Instant Pot Oatmeal makes for a fast, easy, and healthy breakfast. Prepared in minutes, old fashioned oats cook up to a perfectly creamy consistency and can be topped in a variety of ways for endless variations.
Oatmeal made in the Instant Pot is a hands-off way to prepare a hearty breakfast that is gluten-free and egg-free and can easily be made dairy-free and nut-free, making this simple breakfast perfect for anyone that has multiple food allergies.
This recipe for Instant Pot Oatmeal is used nearly daily at my house. While I love Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats, my kids much prefer the texture of regular oatmeal. And given that I can prepare this so quickly and oatmeal is such a healthy breakfast option, it is a recipe I make again and again.
While waking up to a slow cooker full of steel-cut oats is dreamy, and grabbing a jar of overnight oatmeal from the refrigerator is a great start to a hot summer morning, I am in love with Instant Pot Oatmeal for a few reasons.
- Completely Hands-Off. No waiting for the water to boil. No stirring while cooking. Just set it and forget it.
- Ready in less than 20 minutes from start to finish. I can set everything up for oatmeal in the pressure cooker when I wake up and by the time I have gotten my kids out of bed and dressed, breakfast is ready to be served. However, I often prep a batch on the weekend and just reheat on hectic weekday mornings.
- Customizable. I can make a large batch of oatmeal that can be customized a million different ways to please everyone in my family–so the person who doesn’t like bananas can have raisins and walnuts instead.
- Healthy. Oats are a great source of fiber and whole grains and have a lower GI index, which can help regulate blood sugar. Instant Pot Oatmeal is a breakfast that will keep you full for HOURS.
- Allergy-Friendly. This recipe can be made Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Nut-Free, Egg-Free, and Soy-Free.
What you Need
- Instant Pot: Use any size instant pot you like. This recipe works for 3, 6, or 8-quart models.
- Oats: This recipe is designed for old-fashioned rolled oats. Be sure they are gluten-free if needed.
- Liquid: For oats to cook properly, you need to use a ratio of 3:2 liquid to oats. When cooking oats in your instant pot, much like rice, you will NOT need as much liquid as you do when cooking on the stovetop. This is because, when you cook oats on the stove, some of the liquid is evaporated, but in the pressure cooker, no liquid is evaporated. I prefer to use a mixture of dairy and water for creamy oats, therefore pot-in-pot Instant Pot cooking method must be used. If using water alone, you can cook your oats directly in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Use any variety of milk or non-dairy milk you like.
- Heat-Safe Bowl: To cook the oats in a mixture of water and dairy, you will need a heat-safe bowl to mixt the oats in. I recommend a stainless steel bowl, but a deep cake pan designed for the instant pot will work as well. When I first wrote this post, I suggested using an oven-safe glass dish, since then Pyrex has come out to say that their dishes are not safe in the Instant Pot, therefore I do not recommend using.
- Rack: Use a metal trivet to lift the bowl above the water.
How to Cook Instant Pot Oatmeal
Making old fashioned oats in the Instant Pot is incredibly simple.
Step One: Place the trivet in the inner pot of your pressure cooker and pour in 1 cup cold water fo 6-quart instant pots and 1.5 cups of water for an 8-quart Instant Pot.
Step Two: In a heat-safe bowl, mix your oats and liquid together with a bit of flaxseed. The flaxseed is optional but adds omega fatty acids and fiber.
Step Three: Put the lid on your instant pot, turn your valve to “sealed”, and set your pressure cooker to cook on high pressure for 3 minutes. I have found it takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes to come to pressure.
Step Four: Allow your oatmeal to sit in the Instant Pot for at least 5 minutes before doing a quick release of remaining pressure–see my tips on doing a quick release in my Instant Pot 101.
I would not release the pressure right away, because this may cause your oatmeal to spill out of your pot in pot.
Step Five: Serve warm with any desired toppings.
There are about as many varieties of oatmeal as there are people.
One of the main reasons I love to make a big batch of plain Instant Pot Oatmeal is so that each person can flavor their oatmeal exactly as they desire.
Here are a few of my favorite Instant Pot Oatmeal serving ideas. Each recipe is for one serving of oatmeal.
- Vanilla Maple: 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
- Chocolate Peanut Butter: 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, and 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup.
- Almond Joy: use coconut milk as your dairy or top cooked oatmeal with a bit of coconut milk before serving and top with mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and toasted almonds
- Pumpkin Pie: mix in 2-3 tablespoons pumpkin puree, 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.
- Raisin Nut: top oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon and 1-2 tablespoons each of raisins and chopped walnuts.
- Apple Pie: top oatmeal with chopped fresh apple, cinnamon, and honey or maple syrup.
- Honey Nut: stir in 1 tablespoon honey and top with toasted nuts of any variety.
- Pina Colada: top oatmeal with pineapple chunks, toasted coconut, and sliced bananas. Serve with a splash of coconut milk.
- Savory Sausage and Cheese: add in 1/4 cup cooked crumbled sausage and 1/4 cup shredded cheese.
- Savory Bacon and Egg: top oatmeal crumbled bacon and a fried egg
- Berries and Cream: stir in 1/4 cup fresh berries. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 cup yogurt
Do you have to cook Instant Pot Oatmeal using the pot in pot method?
If you do not want to use dairy in your oats, there is no need to use the pot-in-pot cooking method. Simply, grease the inner pot with cooking spray and then mix in 2 cups of oats with 3 cups of water (or double the amounts) and then cook for 1 minute on high pressure with a natural pressure release.
More Instant Pot Breakfast Recipes
- Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
- Instant Pot Breakfast Casserole
- Instant Pot Yogurt
- Perfect Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
Instant Pot Oatmeal
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup water plus water for inside pressure cooker
- 2 cups milk any kind
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed
- Insert the trivet into the Instant Pot. Pour in 1 cup cold water inside the inner pot for a 3 or 6-quart instant pot and 1.5 cups of cold water into an 8 quart instant pot.
- Inside a 7-cup heat-safe bowl, mix together the oats, 1 cup water, and 2 cups milk, and flaxseed. Please note that Pyrex is NO longer approved for using inside and instant pot.
- Place the bowl on top of the trivet and put the lid on Instant pot.
- Set Valve to "sealed" and set manual or time to 3 minutes on high pressure.
- Allow to naturally release for 10 minutes before carefully releasing any additional steam by using a wooden spoon to turn valve to vent.
- Remove bowl carefully from pressure cooker and then serve with desired toppings or allow to cool and store in fridge to reheat as needed.
- You need a total of 3 cups liquid to 2 cups oats for oats to cook properly. If you want your oats to be really loose, use an additional 1/2 cup of dairy or water.
- You can use all water or all dairy. In my experience all water is incredibly bland and using all dairy/non-dairy as your liquid doesn't result in oats breaking down into a creamy texture.
- It is important to note if you are using a high-fat dairy (like coconut cream or whole milk) you MUST use only half full-fat dairy products with half water so the fat in your dairy will not separate.
- You will also need additional water under the trivet for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.