At yesterday’s editorial meeting, our team was bouncing around the recipes that we’re making right now, and two themes emerged: nourishment and ease. During these busy fall months, we want food that makes us happy and satisfied, but usually there’s no time for meals that require a lot of prep. And that’s especially true in the morning—I try to start my day with journaling / coffee / quiet time before my kids get up. Then it’s the mad dash to get everyone out the door and attempt to squeeze in a workout. Which leaves approximately zero time for cooking, so I rely on simple, make-ahead breakfasts, like these pumpkin overnight oats, to fuel my morning hours.
I think you’re going to love this breakfast recipe that’s gluten-free, vegan, and tastes like pumpkin pie. And all you have to do is combine the ingredients in a jar, shake it up, and then pop it in the fridge the night before.
Why overnight oats are the perfect breakfast for busy mornings
First things first: the main thing that makes overnight oats different than regular oatmeal is that you don’t have to cook them. The oats (and chia seeds, if you’re using them) get soaked in a liquid overnight that softens them to a delicious and easily-digestible consistency.
You might be wondering if you can eat overnight oats warm, and the answer is yes! Though you can totally eat them straight out of the fridge, I actually prefer my pumpkin overnight oats warmed up a bit. Just pop your jar or bowl into the microwave for about 45 seconds, add toppings and devour.
If you’re a Sunday meal prepper like I am, you’re going to be obsessed with having a few jars of these pumpkin overnight oats in your fridge for the week ahead. Sealed in an airtight container, they’ll keep well for 4 – 5 days. You can literally toss a jar in your purse and go (just make sure the lid’s on really well, lol.)
Easy to make in batches.
Double, triple, quadruple this recipe to your heart’s content. If you’re going to the trouble of getting all these ingredients out of your pantry, you might as well make multiple servings while you’re at it.
Ingredients in healthy pumpkin overnight oats
These overnight oats are super healthy and packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats, thanks to these ingredients:
For overnight oats, you want to use oats labeled “rolled oats” or “old-fashioned oats.” Do not use steel cut oats (which won’t break down in the soaking liquid) or quick oats (which will become too mushy.)
Once the calendar reads “September,” I start stockpiling cans of pumpkin whenever I’m at the store. They’re good for so many things besides pumpkin pie, like adding to smoothies, blending with greek yogurt, and turning your boring oatmeal into a pumpkin pie overnight oats situation. I prefer to buy a high-quality organic pumpkin purée, as you can really taste the difference.
Milk of choice
The best liquid for overnight oats is anything with a bit of creaminess—so you’ve got options, depending on your dietary needs and personal preferences. Oat milk or almond milk keeps this recipe vegan but provides satisfying creaminess. Coconut milk infuses the recipe with a flavor that I find delightful (but may not be for everyone.) And yes, you can absolutely use regular milk if you’re not trying to keep this dairy-free.
I love to add a tablespoon of chia seeds to thicken overnight oats and give them a satisfying texture. Chia seeds also add tons of health benefits including protein, omega fatty acids, and fiber.
A splash of maple syrup adds sweetness and that quintessential fall flavor.
For pumpkin pie vibes. Ground ginger is great, too.
Optional, but a splash of vanilla, really elevates these flavors and makes it feel like a “treat” without adding loads of sugar.
Easy ingredient swaps and topping ideas
Swap chia for flax seeds
I like the texture that chia seeds provide, but for a similar health boost, a spoonful of flax seeds will provide a solid dose of Omega-3’s and fiber.
Swap cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice
Transform these into more of a pumpkin pie overnight oats vibe by adding pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon. This classic spice blend usually includes cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
Add greek yogurt for protein
A lot of overnight oats recipes on the internet include greek yogurt. I’ll be honest, I prefer the taste and texture of these without the yogurt. However, if you’re looking to bump up the protein content, just add 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt when you’re adding your other ingredients and see how you like it.
Swap maple syrup monkfruit or stevia
If you’d rather nix the maple syrup, you can try some stevia or monkfruit, which are natural sweeteners that don’t add extra calories from sugar. Just remember, a little goes a long way, so use whatever amount is listed on the package as a single serving.
These pumpkin overnight oats are plenty delish on their own, but to make them a real feast for the senses, try adding any of these topping ideas:
A drizzle of nut butter.
A splash of cream (or coconut cream.)
How to make pumpkin overnight oats
I’ve made some overnight oats recipes in the past that were, quite frankly, underwhelming. The secret to making truly delicious overnight oats is all about the ratio of oats to liquid and making sure it gets fully combined.
That said, the recipe really couldn’t be simpler. We are talking 5 minutes, start to finish. You combine all the ingredients in a mason jar, shake it up really well, and then store in the refrigerator overnight. You can also make this in a bowl—just stir it super thoroughly so that none of your chia seeds or oats stick to the bottom. Cover before putting in the fridge.
More pumpkin recipes you’ll love
‘Tis the season! Here are some great ideas for your fall baking this week:
Banana Pumpkin Muffins (gluten-free and vegan)
Scroll on for the recipe for these pumpkin overnight oats, and if you make them, be sure to leave a rating, review, and tag us on Instagram!