Vegan Vanilla Pumpkin Overnight Oats
5 from 4 votes

These vegan vanilla pumpkin overnight oats are such a treat! They taste of vanilla and pumpkin pie spice, and they’re naturally sweetened with finely chopped medjool dates. The dates almost seem to melt into the overnight oats, creating pockets of sweetness and texture. You can meal prep the overnight oats on the weekend for quick, portable, nutritious weekday breakfasts.

A glass mason jar with a white lid is resting on a white surface. It holds a mixture of vegan pumpkin overnight oats with chia seeds.

You’ll see no shortage of pumpkin recipes when October arrives.

Many of them will be of the warm and cozy variety. I have a number of beloved recipes like this myself, especially my classic vegan pumpkin bread, pumpkin chocolate marble loaf, pumpkin skillet cornbread, and pumpkin chocolate chip baked oatmeal.

But how about something a little different? How about a cool dish that features pumpkin? Something that’s just about perfect for that moment in early October when fall vibes are in full effect, but it’s not quite chilly outside?

I got you. These vegan vanilla pumpkin overnight oats are the perfect breakfast for early fall. And they’re one of my all time favorite overnight oat recipes, period.

All about overnight oats

What are overnight oats, exactly? And what makes them any different from regular oats?

Some of the distinctions are fuzzy. But for the most part, regular oatmeal is cooked on a stovetop, whereas overnight oats are made by soaking rolled oats overnight (or for 8+ hours).

Soaking hydrates and plumps the oats up, so that they’re pleasant to eat without the need to actively cook them.

Overnight oats can be made in many different ways. They can be made with quick oats or rolled oats (it’s even possible to make them with steel cut oats, though I don’t like that texture myself) and a variety of mix ins.

People often add chia seeds or flax seeds to overnight oats to make them more dense and textured. I nearly always add chia seeds to mine.

Overnight oats have one of the same standout qualities as cooked oatmeal: they’re incredibly versatile. You can choose your favorite seasonings to flavor them and add any combination of mix-ins that suits your mood.

I love this vegan overnight oatmeal recipe in particular, but another favorite is my banana mocha overnight oats.

Why pumpkin?

I mean, why not?

Pumpkin gets celebrated as an ingredient in the fall months, and this makes perfect sense. Fresh pumpkins are in season at that time of year.

Even so, canned pumpkin is available year round. And it is such a fantastic ingredient in so many ways.

Pumpkin is versatile. It can be used to add moisture to vegan baked goods, thereby reducing the amount of fat that’s required for them.

Pumpkin is subtly sweet; it sweetens a recipe just enough, without being overtly sugary or fruity.

I also love the nutrition in pumpkin! Pumpkin is an excellent source of Vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber. It’s a good source of Vitamin B2, Vitamin E, and iron.

Most of all, pumpkin is an outstanding source of beta-carotene, the precursor of Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision, and it’s also important for immune health.

In short, pumpkin is as nutrient-dense as it is creamy, colorful, and delightful to eat.

An asymmetrical, white bowl is filled with oats, non-dairy milk, and chia seeds. A teaspoon rests next to it.

Pumpkin overnight oat ingredients

The ingredients for these overnight oats are simple. In fact, if you’re someone who keeps a couple cans of pumpkins in your pantry on the regular, you may have everything you need to make them right now.

Oats

I like to use rolled oats for my overnight oats. Quick oats taste a little sandy to me, while I find steel-cut oats to be much too hard and chewy for soaking.

Rolled oats are perfectly tender, yet chewy.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds will add some texture, as well as anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber, to the overnight oats. You can use white or black chia seeds here.

Plant milk

When I first developed this recipe, I was giving a test run to Abbott’s Ensure® Plant-Based Protein shake.

That was an exciting moment, because until then, ready-to-drink protein shake for vegans (as well as those who are lactose-free, or simply interested in seeking out plant-based foods) were relatively rare.

In addition, the shake contributed a nice, extra boost of protein to the oats.

However, the vanilla pumpkin overnight oats can be made with non-dairy milk as well. This is how I prepare them at home most often.

You have lots of options. The overnight oats will work with soy milk (great for adding extra protein), oat milk, almond milk, cashew milk, and light coconut milk.

I recommend an unsweetened variety, so that the caramel-like natural sweetness from dates can really shine through.

It’s also worth saying that I like to use store-bought plant milk, for the calcium fortification. However, you can use a homemade plant milk, too. I have many options on this site:

Pumpkin purée

I like to use canned pumpkin purée for this recipe (you can make it from scratch, but that’s a lot of work for overnight oats).

Be sure to purchase pumpkin purée, rather than pumpkin pie filling, which is pre-sweetened and pre-seasoned with spices.

Pumpkin pie spice

Speaking of spices, pumpkin pie spice adds characteristic autumnal aroma and flavor to the pumpkin overnight oats.

Pumpkin pie spice is typically just a store-bought mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and/or allspice. I keep it around because I do a lot of baking at home, and it’s really nice to get these spices in one place, rather than fiddling around with multiple jars.

If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice for the recipe, it’s no big deal. Just use a quarter teaspoon ground cinnamon, a quarter teaspoon ground ginger, and a pinch of ground cloves.

Vanilla

Vanilla adds depth of flavor to the overnight oats, and I think it complements the pitted dates really nicely.

Dates

And on that topic, pitted Medjool dates are the source of sweetness in this recipe.

I love adding finely chopped Medjool dates to overnight oats because they sort of melt into the mixture overnight.

By the time you eat the oats, the dates will have contributed their lovely, caramel notes to your overnight oat mixture. They’ll also have gotten creamy—you’ll get nice pockets of them as you eat, but they’ll be softened.

My favorite dates are the heavenly, California-grown dates from Rancho Meladuco. I order them by the 2lb box!

An angled photograph of a bowl of vegan pumpkin overnight oats. A silver teaspoon is resting in the oats, as if they're ready to be eaten.

How to make vegan vanilla pumpkin overnight oats

The process of making these overnight oats is, fortunately, very easy.

You’ll simply mix all of the ingredients together in an airtight container that has a lid.

Place the lid on the oats, transfer them to the fridge overnight, and let them soak and take on a nice, thickened texture.

In the morning, stir the oats. You’ll have two servings, per the recipe, so you can divide what you have into small serving bowls and eat right away.

Alternatively, you can divide it into individual storage containers, so that you have a meal prep breakfast ready for the following day, or later in the week.

If you’re meal prepping for a family, you can double or even triple the recipe.

The Vegan Week

Embrace the joy of eating homemade food every day with the hearty and wholesome recipes in The Vegan Week.

Whether you have three, two, or even just one hour of time to spare, The Vegan Week will show you how to batch cook varied, colorful, and comforting dishes over the weekend.

Storage

Once soaked overnight, the vanilla pumpkin overnight oats can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 more days.

I like to store my overnight oats in mason jars, but any storage container with an airtight lid will work.

A zoomed in image of soaked oats and chia seeds. Small pieces of Medjool dates are visible in the oat mixture, which also holds a small, silver spoon.

A glass mason jar with a white lid is resting on a white surface. It holds a mixture of vegan pumpkin overnight oats with chia seeds.
5 from 4 votes

Vanilla Spice Pumpkin Overnight Oats

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Overnight resting time 8 hours
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups unsweetened soy, oat, cashew or almond milk (315mL)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (120g)
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (90g)
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds (6g)
  • 2 large, pitted medjool dates, finely chopped

Instructions

  • Combine all of the ingredients in an airtight storage container with a lid. Mix well and cover.
  • Transfer the mixture to the fridge overnight.
  • In the morning, stir the mixture well. Divide it into two serving bowls and enjoy right away, or transfer the soaked overnight oats to individual serving containers and continue to store for up to three more days. The recipe can be doubled or tripled as needed.

Notes

Overnight oats can be prepared up to 2 days in advance.

Vegan overnight oats can be such a convenient, fun-to-eat part of a vegan meal prep routine.

If you’re like me, and you love oatmeal, but sometimes don’t have the time to cook it on the stovetop or the desire to wash a saucepan, then you may find that this recipe creates a lot of space and ease.

I sure hope that you do.

xo

This post was originally sponsored by Abbott. All opinions were and are my own.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Visit my privacy policy to learn more.

Categories: Oatmeal, Snacks
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, No Oil, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: Meal Prep, Quick & Easy

Leave a Comment

5 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)

Star ratings help other readers to find my recipes online. If you loved this recipe, would you please consider giving it a star rating with your comment?

Thank you for your feedback. I'm grateful for your presence in this space!

G

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




    5 Comments
  1. I’ve worked in health care for my entire career and in terms of supplements the one question I’ve been asked most frequently is “What can I use in place of Ensure?” Seems that most people I’ve spoken with (and me too btw) find Ensure unpalatable. Any suggestions on how to up the nutrition wi5out using Ensure?

    • Hi Pat,

      Good question! I think if liquid supplements are needed—for ease, poor appetite, etc.—then blended soups with silken tofu are a gentle and good option. Fruit smoothies with nut butters or silken tofu and/or oats can also work. Of course this presumes use of a blender, which is good for when patients are discharged but doesn’t really work for clinical settings. I’m afraid I don’t have brilliant ideas for those. There are sweets and puddings, which can be helpful for increasing calories and pleasure, but not necessarily helpful for nutrient-density. Bars can be helpful for those who enjoy them, as they’re also concentrated in terms of volume and many are nutritious. I hope that’s a little helpful.

      G

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve never tried overnight oats so this will be my first time. Do you think replacing the pumpkin pie spice with cinnamon and cloves would work?

  3. Thanks Gena–positive development on Ensure’s part! And the oats look delicious! xo