Overnight Oats Recipe

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

Overnight Oats Recipe, 4 ways

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

What are 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 like to change them up by using coconut milk instead of almond milk or adding cinnamon, turmeric, or vanilla to the oat mixture. Of course, choosing different toppings is also a fun way to vary your morning oats!

How do I 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 plant-based milk. Then add 1/2 teaspoon or so maple syrup and a dash of salt. Stir to combine!
  • Refrigerate the mixture overnight in an airtight container.
  • In the morning your oats will 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!

Ingredients for Overnight Oats, Many Ways

Tips for overnight oat success

  • Use a Mason jar for oats on the go. 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.
  • Refrigerate your oats plain and top them in the morning! That way, dried fruit stays chewy, and nuts and seeds are crunchy, not gummy.
  • Prep a big batch ahead for oats all week! Store individual servings in Mason jars and use different toppings each day.
  • Have fun! I hope you love these 4 recipes, but experiment with different in-season fresh fruit, dried fruit, nut butters, spices, etc.

And now, to the recipes…

Overnight Oats - Cherry Berry with Chia and Yogurt

Cherry Berry Oats 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 - Coconut Turmeric with currants, mango, and hemp seeds

Coconut Turmeric Oats

An unexpected breakfast bowl filled with anti-inflammatory spices. Before I refrigerated the oat bowl base, I stirred in turmeric, cinnamon, and coconut milk. In the morning, I topped it with mango, dried currants, hemp seeds, and coconut flakes.

Overnight Oats - Sweet Sesame Tahini with apricots, pistachios, and pomegranates

Sweet Sesame Tahini Oats

I love tahini so much that now I’m eating it for breakfast! Not only does this bowl look pretty, but it couldn’t be simpler to put together. Just drizzle tahini on top of the oats and top with pistachios, dried apricots, pomegranates, sesame seeds, and a drizzle of honey (or maple syrup, if you’re vegan).

Overnight Oats - Chocolate Chip Cookie with almond butter

Chocolate Chip Cookie Oats

If you’re trying to get your kids (or husband) to eat oats, this one is for you :). Who can resist that big swirl of almond butter with chocolate chips? I flavor this base recipe with a dash of vanilla extract for extra cookie flavor.

Want more make-ahead breakfast ideas? Try these cookies, these muffins, or these little frittatas. And for more oat-y goodness, try this Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries, stovetop oatmeal, or this whole oat porridge!

Overnight Oats Recipe

Prep time
Total time
Make any of these 4 healthy overnight oats variations for a quick & easy breakfast, or prep a batch of oats at the start of the week and dress it up with different toppings each day!
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 1
Base Overnight Oats:
  • ½ cup whole rolled oats
  • ½ cup almond milk or light coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup
  • pinch of sea salt
Coconut Turmeric Oats
  • make base recipe using light coconut milk, ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • toppings: hemp seeds, diced mango, currants, coconut flakes, honey drizzle
Cherry Berry Chia
  • make base recipe with coconut or almond milk
  • toppings: scoop of yogurt or coconut yogurt, berries, chia seeds, maple drizzle
Sweet Sesame Tahini
  • make base recipe with coconut or almond milk
  • toppings: tahini, pistachios, pomegranates, dried apricots, honey drizzle, sesame seeds
Chocolate Chip Cookie
  • make base recipe with almond milk and ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • toppings: almond butter, chocolate chips, chopped almonds
  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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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  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!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
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.