Overnight oatmeal is a healthy, affordable and tasty breakfast solution for busy mornings. It can be made with quick, rolled, steel cut or even quick cooking steel cut oats. As well as with cow’s or any plant based milk like almond milk etc. After making overnight oats in jar for 4 years, I came to a conclusion that my favourite kind is basic overnight oats recipe with only 4 ingredients. If and when I feel like chocolate, fruit or cinnamon, I can easily add it then. Otherwise, simplicity is best.
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 the different fibre content. The more processed oats, lower the fibre, lower nutrition, lower satiety. Over the years I have tried all types of oats to make overnight oats and will share my thoughts below.
4 Types of Oats to Use in Overnight Oatmeal
Quick (Cooking) 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.
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).
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.
Rolled (old fashioned) oats “cook” as fast as quick oats and produce a soft textured oatmeal with a bit of chewiness.
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.
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 still cut oats.
How to Make Overnight Oatmeal
In any glass container with a tight seal lid, add milk, maple syrup, vanilla and oats. If you want to use smaller jars (pictured), add scant (1-2 tbsp less) of milk and oats, so jars don’t overflow. If you would like to add toppings in the morning, use bigger jars.
Stir well with a spoon. Refrigerate overnight.
This is what overnight oatmeal (with quick cooking steel cut oats) looks like a few hours later.
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. I wouldn’t recommend using honey because it doesn’t dissolve well in cold milk.
More Healthy Oatmeal Recipes:
- Sugar Free Oatmeal Cookies
- Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
- Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies
- Baked Oatmeal Breakfast Bars with Carrots
- Healthy Oatmeal Muffins
- Healthy No Bake Oatmeal Cookies
How to Make Easy Overnight Oatmeal
Overnight Oatmeal Recipe with any oats and milk, refrigerated overnight in a jar for up to 5 days for an easy healthy breakfast.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.