Overnight Oats {Best Recipe & Tips!}

Quick Summary

Learn how to make Overnight Oats, a great make-ahead breakfast that is perfect for busy mornings. The oats are healthy, satisfying, and delicious! Plus, this easy overnight oats recipe is very customizable.

Overnight oats

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but mornings are often hectic, making it hard to cook, sit down, and eat a good meal. Overnight Oats are one of my favorite breakfasts because you can make them the night before and eat them on-the-go!

These healthy no-cook oats are creamy, delicious, and will keep you full for hours. The recipe is super simple and also very customizable. I will give you several ideas for delicious add-ins and fun toppings.

Kids and adults love this nutritious and delicious breakfast!

What are Overnight Oats?

If you are new to overnight oats, let me introduce you.

Traditionally, oatmeal is cooked on the stovetop or in the microwave, but with overnight oats, there is no cooking involved. You soak raw oats in milk with a few other ingredients in the refrigerator overnight instead of cooking them. The oats soak up the milk and soften them, making them creamy, satisfying, and easy to digest.

They are kind of like magic oats! You let them sit overnight and in the morning, voila!! You have a delicious breakfast waiting for you!

how to make overnight oats

Overnight Oats Ingredients

The ingredients are simple and I always have them on hand which is another reason I love overnight oats so much.

  • Oats– I like to use old-fashioned oats instead of quick oats because quick oats get too soft. I like a heartier texture. If you need the recipe to be gluten-free, make sure you use gluten-free oats.
  • Milk– I use unsweetened almond milk, but you can use oat milk, cashew milk, soy milk, or regular dairy milk. Use your favorite.
  • Greek yogurt– I love adding a little plain Greek yogurt for extra protein and to make the oats super creamy. If you need the recipe to be vegan or dairy-free, you can add extra milk or use a dairy-free yogurt.
  • Pure maple syrup or honey– I add a little pure maple syrup or honey to slightly sweeten the oats. Use your favorite and sweeten to taste.
  • Chia seeds– The chia seeds help thicken the oats and add healthy fats, protein, iron, and fiber.
  • Vanilla extract– Add a little vanilla for the best flavor!
  • Cinnamon– Cinnamon and oats are a match made in heaven!
  • Sea salt– Just a pinch!

Use Glass Jars for Overnight Oats

I recommend using a glass jar that has a lid that can be tightly sealed to make and store overnight oats. This ensures that the oats will stay fresh as they soak and not pick up any other odors that might be in the refrigerator.

I like to use a 12 oz jar or 16 oz jar so it’s easy to mix in the jar and so I have plenty of room for toppings! Here are a few good options:

overnight oats recipe

How to Make Overnight Oats

  • In a large glass jar, combine the oats, milk, yogurt, maple syrup or honey, chia seeds, vanilla cinnamon, and sea salt. Stir well to make sure all the ingredients are combined.
  • Cover with a lid and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and stir. If they are too thick, you can add a splash of milk.
  • You can stir in fruit and nut butter when making the oats or just add them as toppings. If you are going to use nuts, coconut, or granola I would wait and add them as toppings, so they don’t get soggy.
  • This recipe is for one serving, that fits in one jar, but you can make a big batch on the weekend and portion it into individual containers for breakfast throughout the week. If you are going to double, triple, or quadruple the recipe, make the oats in a large bowl and then transfer to the glass jars.

Overnight Oat Add-Ins & Toppings

This is a great base recipe that can easily be customized. The options are endless when it comes to overnight oatmeal.

You can stir in add-ins or wait and add toppings in the morning. I prefer to wait and add toppings in the morning so the toppings don’t get mushy.

Here are a few ideas for jazzing up your oats!

  • Nut butters– stir in or top with peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter.
  • Fruit– stir in or top your jar off with berries, peaches, banana slices, apples, pears, pomegranate arils or your favorite fruit.
  • Dried fruit– raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries or dried blueberries are all good mix-ins!
  • Protein powder– if you want extra protein, add your favorite protein powder when making the oats, just stir it in. This is my favorite brand, they have a lot of fun flavors. Use TWOPEAS for a discount.
  • Cocoa powder-if you want chocolate oats, stir in some cocoa powder when making the oats.
  • Jam or preserves– Swirl in your favorite jam or preserves.
  • Chopped Nuts– Top with chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, or cashews.
  • Coconut– I love adding coconut or toasted coconut on top!
  • Granola– Homemade granola is a fun topping! I love the crunch! Try my almond butter, chocolate, or peanut butter granola.
  • Chocolate Chips– want something sweet? Add a few chocolate chips!

How to Serve & Store

I love that you can eat overnight oats right out of the jar. Just take the jar out of the fridge, add your desired toppings and mix-ins, and grab a spoon! Breakfast is served! They are a great grab and go breakfast.

Overnight oats are typically eaten cold, I know it may sound weird to eat cold oats, but I promise they are so tasty!

If you do prefer hot oats, you can heat them up in the microwave. If your glass jar is microwave safe, just remove the lid and pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds or so. Then, add your toppings. If your jar isn’t microwave safe, transfer to a bowl and heat them up!

Overnight oats will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days without any mix-ins or toppings. If you stir in fruit or toppings and then put them in the fridge, they will only last up to 3 days. That is why I recommend waiting to add toppings. You don’t want the fruit to get brown or funky or the toppings to get soggy or mushy.

Nut butter, protein powder, and cocoa powder are fine to stir in while making the oats. They won’t affect the texture or freshness.

healthy overnight oats

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of oats are best for overnight oats?

I recommend using old-fashioned rolled oats. They soak up the liquid overnight, leaving you with perfectly creamy, smooth oatmeal. Quick oats will get too mushy and steel-cut oats will be chewy and dense.

Are overnight oats healthy?

Yes! Overnight oats are healthy, making them a great way to start the day. The oats are high in fiber, help lower cholesterol, and are packed with protein. You can also add fruit to get in a serving of fruit for the day!

How long do overnight oats need to sit?

You can eat the oats after they have been sitting for 2 hours, BUT I recommend waiting 8 to 12 hours so the oats have time to soak up all of the milk. The longer you wait, the creamier they will be. They are called overnight oats for a reason, they are best if they can sit in the fridge overnight!

Do you eat overnight oats cold?

Yes, typically overnights are eaten cold, right out of the fridge. But if prefer hot oatmeal, you can heat them up in the microwave. Just make sure your glass jar is microwave safe or transfer the oats to a bowl and then heat them up.

More Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Easy Overnight Oats

Learn how to make Overnight Oats, a great make-ahead breakfast that is healthy, satisfying, and delicious! Plus, this easy overnight oats recipe is very customizable.

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, or milk of your choice
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, can use vegan yogurt or extra milk
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Dash of cinnamon, optional
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Toppings: fresh fruit, dried fruit, nut butter, chopped nuts, coconut, granola, etc.
You can stir in fruit, nut butter, and protein powder when making the oats or just add them as toppings. If you are going to use nuts, coconut, or granola I would wait and add them as toppings, so they don’t get soggy.
Overnight oats will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, but if you add in fruit, I would eat them by day 3. 

Calories: 245kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 184mg, Potassium: 252mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 4IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 259mg, Iron: 2mg

Have you tried this recipe?

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Photos by Olive & Mango

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