This Instant Pot Cinnamon Apple Steel Cut Oats recipe is a one-pot, hands-off method you make your basic steel cut oats next level! Lightly sweetened with perfectly sautéed honeycrisp apples and excellent to make ahead for the week.
Let’s start off with a great question:
Why would I want to cook steel cut oats in my Instant Pot?
Ding ding ding – great question. If you measure this method by simply how long it takes, you might think it doesn’t really make much difference to cook your steel cut oats in your IP.
Cooking plain steel cut oats on the stove takes around 10-20 minutes for cooking, plus time for the water to boil. That’s around the same as this method (though obviously both methods are much faster than slow cooking which is pretty slow but great for overnight oatmeal cooking).
So it’s not really that much of a time-saver. But here’s what it actually is:
- More hands-off: No watching for boiling water. No caring about how high the stove is set and if the pot will boil over. No wondering if the oats are done yet (a constant problem I have when cooking grains or similar items on the stove).
- A stove saver: Since I received my Instant Pot, the stove is getting a lot less use. And that’s 100% OKAY with me. The stove isn’t getting dirty at warp-speed from using it every day, which I appreciate. Thanks IP!
- Pressure cooking uses up to 70% less energy than normal stove top cooking. If energy usage or increased heat given off from your stove are concerns, pressure cooking your oats is a great way to go.
- IT’S SO YUMMY. I’ve eaten oatmeal from the IP for approximately the last 6 breakfasts in a row and I can tell you I still want more.
Total Time: 35 minutes
Method: Instant Pot
Prep: Make-Ahead Friendly
Watch how to make this Instant Pot Cinnamon Apple Steel Cut Oats recipe (1 min 23 secs):
What are the ingredients in these Instant Pot Cinnamon Apple Steel Cut Oats?
This recipe is perfect for Fall when apples are in season, or anytime you’ve got a couple extra apples you’re trying to use up. The rest of the ingredients are pretty standard and might already be in your pantry!
- honeycrisp apples – These are the best tasting, perfectly sweet apples, in my opinion. However, any kind of apple you have on hand will work.
- coconut oil + honey – I prefer to saute my apples in coconut oil for best taste. And a little honey to sweeten!
- cinnamon – Apples and cinnamon just go together. They make this recipe smell like Fall!
- steel cut oats – Readers have reported success with various kinds of oats besides steel cut, so please check the comments. For the recipe as written, use steel cut oats.
- unsweetened vanilla almond milk + water – I have read in the IP manual not to use dairy milk under high heat and pressure, so I use a mixture of unsweetened almond milk and water for my oats. Use any non-dairy milk you prefer.
What kind of steel cut oats should I use?
You can use any kind of oats for this recipe, as long as you adjust the cook time accordingly. The recipe is written for steel cut oats, but readers have reported success with quick oats. It really depends on how thick and well cooked you like your oatmeal!
- The only steel cut oats I buy are Bob’s Red Mill Old-Fashioned Steel Cut Oats.
- Do NOT use quick cooking oats for this recipe (or, modify your cook time – I’ve never tried this in the IP so it would require some experimenting!).
- Do NOT use rolled oats. They’re more more processed than steel cut oats and I don’t think they would work well with such a high cook time.
- You don’t need to rinse the oats (like you would with rice, quinoa, or even barley which I just made for the first time yesterday!).
What’s the correct oat to liquid ratio?
According to the original Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats recipe, the correct ratio is 1 cup oats to 3 cups liquid. This holds true for cooking in the IP as well.
Should I do a quick release or natural pressure release?
Natural pressure release, 10 minutes. That’s enough time to let most of the pressure release. I let the IP switch to the ‘Keep Warm’ function while this is happening since the actual oatmeal cook time is pretty short.
It’s also a handy way to keep track of how much time has passed, since the timer will start to count up once the IP is done pressure cooking. (Here’s an extremely helpful article about when to use Quick Pressure Release or Natural Pressure Release.)
Overall, it’s not a good idea to do a quick release when cooking steel cut oats. The oatmeal can get foamy under pressure, especially in a double batch, and it could spray out of the steam valve during a quick release.
Additionally, the extra 10 minutes of natural pressure release continues to cook the oats, so it’s best to give it the time it needs.
Can I skip precooking the apples and throw them in with the oatmeal?
If you want apple chunks in your oatmeal, don’t pressure cook them! The apples will essentially disintegrate if you pressure cook them with the oatmeal.
I like my apples cooked to a certain consistency. I wanted them to hold up to stirring and microwaving and not fall apart inside my oatmeal.
That’s why I prefer to do a few extra minutes of work and saute them before pressure cooking the oatmeal. It’s still one pot for cooking, and just a little bowl to hold the apples while the oatmeal cooks. Not too bad, I promise.
Enjoy this perfect oatmeal, just as I’ve done for the past week and possibly more by the time you’re reading this ❤️
How to store oatmeal in the fridge:
In the refrigerator, store oats in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
How to freeze leftover oatmeal:
In the freezer, store oats in individual portions (I like to use 1-Cup Souper Cubes Trays for this) in a sealed container for up to 3 months.
How to reheat oatmeal:
Add a couple tablespoons of water or milk of choice to a bowl with leftover oatmeal. Microwave on High in 30 second intervals and stir to loosen up the oatmeal.
You can also reheat on the stovetop with additional liquid until hot, or use a HotLogic Mini Oven.
Instant Pot Cinnamon Apple Steel Cut Oats is a one-pot, hands-off method you need to take your steel cut oats up a notch! Lightly sweetened with perfectly sautéed honeycrisp apples and excellent to make ahead and eat for breakfast throughout the week.
- 2 small to medium honeycrisp apples, cut into bite-sized chunks (peeling optional)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup steel cut oats (NOT quick cooking or instant steel cut oats)
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or more water – NOT dairy milk)
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- toppings: more sweetener, cinnamon, crushed walnuts, dried fruit, milk of choice drizzle
- Cook apples: Hit the Sauté button on your Instant Pot and make sure it’s set to High. Add coconut oil. When the oil is melted and the display reads Hot, add cut apples to the IP. Use a high heat spatula to stir the apples until they’re fully coated in coconut oil, and then add honey and cinnamon. Continue to cook for 4-5 minutes stirring frequently, or until the apples are tender to your liking and your house smells like apple pie. Hit the Cancel button on the IP to turn off the heat.
- Add ingredients: Carefully remove apples from the IP and set aside, so only the flavored coconut oil remains in the insert. Add oatmeal, almond milk, water and salt to the IP. Place the IP lid on, and make sure the steam release valve is sealed.
- Cook oatmeal: Set the IP to Manual or Pressure Cook (new models) for 4 minutes. When it’s done pressure cooking, let the steam naturally release for 10 minutes. The oatmeal will continue to cook during this time. Hit the quick release. After the float valve has gone down, remove the lid and very carefully stir to fully combine liquid and oatmeal. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Add apples & serve: When the oatmeal looks more like oatmeal, toss in the previously cooked apples and stir until combined. Add your favorite toppings and a little more sweetener if you wish. Enjoy now or refrigerate for up to 4 days in a sealed container. Freeze individual portions for up to 3-4 months in a freezer safe container.
- To reheat: Add a couple tablespoons of water or milk of choice. Microwave on High in 30 second intervals and stir to loosen up the oatmeal.
For a slightly quicker method, you can skip sauteing the apples and throw them in the IP with the oatmeal. They will basically disintegrate and turn into mush, but they will still flavor the oatmeal. I prefer apple chunks in my oatmeal, so I saute them first!
I have only tested this recipe with a 6-quart Duo Instant Pot, and the recipe may not work with other Instant Pot sizes. Please keep in mind that due to the nature of pressure cooking there may be inconsistencies from small variations in ingredients or altitude. Try it and see what works best for you!
Base oatmeal recipe adapted from both How to Make Steel Cut Oats from Bob’s Red Mill and Instant Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal from Life Made Sweeter. Nutrition information estimated with My Fitness Pal (no toppings included). Recipe video added 11/22/19.
- Serving Size: about 3/4 cup
- Calories: 295
- Fat: 11g
- Carbohydrates: 45g
- Protein: 7g