Start the day off on a nutritious and totally delish note with this super easy Pumpkin Oatmeal. You need just 5 ingredients and you can customize it to add extra protein if you’d like. Plus: You can use rolled oats, instant oats, steel cut oats, baby oatmeal…and even transform leftovers into overnight oats!
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 it’s so simple to make it with all sorts of different flavors…including pumpkin spice!
Easy Pumpkin Oatmeal
This recipe has a nice dose of pumpkin, but a subtle flavor that everyone will enjoy. And you can actually 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!
Ingredients in Pumpkin Oatmeal
To make this recipe you’ll need rolled oats, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. You can then top your bowls with any sweetener of choice if desired and milk. The base recipe is very straightforward!
How to Make Pumpkin Oatmeal Step-by-Step
Here’s a look a the simple process involved in making this recipe.
- Bring the water to a simmer in a medium pot.
- Add the oats, spices, and vanilla and simmer, stirring occasionally until the oats are soft and the water is absorbed.
- Stir in the pumpkin.
- Add toppings of your choosing!
TIP: I sometimes make a batch of this oatmeal ahead of time and simply warm it up at breakfast.
Optional Add-Ins for Pumpkin Oatmeal
You can add nutrients to your oatmeal with these optional ingredients.
- Ground flaxseed: for fiber and healthy fats.
- Chia seeds: for fiber and healthy fats.
- Hemp seeds: for protein and healthy fats.
- Almond or peanut butter: for protein and healthy fats.
- Shredded unsweetened coconut: for fat and flavor.
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.
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. (top left photo)
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. (top right photo)
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. (bottom left photo)
Pumpkin Overnight Oats
(Bottom right photo.) 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!
Tips for Making the Best Pumpkin Oatmeal
- Stir occasionally during cooking to ensure that 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.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-5 days and reheat as needed.
- 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.
I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe, so please comment below to share!Print
You can make this in about 15 minutes on any morning, or make the whole recipe ahead and simply warm right before serving.
- 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 tablespoons-1/4 cup 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.
- Place 3 cups water in a medium pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat on the stovetop.
- 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 towards 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).
Stir occasionally during cooking to ensure that 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 towards 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 stovetop.)