Treat your guests to hot, steel-cut oats made overnight in the INSTANT POT

Steel-Cut Oatmeal Breakfast Buffet (INSTANT POT)

Treat your guests to steel-cut oats made OVERNIGHT in the INSTANT POT!
Steel-Cut Oatmeal Bar Breakfast Bar (Toppings)

My sister-in-law and niece once created a steel-cut oatmeal breakfast bar at a family reunion, and it was so popular that everyone still requests it again every time we get together. And now, whenever we have overnight houseguests, we use the same idea and create a plant-based oatmeal bar for them. It’s probably the easiest breakfast in the world to make, especially since you can put all the ingredients in the INSTANT POT the night before and set the built-in timer. When your guests wake up in the morning, they will be greeted with a pot full of warm, steel-cut oats, along with various toppings that each can choose from to customize their own breakfast bowl. The feedback from our guests has been overwhelmingly positive, saying how much they enjoyed the oatmeal bar, and how well it fueled them for a busy day of sightseeing. 
Recently I was asked to host a BREAKFAST BOARD MEETING, and because of how popular the steel-cut oatmeal buffet had been at our family reunions and with our houseguests, it seemed natural to create a plant-based oatmeal bar for the members of the board too, as I knew it would be a hit! This meeting would require cooking a larger amount of oatmeal than I usually prepared for my houseguests, so I borrowed my friend’s instant pot so I’d have two pots to cook enough oatmeal for the 18 person board. *TIP: Don’t attempt to cook more than 3 cups raw steel-cut oats in a 6 quart instant pot at a time, or you’ll have a giant mess to clean up due to the expanding and foaming of the oats as they cook. (Trust us on this!)

Treat your guests to steel-cut oats made OVERNIGHT in the INSTANT POT!
Two instant pots worth of steel-cut oats, poured into one pot, provided the base of the oatmeal bar for our breakfast board meeting.

To save time in the morning, I put the oatmeal ingredients in the 2 instant pots the night before, and set the built-in timers for 6 hours. When I woke up in the morning, the oats were all cooked, the pressure was already naturally released, and the pots were in “keep warm” mode. I then combined the oatmeal from the two post into one, put on the lid, and left it in “keep warm” mode while preparing the following toppings.

INSTANT POT Steel-cut Oatmeal Breakfast Bar- Toppings

These of course were optional, but of all the sweeteners I set out, BROWN SUGAR was by far the most popular among the board members. (I labeled the serving bowls with these cute, reusable chalkboard stickers.)

INSTANT POT Steel-cut Oatmeal Breakfast Buffet- Toppings
INSTANT POT Steel-cut Oatmeal Breakfast Buffet- Toppings

At the end of the board meeting, the toppings bowls that were nearly empty were the fresh peaches and the raisins, followed by the pecans.


Both the almond milk and coconut milks were equally popular, though several board members didn’t even pour ANY milk on their oatmeal, which surprised me, since the milks were well utilized when we served this before for our overnight guests. (Maybe the board members were just unfamiliar with plant-based milks?) I served the plant-based milks in these adorable vintage milk bottles.

Non-dairy YOGURT SHOTS (Made in the INSTANT POT)

Since this board meeting was kind of a big deal, I added some of my NON-DAIRY YOGURT that I had made a few days before (in little shot glasses) just to offer more variety, and to add a little more color to the table.

How to keep Beverages Cold: Breakfast Buffet for Overnight Guests

Finally, I added a beverage station at the end of the table, which included almond milk, water, and orange juice.  Can you guess which beverage was the most popular? Yep, it was the ORANGE JUICE! *TIP: The day before your breakfast, freeze a about 1 cup of your drink in the bottom of the serving pitcher. Then the day of your event, take the pitcher out of the freezer and pour your drink on top of the frozen drink in the pitcher. This way your drink will stay cold for several hours, while just sitting out on your serving table. 
Several board members commented on how great it was to have a change from the typical breakfast board meeting fare of muffins and pastries. They said they really loved the steel-cut oats, and wanted to know how we cooked them, and what is an instant pot, etc. So based on all the feedback we received, I’d say that our breakfast board meeting was a SUCCESS!

BREAKFAST BUFFET: Treat your houseguests to hot, steel-cut oatmeal made overnight in the INSTANT POT.

When we do a steel-cut oatmeal bar for our houseguests, it’s not on this grand of a scale. In fact, it’s considerably simplified. I don’t do the yogurt, and I only put out a few toppings. But we still get the same positive feedback on how much they enjoy it.

Now it’s your turn to create a steel-cut oatmeal bar for your visiting family or holiday guests. Just see the printable recipe below for complete instructions:

Happy Holidays!

Steel-Cut Oatmeal Breakfast Bar

  • Servings: 4, 8, or 12
  • Print

Set up the raw steel-cut oats in the instant pot the night before, for hot, cooked steel-cut oats in the morning.

Treat your guests to hot, steel-cut oats made overnight in the INSTANT POT.


*Note- The basic recipe makes 4 generous servings. Double the recipe for 8 servings, or triple the recipe for 12 servings. (Maximum 12 servings in the 6 qt. instant pot.) BASIC STEEL-CUT OATMEAL:

  • 1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats (Not instant)
  • 3  1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

TOPPINGS: (Choose as many as you like)

  • Brown sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup
  • Cinnamon
  • Raisins, Craisins, or other chopped dried fruit
  • Chopped pecans, almonds, or walnuts
  • Sliced bananas, peaches, or strawberries
  • Fresh blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries
  • Soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk


  1. The night before, place 1 cup steel-cut oats, 3 1/2 cups water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into the instant pot. (Or double for 8 servings, or triple for 12 servings. *Do not exceed 12 servings in the 6 qt. instant pot.) Twist lid into place, and position vent to SEALING.
  2. Plug in the instant pot and Select MANUAL (old instant pot) or PRESSURE COOK. (new instant pot) Next select pressure, and adjust the cooking time to 3 minutes. Quickly select TIMER and set for 6:00 hours. (This will allow time for the oats to cook, and the pressure to be released by the time you and your guests wake up.) (Instant pot will automatically switch to KEEP WARM mode while waiting for you to wake up.)
  3. In the morning, the pressure should already be released. (if not, manually release pressure, while covering the vent lightly with a clean towel.) Twist off the lid and stir oatmeal to blend in any water that may have separated. Place lid back on instant pot, and continue in KEEP WARM mode while you prepare the toppings.
  4. The oatmeal is now ready to serve. As guests awake, they can scoop some hot steel-cut oatmeal into their bowls, and then top with desired toppings.
  5. Leftover oatmeal can be covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

Find this recipe and other great plant-based recipes at


INSTANT POT Overnight Steel-cut Oatmeal Buffet: Toppings