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Easy Overnight Oats

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This easy overnight oats recipe is a healthy simple breakfast that you can make ahead for busy mornings and customize with many add-ins and toppings!

  • Author: Yumna Jawad
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Easy Overnight Oats Recipe

Happy New Year! Like many of you guys, I’ll be pressing the reset button on my eating habits in the new year. One of those easy feel good habits I’ve had since 2013 is preparing overnight oats at night while preparing my kids’ lunches. I get asked a lot of questions about how I prepare my overnight oats. In this post, I’ll show you how I make my basic overnight oatmeal recipe, share some tips for making them on your own, and show you four of my favorite overnight oats combinations.

This overnight oats recipe is a great healthy breakfast that you can prepare in advance and it can last all week. So it makes it a great meal prep idea for Sunday night to prepare for the work week.

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Easy overnight oats - 4 ways

What are overnight oats?

If you’ve never had overnight oatmeal, they’re basically a no-cook method of making oatmeal. So, instead of cooking oatmeal on the stovetop or in the microwave, you soak the raw oats with milk. That soaking process allows the oats to absorb the liquid and soften them enough to eat uncooked. You only need to let the oats soak and rest in the fridge for 2 hours. But, it’s ideal if you soak it overnight…hence the name overnight oats!

The next morning you have a ready-to-eat, delicious, creamy bowl or jar or “oatmeal.” The consistency is like a porridge or pudding. It makes for an easy convenient breakfast that has a more dense and creamy texture than warm oatmeal.

Best of all, you reap all the healthy benefits of oats in a fun grab-and-go breakfast:

  1. They contain more protein than most grains (5g per serving).
  2. They’re a rich source of fiber, which helps you feel fuller longer (4g per serving).
  3. They’re high in antioxidants which may help lower blood pressure levels.
  4. They can help you lose weight by making you feel more full and slowing down the emptying of your stomach.
Peanut Butter & Jelly Overnight Oats with other glasses of overnight oats in the background

What ingredients do you need for overnight oats recipe?

  1. Oats: This is really the only ingredient that’s non-negotiable. Make sure to use plain old-fashioned oats and not quick oats because the consistency is best with rolled oats. You can also use gluten-free oats.
  2. Milk: For the liquid part, you can actually make this with water! But it’s more common to use milk. You can use full fat, 2% or low-fat milk. You can also use plant-based milk like almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk or oat milk.
  3. Chia Seeds (optional): These seeds are packed with tons of nutrition, and they help give the oats a pudding-like texture. So I always like to include them in my base recipe.
  4. Greek or vegan yogurt (optional): This gives the oats a tangy flavor, creamy texture and boost of protein.
  5. Vanilla extract (optional): This enhances all the flavors that go into the overnight oatmeal as well as giving it sweetness without any sweetener.
  6. Sweetener (optional): Use honey or maple syrup to sweeten the mixture, especially because oats can be somewhat bland on their own.
  7. Toppings: This is where you can have some fun with fresh fruit, dried fruit, nut butters, nuts, seeds and spices (like cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom). There are so many topping ideas and combinations, and I think that’s what makes this such a great versatile recipe!
Ingredients needed to make easy overnight oats

How to make basic overnight oats?

It’s all about the ratios in my opinion to get the consistency you like. So I recommend you start with my suggested ratio below and then add more milk or use less milk until you find what works perfectly for you! Once you nail down the ratio of the basic overnight oats recipe, the sky’s the limit with the flavor combinations and toppings.

Here’s my simple ratio:

1 part oats + 1 part milk + 1/4 part seeds

To start, combine old fashioned oats and chia seeds. You can use a bowl, a mason jar or just some glass cups like I did here.

Collage showing step by step making of overnight oats: oats + chia seeds

Next add the Greek or vegan yogurt and vanilla extract.

Collage showing step by step making of overnight oats: oats + chia seeds + greek yogurt + vanilla extract

And then add the sweetener of choice and the milk. Then mix the overnight oats together until you see no clumps. Next, seal or cover with a lid, and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Collage showing step by step making of overnight oats: oats + chia seeds + greek yogurt + vanilla extract + maple syrup + milk

The next morning, grab a spoon, add your favorite toppings and dig in!

Almond joy overnight oats in a glass cup with other overnight oats in background

Overnight Oatmeal Recipe Ideas

Peanut Butter Jelly: It’s like having a peanut butter jelly sandwich in overnight oats form. I layer peanut butter, strawberry jelly, fresh cut strawberries and crushed peanuts. It has a sweet and salty taste that reminds me of my childhood.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Overnight Oats

Apple Pie: With the combination of chopped apples, pecans, maple syrup and ground cinnamon, this variation is a great fall recipe that has a warm sweet taste and satisfying crunch from the fruit and nuts.

Apple Pie Overnight Oats

Banana Nutella: The name of this recipe says it all. You’ve got bananas and you’ve got Nutella…can it possibly go wrong? I would highly recommend this one for anyone who’s skeptical about trying overnight oats, especially kids. The banana and Nutella together have a rich decadent taste that makes it feel like you’re enjoying dessert, instead of a nutritious breakfast. I know Nutella is not the healthiest, but a dollop of it here is no biggie. I also add crushed hazelnuts and chocolate chips to enhance the flavor.

Banana Nutella Overnight Oats

Almond Joy: We’re all familiar with the popular chocolate bar, and I was frankly obsessed with it growing up. So this recipe reminds of of those flavors and it’s probably one of my most favorite ways to make overnight oats. I use shredded coconut, crushed almonds, mini chocolate chips and maple syrup.

Almond Joy Overnight Oats

Tips for making the best overnight oats

  • Make it inside of a jar or a mason jar (with measurement lines on the side). This way you can measure, mix, chill, carry and eat the overnight oats all in one convenient container.
  • Use plain old fashioned rolled oats, not quick oats. Quick oats will get too soggy when soaked with milk. And do not use steel cut oats because they won’t soften enough to eat just with milk unfortunately.
  • Warm it up if you prefer warm oats in the morning. Although overnight oatmeal is typically served cold, you can definitely eat them warmer. Just place them in the microwave for one minute and be sure to use a microwave-safe jar. I do this for my daughter who hates cold food in the morning.
  • Make a bunch for the week. Because overnight oats typically stay good in the fridge for up to 5 days, I recommend making a batch on Sunday and having it on hand in the fridge for the whole week. Be careful if you’re adding fruit beforehand because they will typically not remain fresh for more than a couple days.
4 ways to make overnight oats

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Easy Overnight Oats recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

For more oatmeal recipes:

5 from 8 votes
4 ways to make overnight oats
Easy Overnight Oats
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 

This easy overnight oats recipe is a healthy simple breakfast that you can make ahead for busy mornings and customize with many add-ins and toppings!

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: breakfast ideas, clean eating, healthy eating, oats, Vegetarian
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 332 kcal
Ingredients
Base
  • ½ cup rolled old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup milk of choice
  • ¼ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sweetener of choice honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Peanut Butter & Jelly
  • 1 tablespoon strawberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • ¼ cup diced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts crushed
Apple Pie
  • 1/4 cup diced apples
  • 1 tablespoon pecans chopped
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Banana Nutella
  • ½ banana sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Nutella
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnuts crushed
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips
Almond Joy
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon almonds chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a large glass container and mix until combined.
  2. Cover the glass container with a lid or plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. Toppings can be added the night before or immediately before serving.

  3. Uncover and enjoy from the glass container the next day. Thin with a little more milk or water, if desired.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Storage: Overnight oats can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. This makes it an ideal breakfast meal prep to make on Sunday night for the week.

Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.

  • Make it vegan: Use plant-based milk, plant-based yogurt, and maple syrup for sweetener
  • Make it gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free oats
  • Make it sugar-free: Omit the sweetener all together or used mashed or pureed fruit in the base recipe

Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.  This information should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. The nutrition value is for one serving without any toppings.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Overnight Oats
Amount Per Serving
Calories 332 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 78mg 3%
Potassium 439mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 40g 13%
Dietary Fiber 8g 32%
Sugars 8g
Protein 17g 34%
Vitamin A 4%
Calcium 30%
Iron 14.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This easy overnight oats recipe is a healthy simple breakfast that you can make ahead for busy mornings and customize with many add-ins and toppings! | Overnight Oats | Oatmeal | Breakfast Ideas | Healthy Breakfast | Breakfast on-the-go | #overnightoats #oatmealrecipe #healthybreakfast #feelgoodfoodie

Comments

  • Reply
    Ben
    March 13, 2019 at 1:04 am

    Thank you- changed my mornings!!!

  • Reply
    Paula
    January 18, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Me and my husband have been eating this everyday for the past week! We’re always on the run so something so simple and filling is definitely a plus! Absolutely love this recipe ❤️

    • Reply
      Yumna Jawad
      January 20, 2019 at 11:18 am

      That’s so great to hear Paula!! Thank you so much for sharing and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    Candice Ayar
    January 18, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    Yumna’s oats make for such a quick, easy, and nutritious breakfast that it’s become one of my favorite go-to meal preps! I got my entire family on this!! It’s basically a no-cook, genius method for making oatmeal💯My boys and I had so much fun playing around with the toppings that we even made a healthy Nutella to go with it🤤 I enjoy these overnight oats almost daily with simply berries and nut butter – the addition of chocolate, once in a while! My mornings are super hectic, so I just grab and take to work with me, how great is that?!

    I combined 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats + 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 Tbsp chia seeds + 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup + 1/4 tsp vanilla extract in a glass cup or you can use a mason jar, covered and refrigerated overnight. I added a splash of almond milk to the oats in the morning, gave it a little stir and the boys helped me top them with banana we cut into mini stars + homemade nutella (hazelnuts, cacao powder, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, pink salt) + dairy-free chocolate chips + crushed hazelnuts. Amazing.

    • Reply
      Yumna Jawad
      January 20, 2019 at 11:18 am

      Thanks you so much for sharing! So glad to hear you enjoyed them and that you had fun playing around with the different toppings! Thank you!!

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