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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4.86 from 117 votes

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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Linda Lau

Love your recipes! I’ll be making your sweet potato lasagna this week. Can’t wait!


I just got both of your cookbooks, and my family and I are most excited to make your mac-n-cheese w/broccoli (I’m excited about the broccoli, but the rest of the fam isn’t so sure…)! Slated to make it this weekend…


I love the gluten free sugar free cookies! They are delicious and help me indulge and be healthy at the same time!!


I’d like to try your Cashew Butter cookies this week.


I’m looking forward to these steel cut oats now that our San Diego mornings will be a little cooler. I also have the cauliflower pizza crust on my menu for the week. It is a family favorite!

Michelle pixley

Thank you for all of the wonderful recipes on your blog and from your cookbooks! I use them every day. Today alone, I’ve made the jello recipe, (I have it memorized I’ve made it so much!), peanut butter cookies, and the spaghetti squash “spaghetti” recipe. I currently have cashews soaking for your queso dip recipe. Both of my kiddos have dietary restrictions,and your cookbooks and blog recipes help them not feel deprived of any special foods like cookies or cupcakes! Both of them like to sit on the couch together and mark which recipes from your cookbooks that they want me to make next. Thank you again!

Alison Yvonne

I made your sweet potato lasagna!! Its the first recipe ive made and it was absolutely delicous!


Tried the cauliflower rice pizza dough (the vegan version) this past week. Worked well and my toddler loved it. Definitely interested in trying out the Instant Pot!


Alas, I won’t be making any InstantPot recipes this week, I melted ours (don’t ask), but I’m definitely giving the Egg Roll in a Bowl a try this week!


I made your almond butter freezer fudge this week and am going to be making your sweet potato lasagna! Looks amazing!

Janet McMullin

We had egg roll in a bowl for dinner last night and I had sweet potato toast with avocado for breakfast! The next recipe I want to try is the Kung Pao Chickpeas in the crockpot. I love your recipes! Thank you.

Julia B Wood

I make your buckwheat banana Pancakes and muffins weekly. I’m going to try to sweet potato lasagna this week. Love your recipes


I’m going to make the gluten-free pumpkin bars this week!

Sharyn Engel

I’d love to make your instant pot oats and your sweet potato lasagna, if I won it! How fun😁


I am going to try the Coconut Flour Pumpkin Bars this week! Thanks for the great recipes!

Valerie Spencer

Since I have oatmeal every morning, I’ll be trying the steel cut oats in the Instant Pot. I love mine and would love to win one for my daughter!


I’m looking forward to trying the oats/pizza veggies/ Tikka Masala. This week. Thank you for helping in the journey. The whole food combining is a challenge you help break it down to manageable bites.


I think I’ll try the Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts. Sounds like a winning combination.


After all these instant pot recipes, I’m finally ready for one!
I’m having mad cravings for that sweet potato lasagna. So it’s on my list to make asap!
Cheers, Mary


I will be making the sweet potato lasagna it looks amazing


I love making your cauliflower pizza!

melissa rodgers

I made a batch of date nut energy balls and love them!

Lily patino

I’m in love with Kung Pao Chickpeas. It’s the bomb of bombs. You have to try to believe me:)


I’ll be making these awesome oats in my new Instant Pot. I’m obsessed 🙂

Sarah B

I love the idea of not having to stand in front of the stove while cooking steel cut oats. Steel cut oats are our go to Sunday breakfast and it inevitably ends up getting burned because I’m running around getting kiddos ready for the day.

In regards to the instapot giveaway: I want to try your Gorilla Green Smoothie. The color is so vibrant! One thing I want to do this year is drink more smoothies. As a mother of 6, I “forget” to eat lunch. Sometimes my low blood sugar gets me hangry. I love your method of storing the pre mixed smoothie in the fridge and just mixing. Might be the key to a less hangry mama!

Sarah VT

I am so going to try the sweet potato lasagna!!! We LOVE sweet potatoes in our house so we are out of them at the moment, but as soon as I have some I am going to try that recipe! YUM!


I make steel cut oats every week so I would love to have an instant pot! You aer making so many awesome recipes that Im anxious to have one. Truth is I been expanding my kitchen gadgets as I make more of your recipes 😬. But its been a good thing in my kitchen. I would love to win this one. Thanks for another great aidea

Terri McCok

I think the sweet potato lasgna sounds yummy and I plan to try it

Jacqie Muscha

The instant pot is all the rage these days so I’ve been wanting to try one. I’ve made the mushroom and leek egg bake, the cauliflower ziti, the creamy feta dressing, and morning glory muffins from your cookbooks. All fantastic like usual.


I pretty much make at least one of your recipes a week haha your cauliflower ziti is a top in our house. I would love to try making your cinnamon rolls!! I Would LOVE an instapot!!


I would LOVE to try this recipe, but no instant pot yet :/
What I have cooked from your delicious recipes that was a family fave is the sweet potato noodles with red pepper sauce….Unbelievably yum! Even the most picky members of my family couldn’t get enough!!
Thanks for all you do to help us vegans eat hearty, deliciously satisfying meals!!

heather Alvey

Love steel cut oats, but definitely don’t have the time to make them very often! Sweet potatoes are a winter staple of mine so the sweet potato toast (with avocado) is something I’m going to have to try!


I make your easy lentil, sweet potato & coconut curry regularly. Excited to learn more about the instant pot and everything that I can create with it! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes.


I love your blog and have been making several of the smoothies and energy bites as well as other recipes from your site. They are all favorites in our house!! This weekend I will make the sweet potato lasagna. I was hoping to get an instant pit for Christmas but prices went through the roof so I am still waiting to get my hand on one. Maybe I am lucky ….


Your recipes are a normal daily occurrence at our house. I also recommend your site to patients at work. One of my favorites is the nut free tai peanut sauce. We can all have nuts so I make it with peanut butter. It is the best sauce ever! Great on salad or any veggies. Sometimes I eat an entire plate of veggies just so I can eat the sauce.


I plan on trying your Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana smoothie for breakfast tomorrow!

Lindsay Merrill

I just made your cauliflower fried rice last night and it was a hit!


Definitely trying the Instant Pot steel cut oats this weekend!!


I plan on making crispy garlic chickpeas. Sounds wonderful


I made your quick and easy enchiladas with the quinoa and for a neighborhood party i made your vegan Pb cups!

Rebecca Rusoff

I have been making your lemon meltaways non stop this week. Even my picky daughter loves them ( anything sour) and I am using up the last of my lemons from my tree.

I make recipes from your site often. The children at my preschool love your date energy balls.

I have one of your cookbooks and love your site!


I would love to make the sweet potato lasagna!

Christine smith

Egg Roll in a bowl! Was very tasty and filling. I served it over rice but next time I will add some tofu for protein.

Jessica Canallatos

An InstantPot has been on my wishlist for a year now!!!! Ahhh!
This week I made Paleo Cinnamon Crunch Cereal and Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal Cups, and I will be making Vegan Chickpea Tikka Masala with Green Rice, Mediterranean Chickpea Flour Pizza, Mexican Cauliflower Rice Casserole, and Kung Pao Chickpeas.Love all the recipes!!!!


We love the strawberry basil smoothie from your cookbook and make it regularly with frozen strawberries.

Wendy Ratcliffe

I just made the Avocado Cilantro Dressing, for my dinner salad and I am planning on making the chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie after dinner for my dessert..

Zoe Bellinghausen

Just made coconut flour pumpkin bars for the second time this week!


I can’t wait to make more Chia Pudding and may just try your Healthy Granola recipe.


The single serving raw fudge is awesome – easy to make and very satisfying to eat. I like many of your recipes and especially like the nutritional information you include in your cookbooks. Thank you very much,


I made the kung po chickpea recipe and l added mushrooms. It was perfect! Thank you for a simple delicious recipe.

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