Instant Pot Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon

Pressure CookerOatmeal

Perfectly cooked steel cut oats in the pressure cooker? Yes, please! Cooked with apples and cinnamon, this recipe is a great breakfast for chilly fall days.

Photography Credit: Coco Morante

Whenever I make oatmeal on the stove, I end up with a boil-over or a scorched pot. Not so when I use my electric pressure cooker!

Steel cut oats cook perfectly in the pressure cooker, without any kitchen disasters. And without a terrible mess!

In the fall and winter, I make this hearty version with steel cut oats, apples, and cinnamon. It’s the ideal breakfast to warm you from head to toe on chilly mornings.

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Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats


Steel cut oats normally cook for upwards of a half hour on the stove, with constant stirring required. It takes about the same amount of time in the pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot!), except you get to walk away while the oats cook themselves. I just love that!


Since the pressure cooker breaks down ingredients so efficiently, you want to use apples that can hold up to all of that cooking power. Granny Smiths are my apple of choice, but any firm baking apple or even firm pears or quinces should do the trick.

For more information on which apple varieties are best for baking, check out our Guide to Apples.


Whenever I make steel cut oats, I take the extra step of toasting the oats in a little bit of butter or coconut oil using the pressure cooker’s sauté setting. This adds a bit of toasty flavor and makes the house smell amazing, too.


This recipe makes quite a bit and you may have leftovers. The easiest way to reheat an individual serving of oatmeal is in the microwave. Heat in a microwave-safe bowl for 2 to 3 minutes, until piping hot. The oatmeal will have thickened—stir in a splash of milk to thin it out again.

Serve up your oatmeal with butter (or coconut butter for a dairy-free option), a little brown sugar or maple syrup, and some chopped nuts for a little crunch.


Instant Pot Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings

Many pressure cooker manuals instruct you not to cook the oats, since they can foam up and clog the pressure release mechanisms, but Instant Pot says you can cook the oats as long as the pot is no more than halfway full.

If you're using a stovetop pressure cooker, you may have more issues with scorching, as well as clogging the pressure release, since they cook at higher pressure.  Cook time for a stovetop cooker would be for ten minutes shorter and allow the pressure to release naturally and completely before opening, to avoid any risk of a bubbly mess.


For the oats:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 large Granny smith apple or other firm apple, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 cups diced)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

For serving:

  • Butter
  • Brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup toasted, chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

Special equipment:


1 Toast the oats: Select the Sauté setting on your electric pressure cooker and melt the butter. Add the oats and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until the oats are aromatic and lightly toasted.

Melt the butter for instant pot oatmeal Toast the oats for instant pot oatmeal

2 Pressure cook the oats: Stir the water, apple, brown sugar or maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt into the oats, making sure all of the oats are submerged in the liquid.

Secure the lid on the pressure cooker, making sure that the pressure release is set to its sealing position. Cancel the Sauté program, then select your pressure cooker’s Manual setting and set the cooking time for 12 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)

Add the liquid, apples, and cinnamon to the instant pot for instant pot oatmeal Cook the oats for instant pot oatmeal

3 Release the pressure naturally for 10 minutes: When the cooking program ends, let the pressure release naturally for at least 10 minutes, then move the Pressure Release to Venting to release any remaining steam. Open the pot and stir the oatmeal to incorporate any extra liquid.

4 Serve the oats: Ladle the oatmeal into bowls and top with butter, brown sugar or maple syrup, and chopped nuts. If the oatmeal thickens up after sitting, thin it out with a splash of milk.

This recipe makes quite a bit and you may have leftovers. The easiest way to reheat an individual serving of oatmeal is in the microwave. Heat in a microwave-safe bowl for 2 to 3 minutes, until piping hot. The oatmeal will have thickened—stir in a splash of milk to thin it out again.

Open the instant pot to see the instant pot oatmeal Stir the oats for instant pot oatmeal

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Coco Morante

Author of The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook and The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook. A self-taught cook and classically-trained soprano, Coco Morante writes and sings in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her husband and their beagle. For more recipes, visit her blog, Lefty Spoon.

More from Coco

15 Comments / Reviews

No ImageInstant Pot Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Scott

    I have made steel cut before in the instant pot. This came out watery. Previously ratioi was 1 cup oats to 3 cups water.


  2. Lisa

    Delish! Enjoying on a cold winter morning!


  3. Alexia

    I am sorry but I was really disappointed with the outcome. First it was very liquid which I personally don’t like but even by my son’s more liquid loving standards it was too much. Secondly too salty and too acid. While I understand that I can adjust the flavors next time I had to add a lot of maple syrup to make it edible. I’m going to stick to my previous practice which was to cook the oats without oil, and prepare an apple/dried cranberry sauce separately.


    Show Replies (1)
  4. Amy

    I made this yesterday and just had to make it again today. It was that good! I made it vegan by using vegan butter. This is the best oatmeal I’ve ever had and the whole family loves it!


  5. Courtney

    This was delicious! I added a half cup each of golden raisins and dried cranberries, as well as half a teaspoon of ginger and a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg. I had chopped pecans on mine but my 3 year old just had his plain- I think next time I’ll cut up some more apple to have sprinkled on the top.


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Instant Pot Oatmeal with apples and cinnamon in a bowl with silverware nearbyInstant Pot Oatmeal with Apples and Cinnamon