This recipe for Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats is a fool-proof, hands-off method for making creamy, tender steel-cut oats effortlessly.
Oatmeal is one of my all-time favorite breakfast recipes. From slow cooker oatmeal to overnight oats to Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats, there are endless ways to prepare oatmeal, but the real reason that I turn to oats again and again for breakfast is that they are a powerhouse of nutrients.
Packed with whole grains, fiber, and vitamins, both rolled oats and steel-cut oats are exceptionally healthy and relatively cheap.
Unlike rolled oats, steel-cut oats have a chewier, heartier texture, which is fabulous if you don't care for mushy oatmeal. However, they do take longer to cook.
Enter the Instant Pot!
The Instant Pot cooks the steel-cut oats in minutes and the process is hands-off. Simply combine, press a button, and walk away to get ready for your day!
Instant Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal is a hearty, healthy staple for busy mornings! Not only is it incredibly simple to make, but it also fills you up with all the good things that will keep you going strong for hours. And because the topping flavor and combinations for steel-cut oats are endless, you will never tire of this simple breakfast recipe.
This recipe for Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats is cooked with both water and milk or non-dairy milk. This results in the creamiest, most delicious oatmeal and sets this recipe for Instant Pot Steel-Cut Oatmeal apart from the rest!
- Steel-Cut Oats: Be sure to use regular steel-cut oats, not quick-cook steel-cut oats or rolled oats, and select certified gluten-free steel-cut oats if needed. If you find yourself with rolled oats, follow my instructions for Instant Pot Oatmeal, not this recipe for steel-cut oatmeal.
- Liquid of Choice: I recommend a mixture of water and milk of your choice for the creamiest results. Use dairy or non-dairy milk such as almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk. 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.
Keys to Remember
Before I walk you through how to prepare steel-cut oatmeal, there are 3 key things to remember to achieve perfectly tender, perfectly creamy, and perfectly delicious Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats.
- 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. I have provided instructions below if you choose to cook your oats in water alone.
- Use a ratio of 1 cup of oats to 3 cups of liquid for perfect results every time. (***This does not include the water added inside the inner pot when using the pot-in-pot cooking method!) You will not need as much liquid when preparing steel-cut oats in a pressure cooker, as no liquid will evaporate while cooking, as it does on the stove.
- 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 perfectly tender. It will also help prevent oats from spewing out of your vent knob.
How to Cook Steel Cut Oats in the Instant Pot
- Pour 1.5 cups of cold tap water into the inner pot of your pressure cooker and place a metal trivet or rack inside the inner pot.
- In a stainless steel bowl, combine the oats, with water, milk of your choice, and flaxseed.
- Place the bowl of oats, uncovered, onto the trivet inside the inner pot.
- Place the lid on your instant pot, be sure the venting knob is sealed, and set to cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes. This simply means to leave the instant pot alone.
- After 10 minutes, release any remaining pressure and carefully remove the inner pot.
- Dish up the oatmeal and serve with any toppings listed below, or one of your own creations.
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, rather than flavoring the oats before pressure cooking, is so that each person can flavor their oatmeal exactly as they desire.
Here are a few of my favorite flavorings for Instant Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal. Each recipe is for one serving of oatmeal and should be added AFTER the steel-cut oats have been pressure cooked.
- Vanilla Maple: Stir ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract and ½ tablespoon of maple syrup into a serving of cooked oatmeal.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter: Add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and a handful of chocolate chips to each serving of steel-cut oatmeal.
- Almond Joy: Serve steel-cut oats with mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and toasted almonds.
- Pumpkin Pie: Stir 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree, ½ tablespoon of maple syrup, ½ teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger into each serving of oatmeal.
- Raisin Nut: Top the prepared steel-cut oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon and 1-2 tablespoons each of raisins and chopped walnuts.
- Apple Pie: Serve the steel-cut oats with chopped fresh apple, cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
- Honey Nut: Top the oatmeal with honey to taste and 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: Top each bowl of oatmeal with ¼ cup cooked breakfast sausage and ¼ cup shredded cheese.
- Savory Bacon and Egg: Top the serving steel-cut oatmeal crumbled baked bacon and a fried egg or poached egg.
- Berries and Cream: Stir in ¼ cup fresh berries, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and ¼ cup plain or vanilla yogurt into each serving of oatmeal.
- Banana Chia Almond: Top steel-cut oats with sliced banana, 2 teaspoons chia seeds, and chopped almonds.
Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats Made In Inner Pot
If you want to prepare steel-cut oats directly inside the inner pot without using the pot-in-pot cooking method, you need to make two key modifications.
- Use ONLY water as your cooking liquid. Combine 1 cup of steel-cut oats with 3 cups of water inside the inner pot. Feel free to double for a larger batch of oatmeal.
- Decrease the cooking time. Using a stainless steel pot inside the inner pot means the cooking time is a bit longer. If preparing directly in the inner pot, decrease the cooking time from 8 minutes to 6 minutes on high pressure. Be sure to still allow for 10 minutes of natural pressure release.
More Instant Pot Breakfast Recipes
- Instant Pot Breakfast Casserole
- Instant Pot French Toast Casserole
- Instant Pot Oatmeal
- Instant Pot Frittata
If you enjoyed this recipe for Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats, please leave a comment and review below.
Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
- 1 cups steel-cut oats no exception!
- 1 cup water plus more for cooking inside the inner pot
- 2 cups dairy or non-dairy milk any variety*
- dash kosher salt
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed optional
- Insert the trivet or rack inside the inner pot of your pressure cooker. Add 1-½ cups cold tap water to the inner pot.
- Inside a 7-cup heat-safe bowl, mix together the oats, 1 cup water, 2 cups milk of choice, a dash of salt, and flaxseed if using. Please note that Pyrex is NO longer approved for use inside an instant pot.
- Place the bowl on top of the trivet/rack and put the lid on Instant Pot. Set Valve to "sealed" and set the cooking time for 8 minutes on high pressure using the manual or pressure cook function.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, allow the pressure to naturally release for at least 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, remove the bowl carefully from the pressure cooker and then serve with desired toppings.
This post was originally shared in 2018 but updated in 2023 with a new video and photos.