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Healthy Breakfast for Fall: Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal Recipe

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!

pumpkin baked oatmeal

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.

Your kids CAN make their own healthy breakfast!

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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:

cutting open a pumpkin with a saw

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.

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
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pumpkin baked oatmeal

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal Recipe

  • Author: Katie Kimball
  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 24 hours 30 mins
  • Yield: 8 adults 1x
  • Category: Breakfast

Description

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.


Ingredients

Scale


ship kroger


Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the baking powder, salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase), and all spices. Beat in the oats mixture, then add raisins (nuts are a nice addition, too), stirring to combine.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

Notes

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

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.
pumpkin baked oatmeal

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:

Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

More Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

51 thoughts on “Healthy Breakfast for Fall: Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal Recipe”

    1. Hi Jayne!

      I think you’re asking if 100% of the liquid in the recipe can be whey – it would work, yes, and it wouldn’t even be too sour, but it would change the final consistency since whey is less creamy than milk. We’ve made this often with dairy-free almond milk though, and that’s not creamy/fatty at all, and it’s still great. Worth a try if you have lots of whey to get rid of! 🙂 Katie

  1. I have read through most of the posts and didn’t find an answer to my question. If you soak the oats with a touch of flour in order to help release the Phytic Acid. In the recipe or even the comments nothing was said about draining and rinsing the oats after the soaking time. If you are trying to release the Phytic Acid, why would you want it left in the juice and bake with it.

    Thanks,
    Puzzled!!!

    1. Donna,
      The flour/oat/soak actually neutralized the phytic acid, releasing the minerals from it. The job is already done with the soak, and as far as I can tell, there’s not free phytic acid floating around waiting to hurt you. It’s like it’s in handcuffs. 🙂 Katie

  2. Is there a non dairy soak? 🙂 This recipe is one of our favorites, but I’m going off dairy for a little while. Thanks!

    1. Hey Emily – Hope all is well with your family 🙂

      You can soak in water and lemon juice or ACV (or even just warm water, some say), non-dairy milk with any of the above or even sourdough if you have that. It may change the flavor though, so go light on the lemon or ACV for the first try!
      🙂 Katie

  3. I know this is a really old post, but I just had to say that pie pumpkins are actually one of the worst varieties for baking (at least according to ATK http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/best-pumpkin-pie-squash.html). Just thought you guys should know because it makes a BIG difference in flavor and texture which kind of pumpkin you use.

  4. Wow, sorry for all the grammar mistakes in there… I guess paying attention to the baby and toddler while typing does not a coherent sentence make…

  5. I know this is an old post, but I just wanted to thank you for this recipe! My husband cannot stand oatmeal regularly, but with this I can get it into him several days a week! It’s so easy to make on Sunday night and have breakfasts for three or four days already taken care of! It helps that pumpkin is his favorite food ever.
    I have make multiple flavors to keep some variety, and I thought maybe others would like to know: mashing in over-ripe bananas (3 usually does the trick, but I’m a yellow-brown banana eater anyway, so I really let mine go) makes an excellent banana oatmeal. I have stirred in cocoa powdered for a chocolate version (probably just south of .5 cups, but with that it needed more sweetener), and I have stirred in about .5 – .75 cups brewer’s yeast for the added boost and had no one even notice it was there. Thank you for such a versatile recipe, Katie! Oh, and in case anyone would like to know: it bakes beautifully in a bundt pan, and comes out perfectly at normal bake time for me, which made the “oatmeal cake” absolutely pretty for company!

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  8. I’ve just made the apple cinnamon version, BUT, I have a question: I was being absentminded and made the full recipe for just a small breakfast for three grown ups and a 13 month old, so I left it in the fridge 1-2 extra days. I put it in the pan just now. Do you think it would be okay to cook? After 24 hours on the counter it was in the fridge the rest of the time. It tastes lovely fermented (a bit like wine…) will I poison my family tomorrow morning?? No? Yes? I’m new to soaking. Don’t know what happens if you over-soak…

  9. Just a note to Alison. I’d say up your oven temp a little and try it. Like I said above, I use the entire can of pumpkin with no problems. Also the knife is always wet (but not covered in lumps) when I test it, but when it cools it firms up nicely.

  10. I’m coming back after a couple of weeks to say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

    I have been making this recipe for my kids for breakfast non-stop for three weeks. they LOVE it, and I love making it for them. It has totally simplified my breakfast life (I am not at all a morning person). I just now saw that there is an apple and an almond version, too, but I’m afraid to try them b/c my kids love this one so much and I’m afraid they’ll balk at some thing different.

    Just some notes for others, I make this with the whole can of pumpkin, I use a little bit more spices than called for. Also, I have forgotten to put in baking powder with no ill effects. I just put one in the oven with no maple syrup, because my kids insist on dousing it with maple syrup when they eat it anyway.

    I also use cardamom instead of cloves and butter (which is much cheaper for me) instead of coconut oil.

    I am so happy to have this recipe. I went and downloaded your “are your grains wet” ebook and am now soaking the stuff for a batch of cornbread. Thanks you.

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      That’s so fun! I love cardamom, holy cow, I’m going to have to try that in this recipe!

      I added some of your substitutions to the post, thanks so much! 🙂 Katie

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    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Jennifer,
      I don’t know that you’d get this to come out exactly, but I’ve mixed in pumpkin puree, maple syrup and the spices here into regular cooked oatmeal and it’s pretty good!

      I’m guessing you could mix the pumpkin, a few eggs, the syrup, oil, and spices into cooked oatmeal and bake it in a pan just like this though – the eggs would set it up. I’d guess about 4-5 c. cooked oatmeal? Let me know if you try it! 🙂 Katie

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  13. Had this for the first time this morning. Yum!! It was also my first time soaking grains. My question, though, is about the cooking time… We cooked it for over an hour and it still wasn’t fully cooked through. We added a tiny bit of extra pumpkin, because we had more than enough but not enough to use for something else. Would that have caused it to need such a long cooking time? Or is it supposed to be 30-40 minutes after the oven reaches temperature? Thanks!

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Alison,
      Wow, that seems long…I just made this recipe Sunday and it was fine after 30-40 minutes in the oven, including preheat time. It should be a bit moist, even in the center – whenever a knife comes out clean, you’re good to go. I did reduce the oil a little and will change the recipe now, but I don’t think that would make THAT much of a difference. Hmmm…if there aren’t any oven temp problems or altitude variances, I’d say try the non-pumpkin version and see how that goes! 🙂 Katie

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Laura,
      The other recipe I posted in the spring is pretty much the same, and here’s what some commenters had to add about steel cut oats:

      *I used half steel-cut and half rolled oats, which gave it a great chewy texture. I’d recommend freezing the leftovers as individual portions wrapped in plastic wrap (or a green alternative, of course). Just heat ‘em up with some milk later for quick breakfast!

      *I made this recipe this morning with all steel cut oats. Tasted delicious, but was a little crumbly.

      I might add a little extra liquid myself…good luck!
      🙂 Katie

  14. Johanna via Facebook

    nom nom nom… my annual pumpkin/squash binge will be in full force, uh, (counting…) Wednesday morning!

  15. I have been following several other sites that recommend using 2 Tbsp of lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar) to 1-3/4 to 2 cups of warm filtered water for the soak of 2 cups of oats. This would be a nondairy version of soaking I guess, since your recipe is using dairy for the liquid. Any of these ways should work, right?

  16. This recipe was so yummy–thank you for sharing it! I soaked with a mixture of homemade yogurt and raw goat’s milk and added a bit of whole wheat flour as mentioned. I used frozen pumpkin from last year. So good!!

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Amy,
      Absolutely! Honey is in the original baked oatmeal, but I thought maple would be a nice complement to the pumpkin. Really, any sweetener, even granulated, works just great.
      🙂 Katie

  17. Thank you for the suggestion of putting the pumpkin in the oven for a few minutes before hacking into it! I have let a pumpkin go to waste before because I never found enough energy to whack it open. (Maybe I should have grabbed the Sawz-All!) But I love pumpkin seeds, so I will definitely try this method this year. Thanks again!

  18. Emily @Random Recycling

    Yum, this recipe looks great for cold mornings. I just made a new pumpkin recipe this week too, Pumpkin Gingersnap Cookies. The white sugar amount is a little high so I may try to tweak it a bit and add in some honey instead. http://bit.ly/P6AQgQ

  19. feeling better all the time

    Thank you! I walked into a store smelling like pumpkin pie today and it hit me that I must find traditional/soaking friendly ways to get my pumpkin in this season. It is my favorite! We used to fill the oven with pumpkin pie multiple times during the month of November. Any actual pie recipes that you can recommend? Thanks for this gem. We will have fun with it!

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Here are some I have bookmarked:
      http://gnowfglins.com/2007/11/19/nut-crust-for-pumpkin-pie/

      http://outoftheboxfood.com/2011/11/16/the-food-networks-communal-table-pull-up-a-chair/
      http://katymcarter.com/2011/11/pumpkin-pie-jars-grain-free-dairy-free-naturally-sweetened/
      http://savingnaturally.com/2010/11/healthy-whole-grain-pumpkin-pie-recipe/
      It’s that last one that I’ve made before, and I remember the crust was wonky or something. I’ll have to look into it again this year! The filling for pumpkin pie, other than the sugar, is usually pretty wholesome – just use regular milk instead of canned.

      🙂 Katie

  20. I found this on the Weston Price website http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/living-with-phytic-acid

    “Oats contain very little phytase, especially after commercial heat treatment, and require a very long preparation period to completely reduce phytic acid levels. Soaking oats at 77 degrees F for 16 hours resulted in no reduction of phytic acid, nor did germination for up to three days at this temperature.63 However, malting (sprouting) oats for five days at 52 degrees F and then soaking for 17 hours at 120 degrees F removes 98 percent of phytates. Adding malted rye further enhances oat phytate reduction.64 Without initial germination, even a five-day soaking at a warm temperature in acidic liquid may result in an insignificant reduction in phytate due to the low phytase content of oats. On the plus side, the process of rolling oats removes a at least part of the bran, where a large portion of the phytic acid resides.

    How do we square what we know about oats with the fact that oats were a staple in the diet of the Scots and Gaelic islanders, a people known for their robust good health and freedom from tooth decay? For one thing, high amounts of vitamin D from cod’s liver and other sources, helps prevent calcium losses from the high oat diet. Absorbable calcium from raw dairy products, consumed in abundance on mainland Scotland, provides additional protection.

    In addition, it is likely that a good part of the phytase remained in the oats of yore, which partially germinated in stacks left for a period in the field, were not heat treated and were hand rolled immediately prior to preparation. And some Scottish and Gaelic recipes do call for a long fermentation of oats before and even after they are cooked.

    Unprocessed Irish or Scottish oats, which have not been heated to high temperatures, are availabile in some health food stores and on the internet. One study found that unheated oats had the same phytase activity as wheat.65 They should be soaked in acidulated water for as long as twenty-four hours on top of a hot plate to keep them at about 100 degrees F. This will reduce a part of the phytic acid as well as the levels of other anti-nutrients, and result in a more digestible product. Overnight fermenting of rolled oats using a rye starter—or even with the addition of a small amount of fresh rye flour—may result in a fairly decent reduction of phytate levels. It is unclear whether heat-treated oats are healthy to eat regularly.”

    I used to think that soaking was pretty easy, but after reading “Living With Phytic Acid”, It seems pretty daunting!

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Good grief! They should have titled that “death by phytic acid” instead!

      😉

      Here’s the bottom line: if you’re not eating oats every day, and you ARE getting raw milk and fermented cod liver oil (we do), you have less to worry about.

      If you’re using rolled oats, you may have less to worry about (phew).

      When you do worry, you could sprout and soak for 5 days and have oatmeal so sour it’s unpalatable, OR you could just add the wheat flour or buckwheat, which has usable phytase especially when freshly ground. Also – I know my mom has found a difference in digestion with soaked (this method) and unsoaked oats, so it’s definitely doing something good.

      Some will tell you not to soak with dairy, either, or your bones will fall apart or something. (Kidding.) Yep, soaking is becoming ever so complicated. I’d like to just go back to Ireland two centuries ago when they didn’t need a hot plate to soak oats (they had wood stoves) and just had “porridge in the pot, nine days old.” Yum! :p

      Thanks for that info, though, that article is not one I’d seen…

      🙂 Katie

      1. I’m sure soaking in dairy won’t make your bones fall apart 🙂 but there is research showing that apparently the calcium inhibits the reduction of phytic acid. Amanda Rose (the traditional foods research queen) has information it on her website along with some good advice not to sweat it. I think she said she usually soaks her oats with freshly ground wheat and water and that’s it. Then she also doesn’t have to worry about oats that are so sour no one enjoys them.

        I have soaked oats ready to be made into baked oatmeal and I’m really excited I found this recipe to use with them. It’s October! Time to start eating all things pumpkin.

  21. Katie @ Riddlelove

    This sounds delicious! It’s definitely going to make it’s way on the menu plan next week. 🙂 http://www.riddlelove.com/p/seasonal-menu-plans.html

  22. I found it for you!
    http://moneysavingmom.com/2011/10/how-to-cook-a-pumpkin-oven-and-crock-pot-methods.html

  23. You can totally cook the pumpkin whole…without cutting it until it’s done and soft and easy! Google it! So much easier!! 🙂

    1. Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship

      Ashley,

      Can you still roast the seeds though? I need them to be raw when I soak them, so I don’t think that would work for my evil snacking intentions. 😉 Thanks anyway!
      🙂 Katie

      1. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

        Yes! A friend just told me about this and I tried it when I made soaked pumpkin bread this week. You will have to wait until the seeds cool and then rinse them off, but you can still roast them. Sooooo much easier!

      2. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

        Well, they won’t be raw. 🙂 But you can still roast them if you don’t want to soak. We don’t eat enough pumpkin seeds for me to worry about that.

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