This Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats recipe is the perfect healthy breakfast shortcut. No more waiting and babysitting a messy pot of oats stove- this creamy oatmeal is ready in 30 just minutes! Make this hot breakfast ahead of time or even it set it overnight using the delay start button. No instant pot? You can make steel cut oats in a Slow Cooker, too.
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill. As always, all opinions are 100% mine. Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Confessions of a Fit Foodie possible.
I am obsessed with any sort of Lazy, Hands off Meal Prep – and this Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats recipe is exactly that. I love steel cut oats and eat them almost every morning. I don’t, however, love to cook them and the mess it makes when I have to make them stovetop.
Enter the Instant Pot! This is my favorite way to prep Steel Cut Oats for the week in just 30 minutes of cook time. Even better? I can set my Instant Pot the night before to start cooking while I catch those last few minutes of glorious sleep.
No Instant Pot? I also love steel cut oats in the slow cooker!
Why I love Cooking Steel Cut Oats in the Instant Pot (or Slow Cooker)
- Hands Off: no more babysitting a pot of oats on the stove – the Instant Pot will do all the work for you! Same with the slow cooker!
- Mess Free: stove top oats have an annoying habit of boiling over and making a mess. This Instant Pot or Slow Cooker method is mess free!
- Easy to Double and Freezer Friendly: these oats are great to enjoy all week long, but they are also perfect for making a big batch if you have a large family or making extra to stock away in the freezer!
- Meal Prep While You Sleep: I am all about lazy, hands off Meal Prep! This easy recipe is exactly that, and thanks to the delay start button the the Instant Pot, you can cook these overnight if you want!
You need just a few simple ingredients for this healthy breakfast recipe. Be sure to check the recipe card below for exact ingredient amounts.
- Steel Cut Oats – this recipe is specifically for steel cut oats, so do not sub another type of oats here. I use my favorite Bob’s Red Mills Gluten-Free Steel Cut Oats.
- Water – for the instant pot recipe, you want to use two and a half cups of water, especially if you are following the delay start instructions. For the slow cooker version, you could use half water and half milk – both dairy and non dairy milk works for this.
- Salt – a pinch of salt adds flavor to your oats.
- Vanilla Extract – optional, but it does add some flavor without added sugar.
- Cooking Oil Spray – super important – oatmeal can stick to the sides of your pot, so coat it well with cooking oil spray. I like using coconut oil or avocado oil spray for this.
Your favorite toppings: I love topping my oatmeal with a teaspoon of pure maple syrup, some ground cinnamon, and fresh fruit. My kids love a splash of almond milk, too! My kids and I love to mix and match toppings so it feels like a different bowl of oats each day! You can top your oats with anything you like. Some additional ideas are:
- frozen mixed berries or fresh berries
- sliced bananas
- peanut butter or almond butter
- diced apples and/or apple sauce
- nuts such as almonds, pecans, or walnuts
- raw sugar or brown sugar
- coconut milk or coconut cream
- chocolate chips
- pumpkin pie spice
Want to add an easy protein? Try this easy homemade chicken breakfast sausage recipe!
You can use any Electric Pressure Cooker or Slow Cooker to make steel cut oats the easy way!
To make instant pot steel cut oatmeal, simply:
1. Spray inner pot with cooking oil spray, then add in oats, water, vanilla, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Give everything a good stir.
2. Lock Instant Pot and set to ten minutes on manual. If you wish to cook your oats overnight, press your delay start or timer button and set the timer for the amount of time you want to delay the cooktime for (be sure you figure about 30 minutes of cook time after the delay time). I set it for 7-8 hours at night before I go to bed.
3. After cook time, do a full natural release. When it’s safe, remove lid and enjoy your hot breakfast! I personally love topping mine with fruit, cinnamon, and a tsp of maple syrup.
To make steel cut oats in the Slow Cooker:
1. Spray slow cooker with cooking oil spray, then add in 1 cup of oats and 4 cups of water. Sprinkle in salt, if using. Give everything a good stir.
2. Cook the oats covered, on low, for 7-8 hours.
3. Top each serving with fruit, cinnamon, and a tsp of maple syrup.
How to set your Delay Start timer to make Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
Set the timer so that the oats start about 30 minutes before you are going to eat them. This gives enough time for the pot to build pressure, and the cook time, and natural release.
To do this, put your water and oats in your pot and lock your lid, just like you always do.
- Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button.
- Press the + or – button to select the cook time (10 minutes for this recipe).
- Press the Timer or Delay Start (depends on your model of IP) button (the hour will flash) and use the + or – button to choose how many hours from now you want it to start.
- Press the Timer or Delay Start button again (the minutes will flash) and use the + or – button to choose the minutes, in 10 minute increments.
- Then, after a few seconds it will beep, and the timer is all set! The green light on the Timer button will be on, and the time will begin counting down. Now go to bed before someone in your house wakes you up!
Steel Cut Oats are the least processed type of oats. They are made by cutting oat groats (the whole oat kernel) into small pieces with a steel blade. This gives them a chewy texture and a nutty flavor. Steel cut oats take the longest to cook, usually 20-30 minutes with lots of stirring.
Rolled oats, also known as old-fashioned oats, are made by steaming and then rolling oat groats flat. This makes them cook more quickly than steel cut oats, usually in about 5-10 minutes. Rolled oats have a softer texture and a milder flavor than steel cut oats.
I would say that all oats are very nutritious and healthy choices, except for instant oatmeal packets that contain a ton of sugar. Oatmeal is a good sources of fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates.
Steel-cut oats have a slightly lower glycemic index than rolled oats, which means they may help to regulate blood sugar levels more effectively. This is because steel cut oats are less processed and take longer to digest.
However, the difference in glycemic index between steel cut oats and rolled oats is not very significant. And both types of oats are still considered to be low-glycemic foods.
So, ultimately, the best type of oats for you is a matter of personal preference. If you like a chewy texture and a nutty flavor, then steel cut oats are a good choice. If you prefer a softer texture and a milder flavor, or if you are short on time, then rolled oats are a good option.
The Delay Start button (or Timer button on older models) allows you to prep your food and delay the cook time for a set amount of time. I love using this for breakfast or to prep other grains like rice or quinoa.
I would NOT use the delay start button to cook anything that requires refrigeration (meat, eggs, etc) unless you are only delaying the time by a half hour or so. But it’s perfect for pantry items like pasta, rice, beans, and Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats!
Meal Prep and Storage
This easy recipe is perfect for meal prep!
To prep ahead: Cook oatmeal and let cool. Portion out the oats into individual serving containers – I love using mason jars. Add any toppings you like, such as fruit, nuts, or seeds. Store the containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To store: Store the steel cut oats in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To freeze: To freeze the steel cut oats, portion them out into individual serving containers – I use my Silicone Egg Bites Molds or my Souper Cubes for this, but you can also use a regular muffin tin. Once they are frozen, you can transfer them to ziplock freezer bags to save space.
To reheat: To reheat the steel cut oats from the refrigerator, microwave them on high for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. You can also reheat them on the stovetop over low heat.
To reheat the steel cut oats from the freezer, microwave them on high for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through. You can also reheat them on the stovetop over low heat, adding a splash of milk or water if needed.
Looking for more Healthy Oatmeal Recipes? Check these out!
Overnight Oats – 5 Ways!
TikTok Blender Baked Oats – 4 Ways
Warm Gingerbread Oatmeal | The Foodie and The Fix
Coconut Overnight Oats | Carrie Elle
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟rating & a review in the comments section! We love hearing from you!
“Overnight” Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats using the Delay Timer
- Cooking oil spray I use coconut or avocado, but it doesn’t matter
- 1 cup Bob's Red Mills Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats
- 2 ½ cups water
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon optional
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract optional
- maple syrup/honey
- fruit and nut toppers or even some nut butter!
- splash of almond milk my kids like it with some milk
- Instant Pot Instructions: (Optional) Spray inner pot with cooking oil spray, then add in oats, water, cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
- Lock Instant Pot and set to 10 minutes on manual. Then press your delay start or timer button and set the timer for the amount of time you want to delay the cooktime for (be sure you figure about 30 minutes of cooktime after the delay time). I set it for 7-8 hours at night before I go to bed (wishful thinking that I actually get to sleep 7-8 hours).
- After cooktime, do a full natural release. When it’s safe, remove lid and enjoy your hot breakfast! I personally love topping mine with fruit, cinnamon, and a tsp of maple syrup. My kids like to add some milk to theirs.
- Spray slow cooker with cooking oil spray, then add in 1 cup of oats, 4 cups of water, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt.
- Cook the oats covered, on low, for 7-8 hours.
- Top each serving with fruit, cinnamon, and a tsp of maple syrup.