This slow cooker chocolate cherry steel cut oatmeal is waiting for you when you wake up in the morning. Start your day with a delicious comforting bowl for breakfast.

This slow cooker chocolate cherry steel cut oatmeal is waiting for you when you wake up in the morning. Start your day with a delicious comforting bowl for breakfast.

There’s a slow cooker category on this site and after almost four years, it has a whopping six recipes in it.

For a “small” appliance that takes up an entire shelf of a corner cabinet, that’s pretty pathetic.

None of them happen to be breakfast recipes either and after a week of single digit temperatures and a freezing cold house in the morning before we get the wood stove going again (because of course the year we get a wood stove to offset the insane cost of heating a house in NY, the price of oil plummets), I could really get behind an already cooked comforting breakfast that I can eat under my wool blanket on the couch with a cup of coffee.

Since it happens to be National Oatmeal Month (yeah, that’s a thing apparently), slow cooker steel cut oats seemed like the perfect solution.

Check out slow cooker millet porridge too – a fun (also gluten-free) alternative to oatmeal.

This slow cooker chocolate cherry steel cut oatmeal is waiting for you when you wake up in the morning.

A boring bowl of beige oats didn’t seem too exciting though which is exactly where dark chocolate and cherries come in.

Any morning that starts with chocolate is a win by me but adding cherries and not just any cherries, but deliciously tangy and good- for- you tart cherries, makes this breakfast even better.

Montmorency tart cherries (sometimes known as sour cherries) are rich in vitamin A and pack a nutrient punch to your breakfast that’s just an added bonus to their amazing sweet and sour taste.

Start your day with this delicious slow cooker chocolate cherry steel cut oatmeal.

The combination of chocolate and tart cherries in this recipe is like taking a bite of black forest cake with every spoonful.

Cake for breakfast? Um yes, please.

So while these cherries are great in everything from smoothies, to drinking the tart cherry juice straight up or even throwing them in your bowl of cereal, I’ll be cozying up with a bowl of this comforting chocolate cherry steel cut oatmeal until the temps reach at least freezing again.

Looking for more fruit + oatmeal combinations? Try strawberry oatmeal, peaches and cream oats or apple butter carrot cake oatmeal (also made in the slow cooker) too!

Loved this slow cooker chocolate cherry steel cut oatmeal recipe?

Try these other oatmeal recipes: Triple Chocolate Steel Cut OatmealBaked Apple Oatmeal, and Instant Pot Sweet Potato Steel Cut Oats.

Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you'll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
4.08 from 13 votes

Slow Cooker Chocolate Cherry Steel Cut Oatmeal

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 10 minutes
This slow cooker chocolate cherry steel cut oatmeal is waiting for you when you wake up in the morning. Start your day with a delicious comforting bowl for breakfast.


For the Oatmeal:

  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ounce chopped unsweetened bakers chocolate
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Pinch kosher salt

For the Cherry Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen tart cherries
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


  • Combine all the ingredients for the oatmeal in a 3 or 4 quart slow cooker (*see note) and stir together.
  • Cover, cook on low for 8 hours the night before and set so that the slow cooker stays on warm after it's done cooking.
  • In the morning, combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small sauce pot over medium-high heat.
  • Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 7-10 minutes until thickened.
  • Uncover the oatmeal, stir and add a bit more milk if it's thickened up too much.
  • Spoon the oatmeal into serving bowls and top with the cherry sauce.


If your slow cooker is larger than this, you will want to double the recipe so that the oatmeal doesn't burn as it will be spread too thin in a larger slow cooker.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 381kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 12gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 66mgPotassium: 405mgFiber: 8gSugar: 33gVitamin A: 516IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 211mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
*This post is sponsored by the Cherry Marketing Institute as part of my ongoing partnership with them. All content and opinions are my own.
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Can this be frozen? I live alone and only have a large slow cooker, so according to your note, I would have to make a double batch to prevent burning. I doubt I could eat 8 servings all by myself before it went off!

    1. You can but you’ll likely not need as much liquid. Maybe use 1/2 cup less of either milk or water. Texture will be more mushy than chewy too but should work just fine!

  2. With fall in the air, time to think about oatmeal, which I live preparing in the slow cooker. This recipe looks enticing, but can anyone name grocery chains that sell dried or frozen tart cherries? I’ve been looking unsuccessfully in the mid-Atlantic area for years – wish they were not so scarce!

    1. Dried are probably easier to find than frozen. I know Trader Joe’s always has dried in their fruit + nuts section if you have one nearby. If not – you can always find them on Amazon!

    2. @Patricia, Walmart sells them. They are found (if they are in stock) in the dried fruit aisle. Ask where the raisins are. Cherries are in the same area.

    1. probably, I might add a touch more liquid as cooking oats on high tends to burn around the edges. If you can stir on occasion while it cooks, that would help too.

    1. Of course! Will change the taste a little but will definitely still turn out fine.