Slow Cooker Pumpkin Oatmeal

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Slow cooker pumpkin oatmeal is a wholesome healthy recipe perfect for fall mornings! Made with warm spices and tender pears for a naturally sweet taste. Cook overnight and wake up to a hot nutritious breakfast waiting for you in the kitchen. Plus, your house will smell like freshly baked pastries!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Oatmeal

Let’s add a fall flavor to the most important meal of the day. This pumpkin slow cooker steel cut oatmeal has all of the right ingredients for a warm and cozy, effortless meal. I’m going to show you how to take simple ingredients and transform them in your slow cooker for your new morning go-to recipe.

Each bowl is bursting with warm spices, tenderly cooked pears, naturally sweet pumpkin puree, and nutritious oats. Grab your trusty slow cooker and let’s get to it! Each bowl of this breakfast is gently cooked to ensure the steel cut oats thicken into creamy oatmeal with a little bit of chew. It’s delicious!

Steel cut oatmeal ingredients placed into a slow cooker

The slow cooking process unlocks and infuses the wonderful flavors of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves, all of the lovely notes you would want in a classic pumpkin pie, but so much healthier for you!

The health benefits of Steel Cut Oats

There are many great nutritional benefits of eating steel cuts oats! They come from the same plant as rolled and instant oats, but the difference is in how they are processed. Steel cut oats come from the whole grain, in which the kernel is cut into very thin slices, which helps it retain more protein and fiber.

In just 1/4 cup of dried oats, you get 5 grams of fiber, 2 grams coming from insoluble fiber. This is unique because some studies have shown d-beta-glucan contained in insoluble fiber, is associated with improved blood sugar levels in diabetes and improved cholesterol levels.

It also contains complete protein containing all the essential amino acids, providing 7 grams of protein per 1/4 cup serving. The whole grain oats also provide natural sources of B vitamins and iron. There are also gluten free steel cut oats available in the market for any individual dietary needs.

spoonful of steel cut oatmeal inside a crockpot

The biggest surprise when you lift the lid after HOURS of anticipation is that the pears all float to the top! Each piece of simmered pear is super tender, adding extra layers of flavor and juicy fruit to each spoonful. It’s pretty amazing 🙂

Let’s talk about toppings for a minute, and this is where you get to have a little fun! Even though there are lots of spices already in the oatmeal, I like to add a sprinkle of extra cinnamon to make those spices POP.

oatmeal topped with nuts, berries, and cubes of pears

If you like a like crunch and sweetness, grab some of your favorite dried or fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds. I added diced pear, cranberries, pecans, pumpkin seeds and a little bit of granola I had in my pantry.

A little drizzle of maple syrup and honey would be a nice touch too. I’ve also been using a lot of liquid stevia to naturally sweeten my meals without adding extra calories. The pumpkin is a super food that contains beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A, essential for eye health, and just one cup contains seven grams of fiber and three grams of protein, and we’ve got TWO cups in this recipe, boom!

spoonful of oatmeal being lifted out of a white bowl

This pumpkin slow cooker steel cut oat recipe is the easiest way to meal prep so that you can reheat on demand. No excuses for not getting a wholesome breakfast, especially when it’s got so many nutritional benefits to energize you at the start of your day!

What is Pumpkin Puree?

According to the USDA, defines canned puree as “The canned product prepared from clean, sound, properly matured, golden fleshed, firm shelled, sweet varieties of either pumpkins and squashes by washing, stemming, cutting, steaming and reducing to a pulp.” I would recommend choosing the products labeled 100% pumpkin to ensure you’re getting the actual product you’re looking for, and it should be unsweetened. The difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin filling is the latter already has spices and sweeteners added, which you would only want for making pre-made pie filling.

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Slow Cooker Pumpkin Oatmeal

Healthy oatmeal breakfast recipe perfect for fall mornings. Made with warm spices and tender pears for a naturally sweet taste.
Pin Print Review
3.92 from 69 votes
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
Servings 8 servings
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American


  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ground
  • teaspoon cloves, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups pears, ¼-inch dice, Bosc or Barlett, skin on, about 2 pears
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups milk


  • Add all of the ingredients into a 6 quart sized slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  • Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on high heat for 4 hours, or on low heat for 8 hours. Oats can be cooked overnight. Oats are ready when thickened and tender.
  • Add toppings if desired.



  • Topping Suggestions: Pecans, diced fruit, dried fruit, seeds, maple syrup, honey or stevia.
  • Milk Substitutes: unsweetened cashew, almond, soy, coconut or other dairy.
  • You can substitute apples for pears.
  • You can make the oatmeal with 8 cups of water and then top with milk when serving instead.
  • I don't add sweetener to the oats when cooking because I think it has a nice natural sweetness already. Also, this allows you to add sweetener later as desired. If you do want to add some additional sweetness, try 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey added to the slow cooker during cooking.
  • Cooked oats last one week refrigerated in a tightly sealed container. You can portion the oats in individual servings and refrigerate or freeze for a meal prep option.

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Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Oatmeal
Amount Per Serving
Calories 217 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 198mg8%
Potassium 143mg4%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Fiber 7g28%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 8300IU166%
Vitamin C 33.8mg41%
Calcium 160mg16%
Iron 2.7mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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25 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Paula says

    I can’t wait to try this recipe. It sounds delicious! It’s nice to see a recipe that calls for the whole can of pumpkin puree! Now I don’t have to figure out what to do with a partial can!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you Paula! Yes, no extra pumpkin puree it all goes into the slow cooker 🙂 However I do love making all kinds of pumpkin recipes!

  2. Brook Edinger says

    This was really fun to try with the kids. We liked it a lot, and, now that school has started, I love the overnight cooking…. We’re thinking for our next effort that we’ll try it with apple and raisins (instead of pear), as well as more cinnamon, and maybe a little less pumpkin puree (though we liked that a lot, too).

    Thanks, as always, Jessica for the great recipe ideas. I always open your emails to see what’s next….

    • Jessica Gavin says

      That’s so great the whole family made the oats together Brook! I just made a batch with fuji apples and loves it 🙂 Your substitutions will be so yummy! Looking forward to sharing more recipes with you!

  3. Connie says

    This sounds yummy I have been making Pumpkin Butter overnight oats I am trying this recipe tonight. I LOVE everything Pumpkin & Spice and prefer to go the low fat route. I am excited to try this in the morning. What is 1 serving a 1/2cup??

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Connie! Wow pumpkin butter oat sounds lovely 🙂 This recipe makes a large batch, about 8 servings (1/4 c uncooked oats which makes about 1 cup cooked oatmeal). I hope you enjoyed the recipe!

      • Connie says

        Thanks for your response Jessica
        Yes, I did make a batch and love the choices of toppings as you can get creative. I thought maybe the portion was 1/2 cup glad I can increase it to 1 cup its so yummy!

  4. Lisa says

    I want to try this, but don’t have steel cut oats on hand. What about old fashioned oats? Adjust time or anything?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Lisa! Rolled oats do not need as much water. I would add 2 cups rolled oats to 2 cups water and 2 cups milk. You can add more liquid as needed after cooking. Use the same cook time, thanks!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Kristal- I think you could leave them out, however, do you have something else that could be substituted like apples? The pears add some moisture to the oats once cooked, so you may need to add more milk after cooking.

  5. Susie says

    Jessica – i am a family of one. would this recipe freeze well? do not necessarily want it several days in a row.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Absolutely! I would individually portion into resealable plastic bags or plastic containers, then pull it out the night before you want to eat them and defrost in the refrigerator.

  6. Janice says

    did anyone use pumpkin pie mix instead of individual spices. I only have pumpkin pies spice mix and I don’t know how much to use.

  7. James says

    I make this oatmeal every week or so, put it in individual grab-and-go containers and take it to work. It must be good. I’ve done this for well over a year! Thanks Jessica

  8. James Tonneson says

    Yes, I switch out the toppings with seasonal fruit, etc. Now, can I ask my favorite Food Scientist a question? I have recently learned that too much Vitamin A can be harmful to your health. Do you think consuming the amount of pumpkin, called for in your receipe, on a daily basis is harmful to my health? Say it isn’t so! This healthy breakfast gets me going every morning. Thanks in advance for your answer!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi James- Vit A is a fat-soluble vitamin, so if you are over supplementing with a lot of additional vitamins like pills, I may be more concerned. However since you are eating it as a whole food and I’m sure within reason, you are okay. Definitely consult with a doctor if you are truly concerned.

  9. James says

    Thanks for writing back Jessica. I just eat whole foods — no vitamin supplements. This is a little embarrassing but I errored in my conversion from international units (iu) to micrograms (mcg) and milligrams (mg). I’m within my tolerable upper intake level (ul) of vitamin A. It’s all a bit confusing to this lay person. You almost have be a registered dietition or food scientist to understand all this. Your readers can rest assured, this is a healthy, easy to make, wonderful, grab-and-go breakfast. Thanks a million for sharing your talent with us!

  10. Linda Patrick says

    We made this and it is really wonderful. Didn’t add fresh fruit but a mixture of seeds, dried berries, almonds and cashews. With a touch of more cinnamon on top it is very tasty. Will be making this a lot more. Thank you Jessica.

  11. Jevonne says

    Hello Jessica, thank you for sharing this recipe which I am so grateful to have come across during this period of lock down, as we can all use a comforting pick me up, now especially. I amazingly had all of the ingredients except fresh fruit, so I tried the frozen peaches I had available. They were quite tasty with the spices in your recipe, but I will definitely try the pears when I can get back to regular grocery shopping, as they are my favorite fruit. 🙂

    Wishing you continued health!

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