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With just 5 main ingredients, Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats deliver sweet, warm flavors in every bite. We love an easy Instant Pot recipe that makes both adults and kids happy. Steel cut oatmeal even works beautifully to prep ahead for the freezer.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- The Flavor – You can’t go wrong with the fall flavors of apples and cinnamon together. Add toasted pecans for a little crunch or additional maple syrup to sweeten it up to your heart’s delight.
- Convenience: Using an Instant Pot is a hands-off method of cooking steel-cut oats. You don’t need to constantly monitor and stir the oats to prevent sticking or burning, as you might on the stovetop. For these reasons we also love making Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs.
- Consistency: The Instant Pot’s even heat distribution ensures that your oats cook evenly, preventing uneven cooking or sticking to the bottom of the pot. This is also the case for our Peaches and Cream Steel Cut Oats.
- Flavor Infusion: The sealed environment of the Instant Pot allows the oats to absorb the flavors of any added ingredients more effectively, resulting in a tastier Instant Pot recipes. This is probably why our Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats recipe is one of my favorite breakfasts!
- Keep Warm Function: Many Instant Pots have a “keep warm” function that allows you to prepare the oats ahead of time and keep them warm until you’re ready to eat. This is convenient for busy mornings.
Here are the 5 main ingredients you’ll need to whip up this recipe:
- Steel cut oats – Look for gluten free variety, if needed.
- Apples – Any variety will work. No need to peel them. The peel adds a little more nutritious and it softens a lot during cooking.
- Pure maple syrup – You can substitute brown sugar or coconut sugar.
How to Make Instant Pot Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats
Toast the Steel Cut Oats (Optional)
Toasting the steel cut oats gives them a nutty flavor that sets them apart from other types of oats.
Set the Instant Pot to “Sauté.”
Place the butter (or ghee or avocado oil) in the pot.
When the butter has melted, add the oats and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. I LOVE this smell.
Press “Cancel” once they are done.
Pressure Cook the Oats
Add the water or milk, apples, maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla to the pot and stir until well combined.
Lock and seal the Instant Pot lid.
Cook the oats at high pressure for 12 minutes. It’s important to allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes after the cook time is up. After this, you can quickly release the remaining pressure.
When you open the pot, you’ll notice there is excess liquid. Give it a stir to incorporate.
Serve and Enjoy!
You can stir in additional milk to reach the desired consistency. In my opinion, this recipe needs a drizzle of maple syrup at the end to make it extra tasty.
I also like to sprinkle pomegranate seeds and extra fresh apple pieces and toasted pecans for some crunch. Yum!
How to Freeze Steel Cut Oats
We are big advocates of stocking your freezer with easy, freezer-friendly breakfasts.
Here’s how to best freeze these oats…
Freeze for Later: Fully cook the oatmeal as directed. Let the oatmeal cool, then divide it evenly among jumbo muffin tins that have been greased (or jumbo ) to create single-serving portions.
Freeze until frozen solid, then pop out the oatmeal portions and transfer them to a gallon-size freezer bag or container. Seal and freeze.
Prepare from Frozen: Place a serving of frozen oatmeal in a microwave-safe bowl. Add about 1/3 cup milk and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until warmed through. Follow step 4 in the recipe for serving.
- Add a little maple syrup or brown sugar over the top
- Top the oats with pomegranate seeds
- Add pecans or walnuts for a little crunch
- Serve with some Oven Baked Bacon
We also have more flavors. See all of our Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats Recipes.
Top 7 Overnight Oats Recipes & Cheat Sheet
We’ll send all 7 of our popular overnight oats recipes, so you can have them in one place. Download and print it for free!
Don’t use rolled oats in the Instant Pot. They won’t hold up well in a pressurized environment
I’ve tested it with almond milk and it comes out great. While I haven’t tested with other types of milk, I anticipate they will work fine.
I am happy to report that it works beautifully to double! No need to change any of the cook times either. It does take a bit longer to come to pressure but other than that, you can double all of the ingredients, follow the cooking instructions, and have twice as many steel-cut oats!
A natural release means letting the Instant Pot depressurize on its own after the cooking time has completed. This is important for steel cut oats as it allows them to continue cooking gently and absorb more liquid, resulting in a creamier texture without the risk of spewing hot oatmeal during a quick release.
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add a pinch of salt, and stir in 1 cup of steel cut oats. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot with a lid, and let the oats cook for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the oats reach your desired tenderness, remove the pot from the heat, let it sit for a few minutes, and then serve with your favorite toppings.
Grease the inside of the crock pot with butter or oil. Add 4 cups oats and 1 cup water with a pinch of salt. Place lid on top and slow cook on Low for 6-8 hours or High for 2-3 hours, until softened. Serve with your favorite toppings.
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- 3 tablespoons butter (optional, for toasting the oats)
- 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats (gluten-free, if necessary)
- 4 1/2 cups water, whole milk, or dairy-free milk (i.e. almond milk)
- 1 large apple, cored and diced (no need to peel), plus more for serving
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Optional for serving: pomegranate seeds, toasted pecans
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Make It Now:
- Optional: If you’d like to toast the oats, set the 6-quart Instant Pot to “Sauté.” Place the butter in the pot. When the butter has melted, add the oats and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. Press “Cancel.”
- Add the water or milk, apple, cinnamon, maple syrup, and vanilla to the pot and stir. Make sure all the oats are submerged in the liquid. You can also add raisins in at this point.
- Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 12 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure. When you open the pot, you’ll notice there is excess liquid. Give it a stir to incorporate. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
- Stir in additional milk to reach the desired consistency. Optional: serve topped with an additional diced apple, toasted pecans, and pomegranate seeds.
Freeze for Later: Follow steps 1 through 3. Let the oatmeal cool, then divide it evenly among two 6-cup greased jumbo muffin tins (or 12 jumbo silicone muffin liners) to create single-serving portions. Freeze until frozen solid, then pop out the oatmeal portions and transfer them to a gallon-size freezer bag or container. Seal and freeze.
Prepare from Frozen: Note: You will need milk to complete this meal. Place a serving of frozen oatmeal in a microwave-safe bowl. Add about 1/3 cup milk and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until warmed through. Follow step 4.
Dairy-Free Version: Either skip step 1 or use avocado oil in place of the butter. Use dairy-free milk (i.e. almond milk or oat milk) instead of milk.
Gluten-Free Version: Be sure to buy gluten-free steel cut oats like the ones from Bob’s Red Mill.
You can use almond milk in place of the whole milk.
You can double this recipe in the Instant Pot.