Overnight Oats

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5 from 46 votes
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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.

overnight oats.

I cannot imagine my breakfasts without oats or oatmeal. From oatmeal pancakes to oatmeal waffles and oatmeal breakfast cookies, you can make anything with oats! 

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.

Table of Contents
  1. What are overnight oats?
  2. Ingredients Needed
  3. How to make basic overnight oats
  4. Tips to make the best recipe
  5. Flavor and recipe variations
  6. Storage instructions
  7. Frequently asked questions
  8. More delicious ways to enjoy oatmeal
  9. Easy Overnight Oats (Recipe Card)

What are overnight oats?

Instead of cooking oats with liquid on a stovetop or a microwave, oats 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! The fun part is adding the toppings, and that is where you can be super creative! Here are some reasons why I LOVE this for 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.
  • Perfect for meal prep. 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 (or my protein oatmeal), so my weekday mornings are simple and slow.
  • Easy to customize. Like protein overnight oats, the flavor possibilities are endless (Hello, tiramisu overnight oats or Snickers overnight oats!). See my flavor ideas section for some inspiration.
oats overnight.

Ingredients Needed

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. 

how to make overnight oats.

Step 2- Refrigerate overnight: Cover the jars/bowls and refrigerate them for at least two hours. If possible, refrigerate overnight. 

how to make overnight oatmeal.

Step 3- Add toppings and enjoy: Remove the oats from the refrigerator, mix the ingredients, add your favorite toppings, and enjoy your oats.

oats overnight.

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: Now, these oats are a blank canvas, and do need some sweetness to them. As mentioned above, I like a drizzle of maple syrup or honey, but you can use other sweeteners, too, like sugar or brown sugar.  
  • 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. I recommend mixing them with the oats before adding any liquid.

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 non-dairy yogurt (I love coconut yogurt). Also, use maple syrup instead of honey if you are strictly vegan.
  • Make it gluten-free. Use certified gluten-free oats or an alternative, like quinoa flakes.
  • 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 healthy granola, or some mixed seeds.
  • Use steel cut oats. Try steel cut overnight oats instead.

Storage instructions

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.

healthy overnight oats recipe.

Frequently asked questions

Can I warm my overnight oats?

Yes, you can! See my method on how to heat up overnight oats.

Can I skip the yogurt?

Not a fan of yogurt? No problem! Substitute it with an equal quantity of milk to maintain the oats-to-liquid ratios.  

Can I use water instead of milk to soak my oats?

In theory, yes. But I prefer using dairy or plant-based milk for extra creaminess and flavor.

More delicious ways to enjoy oatmeal

overnight oats recipe.

Easy Overnight Oats

5 from 46 votes
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.
Servings: 1 serving
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 1 minute
Total: 2 minutes

Video

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • 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. 

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 285kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 18gFat: 8gSodium: 730mgPotassium: 337mgFiber: 8gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 10IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 308mgIron: 3mgNET CARBS: 28g
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Recipe originally published May 2020 but updated to include new information for your benefit.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I really like doing overnight oats especially with a little peanut butter, chia seeds and dates bits, also some mashed banana. It just all soaks up into the oats overnight and when I take it out of the fridge it’s all ready to be eaten. It is so cool how all the date bits break down and naturally sweeten the oats. I really enjoy the flavors and often add in a touch of cinnamon and vanilla extract.

  2. 5 stars
    I make these every night for morning. The only thing I do different is skip the yougert and do 1/2 cup of oat milk. I also add about a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter along with some 4 fruit preserves, about 1/2 TBS. With this combo I only add about 1 teaspoon of maple syrup. I could do without the syrup but I really like it sweet! It reminds me of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but without the bread and much more yummy!

  3. 5 stars
    Tasted the banana flavour of these overnight oats for breakfast today and loved it so much that I can’t wait to try all the rest of the flavours😍

  4. My personal favourite is making the oats with unsweetened soya milk and vanilla Skyr yoghurt (more protein, less fat and sugar than other yogs) then adding in a diced apple (personally I prefer a sweet variety like Gala apples) and adding ground sweet cinnamon and artificial sweetener to taste. It’s honestly like apple pie oatmeal! Delicious! Plus it’s one of your 5 a day!

  5. Sieht sehr (dekadent), reichhaltig aber auch lecker aus, für sind das alles Dessert.
    Wolltest du deine Rezepte nicht auch in Gramm einstellen, bitte bitte, es wäre so toll von dir?!
    Viele Grüße,
    Jesse-Gabriel