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)

4.98 from 81 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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244 comments on “Easy Overnight Oats”

  1. Is a single recipe filling enough for teenagers? These look great! I have 5 kids and breakfast is a challenge especially because I want to feed them healthy.

    • If they’ve got a big appetite, I might add a half more serving just to amp it up a bit! It also depends how much fruit you add into it as well.

  2. Hmm why dosent your printable recipes include yogurt in the mix as in the videos?

  3. Can you post the measurements to make a large bowl of this?5 stars

    • Hi Sunny – I mentioned in the post how to create a larger batch of this :) But, you will basically just double or triple the amount of servings.

  4. The pb&j overnight oats is delicious!5 stars

  5. Omg just tried the Carrot Cake oats. They are epically delicious and magically filling.
    🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩
    Making double the quantity tomorrow.

    These rock!5 stars

  6. I made the PB&J overnight oats. And added 1T of sprouted pumpkin seeds (I buy mine at Costco). It was absolutely delicious. The flavors are fresh and nutty. I can’t wait to try the other recipes and to come up with some flavors a long the way. I love the simplicity of downshiftology recipes but they are so flavorful and very fulfilling when trying to eat healthy but you enjoy food that taste great at the same time. 5 stars

  7. I did not like overnight oats untill today! This is the BEST overnight oats recipe ever! ❤️5 stars

  8. Love it! I think that these two words describe it the best way. I have done it with milk for my family and with oat milk for myself and everybody is in love.5 stars

  9. I just made the Carrot Cake recipe and it was AMAZING 🤩 5 stars

  10. Love the idea can’t wait to try Email me out of the recipe because they sound great

  11. Lisa, I watch your videos all the time.  They are clear, concise and easy to follow.  That is so important to me because I don’t like to cook, but when then method shown is easy to follow and delicious, you can’t beat that!! I love the overnight oats and all of the varieties made each dish unique.  Please keep up the great work!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words Renay! Glad my videos are easy to follow along to, and hope you enjoyed these different flavor variations :)

  12. Yum! Very customizable. I only had yogurt, so I made with a little water and the yogurt; great result too!  Frozen berries work too!  I’m going to make some of the varieties and put in smaller containers for an easy dessert!  Carrot cake here I come! Thanks Lisa!5 stars

  13. Can you heat up before adding the toppings?

  14. This was delicious! I made the PB&J….tomorrow carrot cake. I also shared with my friend who has Celiac. Your recipes are so good…..not to mention easy,  fun to make, and appealing to the eye! Thank you for sharing!5 stars

  15. Was never a huge fan of oats, until I tried this..5 stars! I’m a convert :)
    Thank you Lisa for the healthy and tasty recipes.5 stars

  16. I’ve made overnight oats before, but always came out meh 😕 Then I tried your recipe! Oh my gosh! So creamy, so delicious and easy! I add bee pollen and hemp seeds to the mix, top with fresh raspberries and blueberries and coconut for the most amazing and filling breakfast! I’ll never eat “meh” overnight oats again. Thank you so much! 5 stars

  17. I made this with the kids after watching your video. They loved mixing and eating it! Customization is their favorite part!5 stars

  18. Thank you for this recipe. It was so delicious and hearty. I used almond milk and Greek yogurt, quadrupled the recipe, and ate it over the course of several days with some blueberry jam I had made. I missed it when it was gone, so I’m going to make more!5 stars

  19. Can I use Coaches Steel cut oats for this recipe?5 stars

  20. I have made the large batch now a few times, its turned out so well. I just added a few strawberries in the morning. I love how easy and delicious and filling  this is. Loved the thickness the chia seeds add and sweetness from the maple syrup. I was feeling a real slump at breakfast and needed a new healthy way to start my day. I love all your recipes that I have tried. So yummy!5 stars

  21. Great, simple and easy recipe. I made mine with blueberries, banana and lots of cinnamon. Delicious, thanks Lisa! 5 stars

  22. I practice intermittent fasting and I break my fast at noon. I have made this at 7 am and the oats are delicious and so creamy by noon. Splendid recipe! Thank you!5 stars

  23. SIMPLY DELICIOUS!!!!5 stars

  24. Just had the PBJ oats and they were so good! I made the banana bread and strawberry protein too, can’t wait for breakfast 5 stars

  25. HI, I had the banana bread topping and it was wonderful. My question is about the nutrition facts. Is the 185 calories just for the base? It seems like a lot of food, good food.5 stars

  26. Just made this super easy breakfast, for tomorrow! Love all the variations and I had all the ingredients for the apple pie imitation. Can’t wait to try it in the morning. I used almond milk)  Thanks! 5 stars

  27. Thanks for the inspiration. Made the banana bread one last night and I think I will cut down on the cinnamon and vanilla essence next time, but the texture was very nice (much better than when I tried to make overnight oats with wholegrain oats).4 stars

    • You can always tweak the ingredients to your liking. But, I’m glad you enjoyed it overall!

      • Thanks, I tried it again this morning with just a dash of cinnamon and a few drops of vanilla essence and it was much better for me.

  28. Have you tried it with full fat coconut milk or will that make it too thick? I love using that in my chia seed pudding.

  29. Hi Lisa

    Would coconut milk be good with overnight oats ?
    Thank you for your wonderful, refreshing, easy and inspiring recipes.
    Enjoyed all the positive feedback.
    Blessings all

  30. Ever since Lisa announced her overnight oats video, I have been making it again. I totally forgot about this delicious breakfast dish and was very happy to rediscover it again. Lisa’s flavor combinations are also the bomb and this morning I tried the PJB one. Sooooo good. Thanks Lisa for the inspiration and for making sure I I have enough variety in my diet ;-).5 stars

  31. Nice blog! This has inspired me to try some different toppings.

  32. I made the pineapple and coconut versions and it was so good. Very creamy and delicious and I will be trying the rest of the flavors in the future. Totally recommend it.5 stars

  33. To be honest I forgot overnight oats existed and I was wanting something quick and easy (and healthy) to have after having a baby. This recipe enables me more time hanging out with him in the morning instead of being distracted by the stove for a while making oatmeal. I love the consistency of this too! Perfect mix of oatmeal and chia pudding, turned out nice and thick for me which I prefer. Thanks!5 stars

  34. Hi Lisa
    How wonderful to have so many great ideas.  I’ll definitely be trying these.
    Also, can you recommend a good plant based protein powder.  Many are flavoured with stevia and I find them to be too sweet.
    Thank you for your beautiful recipes, Lisa
    Debra

  35. I made a savory flavor with cucumber,carrot,onion,salt&pepper. Today morning I used jalapeno peppers and herbs as toppings. I love everything about this now. It’s easy to put together and it’s very filling and budget friendly too.

    • That sounds amazing! I’ll have to try that sometime.

      • You definitely should, remember to put peppers just before eating cuz leaving peppers and milk together overnight can cause additional fermentation. Also I used cow milk last night.5 stars

  36. Cold oatmeal? I don’t think so.

  37. Wow! Thanks for all the ideas!  They look scrumptious!  Wondering whether the chopped nuts get soggy overnight?

  38. I love these super easy overnight oats and that I can switch up the toppings every day.5 stars

  39. Girl, EVERYTHING you make is pure eyecandy! I’m going to try all of these! You’re the best, Lisa. <3

  40. My friend was just telling me how I should definitely make overnight oats since I am expecting and they are super healthy. Booking these recipes!5 stars

  41. just what i need for make ahead breakfast – thanks! i’m trying pb & j first!5 stars

  42. Just googled your site looking for an overnight oats recipe and look what lands in my inbox!
    Thanks for sharing:)

  43. I love the sound of the spiced pear overnight oats. Healthy, filling and delicious.5 stars

  44. Overnight oats is always my go-to breakfast in the summer months. So easy.5 stars

  45. How many days would the basic recipe stay good in the refrigerator?

  46. How long will the overnight oats last when they are stored in individual jars in the fridge? These flavors look great, I am excited to try them! 

    • Hi Olivia – These will last for up to 5 days in the fridge! You can read more about storage instructions written in the post as well :)

  47. Hi Lisa! 🌷
    What wonderful recipes for Easy Overnight Oats!
    I will definitely be making some for myself and hubby.
    I’m just going to try and adjust for sugars, but otherwise very good.
    Any ideas would be most welcomed, thanks!
    Have a lovely day! 🙂5 stars

    • You can always tweak the base recipe to your liking. Hope you and your hubby enjoy these flavors Dalila!

      • Hi Lisa!
        Just to let you know that I have been making the overnight oats and they taste so good!
        No mess in the early morning, just grab and enjoy!
        My fav so far is the strawberry protein one, delicious!
        Followed by the spiced pear recipe, my second pick.
        Have a nice day Lisa!5 stars

      • Hi Dalila! Happy to hear you’re loving the overnight oats so far :)

  48. Hello! Can I swap out chia seeds (expensive where I live) for hemp seeds?

    • You can do that if you’d like, but the chia seeds are there to help thicken up the overnight oats. So, you can also just omit the chia seeds and sprinkle hemp seeds on top.

  49. Can you use steelcut oats?

    • You can use steel cut oats, but note that it will need to sit longer for it to be soft and chewy. The first morning after it’s been made might not be as soft, which is why rolled oats are best for this specific recipe!

  50. Glad to be in this wonderful community, before now I only have one method of preparing my oatmeal but now I can whip up 6 oatmeal recipes. Can wait to give them a try. Thank you Lisa.5 stars

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