This recipe for healthy Crock Pot apple cinnamon oatmeal is made with steel cut oats and coconut milk. It tastes like apple pie in a bowl and has the creamiest texture! You’ll want to make this vegan slow cooker breakfast on repeat during the fall and winter.
I love apple season! As soon as October begins, I stock up on my favorite varieties of the month’s best fruit and add apples to just about everything. If I’m not eating a sliced apple as a snack or on the side of a meal, I’m making my Unsweetened Applesauce with Veggies, Turnip Hash Brown Cakes with Apple Chutney, or Amazing Apple Parsnip Muffins.
This Crock Pot apple cinnamon oatmeal is also one of my go-to recipes for the fall. Not only is it wildly easy and downright delicious, it also makes the house smell like apple pie baking in the oven.
You can make slow cooker steel cut oats for the whole family on a Sunday morning or whip it up for meal prep and reheat for breakfast all week long. This recipe would also be great for a holiday morning, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Ingredients and Substitutions
The great thing about this recipe is that about half of the ingredients are in the name: apples, cinnamon, and oatmeal! The rest are very easy to find and may already be in your pantry. Here’s what you need for this recipe. Scroll to the recipe card for ingredient quantities.
- Steel cut oats: Use regular steel cut oats, not quick-cooking ones. Since this recipe is cooked low and slow, you don’t want oats that will cook too quickly and end up burning. You can substitute old fashioned oats for steel cut oats, but you may need to decrease the cooking time. Check about an hour before the recipe is supposed to be finished to see if the oats are already cooked. If you need this recipe to be strictly gluten-free, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
- Apples: I prefer Honeycrisp or Pink Lady apples for my Crock Pot apple cinnamon oatmeal, but you can use any variety.
- Coconut milk: Use canned coconut milk that’s full-fat (not lite) and unsweetened. This is vital for the oatmeal’s creaminess. You can substitute cow’s, oat, almond, or soy milk, but this will change the flavor profile and may affect the texture. Using cow’s milk means the recipe will no longer be vegan.
- Milled flaxseed: Don’t use whole flaxseed, as this is harder to digest and won’t contribute to the creamy texture as much as milled flaxseed. I like to use the milled flaxseed (also known as flaxseed meal) from Trader Joe’s or Bob’s Red Mill.
- Pure maple syrup: The real stuff, not pancake syrup. Reserve some for drizzling on the oatmeal just before serving, too, if desired. Honey can be substituted for maple syrup, but keep in mind that the recipe will no longer be vegan if you do that.
- Vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt: Feel free to substitute pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon.
Here’s a preview of how to make Crock Pot apple cinnamon oatmeal. For the full instructions, scroll down to the recipe card.
- Grease the slow cooker.
- Dice the apples, and gather the other ingredients.
- Combine everything in the slow cooker.
- Cook on low until creamy.
- Add some vegetables: Add about one cup of shredded carrots or parsnips at the same time as you put the other ingredients in the slow cooker. Trust me, it’s delicious!
- Add more protein: Swirl in some peanut, almond, cashew, or sunflower seed butter before serving your Crock Pot apple cinnamon oatmeal. Top with hemp hearts, chopped walnuts, or sliced almonds. Mix in Greek yogurt or protein powder.
- Switch up the fruit: You can use pears in place of the apples and add raisins or dried cranberries if desired.
- Crock Pot or slow cooker: Use a Crock Pot or slow cooker that’s 4.5-quart or bigger, such as this 7-quart Crock Pot.
- Glass Pyrex containers: These are my favorite containers for storing slow cooker oatmeal.
- Stasher bags: If you want to freeze this recipe, you can’t go wrong with these silicone bags.
Storage and Reheating
- Divide into portions: I like to store leftover oatmeal in 1.25-cup portions, so that I can more easily reheat it on busy mornings.
- Refrigerator: Crock Pot apple cinnamon oatmeal lasts up to a week in the fridge. Store in an airtight container. Reheat for one to two minutes on high in the microwave.
- Freezer: Store in freezer-safe containers for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
More Oatmeal Recipes
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Crock Pot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
- Cooking spray or coconut oil - to grease the slow cooker
- 1.5 cups steel cut oats
- 3 cups water
- 1 14.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 apples - diced, about 2 cups
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup - plus more for serving if desired
- 3 tablespoons milled flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Grease the slow cooker.
- Add all ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- Cook on low for 5 to 7 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours until the oats are cooked through and creamy. This recipe does best when cooked on low, since the oats may cook too quickly and/or burn if cooked on high. If you have a new slow cooker, you may need to decrease the cooking time.
- Serve the oatmeal or store for later (see notes). Add some extra maple syrup, nuts or seeds, dried fruit, butter (use vegan if needed) or any other toppings of choice.
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- Store in airtight containers in the fridge for up to a week or freezer for up to three months. Reheat in the microwave for one to two minutes until warmed through. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating if frozen. Consider storing in individual portions for easier reheating.
- You can sub another type of milk, use honey instead of maple syrup, or use a different fruit. However, substitutions may change the flavor profile and/or make the recipe no longer vegan.
This post was originally published in May of 2017. It was updated with new photos and tips in October 2022.
Have a happy and healthy week! – Lizzie