This creamy, no fuss Instant Pot pumpkin steel cut oatmeal is the perfect hearty breakfast for the cold winter months.
Last year I bought some pumpkin spice instant oatmeal packets from Trader Joe’s. While they were tasty (Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite places to shop), I regretted the purchase because the oatmeal packets didn’t taste enough like pumpkin and didn’t have the hearty, chewy texture I love in good oatmeal. I’ve been all about pumpkin lately, making pumpkin cream puffs and pumpkin peanut butter dog treats. But I overestimated the amount of pumpkin I would need for those recipes and ended up with extra pumpkin puree. With my leftovers, I decided to make my own pumpkin oatmeal.
I love the wholesome, earthy flavor and texture of steel cut oats, and now that I have an Instant Pot they’re far easier to make. While this is not a quick breakfast (it takes about 45 minutes from start to finish), it’s mostly hands-off time, and the oats will keep for at least a week in the fridge. Start the oats in the Instant Pot, enjoy some coffee, clean the kitchen, read a book, and you’ll end up with a hearty, tasty, seasonal breakfast. I enjoyed this as a savory breakfast, but you can mix in some maple syrup to amp up the fall flavors.
What are Steel Cut Oats?
Steel cut oats, rolled oats, and quick oats all start as oat groats. Groats are any whole kernel of grain that has been processed to remove the inedible outer husk or hull. For steel cut oats, also known as Irish oats, the oat groats are simply cut into two to three pieces. With rolled oats, the oat groats are steamed to make them soft and pliable and are then pressed to flatten them. Quick or instant oats are pre-cooked, dried, and then rolled and pressed a bit thinner than rolled oats.
All three types of oats are whole grains and they all have the same nutrition profile (assuming you’re comparing plain, unflavored oats – most instant oat packets contain added sugar and flavors). The main difference between the varieties is the cooking time and the texture. The quick or instant oats cook most quickly but lose their texture, while the steel cut oats take the longest time to cook but retain a delicious, chewy texture.
What is an Instant Pot?
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An Instant Pot is a brand name of multi-use, programmable electric pressure cookers. The Instant Pot brand offers several different sizes and there are a number of other brands on the market as well with similar features. I have the Instant Pot Duo 6qt, so all of my instructions are based on that one. All of the pressure cookers brands and models are pretty similar; they just name things a bit differently, so refer to your manual if I reference a button that you don’t have on yours – or leave a comment in the notes and I’ll try to help you out!
How to Make Instant Pot Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal
Start by turning the Instant Pot on “Saute” and press the Saute button until it’s on “More”. Add the butter or margarine (to make it vegan). When the butter has melted, add in the steel cut oats, water, and pumpkin.
Seal the lid, close the pressure relief valve and press the “Pressure Cook” button until it’s on “Normal” and the “Pressure Level” until it’s on “High Pressure”. Then press the +/- buttons until the time shows 00:10 for ten minutes. The Instant Pot will say “On” while it’s getting up to pressure and then will start counting down. When it’s done, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes (just leave the Instant Pot when it’s done and it will start to count up). When it’s on 00:10 then ten minutes are up. Then turn off the Instant Pot by pressing “Cancel” and quick release the rest of the pressure by opening the pressure relief valve (making sure to steer clear of the steam).
When the float valve is down and the pressure is released, open the lid. Stir in the spices, salt, and maple syrup if using. Let the pot sit for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the oatmeal to thicken, and then serve. Add some pecans, additional maple syrup, butter or margarine, or heavy cream based on what you like.
Looking for more Instant Pot recipes? Try this Instant Pot Greek Yogurt, my absolute favorite recipe that I make every week. For some quick Instant Pot dinners, try this Instant Pot Enchilada Rice or Instant Pot Mac and Cheese. If you try this Instant Pot Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal, leave a comment and review below and let me know how it worked out for you!
Instant Pot Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Add butter to pressure cooking pot, select Sauté. When butter is melted add the oats, water, and pumpkin.
- Seal the lid and close the pressure release valve. Press “Pressure Cook” until it’s on “Normal” and press the “Pressure Level” button until it’s on “High Pressure”. Then press the +/- buttons until you see 00:10 for 10 minutes. The Instant Pot will say “On” until it gets up to pressure and then will start counting down from 10. When it’s done, just leave it alone (natural pressure release) for 10 minutes, then quick release the rest of the pressure after that.
- When the float valve is down, press “Cancel” to turn off the Instant Pot and open the lid. Add the spices, salt, and maple syrup (if using) and stir. Let the oats sit in the pressure cooker for 5-10 minutes to let the oats thicken a bit, then serve with pecans, milk, additional maple syrup, or whipped cream.
Using regular oatmeal would you use the same quantity as the steel cut? Also, do you have to use the butter?
I use the butter to keep it from burning – it may work without the butter, just don’t be surprised if you get the BURN notice. For regular oatmeal, a serving is 1/2 cup dry and for steel cut it’s 1/4 cup dry, and with the steel cut you need more water to cook, so you would have to adjust the water ratio and amount of oats if you try with regular oatmeal.
How is this the second day? It’s just me, and I’d love to make it for the week, as long as it reheats well?
It was great later in the week! I added a touch of milk when reheating in the microwave to get a bit more liquid in it.
I cook a batch of Steel-cut Oatmeal in my Instant Pot, and divide them into 1/2 c portions, wrap them in glad wrap, and freeze, since I’m the only one in my house that eats Oatmeal. Its just as good frozen/reheated, and I don’t waste it. (Plus portion control!).
Now I’ll have to try it with pumpkin puree! I have several cans to use up, and this is a perfect solution.
Wow, I never know what all the differences were between all of the oats. I’ve never had steel cut before, but I can’t wait to try this recipe!
These oats look so creamy and good! I love the pumpkin flavor and topping of pecans! Perfect!
I love oatmeal. I haven’t tried making it in an instant pot. I guess this is the time to do so. Thanks for sharing.
This sounds like a wonderful mid morning snack. I usually make oatmeal on the stovetop, but I love the ease of making it in an instant pot.
Steel cut oats are the best this time of year and I still can’t get enough of pumpkin everything!