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.

Pumpkin Overnight Oats ~ healthy crock pot steel cut oats made with warm spices, pumpkin and maple syrup. This recipe is easy to throw in the slow cooker before bed for an effortless breakfast that can last all week or feed a crowd! @wellplated

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 Pumpkin Overnight Oats motivate me to kick off the covers, they 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.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Overnight Oats. Perfect for make-ahead breakfasts or to feed a holiday crowd. The crock pot does all the work! @wellplated

Why I Love Steel Cut Oats

If you have never tried steel cut oats or, even worse, if your life oatmeal experience has been limited to those microwavable instant oatmeal packets, you are about to experience a breakfast renaissance.

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, because they are less processed, they are more filling than instant oatmeal too.

Pumpkin Overnight Oats. EASY, healthy recipe that’s ready to go as soon as you wake up! Made with pumpkin, steel cut oats, and lots of warm spices. @wellplated

The one (dare I say only?) downside to steel cut oatmeal is that it takes longer to cook. Not pot-roast long or boeuf-bourguignon long, but longer than I’m willing to spend making breakfast on a weekday morning: 30 minutes.

My solution: cook the steel cut oats in a crock pot while I sleep! Just dump the ingredients into the slow cooker before bed, cover, and then in the morning, breakfast is ready to serve. (Or try these Overnight Steel Cut Oats in the refrigerator!)

I first discovered the beauty of slow cooker overnight steel cut oats earlier this year when I made these Slow Cooker Overnight Steel Cut Oats. They’ve been one of the most popular recipes on my site since, so I thought October called for a fall version. Hello, Pumpkin Overnight Oats!

Easy Slow Cooker Pumpkin Overnight Oats. The perfect make-ahead breakfast. Easy, healthy, and great leftover too! @wellplated

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

These 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.)

These Pumpkin Overnight Oats are naturally sweetened with a touch of maple syrup and are easy personalize. Drizzle a little extra maple syrup over the top if you please. Pile on the toasted pecans (my favorite), or add a handful dried cranberries, chia seeds, or chocolate chips.

This recipes yields a generous amount of Pumpkin Overnight Oats (about 6 servings), but they reheat beautifully. Make one batch and have healthy breakfasts on hand all week, eat half now and freeze half for later, or the next time you have house guests, treat them to a crock pot full of Pumpkin Overnight Oats…and yourself to easy clean up.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Overnight Oats. The perfect fall breakfast. Ready to go as soon as you wake up! @wellplated

How to Store and Reheat These 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. If the oatmeal is frozen, let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • To Freeze. Place leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Recommended Tools for Making This Recipe

Slow Cooker Overnight Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats

Pumpkin Overnight Oats

4.75 from 16 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 mins
Cook: 7 hrs
Total: 7 hrs 5 mins

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 pumpkin puree (15 ounces)
  • 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 3 tablespoons additional steel cut oats
  • 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 half way 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 Slow Cooker Banana Bread Overnight Steel Cut Oats.
  • Overnight steel cut oats can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months. 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. If the oatmeal is frozen, 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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73 Comments

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  1. Overnight oats are such a lifesaver on a busy morning! Nothing like the flavors of pumpkin pie to help you get out of bed in the morning! :)

  2. there is SUCH a chill in NYC right now and I want this for brekkie so badly!! looks really delish

  3. We love having breakfasts like this waiting for us in the morning! Can’t wait to give these oats a try!

  4. It’s a little warm here in LA still…but I’m ready to welcome pumpkin (and oatmeal) back into my life again!

  5. Pumpkin oatmeal is one of my absolute favorite fall breakfasts! (I actually just posted about it haha.) I’ve never considered doing it overnight in the slow cooker though…My “overnight oats” are always cold as I just let them soak in milk and yogurt. But waking up to a nice warm bowl sounds heavenly. Great idea!

  6. 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!5 stars

  7. Thats a lot of oats for me. I eat 1/2 cup dry measure per serving. If i make this in a large batch, how well does it keep amd reheat?

    1. Hi Terra! Sorry for the prior reply. I accidentally clicked on the wrong recipe. Please see the recipe notes for how to reheat this. It saves great!

    1. Hi Sara, rolled oats can’t cook this long without becoming mush, so that’s why steel cut oats are important to this recipe! They take longer to cook and retain their texture.

    1. Hi Liz, this should definitely work with homemade pumpkin puree! I’d do an internet search for cooking down fresh pumpkin to a puree and try that here!

  8. LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe for overnight steel cuts oats!! The only recommendation I have is – use a slow cooker liner for easier clean up!5 stars

  9. Excited to try! What do you think about using 100% oatbran as opposed to steel cut oats? It does cook differently than rolled oats. Not sure if oatbran gets too mushy though. Thanks for this recipe!

    1. Hi Heather, I don’t have experience making this recipe with oatbran, but I don’t recommend making any substitutions for the steel-cut oats—they’re important for not overcooking in the slow cooker and retaining nice texture. I hope you enjoy!

  10. The recipe sounds great. Do you think it’s safe for me to make with dairy milk?  I don’t know know if the keep warm setting keeps it hot enough that bacteria wouldn’t be an issue.  I’d put it on about 9 at night and wouldn’t  eat it for 11-12 hours. Thanks!

    1. Hi Rosalie, you can use any kind of milk you like in the recipe. Different brands and models of slow cookers can have different temperature settings for the warm setting, so it’s best to double check your model if you’re concerned that the setting isn’t hot enough to keep the oatmeal at a safe temperature after it cooks.

    1. Tracy, unfortunately no, as they won’t hold up in the slow cooker. If you’d like to use those, I’d just make them on the stovetop instead. I hope you enjoy the flavors!

      1. Actually, I tried it and it worked! I didn’t use as much liquid and it cooked in about 2.5 hours on high. I’m glad I did it during the day so I could check the consistency! Thanks for your reply! Great recipe!

        1. Tracy, I am so happy to hear that it worked for you! Great idea to make it during the day so that you could keep an eye on it. Thank you so much for reporting back. That’s so helpful to know!

  11. Hi Erin,

    I am enjoying your pumpkin recipes! I tried out your pumpkin banana bread a few weeks ago and I was a huge fan!

    Do you think I could sub out the maple syrup for honey?

    Thanks!

  12. I’m so excited to make this recipe! However, I have a 2-quart slow slow cooker so I was wondering if I should just half the recipe or if you suggest I do something else. 

    1. Hi Sharmaine, I haven’t tried it myself, but I think that halving the recipe would be fine for your size slow cooker. I hope you enjoy!

  13. I made this today because I love Erin’s banana bread oatmeal recipe. As she noted, this one’s not all that sweet, so I added some honey and additional maple syrup to sweeten it up. It’s also somewhat bland to me so I ended up adding more of the spices and additional salt to it. I was a little concerned it would taste too pumpkin-y but it was fine! I can’t wait to add chopped pecans to it and portion it out into containers for breakfast all next week.

    Keep the slow cooker oatmeal recipes coming, love them!5 stars

    1. Colleen, no I’m afraid that won’t have the right consistency and would be too sweet. You could use pumpkin pie spice instead though! Feel free to adjust the amount to your taste.

  14. Any suggestions for making this in the Instant Pot? Would I just following the same instructions and use the slow cook setting? I’ve heard it doesn’t always heat the same as a regular slow cooker. Thanks! 

    1. Hi Lauren, I don’t have personal experience with that, but you are welcome to experiment with the slow cooker setting! There may be some other advice or tutorials from an online search that could help. If you do decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  15. I love anything in the crock pot! Especially oatmeal. This was wonderful. However, next time I would personally add a little less of the spices. I didn’t have nutmeg & cloves so I used 1 and 3/4 tablespoons of pumpkin spice (to match total quantity of spices). It was just too much. Topped mine with granola. I thought the liquids would be too much but the flax meal helped “gel” it together. Thank you for your great recipes!4 stars

  16. I love overnight oats and this is a delicious new way to eat them so thanks for the great recipe!! I also have a suggestion, If you are going to cook the oats overnight, you may as well use whole oat groats. Steel cut is great, and much better than rolled oats, but whole oat groats retain even more nutrients and flavor since they aren’t cut at all! You still get that awesome chewy texture as well!5 stars

  17. Made this for breakfast! Is was delicious! The kids also ate it! A little heavy on the spices, but overall good taste. I made this during the day, so I could watch it. It was done around the the three hour mark on high. 4 stars

  18. Hey,

    This recipe looks delicious!!! Is there anyway to make this without having to cook it? Or would microwaving it before eating it work just as well? I’m a college student and don’t have much to work with.

    1. Hi Cass! I actually have not tried the recipe either way, but you could experiment with it. I suggest checking out this post on Overnight Steel Cut Oats for inspiration. If you try overnight oats in the refrigerator or microwave it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  19. Simple to make and delicious to consume! I mixed fresh berries in with mine. Thank you for introducing me to steel cut oats!5 stars

    1. Hi Bethany! Unfortunately, I would not recommend this swap, as they will not hold up as well as the steel cut oats. However, this Pumpkin Oatmeal recipe would be perfect for old-fashioned oats. I hope this helps!

    1. Hi LolaMd! I don’t have personal experience with making this recipe in the Instant Pot, but you could experiment with the slow cooker setting. If you do decide to give it a try, I’d love to hear how it goes!

    1. Hi Tara! Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend them, as they won’t hold up in the slow cooker. If you’d like to use those, I’d just make them on the stovetop instead. I hope you enjoy the flavors!

  20. Yum! I Only had 3/4 cup of steelcut oats, so I subbed  1/4 cup of quinoa and it turned out great!  I preferred it with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt stirred in.5 stars

  21. Made this this morning using Bob’s Red Mill quick-cooking steel cut oats and made it on stove top. Brought to boil, simmered on lowest setting about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring very often to keep it from sticking. Removed from burner to let it set. It was “soupy” during cooking, but after letting it stand for about 15 minutes, it firmed up to a perfect texture. I did not find the spices to be too strong, as some said, but I did not use the cloves, so maybe that is what made theirs too strong. Otherwise, used all ingredients as recipe states. I used Whole Foods 365 brand of canned pumpkin, which doesn’t seem to be as strong as some other brands. It was mildly sweet, which I like. Additional sweetener of choice can be added when serving. Next time I might add just one teaspoon of coconut palm sugar to my serving for a slightly sweeter taste and the flavor of the palm sugar will be good with it. Good recipe. Thanks.

  22. Love this version of overnight oats! I portion out into muffin tins and stick in the freezer. One mostly frozen, I wrap individually for a quick morning breakfast at work.5 stars

  23. Followed the directions, woke up and stirred it around, looked good. Tasted like canned pumpkin. The spices seemed a bit off as well. Added about 3/4 cup of coconut milk to try to make it more creamy, some sugar.. a lot of sugar. And a bit of pumpkin pie spice. Still tastes like canned pumpkin. But slightly more edible so hopefully the kids eat it, or our chickens will get a morning surprise. Love overnight breakfasts, but prob won’t make this one again.3 stars

    1. I’m sorry that this wasn’t to your tastes, Dee. I (and many other readers) have enjoyed the recipe, so I truly wish you would’ve too!

  24. This was so good. I decided to make them during the day because I don’t like mushy oatmeal. I like a little bit of a chew to my oatmeal. The oatmeal wasn’t sweet enough so I added a bit more maple syrup and added brown sugar. Definitely a keeper thank you5 stars

  25. I made this last night and thought it was delicious. I found the recipe to be very easy. I used the unsweetened vanilla almond milk and allspice in place of cloves. I will definitely make this again.5 stars

  26. Pumpkin is a great addition to steel cut oats! I do not have a slow cooker, so I made them on the stovetop, cooking it all for about 10 minutes then leaving it out all night. I do have a instant pot so may try the slow cooker feature on that next time, although I have heard it is not exactly equivalent to a slow cooker. Also, the recipe made about 10 servings! Very filling and delicious breakfast!5 stars