Overnight Oats Recipe

Learn how to make overnight oats! This easy, make-ahead breakfast is perfect for busy mornings. Find my base recipe plus 4 fun variations below.

Four jars of overnight oats

When someone asks me for an easy, healthy breakfast idea, this overnight oats recipe is the first thing I suggest. It’s perfect for busy mornings, as you can make individual servings ahead of time and take them on the go. It’s also satisfying enough to keep you full till lunch, made with simple ingredients like oats, chia seeds, and (optional) yogurt. But best of all, it’s fun.

What could be fun about oatmeal, you ask? Well, this yummy breakfast is endlessly customizable. Once you learn how to make overnight oats, you can experiment with mix-ins like cocoa powder or vanilla extract or pile on toppings like nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit. To get you started, I’m sharing four tasty variations (+ my go-to base recipe!) below. Try them out, and then get creative making your overnight oats your own!

Maple syrup dripping into Mason jar filled with oats, chia seeds, and yogurt

Overnight Oats Recipe Ingredients

When I first started making overnight oats, I kept them really simple, using just oats, almond milk or coconut milk, and maple syrup. But after a little experimentation, I realized that adding chia seeds to overnight oats takes them to a whole new level. They give the oats a delicious thick and creamy texture, sort of like that of chia pudding. They also add protein, fiber, and healthy fats. What’s not to love?

Now, I use these ingredients in my go-to overnight oats recipe:

  • Whole rolled oats – Also known as old fashioned oats. Quick oats and steel-cut oats will NOT work here. Quick oats will be too mushy, while steel-cut oats will be chewy and tough.
  • Chia seeds – For extra protein and the perfect thick and creamy texture.
  • Almond milk – Or any milk you like! Dairy milk and oat milk both work well. Coconut milk adds rich flavor and yields an especially creamy texture.
  • Maple syrup – For sweetness. Honey works too.
  • And a pinch of salt – To make the oats extra-flavorful.

If you like, you can stir in Greek yogurt as well. It adds more protein and makes the oats extra-creamy. Skip it to make this recipe dairy-free.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Hand pouring almond milk from pitcher into jar with base recipe ingredients

How to Make Overnight Oats

My method for how to make overnight oats is super simple! Here’s how it goes:

  • Place the oats, chia seeds, maple syrup or honey, salt, and yogurt, if using, in a lidded container or jar.
  • Pour in the almond milk, and stir thoroughly to combine. Make sure that there are no chia seeds clumped around the bottom or sides of the jar!
  • Cover and store overnight, or for up to 5 days, in the fridge.

When you’re ready to eat, give the oats another stir, add your desired toppings, and enjoy!

Almond milk streaming into jar with base recipe ingredients

If you’re meal prepping overnight oats, set out a Mason jar for each serving you want to prep. Add all the ingredients EXCEPT the milk to each jar. Then, add the milk to one jar and stir that jar together before adding the milk to the next. I find that adding the milk to one jar at a time helps prevent the chia seeds from getting too clumpy. Once you mix up all the overnight oats, cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat!

I recommend waiting to add any toppings until the morning you plan to eat your oats. That way, nuts, seeds, and granola will stay crunchy, and fruit will stay bright and fresh.

Apple pie overnight oats recipe

Overnight Oats Recipe Variations

Now for the fun part: overnight oats variations! Here are four that I really love:

1. Apple Pie Overnight Oats

This variation is perfect for fall! I stir applesauce and warm spices into the creamy oat base and top it off with diced apples and toasted pecans for crunch. If I have them on hand, I also like to add a scoop of my stovetop cinnamon apples to this variation. They taste just like the inside of an apple pie!

Peach crisp overnight oats recipe

2. Peach Crisp Overnight Oats

Topped with sweet, juicy peach slices and nutty granola, this overnight oatmeal is an ode to my favorite peach crisp.

PB&J overnight oats recipe

3. PB&J Overnight Oats

It’s a classic combo for a reason! I load up this variation with creamy peanut butter and a strawberry chia jam that packs a HUGE punch of berry flavor. Fresh strawberries and raspberries amp up that flavor even more, and toasted peanuts add the perfect crunch. For a twist on this variation, swap almond butter and toasted almonds for the peanut butter and peanuts.

Chocolate banana bread overnight oats recipe

4. Chocolate Banana Bread Overnight Oats

I stir cocoa powder, mashed banana, cinnamon, and nutmeg into this variation’s base to give it a rich, chocolatey banana bread flavor. Sliced bananas, walnuts, and chocolate chips top it off.

I hope you love these variations! But remember – you can also feel free to make your oats your own. Try stirring spices or protein powder into the oat base, or experiment with toppings like seasonal fresh fruit, dried fruit, coconut flakes, nuts, seeds, or nut butters. If you find a combination you love, let me know in the comments below!

Four jars filled with apple pie, PB&J, peach crisp, and chocolate banana overnight oats recipes

More Favorite Healthy Breakfasts

If you love this overnight oats recipe, try one of these healthy breakfasts next:

Overnight Oats

rate this recipe:
4.96 from 64 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Serves 1
Learn how to make overnight oats! This healthy, make-ahead breakfast is easy to customize. Try one of the variations in the recipe below, or experiment with your own combinations of mix-ins and toppings.

Ingredients

Base Recipe

  • ½ cup whole rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ¼ cup whole milk Greek yogurt, optional
  • cup unsweetened almond milk

Variations:

    Apple Pie

    Peach Crisp

    PB&J

    • Chia Jam, recipe below*
    • Peanut butter
    • Chopped strawberries
    • Raspberries
    • Chopped peanuts

    Chocolate Banana Bread

    • ½ banana, mashed
    • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
    • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
    • Pinch nutmeg
    • Banana slices
    • Chopped walnuts
    • Chocolate chips

    Instructions

    • Make the base recipe: In a Mason jar or other lidded jar, place the oats, chia seeds, maple syrup, salt, and Greek yogurt, if using. Add the almond milk and stir until the mixture is well combined and there are no clumps of chia seeds at the bottom of the jar. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for up to 5 days.
    • In the morning, top with your desired toppings and serve with drizzles of maple syrup.
    • For apple pie overnight oats, stir the applesauce and cinnamon into the overnight oat base. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, top with diced apple, chopped pecans, and cinnamon apples and drizzles of maple syrup, if desired.
    • For peach crisp overnight oats, make the plain overnight oat base. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, top with peach slices, granola, and drizzles of maple syrup, if desired.
    • For PB&J overnight oats, make the plain overnight oat base. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, top with chia jam, peanut butter, chopped strawberries, raspberries, and chopped peanuts.
    • For chocolate banana bread overnight oats, stir the mashed banana, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the overnight oat base. Refrigerate overnight. In the morning, top with banana slices, chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, and drizzles of maple syrup, if desired.

    Notes

    *Chia Jam Recipe
    • 1 pound strawberries
    • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
    • Pinch of sea salt
    • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
    Place the strawberries, lemon juice, maple syrup, and salt in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened. Use a fork or a potato masher to mash the strawberries, keeping a few a little chunky. Remove from the heat and stir in the chia seeds. Transfer to a jar and let cool, uncovered, at room temperature, then cover and chill in the fridge.

    116 comments

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    Rate this recipe (after making it)




    1. Ken
      09.23.2022

      5 stars
      This recipe has increased my breakfast options, thank you!

    2. anne
      09.19.2022

      oh no – what happened to the turmeric/coconut/mango combo?! it is delicious and gone from this update I think it is 1/8tsp turmeric and 1/4 tsp cinnamon.

    3. Hilary
      09.03.2022

      When you talk about prepping for the whole week, do you let the oats sit in the milk for the whole week or do you just add the milk each night so that they are only sitting combined for 1 day each? Thanks!

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        09.06.2022

        Hi Hillary, I let the oats sit in the milk for the week (weekdays – like 4-5 days total)

    4. Killoran
      04.03.2022

      I must try your savory oats, but you only have one recipe! I particularly like using up leftover spaghetti sauce, with oatmeal replacing the pasta. I usually add a little extra Italian seasoning while cooking the oatmeal. Pizza sauce is also good.

      Oatmeal can also replace mashed potatoes, and is pretty good with your favorite gravy. Sometimes I just don’t feel like more brown sugar, cinnamon, fruit etc.

    5. Amy
      09.11.2021

      Canned or carton coconut milk?

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        09.11.2021

        Hi Amy, light canned or cartoned coconut milk will both work.

    6. Beck
      06.16.2021

      thank you for such unique and delicious flavor combinations! I’ve been eating overnight oats and been bored with my usual options. I’ve had the cherry one and the mango one so far and I am blown away how easy and delicious they are! thank you for sharing!

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        06.17.2021

        Hi Beck, I’m happy these toppings inspired!

    7. Leslie McDonough
      03.31.2021

      5 stars
      This was delicious and so easy! I made the version with berries, chia seeds and yogurt (and added some almond butter and cacao nibs). Great weekday breakfast. Can’t wait to try the coconut turmeric version soon!

    8. Joyce Wang
      03.31.2021

      This was so simple to make! I usually eat really sweet things for breakfast (think brownies, cookies, cake…), so this is great healthier choice :).

    9. Sarah Cocuzzo
      03.31.2021

      5 stars
      Love this simple recipe and fun ideas for toppings! I was able to prep for the whole week while also mixing it up enough to not get bored.

    10. Korena Bradford!
      03.31.2021

      5 stars
      This is such a fun idea… It is perfect for my four kids and people going in all directions, summit them at home, some take them to work, and some take them to school on the bus with a spoon :-)! Thank you

    11. Bridget Cassun
      03.30.2021

      5 stars
      So quick and delicious! Great for a grab and go breakfast; very filling! I made my oats with a riff on carrot cake ; carrots, walnuts, cinnamon and fresh nutmeg; tasty!

    12. Jessica Erwin
      03.30.2021

      5 stars
      Overnight oats are the best. So easy and no clean up. I especially love them for a quick easy breakfast. I topped them off with peanut butter and chocolate chips. My 8 year old loved it.

    13. Stevie Smith
      03.29.2021

      5 stars
      These were very tasty! Perfect quick and filling breakfast. I topped mine with bananas, peanut butter, hemp seeds and a drizzle of maple syrup!

    14. Christi
      03.29.2021

      5 stars
      Yummy. I made the base recipe…and in place of maple syrup added some healthy Maine Blueberry jam…and a drizzle of peanut butter for the protein! Scrumptious!

    15. Gillian Bower
      03.29.2021

      5 stars
      So easy! I’m hoping to try all the variations here, but used it as a base for some Meyer lemon curd I had made. Yum!

    16. Rachel Kummerfeld
      03.29.2021

      5 stars
      Easy and delicious! Thanks for the inspiration😋

    17. Cassidy
      03.29.2021

      5 stars
      Overnight oats are such a great food prepping trick! There are endless, delicious topping combinations and it’s super easy to boost the nutritional content with flax or chia seeds. This was the first time I had ever prepped them in a mason jar – how fun!

    18. Nicole
      03.29.2021

      5 stars
      Love the simplicity of this recipe! It was delicious, nutritious, satisfying and oh so easy. I also love how customizable it is. The base recipe works great with whatever you have on hand that day. Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

    A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
    Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

    Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

    We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.