Instant Pot Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal

By Polly Conner
March 19, 2018

Making steel cut oatmeal in the Instant Pot is a breeze. This easy breakfast idea will quickly make its way into your healthy breakfast rotation!

Steel cut oatmeal in a blue bowl

Thanks to this Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal recipe, my Instant Pot horizons have been expanded. I’m not the only one who liked it. My husband is on record for saying, “You can make that anytime you want to.” Which in husband language is saying, “I really liked that recipe.”

Steel Cut Oatmeal in a blue bowl

OK, lets talk steel cut oats for a minute, shall we? What are these little morsels?

Steel Cut Oats vs. Rolled Oats

Steel-cut oats come from the same plant as rolled oats. The difference is how they are processed. Steel-cut oats are never cooked and start from the whole grain that is then passed through slender blades that cut the oat kernel into thin slices. Keeping them in this form helps them retain more fiber and protein.

Conversely, rolled or quick oats are steamed and then rolled out flat. Flattening the oat out helps it to cook faster on your stove.

Steel cut oatmeal with blueberries on top

So, in conclusion, to pack a little more healthy punch into your breakfast, opt for the steel cut oats. What I love about this recipe is that the modifications are endless. If you start with a base of plain steel cut oats, you can add any ingredient that your heart desires to have in your oatmeal.

A few ideas of toppings for your Instant Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal:

  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Chopped nuts like pecans, almonds, or walnuts
  • Fresh fruit like blueberries, strawberries, apples, or bananas
  • Dried fruit
  • Peanut butter or almond butter
  • Dark chocolate chips
Close up image of instant pot steel cut oatmeal with blueberries

Instant Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal

  • Author: Polly
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 (1 cup) servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American


Making steel cut oatmeal in the Instant Pot is a breeze. This easy breakfast idea will quickly make it’s way into your rotation!


  • 23 Tablespoons butter (sub: ghee or coconut oil)
  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
  • 4 1/2 cups water (or milk)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (can easily cut this half and add more at the end)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


Make It Now:

  1. Select the sauté function on the Instant Pot and melt the butter. Add the oats and sauté, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the water and salt and give it a stir. Make sure all the oats are submerged in the liquid.
  3. Lock and seal the lid. Cancel the sauté function and set the cooking time for 12 minutes at high pressure. After cooking, let the oats naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Move the pressure release valve to venting to release any remaining steam.
  4. When you open the pot you’ll notice there is excess liquid. Give it a stir to incorporate. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  5. Serve warm. Top with any additional toppings you might want (i.e. milk, fresh fruit, more sugar or cinnamon, etc.).


Freeze For Later:

After the oatmeal has fully cooked and cooled slightly, portion it out into jumbo muffin tins (or smaller tins will work). Place in the freezer until frozen solid (about an hour). Pop the individual portions out into a gallon-sized freezer bag and seal tightly.

Prepare From Frozen:

Place one frozen serving of oatmeal in a microwave-safe bowl. Add about 1/3 cup milk and microwave in 45-second intervals, stirring between each, until warmed through. Add more milk to reach desired consistency.


To Make in the Slow Cooker: Add 6 cups of liquid (instead of 4 1/2) and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Hand holding a bowl of instant pot steel cut oatmeal

Make sure to check out our other breakfast ideas in our recipe index!

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2 replies
  1. jill says:

    Has anyone tried a double recipe in a 6qt pot? We go through a single batch so quickly, but I’ve seen oatmeal make a huge mess spurting out when releasing the rest of the pressure.