Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal in the Crock Pot
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Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal in the Crock Pot



Very often during our nightly bedtime ritual, I will ask Kenya and Chloe what they want for breakfast the next morning. Of course I want my kids to wake up to a breakfast they're excited about, but one of the real reasons for my question is a bit of a ploy. Bedtime in our house can occasionally be a challenge and this tactic tends to get them into bed in a timely fashion, looking forward to the sumptuous meal that awaits them when they wake up.

By the time I finally get both kids off to dreamland, I'm pooped and ready to collapse in an fetal position on my bed. Yet like most moms, I usually find myself back in the kitchen, preparing the next day's school lunch as well as prepping the breakfast from my bedtime bargain. Thankfully, the breakfast my kids repeatedly ask for is Oatmeal in the Crock Pot. It's a huge relief to hear those words because all I need to do is dump all of the ingredients in the crock pot (slow cooker), stir and go to bed. By the time we wake up, a creamy, piping hot breakfast is ready to fill our tummies.

I know this is going to sound silly, but only the problem in all of this is that the cook in me feels like a bit of a failure. Yes, oatmeal is full of fiber and one of the healthiest breakfasts you can eat, but somehow serving up the same old oatmeal time and again feels inadequate and I'm compelled to jazz things up a bit. Fortunately, I can do that and still keep life easy. Simply by adding pumpkin puree and a touch of spice, it changes one of our already favorite dishes into something the kids say tastes like their having pumpkin pie for breakfast! See what a good night's sleep will do for everyone's outlook?

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal in the Crock Pot  (Serves 4-6)

  • Cook Time: 5 hrs,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
Very often during our nightly bedtime ritual, I will ask Kenya and Chloe what they want for breakfast the next morning. Of course I want my kids to wake up to a breakfast they're excited about, but one of the real reasons for my question is a bit of a...


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups milk*
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 cup steel cut oats


  1. 1. Place all the ingredients in the crock pot and stir to combine.
  2. 2. Cover and cook on low for 5-9 hours (note that the cooking time can vary depending on your crock pot. Crock pots without non-stick surfaces tend to get hotter, so you’ll want to stick closer to a 5 hour cooking time).
  3. 3. Serve.
  4. *You can also use rice, almond or soy milk if you want to make a dairy free or vegan version of this recipe

Accompaniments: honey, maple syrup, molasses

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal in the Crock Pot

Nutrition Information

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  1. portlandbaker

    November 14, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    My 7-year-old, when trying this for the first time today, said “I could eat this for every meal, every day.” Thank you, Catherine!!

  2. Pingback: 10 Pumpkin Spice Recipes For Fall | The Always Bright Life

  3. samantha

    October 6, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Has anyone tried this with less liquid? I really like heavy sticky oatmeal, but don’t want to accidentally burn it. (I used to half the water content in instant as a kid.) And the munchkin has texture issues. If its too creamy he calls it slimy and wont eat it.


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  5. Pingback: Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oatmeal | Happy Yellow House

  6. Dolly

    January 30, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Turned out very delicious and creamy. Very yummyy!!

  7. Nancy

    October 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    made this last night in a mini slow cooker that holds a little over 5 cups. I cut the liquid to 2 cups milk and 1 1/2 cups water, added 1/4 cup maple syrup and an additional tsp of pumpkin pie spice – cooked it on the warming setting all night – like 10 hours – it came out fabulously creamy and delish! Next time i will add some raisins…

  8. Eden

    September 10, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    This looks delicious! I love anything with pumpkin!

  9. Sara

    September 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    My 19mo old usually like oatmeal but wasn’t at all interested in this. He took a few bites then flung the rest around or fed it to his bib. It was really mushy. I added some walnuts to mine for texture. Couldn’t really taste the spice. A lot stuck to the sides of my (small) crockpot and wasn’t edible. Are you supposed to stir? I left it overnight for about 8hrs and wasn’t really wanting to get up throughout the night to attend to it. Don’t think I’ll do oatmeal in the crockpot again. Maybe my cooking skills just aren’t up to it.

  10. Cindyloo

    September 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Can I use (Quaker) rolled oats for this recipe?

    • catherine

      September 9, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      No! You need to use steel cut oats otherwise they will come out mushy! Rolled oats will cook too fast!

      • Alysa

        September 9, 2014 at 10:03 am

        Rolled oats are already steamed and rolled so they have been processed. Rolled oat technicall don’t even need to be cooked. You can just add all the ingredients in a container and the next morning its already oatmeal. You definitely need steel cut for this.

  11. tami32

    July 14, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Made this 2 nights ago and it is soooo good! I used a 3 1/2-4 qt crockpot on low for 6 hours and it cooked up perfectly. My son LOVED it, with every bite he kept saying “puh-kin!” and ate it all up (19 months). My husband even liked it, and he usually doesn’t like when I add pumpkin to things!

  12. Kristen

    July 11, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Well I did not have any problem getting this to cook but its very pumpkiny! I could not taste much of the spice at all and we has to add more brown sugar than with our standard bowl of oats. Maybe less pumpkin..

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  14. Trish

    February 13, 2013 at 9:47 am

    I got your Weelicious cookbook for Christmas and I’ve become a super fan! I’m cooking for a 13 month old and she absolutely loves the Apple Slow Cooker Oatmeal. I never thought to use pumpkin. We are very “sugar conscious” eaters and I love that your recipes don’t pile on excess sugar. I’m completely going to try this!

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  16. Stacey

    February 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    I want so badly to love this recipe, I really do. So badly that I waited 6 months to get a crock pot and this was the first recipe I tried! The first time I tried cooking it per instructions; the second time I just left it on warm overnight. Both times all I got was slimy oat mush with no texture at all. I am using Quaker steel cut oats (not the quick-cooking kind). Any suggestions?

    • Stacey

      February 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      I tried the pyrex method last night and it worked! I guess my crock pot is too big. So I greased a pyrex bowl and sat it inside the crock pot, then filled the crock pot with water to the brim of the pyrex bowl. Put all the oatmeal fixings inside the pyrex and set the crock pot to warm for about 9 hours. Might try a little less liquid next time but it was nearly perfect! I’m super excited to start trying different flavor variations!

  17. sophia

    January 30, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    made it last nite in a crock pot. added little brown sugar. cooked on low for 6 hours. came out yummy. next time more sugar and cook 5 hours on low. i used slow cooker liners. it is a repeat tonite . hubby loved it.

  18. Beth Z

    January 27, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I made this recipe and substituted coconut milk. My .daughter couldn’t get enough of it. It is in crockpot again tonight. I put it on warm all night and it turned out great. Thanks for all of your great recipes! I have shared your website with all of friends!

  19. Jessica

    December 11, 2012 at 1:21 am

    I made the pumpkin oatmeal and both my husband and I loved it. I bet in winter states it would be even awesomer!

  20. Ann

    November 28, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Since you and some of your readers have a Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker, I have also made something similar in the rice cooker on porridge/prewashed setting. I mix up the following in the rice cooker pot the night before:
    – 1 c steel cut oats
    – 19oz (just shy of 2.5c) water
    – 12 oz pumpkin puree
    – about 1 tsp of pumpkin spice (or equivalent spices)
    – raisins or other dried fruit, nuts like almonds (optional)

    In the rice cooker with timer.. so easy and easy clean up with the no-stick rice pot.

    My < 2y.o. son used to like the oatmeal with dried fruit, but he LOVES the pumpkin variation.

  21. Nicole

    November 16, 2012 at 3:08 am

    I tried this it tasted great but it stuck to the side of my crockpot so bad!

  22. Brittany & Christopher Szkaradnik

    November 7, 2012 at 8:13 am

    I ended up with a huge pot of oatmeal soup. Do you have any suggestion of what can be done with this ruined pot?

    • catherine

      November 7, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      Oatmeal soup?! Do you mean that the oatmeal didn’t absorb the liquid? Did the oatmeal cook? Maybe try cooking it on the stove with the lid off to help the liquid absorb and evaporate!

  23. shelly

    October 29, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Would oat groats work for this recipe as well? Just use a 1 to 1 ratio?

    • catherine

      October 29, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      Yes! Oat groats, steel cut oats, Irish oats, all names for the same thing! :)

  24. Velda56

    October 27, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Will def try this out! I always make my oatmeal in the crockpot by placing the ingredients in a greased bowl, then setting the bowl in the crock pot. I don’t do the water bath. I love combining steel cut oats with ground flaxseed and pearl barley. yummmm!

  25. Velda56

    October 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    I have to try this! Usually I cook my oatmeal in a container that is set inside my crockpot (I don’t do the water bath). I like to add barley (pearl) and ground flaxseed as well. Mine cooks for approx 9 hours, and it’s never dry or sticky

    • Megan

      November 2, 2012 at 12:38 am

      If I add ground flaxseed to this, do I need to add more milk?

  26. rbouplon

    October 25, 2012 at 10:22 am

    This was amazing! I’d love to try this using mashed banana in place of pumpkin and cinnamon instead of pumpkin pie spice to just have another tasty option. Has anyone ever tried this??

    • catherine

      October 25, 2012 at 11:57 am

      That sounds delicious!

  27. Lisa W

    October 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    This oatmeal is delicious, especially when you add other mix-ins. I made a double batch over the weekend and have been re-heating it all week with a little water to get it to the consistency that I prefer. I have been adding pecans, pure maple syrup, and raisins. My toddler loves this stuff and has been asking for additional helpings. For the past three days he has had two whole bowls for breakfast!

    I cooked the double batch overnight and I must admit, that as other reviewers have noted, it does stick to the pot quite badly. I let the pot soak for the past two days scrubbing it every once in awhile and I finally was able to get it clean. With that being said, I do not mind the mess at all given how much my toddler loves this oatmeal, It is worth every bit of elbow grease to see him ask me for “moh!” I will be making this again. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Desiree

      February 5, 2013 at 6:02 pm

      Try adding vinegar to your soaking water. I am bad for not cleaning my pans right away, which leads to food cement in the worst way. The vinegar cuts my soaking time down significantly. I usually use white vinegar, and just pour a good dose in,

  28. Paula @ All Things Moms

    October 23, 2012 at 2:56 am

    Yum! I made this today in my Deep Covered Baker and everyone loved it! Thanks!!

  29. Becky Brickman

    October 9, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    This is my husbands new favorite breakfast. I have made it three or four times. I always double the recipe and we keep the extra in the fridge, so he can heat some up whenever he wants it. Tonight I added ground flaxseed for some extra healthy Omega 3s. :) He loves it with honey or a few chocolate chips to sweeten it up. Thanks for all the great recipes!

  30. Suzannah

    October 2, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I was so excited to try this, but it came a burned mess. Can you shed some light on what went wrong? I followed your directions exactly, had all the right ingredients. I put it on at 10:30pm on low for 8 hours. I know you said put it on low for 5 hours, but…
    1. We’re not going to eat it at 3:30am :-)
    2. My slow-cooker’s options are 4 and 6 hours on HIGH, and 8 and 10 hours on LOW.



    • harmonious

      November 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm


      i put mine on warm over night and it comes out perfect!!!

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  32. Alli

    September 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    I have Trader Joes 8min steal cut oats. Is that still a no go for mushiness? I was thinking of trying the pumpkin kind for my 15 month old for breakfast :)

    • catherine

      September 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      Yeah, those would become too mushy. You really need to use the real steal cut oats!

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  34. catherine

    June 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    You can keep this for about 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator. Yes, heat in the microwave or stove top!

  35. Amy

    June 11, 2012 at 9:27 am

    How many days can I keep this in the refrigerator? Should I just reheat in microwave?

  36. Natalie

    April 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    do you have the nutritional breakdown please thank you

    • catherine

      April 12, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      I don’t have that information on hand, but there are some great resources out there for calculating nutritional information! Spark People, My Fitness Pal, and Weight Watchers are some of the ones I have heard of!

      • Stefany

        July 11, 2012 at 9:46 pm

        Natalie – for 1 cup of the oatmeal, using skim milk, its about 150 calories…
        I just decided to wing it and try it with 1 cup mashed banana and using almond milk in place of milk…. its in the crockpot for morning, and I’m excited!

  37. Christina

    March 5, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    You nailed this one. Me and my kids love oatmeal, but I am fan of smooth oatmeal without “stuff” in it, so I usually keep it simple with just maple or cinnamon. (And I never saw the benefit to doing it overnight – seemed like a worthless hassle. Wrong!) We LOVED this. It had a different flavor without any chunks or chewy things. This might be one of my fave Wee recipes ever. Of course, I have to add brown sugar, but because of the pumpkin flavor, it needed very little. Wow – so yummy.

  38. Nichole Middlemass

    February 24, 2012 at 11:50 am

    I make something very similar to this, but I toast the steel cut oats in the pan with earth balance butter before I cook. I also add dates and shredded coconut to the mix. It goes down very well in my household. I plan on making it tonight for a yummy brekkie tomorrow.

  39. Stefany

    February 13, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Just wanted to tell you that this this my new favorite oatmeal recipe! I’ve made it 3 times this month, and gave the recipe to my mom to try and she’s made it a few times as well. Thank you!!

  40. Barbara

    January 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Made this over the weekend. Yummy – but I cooked it for 8 hours and it stuck so bad :( I’ll try it for 6 next time. Took Claras tip and filled up my silicone muffin pan for individual preschool portions – makes life so much easier!!

  41. Joanna

    January 21, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Hi there, I tried this and it was delicious. We are dairy free so I substituted Coconut Dream for the milk (delicious!). I didn’t have pumpkin pie spice and used a combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ginger.

    Here’s my question: every time I make crock pot oats (this recipe and others) I get a film on the top. Even when it’s stirred in it sometimes leaves kind of chunky bits. Does anyone else have this problem? I’ve had this problem when using just water as well as when I use a milk or milk substitute.

    I use a large crock pot if that’s helpful info.


  42. DaynawithaY

    January 20, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    My husband and I do oatmeal (usually a blend of rolled oats and a seven-grain mix bought in bulk at an Amish store) during the week to save money. Dried fruit, a load of cinnamon, a bit of salt, and cooked overnight so it’s ready in the morning.

    I was thrilled to receive this recipe from a friend. I had just cooked off a pumpkin, so this was perfect timing! And, it’s delicious!!

    Now, I did make a few substitutions to adapt the recipe to what I had on hand. (And it heated up just fine in the microwave the next day.)

    I doubled the recipe, and it just about filled a small Crock-Pot.
    I didn’t have oat groats, so I used a seven-grain mix (added an extra cup) plus a cup of flax meal.
    I also put in a bit of salt because it brings out the flavor of oatmeal.
    I used a whole packet of powdered milk (makes one quart) instead of using milk from the fridge. I used enough water to equal the total amount of liquid.
    Since our pumpkin pie recipe calls for cloves, I added a bit of them, too.

  43. Pingback: Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Recipe of the Day: Crockpot Oatmeal « The Whole bag of Chips

  44. Amy H.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    We ate this for breakfast today….a big hit with the whole family which is pretty much the case with ANY Weelicious recipe. I drizzled it with some maple syrup and added pecans just like in the picture! Yummy! Thanks for another great healthy recipe!

  45. Amanda Bannon

    January 10, 2012 at 2:55 am

    I don’t have pumpkin spice. What can I use instead?

    • catherine

      January 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm

      You can use a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, a pinch of clove and ginger :)

  46. cheryl koster

    January 9, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Michelle try half and half its pretty good that way and buy unbleached.

  47. cheryl koster

    January 9, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    going to try this with Agave!!

  48. Valerie

    January 9, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Hi There,

    Steel cut oats ??? I have never heard of them down here in Australia . Is it a suoermarket purchase? health food shop? Maybe we have another word for it. is it possible to show me a pic?
    Love your recipes – as do the kids

    • catherine

      January 10, 2012 at 1:02 am

      These are Irish Oats: http://www.mccanns.ie/ You should be able to get them in Australia!

  49. Michele

    January 9, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I just found your website and am so excited. I am a mom of three girls and am having so much fun going through all of these great recipes. Thank you for all of your hard work. Quick question for you. We are trying to eat as clean as possible. I have noticed you use all purpose flour which is highly processed. I tried using whole wheat pastry flour in place of ap flour and my kids hate it. What are your thoughts on ap flour?

    • DaynawithaY

      January 20, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      You can’t do a 1:1 substitution between all-purpose and whole wheat flour. The gluten content is quite different. What I do instead is add 1 cup of whole wheat flour for every 3 cups of unbleached flour called for in a recipe. That gives the extra fiber of whole wheat but doesn’t make pie crust dark and bread dough flat and heavy.

    • lynn Morejon

      January 15, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      They now make a white wheat flour. Just saw it at my normal grocery store. I think it was King Arthur brand. It is still whole wheat, but it is a made with a finer kind of wheat. Check it out, it should pass your kid’s test!

  50. Nisha

    January 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Do you just have it set to “stay warm” after the time is up until you get up in the morning? It wouldn’t change the texture/consistency?

    • Tsetsegjargal

      February 4, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      Pinto Beans are good, but to my mind, refried are the way to go. My repcie is very simple, just mash up the beans with a fork to consistency you like, then add a little bit (don’t measure it, but its probably around 1/2 teaspoon for a skillet). Add some chopped up bacon (bacon bits if you are in a hurry), maybe some diced jalapeno if you like yours with more octane. Serve with a couple of flour tortillas, which many Mexicans feel are an invention of the devil – corn is their preference!For adjusting the jalapeno heat, you can roast them to add to it, or remove the seed pods, which add much to the heat. If rinsed, those jalapenos are pretty tame, but add some taste.Those repcies above look good – thanks for posting them.

    • catherine

      January 9, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      That’s exactly what I do! It does not get mushy or overcooked.

      • Katty

        February 4, 2014 at 1:37 am

        That’s way more clever than I was exicetpng. Thanks!

  51. Rebecca

    January 9, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Leigh–I live in the Netherlands and have a 220 volt crock pot. It works great! You should be able to find one at an appliance store.

  52. Lisa

    January 9, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    pumpkin puree? is that just canned pumpkin or something else
    sounds yummy

    • catherine

      January 9, 2012 at 1:55 pm

      I use canned Trader Joe’s pumpkin puree. I love it! Whenever they have it in stock I buy tons!

  53. HJK

    January 9, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    I usually make your crockpot oatmeal with milk but I would like to try rice or almond milk with this recipe (newborn seems sensitive when I have milk). Is it a 1:1 subsitution? Thank you!

    • catherine

      January 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Yes, you can replace the cow’s milk with rice or almond milk at a 1:1 ratio.

  54. Kevin (BBQ Smoker Site)

    January 9, 2012 at 11:44 am

    This one screams comfort food! We got a few short days of really cool weather down here in Central FL. If another “cold” snap rolls in, we’ll put this recipe to use for sure!

  55. Leigh

    January 9, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Am I able to make this on the stove top and with regular oats? I live in Denmark and there is no such thing as a crock pot here :( I’ve also never seen steel cut oats…Would love to be able to try this, it looks SO good!


    • catherine

      January 9, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      You can make this on the stove top. You can make this with any type of oats, really. Since it cooks faster on the stove I would follow the package directions for your particular oats, then whisk in 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the pumpkin puree towards the end of cooking. You can also add some milk to it to make it even more creamy, like the Crock Pot version.

  56. Jeannette

    January 9, 2012 at 9:43 am

    This may be a silly question, but is this something that would freeze well? If not, how long can it sit in the fridge?

    • catherine

      January 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      There are no silly questions! I have never done it myself, but I have heard from others that they freeze their prepared oatmeal in ice cube trays and then microwave on the defrost setting when they are ready to eat. I am intrigued. I’ll have to try this now. You give it a try as well and let me know how it goes!

      • Clara

        January 16, 2012 at 9:15 pm

        I freeze oatmeal all the time for my toddler, in muffin tins. Then when they’re frozen I pop them out of the tray and put them in a ziplock bag. (Heat in the microwave in a glass or ceramic bowl with a splash of milk.) I add whatever fruit I have and always add cinnamon. Recently my husband asked if it wasn’t too much trouble to do the same for him in larger containers so he could eat a healthy breakfast at work. I make a big pot now every weekend and everyone is happy. I love being able to offer oatmeal to my daughter even when I’m rushing to head out to work early in the morning! Can’t wait to try this pumpkin crockpot oatmeal. It will be this week’s frozen breakfast!

  57. Melissa @ Kids in the Sink

    January 9, 2012 at 9:21 am

    I have been meaning to try oatmeal in the crockpot because it seems so easy and simple for the morning routine. I just have to get some steel cut oats first since regular rolled oats would be too mushy, right?

    • catherine

      January 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      Yes! Rolled oats or quick-cooking oats would come out mushy. Steel-cut oats hold up much better for this recipe. I prefer the texture of steel-cut oats, they make me feel like I am having a heartier meal.

  58. Tanya

    January 9, 2012 at 8:52 am

    So excited to try this!! What a great way to have a hot breakfast without taking the time to make it in the morning.

  59. Amy

    January 9, 2012 at 7:26 am

    Do you put the oatmeal directly in the crock pot or do the double boiler method? My crock pot is so big that I’ve always used the oatmeal in a smaller pot sitting in water method I’ve seen on other blogs. It takes longer to cook, but I was wondering what size crock pot you cook your oatmeal in and if it makes a difference in the measurements.

  60. Chi @ Carousel

    January 9, 2012 at 7:18 am

    I’ve got porridge on the menu for tomorrow’s breakfast and half a jar of leftover pumpkin purée in the fridge.

    I change our menu often and (I too!) was just thinking of new ways to jazz things up. Perfect timing!!! :)

    Can’t wait to try this recipe out – thank you!