How to Make Overnight Oats – 5 Easy Recipes!

Wondering how to make overnight oats? These are the easiest and tastiest overnight oats recipes! Just a few minutes of prep the night before and you’ll have delicious, grab-and-go breakfasts ready for busy mornings.

close up of 5 kinds of overnight oats in glass jars from the top

My Favorite Overnight Oats Recipes

Truly, anyone can make this recipe — it doesn’t matter if you love the kitchen or prefer to be the food sampler over the food maker — because it’s so straightforward that it’s foolproof! And it makes a decadent breakfast, even when you’re short on time.

I’m partnering with Bob’s Red Mill again this year, and I’m so excited that THIS is the first recipe we’re creating together. I’ve been planning on sharing my favorite easy overnight oatmeal recipes with you for a while anyway, and this was the perfect chance to get it done. I love working with Bob’s Red Mill because I use and love their products in my home all of the time. They’ve been on my “dream client” list for ages and now look at us! And as always, thank YOU for supporting the brands that I choose to work with.

Overnight oats. Do you make them yet? I’m here to convince you that you need to start and give you all of the tools do to just that. I love them because I can prep them ahead of time, they are filling, delicious, and nutritious, and because they take 5 minutes of hands-on prep time. That’s it!

Plus the recipe is SO flexible — you can use any kind of milk you like or have on hand; add in fun additions like berries, nuts, jams, or more; and omit or change the kind of yogurt you use depending on your preferences. They’re a winner all around in my book. Plus, my kids will even eat them.

overnight oat ingredients like Bob's Red Mill oats, chia seeds, and coconut in packages

Ingredients for Overnight Oats

  • Oats: I use old fashioned or rolled oats. They have a great texture after sitting in the fridge. I love Bob’s Red Mill rolled oats (in fact, I buy them by the 25 pound bag and store them in a bucket in my pantry I use them so much). The oats are a whole grain, easy to find organic, and you can find them certified gluten free as well. They provide great fiber because they are whole grains, too.
  • Pinch of salt: oh the magic of a bit of salt. Just a pinch in this recipe helps the oats to not taste “flat.” In fact, I’d highly recommend adding a dash or two of salt to your hot oatmeal too; it’s a game changer.
  • Chia Seeds or Ground Flax Seeds: this might not be in your pantry yet, but you’ll make this recipe enough it’ll be worth stocking up on. The chia or ground flax add great nutrition but they also help make the overnight oats thick and creamy. They are both natural thickeners. Bob’s Red Mill also sells both of these if you are placing an order.
  • Plain Greek Yogurt: a simple way to probiotics to your meal and they make things thick and creamy. Plus, I love that added fat (I used whole milk yogurt) as it goes great with the fiber and complex carbs to help keep me full through the morning.
  • Milk: use what you have and what you like. I tested these recipes with both organic whole cow’s milk and almond milk. I’m sure it would work with just about any nut milk you like or have on hand.
  • Vanilla extract: a simple, natural ingredient that adds a lot of flavor! It’ll take your oats from breakfast to (healthy) dessert for breakfast.
  • Maple Syrup: my favorite nature-made sweetener for sure. The flavor blends in well and it’s easy to find. If you don’t have any syrup, honey or even a bit of brown sugar work great in it’s place. I normally add the full 2 tablespoons of maple syrup but if I’m using honey I only add 1 tablespoon since it has a stronger flavor.

How to Make Overnight Oats

Overnight oats couldn’t be easier. You simply add the ingredients to a container of your choosing, mix, toss them in the fridge, and eat them when it’s convenient for you (they last up to 5 days!). I like to eat them cold out of the fridge, or you could certainly warm them up if you wanted to. But you might just love a cold oatmeal option as much as we do — add a few berries on top and you’re good to go!

5 kinds of oats from the top down including classic vanilla and apple cinnamon

Additional Optional Add-ins for Overnight Oats:

Start with the base vanilla recipe and add the following to make new combinations.

For Peanut Butter and Jelly Oats:

  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon jam (I normally use a bit less maple syrup when I make this one since my jam is sweet)

For Peanut Butter Chocolate Oats:

  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

For Apple Cinnamon Oats:

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped or grated apple
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For Coconut Almond Oats:

  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut (I use unsweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
  • 1 pinch cinnamon

But don’t let my flavor combos be the end all for you. Feel free to use anything you like such as nuts, fruit, jams and jellies, mini chocolate chips, shredded unsweetened coconut, collagen peptides, citrus zest, nut butters. I tend to keep things like fresh fruit, nuts, and bananas out of the overnight oats until I’m ready to serve them so that they don’t get soft with the rest of the mixture.

step by step pictures one through six on how to make overnight oats

FAQs About Overnight Oats

Do I have to use plain Greek yogurt?

Nope, but it’s delicious! This recipe is the definition of flexible. You can omit the yogurt all together or just replace it with milk, or you can can also use traditional yogurt though the end result will be a little thinner. If you are using flavored or sweetened yogurt, omit or adjust your maple syrup to taste.

What are the best oats to use for overnight oats?

I use Bob’s Red Mill organic old fashioned oats. I think they have a great texture. If you use quick or instant oats, you’ll just have a softer texture when the oats are done. Bob’s actually makes an extra thick old fashioned oat that I love in this recipe too if you like a lot of chewiness to your oats!

Are overnight oats healthy?

I certainly think they are very nourishing. They are a great mix of whole grains, fat, fiber, and more with lots of vitamins and minerals. I feel great about eating them and serving them to my family. PLUS, did you know that “soaking” grains helps them to be more digestible, and that is essentially what you are doing. The natural phytic acid in the oats is broken down by the yogurt which makes them easier on your body to digest.

Do overnight oats need to be in a jar?

Nope, as long as they fit in the container and the container has a lid you are good to go. I have a friend who makes hers in old peanut butter jars! I recommend getting Wide Mouth Ball Jars in the pint (2 cup) size. They are perfect for this. I love these plastic lids for them too (good for storage, but you shouldn’t use them for preserving).

Do you eat overnight oats hot or cold?

I like them cold and I think that makes them convenient, too (no heating time!). Plus I don’t really like milky things like yogurt warm. That being said, you certainly can warm yours if that will make you happy. No issue there.

oats before stirring, after refrigeration, and what they look like before serving

Video of how to make overnight oats:

Print

Easy Overnight Oats


  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x

Description

Wondering how to make overnight oats? These are the easiest and tastiest Overnight Oats Recipes! Just a few minutes of prep the night before and you’ll have delicious, grab-and-go breakfasts ready for busy mornings.


Scale

Ingredients

Base Vanilla Overnight Oat Recipe

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned or rolled oats
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk (any kind)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Additional optional add-ins*

Instructions

  1. Place the oats, salt, and chia or flax seeds in the bottom of a glass container (a wide mouth pint canning jar works perfect for this).
  2. Add the Greek yogurt, milk, vanilla, and maple syrup to the jar and stir well to combine.
  3. If you are adding any optional extras, add them and stir well to combine.
  4. Place a lid on your container and place it in the fridge.
  5. Let the mixture rest for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  6. Add a splash more milk when serving if desired to thin the oats a bit.
  7. Eat within 5 days of making.

*Additional Optional Add-ins:

For Peanut Butter and Jelly Oats:

  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon jam

For Peanut Butter Chocolate Oats:

  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

For Apple Cinnamon Oats:

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped or grated apple
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For Coconut Almond Oats:

  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
  • 1 pinch cinnamon

Notes

  • You have so much flexibility with this simple recipe. I’ll often make the base recipe and we’ll just add optional toppings like nuts or fruit in the morning before serving.
  • Feel free to set up as many jars as you’ll use in the week and assemble multiple jars assembly-line style all at the same time. I’ll often make 10-12 jars or individual servings at one time.
  • Category: breakfast
  • Method: no cook
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: overnight oats, how to make overnight oats, overnight oats recipe, peanut butter overnight oats, easy overnight oats

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5 jars of overnight oats, 3 on the bottom and two stacked on top of them to form a pyramid

5 kinds of cold overnight oatmeal with text

ingredients for overnight oatmeal laid out before assembling

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deb c
deb c

I love Bob’s Red Mill! I first bought it because my brother was named Bob and he lived in Oregon….they are from Oregon and there was the Bob name. So…hahahaha…..I liked whatever it was and it felt like a healthier choice so I kept on buying their products. Plus….I always transfer things into canning jars for storage…..I then cut their bag across the top and bottom, slit it down the side and tape it onto the jar….now I still have their awesome label and I remember what is in there. I know my reasons are silly, but there is usually always a method/reason for my madness! Now….overnight oats….I actually use steel cut oats…I like the tougher chew. Once I made some using pumpkin mash, pie spice and vanilla….yup…pumpkin pie for breakfast! I’m gonna try the chocolate peanut butter one….two flavors that were meant to be together and…it will HAVE to be warmed up. Cold cereal is Tony Tiger and Fruit Loops…..everything else needs to be warm…hahaha!

Bless This Mess - About Me

I’m Melissa, and I want to help you feed your family wholesome food.

As a hobby farmer and mom of five, I’m all about keeping it simple in the kitchen. I want healthy meals that feed my family well, and then I want to get back to my (messy) life. Let’s work together to find something yummy for your dinner table.