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This pumpkin oatmeal is the perfect fall breakfast idea! It’s got just the right spice and sweetness to make mornings cozy. Plus two variations!

Pumpkin oatmeal
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Here’s a recipe for cool fall mornings: Pumpkin Oatmeal! On that first chilly morning of the season: it’s like a switch flips. Pumpkin is instantly the most crave-worthy, novel flavor for everything from cookies to to soup to smoothies. (It’s basic, but we’re here for it!) So why not incorporate it into the first meal of the day? This oatmeal is perfect for using up that extra little bit in the can after you make pumpkin bread. It’s perfectly cinnamon-spiced and just sweet enough: the ideal fall breakfast!

Ingredients for pumpkin oatmeal

There’s one ingredient that’s conspicuously missing in this list. Pumpkin spices! Yes, we tested a few recipes with pumpkin pie spice and it completely overpowered the flavors. So all you need is cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg for this one! This tasty cozy bow is a spin on our Perfect Oatmeal. Here’s what you’ll need for pumpkin oatmeal:

  • Old Fashioned rolled oats: Do not use steel cut oats or instant oats! This recipe is for the straight-up Old Fashioned variety. We’ve got a great variation for steel cut oats below.
  • Milk: Use any variety you like, even dairy free.
  • Pumpkin puree: This recipe uses ½ cup pumpkin, so it’s perfect for using up the rest of a can. Don’t use pumpkin pie filling, because it’s already flavored.
  • Butter: This brings in a savory note; use coconut oil if desired.
  • Brown sugar: Typically we use maple syrup in our oatmeal recipes, but here sugar was better for the overall flavor.
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg: No pumpkin spice needed!
Pumpkin oatmeal

The method: chewy instead of gloppy!

Here at A Couple Cooks we think oatmeal should have texture, instead of being a gloppy mess. Our best oatmeal recipe is unique: it makes for toasted oats that are beautifully chewy and lightly creamy. This is the same method we’ve used for this pumpkin oatmeal! Here are the basic steps:

  • Toast the oats in butter for a few minutes. This brings out a beautifully nutty flavor, and makes your kitchen smell amazing.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and cook 5 minutes without stirring. Because you don’t stir to break down the oats, the oatmeal comes out with a lovely chewy texture.
Pumpkin oatmeal

Pumpkin oatmeal toppings

What are the best toppings for pumpkin oatmeal? Because it’s got a strong fall vibe, some toppings work better than others. Don’t throw fresh raspberries and blueberries on top! Here’s what we’d suggest:

  • Maple syrup! Of course. Gotta have a little extra hint of sweetness.
  • Chopped pecans or walnuts. Use toasted pecans or toasted walnuts to bring out the nutty flavor even more (it makes a big difference). Or get fancy and use maple glazed pecans or glazed walnuts.
  • Pepitas. Pumpkin seeds are perfect! Roasted salted have the best flavor.
  • Nut butter. Almond butter, pecan butter or cashew butter are the best nut butters to go with pumpkin! We find peanut butter can overwhelm the flavor.
  • Yogurt mixed with maple syrup. Greek yogurt with a bit of maple makes for a nice contrast.
  • Milk. A standard choice, but there’s something so cozy about it!

Variation 1: Baked Oatmeal

Want to change up your pumpkin oatmeal? Here’s a fun variation: baked pumpkin oatmeal! It’s great for entertaining, or making up a big pan for the week. It takes 1 hour total, so it’s good for making ahead. It saves beautifully in the refrigerator for meals throughout the week. Go to Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal.

Pumpkin baked oatmeal

Variation 2: Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal (like Pumpkin Pie!)

Even better: want to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast? This steel cut baked oatmeal literally tastes like pumpkin pie. It uses slow cooking steel cut oats, and has become a fan favorite. Said one commenter: “SOOOO GOOD! Oh my wow. This is probably the best oatmeal I’ve ever made. I felt like I was eating pie for breakfast!” Go to Pumpkin Baked Steel Cut Oats.

Steel cut oats
Rolled oats vs steel cut! Bake up our Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats and it tastes like pumpkin pie

This pumpkin oatmeal recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, see the substitutions below.

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Pumpkin oatmeal

Cozy Pumpkin Oatmeal

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1x
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This pumpkin oatmeal is the perfect fall breakfast idea! It’s got just the right spice and sweetness to make mornings cozy.


  • 1 cup milk of choice (oat milk or almond milk for vegan)
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter (coconut oil for vegan)
  • 2 cups Old Fashioned rolled oats (do not use instant oats or steel cut oats)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Maple syrup, to serve


  1. Stir together the milk, water and pumpkin puree in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the oats and toast for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant.
  3. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Turn the heat to low and carefully pour in the liquids, stirring. Cover and cook on low heat without stirring for 5 minutes until tender. Remove from the heat. Serve immediately for a chunky texture, or stir in another ½ cup milk for a creamier body. The texture is intentionally chewy, not gloppy or soggy. Top with desired toppings (a drizzle of maple syrup is a must).
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Oatmeal
  • Diet: Vegetarian

More pumpkin recipes

Tis the season! Here are all the best pumpkin recipes to enjoy:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Kim says:

    Did this recipe change or am I losing my mind?? I was making a pumpkin oatmeal recipe ahead for the week from you guys in the last couple weeks and I know it didn’t contain butter, but this one does. Do you have another one or am I imaging another recipe online was from you guys and it’s actually not?

  2. Feli says:

    Thank you for this recipe. I made it this morning and it was delicious! The oatmeal had the perfect chewiness and the spices were well balanced. I served mine with walnuts and honey.