December 8, 2022

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Cooking Is My World

Instant Pot Oatmeal (Using Regular Oats)

Instant Pot Oatmeal makes for a fast, easy, and healthy breakfast. Prepared completely hands-off in just minutes, old-fashioned oats cook up to a perfectly creamy consistency right in the Instant Pot. This simple oatmeal recipe can be dressed up and served in endless ways for a wholesome breakfast you will never tire of eating.

Bowl of instant pot oatmeal topped with sliced banana and honey.

While waking up to a slow cooker full of steel-cut oats is dreamy, and grabbing a jar of overnight oatmeal from the refrigerator is a great start to a hot summer morning, I am in love with Instant Pot Oatmeal for many reasons.

  • Completely Hands-Off. No waiting for the water to boil. No stirring while cooking. Just set it and forget it.
  • Ready in less than 20 minutes from start to finish. I can set everything up for oatmeal in the pressure cooker when I wake up and by the time I have gotten my kids out of bed and dressed, breakfast is ready to be served.
  • Customizable. I can make a large batch of oatmeal that can be customized in a million different ways to please everyone in my family. So the person who doesn’t like bananas can have raisins and walnuts instead–you get the idea.
  • Healthy. Oats are a great source of fiber and whole grains and have a lower GI index, which can help regulate blood sugar. Instant Pot Oatmeal is a breakfast that will keep you full for HOURS.
  • Affordable: Oats are an inexpensive staple that can be found at just about any store or purchased in bulk online.
  • Allergy-Friendly. This recipe for oatmeal is naturally egg-free, nut-free, and soy-free. And with a few simple modifications, Instant Pot Oatmeal can also be gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan-friendly.
  • Kid-Friendly. While I love Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats, my kids much prefer the texture of regular oatmeal, as do most kids. And with limitless varieties, they never tire of eating this Instant Pot Oatmeal.

👉Given that you can prepare Instant Pot Oatmeal so quickly and it is such a healthy breakfast option, this is a recipe you will find yourself making again and again!

What you Need

Ingredients for Instant Pot Oatmeal labeled on counter.
  • Oats: This recipe is designed for old-fashioned rolled oats. not quick-cooking or steel-cut oats. Be sure that your oats are labeled gluten-free if needed.
  • Milk: For the creamiest oatmeal, use any variety of milk or nondairy milk as a portion of your cooking liquid.
  • Water: For the best results, use water in addition to milk to cook the oats.
  • Flaxseed: Flaxseed is an optional ingredient that adds omega fatty acids and fiber to the oatmeal. You can use either whole flaxseed for added texture or ground flaxseed for this oatmeal recipe.
  • Heat-Safe Bowl: To cook the oats in a mixture of water and dairy, you will need a heat-safe bowl.. I recommend a stainless steel bowl, but a deep cake pan designed for the instant pot will work as well. 
  • Rack: Use a metal trivet to lift the bowl above the water.

How to Cook Instant Pot Oatmeal

Making old-fashioned oats in the Instant Pot is incredibly simple. RIDICULOUSLY SIMPLE.

  • Place the trivet in the inner pot of your pressure cooker and pour in 1 cup of cold water for 6-quart instant pots and 1.5 cups of water for an 8-quart Instant Pot.

👉Remember to use cold tap water, not warm water as that will ultimately change the cooking time.

  • In a heat-safe bowl, mix the oats and liquid together with a bit of flaxseed, and then place that bowl onto the rack inside the prepared Instant Pot.
Stainless steel bowl with milk and oats inside inner pot of instant pot.
  • Put the lid on your instant pot, turn your valve to “sealed”, and set your pressure cooker to cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.  I have found it takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes to come to pressure.
  • Allow your oatmeal to sit in the Instant Pot for 5-10 minutes before doing a quick release of the remaining pressure–see my tips on doing a quick release in my Instant Pot 101.

👉I would not release the pressure right away, because this may cause your oatmeal to bubble up and spill out the pot it is being prepared in.

Cooked oatmeal inside stainless steel pot inside Instant Pot.
  • Serve the oatmeal warm with any desired toppings.
Bowl of Oatmeal next to instant pot.

Flavor Varieties

There are about as many varieties of oatmeal as there are people. One of the main reasons I love to make a big batch of plain Instant Pot Oatmeal is so that each person can flavor their oatmeal exactly as they desire.

Here are a few of my favorite Instant Pot Oatmeal serving ideas. Each recipe is for one serving of oatmeal.

  • Vanilla Maple: ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter: 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon peanut butter,  and ½ tablespoon maple syrup.
  • Almond Joy: use coconut milk as your dairy or top cooked oatmeal with a bit of coconut milk before serving and top with mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut, and toasted almonds
  • Pumpkin Pie: mix in 2-3 tablespoons pumpkin puree, ½ tablespoon maple syrup, ½ teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger.
  • Raisin Nut: top oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon and 1-2 tablespoons each of raisins and chopped walnuts.
  • Apple Pie: top oatmeal with chopped fresh apple, cinnamon, and honey or maple syrup.
  • Honey Nut: stir in 1 tablespoon honey and top with toasted nuts of any variety.
  • Pina Colada: top oatmeal with pineapple chunks, toasted coconut, and sliced bananas. Serve with a splash of coconut milk.
  • Savory Sausage and Cheese: add in ¼ cup cooked crumbled sausage and ¼ cup shredded cheese.
  • Savory Bacon and Egg: top oatmeal crumbled bacon and a fried egg
  • Berries and Cream: stir in ¼ cup of fresh berries. ½ teaspoon vanilla and ¼ cup yogurt

Preparing In Advance

Even if you are cooking for one, I recommend preparing a full batch of Instant Pot Oatmeal. Once cooked, allow the oatmeal to cool slightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat individual servings as desired.

FAQs on Making Oatmeal in the Instant Pot

Do you have to cook Instant Pot Oatmeal using the pot-in-pot method?

No! I prefer to make my oats using milk to keep the oatmeal super creamy. That said, if you are not using dairy or nondairy milk to make your oatmeal, there is no need to use the pot-in-pot cooking method. Simply mix together 2 cups of oats with 3 cups of water directly inside the inner pot. Cook on HIGH pressure for 1 minute (not 3 minutes) with 5-10 minutes of natural pressure release.

What is the ratio needed for oats to liquid?

For oats to cook properly, you need to use a ratio of 3:2 liquid to oats. When cooking oats in your instant pot, much like rice, you will NOT need as much liquid as you do when cooking on the stovetop. This is because, when you cook oats on the stove, some of the liquid is evaporated, but in the pressure cooker, no liquid is evaporated. 

Can I use a heat-safe glass bowl in the Instant Pot?

NO! When I first wrote this post, I suggested using an oven-safe glass dish, since then Pyrex has come out to say that their dishes are not safe in the Instant Pot, therefore I no longer recommend using any glass heat-safe dish. Stainless steel is the way to go to be safe!

Can I use this recipe for quick-cooking oats?

Yes! To use quick-cooking oats simply reduce the cooking time from 3 minutes on HIGH pressure to 1 minute on HIGH pressure.

More Instant Pot Breakfast Recipes

If you enjoyed this recipe for Instant Pot Oatmeal, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.

Bowl of Instant Pot Oatmeal topped with sliced banana and maple syrup.

Instant Pot Oatmeal

Instant Pot Oatmeal is a completely hands-off method for preparing creamy, perfectly cooked oats.

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Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Pressure Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Servings: 6

Calories: 160kcal

Prevents your screen from going dark while preparing the recipe.

Instructions

  • Insert the trivet into the Instant Pot. Pour in 1 cup of cold water inside the inner pot for a 3 or 6-quart instant pot and 1.5 cups of cold water into an 8-quart instant pot.

  • Inside a 7-cup heat-safe bowl, mix together the oats, 1 cup water, 2 cups milk, and flaxseed. Please note that Pyrex is NO longer approved for using inside and instant pot.

  • Place the bowl on top of the trivet and put the lid on the Instant pot. Set Valve to “sealed” and set manual or time to 3 minutes on high pressure.

  • Once the cooking time has elapsed, allow the pressure to naturally release for 5-10 minutes before carefully releasing any additional steam by using a wooden spoon to turn valve to vent. 

  • Remove the bowl carefully from the pressure cooker and then serve with desired toppings or allow to cool and store in fridge to reheat as needed. 

Notes

Heat-Safe Bowl: When I first wrote this post, I suggested using an oven-safe glass dish, since then Pyrex has come out to say that their dishes are not safe in the Instant Pot, therefore I recommend this stainless steel bowl. A glass bowl may need an additional 3-5 minutes of cook time depending on its thickness. 
Total Time: 10 minutes to come to pressure + 3 Minutes Cooking Time + 5 Minutes Release= 18 total minutes. 
Liquid:

  • You need a total of 3 cups liquid to 2 cups oats for oats to cook properly. If you want your oats to be really loose, use an additional ½ cup of dairy or water.
  • You can use all water or all dairy. In my experience all water is incredibly bland and using all dairy/non-dairy as your liquid doesn’t result in oats breaking down into a creamy texture.
  • It is important to note if you are using a high-fat dairy (like coconut cream or whole milk) you MUST use only half full-fat dairy products with half water so the fat in your dairy will not separate.
  • You will also need additional water under the trivet for the Instant Pot to come to pressure. 

Preparing Oats directly in Inner Pot: Grease the inner pot with cooking spray and add 2 cups oats and 3 cups water directly to the inner pot. Feel free to add in seasonings such as cinnamon, or granulated sugar. Cook for 1 minute on high pressure and let the pressure release naturally. 

Nutrition

Calories: 160kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 41mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 130IU | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 1.2mg

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This recipe was originally published in 2017, updated in 2022 with a new video.