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Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats

Make the easiest Instant Pot steel cut oats for a hearty, wholesome and delicious start to your day. Prep them ahead or in the morning, either way, the Instant Pot does all of the work! 

bowl of steel cut oats with fruit

A Quick and Healthy Breakfast

Making steel cut oats in the Instant Pot cuts down the stovetop cook time by a lot! If you’ve never tried steel cut oats allow me to introduce you to your new favorite way to eat a quick, healthy, and satisfying breakfast any day of the week. If your kids love oatmeal as much as mine do, they’ll love this recipe! It’s a bonus knowing you’ll be sending them off to school full of blood sugar balancing, high protein nutrients!

They’re much heartier than old-fashioned rolled oats, they’ve got a bite to them, have a deeper earthier taste, and are overall less processed. Plus, making a big batch at a time is a budget-friendly way of batch cooking and meal prepping overnight oats. Of course, with the magic of the Instant Pot, you can set it up at night and set the timer to start cooking them early in the morning so they’re all done for you by the time you wake up.

This easy, foolproof guide on how to cook steel cut oats in Instant Pot will open your eyes to the fact that once you know how to use the Instant Pot in the first place, there’s a whole new recipe world out there for more than just dinner!

steel cut oats and water

Steel Cut Oats vs Rolled Oats

They both start off as the same whole grain (the groat). It’s the different processing methods they go through that allow them to result in a different looking and tasting oat with slightly different nutritional values. Steel cut oats go through less processing, therefore they more closely resemble their original form. This also means they haven’t lost as much of their nutritional value. Both types are high in fiber, protein, and low in fat and come with a slew of other vitamins and minerals, the rolled oat has lost more of it.

At first glance, steel cut oats look a bit like quinoa, but when cooked become less grainy and slightly softer. If you’ve ever cooked either one, you’ll know that the rolled oats are much quicker to cook than steel cut. That is why I love using the Instant Pot which cuts the cooking time down to just 3 minutes!

Do I Need to Soak the Oats Ahead of Time?

Technically you don’t need to soak the oats ahead of time, but you certainly can. Some people find it helps with digestion and provides a softer creamier texture. To do this, add the water and the oats to the pot about 6-12 hours ahead of time, and cover with the lid. That’s it! You can then drain and use new water or cook right from there.

instant pot turned on to 3 minutes

Tips

  • Sweeter version: If you prefer your oats a little sweeter, add 2-3 Tablespoons of honey maple syrup, or brown sugar into the pot before cooking. If you decide you want them sweeter after they’ve finished cooking, just drizzle some overtop before serving.
  • Serving: This recipe makes 3 1/2 cups of cooked oats. You can double the recipe and keep the cooking time the same for an even bigger batch.
  • Timing: Although the cooking time is 3 minutes, it does take time for the pot to come to pressure. It’s totally hands-off, but keep that in mind on busy mornings. You can always set the timer for when you need them to be ready.
  • Avoid the other button: If your Instant Pot has a button with “porridge” on it, avoid using it. It’s meant for quick-cooking rolled oats.
  • Keep warm: Steel cut oats in Instant Pot can stay there for a while on the warm function. If you’ve made them and your family is still asleep or you think you’ll want to have some more, later on, keep them warm until you’re ready to eat. Then, transfer any leftovers to the fridge.

Optional Add-ins

You can season these exactly the way you would rolled oats. A bit of cinnamon and maybe a pinch of nutmeg, and drizzle with a bit of maple syrup or honey. I like to add some chia, flax, and hemp hearts for extra fiber and protein and some fresh berries for added sweetness.

  • Nutmeg
  • Vanilla
  • Almond milk (or really any milk!)
  • Berries
  • Sliced bananas
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Cacao nibs
  • Chocolate chips
  • Toasted coconut
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • A dollop of nut butter
  • Raisins
spoonful of steel cut oats

Storing, Freezing, & Reheating

  • Make ahead/meal prep: Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to a week. When preparing for the week ahead, portion them out in individual containers. That way you’ll be able to grab exactly what you need each morning.
  • Freezing: In an airtight container, you can keep these oats frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: Thaw in the fridge overnight if frozen. Reheat on the stovetop on low until heated through. You’ll probably find you need to add a splash of milk to help the consistency and get it a little creamier.
bowl of steel cut oats with blueberries and bananas

More Healthy Breakfast Ideas:

spoonful of steel cut oats

Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats

5 from 2 votes
Make the easiest Instant Pot steel cut oats for a hearty, wholesome and delicious start to your day. Prep them ahead or in the morning, either way, the Instant Pot does all of the work! 
Prep Time: 3 mins
Cook Time: 3 mins
Pressure time: 25 mins
Total Time: 31 mins
Servings: 6

Equipment

  • Instant pot

Ingredients 

Optional mix in's: 2 Tablespoons of chia seeds, ground flax seeds, hemp hearts, honey, maple syrup or brown sugar

    Optional toppings: Fresh or dried fruit, nuts, nut butter, coconut, chia seeds, honey, greek yogurt or a splash of milk

      Instructions

      • Combine the oats, water, salt and cinnamon in the instant pot (I use a 6-quart). Then give it a good stir. Add in any desired mix in's to sweeten if desired.
        cooking steel cut oats in instant pot
      • Place the lid on the instant pot and seal the pressure valve. Press the pressure cook button and set the cook time for 3 minutes on high pressure. It will take about 15 minutes to reach pressure. When the pot beeps, allow it to naturally release for 10 minutes. Then turn the valve to vent with hot pads and remove the lid.
        instant pot turned on to 3 minutes
      • Stir the oats to mix in any of the water that has not evaporated. The oats will thicken as you stir them. Taste and add in more cinnamon, honey or brown sugar if desired.
        instant pot with steel cut oats
      • Place in a serving bowls or meal prep containers. Add any desired toppings. Serve warm or cold.
        bowl of steel cut oats with fruit

      Notes

      Soaking oats: If you prefer to soak your oats, add the oats and water to the pot (and cover with a lid) 6 to 12 hours before cooking. Soaking will improve digestibility and the oats will be creamier.  
      Sweeter oats: If you prefer sweeter oats, I recommend adding 2 to 3 Tablespoons of honey, maple syrup or brown sugar into the pot before cooking.
      Meal prep: These cooked oats can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week. 
      Serving: This recipes makes 3 1/2 cups cooked oats. One serving is a little more than 1/2 cup of cooked oats.

      Serving: 0.6cup | Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 171mg | Potassium: 1mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
      Course: Breakfast
      Cuisine: American
      Author: Jamielyn Nye

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