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This Overnight Oats recipe is the easiest breakfast recipe known to mankind. Only four ingredients needed with no cooking required! Serve warm or cold and adjust as you like.
I’m always on the hunt for quick, easy, and healthy breakfasts on those busy weekday mornings before sending my kids off to school and this recipe fits the bill. I make my basic recipe in a big bowl the night before and let my kids pick their toppings the morning of. It’s the perfect, nutritious meal that adapts easily from day to day. Serve with some tasty Bacon or Egg Muffins for a well balanced, extra filling breakfast.
But first, what are Overnight Oats?
Overnight oats are made from rolled oats, liquid, and other ingredients that are mixed together and left to soak in the refrigerator overnight. The oats soften and absorb the liquid, resulting in a creamy, porridge-like consistency. Overnight oats are typically served cold or at room temperature, and they can be topped with a variety of ingredients such as fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds. They are a convenient and easy-to-prepare breakfast option that can be made in advance and enjoyed on busy mornings.
Many people prefer the ease of this recipe as well as the taste and texture of the soaked, uncooked oats versus a cooked Oatmeal.
What kind of Oats can I use?
The best oats to use are just the plain Old Fashioned Oats. Old fashioned oats soak up liquid without getting too mushy. Quick oats will get too soggy when soaked in milk. Steel cut oats often don’t get soft enough.
How much does this recipe make?
This recipe is enough for four servings which I stir together in one big bowl and refrigerate overnight. Many overnight oats recipes call for the use of small mason jars. While I don’t think this is totally necessary, it certainly does make for a cuter presentation. I find these 8 oz. glass baby food jars make for the perfect portion.
How to Make Overnight Oats
You will die at how easy this recipe is to make. You just need a bowl to mix and 5 minutes (or less!) of work time. For full recipe details see the printable recipe card below. Here is what you can expect when making this recipe:
Measure Rolled Oats
Measure rolled oats into a large bowl.
Stir in Remaining Ingredients
Stir in milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt (optional). Make sure oats are well submerged in the milk.
Refrigerate 6+ Hours
Cover and refrigerate 6+ hours to overnight.
Add Toppings + Serve
Remove from the fridge, portion out, add optional toppings.
How to Serve Overnight Oats
The beauty of overnight oats is it works warm or cold. To serve it cold, simply spoon some into a bowl or jar, top with fruit, nuts or seeds, and serve.
To serve warm, simply spoon some into a bowl and microwave 30 seconds to 1 minute or until hot. Top with any desired toppings and serve.
My favorite toppings
Here are a few of our favorite toppings we love to add to any overnight oats concoction. The combinations are endless!
- sliced strawberries
- sliced bananas
- coconut flakes
- diced apple and cinnamon
- extra maple syrup or honey
- an extra splash of milk
- chopped almonds, pecans, walnuts or cashews
- chia seeds, pepitas or flax seeds
- shredded carrots and pineapple chunks
- nut butters
Man oh man, there are thousands of variations for Overnight Oats! Here are a few different options listed, but just about anything you can think of would work in this!
- Milk: If you don’t want to use cow’s milk, an unsweetened almond, soy or coconut milk would work just as well!
- Fruit: Add in some fresh or frozen fruit to the classic oats mixture for a burst of flavor. Berries, apples, and bananas are all good options.
- Nuts and Seeds: Try adding in walnuts, almonds, pecans, pepitas, flax seeds, or chia seeds for a textural variation.
- Sweetener: I used real maple syrup for my basic overnight oats recipe, but feel free to reduce the amount or switch it out for honey, agave, sugar, brown sugar or an artificial sweetener if you’d prefer. Always add it to taste.
- Spices: I use cinnamon because its a classic oatmeal add-in, but try mixing it up with nutmeg, cloves, or cardamom. Try zesting a lemon or orange for a bright pop of flavor.
- Nut Butters: Stir in a little peanut, cashew, or almond butter to add a protein-rich twist and a creamy bite. My favorite is peanut butter banana!
- Chocolate: Mix in some cocoa powder or chocolate chips for a decadent, chocolatey treat.
- Protein: boost the protein content of your oats by stirring in some protein powder or adding a scoop of Greek yogurt.
- Savory: Oats don’t have to be sweet! Try making savory oats by mixing in some savory ingredients such as cooked vegetables, cheese, and herbs.
- Carrot Cake: Add classic carrot cake ingredients like shredded carrots, crushed pineapple and pecan pieces.
- Oatless oats: For a grain-free version, try using rolled oats made from other grains such as quinoa or oats made from seeds like chia and flax.
How Long Will Overnight Oats Last?
As long as it stays refrigerated, I find this to stay good for at least 4 days. The rolled oats have a tendency to lose more texture the longer they sit in the milk. If this doesn’t bother you, then they can last longer than 4 days, but I have found we like them best 4 days or earlier.
Overnight Oat Flavors to Try
Not very creative? Not to worry, here are several tasty flavor combinations to try:
- Carrot Cake: Stir in 1/2 cup finely grated carrot, 1/4 cup drained and crushed pineapple and 2 tablespoons walnuts or pecans to your mixture before sitting overnight.
- Peanut Butter Banana: Swirl in 1/4 cup all-natural peanut butter to the overnight oat mixture and sit overnight. Top with lots of fresh banana.
- Lemon Blueberry: Add 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest and 1 cup fresh blueberries to the overnight oat mixture before refrigerating.
- Coconut Cream: Make your overnight oats with coconut milk and stir in 1/2 cup desiccated coconut before refrigerating. Top with a dollop of Greek yogurt and extra toasted coconut.
- Blueberry and Vanilla: Mix together rolled oats, milk, vanilla extract, and a handful of fresh or frozen blueberries.
- Chocolate and Peanut Butter: Combine rolled oats, milk, cocoa powder, peanut butter, and a sweetener such as honey or maple syrup.
- Strawberry and Cream: Mix together rolled oats, milk, vanilla extract, and diced strawberries.
- Banana and Cinnamon: Stir together rolled oats, milk, mashed banana, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Apple and Caramel: Combine rolled oats, milk, diced apples, and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
- Coconut and Mango: Mix together rolled oats, coconut milk, diced mango, and a sprinkle of shredded coconut.
- Lemon and Poppyseed: Stir together rolled oats, milk, lemon zest, and a sprinkle of poppy seeds.
Love this breakfast idea? Here are some others you will love:
- Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cobbler Topping
- Microwave Breakfast Quinoa
- Homemade Breakfast Sausages
- Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs
- Caramel Coconut Cream Oatmeal
- Morning Glory Muffins
- Carrot Cake Oatmeal
- Best Breakfast Casserole
There you have it folks, just about everything you’ll need to know to make overnight oats! The printable recipe card is below. Enjoy, friends!
Overnight Oats (Easiest Basic Recipe)
- Measure all ingredients into a large bowl and stir well. Ensure oats are all well submerged.
- Cover and refrigerate 6 hours to overnight. Divide into portions, add any desired toppings, and serve.