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Apple Cinnamon steel cut oats in a white bowl topped with pomegranate seeds and pecans.

Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats

Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats delivers the classic fall flavors into every bite. We love a recipe that makes both adults and kids happy. Steel cut oatmeal even works beautifully to prep ahead for the freezer.

Yield: 6 servings 1x
Prep: 5 minutesCook: 22 minutesTotal: 27 minutes


  • 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:

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.)
  4. 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. 

© Author: Polly Conner
Cuisine: American Method: Instant Pot