by Olena

Overnight Oats

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Olena Osipov
4.9 from 15 votes

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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 breakfasts are chia pudding, pancakes and egg bites.

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 like chia pudding. Glass Mason jars with metal or plastic lid are the most common. Makes for easy “grab and go” healthy breakfast just like our favorite waffles and carrot muffins.

I usually prep my overnight oatmeal while making dinner. So easy!

Overnight Oats in a jar topped with strawberries

Ingredients for Overnight Oatmeal

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). Love baking sugar free cookies with them.
  • 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. Try them in healthy oatmeal cookies.
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. These make the best Instant Pot oatmeal.
  • 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. These are good for quinoa breakfast bake.
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 (pressure cooker recipe)
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. Treat it like breakfast casserole.
  • Sugar free: You can omit maple syrup and use mashed banana instead. Or use calorie free dry sweetener of choice.
  • Vegan: Use any plant-based milk. My favorite ever is Califia almond milk!
  • Gluten free: Use certified gluten free oats.

More Favorite Healthy Recipes

Overnight Oats in glass topped with strawberries and chia seeds
Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats

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.
4.94 from 15 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Calories: 224kcal
Author: Olena Osipov


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


  • 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.
  • Stir well with a spoon, put lids on and 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. 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.


    Serving: 1cup | Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 79mg | Potassium: 147mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Calcium: 261mg | Iron: 2mg
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