This pumpkin baked oatmeal is a family favorite! Baked oatmeal makes a great healthy breakfast for fall and the perfect holiday breakfast recipe since it’s prepped the day before and all you have to do is pop it in the oven in the morning!
What do mornings look like in your house? Every now and then, if you’re lucky you might have a leisurely morning when you make a full breakfast and everyone can sit down together and enjoy it.
But more often than not mornings are a rushed, chaotic mess. Trying to fit a nutritious breakfast (that even your pickiest child will love) can seem impossible.
Does this mean that it’s cold cereal for breakfast every morning? This breakfast solution can get old quickly, and definitely isn’t a very nutritious option. Especially if you’re trying to go gluten-free. (It can be made healthy as a granola bowl!)
This pumpkin baked oatmeal is the solution to multiple breakfast issues.
The texture is soft so it’s suitable for an older baby. It’s slightly sweet and packed with a pumpkin flavor that will appeal to even picky eaters. You can also make this recipe the night before and literally just grab a square as you head out the door.
This recipe is naturally gluten and dairy free (if you get gluten-free oats and leave out the flour, which is totally fine) so they’re safe for those with these allergies. Even if you don’t make it a point to avoid those foods, this dish is delicious to have on hand.
I also love the autumn flavor this oatmeal has. And not only is pumpkin a popular seasonal favorite, but it’s super good for you too! It’s full of vitamin A, potassium and is high in several other key nutrients, like vitamin C.
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How to Bake a Pumpkin for Homemade Pumpkin Puree
If you’ve never used a real pie pumpkin, don’t be afraid. You can really use any orange vegetable (squash, sweet potato) for this delicious, nourishing breakfast, but of course, getting a real pie pumpkin is so much fun. Buttercup squash is very sweet and perfect for baking, too.
From a reader: Apparently pie pumpkins aren’t even the best for pies! Go figure. Check out this review of various options. I found it kind of fascinating… You can also “bake” small pumpkins and other squash in your Instant Pot.
1. Wash the outside of the pumpkin.
2. Set the oven to 400F and put the whole pumpkin inside while it preheats (and maybe 5-10 minutes longer). This is necessary to soften the outside. If you don’t do it, you may end up doing something like this, swearing up and down that you’ll never bother with real pumpkins again:
Did I mention pie pumpkins are really, really hard on the outside?
3. Once you are able to cut through it, cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the pulp and seeds from the center. (Save the seeds for snacking, following directions on how to make pumpkin seeds – you can even hold them in the fridge for a few days until you’re ready to deal with them.)
4. Place the two pumpkin halves face down on a cookie sheet or baking dish with a little water in the bottom.
5. Bake at 400F (or even 350F if you’ve got dinner in the oven too) for 45-60 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the outside and the flesh inside is very soft.
6. Allow it to cool a bit before handling, then scoop out all the orange flesh and puree, either in a blender or food processor (you may need to add a bit of water, but try not to add much) or with an immersion blender (my favorite method).
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That’s it! Now you have homemade pumpkin puree to use in any recipe. Baking squash follows the same strategy.
You can freeze the pumpkin (or squash) puree pre-measured in 1-cup or 2-cup portions in a zippered bag for ease of use later.
Soaking oatmeal is a simple procedure, and when it’s incorporated right into the recipe like this, folks won’t even wonder why they’re doing it – they’ll just get more minerals without even knowing why. The oatmeal dish makes a great make-ahead breakfast.
- 2 ½ c. whole rolled oats (not quick or instant)
- ¼ c. whole wheat or buckwheat (GF) flour, freshly ground
- 1 ¾ c. liquid*
- ½ c. (or cut to 1/4 c.) coconut oil (or butter, softened or melted)
- 1–2 c. pumpkin (1/2–1 16 oz. can)
- 4 eggs
- 1/4–1/2 c. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 3 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. cloves
- 1 c. raisins (or serve on the side)
- Two nights before you want to eat baked oatmeal at breakfast: Mix the oats, flour, and liquid together. If you have a 9×13 glass pan with a lid, I recommend mixing the oats right in there to save a dish. Allow to rest at room temperature, covered, for 24 hours.
- The night before you need the quick breakfast: Beat oil, maple syrup and eggs until glossy (I use my KitchenAid mixer). The cold eggs generally made the coconut oil solidify a bit, but don’t worry about it. Just beat. Incorporate the pumpkin.
- Add the baking powder, , and all spices. Beat in the oats mixture, then add raisins (nuts are a nice addition, too), stirring to combine.
- Pour back into that 9×13 glass dish, put a lid on it, and refrigerate overnight. If you don’t have a lid, try one of these methods to avoid using plastic wrap.
- In the morning, put the pan (uncovered) right from the fridge into a cold oven and turn on to 350F. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and the oatmeal is not mushy to the touch.
- Serve warm with milk and extra syrup if you prefer. Store covered, either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. It’s pretty doggone good cold, too…I might be the type of person to buzz by a dish and snitch a bite here and there throughout the day!
For the liquid, choose from buttermilk, plain homemade yogurt (or store-bought), raw milk, half milk/half yogurt, half water/yogurt, half whey/yogurt – good if you have whey to use up. If you don’t have raw milk, as long you mix it with half yogurt or cultured dairy, it should be fine for the soak overnight, but don’t use 100% pasteurized milk as the only liquid.
A reader reports that forgetting the baking powder is no problem, and cardamom instead of cloves is wonderful.
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Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal – Cook’s Notes
- Why add flour? Freshly ground whole wheat, spelt, and buckwheat are added to oats for soaking purposes and phytase only. If you’re not soaking, skip the flour.
- Go bold: If you love pumpkin pie spice, add more cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. I’m doubling the ginger next time I make it! 😉
- How to make it faster: Just soak the oats overnight or for 24 hours (breakfast to breakfast) and mix up all the other ingredients in the morning when you’re going to serve it. The overnight refrigeration is not necessary; it’s only for the morning convenience of having everything done.
- How to make it with fewer dishes: Honestly, I’ve taken to mixing everything up in the 9×13 dish. How lazy is that? But no one has noticed any difference in the end result, so I highly recommend it. Just mix up the oats and liquid, then the next day, push that to one side and whisk the eggs, oil and sweetener on the other half of the pan. Start mixing everything up well at this point (a potato masher or super strong whisk may come in handy to incorporate everything well. Make sure you sprinkle things like salt and baking powder evenly over the whole mixture.
More Healthy Pumpkin Recipes
If you’ve used a can of pumpkin for the baked oatmeal, you’ll have about a cup leftover. That can be frozen, or used in other pumpkin recipes:
- Healthy Pumpkin Muffins (and soaked pumpkin muffins)
- Healthy Pumpkin Cookies
- Grain-free Pumpkin Pancakes (or any orange vegetable)
- Cabbage Pumpkin Soup
- Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
- Other tips for using little bits of leftover pumpkin
- I’ve even tossed a bit of pumpkin into these paleo pancakes
More Healthy Breakfast Recipes
- The Healthy Breakfast Book with over 50 recipes!
- Tastes Like Pizza Breakfast Hash
- Autumn Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes – can be made grain-free, gluten-free, sourdough or whole wheat!
- Grain-free Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Porridge
- Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal (pumpkin pie version)
- Instant Pot Apple Cranberry Steel Cut Oats
- Best Homemade Soaked Granola
- Best Pancakes: Whole Wheat or Gluten-free or Sourdough or Paleo Apple Almond
- Veggie Potato Latkes
- Grain-free Pizza Quiche
- Best High Protein Scrambled Eggs Ever
- Candy Cane Smoothie Bowl
- 10 Healthy Brunch Dishes for Potlucks
- Creative Ways to Add Veggies to Breakfast
- Allergen Free Breakfast Hummus
- Lots of Breakfast Ideas for Meal Planning
- Hard Boil Eggs in the Instant Pot