Creamy Coconut Milk Steel Cut Oatmeal {Instant Pot or Slow Cooker!}

This deliciously creamy coconut milk steel cut oatmeal is the perfect hearty breakfast and so easy to make in the Instant Pot (or slow cooker!).

Coconut milk steel cut oats in brown bowl with chocolate chips, almonds and coconut.

I’ve long been a fan of steel cut oats; we’ve made this easy overnight, stovetop version for years and years. Because it only needs to be quickly heated up in the morning, it makes crazy, weekday mornings a breeze.

Enter the Instant Pot craze, and many of our breakfasts now consist of steel cut oats bubbling away in the Instant Pot.

I don’t have an official base recipe posted for Instant Pot steel cut oatmeal because it’s almost too simple: 1 cup steel cut oats + 2 cups water + pinch of salt + high pressure for 3-4 minutes + natural release. 

I always double the above ratios for our family. Oatmeal is a great breakfast for our family, because the add-in options are endless and often very creative (not going to lie, I almost gagged the one time my child decided to add diced up hard-boiled eggs to his oatmeal; I think he did, too).

Coconut milk steel cut oats in white bowl with chocolate chips, almonds and coconut.

My disclaimer is that the overnight, stovetop steel cut oatmeal is still faster for weekday mornings than making steel cut oats in the Instant Pot.

Even though the Instant Pot is nearer to perfection than any other appliance I own, it still takes a fair amount of time for it to come to pressure and then to let the pressure naturally release after cooking.

For instance, if I’m making steel cut oats in the Instant Pot for a weekday morning, I have to get it all going about 40-ish minutes before the kids wake up in order for us to get to school on time.

That’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but definitely something to plan on. As a sidenote, I DO have this stellar overnight slow cooker oatmeal recipe that might appeal to non-IP owners: Overnight Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal.

Having said all that, I am firmly in the camp that if steel cut oatmeal is as delicious as this creamy coconut milk version, I’ll willingly do whatever it takes (even sacrificing precious sleep) to get it ready for breakfast.

Coconut milk steel cut oats in brown bowl with chocolate chips, almonds and coconut.

This steel cut oatmeal is incredible! Super creamy and tender (with just the right amount of “chew”), cooking the steel cut oats in a blend of coconut milk + water must be the secret to perfect steel cut oatmeal.

I mean, the fact that we also shamelessly pile on mini chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut flakes and chopped almonds before we dig in doesn’t seem to hurt anything.

But because the coconut milk flavor is subtle and not overwhelming, you could totally skip the coconut/almond/chocolate toppings and go with your own favorite add-ins. I mean, I’ll be a little sad for you to miss out on the stellar combo, but I understand (kind of).

If you’re looking to change up your breakfast routine, add this to the rotation! The recipe includes notes for cooking the steel cut oatmeal in either the Instant Pot or the slow cooker!

Creamy Coconut Milk Steel Cut Oats {Instant Pot or Slow Cooker}

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) light or regular coconut milk
  • Water (specific amount in directions below)
  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For serving: milk, mini or regular chocolate chips, coconut flakes, chopped almonds

Directions:

  1. Instant Pot Directions: Grease the insert of the Instant Pot with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the can of coconut milk in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Add water to reach 4 cups. Pour the mixture into the Instant Pot. Stir in the steel cut oats and salt. Secure the lid and make sure the valve is sealed, select the Manual or Pressure Cook button and dial up or down to 4 minutes. The IP will start automatically. When finished cooking, let the pressure naturally release for 15-20 minutes before manually releasing the remaining pressure. Stir in the brown sugar and vanilla. Serve with additional milk and any extra add-ins (chocolate chips, coconut flakes, almonds).
  2. Slow Cooker Directions: Grease the insert of a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the can of coconut milk in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Add water to reach 4 cups. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker and add an additional 2 cups water (so that’s 6 cups liquid total). Stir in the steel cut oats and salt. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Stir in the brown sugar and vanilla. Serve with additional milk and any extra add-ins (chocolate chips, coconut flakes, almonds).
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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe