A feeling of contentment still washes over me when I think back on how my daughter would make a bee-line to the refrigerator when she got home from school to grab herself a jar of overnight oats before digging in to her homework. Watching her enjoy the food I prepared, and knowing the nourishment it provided for her, was, and continues to be, deeply gratifying for me.

The individual, puddinglike jars were so convenient to have around as a make-ahead snack or breakfast, I’d make a batch practically weekly, changing up the variations with the seasons. I don’t make overnight oats quite as often these days, with my daughter now away at college, but they are still in regular rotation in my home.

In the spring and summer I add peaches, cherries or fresh berries to the base of milk, yogurt, oats and seasonings, and in the winter I stir in grated apple, chunks of pear and dried cranberries. Throughout the fall I can’t resist the allure of pureed pumpkin mixed with a warm, fragrant blend of pumpkin-spice — ground cinnamon, cloves and ginger.

Studded with buttery, toasted pecans and lightly sweetened with maple syrup, these autumn-hued, parfait-like jars of goodness are a flavorful, handy, nutritious way to fuel your morning or afternoon, no matter your age.

Want to save this recipe? Click the bookmark icon below the serving size at the top of this page, then go to My Reading List in your washingtonpost.com user profile.

Make Ahead: The oats need to be prepared at least 8 hours in advance of serving.

Storage Notes: The prepared oats can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.


  • 1 cup (85 grams) pecan pieces
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) reduced-fat or whole milk
  • 1 cup (230 grams) plain whole milk or low-fat yogurt, plus more for garnish
  • 3/4 cup (180 grams) pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for serving
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup (95 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats

Step 1

In a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast the pecans, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board to cool, then coarsely chop. Set aside half of the pecans and transfer the remaining to an airtight container and refrigerate.

Step 2

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and ginger until combined. Stir in the reserved pecans and the oats. Taste, and add 1 more tablespoon of maple syrup, if desired. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes, then stir well and divide the mixture evenly among four 12-ounce (1 1/2-cup) jars. Cover the jars tightly and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and preferably overnight.

Step 3

Right before serving, top each jar with a quarter of the refrigerated pecans, a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Nutrition Information

Per serving (1 1/4 cups), based on 4.

Calories: 440; Total Fat: 26 g; Saturated Fat: 4 g; Cholesterol: 7 mg; Sodium: 63 mg; Carbohydrates: 47 g; Dietary Fiber: 7 g; Sugar: 21 g; Protein: 11 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From cookbook author and registered nutritionist Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Olga Massov; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

Did you make this recipe? Take a photo and tag us on Instagram with #eatvoraciously.

More from Nourish on Voraciously: