Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats is a creamy, healthy, and delicious healthy breakfast meal for busy mornings. Set the night before, then just season and top with your favorite fruit and berries in the morning!

We love oatmeal for breakfast, whether it’s overnight oats, healthy granola, or baked oatmeal bars. So healthy, and so good!

instant pot steel cut oats in a bowl with citrus fruit and nuts

I’m sharing my recipe for Instant Pot steel cut oats tested multiple times until I perfected it to the ultimate consistency just like my dad used to make in Ukraine. Just the right amount of creamy with a bite and in a fraction of the time as cooking it on the stove!

Enjoying a complete breakfast like Instant Pot eggs and Instant Pot egg bites, or even Instant Pot yogurt with quinoa granola is now even easier thanks to the Instant Pot, an electric pressure cooker extraordinaire. Steel cut oatmeal Instant Pot is a healthy breakfast, high in protein, and fibre that will keep you fuller for longer.

You may also love syrniki recipe, cheese pancakes that I also grew up eating in the Ukraine!

Why Make Instant Pot Oatmeal?

  • Keeps you full: Because of their higher fiber and density, steel cut oats keeps you fuller for much longer than old fashioned rolled or instant oats.
  • Healthy: Less processed than rolled oats and loaded with vitamins, like vitamin B, minerals like iron, high in fibre, and antioxidants. 
  • Customizable: On their own oats are a little nutty, but also bland, so it’s a great blank slate to add all of your favorite add-ins, toppings, and flavours.
  • Easy and hands off: With just 12 minutes of cook time, some water, and oats, it’s the pressure cooker that does the work!
steel cut oatmeal made in instant pot ready to eat in a bowl with a spoon

Ingredients for Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats Recipe

  • Steel cut oats: Steel cut oats are the healthiest oats because they are the least processed. Buy organic, if possible. I also included notes for quick cooking steel cut oats which we buy at Costco often.
  • Water and milk: Water is for cooking oats because the pressure cooker needs liquid to create steam. The milk is added afterward to add richness and creamy consistency.
  • Butter: Melted butter also adds creaminess to porridge. You could replace the butter with coconut oil if preferred!
  • Sweetener: I like to use maple syrup just because the maple flavor in oats is amazing. Honey, sugar, agave, erythritol, stevia, etc. will also work.
  • Seasonings: Pure vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Amounts used are merely to add subtle flavor. For more prominent flavors, see suggestions below.
steel cut oats, maple syrup, milk, butter, vanilla and warm spices

What Are Steel Cut Oats?

As much as we all love a warm bowl of oatmeal in the morning to get us going, it’s important to know that not all oatmeal is created equal! A healthy oat breakfast can quickly go south once you start adding a ton of sugar, or use the prepackaged oats that come with an incredible amount of dessert like sugar. The oats themselves all have a lot of nutrients in them, and each is considered a part of a healthy choice, it’s just what we do with the oats that can alter the benefits. 

Steel cut oats are the least processed of the bunch, which essentially makes them the healthiest of all the oats. Just in terms of how much of the vitamins and minerals are retained after processing. They almost look like quinoa or chopped up rice. It’s cut from the oat groat rather than made into rolled (more processed) oats. This makes them much more coarse in texture, even after cooking. They’ve got a chewy bite to them, which can be tricky to overcome if not cooked properly, and because of this, the cooking time is longer than rolled oats- but that is where the magic of steel cut oatmeal Instant Pot comes in! 

a bag of steel cut oats

How to Cook Steel Cut Oats in Instant Pot

  • Cook oats in water: In the Instant Pot, add 2 cups steel cut oats and 4 cups water. Cook for 12 minutes on High Pressure.

For overnight steel cut oats: This cool feature is totally optional but so handy! Press delay at night for -25 minutes before your breakfast time. Wake up to freshly cooked steel cut oats.

  • Season oatmeal: Release the pressure right away and add butter, milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and stir. Let the steel cut oatmeal Instant Pot sit for 2 minutes to thicken and absorb the flavours.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings: Fresh in season or frozen fruit and berries, nuts, chia seeds, peanut butter, other types of nut butter, or jam are all great options.

Quick cooking steel cut oats: This is pre-cooked steel cut oatmeal, so it needs less cook time. Use a ratio of 2 cups of oats to 3 1/2 cups water, and cook for 6 minutes.

Optional Add-Ins and Variations

  • Apple pie: Stir in 1/2 cup applesauce, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg.
  • Vanilla maple: Add 1/4 cup maple syrup and 1 tsp pure vanilla extract.
  • Savory oatmeal: Use plant based milk and serve with a fried or poached egg, bacon, avocado, and salsa.
  • Raisin nut: Add 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 cup chopped almonds or pecans and let sit for 5 minutes for raisins to swell.
  • Yogurt and berries: Add 1 cup of plain yogurt or strawberry yogurt and 1 cup of fresh or frozen berries. You may also love to use leftover healthy fruit salad!
  • Pumpkin: Stir in 1 cup of pumpkin puree, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp nutmeg before cooking. Or just use 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice.
  • Banana bread: Add sliced ripe banana before cooking. If you prefer them to be uncooked and a little more firm, add them after.

Tips for Best Oatmeal in Instant Pot

  • Size of Instant Pot you can use: Any! 3, 6, 8 or 10 quarts will fit the original recipe as written. The double volume will work in all sizes except the 3 quarts one.
  • Total cook time is 20-25 minutes: Factor that in during morning rush hour. So, it isn’t that instant but you turn it on and walk away. 
  • Double the recipe: Double all ingredients but keep the same cook time.
  • Make less: Cut ingredients in half but keep the same cook time. You can also try to make overnight steel cut oats in individual jars if feeding one or two people.
  • Keep Warm: If you plan on using this function, add extra 1/2 cup water to prevent oatmeal from sticking and burning to the pot.
  • Don’t add dairy milk before cooking: It’s important to add dairy milk after cooking oats otherwise it will cause “Burn”.
  • Non-dairy milk: However, you can replace water with any plant-based milk from a carton like almond milk at a 1:1 ratio. Just coat the pot with oil before adding the ingredients.
  • Don’t use the porridge button: It is a pre-programmed function for quick oats. I learned through multiple testing methods, custom times (manual/high-pressure cook time) work the best with Instant Pot.


Are steel cut oats gluten free?

Naturally, steel cut oats are a gluten free whole grain that is easily digestible by most people. However, the issue lies in that many places that process oats, also process items that do contain gluten. This is where cross-contamination can be a problem, especially for those with celiac disease, intolerance, or allergy.

The only way to be sure if your steel cut oats are certified gluten free is to make sure to read the label. It will say if it is made in a gluten free facility.

Are steel cut oats better for you than rolled oats?

Don’t get me wrong, rolled oats are awesome and I use them in everything from cookies to even pizza crust. They too come with a slew of vitamins and minerals. However, just based on the fact that steel cut oats are less processed than rolled oats, it means less of their benefits get lost along the way. So, naturally, they contain more of the good stuff.

Should I rinse steel cut oats before cooking?

You certainly can, if you prefer, but you don’t have to. Some people who don’t use the Instant Pot may want to soak them for a bit and then drain. Using the Instant Pot eliminates the need for any of that.

Can I use quick cooking steel cut oats?

This is a great option if you want to get breakfast on the table in a hurry! Use 2 cups of oats for 3 1/2 cups of water and cook for just 6 minutes.

Why are my steel cut oatmeal oats chewy?

Steel cut oats have a different texture than rolled oats if that is what you’re used to. Having them a bit chewy (with a little bit of a bite) is very normal. If you find that they are gluey and goopy, it might just be a matter of you not leaving them alone and stirring a little too much. When you activate the starch, it can change the texture of the oats.

Should I add salt to steel cut oats?

You can! The salt, as it does in any recipe, helps to bring out the natural flavors of the oats. They are quite nutty and slightly bland, so a little salt won’t hurt!

steel cut oatmeal instant pot in a bowl with fruit and nuts

How to Serve

How to Store and Reheat

Storing: Refrigerate oats in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Batch cook and double the recipe to quickly grab and reheat on busy mornings.

Reheating: Oatmeal thickens in the fridge. Add a splash of milk and simmer on the stovetop for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until warmed through.

Freezing: You can also freeze oatmeal in portions in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Then thaw in the fridge and reheat.

Meal prep: You can divide cooked oatmeal with toppings between containers and refrigerate for up to 5 days. When ready to eat, stir your overnight steel cut oats to prevent toppings from scorching, and microwave until warmed through.

More Favorite Oatmeal Recipes

A bowl with Instant Pit steel cut oats topped with chopped citrus fruit and nuts.
instant pot steel cut cut oats in a bowl with fruit

Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats

Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats is a creamy, healthy, and delicious breakfast for busy mornings. Set the night before, then just season and top with your favorite fruit and berries in the morning!
5 from 23 votes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 402
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes



  • In Instant Pot, add steel cut oats and water.
  • Close the lid, turn pressure valve to Sealing, press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 12 minutes and cancel/don't turn on Keep Warm. Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure, then float valve will rise and countdown from 12 minutes will begin.
  • When oatmeal is ready, display will say OFF. Turn pressure valve to Venting position immediately to release the pressure.
  • When float valve is down, open the lid (some water is fine), add butter, milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, and stir. Let oatmeal sit for 2 minutes to thicken and absorb flavors.
  • Serve topped with fresh in season or frozen fruit or berries, nuts, coconut flakes etc.



  • Store: Refrigerate up to 5 days in an airtight container. Simmer with a splash of milk or water covered in a small pot on low heat, stirring occasionally. Or microwave in increments.
  • Freeze: In an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter for a few hours. Reheat as per instructions above.
  • Size of Instant Pot you can use: Any 3, 6, 8 or 10 quart will fit original recipe as written. Double volume will work in all sizes except the 3 quart one.
  • Quick cooking steel cut oats: Use ratio of 2 cups oats and 3 1/2 cups water, cook for 6 minutes.
  • Make ahead the night before: You can use Delay function, set oatmeal at night for “- 25 minutes” your breakfast time, and wake up to freshly cooked steel cut oats.
  • Amount: Double all ingredients but keep same cook time. Cut ingredients in half but keep same cook time.
  • Keep Warm: If you plan on using this function, add extra 1/2 cup water to prevent oatmeal from sticking and burning to the pot.
  • Don’t use porridge button: It is pre-programmed function for quick oats. I learnt for best outcome, custom tested times work the best with Instant Pot.
See recipe post for more notes and FAQs.


Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 144mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 9g
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. 5 stars
    Beautiful photo of bowl of oatmeal that you have here and I appreciate all the ideas for add in’s. I was pleased to see instructions for quick cooking steel cut oats as I got some by mistake. The only thing I did differently was I needed to add more water as maybe this brand of quick steel cut oats acted more like regular steel cut–the pressure cooker didn’t come to pressure with three cups water, but they cooked just fine anyway with adding more water-I added total of 6 cups of liquid by the end including 2 cups almond milk and it “took” it just fine. Creamy nice oatmeal and my husband said it liked it more then “regular” steel cut oats. Thank you

  2. 5 stars
    This has become one of my favorite breakfasts to make. So easy and hands-off, healthy, and goes with lots of different toppings (but my favorite is stewed apples with walnuts and raisins). Makes just as good leftovers, too, for an easier week!

  3. 5 stars
    comes out perfect every time! It took a while to convince my Mom to let me try it (I’m a live-in caregiver for my elderly parents) but she is now a believer! I love this cuz her cooking skills are declining as she gets older and she forgets times, measurements, etc. Love my Instant Pot! Thanks for all the recipes and tips, they are much appreciated! (PS-I used to work stateside for missionaries in Kiev, Ukraine back in the 90’s)

  4. Hi Olena,
    I don’t have and instant pot, but i do have a Fissler pressure cooker and a rice cooker. Will it be possible to cook this recipe in either of those?
    Thanks. Your recipes are delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  5. 5 stars
    This was AMAZING! Had some leftover praline glaze for a ham my son smoked for us. Added that after stirring in the spices and milk. WOW! So glad I found your recipe. Pinned, now I can go back and get rid of the ones I‘be tried before! Thanks for sharing!

5 from 23 votes

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