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, plus it’s excellent to make ahead and eat for breakfast throughout the week.
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Let’s start of with the question many of you might have:
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.
What kind of steel cut oats should I use?
- 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 in the IP.
- 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.
Why don’t you pressure cook the apples in the Instant Pot with the oatmeal?
I wanted my apples cooked to a certain consistency. I particularly didn’t want them to turn out super mushy. I wanted them to hold up to stirring and microwaving and not fall apart inside my oatmeal. So, that’s what I did.
The consistency of sauteed apples is something I’m incredibly fond of (just slightly less cooked than say, an apple pie, I guess?), so I had to make it happen in this 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. BTW, I used this amazing OXO apple cutter tool for quickly cutting the apples. It’s basically life-changing if you’re an apple lover.
Enjoy this perfect oatmeal, just as I’ve done for the past week and possibly more by the time you’re reading this ❤️
More breakfast recipes from Project Meal Plan:
- 5 Make-Ahead Fruit & Greek Yogurt Parfait Ideas to Try for Breakfast
- Creamy Avocado Mint Green Smoothie Recipe
- Spinach Feta Chicken Sausage Breakfast Casserole with Sweet Potato Crust
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 cinnamon, crushed walnuts, dried fruit, milk of choice drizzle
- Hit the Sauté button 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. Carefully remove apples from the IP 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. 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.
- When the oatmeal looks more like oatmeal, toss in the previously cooked apples and stir until combined. 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 and stir to loosen up the oatmeal.
This oatmeal tastes just as good reheated! It’s great to make ahead so breakfast is ready to go during the week.
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). I have only tested this recipe with a 6-quarter 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!
- Serving Size: about 3/4 cup
- Calories: 295
- Fat: 11g
- Carbohydrates: 45g
- Protein: 7g
Thanks for checking out the Instant Pot Cinnamon Apple Steel Cut Oats! Let me know how this works for you – I’m still getting used to the Instant Pot myself. Tag me or use #projectmealplan on social media to share!