by Olena

Overnight Oatmeal

by Olena

4.5 from 2 reviews

Overnight Oatmeal is healthy easy breakfast for lazy people like me.:) You can meal prep overnight oats in a jar for up to 5 days and enjoy warm or cold every morning during the work week.

Again, “lazy” like me? Then check out my chia pudding, egg muffins and other 35 healthy breakfast ideas that will help you to eat healthy breakfast.

Overnight Oatmeal in a jar garnished with banana and cinnamon

What Are Overnight Oats?

Overnight oatmeal are raw oats mixed with milk and soaked overnight. Hence, the name. Milk soften the oats eliminating the need to cook oatmeal on the stove.

The most easy way to make overnight oats is in individual jars. Glass Mason jars with metal or plastic lid are the most common.

Makes for easy “grab and go” healthy, affordable and tasty breakfast solution for busy mornings.

Ingredients You Will Need

To make basic overnight oats recipe you will need 4 simple ingredients:

  • Oats – There is a difference which type of oats you use to make overnight oatmeal, in terms of nutrition and texture. The major differential between oats is different fiber content. The more processed oats, the lower is  fibre. The lower nutrition, the lower satiety.
  • Milk – Any plant based milk like almond milk or regular dairy.
  • Maple syrup  – I wouldn’t recommend using honey because it doesn’t dissolve well in cold milk.
  • Vanilla extract – Make sure it’s pure and not the artificial kind.

Types of Oats You Can Use

Overnight oats recipe can be made with quick, rolled, steel cut or even quick cooking steel cut oats.

1. Quick or Quick Rolled Oats

Quick oats are whole oat groats that are first steamed and then flattened into flakes on a machine. They are the most processed oats with the highest glycemic index (GI) of 66. It means you will feel hungry the soonest after eating quick oats.

Final texture: Quick (instant) oats produce the softest overnight oatmeal with creamy consistency, soaking up milk the fastest, so you can eat them 6 hours after preparation (make in the morning, eat for an afternoon snack).

2. Rolled or Old Fashioned Oats

Rolled oats are steamed for shorter time than quick oats, producing more nutritious oatmeal with GI 42-55 and chewy texture.

Final texture: Rolled (old fashioned) oats “cook” as fast as quick oats and produce a soft textured oatmeal with a bit of chewiness.

stirred with a spoon and served overnight oats in a jar

Steel Cut or Irish Oats

Steel cut oats are uncooked whole groats that have been cut into smaller pieces with steel blades (hence, the name). Because they are not processed, they contain the highest amount of fibre and protein.

Final texture: Steel cut oats produce the chewiest (crunchiest) overnight oatmeal and definitely have to be soaked overnight. They will stay crunchy for days and texture is a matter of personal taste. Overnight oatmeal’s consistency will be more runny than with other types of oats because steel cut oats are not as absorbent.

Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats

Quick cooking steel cut oats are lightly toasted whole oat groats cut into smaller pieces than steel cut oats. They are my favourite oats to use for making overnight oatmeal because they offer almost the same nutritional benefits as steel cut oats, with a softer texture closer to rolled oats. And probably because I can buy a huge bag at Costco dirt cheap. Quick cooking steel cut oats have to be soaked overnight like steel cut oats.

Final texture: Soft with a bit of a bite.

How to Make Overnight Oats

  1. Add milk, maple syrup, vanilla and oats to any glass container with a lid.
  2. Stir well with a spoon.
  3. Refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, if overnight oatmeal is too thick, adjust with milk. Also add more maple syrup if desired.

How to make Overnight Oats step by step

Mix Ins and Toppings Ideas

Foreword – I am a busy working mom of 2 boys who play a lot of hockey. After making overnight oats in jar for 4 years, I came to a conclusion that my favourite kind is basic overnight oats recipe. My life is complicated enough. I do not need to complicate my oatmeal. I just need to eat an oatmeal and not a chocolate bar for breakfast.

If life sucks that morning or you simply have not acquired a few kids, feel free to add the following:

  • Chocolate chips
  • Fresh or frozen fruit
  • Cinnamon or nutmeg
  • Pecans or other nuts
  • Coconut flakes
  • Peanut butter and jam
  • Yogurt

How Long Overnight Oats Last?

5 days. There are really no ingredients to go bad in a jar with overnight oats. If you refrigerate them of course. But for the best fresh breakfast experience consume within first 5 days.

Warm or Cold?

I know many cannot eat a cold breakfast. Or let’s say it’s January. Sure thing, warm up the oatmeal in a microwave or on a stovetop in small pot.

Honestly, I do not have a microwave and warming up overnight oats in a pot defeats the purpose of lazy healthy breakfast. So I eat them cold. I am a mom. Worse things have been done to me.

More Make Ahead Oatmeal Recipes:


How to Make Easy Overnight Oatmeal

4.5 from 2 reviews

Overnight Oatmeal Recipe with any oats and milk, refrigerated overnight in a jar for up to 5 days for an easy healthy breakfast.

  • Author: Olena of
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving (8 oz jar) 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Refrigerate
  • Cuisine: North American


  • 3/4 cup any milk
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup any oats


  1. In any glass container with a tight seal lid, add milk, maple syrup, vanilla and oats; stir well with a spoon. If you would like to add toppings in the morning, use bigger jars. If you want to use smaller jars (pictured), add scant (1-2 tbsp less) of milk and oats, so jars don’t overflow.
  2. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to eat, stir and top with favourite toppings: nuts, berries, fruit, coconut flakes etc. If overnight oatmeal is too thick, adjust with milk. Also add more maple syrup if desired.

Store: Refrigerate for up to 5 days.


Consistency of oatmeal will depend on the type of oats. I used quick cooking steel cut oats. I wouldn’t recommend using honey because it doesn’t dissolve well in cold milk.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

72 comments on “Overnight Oatmeal

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  1. I love overnight oats! Exceptional from fridge especially on warm weather mornings. If I want it warmed then I double boiler style in a bowl in some water = quick and easy and clean cooking.

  2. I love your site. After eating healthy and working out all summer. I have lost weight. However, I’m a homeschooler mom and I have been too busy lately to take the time to prep a healthy meal. I have been grabbing food that is fast but not healthy. Now I’m starting to go up on the scale again. I recently discovered meal prep and you have so many ideas. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thank you for the info regarding the difference between the oatmeals. I learned something from this..I had no idea! Lol I am goin to try this overnight oatmeal n many other healthy recipes from your blog.
    Thank you again!

  4. I keep seeing overnight oats on pinterest and I’m going to break down and try them. Anyone used chocolate almond milk before? That’s all I have. I think in the morning some pecans and fresh blueberries will pair well with it!

      1. I just made overnight oats for the first time I used the steel cut oats, almond milk, yogurt, bananas, strawberries, cinnamon, nutmeg and honey, topped it with a dash of vanilla and some sliced almonds, my jar was very full as you can imagine, I am worried about it exploding in my refrigerator I had to push everything down to screw the lid on my mason jar should I take the lid off or loosen it? any suggestion? I can’t wait to try these fabulous recipes you ladies have come up with

  5. Isn’t this quite a sugar-packed breakfast? Women are only supposed to have up to 6g of sugar a day and this has almost that in one serving 🙁 I realise it’s not nasty refined sugar but still seems quite high.

    1. Sorry – I misread info somewhere else on how many grams of sugar we should have a day and mistook teaspoons for grams 🙂 please ignore my earlier comment. By the way, the oats were yummy!

  6. The idea of overnight oats has had me intrigued for a while and after stumbling across this recepies I though I would give it a go. The almond milk adds a lovely flavour to the oats. I just put the oats and milk in the fridge overnight and substituted the maple syrup for honey, adding it to the oats in the morning. I added some raspberries (very slightly warmed up for they had a nice texture running through the porridge) and some mixed seeds. Very nice and I like that different things can be added each day, making it versatile and very easy to make!

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