breakfast | fruit or vegetable butter | gluten-free | great for kids | maple | no-bake | nuts | oats | pumpkin | quick & easy | recipe | seasonal | spices | traditional with a twist | vegan

Haulin’ oats.

November 8, 2013

Use steel-cut oats to make an easy 'overnight oats' recipe flavored with maple pumpkin butter.

Bad pun. Sorry. For those of you born after the early 90’s, I was making a pun referring to Hall & Oates, a 1970’s/1980’s duo who’s songs “Maneater”, “Kiss On My List” & “Private Eyes” are insanely well-known. But yeah. It was a bad pun.

On the plus side? This is a great idea.

I first saw it on This Homemade Life & I thought it was genius. Problem is, I don’t like oatmeal. I like oatmeal cookies… but not oatmeal. But I still wanted to try it anyway. Jay loves oatmeal, my parents love oatmeal, the whole world loves oatmeal. I was starting to feel like a leper. Truth be told, I’m not a breakfast person. If I’m away on vacation, I can maybe get in the mood for a breakfast or two. Especially on the road at an awesome Mom & Pop style diner. Otherwise, nope. I mean, I love breakfast foods. I’ve been known to have a bowl of cereal or two, & I do enjoy a good breakfast-for-dinner now & then. But I don’t want oatmeal when I’m having it- I want a big ol’ stack of buttermilk pancakes or waffles with butter & maple syrup. And don’t forget: lots of crispy bacon.

So to avoid the stigma of being the only person alive who doesn’t like oatmeal, I thought I’d do my own, more seasonal spin on the “overnight oats” in a jar: maple pumpkin oats.

An easy way to make maple pumpkin overnight oats using maple pumpkin butter.

Oatmeal has been eaten for centuries. The Scottish have been making it forever, it seems, and it’s even a main ingredient in haggis. Vermont has the largest U.S. consumption of oatmeal; purportedly that has to do with the large amount of Scottish settlers there. It’s one of those things you take for granted; there will always be oatmeal & always be someone who wants it for breakfast. Thankfully the days of thick, unappetizing “porridge” are over, and we can get a bit fancier with our oats.

I used a jar of maple pumpkin butter that I had frozen last fall. According to the National Center for Home Food Preservation pumpkin anything cannot be canned, even in a pressure canner, unless it’s cubed pumpkin. So the best thing to do- if you want to make a lot of pumpkin puree or pumpkin butter- is to freeze it. It tastes just fine after defrosting. I defrosted mine for a day or so in the fridge & then I used it to make my oats. CRAZY EASY, yo.

Maple pumpkin butter swirled into easy overnight oats for a delicious (& easy) fall breakfast.


Makes 2 8-ounce servings, can be doubled or tripled


  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup almond milk (or whatever milk you like, regular whole milk is fine too)
  • 3 tablespoons maple pumpkin butter (recipe below), plus more for topping
  • walnuts, hazelnuts, or pecans for topping (optional)


  1. Mix the oats, maple pumpkin butter & milk in a bowl.
  2. Divide into glass jars & top with a little more pumpkin butter if desired.
  3. Close the lid & refrigerate overnight.
  4. When you’re ready to eat it, sprinkle some nuts on top & dig in!

Maple pumpkin butter!

You can use canned pumpkin. If you’ve got extra pumpkins around, it’s kinda fun to roast ’em & puree them, especially if you’ve never done it before. And of course, if you’re worried about BPA & the issues with some cans leeching chemicals into food, then you’ll want to definitely make your own pureed pumpkin. But if you can’t/don’t have the equipment/etc then by all means… use canned!

Yes, you can use quick oats for the oatmeal too (I did). The texture isn’t as chewy as with steel cut, but it’s a matter of preference.

MAPLE PUMPKIN BUTTER (from Food in Jars/Simple Bites)

Makes roughly 1 1/2 pints (I prefer to use 8-ounce jars for less waste)


  • 1 small pumpkin (4 to 5 pounds)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Wash your pumpkin and prick it with the tip of a knife three or four times. Place the pumpkin on the baking sheet and roast until it slumps and is fork tender.
  2. Once pumpkin is cool, cut it open and remove the strings and seeds*. Scrape the flesh from the skin and place it in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth.
  3. Place puree in a low, wide skillet or frying pan and cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the puree has reduced by approximately half.
  4. Add maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and spices and stir to combine.
  5. Pumpkin butter is done when it sits high in the bowl of a spoon.
  6. Funnel finished butter into fridge or freezer safe containers. It will keep two to three weeks in the fridge, up to a year in the freezer.

Quick & easy overnight oats made with maple pumpkin butter!

*Don’t forget to toast your seeds!

Okay so, consensus is: I’m still not an oatmeal fan. I’m sorry, everyone! I just don’t like it. Sad face.

‘Cause it looks so cute in jars…

HOWEVER… everyone who tried this said it was amazing. So I’m gonna trust them on that one. If you’ve got kids or you’re insanely busy in the mornings, this is a great idea. It’s oatmeal on the go- but it’s REAL oatmeal. Not to mention the fact that this is a vegan recipe, and can be gluten-free if you use a gluten-free oatmeal (like Bob’s Red Mill)!

Easy breakfasts to go- no cooking involved!

And you can add whatever you want. In the summer fresh blueberries or raspberries would be great additions. And since it’s no-cook, there’s no sweaty-over-the-stove action. Make it chai-flavored, leave it plain, stir in fresh fruit like apples or pears or even shredded coconut & chocolate chips. Add dried cranberries or dried cherries & toasted almonds. If you have peaches frozen, they’d be great to add too. Or any frozen summer berry! You can also just stir in some jam.

But at this time of year, it should really be either apple or pumpkin. Maybe even pumpkin applesauce?

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  1. What? Are you kidding me? No-cook overnight homemade oatmeal? In the fridge? It is an amazing idea! I’m so excited about this. I am so happy! I’m gonna do this! How long does it keep, do you think? Could I make five portions on Sunday for my weekday mornings and have it keep in the fridge so I can just grab and go each morning? What do you think?

    Oh, and by the way, Marilla, I’m back! No more gluten free me! It wasn’t worth the sacrifice to me, girl. The health benefits did justify the pain in the butt the gluten-free lifestyle was to me. Now, I’m free as a bird again. Free. As. A. Bird. I’m eating a much more sensible diet now. I joined Weight Watchers, which allows me to eat anything I want, but in moderation. Doesn’t that make so much more sense?

    So you’ll see me around more, M, ’cause I’m gonna start baking again. In the meantime, your oatmeal? Amazing. I can’t wait to try this.

  2. I meant to write that the health benefits did **not justify the pain the gluten-free lifestyle was to me. Ooopsy.

  3. Really random side note: I’m sure this will not be a surprise, but Scott and I loooove Hall and Oates… and in typical Scott fashion he started calling them HandO (H and O). Just thought I would share, continue! 🙂

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