How to make overnight oats - the perfect healthy breakfast to prep at the start of the week and eat all week long plus our 6 favourite flavour ideas!
Have you ever made overnight oats before? If you are a breakfast person (like me) but mornings are just a blur of trying to get kids ready and get out the door, then you will love overnight oats!
They are the perfect breakfast to make ahead of time and store in the fridge, ready to eat when you are.
I make them in jars that they can be eaten straight out of - less dishes, they can be put in your bag to take in the car and eating breakfast out of a jar seems to be a real novelty for Sadie, who isn't always a big breakfast eater.
How do you make overnight oats?
Overnight oats are the most simple thing to make! My base recipe for overnight oats includes the following ingredients:
- Rolled oats - I use regular rolled oats. You could also make them with wholegrain oats but I don't think they will be as creamy.
- Chia seeds - optional but they are a great nutritional boost and also helps make the oats thick and creamy.
- Salt - just a pinch and it makes all the difference to the flavour of the oats!
- Milk - I use regular milk but if you need to you can use coconut, almond or any other plant based milk that you drink.
- Greek yoghurt - I use unsweetened Greek yoghurt as it's most often what we have. It also adds extra protein and no sugar so it's a healthier alternative and makes the oats super thick and creamy.
- Maple syrup - just a couple of teaspoons of maple syrup makes these oats so delicious! You don't have to add maple syrup but I find that the oats are not that exciting without it. Use more or less depending on your taste preference and what other mix ins you are adding.
- Vanilla extract - this is the best way to add a flavour boost and it's what makes the base recipe delicious without even adding any mix ins!
For all overnight oat recipes, start with the base vanilla recipe and then add the following mix ins
- Tropical Overnight Oats: ¼ cup pineapple and mango pieces (fresh or frozen) + 2 tablespoon dessicated coconut
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats: 2 tablespoon cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- Mixed Berry Overnight Oats: ½ cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
- Banana Chocolate Chip Overnight Oats: ½ banana, chopped into pieces or mashed + 1 tablespoon chocolate chips
- Coffee Overnight Oats: 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder + 1 tablespoon chocolate chips (optional but delicious!)
What are overnight oats?
Overnight oats are almost a cross between porridge or oatmeal and muesli. They are made from mostly oats but are mixed up with milk, yoghurt and a few other goodies and left in the fridge overnight. The oats soak up the milk and you are left with a creamy, delicious breakfast.
Do you eat them hot or cold?
They are intended to be eaten cold, although if you prefered, you could definitely heat them in the microwave or on the stove.
Can I use plant based milk instead of regular?
Absolutely! I use regular milk and yoghurt as that's what we eat but if you have allergies or intolerances, use whatever milk you drink - coconut, almond, soy or whatever! Same with the yoghurt. Coconut milk would be the perfect milk to use in the tropical flavoured oats!
Can I use honey instead of maple syrup?
Yes but make sure the honey is quite runny so that it mixes in well with the other ingredients.
Can I use frozen fruit?
Yes! I often use frozen mango, pineapple and berries in my overnight oats. That way, it's even less prep time as you just take the fruit straight out of the freezer bag and put it into the jar!
How long do they last in the fridge for?
I work on keeping them for 5 days. I make several jars on a Sunday night and they are good until Thursday or Friday. Then I switch to overnight waffles for my weekend breakfast!
Comment below and let me know which flavour you will try first - I am loving the coffee flavour the most but Sadie's favourite is the vanilla! And if you subscribe to my email list below the recipe, you'll get the free printable with all recipes on one card that you can stick on your fridge to make prep super easy!
How to make overnight oats + 6 flavour ideas
Base vanilla recipe
- ½ cup rolled oats
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
- ½ cup milk (regular, almond, coconut - anything will work)
- ½ cup unsweetened yoghurt
- 1-2 Tablespoons maple syrup (optional for sweetness)
- t teaspoon vanilla extract
- Additional mix ins (see recipe notes)
- Place the ingredients (including any extras) into a jar or container (I like using wide mouth pint sized Ball Mason jars) and mix together well.
- Screw on jar lid and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Remove from the fridge when ready to serve, stir it up and enjoy. If needed, add a splash of milk to thin it down and extra toppings if desired.
- Servings will keep in the fridge for 5 days.
What can you use instead of the yoghurt? My tummy cannot take any form of yoghurt, even dairy free. I am excited to try these recipes, so thank you in advance.
Hi Lainey, just leave out the yoghurt and add extra milk (any kind) or even coconut cream instead! It won't be quite as thick but will still be delicious!
Easy and yummy. I did the berry recipe ie added frozen berries. Because I take collegen powder I added a scoop of this as well, then didn't have to make my collegen drink up 😊
James Milne says
I've been getting back into overnight oats experiments during the past couple of weeks during lockdown. I'm a type 1 Diabetic, so if you are avoiding sugar and honey and syrup, here's a couple of tips:
(1) You can stew Granny Smiths apples without sugar but with a dash of cider vinegar. This breaks down their texture to what you expect from stewed apple without the extra sugar, and the acidity will likely make them last longer. Also remember to add a pinch of salt. Ultimate low GI fruit.
(2) Thinking more muesli cross-over here, sunflower seeds and coconut chips as well as the chia seeds add not only texture, but also little flavour bursts. Remember you want each mouthful to be a surprise 🙂
(3) Use the most unprocessed oats you can find.(full stop) The longer you can spend breaking the oats down internally, the longer you will feel full, and if you are like me as a diabetic, you won't need a mid morning snack with a belly full of insoluble fibre still stalling the breakdown of all the carbs here.
James, thanks for the tips. Do you recommend a brand or where to buy the most unprocessed oats? Thank you
Sue Hart says
Looks great. I love a printable fact recipe sheet. Thanks Sue
Sharlee Karlsson says
How long will they last in the fridge (if i made 3 batches in 1 go would the 3rd be ok in day 3?
Hi Sharlee, I work on them being ok for 5 days in the fridge!
Great recipe but the chocolate peanut butter one has too much cocoa and not enough peanut butter 🙁 maybe its meant to be 2 tbsp peanut butter and 1 of cocoa????
Hi Rachel! This is how I like it, but feel free to change around the quantities to suit your taste - it's a very flexible recipe!
Delicious! I only ise 1/3rd cup of oats, yoghurt and milk and add all the other ingredients as suggested plus a tablespoon of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, linseed and chopped almonds then top with chopped fresh fruit in the morning!
Phoenix Thomas says
Hi there is this a good food to eat if you're trying to lose weight?
It is a great healthy option for breakfast!
Hi Laura, is it possible to get the printable recipes please 🙂 Thank you!
Phillipa Gaskin says
Can berry flavoured sauce be used in the recipe for Berry flavoured overnight oats, like oats , then chia seeds, then the berry sauce, then yoghurt them frozen berries on top? or would that be too much sugar or use sugar free sauce?
Hi Phillipa - absolutely!! You can add anything you like to them and I think they would be divine with berry sauce in them!! Laura
Hannah Erskine says
Would love the printable recipe for these please ☺️
Hi Hannah, I've just seen that the link to subscribe to the email list is missing - I will email you the printable card! Laura
Going to try these. Where did you get the jars from? They look a little different to any I’ve seen. Thanks 🙂
Hi Brooke, these are half pint (approx 250ml) Ball Mason jars that I use for preserving (or anything I put in the fridge!) They are from https://kiwifamilykitchen.co.nz/
How much vanilla essence?
About 1/2 tsp per jar! Laura
Just found this and have tried a couple of flavours, it's a game changed for me in the mornings! Can I please have a handy receipe.