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!
Table of contents
- Why Make Instant Pot Oatmeal?
- Ingredients for Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats Recipe
- What Are Steel Cut Oats?
- How to Cook Steel Cut Oats in Instant Pot
- Optional Add-Ins and Variations
- Tips for Best Oatmeal in Instant Pot
- How to Serve Steel Cut Oatmeal Instant Pot?
- How to Store and Reheat Oats?
- More Favorite Oatmeal Recipes
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
How to Serve Steel Cut Oatmeal Instant Pot?
- Flavor: Swirl in some homemade Instant Pot applesauce or top with strawberry yogurt.
- Serve a crowd a special brunch: Include this sweet potato egg casserole, a basket of fresh cranberry orange muffins, or a stack of almond flour pancakes.
- Relaxed weekend mornings: I love to enjoy a bowl of overnight steel cut oats and Instant Pot egg bites.
- During the holidays: Indulge a little with these healthy cinnamon rolls, a loaf of moist and delicious healthy banana bread or gingerbread loaf.
How to Store and Reheat Oats?
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
Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
- 2 cups steel cut oats
- 4 cups water
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 cup any milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- Fresh in season or frozen fruit or berries, nuts, coconut flakes for serving
- 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.
Delicious! Finally! A steel cut recipe that doesn’t have to be continually stirred and watched in fear of boiling over and turning to mush! The chewiness is perfect and this is so easy on busy mornings. I added a bit of vanilla and cinnamon too. Cut up some fresh fruit and berries for a wonderful breakfast!
Thanks for sharing your positive feedback Barbara!
Quick, easy, delicious!
I love steel cut oats and especially how easy and quick it is to make these in the instant pot. Thanks ! ~Joyce
You are welcome Joyce!
This recipe was great! Texture of oatmeal was just right! Love your recipes!
Awe, you are so welcome! So happy to hear you are enjoying my recipes!
Hi, how much of maple syrup, pure vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg do you usually add? I want to try this recipe this weekend, looks amazing!
I will try as I really eye ball for this one haha. 3 tbsp maple syrup, 1 cup milk, 2-3 tbsp butter or coconut oil, 1/2 tsp each cinnamon and vanilla, 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Enjoy!
It sure is! Who needs sugar-y packets?!
Excellent, less messy and easiest steel cut oats I have run across. I changed nothing except when to add butter, milk and spices. I made 2 servings instead of 4 listed. I added all ingredients [including milk, butter and spices] before I set pressure to 6 minutes. Before adding anything, I sprayed with olive oil all over instant pot bowl. Once done, I did a quick release and mixed it up. I had no problem with a burn warning although some oats did stick to bottom. I soaked it and there was no problem getting it spic and span again in a jiffy. Since I only needed high pressure for 6 minutes, perhaps this is why it worked without burning? I have the 7-1 6-Qt duo instant pot and have never found a recipe that causes the burn notification, thankfully. I liked your add-in ingredients too. I added about 2 tbsp maple syrup, about 1/2 tsp each of nutmeg and cinammon and 1 tsp vanilla extract. It was not too sweet but sweet enough which is the way I like it. Excellent recipe. I gave it 5 stars.
Great to hear. Maybe 6 mins was short enough not to cause milk to burn…
Perfectly easy and yummy recipe that my whole family loved! Making mornings easier and with all the things you could possible mix in it won’t get stale on my menu! Thank you.
Thank you for Olena for such an easy and tasty oats recipe! I love using Instant pot, thank you for easy instructions.
You are welcome.:)
Yum yum I just did a similar recipe in the slow cooker, for some reason I’m hesitant to try it in the instant pot! I don’t know why, but now I”m totally game thanks for sharing!