Learn how to make the perfect batch of overnight oats! It’s one of the easiest, no-cook breakfast options that will leave you with healthy grab-and-go breakfasts to enjoy throughout the week. Bonus – it’s endlessly customizable!
If you love healthy breakfast ideas but don’t want to do a whole lot of work in the morning, overnight oats were made for you. Honestly, it’s as easy as stirring together a couple of ingredients in a jar, placing it in the fridge, and enjoying the next morning. That’s it! There’s no cooking, baking, and you don’t even get any extra dishes dirty. It’s a total winner all around.
The beauty of overnight oats is that you can make them as simple or creative as you’d like. The base recipe is delicious, and filling all on its own. But if you’d like to spruce it up, you can add a variety of toppings and mix-ins, including fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, spices, jams, and more. I’ll share a few ideas with you today, but as always, feel free to share your overnight oats creativity in the comments below!
Base Overnight Oats Ingredients
While technically you only need rolled oats and milk to make overnight oats, I always add chia seeds, yogurt, and a smidge of maple syrup in my base recipe. That’s what makes them ultra creamy and tasty!
Rolled oats: Make sure to use old fashioned rolled oats for the best texture. And remember to look for certified gluten-free oats if you’re gluten-sensitive or celiac.
Milk: You can use dairy or dairy-free milk (like almond milk, oat milk, or cashew milk), and yes, even water works. It just depends how creamy you’d like it.
Yogurt: A simple Greek yogurt or dairy-free yogurt makes provides extra creaminess, protein, and that perfect touch of tangy flavor.
Chia Seeds: These magical little seeds will gel up in the oats to make it creamy and thick. Plus, they’re loaded with health benefits and give a nutrient boost.
Maple Syrup: Natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey blend in beautifully. You can always add as little or as much as you’d like.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
Health Benefits Of Overnight Oats
A warm bowl of oatmeal is pretty high up there when it comes to healthy breakfast options. But I’ll let you in on a secret – overnight oats does wonders for your gut health specifically. Hello resistant starches and prebiotics! Here’s a few key reasons why you should to whip up this recipe today…
It’s a nutritional powerhouse! Aside from being rich in fiber, protein, and antioxidants, oats contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals that promote a happy and healthy gut.
Have digestion problems? No problem. Soaking your oats overnight helps to break the starches down and reduce phytic acid. That means it’s easier to digest and to absorb the oats’ nutrients more efficiently. Perfect for those of us with gluten sensitivities!
Contains a higher dose of resistant starch. Resistant starch is a natural carb that helps with things like digestion, weight loss, and increasing feelings of fullness. Luckily, cooled starchy foods (like overnight oats) have a higher amount of resistant starch compared to cooked ones.
Time and money savers. Oats are one of the best ingredients when you’re looking to eat healthy on a budget. Best of all, prepping overnight oats takes less than 5 minutes!
How To Make Easy Overnight Oats
For a single serving. It’s super easy to make overnight oats in a jar!
Stir it all together. In a small jar, stir together the oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, and maple syrup.
It’s soaking time. Place the jar in the fridge to let the oats soak for at least 2 hours, though overnight is best.
Add toppings and serve. The next morning, add your favorite toppings and enjoy! Alternatively, you can scoop the oats out into a bowl and add toppings from there.
If you’re looking to make a bigger batch, just double, triple or quadruple the recipe. It’s as easy as that!
Stir together. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, and maple syrup.
Cover and soak. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let it soak overnight in the fridge.
Serve individually. Scoop out a portion (1-cup) from the bowl into a serving glass or bowl. Then add your favorite toppings!
Ways To Make Overnight Oats Exciting
Now here comes the fun part – toppings and mix-ins! From fruits to seeds to yogurt, there’s no right or wrong way to make overnight oats. Creativity is the name of the game here. So whatever your heart desires, go for it. But if you need some inspiration, see below for my favorite flavor combinations!
Fresh fruit: Make the most of seasonal fruits, including blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, peaches, pears, and apples. You can also blend them into a puree or make a chia seed jam to stir in.
Dried fruit: Raisins, cranberries, goji berries, and chopped dates lend a chewy texture and fruity flavors.
Nuts and Seeds: Sliced almonds, chopped pecans or walnuts, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, and toasted sesame seeds add a subtle crunchy texture.
Extra Flavor: Sprinkle on coconut flakes or cacao nibs. They’ll taste amazing with banana, strawberry, or tropical flavors.
Spices: Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, cardamom, or ginger to spice things up a bit!
Yogurt: Mix in any type of yogurt for extra creaminess. Plus, it’ll add extra protein and a probiotic boost.
Nut Butter: Choose your favorite nut butter (I always love almond butter), and stir it in or drizzle it on top. It too will provide a protein boost.
Protein Powder: Still want an even bigger protein boost? Feel free to add protein powder or collagen powder.
The Best Jars to Use
While many photos online will show overnight oats filled to the brim of the jar with toppings overflowing, that’s just not realistic in terms of mixing. You want a jar that’s large enough to stir everything together without making a mess. So with that in mind, I recommend a 16-ounce jar if you plan to add a pile of toppings. And a 12-ounce jar works for the base recipe, and a small amount of mix-ins. These are my favorites:
Mason Jars: Traditional mason jars are perfect for overnights oats. The pint-sized jars are 16-ounces, and the screw top lid is secure and super easy. You can also get 16-ounce wide mouth jars if you prefer.
Weck Jars: While I normally love Weck Jars for so many things (like chia pudding), if you plan to “grab and go” with your overnight oats, you might lose the clips. But if you’re careful, the 1/4 liter mold jar is the perfect size for the base recipe at 12.5-ounces.
How To Store And Meal Prep
Whether you’re making a single serving or 5 days worth of breakfast, overnight oats is a meal prep savior.
To Store: Overnight oats will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge. If you have fruit toppings or fruit mix-ins, I recommend no more than 3 days, as the fruit is likely to go bad first.
For Freezing: Yes, you can freeze overnight oats! Similar to my meal prep chia pudding, overnight oats will stay good for several months in the freezer.
Overnight Oats Questions Answered
Can you use quick cooking oats? Yes, you can. But the texture will end up more mushy, like porridge.
Do you have to use yogurt? No, you don’t have to. But I find that it lends a rich, creamy texture if that’s what you’re looking for!
Can you eat overnight oats warm? Yes! Overnight oats don’t have to be eaten cold. Just warm them up in a bowl on the stovetop or microwave the next morning.
Will oats expand as they soak? Yes, they’ll expand a little (about 10-15%). So don’t fill the jar to the brim.
Can you eat overnight oats for dinner? Absolutely! As I always say… food can be eaten any time of any day!
More Easy, Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas
When you need a break from overnight oats, give these recipes a try! They’re easy, flavorful and perfect for meal prepping.