How to Make Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats – These pressure cooker steel cut oats are so creamy and delicious! It’s a perfect make-ahead breakfast. Plus, you’ll love my SEVEN different ways to top them! (Gluten free + vegan)
Even if it’s just wishful thinking, I’m excited that the weather is thinking about cooling down. I tend to cycle through savory and sweet breakfasts, as well as cold or hot breakfasts, and right now, I’m on a major oatmeal kick. A big bowl of steel cut oats can be so filling (especially when I keep the sugar down and pile on the toppings!).
Things have gotten even easier for me since I started making Instant Pot steel cut oats. I love that instead of babysitting and stirring the pan on the stove, I can set them to cook in the Instant Pot while I unload the dishwasher, run take a shower, or fit in a quick workout.
PLUS, Instant Pot steel cut oats can even be used as a meal prep breakfast, so I can make one batch and enjoy it all week. Today, I’ll walk you through the SIMPLE process + share 7 delicious ways to load up your Instant Pot steel cut oats–let’s do this!
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE INSTANT POT STEEL CUT OATS.
Just 3 ingredients + an Instant Pot are all you need to get started on these Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats!
AN INSTANT POT! I use this one. It’s been big enough for everything we’ve needed so far and works beautifully. (You can also use another brand of pressure cooker, if you like–it doesn’t *HAVE* to be an Instant Pot.)
STEEL CUT OATS (MAKE SURE YOU GET THE RIGHT ONES!). Steel cut oats Oats themselves don’t contain wheat gluten, but they’re often processed or grown in ways that cause cross-contamination. If you’re gluten free, be sure to by certified gluten free steel cut oats. I like Bob’s Red Mill, Nature’s Path, and GF Harvest brands. (I buy in bulk from Amazon, or find single bags at Sprouts, Natural Grocer, Whole Foods, or Thrive Market.)
MILK OR WATER. Steel cut oats need about 3 cups of liquid per cup of oats, and I love using milk in place of water for a creamier finish. You can use whatever milk you drink–soy, dairy, rice, oat, almond, cashew, etc. I use unsweetened almond milk most of the time. You can also go 1/2 milk + 1/2 water if you like.
A LITTLE SALT (TRUST ME). Might sound strange, but adding salt to your Instant Pot steel cut oats makes a huge difference in taste! It keeps them from tasting flat and really elevates the other flavors. I only use about 1/4 tsp. for about 8 servings, so the end result definitely won’t be salty.
TOPPINGS! And now for the fun part! There are so many yummy ways to top Instant Pot steel cut oats! Scroll down to the toppings section below for 7 of my favorite combinations.
HOW TO COOK STEEL CUT OATS IN THE INSTANT POT:
Steel cut oats are one of the EASIEST things to make in your Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Here’s how you make steel cut oats in the Instant Pot:
- First, add steel cut oats, milk or water, and salt to the Instant Pot.
- Stir to combine everything (prevents sticking + burning).
- Close the lid and make sure the pressure valve is set to SEALING.
- Cook on HIGH PRESSURE (manual) for 10 minutes.
- Then, allow pressure to naturally release about 20 minutes. Quick release any remaining steam.
- Open the lid and stir the oats (to combine any liquid on top back into the oats) and top with your favorite toppings!
CAN I USE THIS SAME METHOD FOR ROLLED OATS IN THE INSTANT POT? I wouldn’t unless you decrease the liquid and the cook time.
- Rolled oats only need about 2 cups liquid per cup oats (vs. about 3 cups liquid per 1 cup steel cut oats) and cook only about 3-4 minutes in an Instant Pot (vs the 10 minutes it takes to cook steel cut oats).
7 YUMMY FLAVORS FOR STEEL CUT OATS
Toppings = best part of oatmeal! I usually load my bowl up to make it a complete meal, but you can go as light or heavy on toppings as you like. I’ve shared MANY ways to top oatmeal in the past (see some ideas here + more ideas here), but here are 7 ways to flavor Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats:
APPLE CINNAMON. For each serving, add 1/4-1/2 an apple, diced + 1/8-1/4 tsp. cinnamon + maple syrup, to taste. (If you want the apple soft, you can toss about 2-3 small diced apples into the Instant Pot with the oat mixture)
ALMOND JOY. For each serving, add 1-2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder + 2-3 Tbsp. toasted coconut + 1-2 Tbsp chopped or sliced almonds (toast for extra flavor!) + a few drops vanilla extract + cacao nibs or a few chocolate chips + syrup to taste.
RASPBERRY CHOCOLATE. For each serving, add 1/2 cup frozen (or fresh) raspberries + a sprinkle of cacao nibs or a few chocolate chips/chunks + a few drops almond extract or vanilla extract + syrup or honey to taste.
PB + CARAMELIZED BANANAS. For each serving, sauté 1/2 a banana (sliced) with 1 tsp coconut oil and 1 tsp. brown or coconut sugar about 2-3 minutes on medium heat, or until caramelized and golden. Add to your oatmeal with 1 Tbsp. peanut butter or some chopped nuts.
PEACH ALMOND. For each serving, add 1/2 a fresh peach or about 1/2 cup frozen peaches (sliced or diced) + a few drops almond extract + 1-2 Tbsp. chopped or sliced almonds + maple syrup or honey, to taste.
BERRY PISTACHIO. For each serving, add 1/3-1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries + 1-2 Tbsp. pistachios + honey or maple syrup, to taste
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR INSTANT POT STEEL CUT OATS
WHAT KIND OF INSTANT POT DO YOU USE? I have this one. It’s a great size and works well for our family. If you’re intimated, this cookbook was GREAT for getting to know my Instant Pot and feeling comfortable with the basics.
GLUTEN FREE? READ THIS! Oats themselves don’t contain wheat gluten, but they’re often processed or grown in ways that cause cross-contamination. If you’re gluten free, be sure to by certified gluten free steel cut oats. I like Bob’s Red Mill, Nature’s Path, and GF Harvest brands. (I buy in bulk from Amazon, or find single bags at Sprouts, Natural Grocer, Whole Foods, or Thrive Market.)
HOW LONG WILL COOKED STEEL CUT OATS STAY FRESH? Cooked steel cut oats will stay fresh in the refrigerator 5-7 days.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER STEEL CUT OATS. Put your leftover steel cut oats in an airtight container (I use these) and store in the refrigerator 5-7 days. Or, see below for how to freeze it!
DO STEEL CUT OATS REHEAT WELL? (+HOW TO REHEAT STEEL CUT OATS) Steel cut oatmeal reheats like a DREAM. Where quick-cooking or rolled oats can turn mushy upon reheating, steel cut oatmeal retains its yummy texture and can easily reheat to be as creamy and delicious as fresh.
Steel cut oats continue to absorb liquid as they rest, so add a bit more milk or water to the oats when reheating. You can reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat with a splash of milk, or reheat individual servings in bowls with a splash of milk in the microwave.
CAN YOU FREEZE STEEL CUT OATMEAL? Yas, queen! It’s one of my favorite meal prep hacks. Cool the cooked oats so they’re no longer steaming. Spoon into freezer safe bags or airtight freezer safe containers. If using bags, press excess air out of the bag and seal bag tightly, pressing the oats down so they’re flat. Freeze flat in the freezer (a plate, cutting board or pan can give you a flat surface). Once frozen, they can be stored horizontal or upright and will thaw more quickly. Thaw cooked oats in the refrigerator, then reheat as directed above. If using containers instead of bags, leave a bit of room at the top of your container to allow for expansion when frozen. Oats will keep frozen 1-2 months.
CAN I DOUBLE THE RECIPE? I probably wouldn’t, since cooking much more than 2 cups of steel cut oats at a time can cause trouble with the cook time. In my experience, if you try to cook much more at a time the bottom can burn before the top can fully cook through. With my ratios, we’ve NEVER had an issue with burning or having our oats cooked through.
ARE YOU AN OATMEAL FAN? I BET YOU’D LOVE:
- 7 Ways with Overnight Oats
- How to Cook Steel Cut Oats on the Stovetop
- Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
- Overnight Oatmeal Waffles
- Blender Apple Oatmeal Pancakes
HELPFUL FOR THIS RECIPE: