Classic oatmeal gets a makeover with this Instant Pot Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal recipe featuring steel cut oats, apple chunks, and warm cinnamon. Topped with toasted pecans, a drizzle of maple syrup, or a dash of cinnamon, this Instant Pot Oatmeal is an easy breakfast that’s family-friendly and will warm you up from the inside out.
Instant Pot Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal
If you love our Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal, you’re sure to love this extra creamy, warm and sweet, cozy-comforting Instant Pot Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal. On a chilly morning, there are few ways better to start your day than with a bowl of warm and nourishing oatmeal. When topped with apple chunks, a few pecans, and a sprinkle of cinnamon, it’s sure to start your day right. Reminiscent of our baked oatmeals, this creamy oatmeal recipe is creamy and full of fall flavors.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Oatmeal
- Steel cut oats – a plant-based protein, steel cut oats are easily found at most grocery stores or from Thrive Market
- Milk – any milk of choice will result in wonderful oatmeal, use what you have on hand and what you prefer. Use non-dairy if needed
- Apples – use your favorite variety of apple; shred the apples (peel still on) using a hand grater or use a knife to cut them to fine pieces
- Cinnamon – use ground cinnamon or 2 cinnamon sticks
- Fine salt
How to make this Instant Pot Oatmeal recipe
Making this oatmeal in an Instant Pot is simple and fast.
- Place the steel cut oats, milk, water, shredded apples, cinnamon, and salt in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Lock the lid in place and switch the valve to seal.
- Set the Instant Pot to high pressure, manually adjusting the time to 6 minutes. Tip: It will take about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to build up the pressure before the timer starts counting down.
- When the timer is done, do not switch the valve to ‘vent’. Instead, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 to 20 minutes. After that time, you can switch the valve to ‘vent’ to release any more pressure.
- Once the natural release time is complete, remove the lid and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Serve the cooked oatmeal with toppings of your choice, such as chopped apples, toasted pecans, a drizzle of maple syrup, or a dash of cinnamon.
Why Use steel cut oats in the instant pot
If you’re new to steel cut oats, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with this powerhouse of plant-based protein. Steel cut oats are the least processed form of oats you can buy. Very similar to the oat groat the way it is harvested, steel cut oats resemble chopped kernels that coarser and chewier than old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats. Compared side by side to old-fashioned oats and quick oats, the nutrition analysis is almost identical, so all three varieties healthy choices. Steel cut oats are chewier and nuttier in flavor than rolled or quick oats, so they need a longer soak time to become soft and creamy oatmeal. That is why we chose steel cut oats as the perfect type of oats for this Instant Pot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal.
Are steel cut oats gluten-free?
Yes, just like all oats, steel cut oats are naturally gluten-free. That being said, oats can be cross-contaminated with gluten during the processing or packaging stage in a facility. So if you need guaranteed gluten-free oats because of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, be sure to look for the certified gluten-free certification on the container of oats you buy.
Prep ahead to save time
Save time in the morning when making this Instant Pot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal by measuring out all ingredients the night before. Pre-shred the apples and store them in the refrigerator. In the morning, quickly dump your prepped ingredients into the Instant Pot. You’ll thank yourself in the morning for taking the time to do the measuring the evening before.
Is Instant Pot oatmeal healthy for breakfast?
You bet it is! Here at The Real Food Dietitians, we love our oatmeal. So we’re especially excited to share this nutritious and delicious recipe with you as a healthy option that is loved by kids and adults.
- Oats – steel cut oats are a plant-based protein source that provides 5 grams of protein per 1/4-cup (uncooked) serving. Oats are also a great source of fiber, B vitamins, and antioxidants. A good choice to start the day, oats can help you feel satisfied and full of energy through the morning.
- Apples – a juicy and delicious fruit, apples provide fiber, antioxidants, and prebiotics (to support the probiotics in your gut). Be sure to leave the skin on your apples, as that is where more than half the fiber comes from.
- Cinnamon – a powerhouse and fragrant spice, cinnamon is a good source of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, is may improve gut health.
How to store this oatmeal
This Instant Pot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal is best served hot directly from the Instant Pot. It’s such a delicious breakfast that we wouldn’t be surprised if there are no leftovers to be found. But if you do happen to find yourself with some leftover oatmeal, place it in a covered container. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat the oatmeal, stir in additional milk, then heat in the microwave on high for 30-second increments until heated through.
The best topping for Instant Pot Oatmeal
When it comes to topping oatmeal, we have some very tasty ideas that we love in our own homes. Adding toppings to your oatmeal gives it even more flavor and nutrition. Here are our top choices for topping choices:
- Chopped apples – leave the peel on for more nutrients unless serving to toddlers, as the peel can be too chewy for them
- Toasted pecans – if you have a few extra minutes, toast the pecans to bring out even more great flavor. Also try other nuts as a topper, such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or cashews
- Maple syrup – we love the maple flavor of maple syrup
- Honey – a drizzle of honey adds the perfect amount of sweetness
- Shredded unsweetened coconut – for more great texture and flavor
- 1 ½ cups steel cut oats
- 3 cups (24 ounces) dairy or non-dairy milk of choice
- 2 cups (16 ounces) water
- 2 medium apples, shredded (peel still on)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or 2 cinnamon sticks)
- ⅛ teaspoon fine salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In the inner pot of the Instant Pot, place the steel cut oats, milk, water, shredded apples, cinnamon, and salt. Lock the lid in place and switch the valve to seal.
- Set the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure, manually adjusting the time to 6 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to build up the pressure before the timer starts counting down.
- When the timer goes off, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 to 20 minutes. Do not switch the valve to ‘vent’ until after the natural release time is up.
- Once the steam is fully released, remove the lid and stir in the vanilla extract. Serve the steel cut oats with toppings of your choice such as chopped apples, toasted pecans, a drizzle of maple syrup, or additional cinnamon.
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- Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe (~ 1 cup cooked oats)
- Calories: 260
- Fat: 4 g
- (Sat Fat: 1 g)
- Sodium: 112 mg
- Carbohydrate: 42 g
- (Fiber: 6 g
- Sugar: 12 g)
- Protein: 10 g
© The Real Food Dietitians
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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel of Half Acre House.
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Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living in Boulder, CO with her husband and two daughters. She’s been described as a ‘real food evangelist’ and loves sharing her knowledge with others to help them break free of the diet mentality and find their own food freedom. In her spare time, she enjoys CrossFit, telemark skiing, mountain biking, and camping out under the stars.