I look forward to spending mornings before school with my kids. I like to make breakfast “special” whenever I can, making batches of peanut butter chocolate chip muffins or protein pancakes once a week. My kids especially like cinnamon granola for “cereal Fridays.”
But sometimes I run out of special items, and that’s when I turn to the old stand-by, oatmeal.
I’ve been making it on the stove-top for years, because that’s the only way I knew how to make it (other than in the microwave using DIY instant oatmeal packets).
But now that I’ve been properly introduced to Instant Pot oatmeal, I must say, I don’t really want to make it any other way!
Don’t get me wrong – stove-top oatmeal isn’t hard. You measure the oats and water, add butter or salt if you want (which we ALWAYS want), turn it up and let it cook.
But for some reason, mornings have felt busier lately and I simply don’t have a few spare minutes to stand at the stove. So for me, being able to dump the ingredients into the Instant Pot, turn it on and walk away is a huge time-saver.
I’ve joked with my friends that the Instant Pot is like a second set of hands in the kitchen. I love making Instant Pot brown rice while I’m working on the meat, or making Instant Pot whole chicken while working on the side dishes.
With Instant Pot oatmeal, breakfast is 100% hands off and I can go do something else!
Most Instant Pot oatmeal recipes call for using steel-cut oatmeal. I haven’t tried using steel-cut oats because my perfect steel-cut oatmeal recipe is just that – perfect. I don’t want to mess up a good thing!
Plus my kids aren’t huge fans of steel-cut oats anyway. We’ve done side-by-side taste tests and they simply prefer rolled oats instead. So that’s what I used for my Instant Pot oatmeal recipe.
Using an Instant Pot isn’t difficult, but there are a few learning curves if you’re brand new. One of those lessons I learned the hard way and I ended up burning breakfast the first time I made it.
With that said, follow the directions I have below and you’ll be fine!
4 Reasons to Love Instant Pot Oatmeal
1. You Can Make it Plain (or Not)
My Instant Pot oatmeal recipe is pretty basic because every family likes their oatmeal differently. Heck, ask my family how they like their oatmeal and you’ll get four different answers!
But that’s the beauty of the recipe – it’s entirely customizable.
- Add raw fruit and spices with the oatmeal and they’ll cook at the same time… just like stove-top oatmeal.
- Or you can make it plain as written and add your toppings separately – it’s completely up to you.
2. You Can Make a Big Batch
My kids don’t care if their oatmeal was cooked yesterday, so I can make a really big batch at the beginning of the week and have enough to cover breakfast for several days.
When you make oatmeal on the stove, you have to adjust the cooking time depending on how much you make. With Instant Pot oatmeal, you can make as much as you want and the cook time doesn’t change. That’s one of the reasons why I love the Instant Pot!
I have the 8-quart DUO Instant Pot, so I can REALLY make a lot of oatmeal, but you should be able to at least double this recipe in a smaller Instant Pot. Just make sure you don’t go above the max fill line!
We prefer to reheat it on the stove and adding milk to make it creamy again.
Psst – if your family doesn’t like leftover oatmeal, consider making extras anyway. Leftover oatmeal chocolate cake is always a hit in our house, as is maple oatmeal bread! Sometimes I intentionally make extra oatmeal so I can make Crispy Oatmeal Cakes!
3. You Don’t Have to Clean Up Oatmeal Splatter Messes
Have you ever turned on the stove and walked away with the intention of coming right back… only to completely forget you were cooking something and come back to an empty pot? Or oatmeal splattered all over the stove and counters?
I’ve done this more times than I can count, but the Instant Pot saves me from all this mess. Not only does it beep at me to tell me when it’s done, but it doesn’t splatter either. And if it did by chance, it’ll be confined to inside the pot!
4. Oatmeal in General, is Cheap
Per ounce, oatmeal is one of the most affordable whole grains you can buy. That’s why we use it often in recipes like cinnamon oatmeal blender waffles and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and no-bake peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars.
My buy-price for rolled oats is 50¢ per pound and I usually buy this package from Costco (although Costco’s price is better than Amazon’s).
Kids love it, it’s cheap, and packed with nutrients. Win-win-win!
I chose blueberries, coconut and chopped walnuts for this batch of oatmeal, but you can choose whatever you want. Eating seasonally will keep the costs down, and while oatmeal is already a stick-to-your-bones type of breakfast, adding a healthy dose of fat will keep bellies satiated until lunch.
There are also ideas in my marathon training high protein oatmeal, if you’re looking to boost the protein of your oatmeal too!
Watch How to Make Instant Pot Oatmeal:
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 5 cups water
- 1 Tbsp butter (optional)
- ½ tsp salt (optional)
- Combine ingredients in the Instant Pot.
- Close the lid and make sure the sealing valve is turned to the sealing position.
- Press the "manual" button and make sure the Instant Pot is on medium pressure.
- Adjust the time to 4 minutes.
- When the oatmeal is finished, use the Quick Pressure Release method by carefully turning the sealing valve from the sealing position to the venting position. Make sure your face and hands are not over the valve when you do this.
- When the pressure has released, serve and top as desired!