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Overnight Oats Recipe (4 ways!)

The BEST overnight oats recipe. This basic oats recipe is the perfect base to any topping. Ready in minutes and 4 different topping suggestions!

Overnight oats lined in mason jars on a white counter

I LOVE oatmeal. Always have. I can remember summers when we would be boating or visiting my aunt, everyone would load up their plates with eggs or pancakes… Meanwhile I was over by the oatmeal filling my bowl.

It is just such an easy and filling dish to make. The topping options are endless. When I found out you could prep them overnight in LESS THAN FIVE MINUTES… I was hooked.

This is a base recipe for your oats. I have been using this method for years and it works great for my family and I. Hopefully you will love it as much as we do!

rolled oats in off white bowl on white counter top

What type of oats to use in overnight oats?

I want to start with a quick run down of the type of oats you should use. There are three varieties you will most likely see in the stores; Rolled (old fashioned), steel cut, and quick oats.

Use rolled oats (old fashioned) for this recipe. Rolled oats soak up just enough of the liquid to be soft, but not mush. Quick oats tend to do the latter. They aren’t dense enough to keep from turning to gooey paste. Steel cut, on the other hand, stay more stiff and have a rougher texture.

What does soaking oats overnight do?

Ok, so I have your interest… But why make these ahead of time?

First of all, this is the ULTIMATE meal prep recipe. It is so simple and an ideal grab-and-go breakfast. You can add so many mix-ins (more on that later) and it tastes so much better than the oatmeal packets.

When you soak the oats overnight you are essentially cooking them, without the use of heat. This process also helps to break down phytic acid which in turn helps to absorb iron, zinc, calcium (along with many other beneficial items) better. It makes oatmeal easier to digest, which is great for everyone, but especially those that are gluten free!

chia seeds in jar on white counter top

What can I add to my overnight oats?

When I first started making this recipe I found myself hungry sooner than I had hoped. Luckily, with a lot of trial and error, I have found a few amazing mix-in’s that can easily add protein and goodness to the meal! Here is a list of items we love to add to our oatmeal:

  • Chia seeds
  • Nut butter
  • Yogurt
  • Fruit
  • Nuts
  • Spices

The beauty of this recipe is that it gives you a base to start with. You can be creative with whatever you have on hand and come up with wonderful oatmeal mixes!

almond milk container and coconut milk container on white counter

Best milk to use in overnight oats:

Ready for something crazy? You REALLY cannot go wrong with any milk or water. The key to a great overnight oat is to keep the ratio 1:1. You want equal parts oats to liquid. We went ahead and tested a few different varieties for you. Here is our top favorites.

  • Vanilla almond milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Unflavored almond milk
  • Soy Milk
  • 2% milk
  • Water
top shot of mason jars open with fruits

Tips for this recipe:

  • Invest in quality jars. You want to use something with a secure lid. I use mason jars, because it is what I have on hand.
  • Don’t be afraid to play around with flavors. Use a fun yogurt mix-in, switch up your milk, or toss in some nut butter!
  • I like to keep frozen fruit on hand. It is PERFECT for overnight oats.
  • Overnight oats last roughly 5 days in the refrigerator. That means you could prep your entire work week!
milk being poured over oats in mason jar

How to make basic overnight oats:

These instructions are very loose. I created this recipe as a base which means you have a lot of creative freedom. Don’t want fruit? No problem! Keep it simple with brown sugar and cinnamon.

  1. Place your oats into a reusable jar with a secure lid.
  2. Add any non-fruit mix-in items (nut butter, yogurt, honey, sugar, spices, etc).
  3. Top with milk of choice followed by a layer of fruit.
  4. Secure the lid and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Enjoy!
overnight oats topped with peaches in mason jar

Can you eat overnight oats immediately?

Short answer? No.

The oats need at least 4 hours to soak and soften. If you ate them sooner, they would be more tough and less appetizing.

four mason jars stacked and filled with overnight oatmeal and fruit

More Oatmeal Recipes:

The BEST overnight oats recipe. This basic oats recipe is the perfect base to any topping. Ready in minutes and 4 different topping suggestions!

Still hungry? Follow One Sweet Appetite on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest for more great recipe ideas!

Overnight oats lined in mason jars on a white counter

Easy Overnight Oats Recipe

Yield: 1 serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

The BEST overnight oats recipe. This basic oats recipe is the perfect base to any topping. Ready in minutes and 4 different topping suggestions!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup fruit
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or brown sugar, optional
  • *See notes for different flavor options

Instructions

Place your oats into a reusable jar with a secure lid.

Add any non-fruit mix-in items (nut butter, yogurt, honey, sugar, spices, etc).

Top with milk of choice followed by a layer of fruit.

Secure the lid and refrigerate overnight.

Enjoy!

Notes

*Raspberry Oats: Mix oats with vanilla almond milk. Stir in a pinch of salt and sweetener if using. Top with raspberries and sliced almonds.

*Peach Cobbler Oats: Mix oats with vanilla almond milk. Stir in a pinch of salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Top with chopped peaches.

*Blackberry Pie: Mix oats with coconut milk (or almond). Stir in a pinch of salt, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 2-3 tablespoons vanilla Greek yogurt. Top with blackberries and sweetener of choice.

*Blueberry Coconut: Mix oats with coconut milk. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2-3 vanilla or blueberry Greek yogurt. Top with blueberries and sweetened coconut flakes.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 254Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 48mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 4gSugar: 23gProtein: 7g
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