If you are looking for a recipe for perfect Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats, this recipe is for you! In less than 30 minutes from start to finish, the instant pot cooks steel cut oats up to creamy, tender perfection.
This recipe for Instant Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal is a staple for busy mornings. It is a hands-off method for making a hearty, healthy breakfast. While it is delicious served plain, the idea for toppings and flavor combinations will mean your family will never tire of eating steel cut oatmeal.
Steel Cut Oatmeal has a reputation of being a recipe reserved only for weekends, as the process for making steel cut oats takes just too long for busy weekdays.
However, with the help of an Instant Pot, Steel Cut Oats become possible even on the busiest of mornings!
I am in love with Instant Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal for a few reasons.
- Completely hands-off.
- Ready in less than 30 minutes.
- It can be flavored in a variety of ways.
- A healthy recipe full of texture, fiber, and nutrients.
Now I know that 30 minutes may seem like a long time for busy mornings, but hear me out. Because cooking the Instant Pot is hands-off, you can wake up, start these steel cut oats in your electric pressure cooker and by the time you blow dry your hair, or drag your kids out of bed, breakfast is ready for you.
- Steel Cut Oats: Be sure to use regular steel cut oats, not quick cook steel cut oats. Be sure to use certified gluten-free steel cut oats if you are gluten-free. If you have regular oats, follow my instructions for Instant Pot Oatmeal.
- Liquid of Choice: I recommend a mixture of water and dairy of your choice for the creamiest results. Use any type of dairy you like–regular milk or almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk for a dairy-free version. It is important to note if you are using a high-fat dairy (like coconut cream or whole milk) do not use more than 1 full cup of full-fat dairy, to ensure the fat in your dairy will not separate.
- Flax Seed: This is an optional ingredient, but I like to add it to my oats for omega fatty acids and additional fiber.
How to Cook Steel Cut Oats in the Instant Pot
There are 3 key things to remember to achieve perfect steel cut oats.
- Follow a simple ratio of 1 cup oats to 3 cups liquid for perfect results every time. You will NOT need as much liquid when preparing steel cut oats in your instant pot, as you do when preparing 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.
- Use Pot in Pot Cooking Method. If you are using a mixture of dairy and water to cook your oats, as I recommend, it is best to cook your oats in a separate stainless steel bowl placed on top of a trivet in the instant pot. This will prevent a burn notice and your milk from curdling when cooking. If you choose to only use water to cook your oats, you can cook your oats directly in the inner pot–just decrease the cook time from 8 minutes on high pressure to 6 minutes on high pressure.
- Allow the instant pot to release pressure naturally for at least 10 minutes. Do not do a quick release of pressure when cooking Steel Cut Oats. This will allow the oats to absorb the liquid and become tender.
Flavor Varieties for Instant Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal
One of the main reasons I love to make a big batch of plain Instant Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal is so that each person can flavor their oatmeal exactly as they desire.
Here are a few of my favorite Instant Pot Steel Cut 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 steel cut oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon and 1-2 tablespoons each of raisins and chopped walnuts.
- Apple Pie: top steel cut oats 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 steel cut oats 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 steel cut 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
- Banana Chia Almond (pictured): top steel cut oats with sliced banana, 2 teaspoons chia seeds, and chopped almonds.
More Oatmeal Recipes
- Slow Cooker Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal
- Overnight Oats
- Baked Sweet Potato Oatmeal
- Hot Chocolate Oatmeal
Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
- 1 cups steel cut oats
- 1 cup water plus more for the inner pot
- 2 cups milk your favorite variety
- dash salt
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed optional
- Insert steamer rack inside the inner pot of Instant Pot. Add in 1 cup of cold/room temperature water to a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot and 1.5 cups in an 8 quart instant pot.
- Inside a 7 cup heat-safe bowl, mix together the oats, 1 cup water, 2 cups dairy of choice, a dash of salt, and flaxseed if using. Please note that Pyrex is NO longer approved for using inside and instant pot.
- Place the bowl on top of trivet/rack and put the lid on Instant Pot.
- Set Valve to "sealed" and set manual or time to 8 minutes on high pressure.
- Allow pressure to naturally release.
- Remove the bowl carefully from the pressure cooker and then serve with desired toppings or allow to cool and store in the fridge to reheat as needed.
- Use gluten-free steel cut oats for gluten free oatmeal.
- Use non-dairy milk like coconut milk, almond milk, or soy milk for dairy-free/vegan steel cut oatmeal.
- It is important to note if you are using a high fat dairy (like coconut cream or whole milk), use no more than 1 cup of of the full fat dairy product and 2 cups of water. This will prevent the dairy from separating in the instant pot.
- This recipe can easily be doubled as long as it fits inside your heat safe bowl.
- If you are cooking steel cut oats with just water, you can make right in the inner pot--no need for using pot in pot method. The only adjustment is to change the cook time to 6 minutes on high pressure, instead of 8 minutes.
- Leftover steel cut oats can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.
- Cooked steel cut oats can also be frozen in individual containers for up to 3 months, and reheated as needed.
- 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 recommend this stainless steel bowl.