Start the day on a nutritious and totally delish note with this super easy Pumpkin Oatmeal. It has all the spice you expect from a pumpkin recipe but requires just 5 ingredients and about 10 minutes (or less!) of cooking. Win!

pumpkin oatmeal in parent and kids bowls

Pumpkin Oatmeal

I love starting the day with a dose of veggies, which is why we do a lot of smoothies in the warmer months. But come fall and winter, we turn to oatmeal a lot. It’s budget-friendly, easy to make, and so simple to customize with all sorts of different flavors…including pumpkin spice!

This recipe has a nice dose of pumpkin, but a subtle flavor that everyone will enjoy.

And you can serve it up whether you like or have rolled oats, instant oats, steel-cut oats, baby oatmeal…and you can transform the leftovers into a riff on overnight oats.

It’s an easy and very adaptable method so you can try it all sorts of ways.

It could work as a make-ahead breakfast to warm up come morning or a quick one to make while you drink some (hopefully!) hot coffee or tea.

Ingredients You Need

To make this recipe you’ll need:

ingredients in pumpkin oatmeal
  • Rolled oats: These are sometimes called “old-fashioned oats.”
  • Pumpkin puree: Look for unsweetened puree, not pie filling. (The labels are often very similar, so double-check.)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Cinnamon
  • Maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey (if desired)
  • Milk: This is for serving, so you can use whichever type you have on hand.

TIP: You can then top your bowls with any sweetener of choice, if desired, and milk. The base recipe is very easy to adjust.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free rolled oats.
  • Use homemade Pumpkin Puree or store-bought.
  • You could make this with sweet potato puree or mashed butternut squash if you prefer.
  • Use extra cinnamon if you don’t have any pumpkin pie spice on hand.
  • Use instant oats, use less liquid and cook for a shorter amount of time, or use steel-cut oats and more liquid and cook a little longer. See the Notes at the end of the recipe for the specifics on those options.

Step-by-Step Instructions.

Here’s a look at the simple process involved in making this recipe. Scroll down to see the full recipe at the bottom of the post.

how to make pumpkin oatmeal step by step
  1. Bring the water to a simmer in a medium pot.
  2. Add the oats, spices, and vanilla, simmer, stirring occasionally until the oats are soft and the water is absorbed.
  3. Stir in the pumpkin.
  4. Add toppings of your choosing!

TIP: I sometimes make a batch of this oatmeal ahead of time, store it in the fridge, and simply warm it up at breakfast.

Optional Add-Ins for Pumpkin Oatmeal

You can add nutrients to your oatmeal with these optional ingredients.

TIP: Remember that chia and flaxseeds will make the oatmeal thicken a bit, so you may need to add extra milk to thin it to the desired consistency.

pumpkin oatmeal 5 different ways in white bowls

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make Pumpkin Steel-Cut Oatmeal?

Sure! You’ll just need to use more water and cook longer. See the notes at the bottom of the recipe for all of the options.

Can I make Pumpkin Instant Oatmeal?

If you prefer to use instant oats, you sure can. You’ll just need to use less water and reduce the cooking time. See the Notes at the bottom of the recipe for all of the options.

Can I make Pumpkin Baby Oatmeal?

Yes and it’s really easy to stir some pumpkin into baby oatmeal once it’s prepared according to the package directions. See the Notes at the bottom of the recipe for more info.

Pumpkin Overnight Oats

To turn this easy oatmeal into protein-packed Pumpkin Overnight Oats, you just need to mix together equal parts plain or vanilla Greek yogurt with cooled oatmeal. Then you can store it in the fridge and serve it cold for breakfast or a snack.

This is a great option to change up the way you serve oatmeal, to vary any leftovers, and to make a more portable breakfast that packs really well.

TIP: Traditional overnight oats let yogurt or milk soften raw oats overnight in the fridge, but this way of combining leftover cooled cooked oatmeal delivers a similar final result!

pumpkin oatmeal in two bowls

How to Store

Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-5 days and reheat as needed in 30-second increments in the microwave. You can also reheat on the stove. Add a little water to the bowl with either method if the oatmeal is very firm.

Best Tips for Success

  • Stir occasionally during cooking to ensure the oats don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Aim to keep the heat at a low simmer with small bubbles—rather than a rolling boil.
  • Sweetened to taste with maple syrup, honey, or applesauce. I typically add 1 tablespoon maple syrup to the whole batch for just a little sweetness.
  • Stir in 2-4 tablespoons ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, nut butter, or shredded unsweetened coconut to add nutrition.
  • Top with milk, dried cranberries, raisins, or pecans if desired.
  • To make Pumpkin Overnight Oats: Combine equal parts cooled oatmeal and plain or vanilla Greek yogurt together. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • You may also like Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins, Pumpkin Baked Donuts, and Pumpkin Mini Cupcakes.

Related Recipes


I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe, so please comment below to share!

pumpkin-oatmeal-in-white-and-pink-bowls

Easy Pumpkin Oatmeal

You can make this in about 15 minutes on any morning, or make the whole recipe ahead and simply warm right before serving. See the Notes for variations to make it with other types of oats.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Calories 149kcal
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup

Optional stir-ins:

  • 2-4 tablespoons chia seeds, ground flaxseeds, hemp seeds, nut butter, or shredded unsweetened coconut

Optional toppings:

  • raisins, dried cranberries, apple butter, chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, additional maple syrup or honey

Instructions

  • Place 3 cups water in a medium pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat on the stove top.
  • Add the oats, vanilla extract, and spices. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the oats are soft and the water is absorbed. Stir more toward the end of cooking to prevent the oats from sticking to the pot.
  • Turn off heat and stir in the pumpkin and any optional stir-ins. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Serve topped with milk and any optional toppings.
  • Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-5 days and reheat as needed. Or turn into Overnight Oats (see below).

Notes

  • Stir occasionally during cooking to ensure the oats don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Aim to keep the heat at a low simmer with small bubbles—rather than a rolling boil.
  • You can sweeten with applesauce or apple butter for younger toddlers and babies if desired.
  • Dairy-free: Top with nondairy milk.
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten-free rolled oats.
  • To make Pumpkin Overnight Oats: Stir equal parts cooled leftover oatmeal and plain or vanilla Greek yogurt together. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
  • To make Pumpkin Instant Oatmeal: Use 2 cups water and cook for about 5 minutes or until water is absorbed and oats are soft.
  • To make Pumpkin Steel-Cut Oats: Use 6 cups water and cook for about 30 minutes or until water is absorbed and oats are soft. Stir more toward the end of cooking to ensure the oats don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • To make Pumpkin Baby Oatmeal: Prepare baby oatmeal according to package directions and stir in a little pumpkin puree. Sprinkle with cinnamon. (Just make enough for one serving at a time, as most baby oatmeals are not meant to be served from leftovers.)
  • To make one serving in the microwave: Prepare according to oatmeal package directions and stir in pumpkin and spices once oatmeal is cooked. Top with optional ingredients and serve with milk. This is a great way to make one serving at a time if using rolled oats or instant oatmeal. (It’s not a great option for steel-cut oats—they are better on the stove top.)

Nutrition

Calories: 149kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 5mg, Potassium: 220mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 7151IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 38mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This post was first published October 2020.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Yum! Perfect way to use that extra canned pumpkin after I made your pumpkin muffins last week. And easy enough for a Monday morning!

    1. 5 stars
      Can I use this recipe and then blend it or put it in a food processor to put into a reusable pouch for a toddler at Stage 4 foods?

    1. You’d just want to skip the maple syrup and either cook it a little longer so it’s smoother or use baby or instant oatmeal.

  2. 5 stars
    My little girl despises eggs so keeping breakfast interesting is always a struggle! This oatmeal was a huge hit and our whole house smells like autumn!