Make-Ahead Breakfast: Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal |

Yep, I said pumpkin. Are you ready for this?

I’m getting a super-head-start on pumpkin this year because (1) I still have cans of pumpkin leftover from last year’s pumpkin mania, (2) yum!, and (3) it’s a great excuse to feed my kids squash before noon.

Since this is the first pumpkin recipe to come out of the K&B Kitchen, I thought we should chat about the whole fresh pumpkin vs. canned pumpkin thing. I have used both of them, and for most recipes—sweet ones, in particular—I think the easier option (canned, of course) is great. Especially when you can find organic BPA-free canned pumpkin puree at your local grocery store, as I can. If you aren’t that lucky, or if you happen to have a nice little pie pumpkin, a big cleaver, a powerful blender, and the better part of an entire day, you might want to go the fresh pumpkin route. For some savoury recipes (like this pasta, which I can’t recommend highly enough), fresh pumpkin might also be a better option.

Canned pumpkin works really well in this recipe for pumpkin and spice-spiked steel cut oatmeal. We eat oatmeal at least a few times a week in our house—spring, summer, fall, winter—but I like to switch it up with seasonal variations. This version is perfect for the crisp pre-fall mornings we’ve been experiencing around here, and will carry you through until spring, or until you get sick of pumpkin, whichever comes first.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal |

The best part about this oatmeal is you can whip it up before you go to bed, and wake up to pumpkiny magic in the morning. Huzzah.

The recipe uses only part of a can of pumpkin puree. You can refrigerate or freeze the remainder and use it in a second batch of oatmeal, or in some pumpkin spice buckwheat pancakes (recipe coming soon!).

Make-Ahead Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup millet (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons shelled pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • Milk and pure maple syrup, for serving


  1. Combine the coconut milk and water in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the steel cut oats and salt, and let it cook for one minute.
  3. Turn the heat off, cover the pot and leave the oats overnight.
  4. In the morning, stir in the pumpkin puree and spices, and reheat the oatmeal, stirring frequently, over medium-low heat.
  5. (Optional) Toast the millet and pumpkin seeds in a small skillet set over medium heat.
  6. Serve the oatmeal topped with the toasted millet and seeds, maple syrup and warm milk.


I find the combination of coconut milk and water to be the perfect one for cooking oatmeal. It leaves the oats rich and perfectly creamy. But you could use water alone, or any combination of dairy/non-dairy milk and/or water that you prefer.

Pumpkin pie spice is a combination of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice, and while it adds great depth and flavour to this oatmeal, some kids might turn their nose up at it. If yours do, or if you simply don't have pumpkin pie spice lying around, cinnamon alone is a perfectly good and awesomely flavourful substitute.

It is essential to serve this with a bit of sweetener. The oatmeal just doesn't taste pumpkiny without it. I like maple syrup, but honey, brown sugar or agave will do the trick.

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container. They will keep for several days and can be reheated in the microwave with a bit of milk.



29 Responses to Make-Ahead Breakfast: Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

  1. for August 9, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

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  2. Anna Wright January 17, 2017 at 3:44 am #

    YUM YUM YUM!!! I made this Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal recipe on my son’s birthday party and people RAVED about it! I made it per your directions and it was wonderful. I even gave you credit for making me shine! THANK YOU!

  3. Natalie September 30, 2014 at 8:53 am #

    This was delicious. The kids gobbled this up and so did I.

    • Sarah October 2, 2014 at 8:27 am #

      Yay! So glad to hear. Thanks for your feedback :-).

  4. Deborah September 20, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

    Looks great, where did you find organic pureed pumpkin in a bpa free can?

    • Sarah September 21, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

      The Farmer’s Market brand is BPA free. They also have a BPA-free tetra pack. Depending on where you live…most grocery stores sell it; I’ve found it online too.

  5. Jen September 17, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    ps I am excited for the pumpkin buckwheat pancake recipe!

  6. Jen September 17, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

    Hi S- I want to make this tonight but don’t have coconut milk. What’s a good substitute?

    • Sarah September 17, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

      Hi Jen! You could use almond milk, soy or regular milk. Coconut milk is quite creamy (i.e. fatty, lol) and so the other milks won’t make the oatmeal quite as creamy…but I’m sure it will still be great!

  7. Elizabeth L September 15, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    Oh this is perfect for the coming season, what a great idea! I really love the addition of the seeds, what a great way to add a little texture!

  8. Suzanne Rudge September 15, 2014 at 12:28 am #

    I love pumpkin so this would be great to have when the mornings get chilly. Not so sure about the seeds, but hey, it is worth a try!

  9. carole nelson brown September 12, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    The Kid loves oatmeal but he is the only one who eats it – love that this will keep in the fridge so he can eat it every day til it’s gone

    • Sarah September 13, 2014 at 11:04 am #

      Yes, great to have a week-long supply of kid-friendly breakfast in the fridge :-). Thanks for stopping in, Carole!

  10. Bonnie Way September 12, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    This sounds good! I love pumpkin and it’s the perfect time of year for it, isn’t it? I also love the idea of making it ahead for busy mornings. 🙂 Thanks!

    • Sarah September 13, 2014 at 11:05 am #

      Thanks for your comment, Bonnie! Yes sadly the weather is just right for it… sigh.

  11. Jennifer Andrews September 12, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

    I’m not normally a fan of oatmeal, but I have to say this sounds absolutely amazing. I especially like the addition of the pumpkin seeds on top – provides a nice crunch!

    • Sarah September 13, 2014 at 11:06 am #

      Yes, this recipe has the potential to turn oatmeal haters to lovers! I had it with ricotta cheese and apple butter today, and it was soooooo good.

  12. Teresa September 12, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

    I’m trying to get my partner on the overnight oats bandwagon, because he’s not so good at breakfast. I think I’ll have more success as the weather gets colder. Your recipe looks wonderful. I’ve roasted and pureed pumpkins myself, but I agree with you, good quality canned pumpkin is a healthy time-saving option.

    • Sarah September 13, 2014 at 11:06 am #

      Most important meal of the day, right? 🙂 Good luck!

  13. Angie @ Friday Cake Night September 12, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    Soooo making this, it looks delicious! I too have leftover pumpkin from last year.

    • Sarah September 13, 2014 at 11:07 am #

      Hi Angie, and thanks for stopping in! This is definitely a yummy way to use up that leftover pumpkin!

  14. Randa @ TBK September 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    This is the perfect autumn breakfast. I will have to try it out for my son, I’m still exploring and finding breakfasts that he likes.

    • Sarah September 12, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

      Yes definitely give it a try, Randa! I thought my kids would reject it, but now the Bean actually asks for it specifically. Ha! You just never know with these small people :-).

  15. Kate September 12, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    Genius! I will so be making this with some of the giant buttercup squash that’s living under my kitchen island. Merci!!

    • Sarah September 12, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

      Love the idea of making it with a buttercup squash!! Let me know if you guys like it!

  16. La Cuisine d'Helene September 12, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    I like to make ahead my breakfast sometimes but never used coconut milk with oats. I usually like Almond milk. That’s a great idea for a change. And I love anything with pumpkin. Looks delicious.

    • Sarah September 12, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

      Yes, the coconut milk and pumpkin combo is pretty hard to resist!

  17. Wanda September 12, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    Pumpkin, oatmeal and coconut sounds like a match made in heaven to me! I will have to try this recipe! Cheers from Bakersbeans!

    • Sarah September 12, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, Wanda! Definitely try it and let me know how you like it!

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