How to Make Steel-Cut Oats in the Instant Pot

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I’m a big fan of eating a filling breakfast to start the day off right. When we have oatmeal, steel-cut oats are my go-to choice. They’re less processed than rolled oats and keep you feeling full longer.

We like to try different add-ins to the oats for interest and variety after getting them out of the Instant Pot. Think fresh fruit, soaked nuts, and coconut flakes… yum!

Steel-Cut Oats in the Instant Pot

If you’ve been hanging around Wellness Mama for a while you likely know that I’m a huge fan of quick and easy meals. With a large family to care for and a business to run, I need to simplify where I can.

The Instant Pot is one of my favorite tools for creating quick and easy meals. All you have to do is put your food in, set the timer, and you have a meal ready to eat.

For this steel-cut oats recipe, I like to throw it in the Instant Pot before I jump in the shower. By the time I’m ready to serve breakfast, the oats are finished and ready to eat. And I can move on to my daily routine!

Should I Soak My Oats?

There is a lot of discussion and disagreement in the healthy eating community about whether grains are healthy and if we should eat them at all. In my view (and research backs this up), variations in gut health and genetics mean that we don’t all handle grains the same way.

Grains, like animals, have protective mechanisms to ensure their survival and reproduction. Grains contain gluten, lectins, enzyme inhibitors, and phytic acid which allow them to pass through digestive systems without harm to the seed. The grain seed can then emerge from the other side ready to grow (and is even pre-fertilized!).

Soaking, sprouting, and fermenting grains is a great way to break down the protective compounds in grains and make them more bioavailable and reduce the possibility of harm. If possible, I recommend soaking oats before eating them.

How to Soak Oats

Oats are very low in phytase, an enzyme that breaks down phytic acid, so it’s important to add a bit of grain that does contain phytase. I add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon buckwheat groats to my oats, cover with filtered water, and let sit overnight. If you choose to soak oats before cooking them, reduce the water in the cooking phase.

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Instant Pot Steel-Cut Oats Recipe

A simple, hands-off, breakfast recipe that will keep you feeling full all morning.


  • In the Instant Pot, mix together the water, oats, salt, and cinnamon sticks if using.

  • Put on the lid and set the vent to sealing.

  • Cook at high pressure for 3 minutes.

  • Let pressure release naturally and serve.


I sometimes add 2 peeled and chopped apples to the oats before cooking for additional flavor.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 156.56kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.1g | Protein: 6.44g | Fat: 2.81g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Sodium: 300.15mg | Fiber: 4.87g | Sugar: 0.02g | Calcium: 34.39mg | Iron: 1.73mg

Looking for More Simple Breakfast Ideas?

Here are some of my favorites easy and healthy favorites:

  • Breakfast Casserole – This one-pan breakfast recipe uses cottage cheese to create a protein-packed (and delicious!) breakfast perfect for a crowd.
  • Vegetable Frittata – Easy to adjust to tastes or what’s in the fridge, this frittata recipe is a favorite for a quick, protein-packed breakfast. It’s so simple I often make it for dinner on busy nights too!
  • Sweet Potato Hash – This recipe isn’t fancy, but it’s sure delicious! It’s so simple to make (and is packed with nutrition) I’m happy to serve it whenever my kids want it.
  • Breakfast Pizza – Made with healthy ingredients, this breakfast pizza is a Saturday morning favorite. It’s easy to adjust and reinvent, so we never get tired of it.
  • 5-Ingredient Breakfast Hash – I’m a huge fan of one-pan meals, so I’m excited to try this simple egg-free hash of sausage, sweet potatoes, and kale.

Bonus: Many of these recipes make a great easy lunch or dinner!

Have you ever made oatmeal in the Instant Pot? Do you prefer it over the stove-top method?