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.
- 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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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.