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?

[amd-recipeseo-recipe:17]

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

Prep Time: 0 mins Cook Time: 5 mins

egg free

nut free

dairy free

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups water
  • 2 1/2 Cups Milk*
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Tsp Pumpkin Spice
  • 1 Cup Steel Cut Oats

Preparation

1. Place all the ingredients in the crock pot and stir to combine.
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. Serve.
*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

Make N' Share!
Post a picture of any Weelicious recipe you make on Instagram - I wanna see them! Just tag @weelicious
Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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82 comments

  • Chi Carousel

    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!

    leave a comment

  • Amy

    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.

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      I have a huge crock pot and it works great! Sometimes I double the recipe and reheat the oatmeal the next day for breakfast with a little milk to loosen it up. I have never tried the water bath method, but am interested to know the differences. I'll have to experiment with that!

      This is my crock pot. My parents gave it to me for Christmas a few years ago. Love it! http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/all-clad-deluxe-slow-cooker-with-aluminum-insert/?pkey=e%7Cslow%2Bcooker%7C5%7Cbest%7C0%7C1%7C24%7C%7C4&cm_src=PRODUCTSEARCH||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-Feature_Recipe_Rule-_-

      leave a comment

    • Lisa

      That's a crjerckaack answer to an interesting question

      leave a comment

  • Tanya

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

    leave a comment

  • Melissa Kids In The Sink

    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?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      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.

      leave a comment

  • Jeannette

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

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      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!

      leave a comment

  • Leigh

    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!

    Thanks!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      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.

      leave a comment

  • Kevin

    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!

    leave a comment

  • Hjk

    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!

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

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

      leave a comment

  • Lisa

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

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

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

      leave a comment

  • Rebecca

    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.

    leave a comment

  • Nisha

    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?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

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

      leave a comment

    • Tsetsegjargal

      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.

      leave a comment

  • Michele

    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?

    leave a comment

    • Lynn Morejon

      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!

      leave a comment

    • DaynawithaY

      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.

      leave a comment

  • Valerie

    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
    Valerie
    x

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

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

      leave a comment

  • Cheryl Koster

    going to try this with Agave!!

    leave a comment

  • Cheryl Koster

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

    leave a comment

  • Amanda Bannon

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

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

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

      leave a comment

  • Amy H.

    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!

    leave a comment

  • Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Recipe Of The Day: Crockpot Oatmeal « The Whole Bag Of Chips

    [...] she even posted an update to this recipe, Pumpkin Spice Crockpot Oatmeal. To see that recipe, click HERE. I haven’t tried it yet, but I plan to! In the meantime, below is her original version of the [...]

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  • DaynawithaY

    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.

    leave a comment

  • Joanna

    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.

    Help!

    leave a comment

  • Barbara

    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!!

    leave a comment

  • Stefany

    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!!

    leave a comment

  • Nichole Middlemass

    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.

    leave a comment

  • Christina

    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.

    leave a comment

  • Natalie

    do you have the nutritional breakdown please thank you

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      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!

      leave a comment

  • Amy

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

    leave a comment

  • Catherine

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

    leave a comment

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  • Alli

    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 :)

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

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

      leave a comment

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  • Suzannah

    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.

    Thoughts?

    My

    leave a comment

    • Harmonious

      Suzannah~

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

      leave a comment

  • Becky Brickman

    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!

    leave a comment

  • Paula All Things Moms

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

    leave a comment

  • Lisa W

    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!

    leave a comment

    • Desiree

      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,

      leave a comment

  • Rbouplon

    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??

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      That sounds delicious!

      leave a comment

  • Velda56

    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

    leave a comment

    • Megan

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

      leave a comment

  • Velda56

    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!

    leave a comment

  • Shelly

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

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

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

      leave a comment

  • Brittany & Christopher Szkaradnik

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

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      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!

      leave a comment

  • Nicole

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

    leave a comment

  • Ann

    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.

    leave a comment

  • Jessica

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

    leave a comment

  • Beth Z

    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!

    leave a comment

  • Sophia

    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.

    leave a comment

  • Stacey

    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?

    leave a comment

    • Stacey

      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!

      leave a comment

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  • Trish

    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!

    leave a comment

  • Kristen

    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..

    leave a comment

  • tami32

    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!

    leave a comment

  • Cindyloo

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

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

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

      leave a comment

  • Sara

    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.

    leave a comment

  • Eden

    This looks delicious! I love anything with pumpkin!

    leave a comment

  • Nancy

    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...

    leave a comment

  • Dolly

    Turned out very delicious and creamy. Very yummyy!!

    leave a comment

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  • Samantha

    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.

    Thanks.

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  • Portlandbaker

    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!!

    leave a comment