Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats (+ Freezer-Friendly Tip)
30 minutes or less, Beans & Grains, Breakfast & Brunch, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Freezer Friendly, Gluten Free, MAIN DISHES, Make ahead, One pot/dish, PREP, Quick & Easy, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian / / 0 COMMENTS

Make mornings easier by meal prepping a batch of Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats for the week and follow a simple freezer-friendly tip to enjoy steel cut oats in just minutes.

steel cut oats in a small white bowl with blueberries and sliced almonds

Who has time to make a fresh batch of steel-cut oats in the morning? If you do, more power to you, but like many, I prefer extra sleep vs. waking up earlier to make breakfast from scratch.

What Are Steel Cut Oats?

Steel cut oats are the least processed variety of oats, take the longest to cook, and maintain their texture better than others when it comes to a good bowl of oatmeal. It’s literally the whole oat, including the bran (the outermost layer). I previously talked about the differences between steel-cut, rolled, and quick oats.

Are Steel Cut Oats Healthy?

Yes! They are naturally gluten free for anyone with sensitivities and packed full of fiber. Most don’t know this, but one serving (without added toppings) has 7 grams of protein! Steel cut oats also have a lower glycemic index than others. Even if you don’t take the GI into consideration, know that this is a good concept for everyone, which means your body will digest it slower than other varieties and you will have less of a sugar spike.

steel cut oats in a metal measuring cup

Does Using the Instant Pot Save Time? 

By the time the Instant Pot comes to pressure, the cooking time, and the pressure release time it’s about the same. BUT the greatest thing is that it’s hands-free cooking. So no stirring constantly, wondering if they are ready, and you can do other stuff while you wait on your breakfast!

Instead of spending time each morning making a serving of steel-cut oats meal prep a large batch for the week. Steel-cut oats can easily be made over the stovetop, but I love using the Instant Pot to make steel-cut oats because just add your ingredients, press a few buttons, and done!

steel cut oats in a white bowl with toppings on a marble slab next to the Instant Pot

Ingredients for Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats 

steel cut oats
cinnamon sticks – if you don’t have these you can use ground cinnamon instead

How to Cook Steel Cut Oats in a Pressure Cooker

Pour the steel cut oats and water into the Instant Pot and stir. Add in the cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon and stir once more. 

Place the lid on the Instant Pot and turn the valve to the sealing position. 

Cook for 6 minutes using manual pressure. 

When the timer goes off, allow the pressure cooker to release naturally for 20 minutes, then turn the valve to the venting position. 

Toss out the cinnamon sticks and give it a good stir. 

Serve with your favorite toppings!

Steel Cut Oatmeal Topping Ideas

I prefer to make the batch of steel-cut oats pretty plain because then there is the flexibility to add different toppings to create different flavor combinations. I do enjoy adding a cinnamon stick to the pot and the cinnamon flavor infuses into the oats. (This can easily be done with a few shakes of ground cinnamon too.) Here are some more ideas.

Bananas & Blueberries – a favorite combination! Add these on top just before serving

Syrup & Honey – Need just a touch of sweetness? Drizzle some maple syrup or honey over the oats once they come out of the Instant Pot 

Pumpkin – you could add a couple of spoonfuls of pureed pumpkin before cooking, great for the fall! 

Apples – because that just makes sense with cinnamon! Dice them into small pieces (as even as possible) and stir before you cook or after as a topping. 

  • Other fresh fruit and berries
  • Nuts (almond, walnuts, pecans) 
  • Splash of milk to thin it out if needed.
  • Nut or seed butter
  • Chia seeds or ground flax meal

frozen steel cut oatmeal in a jumbo muffin tin

How Long Do Steel Cut Oats Last After Being Cooked? 

Once you have pressure cooked them, they stay fresh when kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

If you want to batch, I recommend freezing them. 

After making a batch of these Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats, spray a jumbo muffin tin with cooking spray and scoop about a cup of oats into each muffin tin well. Then add your favorite topping combinations.

Once hardened, dip the bottom of the muffin tin in warm water to help remove the single-serving steel cut oat portions and freeze in a container or bag for later use.

Then, simply add a single-serving portion of oats to a microwave-safe bowl with a few drops of water, and reheat in the microwave.

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Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats in a white bowl topped with blueberries and almonds

Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats

  • Author: Chef Julie Harrington, RD
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 6
  • Total Time: 11 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Instant Pot



2 1/2 cups steel cut oats
7 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks (or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon)


  1. Add steel cut oats, water, and cinnamon sticks to the Instant Pot and stir to combine.
  2. Secure Instant Pot lid and close the vent. Set Instant Pot on the manual setting for 6 minutes.
  3. When Instant Pot beeps, allow the pressure to naturally release for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove lid, discard cinnamon sticks, and stir oats to incorporate any water that has risen to the top.
  5. Serve with your favorite toppings. (Combination recommendation: blueberries, sliced almonds, and honey)


Leftover oats can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or utilize the freezer-friendly method.

Freezer-Friendly Method:
Spray a jumbo muffin tin with cooking spray and scoop about a cup of oats into each muffin tin well. Then add your favorite topping combinations. Once hardened, dip the bottom of the muffin tin in warm water to help remove the single-serving steel cut oat portions and freeze in a container or bag for later use.

Keywords: oatmeal, Instant Pot, steel cut oats, breakfast, cooking tip, oats

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