Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats
Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats are a hearty, fiber-filled breakfast made with pumpkin and warm fall spices. It’s even better topped with my sweet, buttery pecan pie granola.
My daughter, Jennifer, and her family are absolutely crazy for steel cut oats. They’re the reason we have so many recipes for pressure cooker steel cut oats. These oats make a hearty breakfast that will keep you full longer.
I created this fall-flavored Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats for her several years ago. She was craving a healthier way to eat classic Thanksgiving flavors (pumpkin pie and pecan pie). I cut out the refined sugar and sweeten it with a little natural maple syrup.
This smooth and creamy Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats are perfectly complemented by my crisp and crunchy Pecan Pie Granola recipe. When you make these two together, your whole house will smell like Fall—everyone who comes in your door will want to know what’s cooking!
Make This Pumpkin Spice Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats in Your Pressure Cooker
This Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats recipe will work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, and Mealthy MultiPot. Pressure cookers are perfect for making steel cut oats in record time! (See more of my favorite Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats Recipes here.)
What Are Steel Cut Oats?
If you’ve grown up eating rolled oats or instant oats, steel cut oats may seem strange. According to my favorite brand (#notsponsored),
Steel cut oatmeal is made from whole oat groats that have been cut into neat little pieces. . . . Also known as Irish oats or pinhead oats, steel cut oats have a firmer “bite” than traditional rolled oats.
(Did you know that groats and grits are related words? A groat is a hulled grain that’s broken into larger pieces than a grit!)
In contrast, rolled and instant oats are steamed and then rolled flat. (Instant oats are flatter than old-fashioned oats.)
Steel cut oats are slightly higher in fiber and protein than instant oats, but they have a much lower glycemic index than instant oats.
Can I Use Rolled Oats to Make This Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal?
Because steel cut oats and rolled oats are so different, you’d need to make a number of modifications to the recipe. I haven’t tested it with rolled oats because I love the bite of steel cut in this recipe.
That said, it would be possible to convert this to a rolled oats recipe. Here’s where I’d start: Skip sauteing the oats in butter. My cookbook uses a 1 minute cook time with a 10 minute natural pressure release for making oatmeal with 1 cup rolled oats and 2 cups water, so I’d start adjusting the recipe from there.
If someone tries it, please leave a comment and let me know how it works and the timing you used!
How to Avoid the Burn Warning When Making Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats
Both Jennifer and I have made this recipe countless times and have never gotten a burn notice. However, a few readers have had the occasional burn notice; here’s what you need to know to make the recipe go smoothly.
First, this Instant Pot Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats recipe is written for a 6 quart pressure cooker.
If you’re using an 8-quart or larger pressure cooker, you will need to add extra water when making this recipe. I’d recommend at least ½ a cup, maybe even a whole cup if you’re worried. You can always simmer it after pressure cooking to cook off the additional water. (Or, just add chia seeds to soak it all up!)
In addition, make sure the steel cut oats you choose are not quick cooking.
When you toast the oats, if you start to see browning on the bottom of the pan, add the water immediately and scrape the pan well to ensure oats aren’t stuck.
Finally, DO NOT MIX the pumpkin into the rest of the oats. Let it sit on top of the oats (like you would when you use a jarred pasta sauce). This is particularly important if you have a quicker-cooking model like the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus.
If you still have questions, here are more great tips on what to do if you get the Instant Pot Burn message.
Can I Double This Recipe?
This recipe reheats wonderfully. We often make a double batch to ensure we’ll have leftovers for the freezer.
I like to freeze it in 1 or 2-cup portions in quart-size ziplock bags. Place in the fridge to defrost overnight or just microwave it in the morning. 🙂
To reheat, be sure to add extra milk or water because the oats thicken quite a bit when frozen.
How to Serve Instant Pot Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats
While many people love the smoothness of steel cut oats, my family prefers to eat it loaded with mix-ins.
Originally, I created this creamy Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats recipe with the intent to top it with my Pecan Pie Granola recipe (on my baking site, Barbara Bakes). It adds a great crunch and combines two of my favorite flavors.
However, my family has adapted it a number of ways. Jennifer included her family’s favorite variation in our Instant Pot Baby Food and Toddler Food Cookbook. For the littlest ones, she adds diced fresh apples and craisins. Then, for the grown-ups, she tops it off with chopped cinnamon pecans.
(With the candied pecans, it might be more of a dessert than breakfast–she told me to say “it’s so good, guys, it’s worth getting the book even if you don’t have toddlers to feed!”)
Update: To show you how easy this recipe is, I’ve created a little video. I really love the shot of the maple drizzled over the granola! Since making the video, we have changed the order of the ingredients to have the pumpkin puree come in at the end.
Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats with Pecan Pie Granola
Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats are a hearty, fiber-filled breakfast made with pumpkin and warm fall spices.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, plus more for serving
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- Pecan Pie Granola, for serving if desired
- Select Sauté and add the butter. When the butter is melted, add the oats and toast, stirring constantly, until they smell nutty, about 3 minutes (or less if you see browning on the bottom of the pan).
- Add the water and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Stir until well combined.
- Add the pumpkin puree in spoonfuls on top of the steel cut oats. DO NOT STIR!
- Lock the lid in place. Select High Pressure and set the cook time for 10 minutes.
- When the cook time ends, turn off the pressure cooker and allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove lid.
- Stir the oats well. Remove the cooking pot from the pressure cooker and let the oats rest in the cooking pot, uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes, until the oats thicken to desired consistency.
- Serve warm with pecan pie granola, milk, and a drizzle of maple syrup, if desired.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 158mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 6gSugar: 15gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.
Have you tried our Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Pumpkin Spice Baked French Toast?
This Pumpkin Spice Baked French Toast is a flavorful, rich breakfast that’s perfect for fall mornings. It’s easy to make in your Instant Pot or other brand of pressure cooker, and it’s so fun to serve!
More Amazing Instant Pot Breakfast Recipes
Looking for the best Instant Pot Breakfast Recipes? All of my recipes are designed to work in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Ninja Foodi, Mealthy Multipot, and Pampered Chef Quick Cooker.
Instant Pot Crustless Meat Lover’s Quiche
Pressure Cooker Cranberry Baked French Toast
Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker Lemon Cranberry Breakfast Farro
Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Yogurt
I’m going to try Rogers Steel cut oatmeal- usually takes 20 minutes on a stove in a regular pot
We’ll see how it goes- wish me luck
Thanks from Brian
I’ve made this several times now using Bob’s Red Mill quick cook steel cut oats. The only changes I make are cutting the water down to 2 cups and cooking on high for 2 minutes with a 10 minute natural release. Turns out great each time and is a household favorite. My father adds a little pumpkin spice creamer to his bowl as an added topping. Leftovers don’t stick around long! Thanks Barbara for yet another spectacular recipe.
Thanks for sharing Kristina! Pumpkin spice creamer sounds like a great topping.
Used the pot within the pot, 3.5 cups water, the trivet, and a cup of water in the pot..et Voila, very good. Now I know how I can make it work.
Great – thanks for sharing your pot in pot directions.
Got the “burnt” warning again 3X (with the correct steel cut oats, and a new gasket. So, with the trivet at the bottom of the stainless bowl, and a Pyrex bowl and one more cup of water within the bowl, I remain with fingers crossed, and eager to see if I am successful. If not, that great sounding Autumn steel cut oatmeal recipe, will be stricken from my breakfast favorites Thanks so much, It does sound good.
Got the “burnt” sign as well. Remember that the pumpkin and steel cut oats are heavier than the water…opened it up, gave it a bit of a swirl and added another cup of water, so far okay!
Also got the burn warning. Tried scraping pan and adding a bit more liquid and got the burn warning again. Ended up dumping out into pot and finishing on stovetop.
Hi Ang – what brand of steel cut oats are you using?
I have the same problem in an 8 quart. Sometimes it comes to pressure, sometimes not. When it works, it’s delicious!
Hi Ann – what brand of steel cut oats are you using? Have you used a different brand when it works and when it doesn’t? Have you tried adding additional water?
I use Trader Joe’s steel cut oats. I will try adding more water (maybe 1/2 cup to a cup) and see if that helps. Thanks so much for your speedy reply!
Hi Ann – thanks for the update. Are the Trader Joe’s steel cut oats quick cooking? What’s the cook time listed on the package? Thanks!
They’re not quick cooking, 35 minutes cooking time.
My instant pot sealing valve never closed. Steam was rising the whole time. Is this normal?
was the valve turned all the way to Steam?
No, your pot should seal up normally.
I had the same problem – I’ve tried making this on two separate occasions and the valve never closed so it never sealed and came to pressure. I made different recipes without a problem. I think that the pumpkin is so thick that it doesn’t act like a normal liquid. I’m surprised that more people haven’t had this issue!
Sorry you had problems Jen – 3 cups water and 1/4 cup maple should be plenty of liquid to come to pressure. It makes me wonder if it was a problem with the gasket or valve. Did you stir the ingredients after adding?
Delicious!! Thank you!
Can I double this?
Hi Jen – yes, you can double it, but be sure and use a natural release for at least 10 minutes so you don’t get foam coming out of the valve.
Cac this oatmeal be frozen or refrigerated for future use. I am the only one in my house that eats breakfast.
Hi Gari – yes, it keeps well in the refrigerator or freezer.
Thanks for this recipe. I just purcased stove top pressure cooker thought it’s not my first one – just been years. Unfortunately, it did burn in a few spots, despite having followed recipe and stirring before. I didn’t use high heat. So, I guess this is better in an electric version. I was thinking all recipes were convertible either way. I do love the concept, though – andwill try again in the right scenario. I’m thrilled with your site and looking forward to trying out other recipes. This failure was on my part, not your recipe.
Thanks JoJo – I’m so glad you’re enjoying my site. Since the electric pressure cookers regulate pressure themselves, often there is less evaporation, so you may just need to add more liquid. Stove top pressure cookers also cook at a higher psi, so you could reduce the cook time a minute or two.
I , too, got the burn signal. Ended up cooking on the stovetop. Next time I would eliminate the syrup while cooking and add afterward. Even with stirring, the sugars fell and burned. My daughter never puts the syrup and adds brown sugar after.
Hi Dee Dee – sorry you had trouble with the recipe. Be sure and read the notes above about how to avoid the burn notice, especially not mixing in the pumpkin but layering it on top. But if you prefer, you can add the sugar and syrup after cooking.
I made the granola last night and made a few substitutions: coconut palm sugar for the brown sugar and a combo of honey and maple syrup for the corn syrup. It is delicious! This morning is made the pumpkin steel cuts oats and boy did my house smell great! Thanks for two more outstanding recipes!!!
Two comments (questions):
1) Thanks for this AMAZING recipe! It was a wonderful way to start off our Sunday morning! I definitely scored brownie points with the wife on this one! She said it was undoubtedly one of the better breakfast she’s had in quite some time! Being that I have leftovers, might it be possible to freeze so that I can rack up more brownie points with the wife?
2) The Pecan Pie Granola was “heavenly” says the wife! She loved it. When I made this, I used a stand mixer and followed the directions accordingly. After completely mixed, I placed it in a 9 X 9 pan on parchment paper. I baked it at 300 for 20 minutes and it turned out crusty on top. I put it in a sealed container and today, I found it to be moist. I wonder two things: 1) can I place it on a cookie sheet and place it back in the oven to “bake” and “dry” more? 2) What is the optimal cookie sheet or pan to make this the next time?
Thanks again for a WONDERFUL recipe! You’ve knocked it out of the ballpark! Another recipe which we use OFTEN is the Spicey Honey Garlic Chicken. It’s a favorite in our home and friends have asked for it.
Thanks! What a sweet comment. So glad the recipes were a big hit!
I live in a dessert climate, so that may account for the difference more than the baking sheet. I’m sure you could just bake it again to crisp it up. Just keep an eye on it and don’t let it burn. Next time you could try a longer bake time as well if you feel like the bottom isn’t crisp enough.
Thanks for your reply Barbara.
I’ll try that. I’ll put it back in the oven and let it bake longer, checking it from time to time.
In the meantime, any thoughts as to freezing the leftover oats?
I often freeze steel cut oats in single serving portions 🙂 Then I microwave it when I’m ready to eat it. Just add milk or water to the desired consistency.
Oh, man, you’re pushing oatmeal up to a whole new level! I can’t wait to see your pecan pie granola!
Thanks Liz! I know you’ll love it.
Oh my goodness, I am all over this recipe! This looks wonderful and I can hardly wait to try it! Thanks Barbara!
Thanks Mary! Hope you love it as much as we did.
This sounds so good! Can I pressure cook rolled oats instead of steel cut oats or will they be too mushy?
Thanks Robin – I haven’t tried it with rolled oats, but I assume it would work just fine. You would reduce the cook time though. Maybe only a minute or two.
What a wonderful fall breakfast this would be. I can’t wait to give it a try. I love the idea of granola on top too. Double delicious! I think your daughter and grandson are going to be thrilled with your new creation. 🙂
my daughter and I love steel cut oats in the pressure cooker. In the past years we’ve cooked it in a rice cooker (ah,…no) stove top where you bring it to a boil and let it set to continue cooking in the morning and in a slow cooker overnight. The pressure cooker won hands down for simplicity, ease and texture. Looking forward to your pecan granola as that is my sons preferred method of his oats! Thank you for all your hard work testing all these recipes and then giving us the short cut after all your efforts!
Not sure why I’m missing it, but I cant seem to find the recipe for the pecan pie granola? Is it just my phone hiding it from me?
Hi Kelly – I’m actually posting the granola recipe on Barbara Bakes on Friday. If you want to make it before Friday, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll email it to you. Thanks!
Wonderful Halloweenish recipe for a pressure cooker!