Making Instant Pot steel cut oats is easy, almost completely hands-off, and creates the perfect hearty breakfast!
Why you’ll love it: It’s so easy to make, virtually all hands off, and makes a lot.
How long it takes: 5 minutes to prep and about 35 minutes in the Instant Pot, depending on how quickly it comes to full pressure
Equipment you’ll need: pressure cooker/Instant Pot
Creamy, warm, and comforting – oatmeal is a perfect breakfast. It’s Ben’s favorite and I love it too. My parents eat oatmeal pretty much everyday and so did my grandparents.
Often called Irish or Scottish oats, steel cut oats are a unique alternative to rolled oats. Since they are minimally processed, they are chockfull of fiber and nutrition.
If a little packet of instant oatmeal is your only experience with oatmeal, you’ve been deprived of a good oatmeal breakfast. There’s simply no comparison to home-cooked steel cut oats. They are chewy and satisfying, not gluey and pasty like instant oats.
A good bowl of oatmeal with a little milk and honey will stick with you easily until lunchtime. No growly tummies an hour after breakfast! And because oatmeal has lots of soluble fiber, your gut will be happy too.
There are lots of ways to fix and eat oatmeal. Who doesn’t love crunchy granola made with oats? It’s great as a snack or for breakfast. I love to make steel cut oats in my slow cooker: get it started before you go to bed and a warm breakfast is waiting for you when you awaken. Baked oatmeal is a fun alternative to a bowl of oatmeal and you can even cut it into fun shapes for the kids.
About this Oatmeal
When you make steel cut oatmeal on the stovetop, there’s a bit of babysitting it. If you’ve done it even once, you know this. You have to stir it to make sure it doesn’t burn or stick on the bottom. You have to constantly adjust the heat to make sure it doesn’t boil over (because boy, oh boy, does it love to boil over!). Obviously it’s not the hardest thing in the world but it can be a bit of a pain.
Using a pressure cooker eliminates all these problems. You just combine the oats, water, and a bit of salt, put the lid on, set it and walk away!
If you’ve used an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, you know it will take about ten minutes to come to pressure. Once it pressurizes, the oats will cook for 5 minutes, and then you’ll let the pressure release naturally (aka do nothing) for about twenty minutes.
All that’s left to do after that is remove the cover and give them a good stir. As with all oatmeal, it will continue to thicken as it stands and when it cools.
Keep reading for lots of yummy topping ideas.
I would check the manual that came with your Instant Pot. My model does not have an oatmeal button. Oatmeal is so easy to make that you really won’t need a special setting. Just set it for High Pressure for five minutes and let it release naturally for 20 minutes. That’s all there is to it!
It shouldn’t be necessary to rinse the oats. Some folks soak the oats before cooking them so that they’ll cook more quickly. That step isn’t necessary when using a pressure cooker/Instant Pot to cook oatmeal.
Because steel cut oats are a whole grain and minimally processed, they are very healthy for you. They are low calorie and high in fiber, with lots of vitamins and minerals. A serving contains 5 grams of protein. To learn more, check out Healthline. They help regulate blood sugar, promote proper digestion and weight loss, and are good for heart health.
Make It Your Own
This oatmeal is a blank slate but you can season it and flavor it any way you’d like. Here are some ideas:
- Try cooking it with a cinnamon stick for a subtle cinnamon flavor or give it a hearty sprinkle of ground cinnamon when it finishes cooking.
- Sweeten it any way you like! I like a sprinkle of brown sugar or a drizzle of pure maple syrup. A swirl of jam or jelly is delicious too.
- Toppings! Oh, you know I love my toppings! Fresh berries are amazing on oatmeal. Some other ideas are sliced bananas, nut butters, sunflower seed butter, a few chocolate chips, sautéed apples, toasted nuts, or shredded coconut. Try stirring in a little pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice for a fun fall oatmeal. For a more savory breakfast, top your oatmeal with a fried egg.
- If you prefer oatmeal with a thinner consistency, add more water when you cook it. I wouldn’t recommend reducing the water much, if at all, because you’ll be more likely to get a burn notice on your Instant Pot.
Storage & Reheating Tips
This oatmeal will keep for about a week in the fridge so you can enjoy it all week.
You can also freeze it (I recommend freezing in individual portions) for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge and then warm int he microwave or on the stove.
Steel cut oats reheat very well on the stovetop or in the microwave. You might find they thicken a bit, but you can thin them down with water or a milk of your choice.
More Breakfast & Brunch Recipes
Best meal of the day, in my humble opinion! Here are some popular breakfast ideas:
- Overnight French Toast
- Instant Pot Shakshuka with butternut squash
- Crescent Roll Breakfast Casserole with Turkey Sausage
- Ham, Spinach, and Cheese Egg Boats
- Breakfast Quinoa with Chia and Cinnamon
- Classic French Toast
- Whole30 Sausage (pork & apple)
- Healthy Banana Pancakes
- 2 cups steel cut oats
- 5 ½ cups water (see note)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, berries for serving
- Combine oats, water, and salt in the bowl of a 6-quart pressure cooker (Instant Pot).
- Secure lid and turn valve to “seal.”
- Set on manual, high pressure, for 5 minutes. Once cook time has elapsed, let pressure release for 20 minutes. You do this by just leaving it alone! It has a timer that will count how much time has elapsed since it finished but you can also set a timer if you think you’ll forget to check.
- When 20 minutes has passed, turn valve to “vent” to release any remaining pressure.
- Stir oats and serve with desired toppings. Oats will continue to thicken as they set.
- Nutrition information does not include toppings.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container and reheat in the microwave or in a small saucepan with a little milk if needed to thin the oatmeal.
- If you prefer thinner oatmeal, use 6 cups of water.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.