Overnight Oats Recipe

Learn how to make overnight oats! This easy, make-ahead breakfast is perfect for busy mornings. Find my base recipe plus 4 fun variations below.

Four jars of overnight oats

When someone asks me for an easy, healthy breakfast idea, this overnight oats recipe is the first thing I suggest. It’s perfect for busy mornings, as you can make individual servings ahead of time and take them on the go. It’s also satisfying enough to keep you full till lunch, made with simple ingredients like oats, chia seeds, and (optional) yogurt. But best of all, it’s fun.

What could be fun about oatmeal, you ask? Well, this yummy breakfast is endlessly customizable. Once you learn how to make overnight oats, you can experiment with mix-ins like cocoa powder or vanilla extract or pile on toppings like nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit. To get you started, I’m sharing four tasty variations (+ my go-to base recipe!) below. Try them out, and then get creative making your overnight oats your own!

Maple syrup dripping into Mason jar filled with oats, chia seeds, and yogurt

Overnight Oats Recipe Ingredients

When I first started making overnight oats, I kept them really simple, using just oats, almond milk or coconut milk, and maple syrup. But after a little experimentation, I realized that adding chia seeds to overnight oats takes them to a whole new level. They give the oats a delicious thick and creamy texture, sort of like that of chia pudding. They also add protein, fiber, and healthy fats. What’s not to love?

Now, I use these ingredients in my go-to overnight oats recipe:

  • Whole rolled oats – Also known as old fashioned oats. Quick oats and steel-cut oats will NOT work here. Quick oats will be too mushy, while steel-cut oats will be chewy and tough.
  • Chia seeds – For extra protein and the perfect thick and creamy texture.
  • Almond milk – Or any milk you like! Dairy milk and oat milk both work well. Coconut milk adds rich flavor and yields an especially creamy texture.
  • Maple syrup – For sweetness. Honey works too.
  • And a pinch of salt – To make the oats extra-flavorful.

If you like, you can stir in Greek yogurt as well. It adds more protein and makes the oats extra-creamy. Skip it to make this recipe dairy-free.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Hand pouring almond milk from pitcher into jar with base recipe ingredients

How to Make Overnight Oats

My method for how to make overnight oats is super simple! Here’s how it goes:

  • Place the oats, chia seeds, maple syrup or honey, salt, and yogurt, if using, in a lidded container or jar.
  • Pour in the almond milk, and stir thoroughly to combine. Make sure that there are no chia seeds clumped around the bottom or sides of the jar!
  • Cover and store overnight, or for up to 5 days, in the fridge.

When you’re ready to eat, give the oats another stir, add your desired toppings, and enjoy!

Almond milk streaming into jar with base recipe ingredients

If you’re meal prepping overnight oats, set out a Mason jar for each serving you want to prep. Add all the ingredients EXCEPT the milk to each jar. Then, add the milk to one jar and stir that jar together before adding the milk to the next. I find that adding the milk to one jar at a time helps prevent the chia seeds from getting too clumpy. Once you mix up all the overnight oats, cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat!

I recommend waiting to add any toppings until the morning you plan to eat your oats. That way, nuts, seeds, and granola will stay crunchy, and fruit will stay bright and fresh.

Apple pie overnight oats recipe

Overnight Oats Recipe Variations

Now for the fun part: overnight oats variations! Here are four that I really love:

1. Apple Pie Overnight Oats

This variation is perfect for fall! I stir applesauce and warm spices into the creamy oat base and top it off with diced apples and toasted pecans for crunch. If I have them on hand, I also like to add a scoop of my stovetop cinnamon apples to this variation. They taste just like the inside of an apple pie!

Peach crisp overnight oats recipe

2. Peach Crisp Overnight Oats

Topped with sweet, juicy peach slices and nutty granola, this overnight oatmeal is an ode to my favorite peach crisp.

PB&J overnight oats recipe

3. PB&J Overnight Oats

It’s a classic combo for a reason! I load up this variation with creamy peanut butter and a strawberry chia jam that packs a HUGE punch of berry flavor. Fresh strawberries and raspberries amp up that flavor even more, and toasted peanuts add the perfect crunch. For a twist on this variation, swap almond butter and toasted almonds for the peanut butter and peanuts.

Chocolate banana bread overnight oats recipe

4. Chocolate Banana Bread Overnight Oats

I stir cocoa powder, mashed banana, cinnamon, and nutmeg into this variation’s base to give it a rich, chocolatey banana bread flavor. Sliced bananas, walnuts, and chocolate chips top it off.

I hope you love these variations! But remember – you can also feel free to make your oats your own. Try stirring spices or protein powder into the oat base, or experiment with toppings like seasonal fresh fruit, dried fruit, coconut flakes, nuts, seeds, or nut butters. If you find a combination you love, let me know in the comments below!

Four jars filled with apple pie, PB&J, peach crisp, and chocolate banana overnight oats recipes

More Favorite Healthy Breakfasts

If you love this overnight oats recipe, try one of these healthy breakfasts next:

Overnight Oats

rate this recipe:
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Serves 1
Learn how to make overnight oats! This healthy, make-ahead breakfast is easy to customize. Try one of the variations in the recipe below, or experiment with your own combinations of mix-ins and toppings.

Ingredients

Base Recipe

  • ½ cup whole rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ cup whole milk Greek yogurt, optional
  • cup unsweetened almond milk

Variations:

    Apple Pie

    Peach Crisp

    PB&J

    • Chia Jam, recipe below*
    • Peanut butter
    • Chopped strawberries
    • Raspberries
    • Chopped peanuts

    Chocolate Banana Bread

    • ½ banana, mashed
    • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
    • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
    • Pinch nutmeg
    • Banana slices
    • Chopped walnuts
    • Chocolate chips

    Instructions

    • Make the base recipe: In a Mason jar or other lidded jar, place the oats, chia seeds, maple syrup, salt, and Greek yogurt, if using. Add the almond milk and stir until the mixture is well combined and there are no clumps of chia seeds at the bottom of the jar. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 5 days.
    • In the morning, top with your desired toppings and serve with drizzles of maple syrup.
    • For apple pie overnight oats, stir the applesauce and cinnamon into the overnight oat base. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, top with diced apple, chopped pecans, and cinnamon apples and drizzles of maple syrup, if desired.
    • For peach crisp overnight oats, make the plain overnight oat base. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, top with peach slices, granola, and drizzles of maple syrup, if desired.
    • For PB&J overnight oats, make the plain overnight oat base. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, top with chia jam, peanut butter, chopped strawberries, raspberries, and chopped peanuts.
    • For chocolate banana bread overnight oats, stir the mashed banana, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the overnight oat base. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, top with banana slices, chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, and drizzles of maple syrup, if desired.

    Notes

    *Chia Jam Recipe
    • 1 pound strawberries
    • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
    • Pinch of sea salt
    • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
    Place the strawberries, lemon juice, maple syrup, and salt in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened. Use a fork or a potato masher to mash the strawberries, keeping a few a little chunky. Remove from the heat and stir in the chia seeds. Transfer to a jar and let cool, uncovered, at room temperature, then cover and chill in the fridge.

    119 comments

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    Rate this recipe (after making it)




    1. silvia scanavacca
      03.29.2021

      5 stars
      I just sent you my tasty recipe with soy milk oats maple syrup almonds hazelnuts and orange with coconut. Great blog
      Silvia Scanavacca from Italy and my vegan version

    2. Lacey
      03.29.2021

      5 stars
      Such an easy and healthy breakfast! Fun for kids to make and perfect for travel or camping. We made in a small mason jar and then topped with nutella, raspberries and chia seeds in the morning.

    3. Erin Foy
      03.29.2021

      5 stars
      Perfect breakfast.

    4. Laurie Weissler
      03.28.2021

      Love the overnight oats recipe! I deleted the maple syrup, and added dates as a sweet but whole food topping. Almond butter and cinnamon round out the mix. Wonderful way to meal prep for the week, and something to look forward to every morning.

    5. Lindsay Durgin
      03.28.2021

      5 stars
      Love these overnight oats for a quick and easy breakfast that tastes great. I did a coconut/chia seed/cinnamon combo and topped it with banana – yum!

    6. Brenda Leis
      03.27.2021

      I tried this recipe because of it being the March cooking club recipe. I have never tried overnight oats before because I just love hot oatmeal every morning for breakfast. I can now say I have tried them but will stick with regular cooked oatmeal in the future.

    7. Alexis J Stetina
      03.27.2021

      I made steel cut overnight Oats with almond butter, bananas and Raspberries.

    8. Kaylee G
      03.27.2021

      Overnight oats have been the perfect go-to breakfast for this Spring-ier weather!

    9. 5 stars
      Love the overnight oats recipes, I made “PB&J” by adding fresh berries to the chocolate chip cookie. Taking it on my mountain biking adventure tomorrow…is it morning yet? ☺️❤️

    10. Laura Mullin
      03.25.2021

      5 stars
      So easy and delicious! I soaked mine in vanilla almond milk and topped with salted cashew butter, raisins, dried mango, and shredded coconut. Definitely making this again!

    11. Meg Maurer
      03.24.2021

      Thank you for inspiring me to try this recipe! I normally stick to traditional hot cooked oats so this method was a nice change. So easy! I actually used oat yogurt instead of plant milk and it turned out great!!!

    12. Sarah Pluck
      03.24.2021

      5 stars
      First time making overnight oats, it came out fantastic! I layered mine with blueberries and lemon zest then topped with banana and honey granola. I will definitely make this often and experiment with toppings. Thank you!

    13. Elsa Curiel
      03.24.2021

      5 stars
      I love overnight oats and all the different possibilities that this breakfast offers. My favorite one is coconut milk, shredded coconut, fresh mango chunks, cashew nuts for some crunch, and cashew butter for extra creaminess!

    14. Cara Sandlass
      03.23.2021

      Great recipe! I had never tried overnight oats, for this recipe I went with the berry option with some homemade yogurt. Yum!

    15. Jenny Garcia
      03.22.2021

      5 stars
      Perfect recipe to have breakfast ready the following morning. I omitted the sugar and added chia seeds with the oats to soak overnight. I topped mine with peanut butter and chocolate granola with chocolate chips and freeze dried strawberries.

    16. Denise
      03.22.2021

      5 stars
      I mixed in crunchy peanut butter and banana chunks for breakfast today in my hotel, yum. Made them in to go cups in case we are in a rush. Also can pack them in small jelly jars for travel or for work. At home I like to mix in jams and preserves with corresponding fresh berries.

    17. Wendy Hamill
      03.22.2021

      I love overnight oats! I added chia seeds and ground flax. Topped with mango, blueberry, coconut and nuts.

    18. Colette Schwene
      03.22.2021

      5 stars
      I love these overnight oats! Definitely my favorite weekday breakfast because they are so easy to prepare and customize. I love to eat mine with walnuts, cacao nibs, berries, and peanut butter. Yummy!

    19. Steph Peterson
      03.22.2021

      What awesome oatmeal inspiration!! Definitely am going to be trying these ideas soon! I’m excited to try topping with yoghurt and maybe another with some coconut cream! Maybe a pina colada inspired bowl!! I’m also dying to try it with tahini and maple syrup! Thanks for all of the great ideas and encouragement through your cooking club!

    20. Olivia
      03.21.2021

      Lovely toppings ideas for overnight oats! I enjoy adding chia seeds and some extra nut milk to the oats mixture. I can’t believe I never thought about defrosting some frozen cherries on oats. Wow! The best brekkie!

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    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.