{Overnight} Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal {with no burnt edges!}

Wake up to a warm, wholesome, fall breakfast of Overnight Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal, with a secret trick to prevent the edges from burning!

Overnight Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal with Text Overlay

There's nothing like waking up in the morning to the heavenly smell of breakfast wafting through the air. And if that breakfast just so happens to taste like pumpkin pie...well, all the better!

Overnight Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal is a rather lengthy, adjective-heavy title for such a simple recipe, but at least you know what you're gonna get...creamy steel cut oats that have been slow cooked overnight with pumpkin puree for a yummy, comforting breakfast that's ready the moment you wake up. This breakfast is equally suitable for a busy weekday morning, a special holiday, or a lazy weekend. And not only is warm and nourishing, but it's downright delicious!

Aerial View of Overnight Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal

If you've never stirred a bit of canned or fresh pumpkin into your oatmeal, you've been missing out, my friend. This recipe takes things to the next level, lightly sweetening the oatmeal with maple syrup and adding even more flavor with vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. It's perfect as-is or you can jazz things up further with a shower of cinnamon sugar and a topping of toasted pecans. YUM.

Spoonful of Oats

The Secret to No Burning

Steel-cut oats hold up beautifully in a recipe like this because they're so hearty. I've been making an apple pie version of slow cooker overnight oatmeal for years now, and the only downside is that it often stuck and burned around the edges of the crock pot by the time we woke up for breakfast.

Last year, however, I discovered a trick for preventing this from happening, (with no middle-of-the-night stirring required!) with my Overnight Slow Cooker Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal recipe.

It's as simple as mixing up the oatmeal in a heat-safe baking dish that fits down into the bottom of your slow cooker. Then simply pour water into the bottom of the slow cooker to surround the dish, thereby creating a combination buffer/water bath that allows the oatmeal to cook and thicken over the course of 8 hours without burning! Pure genius.

Method to Keep Edges from Burning

My steel-cut oats cook perfectly in 8 hours using this method in two different slow cookers that I own. One is a 6 ½-quart slow cooker, and my 2.5-liter(quart) round Corningware baking dish fits down in it but is a tad too big to reach all the way to the bottom. Thus, it hangs "suspended," and the water not only buffers the sides but also the bottom. In my 7-quart slow cooker, the same Corningware dish sits flat on the bottom. As a result, the oatmeal at the bottom of the dish does get thicker than the oatmeal at the top, but it still doesn't burn, and a quick stir distributes everything to a smooth, even oatmeal consistency.


Know YOUR Slow Cooker

However, I must warn you that if you have an older model slow cooker that cooks lower and slower than newer (hotter-running) slow cookers, it's possible that your oatmeal could take longer than 8 hours to cook. If you're concerned, feel free to test this recipe for the first time during daylight hours. Even if you cook it so that it's ready in the evening, you'll find that the leftovers are excellent reheated with a splash of milk.

So if you're ready to enjoy a warm, comforting, wholesome breakfast -- and if you're cool with it cooking itself while you slumber -- then you definitely need to whip up a batch of Overnight Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal! Because who's going to argue with a breakfast that smells like Thanksgiving and tastes like fall? 😉

Overnight Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal Collage with Text Overlay

More Fall Oatmeal Recipes

Overnight Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal

{Overnight} Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal

Wake up to a warm, wholesome breakfast with this Overnight Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal...and don't miss the secret trick to prevent the edges from burning!
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Calories: 322kcal
Print Pin Rate


  • 4 ½ cups milk
  • 2 cups Homemade Pumpkin Puree, OR 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cup steel cut oats, NO SUBSTITUTES!

Optional Garnishes:

  • milk, cream, maple syrup, cinnamon sugar, toasted chopped nuts


  • Locate an oven-safe, not-too-shallow baking dish (such as Corningware or Pyrex) that will fit in your slow cooker. In the baking dish, whisk together the milk, pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until completely blended. Stir in the oats. Carefully place the baking dish down in the slow cooker and slowly pour water into the bottom of the slow cooker until its level is about 1 inch below the top of the baking dish. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours. Stir before serving.


  • I use a 2.5-liter round Corningware baking dish in a 6.5- or 7-quart slow cooker. This recipe goes all the way to the top of the 2.5-L Corningware, but as long as I measure carefully (taking care not to add too much milk or oats), the oatmeal doesn't overflow, even after it cooks/expands.
  • It's okay if your baking dish is suspended by its sides on the edges of the slow cooker and doesn't touch the bottom...the lid of the slow cooker just needs to be able to close securely.
  • Once the oatmeal is cooked, be careful stirring it or removing the baking dish from the slow cooker as the water in the slow cooker will be extremely hot.


Calories: 322kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 178mg | Potassium: 301mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 320IU | Calcium: 266mg | Iron: 1.5mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!




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4.79 from 14 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was a huge hit with my family. We all loved it and I have played with this recipe doing different variations, of spices and nuts. Can’t wait to try some more of their recipes.

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely perfect!! I’ve never made overnight oats before so I was so excited these turned out so well. The water bath method did the trick. No burnt edges. Just the right amount of sweetness and love the consistency. I added milk and topped with pecans. Thank you so much! 🙂

  3. 4 stars
    Just made this tonight but on stove top. It’s a great recipe. Couple tweaks - I’m not crazy about maple syrup so I just used rounded 1/4 c sugar and increased the milk by 1/2 c to make up for the liquid. I also used the Libby’s pumpkin pie recipe spice mix (2 t cinnamon, 1 t ginger, 1/2 t cloves). Put everything in a large saucepan, bring to boil, then turn down and low simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring often. I will definitely be making this on Sunday afternoons for the next week’s breakfast.

  4. 3 stars
    This tasted wonderful, it really is like pumpkin pie. Unfortunately, the texture was very unpleasant for us. I'll have to make some major changes in the future. In fact, there was no texture at all. The usually lovely and chewy oat groats melted away to smooth pumpkin-flavored paste. I wondered about the really high liquid ratio. I should have trusted my instincts. If you like your oats to be smooth and creamy, this is totally a 5 star recipe for you. If you like oats you can sink your teeth into, like we do, you'll have to make some major adjustments. I'm going to try just 3 cups of milk next time. There will be a next time, though, because it did have wonderful flavor. Thank you for having the chops to put recipes like this out there for us to try, and opening yourself to the criticism if we think it needs a little work.

    1. Well, thank you for the graciousness of your constructive criticism, Robyn. 🙂 I'm glad you enjoyed the flavor of this recipe but I'm sorry to hear that the texture was lacking. When I make this recipe (or my similar apple pie version), the oats do retain some of their chewy texture. I wonder if part of the equation could be how hot a particular slow cooker runs? At any rate, I hope your experimentation yields just the texture you're seeking!

  5. 5 stars
    This was fantastic!!!!
    I used almond milk instead of regular. I also realized none of my baking dishes would fit in the crock pot, so in my tired state last night, I just dumped it all in the crock pot and said a prayer 🤣
    It turned out fantastic nonetheless. Burnt edges were minimal!
    I topped it with a little brown sugar and chopped pecans! We just loved it! Thank you for the lovely recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    I made it last night and ate this morning. I substituted maple syrup with raisins. It was fabulous. This recipe is a definite keeper. The oats consistency and the not over the top sweetness was delicious.

    1. Sounds delicious, Don...I can't wait to try this with fresh pumpkin myself. 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Had it for breakfast this morning. Delicious! 8 hours was perfect for my Crock-Pot. Will definitely make this again.