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.

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.

All Your 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 gives a wonderful rich and creamy texture.
  • 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… any 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.

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)

4.96 from 141 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

Basic Overnight Oats

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup milk (dairy or dairy-free)
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt (dairy or dairy-free)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Banana Bread Overnight Oats

  • ½ banana, mashed
  • 2 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of ground flaxseed

Spiced Pear Overnight Oats

  • ½ pear, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pecans
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg

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

  • ¼ cup small diced pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • *note: use coconut milk in the base recipe

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

  • ¼ cup shredded carrot
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Strawberry Protein Overnight Oats

  • ¼ cup small diced strawberry
  • 1 scoop protein powder or collagen powder
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

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
©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.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @downshiftology and hashtag it #downshiftology.

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

Leave a Comment

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you for sharing your feedback!

Recipe Rating




Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

414 comments on “Easy Overnight Oats”

  1. I can not get enough of this! This was originally going to be used for work when on early shift, as a quick grab an go thing. I now make it a big batch of the basic recipe an add as I go every morning ☺️5 stars

  2. Can you use steel cut oats?

  3. My favourites breakfast,thank you5 stars

  4. I have been using the base recipe for a few weeks. I love the ease and simplity and the taste is amazing. I am going to try muesli for my next batch.5 stars

  5. I have been using these delicious recipes for overnight oats for about 3 months. I do not tire from these as there are so many options. Breakfast was my downfall, but no more! I make 2 or 3 ahead and always have one at the ready. Thank you Lisa.5 stars

  6. Hi there, any ideas how many calories are in the base recipe? Thanks 😊

  7. I make 3 servings at a time. It’s been my go to breakfast since having my baby in March. It never gets boring because I just use whatever fresh fruit is in season.

    This past week I’ve been making a pumpkin spice version. 1/4 cup canned pumpkin, 2T walnuts, 1/2 t pumpkin spice, 1/2 t vanilla extract, 1 T flax seed. It tastes extra amazing warmed up a little.5 stars

  8. I used vanilla unsweetened almond milk.   Do you think that will taste okay?   The soy milk, oat milk, almond milk, alpaca milk ;-) aisle was sooo confusing.   Trying to make something healthy but delicious for my husband who needs to lower his a1c.  Some options had a lot of added sugar so I tried to stay away from those.   I just hope it doesn’t ruin the flavor.   

  9. Hi,
    I just love this stuff. I can’t stop eating this creamy, multi textured, healthy cup of goodness!
    I make the small batch up and snack on it through out the day for 2 days. It Wonderful.
    Thank You so much for all your great dishes.5 stars

  10. Hi these recipes look so good! I am not a fan of chia seeds, can I omit them? Would I lessen the liquid if so? Thanks!

  11. I don’t care for raw oats, can I make the oatmeal and then put the stuff in it and put it in the fridge. I don’t mind cold oatmeal just not raw oats. Can you help me?

  12. Diagnosed with high cholesterol 3 months ago (LDL 220 😳). Oatmeal is recommended to help reduce it, so I have overnight oats everyday. I use almond milk and also add 1 TBSP of ground flaxseed. Bagged frozen fruit from the grocery store makes things easy. I also googled heart healthy foods etc… and started walking every day. Three months later my LDL is 133! It dropped 87 points. Still high but I’m on my way 😊. BTW, I normally don’t like oatmeal but using it as a base for things I like works for me. 

  13. Hi There
    I love the overnight oats recipe. I’m not a food “prepper” and I’ve never made overnight oats but I love oatmeal so I am betting I’ll like overnight oats too. One thing I’d like to ask is where did you get that enormous measuring cup/bowl with the lid attachment that you used in the video while making the large batch of overnight oats? Having that huge bowl-like cup with the lid to mix everthing in and just pop it in the fridge would make everything so convenient. Thanks for any help.

  14. I am excited to make these for my breakfasts next week. How long would you say I could make them ahead of time and they still be good in the refrigerator?

    • I actually have all the storage information written in the post! But, they 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.

      • I don’t care for raw oats, can I make the oatmeal and then put the stuff in it and put it in the fridge. I don’t mind cold oatmeal just not raw oats. Can you help me?

      • You can just follow my regular oatmeal recipe then!

  15. Do you know if heating the overnight oats destroys the resistant starch? 

  16. Fist time trying it, I made the Base overnight oats and I absolutely loved it. Can’t wait to try the other recipes. Thank you so much for sharing. 

  17. This is the absolutely best overnight oats recipe!!!5 stars

  18. I made the Spiced Pear. My husband and I love it! I’d like to make the Pina Colada one. Do you use fresh, frozen or tinned pineapple? Also do you recommend tinned coconut milk or the plant based milk you can buy that’s made from coconut?5 stars

    • For the pineapple, I normally use frozen for ease. As for coconut milk, I’m using canned coconut milk for creaminess!

      • So feels like a silly question… But do you just make your base and then add flavoring in the morning? I’ve been doing the whole thing overnight which tasted great but wasn’t sure that was what was intended.

        Also, can you only make a day in advance? Or can these keep for a Wednesday breakfast made Monday night?

      • You can add the toppings before or after – it’s up to you! Just note that if you add the fruit toppings before, they will keep for no more than 3 days as the fruit will likely go bad. Otherwise, without fruit it will keep for up to 4 days or so. You can find all this information + more tips written in the post :)

  19. if you are making several servings for the week, should you add your liquid (milk or water) base into the solids base at the start, or shoudl you just add the liquid the night before you will eat that serving?

    Also, in the carrrot cake option, are the shredded carrots RAW or COOKED?

  20. I have been looking for a food I can actually eat in the mornings, and this is it! I have a hard time eating breakfast, since everything makes me sick in the morning. I’ve been this way all my life, but I can definitely eat overnight oats with this recipe! Thank you for sharing your secrets!5 stars

Downshiftology