This tasty Cherry Pie Oatmeal can be prepped entirely the night before. Simply throw all of the ingredients into a slow cooker the night before and have a delicious, satisfying breakfast as soon as you wake up!
We all know that mornings can be one of the hardest times to get a warm, belly-filling meal on the table for the family, but that’s why this Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal is so fantastic! Prep everything the night before, turn on your slow cooker, and wake up to the delicious smell of cherries, brown sugar and warm oatmeal ready to enjoy. Just like my Slow Cooker Superfood Oatmeal, you’ll quickly learn to add this to your weekly meal plan – it is simply that good!
Why This Recipe Works
- The bulk of it can be prepared the night before serving. The only thing you’ll have to prep the morning of is the almond streusel topping (should you choose to use it), which takes just 5 minutes.
- By using BOTH almond and coconut milks, the protein factor is through the roof. Along with the filling steel-cut oats, this breakfast will keep your growing little ones satisfied well until lunch.
- Since we’re using frozen cherries instead of fresh, you don’t have to wait for cherry season to enjoy the yummy flavors of cherry pie. Make this easy recipe year-round!
- You can easily turn this into a meal prep recipe by scooping the prepared oatmeal into muffin tins and freezing in individual portions, just like my favorite freezer oatmeal cups!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Steel-cut oats – Because you’ll be cooking your oats low and slow, it’s important that you use steel-cut – as opposed to rolled – oats in this recipe. Otherwise, your oatmeal will turn out mushy and wet.
Frozen cherries – There are two big advantages to using frozen cherries instead of fresh (although, if you have the opportunity and the time, you’re welcome to use fresh). First, you can find frozen cherries year-round, so you’re not stuck to only making this dish during summer. Second, frozen cherries are usually sold pitted, which will save you a TON of prep time. If you use fresh cherries and need to pit them, I recommend using a strong plastic straw and sticking it through the center of each cherry to pit.
Canned, unsweetened coconut milk – Be sure to use canned coconut milk rather than coconut beverage sold in a carton. The canned version is much thicker and creamier and lends a much better taste to the dish. We use unsweetened to cut down on the added sugar, since this recipe uses a decent amount of brown sugar already.
Unsweetened vanilla almond milk – This adds another level of flavor, creaminess and protein to the dish. As with the coconut milk, be sure to use unsweetened (or cut down on the amount of brown sugar you use).
Lemon zest – This lends such an amazing flavor to this oatmeal, you don’t want to skip it!
Almond extract – This is a popular ingredient in cherry pie and really adds to the “pie” feel of this oatmeal.
Brown sugar – This is where your Cherry Pie Oatmeal will get its sweetness!
While the above list is the majority of the ingredients you’ll need, you can add an extra layer of flavor to your oatmeal with the easy almond-streusel topping:
Butter, brown sugar and toasted, slivered almonds are all you’ll need to take things over-the-top!
This is yet another simple recipe that takes almost no prep time to put together:
Simply put all of the oatmeal ingredients into your slow cooker, give it a gentle stir, and let it do its thing for 7-8 hours.
If you can, give the oatmeal a stir about halfway through the cooking process, although this is not necessary.
In the morning, either serve the oatmeal as-is or make the almond streusel to sprinkle over top.
While the recipe calls for you to prepare the oatmeal the night before you plan to serve it, you can even make it further in advance. If serving within a couple of days, store it in a covered container in the refrigerator. If you want to prep the oatmeal more than a couple of days in advance, you can freeze it in whatever serving sizes you prefer.
If you’d like to have single-servings of this oatmeal on hand in the freezer for busy mornings, simply scoop the prepared recipe into individual muffin tins sprayed with cooking spray and freeze until solid. Once frozen, remove the single servings from the muffin tin, wrap in plastic wrap, place in a resealable container or plastic bag, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Absolutely. Just be sure to pit the cherries before throwing them into the slow cooker.
I highly recommend always using the coconut milk, as it really adds a special flavor to this dish. However, feel free to replace the almond milk with something similar, like oat milk or soy milk.
Yes! With any slow cooker oatmeal recipe, it’s important to use steel-cut oats as any other kind will get too mushy during the long cooking process.
Other Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas
Make-ahead breakfasts are one of the easiest ways to take control of your morning meal plan. Here are some other great ideas of breakfast recipes you can make in advance!
Tried this recipe and loved it?? Be sure to leave a comment and five-star rating in the recipe card below!
Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal
For the oatmeal:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 1 cup frozen cherries, halved
- 1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the topping (optional):
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- Combine all oatmeal ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 7-8 hours, stirring once (if possible, but this is not absolutely necessary.)
- When oatmeal is finished cooking, make topping. Place butter, brown sugar and slivered almonds in a small bowl and mix with fingers until well combined.
- Scoop warm oatmeal into individual bowls and top each bowl with a generous amount of the topping. Serve immediately.
- While this recipe is written to be prepared the night before you’d like to serve it, you can even prepare it a few days or months in advance. If you make it a few days in advance, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you make it more than a few days in advance, store it in the freezer.
- Make this an easy meal prep recipe by scooping the prepared oatmeal into individual muffin tins coated with cooking spray. Once frozen, remove the oatmeal from the tins, wrap individually and freeze for easy reheating in the microwave on any busy morning.
- Be sure to use steel-cut oats (as opposed to rolled or instant oats) since the cooking process is longer and we don’t want the oatmeal to be mushy.
- You’re welcome to use fresh instead of frozen cherries, just be sure to pit them before adding them to the slow cooker.