by Olena

Overnight Oats

by Olena

4.8 from 4 reviews

Overnight Oats is easy healthy breakfast you can prepare for a busy week ahead. This overnight oatmeal recipe is basic, you can add any toppings and enjoy warm or cold.

My other favorite make ahead breakfast is chia pudding.

Overnight Oats

What Are Overnight Oats?

Overnight oats are raw oats mixed with milk and soaked overnight. Hence, the name. Milk softens 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 breakfast.

I usually prep mine while making dinner. So easy!

Overnight Oats in a jar topped with strawberries

Ingredients You Will Need

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

  • Oats – Technically, any oats will work. The only difference is nutrition and texture. Keep reading – I go over each in detail.
  • Milk – Any plant based milk like almond milk or regular dairy milk.
  • 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.

milk, maple syrup, vanilla, oats and glass jars, measuring cups

Types of Oats You Can Use

The major differential between oats is different fiber content. The more processed oats, the lower is  fibre. The lower nutrition, the lower satiety.

  • Quick (quick rolled) oats – 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: Soft oatmeal, creamy consistency. You can eat them 6 hours after preparation (make in the morning, eat for an afternoon snack).
  • Rolled (old fashioned) oats – Steamed for shorter time than quick oats, producing more nutritious oatmeal with GI 42-55 and chewy texture. Final texture: Soft with a bit of chewiness.

Overnight Oats topped with strawberries and coconut flakes and chia seeds

  • Steel cut (Irish) oats – 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: Crunchy and chewy groats, more runny.
  • Quick cooking steel cut oats – 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. Final texture: Soft with a bit of a bite.

glass jars with Overnight Oats

How to Make Overnight Oats

I never liked dry oatmeal. This recipe’s ratio is 1/2 cup oats: 3/4 cup milk, which produces perfect creamy consistency porridge.

  • Prep: Add milk, maple syrup, vanilla and oats to any glass container with a lid. Stir well with a spoon.
  • Refrigerate: Overnight is the best. However, quick oats can be enjoyed after 6 hours.
  • Enjoy: In the morning, stir and if overnight oatmeal is too thick, adjust with milk. Also add more maple syrup if desired. Heat in microwave or enjoy cold.

Overnight Oats in glasses with spoons and strawberries and blue towel

Mix Ins and Toppings Ideas

My favourite kind is basic overnight oats topped with fruit. Feel free to add the following:

  • Fresh or frozen fruit
  • Cinnamon or nutmeg
  • Pecans, pistachios, toasted almonds
  • Coconut flakes and chia seeds
  • Peanut butter, jam or nutella
  • Chocolate chips
  • Yogurt

Overnight Oats in a jar with black spoon

Tips for Best Overnight Oatmeal

  • Longevity: Oats last for 5 days in the fridge.
  • 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.
  • Sugar free: You can omit maple syrup and use mashed banana instead. Or use calorie free dry sweetener of choice.
  • Vegan: Use nay plant-based milk. My favorite ever is Califia almond milk!
  • Gluten free: Use certified gluten free oats.

More Oatmeal Recipes

Overnight Oats in glass topped with strawberries and chia seeds

Print

Overnight Oats

overnight oats

4.8 from 4 reviews

Overnight Oats is easy healthy breakfast you can prepare for a busy week ahead. This overnight oatmeal recipe is basic, you can add any toppings and enjoy warm or cold.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: North American
Scale

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  1. In any glass container with a tight seal lid, add milk, maple syrup, vanilla and oats. If you would like to add toppings in the morning, use bigger jars.
  2. Stir well with a spoon, put lids on and refrigerate overnight.
  3. 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.

Notes

  • Consistency of oatmeal will depend on the type of oats. Quick oats – soft and mushy. Rolled oats – soft with a chew. Steel cut oats – very chewy and runny. Steel cut quick cooking oats – softer with a chew and bite.
  • I wouldn’t recommend using honey because it doesn’t dissolve well in cold milk.
  • Any sweetener will work.

 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.

78 comments on “Overnight Oats

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  1. I love that you are giving the instructions including all types of oats. I used a prepackaged gluten free oatmeal packets (which is approx a half cup) and chopped up some granny Smith apples with a dash of cinnamon. I prepped two the night before. My daughter and I ate them the next morning. I think this is the first time I haven’t had heartburn from oatmeal. Also an excellent way to use up the organic fruit from our misfit fruit and veggie boxes. We will be trying mango and nectarines later this week. These are my favorite thing now since you can tweak the fruit and flavoring to avoid bland and boring. Thank you!

    1. I am so happy to hear that you are enjoying my overnight oats recipe, Staci. With summer and all the fresh fruit, the possibilities are endless for combinations!

  2. you’re awesome. your recipes are amazing for my overly complicated life. Hubby eats. Kids eat. Mom happy. you rock

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!
    Debbie

  6. 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

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. Great to see. Not new though. I grew up on this 50 yrs ago in UK where it is called Swiss Museli. We used to just make a big bowl full of milk soaked, large oats then in the morning add any chopped nuts, fresh or dried fruit. Of course, chia wasn’t in my area back then and the thought of milking an almond…!

    1. Just whatever size you have. You know the most common one, kind of medium small. It doesn’t expand much. Sorry I don’t do much canning, so am not very jar proficient.

  10. This looks delicious and I’m so excited to try it for tomorrow. Should I only make one jar per day or can I make five jars ahead of time since they keep for five days?
    Thanks for the great recipe!
    Lili

  11. This will probably sound odd but do you cook the oats first or no? Sounds great and would love to try. I have a son and a hubby who hate to cook! They could just grab it and take it to work or eat it at home!

    1. No need to cook the oats. They “cook” overnight in the fridge. Quick oats are instant and pre-cooked basically. Rolled oats are chewier but still no need to cook.

  12. 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. Absolutely! Actually your flavour combination sounds great! I will be restocking myself tomorrow for the week too. Haven’t made these in a while but now that my oven is broken I’m going back.

  13. Hi

    Just ate it and it was yummy, wish I had made more! Second recipe I’ve made of yours so definitely going to try a third!! Thanks!

    1. Chia seeds are sold in majority of grocery stores like Costco, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods. I probably wouldn’t expect to find them at Walmart.:) I buy this 2lb bag in Costco or you can order on Amazon.
      I’m a bit confused about what quinoa. This is overnight oats recipe. You put them in uncooked. If you want to add a little bit of quinoa, you could. Just a tbsp, not more. It has very nutty taste and tastes a bit bitter in the overnight oats. I tried and didn’t like it much.

      1. Quinoa has a bitter/soapy taste if not washed before using. I assume this is true when used raw as well. Try rinsing thoroughly in cold water, really swish them around well with your hand, then drain and use. This will eliminate most of the bitterness.

  14. I have never been a fan of oatmeal until a couple of weeks ago when I tried steel cut oats after a 5K, it was so chewy and delicious. I actually made some this morning for the first time. I love the idea of these overnight oats…it will make breakfast meal prep quick & easy. And great suggestion of adding quinoa too. Blessings!

    1. I’m not a huge fan of oatmeal either. Or I like my oats cooked in a certain way-crunchy steel cut oats. Like you. Not soft and mushy though. You would love steel cut oats in this recipe!:)

  15. Steel oats is twice more the calories then oats. I didn’t realize it until I had made this a couple of times and got addicted. Need to try the regular oats. Don’t wants so many calories in the morning.

    1. Yes, they are although breakfast should be your biggest meal of the day. So, maybe it’s a good thing. Nutritional value included for quick oats.

  16. Olena, I tried your recipe last night. Had for breakfasts this morning. I used steel cut and organic oats mix. Coconut milk (vanilla) made in mason jars. I am in LOVE with this!!! I added strawberries and chai. Sipped my coffee. I love this. And its like a little present in a mason jar! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  17. Could you use cow’s milk if you’re into that sort of thing? Thanks for the recipe — I keep finding yogurt-based recipes and I just can’t bring myself to enjoy yogurt. Can’t wait to try this!!

  18. I am LOVING the idea of a mini coffee pot in my room within an arm’s reach of my bed. Dreamy! 🙂 Overnight oats are the best… I’ve never made them without using yogurt and have never included maple syrup. So, anxious to try this!

    1. Let’s keep dreaming, Kim. I think it’s crazy to do that but maybe not. Especially on weekends I would love just to reach for a cup and lay in bed for a while enjoying the window view while sipping coffee. I have never made oats with yogurt. How do you do that?

  19. Man, I am so going to try this. I keep seeing recipes for overnight oats popping up everywhere and something tells me that I just need to try them! They look phenomenal. I love the endless possibilities. (and the protein! woot.)
    Pinning this!

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