Instant pot apple cinnamon steel cut oats

You can make Cinnamon-Apple Steel-Cut Oats in the Instant Pot in just 30 minutes! Instant oatmeal is great for breakfast and meal prep, and it’s super easy to customize.

Top view of white bowl filled with oatmeal and diced apples.

Recipe features

If you’re like me and love cozy-yet-simple breakfasts in the colder months, then you’re going to love making Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats!

  • Dietary features: dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free optional, nut-free
  • Slightly sweetened and filled with apple and cinnamon flavor
  • Ready in just 30 minutes
  • Makes 4-5 servings and can easily be doubled

In the quick 30 minutes of cooking the apples break down, making the oatmeal sweet and full of natural apple flavor. Cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon add warmth and make this meal perfect for fall!

What will you need

Labeled ingredients used to make steel cut oats.
  • Steel cut oatsnot to be confused with rolled oats or instant oats.
  • Apples: I like to use sweet apples like Gala or Honeycrisp but any kind is fine. I leave the peel on but you can remove it if you prefer. The peel will soften and be unnoticeable after pressure cooking.
  • Milk and water: Since cow’s milk can scald/burn in the Instant Pot, I use non-dairy milk which makes this recipe totally dairy-free! Unsweetened, unflavored soy milk is my favorite, but oat milk, almond milk, etc. They are all great options.
  • Cinnamon sticks add an extra dash of cinnamon goodness to steel-cut oats. Feel free to omit the cinnamon sticks if you don’t have any on hand.
  • Sweetener: Light brown sugar is my sweetener of choice, but any kind works here. Maple syrup, white sugar, honey, agave syrup, etc.

How to cook steel cut oats

All of my Instant Pot recipes are made in a 6 qt DUO60 Instant Pot. Find out more about mine Instant Pot recipes.

Pro tip: This apple slicer makes preparing diced apples much easier and can cut down on prep time.

Instant Pot filled with milk, apples and cinnamon.

Combine everything ingredients (diced apples, cinnamon, steel-cut oats, liquid) in the Instant Pot. You can use water or plant-based milk, such as soy or almond milk. Be careful, the dairy milk can get hot in the Instant Pot!

Press the “manual” button and set to high pressure for 4 minutes.

Let the pressure ease naturallywhich takes about 10-12 minutes.

Instant Pot with creamy steel-cut oats before mixing.

Carefully remove the lid and stir in the cinnamon-apple oatmeal.

Wooden spoon into steel cut oats in Instant Pot.

Top with more apple, cinnamon and pecans or walnuts. Add a pinch of salt or an extra pinch of brown sugar for added sweetness.

Recipe FAQ

Are steel cut oats healthier than regular oats?

Steel-cut oats are slightly higher in fiber due to their density and minimal processing, although both rolled and steel-cut oats are good sources of soluble fiber. Because steel-cut oats are high in soluble fiber, they’re a healthy option that can help keep you satisfied until your next meal.

Are steel-cut oats good for meal prep?

Steel cut oats are great for meal prep! I love making oatmeal for a week of preparing breakfast meals. I usually keep the oatmeal broken into separate portions meal prep containers with pre-portioned toppings and add-ons.

How to Store and Reheat Steel Cut Oats?

For best quality, store leftover steel-cut oats in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days in a closed container. You may need to add another splash of milk to soften the oats as they reheat. I usually heat them in the microwave in 1-2 minutes, but you can also heat them over medium/medium-low heat on the stove.

Can I use water instead of vegetable milk?

Yes, using 100% water works well. Milk is used because it adds an extra creamy texture and adds extra nutrition like protein and vitamins.

Can I use cow’s milk instead of vegetable milk?

No, cow’s milk and/or cream won’t work here because dairy milk risks scalding if cooked under high pressure in the Instant Pot.

Expert advice

  • Condiments: Fresh apple, pecans or toasted walnuts, and a dollop of nut butter (almond butter is a great option here) are all good ways to make steel-cut oats more filling and nutritious.
  • If the oats are not cooked all the way through, simply cook them for 1 more minute. Let the pressure release manually. You can add an extra drop of milk or water if the oats seem dry.
  • Adjust the sweetness to taste. The apple adds a lot of natural sweetness, so I recommend adding sweetener to taste.
  • Variety of flavours: You can make the basic steel-cut oats instead of the apple-cinnamon flavor by omitting the apple and cinnamon. Feel free to add frozen berries, etc. To customize this recipe.


How to prevent burn error

Personally, I’ve never had the burn error when making steel cut oats in the Instant Pot. But I know some readers do, so these are my top tips for preventing and fixing the dreaded burn error (hopefully may you carry these tips to other Instant Pot recipes).

These are the two main ways to prevent burn error:

  1. The Instant Pot container should be 100% clean.. The most common cause of sear failure is bits of food getting stuck in the bottom of the pot, although this is more common if you’re sautéing in the pot.
  2. Do not mix ingredients. Just add them in the order listed and then put the lid on – don’t mix!

What to do if you get the burning error:

  • Carefully perform a quick pressure release. Carefully remove the lid and check for any bits stuck in the bottom of the pot. Remove them and go back to cooking.
  • Add another 1/2 cup of liquid, then return to cooking.

Replace the lid and resume cooking where the timer left off.

Silver spoon lifting a bite of steel cut oats from a white bowl.

Looking for more breakfast recipes?

If you like this recipe you will want to try it Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats. Here are some of my favorite fall breakfast ideas:

Have you tried this recipe? You can leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ in the recipe card or a review in the comment section. I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow mine Youtube, Instagram, Tick ​​tockAND Pinterest or subscribe to my news bulletin!

📖 Recipe

Top view of white bowl filled with oatmeal and diced apples.

Print Recipe

Instant pot apple cinnamon steel cut oats

These warming Apple Cinnamon Rolled Oats are a healthy and filling breakfast option and are prepared in the Instant Pot in just 30 minutes.

Preparation time5 min

Time to cook25 min

Total time30 min

Portions: 4 servings (about 1.5 cups each)

Author: Cassidy Reeser, MS, RD


  • Add the water or plant milk to yours Instant Pot. Then sprinkle on the steel cut oats, apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cinnamon sticks. Do not mix together. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock it in place. Set the steam release valve to “hold”.
  • Press the manual button and set to high pressure for 4 minutes. It will take approximately 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to reach pressure.

  • Once the 4 minutes have elapsed, allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally. It will take another 10-12 minutes. The oats are ready when the float valve goes down. Carefully remove the lid and stir in the oatmeal.

  • Remove the cinnamon sticks before serving. Complete with more cinnamon and diced apple. Add a splash of milk if you like a looser oatmeal.


  1. Milk: I don’t recommend using milky milk in this recipe, as it may scald you in the Instant Pot. If you don’t have plant-based milk (soy, almond, oat milk) you can use water.
  2. Steel cut oats: This recipe doesn’t work with old-fashioned rolled oats or instant oats.
  3. Apples: I usually use a Gala or Honeycrisp apple. This apple slicer makes preparing diced apples so much easier.
  4. Leftover: For best quality, store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You may need to add another splash of milk to soften the oats before reheating.
  5. Preparation of meals: Individual shop meal prep containers (these are the ones I use) in the fridge for an easy grab and go breakfast.

Serving: 1cupCalories: 371kcalCarbohydrates: 69gProtein: 13gFat: 5gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 97mgFiber: 12gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 50UIC vitamin: 4.2mgSoccer: 73mgIron: 3.7mg

Author’s note: This recipe was originally shared in September 2018. It was updated in September 2021 with new photos, a video, and more tips. The recipe remains the same.

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