Easy Overnight Oats

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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.

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 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.

What to Love About Overnight Oats

A warm bowl of oatmeal is pretty high up on the list when it comes to healthy breakfast options. But I’ll let you in on a secret – overnight oats is equally healthy and a cinch to make with no cooking. Here’s a few reasons why you should to whip up this recipe today…

  • It’s a time and money saver. 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!
  • It’s a nutritional powerhouse. It’s a known fact that oats are heart-healthy. They’re also rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
  • It’s easier on the gut. Soaking your oats overnight helps to break the starches down and reduce phytic acid. That means it’s easier to digest the oats and absorb their nutrients more efficiently. Perfect for those of us with gluten sensitivities!

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 everything 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 (about 1 cup) from the bowl into a serving glass or bowl. Then add your favorite toppings!
Mixing overnight oats ingredients in a bowl.

8 Ways To Make Overnight Oats Exciting

Now here comes the fun part – toppings and mix-ins! Creativity is the name of the game here. So whatever your heart desires, go for it. But if you need some inspiration, here’s some of 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 and stir it 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 stay good 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.

Common Questions

Can you use quick cooking oats?

Yes, you can. But just be aware that 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 yogurt gives a wonderfully rich and creamy texture. If you’re dairy-free, you can always use dairy-free milk and dairy-free yogurt.

Can you eat overnight oats warm?

Absolutely! Overnight oats don’t have to be eaten cold. Just warm them up on the stovetop in a small pot or in the microwave for a minute or two 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?

Of course! As I always say… any food can be eaten any time of any day. So feel free to enjoy overnights oats for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

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!

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)

4.96 from 265 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

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 below to see how I make all of the different flavors in my kitchen!

Video

Ingredients 
 

Basic Overnight Oats

Banana Bread Overnight Oats

Spiced Pear Overnight Oats

PB&J Overnight Oats

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

Pina Colada Overnight Oats

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

Strawberry Protein Overnight Oats

Instructions 

  • Add all the ingredients into a sealable jar or bowl and give it a stir until 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 about 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
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted January 2021, but updated to include new information. 

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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595 Comments

  1. So delicious! I live in southern Italy in a small fishing village where food is incredibly fresh and store bought items don’t have scary ingredients. I used honey from Crete and cinnamon and it came out amazing! I too have Hasimotos, and ITP and major gut issues.But living here and eating their great food my stomach and thyroid are much happier.Lol, just wish they didn’t drive so crazy!5 stars

  2. Love this recipe I have stopped purchasing HOLOS since using your recipe, I actually like yours better plus way less expensive.
    Question: Can I substitute the yogurt for Kefir?5 stars

  3. I am wondering if I could use 1/2 yogurt and 1/2 cream cheese to make it taste like carrot cake with cream cheese frosting?5 stars

  4. I’m confused, for the other recipes, like the strawberry protein, is it the basic oats recipe plus the additional ingredients listed, or only the ingredients under that topic?

    1. Hi Delilah – You will make the base recipe and then add any other ingredients listed under each flavor. Hope that helps!

  5. I made it with honey. Oh honey, it was exquisite! Thank you Lisa for all the great, delicious y healthy recipes! I have your book too. I’m a happy Downshiftology admirer.
    You are very thin Lisa 👏👏 I would like to shed about 6 pounds, how would I go about it?5 stars

  6. Im confused the over night oats and the toppings should be separated by specifying which is which and macros are not including different toppings

    1. Hi Ray – The base ingredients are listed separately from the add-ins. Also, the nutritional information is just for the base recipe.