit.

The oats soak in flavor from the fruit and the cinnamon to make a seriously delicious meal.

To make cleanup just as easy as preparing the oatmeal, try using a crockpot liner.

Love these sweet and sour cranberry jewels? We have even more recipes to share, like our cranberry orange bread and cranberry upside down cake.

And if you’re looking for more breakfast bowl recipes, try some of these amazing recipes:

Slow Cooker Overnight Cranberry Apple Oatmeal Recipe |
Slow Cooker Overnight Cranberry Apple Oatmeal
Votes: 18
Rating: 3.89
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Make this fruity oatmeal concoction the night before and have it ready to serve to you when you wake up in the morning.
3 people
3 people
Slow Cooker Overnight Cranberry Apple Oatmeal Recipe |
Slow Cooker Overnight Cranberry Apple Oatmeal
Votes: 18
Rating: 3.89
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Make this fruity oatmeal concoction the night before and have it ready to serve to you when you wake up in the morning.
3 people
3 people
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 Granny Smith apples peeled and diced
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cups water
Servings: people
  1. Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  2. Stir in slow cooker when done cooking. Spoon into serving bowls.
  3. Serve with milk and additional sweetener, such as honey or maple syrup, if desired.
Recipe Notes

Photos by Chelsea Miller, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.

Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Slow Cooker and Crock-Pot Meals Chicken Fall Vegetarian Winter Poultry Comfort Food Sandwiches Chinese Beef Mexican & Latin America Pressure Cooked Pork Slow Cookers and Crock Pots Soups & Stews Thanksgiving German Oktoberfest
Sort by

About Chelsea Miller

Chelsea Miller, born and raised in Portland, Oregon, graduated from the University of Oregon where she discovered both her love of football and cooking great food. She's the founder of the food blog "A Duck's Oven" and began writing for Foodal in 2014.

29 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Overnight Cranberry Apple Oatmeal”

  1. I just started eating steel cut oats for breakfast every morning and know I will need a recipe soon to spice it up soon! This looks amazing and it seems too good to be true that it can be ready when I wake up in the morning. Thanks for the great idea!

  2. I love oatmeal for breakfast as it is so warm and filling, without the unhealthy guilt of a bacon sandwich. I usually just chop fruit onto the top, but I can imagine that cooking it altogether will really boost the flavour. Sadly, workday mornings are such a rush that oatmeal has become an occasional weekend treat of a breakfast, so an overnight slow cooker version might be the answer to my problem. Sticking everything in and turning it on couldn’t really be any easier, could it?!

    My slow cooker doesn’t have a timer, but given that it takes 8 hours to cook anyway, I should still be able to give this a go. If I’m up late to put it on, and then hubby is up early to switch it to keep warm… I think it’s a plan!

  3. …and the boredom is out!!! yay!!…i would stare at my bowl of oatmeal and frown wondering why its so plain and flat…but now my breakfast session will be filled with color and pomp!…i must say, am delighted and already anticipating my breakfast sessions henceforth 🙂

  4. This sounds absolutely amazing. I have also been thinking about eating oatmeal again, but I just don’t like eating the instant variety and the quick-cooking oats are just so boring. This is definitely a healthy sounding alternative and adding the steel cut oats makes it even better. I wonder if you could add other berries to this like dried cherries or dried blueberries to make it even more delicious?

  5. I love oatmeal, and I bet this recipe would be good with raisins as well. The best thing about oatmeal is it fills a person up. It’s very easy to make, and is also healthy. I’m 46 years old, I must admit as a kid I’d get tired of eating it. I suppose that would happen with any food. Would like to try this slow cooker version.

  6. This looks simple and delicious. I would probably start this off on the stove, in a normal pan. Once brought to the boil, I would put it in my Wonderbag overnight. Having breakfast pre-prepared makes life so much easier in the mornings,

  7. I’ve been in an oatmeal phase myself. I love porridge in general though – oats, rice, wheat. I’ve never made it in a slow cooker though. It’s a great idea to explore to have a hot breakfast you don’t actually have to take time for. I wonder if it’s something you can make in a larger portion and then reheat the leftovers for the rest of the week.

  8. This is perfect for these cold winter mornings. I am not a big fan of raisins so substituting them with cranberries is right up my alley. My supermarket recently started carrying steel cut oats os I’m going to try this recipe very soon.

  9. I’m a big fan of oatmeal and wanted to find this exact recipe/method to replace my instant kind at home. It doesn’t taste really any different from the store bought which is amazing, and makes me feel more healthy after I eat it. This type saves me a lot of money too!

  10. Oh, this is nice! Until now the only variations to my oatmeal have been brown sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. As you can probably imagine its really easy to get burned out on it when it’s the same 3 ways your entire life. My children have a much needed change to look forward to in the morning. 🙂

  11. Through the summer months I actually eat my porridge and fruit raw and cold because I found it too hot and heavy on the stomach when the weather was really warm. All you need to do is soak it in milk (or water or dairy free alternative) overnight with the fruit and it is ready to eat as and when you are ready in the morning. I don’t usually leave it in the fridge overnight if the weather is warm, but I don’t have dairy milk so don’t need to worry about it going sour. I have found it adds a totally different aspect to porridge.

    Also if you soak the oats and fruit overnight, and want to cook it, they only take a few minutes to bring up to temperature in the morning plus a quite ‘cook’ and they are ready.

  12. This looks amazing. I recently received a small 1.5 quart slow cooker from my place of work as an anniversary gift. I can’t wait to try all the different recipes I find. I love oatmeal. I used to buy the instant, but I have been using quick-oats or the old fashioned style. Which taste so much better and gives you more volume per serving. I would love to try steel-cut oats and see the difference. I am going to save this recipe to try later. Thanks.

  13. I’m also a late convert to the delights of oatmeal. I always preferred cream of wheat or cream of rice, and still love those, but have also become a fan over the past year or so. I’d also heard of the cold overnight in the refrigerator method, but that didn’t appeal to me. Your recipe sounds so easy and delicious that I can’t wait to try it, and I don’t use my slow cooker much, so I wasn’t even aware they make liners, which I will promptly buy.

  14. This is a really nice one. I have a few friends that insist on microwaving everything still. It is toxic nuclear waste as I call it. This method will be great for them to see cause they can prepare it the night before and it will even be hot for them. Less work, healthier, and I am sure it will taste outrageous. Slow cookers do wonders for dishes.

  15. Cranberry and apple is one of my favorite combos, so naturally this is right up my alley. I don’t have a slow cooker but I think I may need to get one, as mornings can sometimes be so hectic that I don’t have the time to cook oats. Having breakfast ready ahead of time is ideal in such cases.

  16. Woww this sounds absolutely delicious! I only use my crock pot for dinner-type meals, so I never would’ve thought this one up. Definitely gonna give it a try this week 🙂

  17. Okay this looks amazing! I love that you can spice it up a bit from the usual boring routine. I also like that the recipe isn’t burdensome and it’s brief. I bet this smells so good in the morning! I’ll definitely be trying this, especially for my two young kids!

  18. Thank you Chelsea Miller for your wonderful recipe. I love oats. It is a childhood favorite. I especially love a nice hot bowl of oats in winter where the days are chilly and one need a warm filling bowl of oats in the tummy. I certainly will be trying this recipe. Again… thank you.

  19. I haven’t had a nice bowl of oatmeal in a while. Looking a the pictures reminds me of having a big hot steamy bowl of oatmeal on a chilly winter morning. I like the idea of the cranberries. I’m going to have to give this a try. It’s starting to get chilly outside, so now might be the perfect to time to reunite with a steamy bowl of oatmeal!!

  20. Oatmeal is so healthy, but I’ve never quite liked it’s taste. So, I’ve been on a lookout for healthy breakfast ideas with oatmeal that will satisfy my picky tastebuds. I really think this recipe will do th trick. And since I plan to prepare it at night, it’ll save me a lot of time in the morning. Thank you!

  21. Who knew oatmeal could look so good. I honestly think this recipe could turn me into oatmeal’s #1 fan! I read your Crockpot Cook and Carry Slow Cooker article today, and after seeing this recipe, I won’t be able to wait until I can have my very own wedding, to get it into the gift list. I’m just going to have to get it own my own after all, for a chance of tasting this simple, but amazing looking dish. Thanks for the great recipe.

  22. I am always looking for a savory dish that I can make in my crock pot. They are so convenient and tender from the effects of slow cooking. This is a busy mom’s best friend. Always in the running for new meals and this is definitely something new and guaranteed good. My kids love oatmeal and slow-cooked sounds like heaven. Maybe I can use blueberries or apples instead.

  23. Oatmeal is so delicious to me. My all time favorite kind of oatmeal to eat is Apples and Cinnamon. I seriously want to try some steel cut oatmeal, but I buy the old-fashioned oats a lot and occasionally I still buy the instant Oatmeal when its on sale.

  24. Out of all of the different types of oatmeal that I have tasted, this looks scrumptious. I’m an instant oatmeal person, so I’ve had literally all of the flavors from Quaker oatmeal brand. This is different and daring. I can’t imagine slow roasting oatmeal for eight hours, but served with milk, I’m sure it is worth it. Cranberries and apples are awesome.

  25. This looked so tasty I tried but…I microwaved it. Don’t judge me! I don’t want to get a slow cooker until I move for the last time, so I had to work with what I had, haha.

    Despite my inferior tools, it came out really tasty! I used a low setting and mix several times. Even my roommate came sniffing, and she hates oatmeal.

    I really want to try the slow-cooker version, but until I can I’m definitely making this again.

  26. I think that the last time that I tried a good oatmeal breakfast was a good 4-5 years ago, and this recipe definitely made me miss it. It seems a great idea when it comes to breakfast, without mentioning that it also looks really easy to do and extremely delicious, of course. Even if I’m not the biggest fan of cinnamon, I bet you that I will crave for it on winter, I’m going to give it a try by that time.

  27. Well I cannot say that I have ever used a slow cooker to make oatmeal, but now that I see the recipe it does make a lot of sense. It seems to me to be the perfect thing to let cook overnight, and then when you wake up in the morning, give it a stir, hop in the shower and enjoy this for breakfast. I love a good bowl of oatmeal, but I do not really care for the microwave stuff, so this would really be a great new breakfast addition for me. Thanks for sharing.

  28. This sounds great! I’ve always used instant oatmeal, but I was never fond of all the sugar the prepared mixes use, and it would be nice to try something healthier. I like including fruit in oatmeal as well, and berries or dried fruit find their way into my oatmeal. I also like to use nuts, especially pecans, walnuts, or the occasional hazelnut. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds also add some nice vegetarian protein. I think oatmeal with fruit would also be nice with a big spoonful of Nutella stirred in for a special occasion breakfast.

  29. Making this recipe for a second time. It’s delicious! My husband even likes it and he’s a picky eater. For those asking about using milk, I’ve used unsweetened, vanilla almond milk both times. I don’t see why regular milk wouldn’t work also.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.