Overnight Oats are perfect for busy mornings, all you need is a 5 minutes prep before going to bed and you can have a delicious, filling, and healthy breakfast the next morning.
Are you a morning person? It can be hard to get out of bed and face a busy day, but having a delicious breakfast ready to eat helps! Overnight Oats are one of our favorite ways to plan for a successful start to the day. They take just a couple of minutes of prep the night before, they’re nutritious and delicious, and there are so many ways to customize them to your favorite flavors. What’s not to love? Let’s get into it!
What are Overnight Oats?
Overnight night oats are a healthy no-cook make-ahead breakfast. The basic overnight oats recipe is made by soaking rolled oats overnight with your favorite plant-based milk or regular milk and letting them sit in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning you will have a ready-to-eat grab-and-go breakfast.
Using this method the oats soak up all the liquid and they soften without heat for a creamy satisfying consistency. We also recommend adding seeds, nuts, fruit, and a sweetener. While overnight oats are typically eaten cold, they can also be heated for a quick and healthy breakfast in the colder months.
How to make overnight oats
1. Start with a basic recipe for overnight oats and adjust it to your liking
To the basic overnight oatmeal, you can add fruit, nut butter, nuts, replace sweetener for mashed banana, etc.
2. Mix all the ingredients ( see options and add-ons below) really well in a large bowl and divide into 4 glass jars or containers with lids. Refrigerate overnight.
3. As you get used to making overnight you can adjust the ingredients depending on your taste. You can add more oats for thicker oats, more milk for looser oats, more or less sweetener, and chia seeds. That’s up to you.
4. In the morning you could add fresh fruit and nuts or have them already mixed into the oats.
Ingredients in overnight oats
The best thing about overnight oats is that you can make them as simple or elaborate as you’d like! There are endless possibilities for customizing your breakfast, and none of them require work in the morning. It’s a total win if you aren’t an early bird! The basics of overnight oats, though, are liquid and oats. You only need those two ingredients to start with:
Oats: Use old-fashioned oats for best results, not quick oats ( they will be too mushy) or steel-cut oats ( they will not soften). Old-fashioned oats have the next texture for an overnight oats recipe. Make sure you’re buying certified gluten-free oats if you’re sensitive to gluten.
Milk: You may use your favorite plant-based milk. We’ve had success with cashew, almond, coconut, and even oat milk! You can also try soy, flax, quinoa, cashew, or just plain regular milk.
Mix-Ins for Overnight Oats
This is where you can have fun and make them your own! Spices and sweeteners can be mixed in the night before, but we recommend saving fresh fruit and crunchy toppings like nuts or seeds for topping right before eating.
Seeds: Hemp, chia, pepitas, sunflower, and even sesame seeds would be great. Chia seeds add fiber, and protein, they are filling and give the overnight oats a thicker consistency.
Nuts: Pecans, walnuts, cashews, toasted hazelnuts, pistachios, slivered almonds...nuts add a satisfying crunch and nutritious protein at the same time. Sprinkle any nuts of your choice right before eating. You could also use nut butter like almond, peanut butter, or Nutella! Peanut butter overnight oats are a kid favorite.
Fresh Fruit: The sky’s the limit! Berries, bananas, apples, peaches, pears...any fruit you enjoy would be great on top of overnight oats. You have the option to use fresh or frozen fruit. We recommend adding the frozen fruit to the oats overnight and adding the fresh fruit right before eating the oats.
Dried Fruit: Craisins, raisins, apricots, dates, mango, or shredded coconut would all taste amazing.
Sweeteners: We recommend a liquid sweetener such as honey, agave, or maple syrup to make it easier to mix in. Coconut sugar also works well. For a sugar-free option may try stevia, mashed banana, or some dried fruit. You can even use a spoonful of sugar to sweeten your overnight oats. Jams and jellies are another delicious way to sweeten and add flavor!
Spices: Cinnamon is a go-to, but you can also add spice and warmth with cardamom, turmeric, or ginger!
Other toppings: You can be as creative as you like with your toppings. Let us know what your favorite toppings are in the comments!
How to Add Protein to Overnight Oats
Oats already have more protein than most other whole grains, so it’s a great breakfast! For even more body-strengthening protein overnight oats, try adding one of these.
Yogurt: Greek yogurt or plant-based yogurt add a creamy texture, plus digestion benefits from the live cultures and probiotics. Overnight oats with yogurt are a double win!
Nuts: We mentioned a bunch of delicious possibilities above, but almonds, walnuts, or pecans would all add protein.
Protein Powder: Mix a scoop into your overnight oats
Are Overnight Oats Healthy?
Yes! We believe this has got to be the easiest way to get a stress-free, nutritious breakfast with zero effort in the morning. Just grab your oats out of the refrigerator and you’re ready to go! Oats contain fiber, antioxidants, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They’ll keep you full longer and help control hunger, and soaking the oats also helps break down the starches and makes it easier to digest.
Here's what we love about our easy overnight oats.
- High in fiber.
- Satisfying. Keep you full longer and help control hunger.
- A healthy breakfast.
- Easy and quick to make.
- Last in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- They can be customized to your liking.
Are Overnight Oats Gluten-Free?
Yes! Just make sure you’re buying certified gluten-free oats. They can also be vegan if you use plant-based milk and yogurt. The beauty of overnight oats is how easy they are to customize to your own needs and preferences!
More Tips for the Best Overnight Oats Recipe
We’ve made enough overnight oats that we now have some solid advice for the very best batch! Here are some of the secrets we’ve learned for perfect overnight oats:
- Make them ahead of time! Overnight oats are perfect for prepping for a big family or for having your breakfast made for the week all at once.
- Make the base in one big batch, then portion it into individual servings. You can store overnight oats for 5-6 days in the refrigerator, so a couple of minutes of work on Sunday night can get you breakfast all week.
- Wait to add fresh fruit and nuts - To keep the fruit as fresh as possible, wait to add it until you’re ready to sit down and eat! The same goes for nuts; add them in the morning so they’re perfectly crunchy.
- Add frozen fruit if you don't have fresh fruit available and you can add the frozen fruit when making this make-ahead breakfast. Frozen fruit is great in the winter months when there is less variety to choose from.
- Try it warm! Most people eat overnight oats cold, but you can heat them in the microwave for 45-60 seconds or on the stovetop for a warm bowl of goodness.
The Best Jars to Use for Overnight Oats
Classic Mason jars are the go-to for overnight oats! They’re easy to find and you can take them with you in the morning if you’re on the go. We like jars with a wide mouth since they’re easier to scoop ingredients into. Any container with a sealed lid would work, though.
Other Overnight Oats Recipes
- Red White and Blue Overnight Oats
- Easy Overnight Oats with Figs and Coconut
- Pumpkin Spice Latte Overnight Oats
- Cashew and Banana Overnight Oats
- Pumpkin Overnight Oats
- Make-Ahead Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal
If you enjoyed this recipe, it would help us tremendously if you left us a star rating in the comments below or on the recipe card. Do you have any questions about the recipe or do you need a swap for any of the ingredients? We are here to help, just leave us a question in the comments below.Print
If you have 5 minutes before going to bed, you can have a delicious, healthy and filling overnight oat breakfast the next morning.
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or any plant-based milk of your choice
- 2 organic apples
- 2 tbsp honey (vegans sub for maple syrup or agave)
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup plain or vanilla greek yogurt (vegans sub for vegan yogurt)
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 4 tbsp toasted slivered almonds
- In a medium bowl, combine oats, chia seeds and almond milk. Mix well and set aside
- Peel and grate the apples. Add lemon juice and honey and mix well
- Add greek yogurt and apples to the oat mixture. Mix well, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Alternatevely you can divide the mixture into 4 glass containers with a lid or even better divide into indidual containers in the morning when the oats are set.
- Before serving, top with ¼ cup pomegranate seeds and 1 tbsp almonds per cup of overnight oats.
- For a breakfast on the go prepare the oatmeal in individual glass jars.
Not pomegranate season? Add strawberries, blueberries, peaches or any seasonal fruit.
- To reduce the amount of sugar use unsweetened almond milk and plain yogurt.
- Prep Time: 7 mins
- Cook Time: overnight
- Category: breakfast
- Method: raw
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 309
- Sugar: 25.9
- Sodium: 65
- Fat: 8
- Saturated Fat: .9
- Unsaturated Fat: 2.9
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 49.6
- Fiber: 9.3
- Protein: 11.2
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: gluten-free, kosher, overnight oats, easy breakfast, grab and go breakfast