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2 bowls of oatmeal, one with berries, one with bananas and raisins and nuts
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5 from 4 votes

Instant Pot Oatmeal Recipe (with rolled or steel oats)

Make perfectly creamy, healthy, comforting instant pot oatmeal with rolled oats or steel-cut oats. And, avoid the dreaded burn message, get inspired with yummy toppings and amp up the nutrition for you and your kids.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time2 mins
pressure build and release16 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Breakfast, brunch
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian
Servings (change as needed): 3 (or 2 larger servings)
Author: Cheryl


  • 1 cup cup rolled oats or steel-cut oats, Note 1
  • 2 cups water (use 3 cups for steel cut oats), Note 2
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping options

  • fruits, nuts, brown sugar, maple syrup, dates, cinnamon, milk, cream (see Note 3 for more options)


  • MAKE INSTANT POT OATMEAL: Place oats, water (or substitute) and salt in instant pot. Note 4 for add-ins. Stir. Place lid on pot, Lock in place. Turn knob to Sealing.
    °Set to High Pressure for 2 minutes. It will take 5-6 minutes to build the pressure before the 2-minute countdown starts.
    °When finished, you will see an "L" on the face of the instant pot. Do a 10 minute natural release (L will reach 10). Turn knob on lid to Venting with a spoon, keeping your hands and face away, to do a final quick release. Open when the button on top drops.
  • FINISH AND SERVE: Open lid. Stir. Oatmeal will thick on standing. If too thick, stir in a splash of water or milk. Serve with your favorite toppings.


  1. Oats to use: It is best to use steel cut oats or old-fashioned oats (rolled oats) for this recipe. You can use quick oats with less water (NOT instant oats- too mushy/glue-y) but they may become very soft. Steel cut oats are chewier, nuttier and more dense with slightly more fiber (6 grams vs 5 grams). Old fashioned rolled oats have a milder, creamier smooth consistency. The instant pot process and cooking time is the same for both. 
  2. How much water/milk to use: To make the oatmeal exactly to your preference you will need to experiment a bit.
    • If you like your oatmeal a bit looser or wetter, try adding and extra 1/4 cup/59 ml water. You can always add more after it's cooked as well. 
    • You can also use half milk, half water, but only use non dairy milk like almond milk or soy milk.
  3. Oatmeal toppings and flavor combos
    • Fresh fruit and nuts - blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, bananas, apples, pears, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
    • Fall version - sprinkle on pumpkin pie spice and a splash of maple syrup
    • Tropical version - banana slices, kiwi slices and grated coconut
    • Carrot cake oatmeal - mix in finely grated carrot, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins then top with maple syrup and a dollop of yogurt.
    • Banana bread-ish - sliced bananas, cinnamon, chopped nuts.
    • Simple decadence - half and half cream + brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon
    • Other toppings - chopped dates, chocolate chips, peanut butter or nut butter, granola.
  4. Add-ins to make the oatmeal even more nutritious: Add one or more of these simple ingredients while cooking the oatmeal:
    • 1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds (packed with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids). Add a little extra water too.
    • 1/2 tablespoon flax seeds (high in fiber, good protein and excellent source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids).
    • Chopped prunes (good fiber). My grandson loved this as a baby as the prunes have a natural sweetness.
    • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée.
  5. How to prevent oatmeal from burning
    • I have made this recipe many times and never had a burn message. Since some apparently do, I found 4 ways to prevent the burn message.
      1. Don't use cow's milk. Only use water or non dairy milk like almond milk or soy milk.
      2. Make sure the seal ring is properly in place on the lid.
      3. If using an 8 quart pot, double the recipe.
      4. Someone suggested using cooking spray to spray the bottom of the pot.
  6. Can I halve or double the recipe? 
    • In a 6 quart pot, you can double or halve the recipe without any change to the time.
    • In an 8 quart pot, you can double the recipe using the same time. Do NOT halve the recipe in an 8 quart pot.
    • Note that if you double the recipe, it will take longer for the instant pot to come to pressure.
  7. Make ahead
    • Make 60-90 minutes ahead and leave it sit on 'warm' without affecting the taste or texture. Stir and serve. Add a bit of extra liquid if it becomes too thick.
    • Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.
    • Oatmeal can also be frozen for 2-3 months in ready-to-eat portions in sealed containers or ziploc bags.
    • Reheat oatmeal in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of milk or water to loosen it up.
Nutrition values are estimated for 2/3 cup/54 grams rolled oats made with water. Toppings are not included. The recipe makes 2 cups of cooked oatmeal (rolled oats). Nutrition values will increase if you make a 1-cup/160 grams serving. 
Calories: 102kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 98mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg