Instant Pot Oatmeal

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My love affair with my Instant Pot isn’t confined to dinner. No, my morning rendezvous with my Instant Pot are a common occurrence.

Instant Pot Oatmeal Recipe that is plant-based, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free oats

I love steel cut oats (I usually buy these that are gluten-free) but the standard 10-20 minutes of stove top cooking most packages recommend seemed to take me longer. Instead, I use my Instant Pot!

I got the idea from Jill Nussinow on her blog The Veggie Queen. I tell people, she isn’t only the Veggie Queen she is queen of pressure cooking. Her blog mentions the instructions for using a regular pressure cooker but it’s easily adapted for Instant Pot Cooking. By the way, her newest book Vegan Under Pressure was just released. I don’t have it yet but I’m sure it is going to be great!

Oatmeal recipe using the Instant Pot that is plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free. (Vegan)

Instant Pot Oatmeal

If this is your first time cooking with the Instant Pot it is important to note that it takes a while for the Instant Pot to come up to pressure. That means once you start it, it may take 15 minutes for more before it starts cooking. This is normal. After it’s done cooking, it takes time for the pressure to drop.

It’s still easier than cooking it on the stove because you have to watch your pot and stir regularly. With the Instant Pot, you can walk away and come back to perfect oatmeal. You may want to start it when you wake up, then come back to it after you’ve gotten ready.

Instant Pot Oatmeal
Recipe type: Breakfast
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 cups water
  • optional spices (cinnamon shown)
  • toppings of your choice (apples shown)
  1. Dump oats into the Instant Pot followed by the water.
  2. Close the lid and close the vent.
  3. Press manual and use the arrow buttons to go down to 3 minutes.
  4. After the oats finish cooling, press the off button or unplug the Instant Pot so the pressure will release naturally.
  5. After the pressure releases, open the lid and give the oatmeal a good stir. It will probably have extra liquid, this will absorb as it cools.
  6. Add cinnamon or other additions and allow to cool slightly before serving.
  7. Top oatmeal with fresh fruit of your choice, apples are shown.

This recipe makes about 2-3 servings depending on how hungry you are and how much fruit you add for the toppings.

You can easily double this recipe (no need to change the cooking time) and store it for easy breakfasts all week.

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  1. oooo I want to get an instant pot!

  2. Sounds so easy! What a great breakfast!

  3. Wow, three minutes? That’s crazy. Someday I’ll get an instant pot and give it a try. 🙂

  4. You and your love of your Instant Pot 🙂

  5. The instant pot seems like a versatile kitchen tool and this looks cozy!

  6. Melissa King says:

    I’m on a huge oatmeal kick lately! Love this variation!

  7. I want an instant pot so bad!!

  8. I just purchased a pressure cooker xl (recommended by a friend) and I came along your post! You mentioned storing for the week, do you just store them in the fridge in a Tupperware and heat up on the go? Very interested in how it tastes and works out!

    • Hi Glory,
      That is exactly what I do. I cook a large batch and refrigerate the leftovers portions to enjoy all week.
      I usually will store the cooked oats without adding cinnamon or fruit. Then when I reheat I add what ever I want. If it gets dry just add a little plant-milk.

      • Bonnie Knight says:

        Making oatmeal in my I P for the first time. I will refrigerate in “canning jars” for daily use, adding spices and toppings as suggested. Heat, eat, and go!

  9. How long after unplugging the instant pot does the pressure release naturally? It’s been five minutes and nothing. Pressure has still not released. What would happen if I just QR it?

    • As long as your IP isn’t extremely full you could QR it.
      Sometimes I’ll wait 10 minutes the QR and it’s fine.
      Occasionally, pressure does release but the little silver indicator is stuck. If that happens just push it with a wooden spoon and it will go down.

  10. Agnes Cleary says:

    Add me to the IP fan club! I’ve had it for months, but just now getting around to using it for breakfast. But I’m puzzled about the discrepancy between your recipe and the directions that cam with my IP. The booklet calls for 1 2/3 c. water per cup of oats and 10 minutes cooking time vs. 3 cups of water per cup of oats and 3 minutes cooking time in your recipe. I use steel cut oats just as in your recipe. What accounts for the significantly different ratios and cooking time?

    • The instant pot book that came with it is notorious for being “off” with measurements and times. I’ve heard they are working on it but you can find better information online. Veggie Queen, Hip Pressure Cooking and JL Fields have great recipes with better times and ratios.
      I’m glad you love your Instant Pot!

    • I just cooked McCann’s steel cut oats for 15 minutes and natural cool and it probably could have gone a little longer or maybe a little more water. I used the 1 cup oats to 1 2/3 cups of water and high pressure.

      • 15 mins is perfect for steel cut oats, but I think the water ratio is supposed to be closer to 3 cups water for 1 cup oats. Adjust for personal preference, of course!

    • Paula Nalley says:

      The instant pot recipe book horribly overcooks everything. Through it away.

    • The three-minute cook time is suitable for “quick-cooking” steel-cut oats. For real steel-cut oats, you should cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on your preference.

  11. Linda Oliver says:

    If I double this recipe, do I have to adjust the time? Thanks

  12. Is it still three minutes if you double the recipe for the whole week?

  13. I just got my instant pot in the mail and the manual says NOT to cook oatmeal in it because of foaming and sputtering that can occur? What’s the deal?

    • Here is the thing, if you cook a lot of oatmeal (especially instant oats) and fill it up you may have some foaming out the top. It hasn’t happened to me with oatmeal (only with soup). It was a little mess to clean up but not a big deal. I’ve cooked up to 2 cups of steel cut oats at a time and it’s been fine. Two cups of oats with 6 cups of liquid will not cause a problem. I’d like it wait for 10 minutes before releasing the pressure though.

  14. Sue Parlatore says:

    I’d also like to know—if I double the recipe, should the time change?

    • Hi Sue, In the Instant Pot you don’t have the change the time. Whether you cook a little or a lot the time doesn’t really change. 🙂 Enjoy your Instant Pot!

  15. My husband wakes up at 4:30 for work, I’d love to be able to have steel cut oats ready when he’s up for breakfast without getting up that early! Have you done a delay time on your oats yet? If so, what are your tips?

  16. I made oats this morning. Glad there is the overflow reservoir on the IP! No big deal deal though and the oats were creamy and delicious. I think the pressure cooking may make the oats easier on the gut. Thanks so much.

    • Hi Julie,
      I’ve never had steel cut oats overflow. Maybe my IP is bigger than yours. I have the 7 qt. and hadn’t thought about it being an issue.
      I love how creamy they turn out!

  17. Could you leave the oats on Keep Warm mode if you cooked them overnight?

  18. Tried this recipe today, doubled, but had a ton of extra water at the end. Followed the directions exactly. What did I do wrong? Should I just try less water next time?

    • Hi Mikayla,
      I made this today as well. I waited an hour before opening the lid and noticed more liquid in it than normal. After I gave it a quick stir it was absorbed. I recommend stirring and if there is still too much decrease it by half a cup.
      Normally, I open it immediately and notice there is extra liquid but it’s still bubbly. I stir it and it all gets incorporated.

  19. Have you tried this with Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats before? I accidentally bought quick cook and already opened them. Just curious if you think it would work the same. Thanks! Can’t wait to try regardless.

  20. April Wilson says:

    Could I add frozen berries during cooking instead of after?

    • Yes, you can but they will turn to mush. If you like don’t mind them getting really soft go ahead. I like them to keep some of the firmness.
      When the oatmeal finishing cooking it will be boiling so adding frozen berries after will still warm them up.

    • I have added frozen cranberries to cook along with the oats. It worked very well, they can use the cooking.

  21. Thanks for this recipe. I made Bob’s Red Mill organic steel cut oats in my Instant Pot. I used 1 cup of oats and 3 cups of water as you suggested. They came out perfect. No problems with extra water. One cup of dry oats makes 3 cups of cooked oats. I measured it after cooking. Using this method probably takes a bit longer than cooking the oats on the stove. However, the advantage of using the IP is that you don’t have to stand at the stove and stir the oats every few minutes. Thanks again.

    • Hi CG, I agree! Being able to walk away without worrying about the food burning is a huge bonus and saves me time because I can work on other things while it’s cooking.

  22. I put my leftovers in muffin tin after spraying with coconut spray. I put in freezer just until frozen and pop them out. Place in freezer bag, store in freezer. Take one out during the week and microwave or take to work and reheat in a mug. I got the idea from the trader joe’s frozen steel cut oats disks.

  23. Have you tried the porridge setting on your instant pot. I’m curious if that would work as well?

  24. Thanks for replying. ? I followed your recipe and the oatmeal was perfect! So I don’t think I will try that setting.

  25. I made a double batch of these oats today… perfection! And so much easier than the stovetop method! Thanks for the recipe!

  26. Darlene Somers says:

    The oats came out perfectly! However, they stuck to the bottom of the pan. Not burned, or even overly crunchy, just stuck and not creamy like the rest of the oats. Any ideas? The pan is in for a good long soak now. Thanks for the info!

    • Hi Darlene,
      I’ve never had them stick to the pan. Did you use milk? I’ve heard that can cause things to stick.
      I usually use NPR then serve.
      Hopefully, it won’t happen next time.

  27. Anna Cruz says:

    Last Wednesday i received my new PI excited!!! fell in love with it. now want to try oatmeal! thanks!

  28. So happy I looked for additional steel cut recipes v the booklet that came with my IP! This is the second recipe I’ve tried and the oats are awesome! Changing up our menu for 2017 will be easy with the IP. Thank you!!

  29. On other recipes, I have put the liquid in and turn sauté on for a couple of minutes to heat up. Then add rest of ingredients. Warming seems to help it come to pressure a bit quicker. Have not tried oatmeal yet. Love my instant pot. Yummy easy mashed potatoes are one of our favorites.

  30. Carol Pogust says:

    Not yet creamy… I used 1/4 c steel cut oats, 1/2 c milk, 1/4 c water, put it in a greased pyrex bowl on a trivet with 1 c water. I cooked on High for 14 min, and let the pressure release naturally. Why would it still be watery ? On my second attempt, I finished it up with 3 min in the microwave, and then it was perfectly creamy. 14 min is longer than most recipes call for, so what could be causing it to still be watery ?

    • Hi Carol,
      I haven’t made steel cut oats the way you described so I’m not sure what happened. The way I made them in the recipe doesn’t use a bowl in the pot. I’ve heard that will require a longer cooking time in recipes. I’ve only made them right in the pot.
      Give my recipe a try and tell me what you think. I always get creamy oatmeal.

    • susannecs Susanne says:

      I’m sorry you had such a frustrating experience with the IP, and your cook time for the cereal. Cooking the cereal in a bowl inside the IP will increase the time needed to cool. Also using the trivet will decrease contact with your heat source requiring more time to cook. I hope this helps.

  31. linda hairr says:

    I’d like to try this recipe, it looks so easy and yummy and I have an electric pressure cooker, but not an IP. What pressure are you using?

  32. This recipe came out perfect!! Love it!! Thank you so much for sharing.

  33. I wonder about doing this in four one-pint wide mouth jars? I have an 8 qt IP, would love to do this in the one-pint jars to take to work every day.
    I’m thinking 1 1/3 c oats, 4 c water. Dividing the oats into each jar, 1/3 c each, and 1 c water each. I think I would use 1 cup water in the bottom of the IP, and the trivet to keep the jars from breaking. I’m thinking about covering the top of the jars with foil, or just putting one of the plastic lid replacements loosely on top. Any suggestions?

    • Susanne,
      I’ve never tried doing PIP or jars so I can’t offer suggestions. I’m sorry I’m not more helpful. I wanted to try but non of my jars would fit, I only have tall jars. If I do, I’ll come back and update the post.

  34. Hi, after the 3 minutes of cooking do you need to unplug and wait for natural pressure release OR should it be left on the “keep warm” mode with the time until natural pressure release? Thanks!

    • You can do it either way. When I’m in the same room, I’ll often unplug. If I’m getting ready in the morning I’ll leave it on “keep warm” until I have time to check on it.

  35. My new pot says that I can choose to release the pressure by turning the switch. I did it the one time i’ve used it and it is sort of scary, but it was ok. BTW, the fresh green beans were a little mushy; I will learn

    • It takes time to get used to it. For the first year I had mine, I would use a big wooden spoon to turn the pressure release. Now I just use my hand but I was scared at first too. 🙂
      Veggies are difficult to get just right. You’ll get the hang of it though.

  36. Fernando says:

    Could I use rolled oats for the same recipe above or what would I need to change? Have a lot of rolled oats would like to switch to pressure cooking.

  37. I forgot to push the knob to seal. I was in another room and heard the pressure. What a mess. A sticky mess was squirting under the cabinet. I let the pressure go down, cleaned up the mess and let it finish coking on low sauté. It stuck to the bottom. We did eat it. The directions with my oats said 4 c. Water to 1 c. Oats. I also added 1/4 tsp. Salt. I will probably try again, but would you use 4 c. As recommended?

  38. Paul Weston says:

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  39. Gary Garnier says:

    Many recipes (including this one) say “press manual”. I’ve scanned the controls on my IPDUO numerous times, and I’ll be darned if I can find a Manual button???
    Since Steam and Sauté are not “programs” like Rice, can I assume I press one of those when a recipe says “press manual”?
    Also, what Pressure setting for the steel cut oats?

    • Shelley says:

      The newer instant pots say pressure cook instead of manual. My mom got a pot recently and this is what hers says.

      • HI Shelley,
        Yes, you are correct. I’ve been adding that to my new Instant Pot recipes but haven’t updated old recipes yet. I guess it’s time to do that.
        Thanks for answering Gary’s question.

      • Gary Garnier says:

        Shelly and Holly,
        Thanks. Mine is of recent vintage – it has a Pressure Cook button. I’m glad to see you acknowledge the need for that “new” button to be mentioned alongside Manual.

        By the way, Hi or Lo pressure for the steel-cut oats?


    • HI Gary,
      Sorry for the confusion. I wrote that recipe with the “old” Instant Pot. The new one’s say “Pressure Cook” instead of “Manual”. It’s a little thing that has led to a lot of confusion. I’m sorry about that. I’ll try to update my old recipes soon.
      I use Manual or Pressure Cook for almost all my recipes. Steep Cut oats are perfect pressing “pressure cook” and adjusting the time to 3 minutes. If possible, allow the post NPR (Natural Pressure Release) for about 10 minutes.

  40. I saw in an earlier comment that someone wanted to have oats ready for her husband to eat early. I have been doing this for months. I don’t really like oatmeal so I need it to be sweeter in order for me to eat it. I call this my Apple pie oatmeal. I use 1 cup of steel cut oats ( not quick cooking steel cut oats), 3 cups of water, 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla (optional), 1 handful of golden raisins, 4-5 cut up dates, and 1 cut up large gayla Apple. I put this all in my instant pot when I am cleaning up the kitchen from dinner, usually around 8:00 at night. I ask my husband what time he wants to eat breakfast the next morning. It will vary depending on his morning meetings. I will set the cook time for 9 minutes and the time delay for 1 hour before he wants to eat. The pot automatically turns on, comes up to pressure, cooks for 9 minutes and then naturally releases. Total time is approximately 1 hour. He will get up, open the pot and give it a stir and it is perfect every time. He puts on the glass lid and I get up maybe an hour later and it is still perfect for me. He leaves it on warm for me. I love, love, love the time delay setting. I own both the 6 and 8 quart ultra model. There is nothing that will spoil in this recipe so there is no harm in combining these ingredients early. I have done it up to 11 hours in advance. I have also used the time delay for cooking brown rice if I want it to be just cooked and warm for dinner. Hope this helps some of your readers enjoy a healthy breakfast without having to run around in the morning while trying to get ready for work.

  41. I’d like to make this, but I only have an 8 quart Instant Pot. I wonder if you need a 3 quart to make this?

    • Trish Aussem says:

      If you read my post above you will see what I do. I have both an 8qt and a 6qt and the recipe cooks the same in both sizes.

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