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How to Cook Steel Cut Oats in the Instant Pot

What’s better than pressure cooked oatmeal? Cooking steel cut oats in the Instant Pot! Instant steel cut oats are a lifesaver for this family. Read on to learn why. 

spoon of homemade steel cut oatmeal with blueberries

I am a morning person (don’t hate me!).

I kind of feel like I have to be with four kids. Getting up early is the only way to get anything done. I am also someone that wants breakfast as soon as I get up. Roll out of bed (or out of the rocking chair and lay the baby down as is the case lately), shower and EAT.

This is a habit I started in college…and 20 years later it’s still how I function. Up early. A healthy breakfast as soon as possible. Then get right to work. I am the most focused and functional at 5 am! I am ready to call it a day by 7 pm, though.

RELATED: How to do Homeschool Morning Time

Cooked Steel Cut Oats for Breakfast

My breakfasts have taken on many forms over the years. I used to be a cereal fanatic. HAD to have it every morning. Then I learned about real food and slowly transitioned away from cereal to homemade baked goods like muffins and scones paired with smoothies.

As my tastes and my health evolved breakfast became more like dinner – eggs, meatballs, veggies, sardines, sauerkraut, stir fry, soup. You get the idea. Three meals a day loaded with nutrient-dense food.

Since baby number four was born and I’ve been working on some healing (read more about our unique healing journey HERE), my breakfasts have changed again. Most days I eat oatmeal. It keeps me full. I can add good stuff like collagen (use the coupon KS10 for 10% off!) and ghee. Plus it helps with milk supply.

I know going from veggies for breakfast to oatmeal may not sound like a good change. But it really has been for my body (remember how bio-individuality is key for health). And especially for my gut and my metabolism. I am a slow oxidizer that needs a lot of starch to feel good. But I don’t do well with fruit or starchy veggies…I feel best on grains!

I love how easy it is to soak some oats while I’m cleaning up dinner. Then in the morning, I’ve got a hot bowl of oatmeal in five minutes.

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How are Rolled Oats Made?

And then I learned how rolled oats are made. Way to burst my bubble. I’m not sure why I never researched that before. I research everything. I just assumed they were just oat groats that have been rolled. Wrong.

Turns out rolled oats are somewhat processed. Not that they have strange ingredients added. But they do go through processing.

The outer layer of the oat groat is removed. What is left is steamed treated. And then rolled. So the whole grain aspect is removed and they are steamed. Bummer.

bowl of steel cut oats

If you opt for quick oats you’re really getting into processed food as they have already been cooked once! They are pre-cooked, dried and then rolled. Not exactly fresh.

Oats and Resistant Starch

I still wasn’t ready to give up my morning oatmeal. Until I started to learn about resistant starch. Many in the natural health world tout its health benefits. And if you agree then rolled oats are a great breakfast choice!

But I don’t. I’ve been researching and have concluded that resistant starch is actually quite harmful. You can read all about my findings HERE.

Aside from the damage to the gut, resistant starch causes major gas and bloating via fermentation in the gut. Um, no thanks! I struggle enough with that. I don’t need more! Now I know why I thought oats were a problem food for me for years!

Instant pot and steel cut oatmeal

All oats have resistant starch (especially raw oats or cooked and then cooled oats – no making a big batch at the start of the week to reheat!). But steel cut oats have the least since they are the least processed.

Steel Cut Oats in the Instant Pot

Great. Now how do I enjoy oatmeal while still having my quick breakfast in the morning? I don’t want to wait 30 minutes for breakfast to cook!

Enter the Instant Pot.

If you had asked me six months ago what I thought of my Instant Pot, I would have said, “I guess it’s ok. It mostly sits in the cupboard.”

I’ve tried various recipes with lackluster results. I’m more of a crockpot person.

But I heard you could cook steel cut oats in the Instant Pot. Ok. I’ll give it a shot.

bowl of instant pot steel cut oatmeal with fruit and veggies

I started by soaking the oats in the Instant Pot the night before (to help reduce phytic acid and make them easier to digest). Then in the morning before I got in the shower I turned it on. By the time I was dressed I had oatmeal!

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Instant Pot Timer Function

That was doable. Though still a bit annoying to go downstairs to start breakfast and then go back up to shower. It wasn’t until I figured out the timer function on my Instant Pot that I was totally sold. 

I add the oats and water the night before, set the timer, and when I come down in the morning…breakfast is ready! It really doesn’t get any better than that.

I had tried steel cut oatmeal years ago, but quickly decided it wasn’t for me because of the work involved. But that has all changed now. Steel cut oats are so easy with the Instant Pot.

Your kids CAN make their own healthy breakfast!

kids learning to cook

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The other thing I love is that the Instant Pot will keep the oatmeal warm for when everyone else gets up. I eat first (the early bird). Then my husband gets ready for work. A bit later the kids get up. And we all get warm oatmeal without me doing any cooking. It’s the best healthy breakfast for a crowd.

Even if oatmeal was the only thing I made in my Instant Pot it would still be worth having one. Now my crockpot is in the cupboard and my Instant Pot stays on the counter!

This makes the perfect breakfast for busy, school day mornings or for lazy summer mornings when you don’t want to heat the house.

And now that I’ve had success with oatmeal I’ve been experimenting with other things in my Instant Pot. A lot from this list of basics. Mostly freshly cooked beans…to keep the resistant starch down!

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Spoonful of Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats

Instant Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal

  • Author: Mary Voogt (Contributing Writer)
  • Prep Time: 3 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 25
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A quick, easy, healthy breakfast for the whole family. Set up these steel cut oats the night before so everyone can enjoy a warm delicious breakfast in the morning.


Ingredients

UnitsScale
  • 2 cups organic steel cut oats
  • 4 1/25 cups filtered water
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup peeled and roughly chopped parsnips or rutabaga (optional)


ship kroger


Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in the Instant Pot 8-24 hours before cooking.
  2. Cook on manual, high pressure for 5 minutes.
  3. Allow the pressure to release naturally (this takes about 10 minutes).
  4. Serve immediately with your favorite toppings or keep on warm until ready to serve.

Notes

  • You can use the timer function on your Instant Pot for it to turn on when you get up in the morning.
  • From start to finish it takes about 25 minutes to cook the oats.
  • This serves 4-6 people. It is enough for my family of 6 – 2 adults and 4 kids.
  • If you like your oatmeal creamier use more water. If you like a heartier, chewier oatmeal use less water.
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Instant pot with steel cut oatmeal and vegetablesCooked Steel Cut Oats with Vegetables

So back to my breakfast choices. Just because I’m eating oatmeal does not mean that I have abandoned vegetables. Turns out that oatmeal and vegetables go quite well together!

My favorite way to eat oatmeal is with parsnips or rutabaga! Read about why these not-so-common veggies are now almost daily staples in my diet here.

I put the steel cut oats, water, and parsnip or rutabaga chunks in the Instant Pot the day before and set the timer. In the morning the oatmeal is cooked and the veggies are tender. I simply mash them right into the oatmeal. The parsnips actually look like bits of banana. That might help a hesitant child give them a try.

But the best part? When I add vegetables I don’t need any sweetener in my oatmeal! They add enough sweetness and flavor to the oatmeal.

I normally use organic brown cane sugar or maple syrup on my oatmeal. Unless I add veggies.

So let’s review. Cooking steel cut oats and vegetables in the Instant Pot means:

  • No cooking in the morning – breakfast is ready when you wake up.
  • Breakfast is kept warm for people getting up at different times.
  • There is less resistant starch, which means less digestive upset.
  • No added sweetener is necessary.

bowl of steel cut oatmeal with toppings - berries, almonds, sugar, granolaSteel Cut Oatmeal Options

Of course there are many ways to spruce up your morning bowl of oatmeal. Here are some of our favorite additions.

My personal favorite combo is oats, collagen, parsnips, ghee, lots of salt, banana, and sunbutter. Sometimes I add a splash of homemade rice milk. It is so good! And I get a great combo of protein, carbs, and fat that gives me energy and keeps me warm.

I started out as a cereal fanatic. That has changed over the years. Now I am an oatmeal lover!

I’m so glad I can make this healthy breakfast fit into my busy, real food lifestyle by cooking steel cut oatmeal in the Instant Pot. It makes me feel good. And I feel good about serving it to my family. Steel cut oats in the Instant Pot make an appearance at least once a week on our breakfast menu. Though sometimes we do still indulge in cereal…but it’s a healthier form like my homemade gluten-free Golden Grahams®!!

Steel cut oats in the Instant Pot make a healthy breakfast for toddlers, kids, and busy moms!

Don’t forget to make sure your oats are organic! Non-organic oats (and really all grains) contain high levels of glyphosate (which contributes to a host of health problems, including gluten sensitivity). Not to mention you want to avoid GMOs. If you can only afford organic for one thing, make it grains.

More Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Are you a fan of steel cut oatmeal? Do you avoid it because it takes too long to cook? Have you tried steel cut oats in the Instant Pot?
Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

9 thoughts on “How to Cook Steel Cut Oats in the Instant Pot”

  1. Thanks for this! Just made this for breakfast and was so easy and a perfect for VAD diet. I have tried oatmeal multiple times with rolled oats, and always hated it. Decided to give this a shot and actually enjoyed it! I think the texture if these works better for me… Also liked your list of add ins, good idea on the collagen. Hoping the kids will like it, and that it will work for my digestion!

  2. I bought steel cut oats recently and I didn’t like them. I have to try cooking them in the instant pot like this. Maybe that will get them more to the consistency I like to eat my oatmeal. Thanks for the idea and recipe.

  3. Hi there! Thank you for all of the great information on your website. My kids and I also really enjoy your cooking courses 🙂 I have a question about soaking the oats overnight and then cooking the next morning. For some reason, I thought soaking grains pulled the phytic acid into the water it was soaking in…meaning that you would need to rinse before cooking. Is this not true? Does soaking just make the phytic acid go away? I rinse everything I soak, including beans, for the very reason that I just assumed the phytic acid went into the soaking water. Thank you for claryfing!
    Alison

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