Slow Cooker Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal

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This easy Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats with pumpkin pie flavors is the perfect hearty breakfast with all the pumpkin spice flavors you crave. Jump to Recipe

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Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal is the perfect make-ahead breakfast to have on hand all week. Flavored with pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice, this has all the classic flavors or pumpkin pie but in healthy morning oats. 

When the weather starts getting cold and fall begins, pumpkin spice season begins. These days you can get almost anything with pumpkin spice and although I am not always the biggest pumpkin fan, I do love it with my morning oats. The pumpkin bumps up the nutritional content of traditional morning oats and the warm cinnamon and nutmeg flavors are perfect for fall. This version made with steel cut oats is hearty and packed with fall flavor. 

This is a great fire and forget it recipe that cooks overnight slowly while you sleep, so you can roll straight out of bed and dish up a hot meal - highly customizable, this dreamy breakfast pick-me-up can be punched up with oodles of fruit and flavors, so you can have whatever flavor combination you please!

What Goes in Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal?

This oatmeal has a few more ingredients than the average quick oatmeal you’d make on the stove, but that just means there's more flavor! This simple oatmeal starts with humble, heart healthy Steel Cut Oats, adding butter, canned pumpkin puree, maple syrup, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, warm water, pumpkin pie spices, and dried cranberries, to really punch up that hearty, comforting fall flavor.

Why Use a Slow Cooker?

Since traditional oatmeal only takes around 10 minutes to cook on the stove, you might be asking yourself, why bother with the slow cooker?

Well, let me tell you something – when you make it in a slow cooker, the flavors of the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spices, maple syrup, and dried cranberries all have time to be soaked up by the oatmeal, and every bite has an overnight-developed, deep flavor that you just can’t get in 10 minutes.

Using a slow cooker is also a great way to feed a lot of people; try making oatmeal for more than just a small family on the stove – you're going to end up with some oats burned and others undercooked, but using the slow cooker gets you a nice even cook for those larger batches.

Which Oatmeal is Best for the Slow Cooker?

There are half a dozen different types of oats, each one with its own time and place to be used, but for slow cooked oatmeal? You want to use Steel Cut Oats, as they’re sturdier and hold together better over the long cooking time. If you used instant oats for this kind of recipe, they would turn into mush and take on a tacky consistency. Steel cut oats are best for slow cooking.

With Steel Cut Oats your oatmeal comes out a wonderful consistency that is a pure joy to eat!

Slow Cooker Oatmeal Tips

Here are a few handy tips to help you make perfect slow cooker oatmeal:

  • Use a slow cooker liner or nonstick spray, as the oats will try to stick if you don’t, and then they will burn.
  • If you’re really worried about burning, then you can cook the oatmeal in a large casserole dish inside the slow cooker sitting in a bath of water filled to about halfway up the casserole container, creating a water bath and allowing for a longer cooking time without any issues with oats sticking.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled and still work within the overnight cooking time, so long as you have a big enough slow cooker, of course!

Other Fall Oatmeal Recipe Ideas

Pumpkin pie oatmeal is great year-round, but let's all be honest for a minute – pumpkin flavored things just taste better in the Fall, which is why I’ve compiled a few other Autumnal oatmeal ideas for you.

  • Apple and Cinnamon: Has there ever been a more classic Fall flavor combination? Use apples or applesauce plus a few tablespoons of cinnamon to have some pie in a bowl for breakfast – we won't tell!
  • Apple and Cranberry: Add dried cranberries and Granny Smith apples to your oatmeal then mix in some pumpkin seeds before you serve it – give them some of that chewy crunch!
  • Pecan Butter and Boysenberry Jam: For an Autumnal twist on the classic PB&J, go with pecan and boysenberry, instead!
  • Maple and Sweet Potato: This combination might seem a little bit out there, but trust me here that the sweetness of the maple syrup makes this into a delicious and heavy breakfast – perfect for those cold Fall mornings!

How to Store Leftovers

It might not seem like an obvious thing to do, but it is absolutely possible to make a really big batch of oatmeal that you will be eating for weeks, if you like!

You can store leftover oatmeal in the fridge for 3 or 4 days before the risk of it going bad becomes a concern. You can even put your leftover oats in the fridge – just be sure in either case that you separate it into individual containers so you can just pull one serving out at a time when you need it.

Reheat your leftover oatmeal with a little bit of milk in the microwave.

Other Delicious Oatmeal Recipe

The Recipe
Slow cooker steel cut oatmeal with pumpkin pie spices on a plate with sliced banana.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal

COOK TIME: 8 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 8 Hours, 10 Min
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  • 1 cup dry steel cut oats
  • 1/2 tbsp butter (or vegan butter)
  • 14 oz. canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp pumpkin pie spices
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries

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This first step is optional, but I find it adds a lot of flavor to the oatmeal. Melt 1/2 tbsp of butter in a saute pan and toast the steel cut oats until lightly brown, about 4 minutes.


Combine soy milk or almond milk, water, pumpkin, salt, pumpkin pie spices, and cranberries to the slow cooker and stir together. Then stir in the toasted oats. I prefer light vanilla almond milk in this recipe because it adds some nuttiness but soy milk or even regular skim milk will work. If you can’t find light vanilla almond milk, you could use regular almond milk and add in some vanilla extract.


Turn the slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours and head to sleep! I usually put this on right before I go to bed because if it cooks too long it can get mushy. In the morning, you will wake up to delicious pumpkin pie oatmeal. This recipe will keep well in the fridge. I put mine in 1 cup servings and then just throw them in the microwave for a minute and they are ready to go. Add a little milk if needed when reheating.

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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 284
Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 4mg
Sodium 375mg
Total Carbohydrate 46g
Dietary Fiber 10g
Sugars 9g
Protein 9g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

† SmartPoints™ calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.
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