Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats (Fool-Proof Method!)

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Steel cut oats make a warm and healthy breakfast, and today I want to show you how EASY they are to prepare in an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker, so they’ll turn out perfectly every time!

instant pot steel cut oats with blueberries


Steel cut oats have 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein in just a 1/4 cup dry serving, and the insoluble fiber they contain has been associated with improved cholesterol levels and improved blood sugar levels in diabetics. They’re also a natural source of B vitamins and iron. (You’ll get 20% of the recommended daily allowance of iron if you eat a 1/2 cup of oats in the morning!)

Are Steel Cut Oats Better for you than Rolled Oats?

Steel cut oats and rolled oats both come from the same whole grain cereal, so they have similar nutrition content and really only differ in their processing. Rolled oats are steamed, then rolled to produce their signature flat look and quick-cooking texture. Because they are tender and cook quickly, they are ideal for adding to baked goods, like my Gluten-free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

steel cut oats in measuring cup

Steel cut oats, on the other hand, are less processed. To make steel cut oats, the oat groat is sliced with a steel blade to create more of a chopped, rice-like grain that is chewier in texture and takes longer to cook.

Though, the cooking time isn’t a problem when you have an Instant Pot (<– affiliate link for the 6-quart one). Just press a button and walk away until it’s ready! I love not having to babysit my oats on the stove top, or worrying about them burning on the bottom.

The key to cooking perfect steel cut oats in the Instant Pot is allowing the pressure to naturally release after the initial 4 minute cooking cycle. While the pressure releases, the oats absorb the water without burning on the bottom of the pot. This prevents sticking and allows the oats to become perfectly tender. You just have to be patient!

While a 4-minute cook time sounds ridiculously fast for a bowl of steel cut oats, the entire process takes closer to 30 minutes when you take into account the 5 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, 4 minutes for the cooking cycle, and then about 20 minutes for the pressure to naturally release. This isn’t any longer of a process than cooking them on a stove top, but it’s also not significantly faster.

The Benefit of Using an Instant Pot

The real benefit of using the electric pressure cooker, if you ask me, is the hands-off approach. Instead of waiting over the stove for the water to come to a boil, then adding the lid, lowering the temperature, and checking on the oats to check for tenderness, you can truly “set it and forget it” with the Instant Pot.

Just press a button and walk away until you’re ready to eat!

If you forget to check on the oats for 10 minutes, they won’t burn, and in fact, the Instant Pot will keep them warm until you’re ready to eat. I love this thing, and I hope you’ll love these easy steel cut oats just as much, too.

healthy steel cut oats

Are Steel Cut Oats Gluten-Free?

Oats are naturally gluten-free, but they are often processed in facilities that process gluten-containing grains, and therefore you run the risk of cross-contamination. If you need to stay gluten-free, be sure to look for oats with a certified gluten-free label on the package.

instant pot steel cut oats with blueberries
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Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats (Fool-Proof Method!)

STARCH | Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free, Vegan
Here's how to make steel cut oats in the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker for a quick and easy warm breakfast. They're naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, and are loaded with fiber and plant-based protein. 
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword breakfast, healthy, instant pot
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 205kcal


  • 2 cups steel cut oats (certified gluten-free, if necessary)
  • 5 cups water


  • Combine the steel cut oats and water in the bowl of a 6-quart Instant Pot and give them a stir. (If using a different size machine, please see the notes for modifications.) Secure the lid and turn the steam release valve at the top to "sealing." 
  • Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button, then set the cook time to 4 minutes on high pressure. The Instant Pot will read "ON" as it comes to pressure, which can take 10 to 15 minutes. When the floating valve in the lid pops up, you'll know the pot is pressurized and the countdown will begin.
  • When the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for 20 minutes. (The timer on the Instant Pot will remain on after the cooking cycle to let you know how long it's been kept warm, unless you press the OFF button. I like to keep it on for the timer function.) 
  • Once the 20 minutes have passed, turn the steam release valve to "venting" to release any remaining pressure. Carefully remove the lid and stir the oats to incorporate any water that has risen to the top. They might look watery at first, but should thicken up when you stir them.
  • Serve warm with maple syrup, cinnamon, and a splash of non-dairy milk, if desired. Leftover oats can be stored in individual containers in the fridge for  up to a week, for a fast breakfast on the go. 



If you are using a 3-quart Instant Pot, make sure you follow the max-fill guidelines set out in your user manual. Oats can release starchy foam as they cook, and you don't want to clog the vent. I'd recommend cutting the recipe in half for a smaller machine, but only if that works with your user manual guidelines for safety. If using a larger 8-quart machine, I would lower the cook time to 3 minutes since a larger machine takes longer to come to pressure.


Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 10mg | Fiber: 5g | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2.2mg
Per serving: Calories: 205, Carbohydrates: 35, Fiber: 5, Protein: 8, Fat: 3

Need more healthy Instant Pot recipes? Be sure to check out my cookbook, The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook. You can see a sneak peek here!

Recipe Notes:

  • If you follow food combining, you can top cooked oats with pumpkin or sweet potato puree, pure maple syrup, and a splash of almond milk for a properly combined meal. Sliced avocado would work, too!

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite breakfast this week? Do you have any favorite Instant Pot recipes already? Feel free to share them below!

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Thanks for this method! This week I’ve made your pizza stir fry with leftover red cabbage. I added olive juice (leftover from a jar) instead of water for some extra flavor!


    I tried this today with half soy milk and half water, and reduced the recipe to 4 servings. Worked perfectly! If for some reason the pressure hasn’t released after 20 minutes, make sure you just let it do so all the way. I’ve tried speeding it along in the past; you will end up with a huge mess on your hands!


      Can you make this recipe with coconut milk?

        Megan Gilmore

        I wouldn’t cook it with coconut milk, in case it could trigger the burn error, but you could stir it in at the end of the cooking cycle for creaminess.

        Carole W

        I do it all the time – half or more water, remainder coconut milk with the yummy fat.


I am excited to try this however, I don’t have an instant pot. Fingers crossed my luck changes!!! We have been eating chocolate chia pudding, almond butter fudge,and sweet potato toast to name a few. My 6 year old twins love it all. Thanks for the great recipes!!!!

Deanna marie

There are lots of your recipes I’d like to make, but I haven’t yet. The mac ‘n’ cheese is on the top of my list, as well as several smoothie recipes.


I would love to try the ‘Healthier Hot Chocolate’ this week!


I’m making your chocolate PB banana smoothie for breakfast tomorrow and the avocado cilantro dressing is going on our salads tonight! yum! 🙂

Bianca T

i am dying to remake your date-sweetened brownies or peanut butter cookies!


Love all your recipes, I’ve been hooked on my Instant Pot since Christmas and cook just about every recipe from No Excuses Detox that has the option for pressure cooker/slow cooker. Definitely love the versatility that your cookbooks and website bring into my weekly meal plans. So ready to try this and more IP vegan recipes!


I’ll be making the ACV vinaigrette and chia seed pudding!


I made the roasted veggie quinoa bowls for lunch this week. Delicious!!! I even got my notoriously picky family to eat Brussels sprouts

Leah Jade

Would love to try your cinnamon rolls recipe!

April Kegley

I will try the quinoa burrito bowls.

April Kegley

I want to try the steel cut oats of course.

    James king

    Please let me know how your steel cuts turned out!

Shawna curee

This week, I’m making the Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins for sure, the Breakfast Skillet Hash again and the Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. Thank you, I’ve loved all your recipes so far!


I can’t wait to make the steel cut oats in my Instant Pot, this will be a real time saver. Since I am the only one who will be eating them I would love to know how you would recommend reheating the leftovers?

    Megan Gilmore

    I would reheat it in a mini crock pot if I were in an office setting, or you could place it in an oven or on the stove for a couple minutes to warm it up again! Sometimes I just add a splash of almond milk and eat it cold, depending on how my schedule is.

    laura kidman

    I freeze the leftovers (A little saran wrap into a cupcake mold, put 1 cup of cooked oatmeal into the mold, and freeze. when frozen, I take them out, twist the saran around the frozen oatmeal cupcake and throw into baggies in the freezer). THen, when I want one, I put an oatmeal serving into a bowl, and reheat on stove or microwave (depends on my time restraints), and stir in a splash of almond mild and whatever i want into it (sweetener, nuts, seeds, fruit, etc).

      Jamie A Roberts

      Very grateful for this excellent recipe and the idea of freezing it in a cupcake tin is brilliant! Thank you!

    Dawn Corbin

    I only wanted one serving so I put two cups of water into the Instant Pot inner pot, then inserted the steamer grate that came with the pot. I put 1/3c. Oats and 2/3c. water into a high-sided bowl and placed it on top of the steamer basket. It worked beautifully with zero leftovers!


    I do single servings pot-in-pot (I have some of those Corning Ware soup mugs – perfect size, and I can pop the lid on if I want to take it to work if I’m running late).

    I also set it up overnight with the timer so they’re ready when I wake up


      How long do you cook with this method?


I will be baking Paleo Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins for tomorrow’s breakfast and cooking Vegan Enchilada Casserole for today’s dinner. I am so excited for the challenge! 🙂


I made the acorn squash with quinoa – I had squash I wanted to use and it was delicious! I’m definitely going to try making the lasagna recipe with no noodles later in the week – thanks!

I woud love the instant pot – I just started reading about them a couple of months ago, for some reason and then my neighbor bought one..


I’ll be making your detox salad today for lunch. Delicious


Nothing beats your banana chocolate PB “milkshake.” It’s been one of my go-tos for years!

Barbara Hughes

Just made your vegan flourless peanut butter temptations using Justin’s dark chocolate pub cups….they were amazing!! They are cooling now, it’s hard to keep my hands off 🙂
Also made your frosty chocolate shake this morning for breakfast, from No excuses detox…that is one of our favs!!
And finally having your holiday salad with apple cider dressi for lunch…..yum!!
Thank you for your amazing recipes and books that I use often!!

    Cindy S

    Thanks for commenting using Justins dark chocolate cups – I have previously seen the recipe using the pb cups but my husband can’t have dairy. I totally forgot about that brand that is dairy free. My husband occasionally gets the 2 pack of those but I forgot they make a bag of the small ones. Yeah!


Renee Dews

I love oatmeal and this sounds so delicious. I love your almond butter fudge and Chocolate almond butter truffles. My son is obsessed with the truffles. I am going to try to make the Date Energy Balls and a batch of the make ahead chia pudding.


I’ll be trying the four minute steel cut oats recipe. I’ve been cooking them for ten minutes, but my version is usually half steel cut oats and half teff (I cook them together at a 1:3 ratio of grain to liquid). Trying to get some new grains in my diet!


I love making your cauliflower pizza from your cookbook Everyday Detox!
#one entry for the#DetoxinistaChallenge 6-Quart Instant Pot!!!! 🙂


I’m going to try the steel cuts oats tomorrow!


I want to try these steel cut oats in pressure cooker. Until I win the InstantPot, ofcourse..:)

Elora Roy

Omg I can’t wait to try this oats recipe if I win the instapot. I hate cooking forEVER with the crockpot

Angela becker

We’re trying the Chickpea Kung Pao this week. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all your recipes and cookbooks Megan! Please keep them coming 🙂


I’m going to try the sweet potato lasagna!


    I tried this today. The oatmeal tastes great but there was a burned crust at the bottom of the pot. I’m a new instapot user so I don’t know if this is expected or not. Please let me know if I’m doing something wrong. Thanks!

JoAnne Nesser

I am going to make the Creamy Asian Coleslaw! I love your Vegan recipes, and especially ones without nutritional yeast. For some reason, I can’t tolerate it. So it’s great to see some recipes that are vegan that don’t include that. Thank you!

Lynda M.

I’m going to try sweet potato toast this week. I absolutely love sweet potatoes and can’t wait to try this! I’ve been wishing for an Instant Pot – thanks for the opportunity to enter to win one!


I am pregnant, so I have been craving a lot of sweets! In the last couple of days, I have made: your healthiest cookies ever, your double chocolate pumpkin muffins (with flax eggs), and your date-sweetened flourless vegan chocolate brownies! I share your recipes with everyone I know! Thanks for such healthy and delicious creations!


I’ve been meaning to try your No-Bake Brownies (Date-Sweetened) forever. So I think I’ll give those a shot this week…Btw, are winners picked at random or by how much they participate? I understand each picture or comment gets us one entry. Just wondering if those entries are added up or are like raffle tickets added to a pot of names? Thanks!

Joyce mcarThur

I will be making the veganchickprea curry but not n an instant pot


I will be making the Kung Pow Chick Peas this week! It has become a favorite in our home. 🙂 Also I made the instant vegan bolognese which was delicious (although I made it on the stove because I do not have an instapot)! Thank you SO much for all of your wonderful recipes. They are super delicious and not time consuming!

Karoline …this recipe has been a lifesaver on busy mornings! Delicious and filling.


I can’t wait to try the sweet potato lasagna- it looks amazing and happy it’s nut free! I am anxious to try using an instant pot!


Definitely trying the steel cut oats in the instant pot tomorrow! I’m new to using it but have loved everything I’ve made in it so far! Thanks for the recipe! Also love your buckwheat pumpkin bread! We make it weekly and my 5 year old and 22 month old absolutely love it!


I made the chocolate pumpkin muffins and they were amazing. My daughter who is a sugar junkie, and difficult to get veggies into, loves them. Thank you!!!

Robyn Shutt

I love the stuffed acorn squash recipe. It is so simple and delicious and does not have any adverse gut effects when I eat it! I plan on making the vegan sweet potato lasagna. I would love to try to steel cut oat recipe in this post as well!


I’m looking forward to trying some of the low sugar smoothie recipes with my kids. They love smoothies so it would be a big win! It’s hard to narrow down your recipes because there are so many that look really good!


Definitely trying the Sweet Potato Lasagna this week!

Jen Rose

I’m excited to try the lasagna and use the steel cut oat recipe for Oat Groats!!

Catalina Kotenkoff

CAnnot wait to give this easy recipe a try, also tired of babysitting my oats by the stove

TJ David

Love the creamy, yet toothsome, tasty steel cut oats!! Especially wonderful w the pumpkin purée, toasted sunflower seeds and a touch of coconut milk in the cooking water!! Thank you Detixinista!!! Love your recipes and inspiration.

Dianne Stephan

Have tried several recipes and have loved all of them. Really love your recipes even more now as I am also trying a keto diet and alot of your recipes seem to fit. My plan is to try the Cherry Chocolate Avocado Pudding – your Cauliflower Pizza Crust and the Sweet Potato Quinoa Mason Jar Salad.



Tina DiVita

Detoxinista Party Mix is AWESOME!

Cindy S

I made your Easy Coconut Curry a couple nights ago but forgot to post about it. We LOVE that recipe!

p.s. You may want to change the date at the bottom for entry dateline – it shows Jan 7th.


Sarah Neusen

I’ll be making the Italian Meatballs and Comforting Vegetable Korma from the cookbooks!


Would love to try your Sweet Potato Noodle Casserole – it looks so yummy!


I’ll be using your almond milk recipe, but with sunflower seeds.thanks for all the great recipes. I made the zucchini chocolate muffins all the time. Wish me luck!


    Hi! I love the recipe. I use regular milk as I enjoy the taste. It comeS out creamy and delicious. The only problem I have is that it sticks to the instant pot and is really Hard to clean. I’ve tried putting oil at the bottom but doesn’t make a difference.
    Any suggestions?

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