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After taking a break for a few months to find ourselves and evaluate our relationship, I’m pleased to report that, thanks to this easy recipe for Pumpkin Overnight Oats, oatmeal and I are going steady again.

A bowl of healthy pumpkin overnight oats with pecans

Simple, healthy, and endlessly versatile, steel cut oats will forever be one of my favorite breakfasts.

Although I take a breather from oatmeal in the summer when our house reaches rain forest levels of humidity, during the crisp fall and winter months, I crave the way it warms me to my core.

As the temperature drops and the sun rises later, having a cozy breakfast to look forward to helps me climb out of bed in the morning, when our house is chilly and dark.

Not only do these healthy pumpkin overnight oats motivate me to kick off the covers, but they also fill our entire house with a warm, cinnamon-y smell that’s so tantalizing, I practically leap out of bed to serve myself a bowl as soon as I wake up.

Pumpkin overnight oats no yogurt in a bowl with pecans

This healthy breakfast recipe uses steel cut oats.

The one (dare I say only?) downside to using steel cut oatmeal is that it takes longer to cook.

  • My solution: cook the steel cut oats in a crock pot while I sleep (I use this trick in my Overnight Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats too)!
  • Just dump the ingredients into the slow cooker before bed, cover, and then in the morning, breakfast is ready to serve.

Tip!

If you need your oatmeal ready in a hurry, try these Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats with a touch of pumpkin and pumpkin spice stirred in.

5 Star Review

“I have been enjoying these oats all week, they have been perfect for my super busy schedule and the cool fall weather. Thank you for this great recipe!”

— Sara —

How to Make Pumpkin Overnight Oats

These healthy pumpkin overnight oats are positively PACKED with pumpkin flavor.

The recipe calls for a whole can of pumpkin puree, along with a heap of warm spices that will make your house smell heavenly when you wake.

(If you only have part of a can of pumpkin to spare, try this Pumpkin Oatmeal or one of my other healthy pumpkin recipes.)

No Slow Cooker?

No problem! Try my Overnight Steel Cut Oats or stovetop Steel Cut Oats recipe instead.


The Ingredients

  • Steel Cut Oats. Unlike their pulverized instant oatmeal cousins, the grains in steel cut oats are left more whole, allowing them to retain their flavor and texture. Forget the mushy, mucky oatmeal you’ve eaten in the past. Steel cut oats are delightfully nutty, chewy, and more filling than instant oatmeal.
  • Water + Milk. The liquid sources for our oatmeal. You can use any milk you have on hand.
  • Pumpkin Puree. Takes the oatmeal from bland to a fall-flavored dream. Since pumpkin puree is low in calories and rich in vitamins, these overnight oats can be good for weight loss.
  • Maple Syrup. Natural sweetness that perfectly complements the pumpkin flavor.
  • Ground Flaxseed Meal. Thickens the oatmeal, adds a hint of nuttiness, and boosts the overall nutrition. Flaxseed meal gives these pumpkin overnight oats protein, fiber, and vitamins.

Substitution Tip!

You can substitute the flaxseed meal for an equal amount of chia seeds, hemp seeds, or 3 tablespoons additional steel cut oats.

  • Vanilla. Makes the oatmeal taste extra warm and cozy.
  • Spices. This recipe uses the A-team of fall spices! Ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves are just what the pumpkin needs to shine.

The Directions

  1. Stir all of the ingredients (minus toppings) together in a slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours or on HIGH for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Uncover and stir. ENJOY!
A healthy breakfast with pecans in a bowl

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Overnight steel cut oats can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  • To Reheat. To reheat, top desired amount with a few tablespoons of water or milk, then warm in the microwave or in a small saucepan until hot.
  • To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Meal Prep Tip

Freeze portion-sized containers of pumpkin oatmeal for easy breakfasts later on. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in the morning.

Crockpot pumpkin oatmeal

What to Serve with Pumpkin Overnight Oats

Easy overnight pumpkin oatmeal with pecans

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

  • Programmable Slow Cooker. It is not bad to eat overnight oats every morning, and this slow cooker will help you enjoy them as often as you’d like. (See the recipe notes if your slow cooker is not programmable.)
  • Measuring Spoons. Perfect for measuring the spices.
  • Spatula. An all-purpose, heat-resistant spatula.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Vegan Pumpkin Overnight Oats?

Yes, you can make these into dairy free pumpkin overnight oats. Since this is a pumpkin overnight oats no yogurt, you only need to use a dairy-free milk.

Can I Use Another Type of Oats for this Recipe?

No, I do not recommend swapping in instant oats, old-fashioned oats, or any other type of quick-cooking oats. They will not hold up as well as the steel cut oats during the slow cooking process.

What Are the Best Toppings for Pumpkin Oatmeal?

The options are endless! Toasted pecans, dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, chocolate chips, and peanut butter or almond butter are some of my favorites.

Pumpkin Overnight Oats

4.77 from 43 votes
Pumpkin Overnight Oats. Easy, healthy steel cut oats, made in the slow cooker while you sleep! With pumpkin, cinnamon, and maple syrup.

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 7 hours
Total: 7 hours 5 minutes

Servings: 6 (1 1/4 cup) servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cups steel cut oats do not substitute quick cooking, instant, or rolled oats, gluten free if needed
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups milk any kind you like (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup plus additional for topping*
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal or swap an equal amount of chia seeds, hemp seeds, or omit
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg it’s an amazing flavor upgrade to grate your own whole nutmeg. I use this zester to do it.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For serving: chopped toasted pecans dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, chocolate chips, peanut butter, or any other mix-ins you enjoy with pumpkin

Instructions
 

  • Place all of the ingredients, except for the toppings, in the bottom of a 4-to-6-quart
    slow cooker and stir to combine: Steel cut oats, water, milk, pumpkin, maple syrup, flaxseed meal, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  • Cover and cook on low for 7 hours (overnight) or on high for 3 1/2 to 4 hours**, until the oats are soft but maintain a bit of chew. Remove cover and stir to evenly combine the ingredients, scraping the oats off the bottom and away from the sides. Enjoy warm with desired toppings.

Notes

  • *This recipe as written is not ultra sweet, but can easily be adjusted. I recommend trying it with the 1/4 cup pure maple syrup only, then adding additional to individual servings as you like.
  • **Know thy slow cooker! Every crock pot is a little different, so you may need to adjust your cooking time, depending upon how quickly yours tends to finish recipes. I also recommend using a programmable slow cooker like this one, so that if you don’t check it right away, the oatmeal doesn’t burn.
  • If cooking overnight, another option to make sure the edges of the oatmeal do not burn (readers with very powerful slow cookers might have this problem), you can prepare the oatmeal inside a large, heatproof casserole dish that fits inside your slow cooker. Place the dish inside the slow cooker, then pour water around the dish halfway up the sides to create a water bath. I haven’t tried the recipe this way, but know it has been successful for others who have used it to make my Overnight Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats.
  • TO STORE: Overnight steel cut oats can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  • TO REHEAT: To reheat, top desired amount with a few tablespoons of water or milk, then warm in the microwave or in a small saucepan until hot. 
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6,) about 1 1/4 cupsCalories: 296kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 9gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gFiber: 10gSugar: 12g

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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4.77 from 43 votes (18 ratings without comment)

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101 Comments

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  1. I was really looking forward to these! I found that the oats (yes, steel cut) were pretty gummy in comparison to my typical recipe with them, and I thought the spices were a bit too strong: my mouth was burning after eating my bowl full of oats.2 stars

    1. Sorry to hear that you had trouble with the recipe, Rebecca. The amounts, flavorings and timing have worked well for myself (and others) so I wished it would of been a hit for you too!

  2. Good proportion of liquid to oats. Definitely needs a thorough stirring and rest prior to serving as the oats were on the bottom and the liquid on top when the crockpot was checked after 8 hours.

    This recipe was VERY heavy on the spices. While I love the flavors, I would recommend using half (or less) of the amounts for ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. I use freshly milled/grated spices and the clove (which I love) overpowered all other flavors.4 stars

    1. Thanks for the feedback Elizabeth. The method, ingredients, and timing have worked well for myself (and others) but I know how frustrating it can be to try a new recipe and not have it turn out as planned, so I really wish you would’ve enjoyed it!

  3. Absolutely LOVE this recipe and make it almost every week. I go to bed looking forward to it the next morning. Thx for sharing!5 stars

  4. Fabulous! I threw in some dried cranberries at the beginning also and increased milk to 3 cups because I knew I wouldn’t be up in 7 hours to turn off cooker and didn’t want it to dry out. It was perfect. We ate it with walnuts and a bit of brown sugar. It tastes just as good reheated the next day.5 stars

    1. Hi Susan! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review and feedback on adding more milk!

  5. Put this in the crockpot last night and woke up to a wonderful smell this morning! These are amazing! I’m not usually an oatmeal eater because I think they’re slimy, but I loved these steel cut oats, so did my Hubs. Will definitely be making these again. And I love the fact they can be frozen since it’s just the two of us because this recipe made a ton.5 stars

  6. I love this recipe. Perfect for the fall.

    People complain that there’s too much spice, but that’s not it. It’s actually that the maple syrup isn’t sweet enough to bring out the full flavor of the spice.

    The last time I made this recipe, I omitted the maple syrup entirely then just added some brown sugar to my individual serving before eating. It tasted delicious!4 stars

  7. I love this oatmeal!! Thank you for creating this recipe! I’ve spent most of my life on a weight loss journey, and this has been a huge help to make breakfast desirable!
    Lately I’ve been doctoring it up for bonus nutrition – I added vegan unflavored protein powder, ground flax seed, and an extra cup of milk to tonight’s batch. I’ll stir in chopped apples and blueberries in the morning. I’ve used raspberries and cut grapes on other occasions. I love getting a vegetable in at breakfast and look forward to a warm hearty bowl :)5 stars

    1. Hi Pam, it should work but your oats will likely be cooked faster than the original recipe. Enjoy!

  8. Wow. I was sure this would be too much liquid, but it was perfect. I made it with skim milk, and without flaxseed or cloves. Cooked on high in slow cooker and it was ready in 3 hours. We love it. Thank you for the recipe.5 stars

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