Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats

I love starting my day with these Instant Pot steel-cut oats. They're creamy and flavorful, hearty and wholesome. But best of all, they're easy to make!

Instant pot steel cut oats

Am I the last person to discover the magic of Instant Pot steel-cut oats?! If you haven’t tried them yet, this is your PSA: these guys are hearty, wholesome, and so darn convenient. You can dump the oats and water in the Instant Pot, pop on the lid, and walk away. Half an hour later, come back to the kitchen, and a pot of creamy, perfectly al dente oats will be ready and waiting for you. On a chilly, hectic morning, when you want a hot breakfast but you don’t want to spend 20+ minutes standing at the stove stirring, these Instant Pot steel-cut oats are pretty much a miracle.

Dry steel cut oats in a wooden bowl with wooden spoon

How to Make Steel-Cut Oats in the Instant Pot

To make these Instant Pot steel-cut oats, you’ll just need two ingredients: steel-cut oats and water. You’ll need 2 1/2 cups of water for every 1 cup of oats.

Heads up! For this recipe, make sure you have regular steel-cut oats, not quick-cooking ones. The water ratio and cooking time listed here will only work with regular steel-cut oats.

Pouring water into Instant Pot with steel cut oats

Place the oats in the Instant Pot and pour in the water. Secure the lid and cook for 10 minutes on high pressure.

When the cooking cycle is complete, allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally. This will take about 20 minutes. When the float valve drops, the oats are ready to eat!

Steel cut oats in instant pot

When you remove the Instant Pot lid, the oats might look watery. That’s ok! If you give everything a good stir, the excess water will incorporate into the oats. They’ll have a nice creamy consistency and yummy al dente bite.

Enjoy them with your favorite toppings, or check out my serving suggestions below!

Bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, banana, almonds, and almond butter

Instant Pot Steel-Cut Oats Recipe Tips

  • Size matters. These ratios work best in a 6-quart or smaller Instant Pot. If you have a larger Instant Pot, scale up the recipe to prevent burning.
  • Save the leftovers. Cooked steel-cut oats reheat perfectly! If you have leftovers, or if you’re making the oats for meal prep, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Warm them on the stove or in the microwave, stirring in extra water or milk as needed to reach a creamy consistency. (The oats will have thickened in the fridge.)

Hand dipping spoon into bowl of steel-cut oatmeal topped with fresh fruit and nuts

Serving Suggestions for Instant Pot Steel-Cut Oats

Like any oatmeal, these Instant Pot steel-cut oats are best with toppings. Pile on your favorites, or experiment with something new! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Fruit! Fresh, dried, or frozen. A spoonful of jam, applesauce, or cranberry sauce is also delicious.
  • Nuts and seeds. Sprinkle on chopped nuts like almonds, walnuts, or pecans or seeds like chia, hemp, or sunflower seeds. Not a nut or seed – but toasted coconut flakes also add nice richness and crunch.
  • Nut butter. Drizzle on almond butter, peanut butter, or any nut butter you like. Seed butters, such as tahini, are great toppings too.
  • Greek yogurt. Add a dollop for creamy texture and tart flavor.
  • Spices. Dust the oats with warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and/or ginger. If you have some on hand, pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice is also yummy.
  • Honey or maple syrup. If you like your oats on the sweeter side, drizzle a little honey or maple syrup on top before digging in.
  • A splash of milk or plant milk. If you like, loosen the oats with any type of milk. Oat milk and almond milk are my favorites.

The topping ideas above all lean in the sweet direction, but savory fixings are also fair game! Try dressing up the oats with roasted vegetables, pesto or chimichurri, and a soft-boiled egg. Avocado, tamari, and toasted pepitas are a fantastic combo too.

Let me know what variations you try!

Instant pot steel cut oats recipe

More Favorite Breakfast Recipes

If you love this Instant Pot steel-cut oats recipe, try one of these wholesome breakfasts next:

For more healthy breakfast ideas, check out this post!

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Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats

rate this recipe:
4.72 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Serves 4
This Instant Pot steel-cut oats recipe is my favorite way to cook oatmeal! It's quick, easy, and hands-off, and the oats turn out perfectly every time. Pile them with toppings like nuts and fresh fruit for a delicious healthy breakfast!


  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • cups water
  • Desired toppings such as almond butter, blueberries, banana slices, chopped pecans, chopped almonds, and/or hemp seeds
  • Maple syrup, for drizzling, optional


  • Combine the steel-cut oats and water in a 6-quart (or smaller) Instant Pot. Secure the lid and Pressure Cook on High for 10 minutes.
  • Allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally. This will take about 20 minutes. When the float valve drops, remove the lid and stir the oats (there will be some water separation - that’s ok).
  • Serve with desired toppings. See the blog post above for suggestions.


4.72 from 7 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Sarah

    5 stars
    Thank you – this turned out absolutely perfectly!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad you enjoyed the oats!

  2. Bonnie

    Thank you for this recipe, but I am a bit disappointed that with a 20 minutes natural release, this manner of cooking is not any faster than stove top. I prefer savory foods to sweet, so I like to eat my oats with sauteed onion and pepper and an egg.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Bonnie, as we mentioned, it’s not faster but it’s hands off which is convenient for many people.

  3. Rachel

    By mixing this up at night and using the timer function on the IP, it’s possible to wake up to a steaming bowl of oatmeal on a cold morning.
    And yes, it reheats beautifully through the week.

  4. Kim

    5 stars
    If, you get the dreaded “burn message” when making this recipe, than use the pot-in-pot method.
    Put 1 cup of water in your IP. Put your ingredients into another pan that will fit in your IP (I use a steamed pudding mold). Put this pan into the IP, and cook as described in the recipe.
    I hope this helps.

    • Jane

      Great tip, thank you!

  5. Caylie from

    I absolutely love Overnight Oats! Making it in the instant pot is such a great idea. Thank you for sharing!! 🤩

  6. Linda

    If your oatmeal burned in the IP, either your settings were incorrect or your IP is broken. I make oats as described above and they have always turned out fine. Good luck.

  7. sera

    This is a great idea! I also have never thought about making steel cut oats in the IP, so you’re not that last one!
    I have a big IP though. I’m going to have to make extra!
    Have you tried adding dried fruit to the IP while it’s cooking to sweeten it? I’m just wondering if that would work the same as it does with rolled oats on the stove.
    That said, I would also love to try one of the savory ideas!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Sera, I haven’t tried, I usually just top the plain oats after. But let me know how that works for you!

  8. jane

    3 stars
    IP burned the oatmeal before it got upto pressure. 🙁

    • Coralin

      The thermostat must be bad on your IP.

      Sera: I have added bite sized chunks of fresh apple, with/or without, cinnamon. If using dehydrated, I would add about a tablespoon more of water,

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Jane, is your instant pot larger than 6-quarts? You might have to add more volume.

      • Jane

        It is a 6 qt. Next time will try method posted in comments. This is a brand new pot.

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.