Pumpkin Overnight Oats: The Breakfast that Keeps Our Mornings Simple

These no-cook overnight oats are everything you could want in a breakfast: healthy, easy, cheap, and extremely tasty. For fall, we make this recipe with pumpkin puree and spices for a pumpkin pie overnight oatmeal that our whole family loves! Overnight oats in a bowl with pumpkin puree swirled on top

I’m sure you’ve heard of the “daily uniform” trend, right? Where you choose to wear the same outfit (with slight styling variations) every day? Picture Steve Jobs and his ubiquitous black turtlenecks. The attraction of a daily uniform is that it simplifies your choices and frees you up to focus on other things, as well as saving you a bit of cash.

Why not apply the daily uniform concept to your breakfast as well? Eat the same thing almost every morning, and see how much easier your mornings become!

Naturally, if you’re going to eat the same thing every day, you need to make sure it’s something

  • healthy
  • tasty
  • easy
  • cost-effective
  • open-ended to variations

As an example, I’ll share our breakfast uniform: overnight oats.

Hot oatmeal has been a breakfast staple in the world for thousands of years. And we like that around here, too. However, we discovered that we actually prefer the taste of overnight oats more. I don’t have to scrape out a cooking pot, either, which is a huge plus. I can whip up a batch the night before, let the oats soak in the fridge, and have breakfast on the table in minutes the next day.

I came up with an overnight oatmeal recipe that’s hearty and filling. The clean-up isn’t too bad, either. While any meal you eat with young children is potentially messy, this works better because it’s a thick oatmeal…there’s no spillable milk sloshing around the bowl. Clean up tip: Soak the bowls/spoons/bibs right away, and washing up won’t be a problem when you get around to it after diaper changes, school assignments, etc.

This recipe makes thick, pudding-like oats, but if you prefer a different consistency just increase the liquid until you find your sweet spot. We like it cold, but you can always warm yours up if you prefer.

These are vegan-friendly overnight oats made without yogurt or cow’s milk, but you can always un-veganize them if that’s your jam. Because of the chia seeds, milled flax, and oats, they still contain 10 grams of protein per serving, even without animal-product ingredients. And if you add a scoop of peanut butter at serving time you can easily bump the protein amount to 15 grams. This makes for a great plant-based breakfast!

I’m sharing a pumpkin overnight oats variation for fall, but if you don’t have pumpkin on hand just check the Recipe Notes below for our normal method.

Pumpkin Overnight Oats

An easy, healthy go-to breakfast recipe for overnight oats, with plenty of options for customizing the flavors!

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword fall, make-ahead, oats, vegan
Prep Time 7 minutes
Servings 4


  • 2 1/2 cups oats (rolled oats or quick-cook oats)
  • 4 Tbsp ground flax
  • 4 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Stir together the dry ingredients (oats, flax, chia, sugar, and spice).

  2. Add the wet ingredients (milk, water, pumpkin, and vanilla). Stir well.

  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Recipe Notes

Variations: If you don't have pumpkin on hand, reduce the chia seeds by 1 Tbsp, and leave out the pumpkin pie spice. Flavor instead with additional vanilla extract or almond extract, top with fruit, peanut butter, applesauce, nuts, shredded coconut, etc.

If you pop into our home around breakfast time, you’ll find us eating these overnight oats most mornings, usually with a green smoothie to drink. (The formula for that is simple, too: water, a splash of orange juice if we have it, a couple handfuls of chopped kale or frozen spinach, and a bunch of frozen fruit, blended in our Blendtec.)

We often have a “fancier” breakfast on weekends, like pancakes or breakfast burritos. But these oats serve us well for the weekdays.

[question]What is your go-to easy breakfast recipe? If you liked this recipe, please share it with a friend![/question]

P.S. You can find more breakfast recipes in my Recipe Index. If you’re in the mood for fall breakfast ideas, you’ll definitely want to check out these Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Muffins!

Bowl of pumpkin overnight oats with coffee on the side


  1. Hi Elsie,

    My workday breakfast is usually fried eggs, toast, and applesauce. I can cook it while I put on my makeup, and it keeps me full till lunchtime. I have been eating this for about ten years now and it saves me time and thinking in the morning. The other option is peanut butter toast and applesauce. Sometimes I’m not up to cooking or am running late. I like oatmeal but due to medical conditions struggle to digest it, sadly, because this sounds yummy. On weekends I might do something a bit more fun with fruit smoothies or waffles or French toast.
    I also like to plan out my weekday lunches ahead of time- if I’m going to the office I have my lunch packed the night before, and if I’m working a late shift my dinner is packed when I eat breakfast that morning. No rushing around just before the bus comes!

    1. That’s a great routine! And neat that you’ve been keeping it up for so long, too! I want to do more of a routine for lunch, but that’s a bit more unplanned right now.

  2. Those oats look delicious! My last experience with oats was last night, when I ate oatmeal with strawberry powder. Needless to say, I slept well.

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