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June 26, 2020

by Alyssa

6 Easy & Healthy Overnight Oats Recipes

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Learn how to make overnight oats in 6 different ways! These quick and easy recipes are great for breakfast, but also can be enjoyed as a balanced snack.

A collage showing 6 different varieties of overnight oats in mason jars

On the hunt for an easy and satisfying make-ahead breakfast? Overnight oats are the perfect solution!

These easy and healthy breakfast ideas take only moments to put together. And the best part is you can customize them in so many ways.

Today I'm going to teach you how to make a basic overnight oats recipe for beginners. Then I'll show you how to customize that one master recipe with flavor variations and topping ideas!

What Makes Overnight Oats So Amazing?

Why should you bother learning how to make overnight oats? Here are my top reasons:

  • Easy. Overnight oats are also a cinch to make.
  • They can be made ahead. This makes your mornings so much easier!
  • Flavor combinations are practically endless.
  • Good for you. Oats are rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and a wide range of vitamins. Nutrient dense foods like this leave you feeling satisfied longer too.

So basically these are a healthy, low-effort high-flavor breakfast idea. That's a win-win-win.

What Are Overnight Oats?

If you don't know what overnight oats are, they're essentially oats that get soaked overnight with milk and some flavorings (if you want). So in other words, it's a no-cook method for making oatmeal.

The oats absorb the liquid and get nice, thick, and fluffy. They lose that “raw” flavor – even though they're never cooked – and make a really delicious, filling breakfast.

Two Bobs Red Mill bags of oats on a marble counter with oats sprinkled around them

What Ingredients Do You Need?

  • Oats – Of course, you have to have oats in your overnight oats recipe. (I use the organic gluten-free ones from Bob's Red Mill).
  • Chia Seeds – These tiny seeds are nutrition powerhouses!
  • Sweetener – I like to use maple syrup but you can also use honey or agave.
  • Milk – Any kind of milk will work.

What Kinds of Oats to Use

What's great about overnight oats is you can really make them with any type of oats! My favorite oats are Bob's Red Mill and I'm excited to be bringing you today's video in partnership with them. They have every type of oat you can think of – as well as gluten-free oats and organic oats (and even both!).

Here are the types of oats I recommend for overnight oats:

  • quick oats
  • old-fashioned rolled oats
  • thick-cut rolled oats

There are recipes out there for overnight steel-cut oats, but this recipe will not work with them. Steel-cut oats require more liquid and a longer soaking time.

Ingredients for Overnight Oats

How to Make Overnight Oats

Before we dive into all the delicious flavors I created, let's first talk about what I use for my “base” overnight oats recipe. Think of this recipe as just the most simple and kind of plain version. From this base, you can pretty much make any flavor that you want!

Here how to make them:

  • First, gather all your ingredients. I added notes on those above and the specific amounts are listed in the recipe card below.
  • Mix everything together. I like to use a mason jar but any kind of container will work.
  • Let it sit overnight.

That's how simple it is – and again, there are SO many ways to jazz it up. Check out my variation ideas below the recipe card.

Peach Pie Overnight Oats Recipe

Mix-In and Topping Ideas

Overnight oats on their own, while delicious, are fairly plain in the flavor department. But that's what makes it fun! You can basically turn overnight oats into any flavor that you want!

Here are some ways to flavor overnight oats:

  • Nut butter: whether used as a topping, as a layer, or stirred into the mix. I like raw almond butter, raw cashew butter, and also peanut butter (duh)
  • Chocolate: you can never go wrong with chocolate, but if you're looking for something different stir some raw cacao powder into your oats – it's going to make it taste like dessert!
  • Fruit: fruit is an easy flavor boost, while also adding sweetness and more nutrients. I like berries, bananas, apples, pears, peaches, you name it!
  • Coconut: if you're a coconut lover like me, this is a great way to jazz up the flavor of your pudding – whether you use coconut milk in the base, shredded or flaked coconut on top, or even coconut butter as a drizzle.
  • Jams & spreads: if you don't have access to fresh fruit, or you want to avoid browning or tons of added sweeteners, pick up a no added sugar 100% fruit spread. There are tons of flavors to choose from too!
  • Spices: have some fun here – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, cardamom, etc. are all amazing ways to add a punch of flavor!

And you could also swap out the type of milk you're using to change up the flavors!

Tips for the Best Overnight Oats

  1. Use a mason jar. As I mentioned above, I like to use a mason jar. The jar is the perfect size, has measurements on the side, and you can see all those pretty layers in your overnight oats.
  2. Use old-fashioned rolled oats. The liquid-to-oats ratio in this recipe works best with old-fashioned oats. They will be able to soak up the liquid as they sit in the fridge overnight. The chia seeds will absorb a bit of the liquid too.
  3. Want to eat them warm? I have a friend who only likes oatmeal warm, which is no problem for overnight oats. If you want to warm them up just make sure you use a microwave-safe container. Then you can pop it in the fridge in the morning and zap everything for a minute or so until the oats have warmed to your desired temperature.

How Long Do They Last?

You can prep your overnight oats up to 3 days in advance, which is perfect for busy mornings. Assemble your overnight oats and store them in individual containers in the fridge. I recommend adding fruit toppings that will oxidize (like bananas) right before you eat your oats vs. trying to store them in the jars.

Easy Overnight Oats Recipe

This is my base version of overnight oats. It uses just 4 ingredients, has a somewhat “plain” flavor and acts as a really great base for any flavor you'd like to create!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 1 serving
Calories 349kcal
Print Pin
Simple Overnight Oats Recipe
4.60 from 108 votes

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Mix that all together and let it sit at least two hours, preferably overnight!

Nutrition

Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 76mg | Potassium: 410mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 264IU | Calcium: 296mg | Iron: 3mg
6 mason jars on a marble counter filled with overnight oats and various toppings

Flavor Variations! 6 Ways to Make Overnight Oats

I've made overnight oats at least 100 times. I love it and love coming up with new flavor combinations. But since there are literally a million different ways to make it, I want to give you my favorites.

I've included all the recipes down below, but here are the flavors we're working with today:

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter
  • Zucchini Chocolate Chip
  • Strawberry Shortcake
  • Peach Pie
  • Banana Bread Bread
  • Almond Butter Protein

What I love about overnight oats is that they're an awesome meal prep option! I recommend making a few flavors on a Sunday to enjoy all week long. If you do actually assemble/mix the flavors ahead, I recommend starting your week with the ones that contain fruit (banana first!) as those will get mushy the longer they sit.

Ready to learn how to make overnight oats? Let's do this!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats in a jar with a spoon

1. Chocolate Peanut Butter


We're kicking things off with a bang! Chocolate and peanut butter has always been one of my favorite ingredient combinations and it's one I often have for breakfast. The base of this is chocolate overnight oats and then we stir in some peanut butter. If you wanted to get even fancier, you could stir in some mini chocolate chips or cacao nibs and use some chocolate almond milk.

Ingredients for your Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • Toppings: chocolate chips + peanut butter

Add the oats, chia seeds, syrup, cacao powder, peanut butter, and almond milk into a large bowl or jar. Stir to together until well combined. Allow to sit in the fridge overnight until thickened. If too thick, stir in a bit more almond milk. Top with your desired toppings and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (no toppings): 422 calories // 20g fat // 55g carbs // 15.5g fiber // 10g sugar // 15.5g protein

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Overnight Oats

2. Zucchini Chocolate Chip


This one might seem a teeny bit strange because we're adding veggies into our overnight oats, but I promise it's delish. It reminds me of zucchini bread – not too sweet and just a bit of decadence from the chocolate chips. I love topping this one with a drizzle of almond butter and a bit more chocolate, but you could also stir those into the oats themselves!

Ingredients for your Zucchini Chocolate Chip Overnight Oats:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup shredded zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup almond milk + more as needed
  • Toppings: grated zucchini, mini chocolate chips & a drizzle of almond butter

Add the oats, chia seeds, syrup, zucchini, chocolate chips, and almond milk into a large bowl or jar. Stir to together until well combined. Allow to sit in the fridge overnight until thickened. If too thick, stir in a bit more almond milk. Top with your desired toppings and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (no toppings): 365 calories // 13 fat // 55g carbs // 10g fiber // 17g sugar // 10g protein

Strawberry Shortcake Overnight Oats

3. Strawberry Shortcake


If you love strawberry shortcake, this is the perfect recipe for you! There are strawberries inside the overnight oats as well as the top (for good measure). It's flavored with just a touch more maple syrup to really make it feel like a treat, but not to worry. It's still totally healthy!

Ingredients for your Strawberry Shortcake Overnight Oats:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 strawberries, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut yogurt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Toppings: coconut yogurt, strawberry jam, chopped strawberries + a sprinkle of granola

Add the oats, chia seeds, syrup, strawberries, vanilla, yogurt, and almond milk into a large bowl or jar. Stir to together until well combined. Allow to sit in the fridge overnight until thickened. If too thick, stir in a bit more almond milk. Top with your desired toppings and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (no toppings): 298 calories // 9.5g fat // 46g carbs // 10.5g fiber // 9.5g sugar // 8.5g protein

Peach Pie Overnight Oats Recipe

4. Peach Pie


When peaches are in season, this might be one of my favorite options! It's sweet, kind of tart, and reminds me of a delicious slice of peach pie. I flavored it with a touch of cinnamon and vanilla extract which I think just takes it up another notch. If you want to make this a bit more filling, I'd recommend adding a tablespoon of almond butter to add a bit more healthy fats and protein! This would also be delicious with unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

Ingredients for your Peach Pie Overnight Oats:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 of ripe peach, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • Toppings: coconut yogurt, chopped peaches, sprinkle of cinnamon, drizzle of maple syrup

Add the oats, chia seeds, syrup, peach, cinnamon, vanilla, and almond milk into a large bowl or jar. Stir to together until well combined. Allow to sit in the fridge overnight until thickened. If too thick, stir in a bit more almond milk. Top with your desired toppings and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (no toppings): 320 calories // 9.5g fat // 51.5g carbs // 11g fiber // 15g sugar // 9g protein

Banana Bread Overnight Oats Recipe

5. Banana Bread


Banana is always bound to make an appearance on my list because a) I love the natural sweetness they bring to my breakfasts and b) I always seem to have them on hand! This flavor is inspired by banana bread – it's got mashed banana, walnuts and cinnamon inside – and it tastes amazing. If you want to make this even healthier, feel free to skip the maple syrup since you're getting sugar from the banana.

Ingredients for your Banana Bread Overnight Oats:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 of a banana, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • Toppings: sliced banana (the other 1/4), chopped walnuts, peanut butter

Add the oats, chia seeds, syrup, banana, walnuts, cinnamon, and almond milk into a large bowl or jar. Stir to together until well combined. Allow to sit in the fridge overnight until thickened. If too thick, stir in a bit more almond milk. Top with your desired toppings and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (no toppings): 413 calories // 19g fat // 53g carbs // 12g fiber // 12g sugar // 12.5g protein

Almond Butter Protein Overnight Oats

6. Almond Butter Protein


Our final overnight oats recipe is a high protein version! This one doesn't use any fresh fruit but has up to 22g of protein per serving based on the protein powder you choose. And it's delicious – packed with a nutty flavor from the almond butter and just a touch of warmth from the cinnamon. I love topping this one with some granola and a drizzle more of almond butter.

Ingredients for Almond Butter Protein Overnight Oats:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • Toppings: almond butter, granola, hemp seeds

Add the oats, chia seeds, hemp seeds, syrup, protein powder, almond butter, cinnamon and almond milk into a large bowl or jar. Stir to together until well combined. Allow to sit in the fridge overnight until thickened. If too thick, stir in a bit more almond milk. Top with your desired toppings and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (no toppings): 492 calories // 25g fat // 48g carbs // 12g fiber // 9g sugar // 22g protein* (* calories & protein will vary based on protein powder used)

6 Easy Overnight Oats Recipes

More 6-Ways Recipe Posts to read:

If you love this kind of post – where we show you how to make one type of meal 6 different ways – we've got a few others you might enjoy reading!

And if you have any other types of meals you want us to make this with, let us know!

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6 Ways to Make Overnight Oats

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About Alyssa

Hey there, I’m Alyssa Rimmer, a certified Holistic Nutritionist, yoga-lover, dog mom, and founder of Simply Quinoa. It’s nice to meet you! I created SQ as a way to provide solutions for women just like me, who were struggling to find helpful information about how to live a healthy and fulfilled life. My hope is that you will find inspiration here on SQ – in my story, in my recipes, in the hundreds of wellness articles, and in our amazing community. Welcome!

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  1. I just made the chocolate peanut butter one with sunflower butter instead – can’t wait to try it! Going to try zuchhini next, thanks!

  2. Hi Alyssa. I made your almond butter protein overnight oats and we loved them. I then tried the zucchini chocolate chip overnight oats, and they were delicious too. I would love it if I could print out each recipe individually

    • So glad you enjoyed them! And that’s great feedback. We’re working on separating these into individual posts, so we’ll let you know when that happens!

  3. Good morning, Alyssa. Today I made chocolate peanut butter overnight oats that I made. It tested very delicious, mouthwatering, and light. I enjoyed it.

  4. Good morning, Alyssa. Today I tried chocolate peanut butter overnight oats that I made. It tested very delicious, mouthwatering, and light. I enjoyed it 😊. I felt satisfied 😃.

  5. I can only go grocery shopping once every two weeks, so it’s hard to keep fresh fruit fresh. Can I freeze these after they sit overnight to keep them fresh into my second week of meal prep? I already do this with smoothies but am looking for something more substantial on my work days to keep me full longer.

  6. I love your jars. Do you mind telling me what size they are and where you bought them? I can’t wait to make these!!

  7. Where did I go wrong.
    I made your base for overnight oats but it was much to milky should it be 2/3 of a cup not 2/3 cups

  8. I have never ever made these but your recipes look FABULOUS!
    I am on a banana KICK right now, ???, have never craved them in my life & I am 66yrs… so, gotta be some deficiency,.

    Anyway… to your Banana recipe i am adding blueberries. If you have never had blueberry banana bread… you really ought to try it out..
    Just add 1 cup of berries to your batter per pan… watch baking time cuz it stays very moist.
    INCREDIBLE!!!
    I

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