Easy Overnight Oats

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!

Overnight oats in a few jars with fruits on a table.

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!

A jar with ingredients to make overnight oats.

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.

Mixing overnight oats ingredients in a jar.

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!

Mixing overnight oats ingredients in a bowl.

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.

Jars of overnight oats on the table.

The Best Jars to Use

While many photos show overnight oats filled to the brim 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 toppings. And a 12-ounce jar works for the base recipe with a small amount of mix-ins.

  • 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 with different flavors in jars on a table.

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.

  • Loaded Breakfast Casserole: Bake, slice into squares, and store in the fridge or freezer.
  • Chia Seed Pudding: Did you know you can also freeze chia pudding?
  • Breakfast Egg Muffins: These bites are customizable and can be stored in the fridge or freezer.
  • Sweet Potato Toast: Prep slices for the week for a veggie-heavy breakfast! It will keep in the fridge for 5 days.
  • Paleo Pancakes: And when you’re feeling for good ol’ pancakes, these ones store well in the fridge and freezer!

Overnight Oats Recipe Video

You too can master overnight oats. Watch the video below for an easy, step-by-step guide and get inspired by all the topping variations!

If you make this recipe, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Six jars of overnight oats.

Easy Overnight Oats (6 Amazing Flavors)

4.99 from 67 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Chill Time: 8 hrs
Total Time: 8 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Lisa Bryan
Learn how to make the perfect batch of overnight oats! It's easy, healthy, customizable, and great for a grab-and-go breakfast. Watch the video above!

Ingredients

Base Overnight Oats

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk, dairy or dairy-free
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, or dairy-free yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Banana Bread

  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 2 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of ground flaxseed

Spiced Pear

  • 1/2 pear, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg

PB&J

  • 2 tablespoon raspberry jam or puree
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter , or almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon chopped pistachios

Pina Colada

  • 1/4 cup small diced pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • *note: use coconut milk in the base recipe

Carrot Cake

  • 1/4 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Strawberry Protein

  • 1/4 cup small diced strawberry
  • 1 scoop protein powder or collagen powder
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • Add all the ingredients into a sealable jar or bowl and give it a stir until it's all combined.
  • Let it soak in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but it's best to soak overnight for 8 hours. This will yield a creamier consistency.
    Overnight oats mixed in a large bowl with a spoon.
  • Top your overnight oats with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
    Different flavored overnight oats in jars on table.

Lisa's Tips

  • If you make a large batch in a bowl, once it's set and thickened overnight scoop out 1 cup for a single serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 308kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 104mg, Potassium: 311mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 8IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 174mg, Iron: 3mg
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy overnight oats, overnight oats, overnight oats recipe
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
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203 comments on “Easy Overnight Oats”

  1. Will this work with steel cut oats as well?

    • Steel cut oats need a longer soaking time. But I haven’t tested it out yet so I’m not sure how the texture will turn out. Will need to make a future recipe for that :)

  2. Thank you for showing each recipe. My favorite is carrot cake and Pina Colada.5 stars

  3. I really enjoy thiis article. I wanted to tried the over night oats and I’m glad I did,5 stars

  4. Hello! And thank you for these amazing recipes! I’m working on simplifying breakfast and these look like they will be just perfect! I’m making for my type 1 diabetic daughter and wondering about the serving size so that she can accurately calculate her insulin… Does your basic recipe yield more than the serving size of 1 cup? Seems like it would? And is the nutrition info you provided for 1 the basic recipe appropriate for 1 cup, or
    for the amount the basic recipe makes (if that’s more than one cup)? Hope my question made sense! Really appreciate you creating and sharing these recipes, I’m looking forward to following your YouTube!

    • Hi Laura – the nutritional information is just for the basic overnight oats. And yes, the basic version makes about 1 cup!

  5. I have a question! First, I love this recipe and the best one ive tried yet! My question is the facts at the bottom mentions its 308 calories. Now is that just your base recipe or is that for the base+toppings for all recipes? Strawberry protein is my fav btw!5 stars

  6. I made it last night and ate it after a six mile walk today. Added sliced mango & almonds. It was delicious, and very filling. I’m still not hungry, 3+ hours later.
    I will definitely do it again soon.
    Thanks! 
    Beautiful photos & video.5 stars

  7. This is officially my favourite overnight oats!  The base alone is far more interesting and nutritious than many others I’ve come across and the variations are fantastic.  My husband is definitely on-board with these ones (my son still has no taste after CoVID, but I know he’ll love these once he can actually taste them LOL).  I think the Carrot Cake may be my favourite…but it’s a close call. This is one of those recipe links you actually share with friends. The Q&A is also really helpful.  Thank you for this!  5 stars

    • Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear about your son and hope he is doing well. But glad the whole family is enjoying these overnight oats!

  8. I love this recipe. Thank you for sharing!5 stars

  9. Hello!
    Few questions:
    1. If I want to add protein powder should I adjust the amount of liquid I use?
    2. When would I add peanut butter?
    3. Do I have to use a glass jar? Or will a plastic storage container work?

    Thanks! Excited to try this for the first time!!!

    • 1. One of the overnight oats flavors actually uses protein powder in it, which is the strawberry protein one. But you won’t need to adjust the liquid if you just use one scoop of protein powder.
      2. You can add peanut butter to mix it in, or add it as a topping the day of.
      3. You can use a plastic container if you’d like!

  10. Hey!

    Thanks for this beginner recipes :) I wanted to try for a long time as I think I have difficulties to digest gluten (in bread). As I also don’t eat milk, can I use the quantity of milk + yogurt for vegetal milk? Or replace yogurt for something else? Thanks :))5 stars

    • You can omit the yogurt if you’d like. If you do, just reduce the chia seeds by a smidge so it doesn’t absorb all the milk. Also, I suggest to use a dairy-free milk for this :)

  11. Very simple to do and very nice! I started with pina colada. Tomorrow the carrot cake! Awesome!!! I’m open to other recipes you may have. Thanks 5 stars

  12. I don’t normally like oatmeal. But tried your on and j recipe one morning. I fell in love with it.. I now eat it almost everyday. Thank you for the recipe.5 stars

  13. Going to try the recipe this week. Can stevia be substituted for maple syrup?

  14. My overnight oats came out really thick. The consistency is gross. I followed the recipe exactly though. What do I do? :(

    • Overnight oats is meant to be a thick and chunky texture. But, if you want a bit thinner consistency with less chunkiness, you can try using quick oats instead.

    • I just double the milk because I don’t like thick oats either.

      Turns out great!

  15. Hi Lisa!

    Quick question – mixing a proper full-fat yogurt with milk and oats, and leaving it overnight in the fridge won’t cause it to turn all yogurt-y?

    Because that’s similar to how we make yogurt in India – you leave hot milk and a some yogurt mixed in overnight at room temperature, and come morning – voila! There’s fresh homemade yogurt to be had!

    It’s pretty yum.

    Do let me know your thoughts. Great post! Lots of cool info and creative ideas.

    Shazi

  16. I made banana bread flavor for my husband. He loves it. Also my almost 5 years old loves it a lot. I was surprised because she is very picky. She said it was delicious. Thank you. Can’t wait to try other flavors.5 stars

  17. Amazing!!! I found you by chance on YouTube and I’m thrilled! I knew I needed to get more organized to really put my health first. I binge-watched your videos Saturday, meal prepped yesterday and this morning I had my first overnight oats. I couldn’t be happier. Delicious, filling and exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much for all of your hard work that makes life a bit easier for the rest of us. I cannot wait to try so many more of your recipes!5 stars

    • Welcome to the Downshiftology community Lynsie! Happy to hear you enjoyed this overnight oats recipe and can’t wait to see what you make next :)

  18. Amazing5 stars

  19. I was wondering if you could use banana with the protein instead of strawberry

  20. Hi I love these recipes but whenever I make the Pina colada it comes out bitter tasting or with a bitter aftertaste any advise?

    • Hi Jerry, it might be due to the pineapple you used. I would add fresh pineapple the morning of instead of leaving it overnight with the base mixture.

  21. I have a plain batch in the fridge now! My question is for the other “flavors” do you add the additional ingredients with the mixture? Does it all go in the fridge overnight or do I add the mix-ins in the morning? 

    • You can do either way! Mix it in the night before or add in the fruits and toppings the day of. Just note that if you have it mixed in, it will last for up to 3 days in the fridge, instead of 4-5.

  22. I tried the single serving recipe and I loved it!!! This is going to be my new breakfast. Fast and delicious. I only added strawberries and bananas but can’t wait to try all your different mix in ideas. I am trying to lower my BP and looking to change my eating habits. Glad I found your YouTube channel!5 stars

    • Happy to hear you enjoyed these overnight oats! Can’t wait for you to explore more of the different flavors :)

  23. I tried the base recipe and added blueberries the next morning to my bowl before heating in the microwave for 50 secs. It was absolutely delicious! I doubled the x1 recipe and ended up with 3 serves. Makes breakfast very easy! Thankyou for sharing the recipe.5 stars

  24. May I ask what Brand of rolled oats do you use? Thanks! Super excited to try these! I will be making them for my husband who travels and right now he is using the purchase overnight oats subscription and I’m trying to save $$ so any tips for packaging to go would be greatly appreciated!! 

  25. Do you heat these in the AM before eating or just eat cold? I am making them now and have never had overnight oats! Excited to try tomorrow! Thanks.

    • Hi Becka – you will normally eat these cold. But you can warm them up a bit in the microwave if you’d like.

  26. We tried the Piña Colada overnight oats this morning and they were definitely a hit! I personally would prefer a little less vanilla, perhaps only one drop as I found the alcohol slightly noticeable. Will be making again. Yum!5 stars

  27. Wow! This exceeded my expectations. I just tried the base option, warmed it up for a minute in the microwave, tossed in 8 strawberries and it was perfection. I can’t wait to try the other recipes! 5 stars

    • Happy to hear you loved this overnight oats recipe Valerie! Excited to see which flavors you end up liking :)

  28. I’ve just found you through Susan After Sixty’s blog.  
    At just the right time!!  
    I’m 61. 
    I’ve been feeling “bleurgh” for quite a long time. Not eating the right foods, living through lockdowns, chronic pain, a British winter – all these things plus more don’t help. 
    But after trying different eating plans (and failing at them) I’ve decided to try your recommended WOE. I’m not a lover of spending hours in the kitchen so it’s the simple meal ideas on which I’ll be concentrating.  ;) 5 stars

    • Happy to hear you’ve been enjoying all the recipes so gar and that they’ve been able to help you in your health journey :)

  29. What kind of  Greek yogurt do you use? Plain or vanilla? Or another flavor!

  30. How long can these stay in the refrig before eating?

  31. Can’t wait to make this! If I want to include protein powder, does the scoop go in with the oats, or afterwards. I’m just learning how to I corporate protein powder for my son…

  32. I have had these overnight oats nearly everyday since february…. SO good!!! I add a bit more milk in the morning before heating. I always have mine with PB, lisa’s strawberry chia seed jam (highly recommend) and half a banana. I’ve sent this recipe to so many people. absolutely love how easy it is both making it and in the mornings! 5 stars

    • Thanks so much for sharing my overnight oats recipe Jillian! Glad this has made it into your morning routine :)

  33. Good morning, just wanted to share that I have done all the overnight oats recipes and love them all except the Pina colada. The 1st time I actually added almond milk instead of coconut milk and it wasn’t good it had a bitter taste but didn’t give up there and followed your recipe and I was very disappointed to taste the bitterness the second time but over all love the other ones. Started doing the overnight oats because my oldest son (17yrs.old) was diagnose with high triglyceride about a month ago and needed to lower those levels and by you sharing this yummy recipes it has been such a great help, thank you for sharing them with us.5 stars

  34. Would freezing these in super cubes work well?

  35. By far the best overnight oats I’ve made. You might say “oh, I’ve made overnight oats a million times. They’re all the same”, but no, you need to make these! I used unsweetened plain cashew milk yogurt and cashew milk which worked great! So far I’ve only made the strawberry protein, but I can’t wait to make the pb&j one later this week.

    Lisa, my favorite thing about your blog is that you perfect even the most simple recipes. We can always trust that every recipe is going to be amazing. Thank you for all your hard work! 5 stars

    • So happy to hear you love this overnight oats recipe! When it comes to simple ones like this, I always want to make sure they are easy to make and taste amazing. So, I’m glad I achieved that with this :)

  36. I love these! I add the protein powder to all these and it’s so delicious! Thank you so much!5 stars

  37. Excellent recipe. I have tried it and I love it.
    Thanks5 stars

  38. I always hated oat, especially overnight oats. Then I became a breastfeeding first time mom and knew oats helps boost milk supply so I trusted Lisa since every single one of her recipes have been a hit in our home (honestly, her chili is ridiculously delicious). These are amazing and such a godsend. So filling, the perfect combination to not make me feel like I’m eating mush. I haven’t tried her specific flavor combinations, I make the plain oats and add some version of nut butter + whatever fruit we have on top because that’s all I have energy for most mornings. But 10/10 great5 stars

    • Thrilled to hear you enjoyed this overnight oats recipe Lisa! It truly is an easy one to make, and can be customized to keep it interesting and delicious every time :)

  39. I make this for my boys regularly for breakfast. I’ve tried other overnight oats but Lisa’s are the best. Maybe it’s the yogurt?? Regardless, these are really good.5 stars

  40. I can’t wait to try some of these. But my go-to is oats, some vanilla pudding mix, honey, chia seeds, almond milk, and the next morning top it with pecans! So, so good!!

  41. I don’t like to eat. Waste of time. I’ve been thinking of these oats for over 2 months but couldn’t fathom eating cold oats. I’m sorry I wasted all that time! These oats are wonderful and easy. My co-workers are amazed because I’m actually eating something. These oats are easy to make and very forgiving. Tried a granola mix this morning for my add-in and yummy good. Thanks Lisa, I’m starting to like food again.5 stars

  42. I always thought overnight oats were mushy and gross but man Im glad I found this recipe! I haven’t tried any of the other flavors but the basic recipe is oh so good. Topped with some fruit the next morning *chefs kiss*5 stars

  43. Hi, Lisa! I have tried PINA COLADA overnight oats, but for some reason they were quite bitter. Do you know what could be the reason? Initially they were balanced, but after a night in the refrigerator they got bitter taste. Maybe I should add more maple syrup? 

    I’ve tried some other variations as well, Spiced pear and Banana bread, and they were amazing!
    Thank you for sharing with us!

    • Hi Frida – if you’re using regular dairy (and not dairy-free milk), the enzymes in pineapple can sometimes break down the proteins in dairy, and cause a weird bitter taste. That might have happened for you. Give it a try with dairy-free milk and see if it turns out better!

  44. I just love your recipes. Thanks for the inspiration. 5 stars

  45. Hi Lisa. I’ve already made it a few times and we love it!
    Thank you!5 stars

  46. Lisa,
    I calculated about 340 calories for this recipe. Can you clarify for me? Thank you 

    • Hi Jane – Thanks for pointing that out. Looks like there was a mistake on the nutritional information – just fixed!

  47. Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for recipe you share, I really love, love, love this recipe :)5 stars

  48. Lisa..thank you so much for sharing the overnight oats recipe..we loved them. This might be my new favorite breakfast. I didn’t add any berries or anything..just almond milk..yogurt and pure maple syrup..I’m boring like that..I like plain food..lol. Thanks ❤5 stars

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