This Banana Steel Cut Oats Recipe tastes like banana bread! It’s cooked in the Instant Pot with milk and mashed bananas and then topped with vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, nuts and some freshly sliced bananas. This Instant Pot banana bread steel cut oats recipe takes just 20 minutes to make and is dairy-free and vegan friendly.

Do you just love the banana and oats combination? Me too! If you’re looking for other ways to use your bananas, try my banana oatmeal pancakes, my moist banana bread recipe, or my Magnolia Bakery banana pudding.

A brown bowl full of Banana Steel Cut Oats garnished with sliced bananas and nuts.

Why This Recipe Works

  • This recipe uses the Instant Pot, which is my favorite way to cook steel cut oats. Using an Instant Pot over a pot on the stove is a much quicker way to cook steel cut oats. Steel cut oats are course, so getting them to cook and get creamy in the Instant Pot is a cinch.
  • Detailed instructions will help you know how to use the Instant Pot for this recipe if you’re a novice to using your Instant Pot or if you’ve been using it for years.
  • Instead of using sliced bananas in the Instant Pot or adding the mashed bananas after cooking, we add mashed bananas into the Instant Pot to cook. This not only makes the banana bread flavor permeate the oatmeal, but it also gives a better consistency having the bananas cooking with the oatmeal.
  • This recipe is dairy-free and vegan friendly. To make this vegan appropriate use maple syrup or coconut palm sugar and molasses in place of the brown sugar.

Ingredients

Ingredients used to make banana steel cut oats on a white background.
  • Steel Cut Oats: Make sure you have steel cut oats. No other oats can be used to substitute for this recipe since we’re making it in an Instant Pot.
  • Almond Milk: You can also use dairy milk. Almond milk is a great option because it’s a low-calorie option and perfect for those with a dairy-allergy.
  • Ripe Bananas: Make sure the bananas are really ripe in order to get that enhanced banana bread flavor.
  • Brown Sugar: This is the sweetener we’ll use for the banana steel cut oats recipe.
  • Cinnamon: Adding a touch of cinnamon with the bananas really makes this banana bread steel cut oats recipe hit home.

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Grease the inside of your 6-qt Instant Pot with nonstick cooking spray. Make sure to grease the bottom and the sides at least halfway up since the mixture will thicken when cooking.
  2. Add the steel cut oats, water, milk, and mashed bananas to the Instant Pot. Stir to combine. Cover and seal the pot. Select the “manual” or “pressure cook” button. Press the dial up to 4 minutes. The Instant Pot will start automatically.
  1. When finished, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes before manually releasing the remaining pressure. You don’t want to do a quick release because the oats can spurt out of the valve. 
  2. Open the lid and stir in the brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Serve warm. (The oats will thicken as they cool.) 
  1. Add your desired toppings. I like serve mine with a drizzle of milk, some nuts (like your favorite banana nut bread), sliced bananas, and sometimes a touch of extra brown sugar for the best banana bread steel cut oats.
A wooden spoon holding up a spoonful of banana steel cut oats overtop of an instant pot.

Recipe Tips

Instant Pot Tips: Grease the sides of the Instant Pot and not just the bottom to avoid the oatmeal sticking. Let the Instant Pot naturally release for 15 minutes. If you do a forced release, too much pressure inside the Instant Pot can cause the oatmeal to shoot through the valve.

Toppings: Sliced bananas, chopped nuts, extra cinnamon, dash of nutmeg, mini chocolate chips, toasted coconut, etc. 

Steel cut oats: You must use steel cut oats for this recipe.

Bananas: Be sure to use ripe bananas in order to get the banana bread flavor in these banana steel cut oats. Think of this as being similar to making banana bread. Get the bananas to that ripeness.

Storing: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 days. 

Reheat: I reheat my banana steel cut oats in the microwave. You may need to add a splash of milk or water to the oatmeal before or after heating it to help loosen it up (or depending on the consistency you want). 

Freezing: Yes, I have tried freezing this recipe and it works! Place the cooked banana steel cut oats in an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze for 1-2 months. Thaw and reheat as usual.

Substitutions: You can substitute any milk variety you’d like: dairy, oat, cashew, etc. You can substitute the brown sugar for maple syrup if you’d like.

A wooden bowl full of Banana Steel Cut Oats topped with sliced bananas and walnuts against a black background.

FAQs

Can steel cut oats be used in baking?

Since steel cut oats are oat kernels, they are too gritty to use in baking raw. If you want to use steel cut oats in baking, be sure to cook them first.

Should you soak steel cut oats?

There isn’t any need to soak steel cut oats before cooking. You’d only soak steel cut oats if you were wanting to do an option where you don’t cook them — such as an overnight steel cut oats. But the steel cut oats will take much longer to soften than traditional overnight oats.

Are steel cut oats healthier?

Steel cut oats are the least processed form of oats and therefore have more fiber and nutrients that haven’t been stripped away during processing.

Can I use frozen bananas instead of fresh bananas?

I haven’t tried using frozen bananas, but I would still recommend having mashed bananas. If you’d like to let the frozen banana thaw and then mash that you could give that a try. If you do, let me know how it turns out!

What do I do if my Instant Pot has a burn warning?

Press cancel and do a quick release of the steam valve (carefully moving it to the venting position). This happens when the Instant Pot senses the inside is too hot and is burning or may burn the food. Generously spraying the inside of the instant pot should reduce the burn notice from occuring.

A bowl of Banana Steel Cut Oats against a white textured background.

More Oats Recipes

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A brown bowl full of Banana Steel Cut Oats garnished with sliced bananas and nuts.
Print Review
5 from 2 votes

Banana Steel Cut Oats

This creamy steel cut oats recipes tastes just like banana bread! It's made in the instant pot in a matter of 20 minutes! Top it with extra cinnamon, brown sugar, sliced bananas, and walnuts for the extra "banana-bread flare!"
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups almond milk - can also use dairy milk
  • 1 cup ripe bananas - mashed
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar - packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

toppings

  • chopped nuts - walnuts, pecans
  • sliced bananas
  • extra brown sugar - if desired
  • extra cinnamon - if desired

Equipment

Instructions
 

  • Grease the inside of a 6 qt Instant pot with nonstick cooking spray. (Doing this will prevent the "burn" notice from appearing on the instant pot… so don't skip this step).
  • To the pot add the steel cut oats, water, milk, and mashed bananas. Stir to combine. Cover (make sure it’s sealed) and select the “manual” or “pressure cook” button. Press the dial up to 4 minutes. The Instant Pot will start automatically.
  • When it has finished cooking, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes before manually releasing the remaining pressure. You don’t want to do a quick release because the oats can spurt out of the valve. 
  • Open the lid and stir in the brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Serve warm. (The oats will thicken as they cool.) 
  • Serve with a drizzle of milk (if desired), nuts, sliced bananas, and extra brown sugar (if desired).

Notes

Instant Pot Tips: Grease the sides of the Instant Pot and not just the bottom to avoid the oatmeal sticking. Let the Instant Pot naturally release for 15 minutes. If you do a forced release, too much pressure inside the Instant Pot can cause the oatmeal to shoot through the valve.
Toppings: Sliced bananas, chopped nuts, extra cinnamon, dash of nutmeg, mini chocolate chips, toasted coconut, etc. 
Steel cut oats: You must use steel cut oats for this recipe, you cannot use old fashioned oats (since this recipe uses an Instant Pot).
Bananas: Be sure to use ripe bananas in order to get the banana bread flavor in these banana steel cut oats. Think of this as being similar to making banana bread. Get the bananas to that ripeness.
Storing: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 days. 
Reheat: I reheat my oats in the microwave. You may need to add a splash of milk or water to the oatmeal before or after heating it to help loosen it up (or depending on the consistency you want). 
Freeze: leftovers can be frozen in an airtight container for 1-2 months. Thaw and reheat as usual. 
Substitutions: You can substitute any milk variety you’d like: dairy, oat, cashew, etc. You can substitute the brown sugar for maple syrup if you’d like.
Nutritional information is an estimate, and does not include the toppings. 

Nutrition

Calories: 288kcal (14%)Carbohydrates: 53g (18%)Protein: 9g (18%)Fat: 5g (8%)Saturated Fat: 1g (5%)Sodium: 117mg (5%)Potassium: 107mg (3%)Fiber: 7g (28%)Sugar: 15g (17%)Vitamin A: 17IUVitamin C: 2mg (2%)Calcium: 144mg (14%)Iron: 2mg (11%)
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
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