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!
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!
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.
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! 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.
My steel-cut oats cook perfectly in 8 hours using this method in two different slow cookers that I own. One is a 6 1/2-quart slow cooker, and my 2.5-liter 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.
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. In fact, that was the destiny of the oatmeal in these photos…I started it early in the morning so that I could take blog photos in the afternoon light. My kids got home from school and were convinced that I had baked pumpkin pie. I gave them some sample bites to convince them it actually was oatmeal, and they couldn’t wait to have it for breakfast the next morning.
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? 😉
More fall oatmeal recipes…