I’ve made oatmeal fast in the microwave and low and slow in the slow cooker and overnight in the fridge, but this oatmeal recipe made in the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker makes make-ahead oatmeal such a cinch, and so convenient, that it’s become my new favorite method. And even better, it works with both steel cut oats or rolled oats, for a healthy breakfast that I can make different every day of a week that doesn’t require any babysitting or tending as it cooks.
Today I’m sharing how to make Instant Pot oatmeal with both steel cut oats and rolled oats plus 10 flavor combinations—from fruit or kale, to chocolate chips and nut butters—to make this oatmeal totally your own.
This recipe is brought to you by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze
My family has a long history of eating oatmeal for breakfast. As a kid, I never even knew you could make oatmeal on the stove top, because my mom would always buy the instant quick oats oatmeal packets, placing them easily within our elementary school arm’s reach so my little sister and I could boil the water for the packet of oats and mystery ingredients to make our own breakfast before school.
My mom was smart that way. We learned how to fend for ourselves and she earned herself a little extra mom time in the morning with her coffee and the Today Show.
As I moved on in life, I sort of fell off the oatmeal-for-breakfast train and favored scrambled eggs, or cottage cheese and toast, or my fave microwave egg whites and spinach toasted bagel as my made-in-the-office breakfast instead.
But then last year when my sister served me her recipe for Instant Pot steel cut oats oatmeal alongside her famous latte, I made the return to dosing up on my own morning oatmeal once again.
This Instant Pot oatmeal has been perfected by my sister. If there’s one thing that Holly does and always does right, it’s making sure that she measures, that she takes notes, and that she makes it perfect. She’s a scientist, and that’s why she is such a good cook. Because sure, cooking can be art, but it all starts with science.
But Is Instant Pot Oatmeal Actually Easier to Make? Yes!
The Instant Pot is still enjoying its run as the trendy appliance of the season or two, but here’s one more validating reason it’s worth the cupboard space: I like making oatmeal in the Instant Pot rather than over the stove or in the microwave because there’s no monitoring involved to be sure it doesn’t bubble over and cause a mess like mine does in the microwave 50% of the time, or stirring to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Instead, you simply set it and walk away until the timer rings. And even better, it’s awesome for making a big master batch to keep in the fridge and warm up anytime with your favorite fixins’.
Cooking steel cut oats the traditional way can take up to 30 to 40 minutes of cooking time. But when you toss them into the Instant Pot, the cooking time is cut to 3 to 4 minutes with the resting time of about 10 minutes where the grains continue to soften. Be sure to allow time for the pressure cooker to come up to heat, about 7-10 minutes more.
I’ll take that for $500, Alex!
Steel Cut Oats vs. Rolled Oats: What’s the Difference?
Steel cut and old fashioned rolled oats are the same whole grain cereal oat, and carry the same nutritional values, they’re just processed differently. They are both:
- High in soluble fiber to keep you full and keep things moving
- Naturally gluten free (but some cross contamination can occur during processing, so look for a certified gluten-free product if needed)
- Nutrient dense and a top-10 superfood
- High in beta glucan for lowering cholesterol (my friend Stephanie is proof it works!)
Here are the differences:
Rolled oats (also called old fashioned oats) are oat kernels (groats) that are steamed and then rolled into ﬂakes, then toasted, creating a flatter surface area so they cook quicker.
Steel cut oats (sometimes called Irish Oatmeal) are less processed by steel blades, making them chunkier and take 3-4 times as long to cook as old fashioned oats.
Unless you make them in the pressure cooker that is. Then there’s only about 1 minute difference in cooking time!
How to Pressure Cook Oatmeal In the Instant Pot
One of the things that you need to know about making oatmeal in the Instant Pot is that the oatmeal turns out best when you use almond milk rather than dairy milk in your recipe because almond milk won’t scorch.
I used Almond Breeze almondmilk Vanilla for this master recipe but you could use any of the flavors from Unsweetened Original to the Almond Coconut Blend Original that work equally well. Almond Breeze is available in both refrigerator cartons and easily store-able, shelf-stable cartons so it’s always easy to have it on hand.
The liquid to oat ratios are important depending on which type of oat you’re using.
- For steel cut oats use a 3 to 1 ratio aka 3 cups liquid to 1 cup oats (less processed needs more liquid to soften the grain)
- For rolled oats use a 2 to 1 ratio aka 2 cups liquid to 1 cup oats (flatter surface needs less liquid to soften the grain)
I think these ratios are on the money….HOWEVER…depending on how creamy or not you like your oatmeal, take a cue from my sister the scientist and test the recipe for yourself, take notes, and add more liquid the next time you make it for even creamier bites.
I find that one essential ingredient to any oatmeal is salt, so don’t skip it. It brings out the flavor and enhances each nutty bite.
Flavor Combinations to Make Your Oatmeal Better Than the Rest
There are more ways to jazz up your oatmeal than Carter has pills (one of my mom’s favorite sayings that I had no idea where it came from ’til now.) And whole grain oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast anymore. Use it as a whole grain alternative to rice, pasta, quinoa, or farro in savory lunches or dinners with a fridge forage and then #putaneggonit. Or make it the base for a healthy snack or dessert topped with sweet treats.
This is the time to use your noggin’, listen to your cravings, and play with your food. Use either steel cut or rolled oat oatmeal interchangeably and add more almond milk in your favorite flavors to your liking. You never know what wonderful things might happen.
Maple Banana & Brown Sugar Oatmeal: Top a bowl of oatmeal with sliced bananas, almonds and a tablespoon of brown sugar with a drizzle of maple syrup and an extra splash of Vanilla almond milk. I like to sprinkle it all with pumpkin pie spice but you could use plain cinnamon or nutmeg instead.
Apples, Nuts, Cranberries and Cinnamon: Chopped apples and piquant cranberries are the ying and yang of this breakfast combo. I usually drizzle with honey.
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal: Mix 1-2 tablespoons of pumpkin purée, 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice and a splash of vanilla into the oatmeal and top with chopped almonds.
Tropical Fruit Oatmeal Bowl: Choose any assortment of your favorite tropical fruit including kiwi, pineapple, mango, banana or mandarin oranges and always sweet coconut flakes with an extra dose of Almond Breeze Almond Coconut Original.
Nutty Butter and Honey Oatmeal: Stir in a spoonful of creamy nut butter into warmed oatmeal and drizzle with your honey and chopped nuts
Strawberry Cheesecake Oatmeal Bowl: Add a spoonful of cream cheese or ricotta to your bowl then swirl in a spoonful of strawberry jam and sprinkle with crushed graham crackers for a crunchy topper.
Berry Berry Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal Sundae: Top oatmeal with a handful of your favorite berries, almonds and mini chocolate chips to make a sweet treat any time of the day. Add any flavor almond milk to make it even creamier.
Rocky Road Oatmeal: Top with chopped almonds, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows and a drizzle of hot fudge.
Savory Kale and Mushroom Oatmeal with Bacon and Egg: All the food groups are represented in this oatmeal dish that turns breakfast savory or serves up oatmeal for an easy dinner or lunch. I like this best with the steel cut oats and always #putaneggonit.
Here’s how to make it: Sauté 1 1/2 cups chopped kale with 2 sliced mushrooms and 1/2 clove pressed garlic in a skillet over medium high heat with a drizzle of olive oil until the kale begins to wilt and the mushrooms soften. Add 1-2 teaspoons of soy sauce, tamari, or liquid aminos (my personal favorite) and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes with 1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon (about 2 strips) and warm through.
Kimchi and Jammy Eggs: Add chopped kimchi leaves, shredded seaweed and sesame seeds to a bowl of oatmeal with ramen-style jammy eggs and drizzle with a bit of sesame oil and soy sauce or liquid aminos for a flavor bomb oatmeal meal.
But first, let’s get back to the basics, and the master Instant Pot Oatmeal recipe.
Instant Pot Oatmeal Recipe for Steel Cut Oats or Rolled Oats
- For Steel Cut Oats
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup Almond Breeze almondmilk Vanilla
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 generous pinch of kosher salt
- For Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup Almond Breeze almondmilk Vanilla
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 generous pinch of kosher salt
Add the oatmeal of your choice and the liquid ratios that match to the pot of your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker with the cinnamon stick and kosher salt.
Press the manual setting and set the cooking time for 3 minutes on high. Once the cooking time ends, allow the oatmeal to sit in the pot to natural release the pressurized steam for 20 minutes. Flip the release valve using the end of a wooden spoon to release any residual steam and always face the lid away from you when opening.
Add toppings of your choice with additional almond milk to taste. Oatmeal can be refrigerated for 3-5 days.
Any questions? Email me at [email protected] or leave a comment below! And tell us what your favorite oatmeal flavoring might be!
This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
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