Creamy, healthy, and delicious, these easy overnight oats are perfect everyday breakfast goodies. They take less than 5 minutes to prep and have endless flavor combinations.
And when you don’t feel like putting in an effort but still want to enjoy a healthy and filling breakfast, you can make this simple overnight oats recipe.
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What are overnight oats?
Instead of cooking oats with liquid on a stovetop or a microwave, they are soaked in milk for a few hours. They absorb the liquid, become soft, and can be enjoyed uncooked.
When you let them soak overnight, you get overnight oats! Here are some reasons why this makes the best make-ahead breakfast:
- Healthy and filling. Naturally high in fiber and whole grains, once you add some yogurt and milk, it becomes a protein-packed powerhouse breakfast to keep you going until lunch.
- They are so delicious. Just because oats are healthy doesn’t mean they can be delicious. Keep it basic or make it special, like my creamy, decadent tiramisu oats or snickers oats.
- Saves you time and money. These oats are a dream breakfast. Spend five minutes the night before, and enjoy a wholesome breakfast in the morning. I like to prep a big batch every Sunday, so my weekday mornings are simple and slow.
- Easy to customize. Like protein overnight oats, the flavor possibilities are endless! See my flavor ideas section for some inspiration.
Easy overnight oats require a handful of everyday ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Oats. I recommend using rolled or old-fashioned oats for this recipe. Instant oats are a little too soft and actually aren’t as nutritious.
- Chia seeds. They add extra fiber, texture, and proteins to this recipe.
- Salt. To balance the sweet flavors.
- Yogurt. Adds a creamy element and also helps to soften the oats. If using Greek yogurt, it packs in over 15 grams of protein alone!
- Milk. It helps to soften the oats.
- Sweetener. On their own, overnight oats can be a little bland, so I like to drizzle a tiny bit of honey or maple syrup. You can use granulated sugar, but it takes more to sweeten them.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How to make basic overnight oats
Step 1- Mix the ingredients: Combine oats, chia seeds, milk, yogurt, salt, maple syrup, or honey in a mason jar or cereal bowl.
Step 2- Refrigerate overnight: Cover the jars/bowls and refrigerate them for at least two hours. If possible, refrigerate overnight.
Step 3- Add toppings and enjoy: Remove the oats from the refrigerator, mix the ingredients, add your favorite toppings, and enjoy your oats.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Adjust the consistency: Oats will soak up and expand overnight. Add a little milk to your oats if you find them too thick.
- Adjust the sweetness: If you’re watching your calories, skip the sweetener altogether. If not, add more or less honey/maple syrup or sugar to your liking.
- Stir everything well: Chia seeds tend to clump up if not stirred thoroughly. They make pockets, and you won’t get a creamy pudding-like texture.
Flavor and recipe variations
The beauty of this bowl of oats overnight is that they are so easy to customize or adapt to suit your dietary preferences.
- Make it vegan. Use plant-based milk and yogurt for vegan oat recipe. Also, use maple syrup instead of honey.
- Make it gluten-free. Use certified gluten-free oats if you are allergic to gluten.
- Pack more protein. Add a scoop of your favorite protein powder, or swap out the Greek yogurt for cottage cheese.
- Add a crunchy element. I love topping off my oats with chopped nuts, homemade granola, or some mixed seeds.
- Use steel cut oats. Try steel cut overnight oats instead.
To store. It is safe to eat refrigerated overnight oats for up to five days. In my opinion, they taste the best during the first three days.
To freeze. I rarely freeze my overnight oats. But you can do so by distributing them in single-serve portions and freezing them for up to two months.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can! Warm a portion of your oats in a microwave-safe bowl and enjoy.
Not a fan of yogurt? No problem! Substitute it with an equal quantity of milk to maintain the oats-to-liquid ratios.
In theory, yes. But I prefer using dairy or plant-based milk for extra creaminess and flavor.
More delicious ways to enjoy oatmeal
- Oatmeal smoothie– Thick, creamy, and so easy to customize.
- Oatmeal banana bread– My family LOVE a slice of this bread for breakfast.
- Blueberry oatmeal– Fruity and wholesome.
- Blueberry baked oatmeal– An almost dessert-like way to enjoy oatmeal.
- Oatmeal breakfast cookies– 3 ingredients and no flour or eggs.
Easy Overnight Oats
- In a cereal bowl or mason jar, combine the oats, chia seeds, and salt and mix well. Add the yogurt and milk and mix everything together. Add the honey.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
- Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and give everything a good mix. Add any toppings and enjoy.
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