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Easy Overnight Oats – Spend With Pennies

Learn how to make overnight oats for a delicious prep-ahead breakfast!

Protein-packed oats, yogurt, fruit, and honey will keep everyone energized all morning long!

jar of How to Make Overnight Oats
  • These little on-the-go jars are a balanced and nutritious way to start the day.
  • Breakfast-in-a-jar, this overnight oats recipe can be made with almost any kind of milk or fruit.
  • They’re easy to prepare and will keep in the fridge for several days – prep a batch on the weekend and enjoy them all week.
Overnight Oats ingredients with labels

Ingredients for Overnight Oats

Oats – I prefer the texture of rolled oats (also called old-fashioned oats or large flake oats) but you can use quick oats. Quick oats will have a slightly less chewy texture, and the results aren’t quite as thick. Steel-cut oats will need an extra day to soften and provide a chewier texture.

Chia Seeds – Chia seeds are optional, but they do help thicken the mixture as it sits overnight. Replace chia seeds with hemp seeds, flax seeds, oat bran, or any kind of chopped nuts.

Yogurt – Plain, flavored, or Greek yogurt works. Non-dairy yogurts are also an option.

Milk – Liquid brings everything together and helps soften the oatmeal and chia seeds. Non-dairy milk like almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, or cashew milk are great options in this recipe

Sweetener – If using a flavored or sweetened yogurt, you can make these overnight oats without honey or sweetener. Alternatively, replace honey with maple syrup, brown sugar, or any sugar-free sweetener.

Overnight Oats ingredients in a bowl

How to Make Overnight Oats

Healthy, energizing, and so easy to make, overnight oats are prepped the night before and can be enjoyed cold or warm for busy mornings!

  1. Combine oats, chia seeds, milk, yogurt, and honey in a bowl, as per the recipe below.
  2. Stir in nuts or other flavorings like peanut butter or fruit spread.
  3. Layer fruit or nuts on the bottom of a jar (or any container with a lid) and top with oatmeal mixture.
  4. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy all week long!
plated Overnight Oats

Add-Ins, Flavors & Variations

Fruit – Fresh, frozen, or dried fruit can be mixed and matched. We love blueberries, raspberries, and bananas. Toss bananas with a little lemon juice to keep them from turning brown, or mash them with the yogurt in Step 2. No fruit? No problem! Swirl in your fave toast toppers like jam, jelly, or preserves.

Nuts & Seeds – For extra crunch, add chopped walnuts, almonds, pecans, pumpkin, or sunflower seeds. You can also swirl in some nut butter, like almond butter.

Extras – Mini chocolate chips, toasted coconut, or vanilla extract.

Variations – Make fall-inspired pumpkin overnight oats to warm up on chilly mornings or a summer pina colada version using yogurt, toasted coconut, and pineapple chunks.

What are Overnight Oats?

Overnight oats are a mixture of oats, yogurt, chia seeds, and milk with a little bit of sweetener. The oat mixture is layered with fruits and nuts and left to sit in the fridge overnight.

Can Steel Cut Oats be Used for Overnight Oats?

Yes, you can use steel-cut oats in this recipe, the texture will be different and they will need to sit for 2 days in the fridge before eating (instead of just 1).

Which Oats are Best for Overnight Oats?

Large flake or rolled oats have the best texture but honestly, any kind of oat will work just fine!

How Long Do Overnight Oats Last?

Overnight oats can be kept in the refrigerator for about 5 days (as long as the dairy is fresh).
You can freeze overnight oats, they’ll need to be stirred after thawing.
Leftover overnight oats can also be blended, frozen into cubes, and added to your favorite smoothie recipes.

More Make-Ahead Breakfasts

What do you add to your overnight oats? Leave us a comment below!

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Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are a perfect meal prep breakfast recipe! Oats are mixed with yogurt, chia seeds, and fruit!

Prep Time 10 minutes

Chill Time 4 hours

Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes

  • In a medium bowl, combine oats, chia seeds, milk, yogurt, and honey. Stir in nuts, extracts, or flavoring if desired (such as vanilla, peanut butter, or mashed banana below).

  • Place ½ cup of fruit/nuts in the bottom of 4 mason jars (or other containers). Top with yogurt mixture and seal and an additional ½ cup of fruit.

  • Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

  • Yogurt: Use flavored or unflavored yogurt. If using plain yogurt, you might like to add extra sweetener.
  • Oats: Old Fashioned Rolled Oats work best for this recipe. Steel cut oats work but will provide a different texture and need to be refrigerated for 2 days before eating.
  • Chia Seeds: Chia seeds make the best texture in this recipe. If you don’t have chia seeds, substitute ground flax seeds, finely chopped nuts, or even oat bran. This will change the texture.
  • Fruit: If using fruit that browns like apples or bananas, add a touch of lemon juice and place all of the fruit in the bottom of the jar so it is covered with the oat mixture. 

Flavor Variations

Pina Colada
1 cup pineapple & 4 tablespoons coconut
Stir 2 tablespoons coconut into the yogurt mixture. Divide pineapple over 4 jars. Top with yogurt mixture and remaining coconut. 

Banana Nut
3 bananas & ⅓ cup walnuts (or pecans), chopped
Mash one of the bananas and mix it into the yogurt mixture. Slice remaining bananas and divide over 4 jars. Top with yogurt mixture and nuts. 

Mixed Berries
1 ⅓ cup berries, fresh or frozen & ½ teaspoon vanilla
Mix vanilla into yogurt mixture. Divide berries over 4 jars and top with yogurt mixture.

Strawberry Banana
1 cup sliced strawberries & 2 bananas
Mash one of the bananas and stir into yogurt mixture. Slice remaining banana and divide over 4 jars along with strawberries. Top with yogurt mixture.

Apple Cinnamon
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon vanilla, 1 granny smith apple, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or use homemade apple pie filling)

Chop apple and toss with lemon juice and brown sugar. Stir cinnamon and vanilla into yogurt mixture. Divide chopped apple over 4 jars. Top with yogurt mixture.
Nutrition information does not include toppings.

Calories: 366 | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 83mg | Potassium: 588mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 954IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 262mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
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plated overnight oats with fruit garnish to show How to Make Overnight Oats with writing
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