Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats

See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats – The easiest way to cook steel cut oatmeal! This Instant Pot steel cut oats recipe is foolproof and perfect for make ahead breakfasts.

Steel cut oats in an Instant Pot.

I’m often asked what my favorite thing is to cook in my Instant Pot. While I love using my Instant Pot to make easy dinners, the two foods that I cook most often are easy peel Instant Pot hard boiled eggs and this Instant Pot oatmeal.

Using an Instant Pot is such a hands-off way to cook. You can count on it to reliably cook your favorite foods perfectly. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can cook steel cut oats on the stovetop. But, by using your Instant Pot, there is no stirring or babysitting a pot on the stove.

To make Instant Pot oatmeal you’ll add three ingredients to your Instant Pot, turn it on, and come back to perfectly cooked creamy steel cut oats. It’s so easy!

If you’re new to Instant Pot cooking, read my quick start Instant Pot manual to learn how to get started. If you are thinking about getting an Instant Pot, my guide to the best Instant Pot to buy may help you decide.

Steel Cut Oats

If you’ve never tried steel cut oats, they have a heartier, chewier texture than rolled oats. I personally love them and would take a bowl of steel cut oatmeal over old fashioned rolled oats any day. Because they are less processed, steel cut oats take longer to cook than rolled oats.

To cook steel cut oats on the stove, you’ll need about 30 minutes. Using your Instant Pot isn’t faster, but the true benefit is that it’s hands off. You won’t have to check on the oats or stir them during the cook time. If you forget about your oats in the Instant Pot and let them naturally release for an hour or two, they will still be just as delicious!

Instant Pot steel cut oats with maple syrup, bluleberries and banana.

Why you’ll love these Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats

  • You can prep this breakfast in less than 5 minutes and the cooking process is completely hands-off. The ease of this recipe is my favorite part!
  • Steel cut oatmeal can be made ahead and reheated for quick breakfasts throughout the week.
  • Steel cut oats are a healthy breakfast. They are high in fiber and protein. Steel cut oats are filling and won’t spike your blood sugar.

How to make steel cut oatmeal in the Instant Pot

1. Choose your liquid. I always use water to make these oats. I find that they are creamy and perfect when I cook the oats in water and then add a splash of almond milk to my bowl.

If you choose to cook your oats in milk (dairy, almond, etc.) I recommend using half milk and half water.

2. Water to oats ratio. Use 3 cups of liquid for 1 cup of steel cut oats. You can double this recipe (6 cups liquid and 2 cups oats) in a 6 quart Instant Pot.

3. Add some vanilla. This is my secret trick for oats with the best flavor! I also add vanilla to my favorite overnight oats recipe, and it is just the best!

4. Pressure cook 4 minutes. Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Pressure cook on high pressure/manual for 4 minutes.

5. Natural pressure release. If you thought the 4 minute cook time that I just gave is too good to be true, here is where your oats will do most of their softening: the natural pressure release. After the cook time ends, leave the oats undisturbed in the Instant Pot, with the lid on, for about 20 minutes. You can get away with a 15 minute natural release, and if you forget and leave the oats for an hour or two that’s ok too.

During the natural release time, the oats will soften and absorb most of the cooking liquid. The pressure will dissipate in the Instant Pot. When you are ready to open the lid, turn the steam release valve to the venting position just to make sure that all of the pressure and steam has escaped.

When you open the lid, you will probably still see some liquid in the pot. This is normal! Give the oatmeal a stir and the last of the liquid will be absorbed. Your steel cut oats will be slightly chewy, creamy and perfect!

If you want your oats to be sweetened, stir in your sweetener of choice. I like to use pure maple syrup. This is also a great time to add a little cinnamon.

Top your bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit, nuts, nut butter – whatever you enjoy. I’ve listed lots of oatmeal topping ideas here.

Can I use quick cooking steel cut oats?

I have tested this recipe with quick cooking steel cut oats and it works great, with a few modifications. For quick cook steel cut oats, reduce the water to 2 1/2 cups per 1 cup of oats. Reduce the pressure cooking time to 1 minute, followed by a natural release of at least 15 minutes.

Can I make this Instant Pot oatmeal with frozen fruit?

I recommend stirring in frozen fruit after the oatmeal has finished cooking. You can leave the oatmeal on the Instant Pot’s keep warm setting for a few minutes to thaw the fruit.

If you add frozen fruit before cooking the oatmeal, it will turn really soft. I sometimes add frozen peaches to my steel cut oats before cooking to flavor the oatmeal. The peaches become very soft and some of them break up during the cooking process. Delicate berries would disintegrate during the pressure cooking cycle.

If you decide to add frozen fruit before cooking, decrease the amount of liquid by 1/2 cup to account for the extra moisture from the fruit.

Instant Pot steel cut oatmeal in a bowl with maple syrup, banana and blueberries.

Meal Prep: How to store cooked oatmeal

Refrigerator: You can keep your cooked steel cut oatmeal in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Let it cool and then refrigerate it in an airtight container. If you want to take your oatmeal for grab and go breakfasts, store it in individual serving size containers, such as mason jars.

Freezer: Cooked oatmeal freezes well. I recommend freezing it in individual portions. You can freeze your oatmeal in muffin cups. I use these silicone muffin cups. Fill the muffin cups with oatmeal and put them on a tray in your freezer. Once the oatmeal has frozen, you can pop it out of the silicone cups and freeze it in a zip-top bag or other airtight container for up to 3 months.

How to reheat steel cut oats

Steel cut oatmeal thickens up as it cools. To reheat, put a serving of oatmeal in a microwave safe bowl. Add a little bit of your milk of choice. Heat for 30 seconds in the microwave, and then use a spoon to break up the oatmeal. Continue heating until the oatmeal is hot. Stir and add more milk as needed to achieve your desired consistency.

Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats

steel cut oats with drizzle of maple syrup in instant pot
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4.86 from 7 votes
Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats - The easiest way to cook steel cut oatmeal! This Instant Pot steel cut oats recipe is foolproof and perfect for make ahead breakfasts.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword instant pot oatmeal, instant pot steel cut oats, steel cut oatmeal
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time4 mins
Natural Pressure Release20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings 4 servings
Calories 155kcal


  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Toppings as desired: maple syrup, cinnamon, milk, fruit, nuts, etc.


  • Place the oats, water and vanilla in your Instant Pot. Stir.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position.
  • Set the cook time using the Pressure Cook/Manual function to 4 minutes at high pressure.
  • The Instant Pot will take a few minutes to reach pressure and then the cook time will begin counting down. When the cook time ends, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for at least 15-20 minutes (just leave the Instant Pot alone).
  • After the natural release, carefully turn the steam valve to the venting position to make sure that all of the steam and pressure has escaped. Open the Instant Pot lid.
  • Stir the oats and serve with toppings as desired.


  • To use quick cooking steel cut oats in this recipe, reduce the amount of water to 2 1/2 cups. Pressure cook for 1 minute at high pressure, followed by a natural release of at least 15 minutes.
  • These steel cut oats are great for make ahead breakfasts. Refrigerate cooked oatmeal for up to 5 days or freeze individual portions of oatmeal for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • To reheat oatmeal, warm in the microwave with some milk.


Serving: 3/4 cup | Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 9mg | Fiber: 4g | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1.7mg
Nutrition information is an estimate.
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