Instant Pot breakfasts for busy mornings

Not everyone is a breakfast person, and that's all right. But let's be honest here — have you started telling yourself you're not a breakfast person because you don't have time in the mornings to make a decent breakfast anyway? That breakfast sandwich and coffee you grab at a drive-thru on the way to work is fine, right?

Not really, and what if we told you it's entirely possible to make a delicious, hot-n-hearty breakfast at home in about the same amount of time you're going to spend detouring to your fast food joint of choice, then sitting in line waiting with everyone else who's doing the exact same thing? There's a bonus here, too. Some of these ideas aren't just fast, they're going to use up some of your leftovers, they're going to be healthier than anything you can possibly order off the menu at Starbucks, and they're going to be infinitely cheaper, too. Let's talk Instant Pot breakfasts.

Oatmeal with steel-cut oats

Oatmeal is one of those tricky health foods. Steel-cut oats are good for you, but they take forever. And honestly, they're usually not delicious if they're plain. But, pick up any of the instant oat packages that are filled with flavors that actually sound like you might eat them, and you're probably eating something full of sugar.

Steel-cut oats on the stovetop are a 40-minute process of constant stirring and watching, and who has time for that? Fortunately, they're much easier to make in the Instant Pot. Just coat your pot with cooking spray, add your steel-cut oats, and whatever liquid you like (but know that dairy-based milk might burn). Cook on high for four minutes, let it run through a 10-minute pressure release, and your oatmeal will be done in half the time with none of the supervision. Scoop and top with some fresh fruit, stir in some honey or maple syrup, or shredded coconut. Sounds better than sitting in a drive-thru with your window open on a cold or rainy morning, doesn't it?

French toast casserole

French toast is usually a pretty labor-intensive breakfast better suited to weekends than weekdays, but with just a little bit of a tweak to the whole idea, it's easy to whip up in your Instant Pot. The biggest change is we're not talking about your typical French toast. Instead of using slices of bread, start by getting a whole loaf and cutting it into cubes and filling your Instant Pot. Brilliant, right?

Then, start your custard with three eggs, and whip up a mix of the eggs, cream, and milk. Add flavors and seasonings as you see fit: try adding vanilla, almond, or rum extract, cinnamon and nutmeg, or even a bit of cocoa powder. Cook for 15 minutes, do a natural pressure release, and you'll end up with a delicious French toast casserole. Serve it up with fresh fruit, butter, and maple syrup, or stir up a crumble topping of brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and butter.

Breakfast hash

It doesn't matter how big a family is or what kind of food you gravitate toward, we're all looking for ways to help reduce food waste and stretch our weekly shopping trips just a little bit further. Breakfast hash is the perfect way to do exactly that, so let's talk principle before we talk execution.

Hash is basically a way of referring to a dish that's a mix of meat and potatoes, and here's where our leftovers come in. If you have leftovers from the previous night — fries, mashed potatoes, hash browns, diced potatoes, and pretty much any kind of meat or vegetable — you can put this one together. Just mix your leftovers together in a pan you're going to sit inside your Instant Pot. Scramble eggs in a separate dish, then pour over your leftovers so they're covered. Put your pan on a trivet, add a cup of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot, and cook on high for 20 minutes. That's it! You can add toppings like shredded cheese and onions, add hot sauce and chilis if you like, and you have both a delicious breakfast bake and an emptier-looking fridge.

Monkey bread

You don't have to make everything from scratch, and sometimes, it's completely acceptable to cheat just a little bit. Like when you're making monkey bread. This amazing, pull-apart bread is super easy with help from a can of biscuits and your Instant Pot.

Start by mixing up what's going to act as your binder: sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon (we never said it was healthy!). Cut your pre-made biscuits into pieces (and you can use biscuits, croissants, or cinnamon rolls), and roll into your sugar mix. Transfer everything into a pan that's going to sit inside your Instant Pot, and cover with about a quarter-cup melted butter and the rest of your sugar mix. Set the pan on a trivet, add a cup of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot, cook on high for 20 minutes, then do a quick pressure release. Invert, and serve as-is or with a simple glaze of powdered sugar, water, and vanilla extract. If you decided to go with a package of cinnamon rolls, there's a bonus: the glaze is just as good when it's in monkey bread form. 

A breakfast quinoa

If you'd like to switch up your regular oatmeal for something a little different, try some breakfast quinoa. It's more versatile than you probably expect, and the basics are pretty simple. Start by sauteing your quinoa for around 10 minutes, and that's going to toast it just enough. Add your other ingredients once you've got it to the right amount of browned, cook on high for just a few minutes, then wait a few more minutes before doing a quick release. That's it!

When we said "other ingredients," what are we talking about here? Try adding things like coconut milk, almond milk, cocoa powder, maple syrup, honey, a chopped apple or other fruits, a dash of vanilla, hazelnut or almond extract, then top with all kinds of goodness. Use fresh fruit, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, or granola. It's a great way to use whatever fresh fruit you happened to find at the grocery store or the farmers' market, but this is one tasty dish that's a win on cold winter mornings, too. 

Cinnamon apples

Cinnamon apples are one of those dishes that are perfect any time of the day. They're a healthy snack, a delicious side dish, and they're perfect for a light breakfast on those days when you don't want something too filling. Better yet? There are only three ingredients: apples, cinnamon, and maple syrup, which you can also replace with honey. Just peel, core, and slice your apples, add them to the Instant Pot, then add cinnamon and maple syrup (or honey) to taste. Stir in with just a few tablespoons of water, cook on high for two minutes, then do a quick release and you're ready for breakfast!

These are great on their own, but they're also perfect for piling on top of pancakes or sprinkling with granola. And, because you're an adult and being an adult is sometimes pretty terrible, you can definitely add a scoop of vanilla or maple pecan ice cream to your breakfast bowl. You deserve it.

Frittatas

Eggs might be a breakfast staple, but let's face it: There are only so many eggs a mortal being can eat. If you're sick of scrambled and fried eggs, mix things up with some frittatas. The brilliant part about this one is that it's an idea suited to pretty much anything you have in your fridge. Have one lonely green pepper you don't know what to do with? Half an onion from dinner? Some herbs left in the package? A few cherry tomatoes? Throw them all in!

Start by cracking some eggs (as many or as few as you like), and scrambling them. Then toss in your ingredients. Don't forget seasonings — get creative with chili powder or even curry powders — then pour. Mini baking molds make great, single-serving size portions, but you can also use a single pan. (Whatever you use, don't forget to grease them well.) For single serving sizes, just cook for five minutes on high, then do a quick release. A single pan will take longer — about 20 minutes, with a 10-minute pressure release cycle — and there really is no wrong way to do this one.

Breakfast bread puddings

When you think of bread pudding, you think of a vintage dessert, right? You can definitely use your Instant Pot to make a dessert version (and we tell you how, right here), but you can make a breakfast version of it, too.

Start with the same types of bread and generally, the firmer the better (you can also use up your two-day-old, slightly stale bread this way). Cube your bread, and pile into the pan that's going into your Instant Pot. In a separate dish, whip up your liquid. That's eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and whatever other breakfast ingredients you like. Try mushrooms, ham, onions and peppers, and any cheese you have on hand. Pour over the top, add a cup of water to the bottom of the Instant Pot, cook on high for 25 minutes, and release! Feel free to switch this up, too. If you want something slightly sweeter, use cinnamon raisin bread, and add a dash of cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla to your egg mixture in lieu of veggies.

Sweet potato breakfast bowls

Sweet potatoes for breakfast? Absolutely! Try it once, and it might just be a game-changer for you. They're loaded with all kinds of nutrients, and that makes it a great way to start the day if you're trying to stick to eating healthier… but still want to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Start by cooking your sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot. Just place them on the wire rack, cook for 16 minutes with a small amount of water on the bottom, let it sit for another five, then release. Use tongs to pick up your potatoes, then cut in half, and scrape all the goodness out of the skin. Mash, and mix with cinnamon, maple syrup, and a dash of nutmeg. Then, top with whatever you want! Try a crunch oat or granola topping, crushed nuts, or sliced fruit for a sweet breakfast with none of the guilt. Sometimes, we all need a little guilty pleasure, though, so you can also sprinkle with brown sugar or add some marshmallow fluff.

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is delicious, but it can get expensive and kind of boring. There are a limited number of flavors you'll find on the grocery store shelves, so getting creative with flavors at home is a definite win. It's easy, too, a breakfast you can prep in advance and grab out of the fridge.

Start by sanitizing the inside of your pot with boiling water. Rinse, then add a gallon of whole milk. Press the Yogurt button until it reads "boil," and let it run. It'll take at least an hour to get up to temp — 180 degrees. Then, take the pot out and let it cool to 110 degrees. Skim any funk off the top, and stir in your starter: 3 tablespoons of Greek yogurt with active cultures. Put it back in the Instant Pot, hit the Yogurt setting, and leave it for around 8 hours. Once that's done, you're going to need to transfer it to a cheesecloth bag in the fridge. Excess liquid will drain, and you'll have Greek yogurt in the morning. That's where the flavoring comes in — stir in some of your favorite coffee flavoring syrup or extract, and you'll never be bored with yogurt again.

Fruit cobbler

It doesn't matter what kind of fruit is in season, a breakfast crumble is a great way to use whatever fresh fruit you found at the store. Apples, peaches, pears, plums, blueberries, strawberries… they all go pretty perfectly with a basic crumble you can make right in the Instant Pot.

Start by cutting your fruit up into the Instant Pot, and season however you like. Add cinnamon, coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, or maple syrup, then close and steam for 10 minutes (if you like your fruit a little more firm, shorten the cooking time.) Remove the cooked fruit, then use the saute function to brown your toppings, and this can be pretty much anything, too. Use a mix of granola, instant oats, chopped nuts, muesli, coconut, and seeds, saute until browned, and top your fruit. You can also dress it up a bit with a dollop of yogurt or, if it's going to be one of those days, some ice cream. Simple, fast, and delicious!

Giant pancakes

Calling these "giant pancakes" is something of a misnomer, but what you're going to end up with are big, thick, slabs of cakey deliciousness. There's a trick to them, too: Use your low pressure setting, and as a word of warning, it might take some experimentation to get this one right. Different models might cook only slightly different, but the difference is big enough that these delicate cakes might burn in one model and not in another. This one also takes a bit longer than some of our other options, but trust us, it's worth it!

That said, your basic recipe is easy: 2 cups flour, 1.5 cups milk, 2 eggs, 2.5 teaspoons baking powder, and a dash of sugar (you can also opt to add a teaspoon of salt, or a dash of vanilla). Seal it up and cook on low pressure. Start with a 45-minute cook time, and check when the timer goes off. Depending on conditions, it might take as long as 55 minutes (but don't be tempted to try it on high, as the outside will burn before the inside cooks). Trust us — it's worth the experimentation!