Overnight Oats Recipe

Overnight oats are the best healthy make-ahead breakfast! Here are 4 easy, delicious recipe variations to keep you from getting stuck in a breakfast rut.

Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are the perfect breakfast if you love eating oatmeal in the morning but don’t have time to cook before you head out the door. My base recipe consists of whole rolled oats soaked in almond milk overnight with a dash of maple syrup. In the morning, the oats are soft and easy to digest, and the mixture has a thick, porridge-like consistency that’s satisfying to eat.

I absolutely love overnight oats – they’re an easy, grab-able, dairy-free, healthy breakfast – but I have a tendency to get stuck in an oat rut, reaching for the same ‘ol toppings every time. If you feel the same way, here are 4 overnight oats recipe variations that will hopefully spice up your breakfast routine!

How to Make Overnight Oats

If you’re new to overnight oats, making them is easy! Here’s how:

  • On the night before you plan to enjoy your oats, mix together 1/2 cup whole rolled oats and 1/2 cup milk. I typically use coconut or almond milk, but oat milk, soy milk, or cow’s milk would also work here. Then, add 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup and a dash of salt. Stir to combine!
  • Refrigerate the mixture overnight in an airtight container.
  • In the morning, they’ll be ready to eat! Transfer them to a bowl before topping and devouring them, or top and take them on the go.

These are the toppings I started with to create these 4 overnight oats combinations – how pretty are all of these healthy ingredients?!

Seeds and fruit in bowls

Best Overnight Oats Recipe Tips

  • Know your oats. Different types of oats will yield different final consistencies. Steel-cut oats will be chewier, while quick oats will be softer. I prefer a texture in between the two, so I use old-fashioned rolled oats in my recipe.
  • Leave your oats plain while they refrigerate overnight, and add toppings in the morning! That way, dried fruit will stay chewy, and any nuts and seeds will be crunchy, not gummy.
  • Or use a Mason jar to take them on the go. If you’re someone who likes to grab your breakfast and head out the door on busy mornings, try making your overnight oats in a Mason jar. The lid seals tightly, the jar isn’t too big or bulky, and its narrow shape keeps most of the toppings separate from the oats until you’re ready to eat, so you’ll have better results if you top them ahead of time.
  • Prep a big batch ahead for the whole week! Scale this recipe up to get ahead on breakfast all week long! Store individual servings in Mason jars and use different toppings each day.

Overnight Oats Recipe Variations

In the recipe below, you’ll find my go-to overnight oatmeal base. Use it as a starting point to make one (or more!) of these fun variations, or top it with your favorite nut butters, fresh or dried fruits, seeds, and more! You could also stir cocoa powder or spices into the milk and oat mixture. Feel free to get creative!

How to make overnight oats

Cherry Berry with Chia & Yogurt

A classic antioxidant-filled combo. Since it’s wintertime, I used frozen fruit (tart cherries and blueberries) in my bowls. Then, I topped them with Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Overnight oats recipe

Coconut Turmeric

An unexpected breakfast bowl filled with anti-inflammatory spices! Make the base recipe with coconut milk, and stir in a heaping 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. In the morning, dress it up with mango, dried currants, hemp seeds, and coconut flakes.

Overnight oats recipe

Sweet Sesame Tahini

I love tahini so much that now I’m eating it for breakfast! This pretty bowl is topped with a big scoop of tahini, pomegranate arils, chopped dried apricots, sesame seeds, and crushed pistachios. To make it sweeter, add a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

Overnight oats recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookie

If you’re trying to get your kids (or husband) to eat oats, this one is for you :). Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract to the base recipe the night before, and in the morning, top it with almond butter or peanut butter, chocolate chips, and chopped almonds for crunch.

More Healthy Breakfast Ideas

If you love this overnight oats recipe, try this baked oatmeal, stovetop oatmeal, or this whole oat porridge next! Then, find more healthy breakfast ideas here, and check out this link for more healthy meal prep inspiration.

4.7 from 3 reviews

Overnight Oats Recipe

Prep time
Total time
Use this base overnight oats recipe to make any of the 4 fun variations above! Alternatively, experiment with your favorite nuts, seeds, jam, fresh or dried fruits, and nut butters as toppings.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 1
  • ½ cup whole rolled oats
  • ½ cup almond milk or light coconut milk, more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Desired toppings from above
  1. In a small jar, combine the oats, almond or coconut milk, maple syrup, and salt. Stir and chill overnight.
  2. In the morning, scoop the oats into a bowl, stir in more almond or coconut milk, if desired, for consistency. Top with desired toppings.
  3. Alternatively, for a grab-and-go breakfast, you can assemble the overnight oats in jars with the toppings the night before.
Make these vegan by using maple syrup in place of the honey.


Note: If you’re gluten free, be sure to use Certified Gluten Free Oats.


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  1. Susan

    Thank you for posting this. We love overnight oats, because they are both easy and tasty. I always put a scoop of protein powder (I use Designer Whey naturally sweetened) in mine because we need to make sure we get enough protein. I will definitely be trying at least the coconut/turmeric variety (and hope that my husband likes it – it’s possibly a bit weird for him).

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Susan, I hope you enjoy the toppings!

  2. Mary Kay

    Hello, I like to soak oats to make them more digestable and less likely to cause bloating. If the oats have been soaked are there changes to be made to your overnight oats recipes? Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Mary Kay, the oats soak overnight (and last up to 3 days in the fridge), so the soaking part is already taken care of in this case. Does that make sense? I wouldn’t soak them before combining with the milk. Hope that helps!

  3. Beth

    I love steel cut oats. I make a week’s batch in my pressure cooker. I love your variety of toppings and look forward to mixing it up a bit. Thanks for the great ideas!

  4. Diane

    Could we use quick cooking steel cuts oats instead of the whole oats?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Diane, I’ve only made overnight oats with whole rolled oats – I think it should be ok but I haven’t tried myself.

      • Diane

        Alright… thank you!

  5. Jen

    I love the idea of these recipes – they look amazing! What are alternatives to the oats, which can be inflammatory and are high carb? Can these be done solely with chia, or hemp seeds? I’d love some ideas on how to keep these great flavors and the overnight convenience, and strip out some carbs.

  6. Gaby Dalkin

    OMG! These all sound so good—so hard to choose!

  7. Haley

    I love overnight oats. They are some of the quickest and delicious breakfast ever.

  8. Jamie

    Do you have any suggestions for substitutions for the almond milk? My son is allergic to cow’s milk, almonds and coconuts. Do you think oat milk would work? Or possibly cashew milk? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Jamie – any milk should work just fine!

  9. Haley

    Chocolate chip cookie? Yes, Please.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      ha ha, I hope you love the oats 🙂

  10. Stella from swa,uonbi.ac.ke

    Best breakfast recipe to follow …Thanks so much

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      you’re welcome!

  11. Chiara

    Hello, I never made overnight oats, so I was just wondering, do you eat it hot or cold? Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Chiara, usually cold, but if you wanted to heat them up until just warmed, (they don’t need to be cooked cooked after sitting overnight), you can. Hope that helps!

  12. Cassidy

    These all sound delicious!! I’m fairly new to using frozen fruits in things other than smoothies. How do you defrost yours without ending up with a huge puddle of juice? Also, when do you take them out of the freezer if you are going to put them on your oats? Sorry if this is basic knowledge. I’m very excited to try these!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Cassidy, I let them thaw at room temp for 15-20 minutes (if I’m in a hurry, I pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds or so)… I strain the excess juices. Hope that helps! You can also use fresh fruit! I mix it up, depending on what season it is.

  13. Shalena

    I did not do this overnight recipe overnight, made it the same morning. I wish lime and lemons labeled the toppings because it wasn’t clear. I used frozen pineapple as my toppings. It was good, but I feel like I could have had a bit more.

  14. Alexis

    Hi there was wondering if instead of using maple syrup I could use honey? Thank in advance!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.