You don’t have to miss out on a healthy breakfast just because you have a busy morning. Learn how to make overnight oats and you won’t have to worry about grabbing those expensive breakfast bars again!
If you’re anything like me, then your weekday mornings are busy and you don’t always have time to cook a hot and healthy breakfast for your family before the day begins. You’re either running around trying to get everybody ready for school, or taking care of your pets before you leave for the day, or you just really like to sleep as long as you can before you have to get up and go!
*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
Regardless of your situation, I can promise you that once you know how to make overnight oats, you won’t worry quite so much about what you’re going to feed your family (or yourself!) in the mornings. They’re quick, healthy, and there are SO MANY different combinations that you won’t feel like you’re eating the same thing every morning! And a bonus? They’re shelf cooking-friendly! Not only will you learn how to make them, but I’m also giving you TEN overnight oats recipes to try. You can thank me later!
OVERNIGHT OATMEAL BASE INGREDIENTS
These are just the BASIC ingredients to get you started. As long as you have these, then you’ll be an overnight oat-making champ!
- Oats – This is obviously a given! You can use any type of uncooked oat, such as old-fashioned oats, quick-cooking oats, instant oats, and steel oats.
- Liquid – You can really use any type of liquid here! Milk, milk substitute (such as almond or coconut milk), yogurt, or greek yogurt.
- Sweetener – It doesn’t necessarily have to be sugar, but you will probably want to add a little something to your overnight oats. Maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, Truvia, Splenda, or even jam or preserves.
After you have a base… the sky is the limit and you can create any flavor combo your heart desires.
TOPPINGS & ADD-INS
There are so many different things that you can add to overnight oats. Once you get down the basics, then experiment with what flavor combinations that you like.
SPICE & EVERYTHING NICE
- Cinnamon – This is a great base to add just a little bit extra flavor to the basic ingredients. It also goes great with other add-ins.
- Nutmeg – Add a dash of fall to your oats!
- Salt – A dash of salt can do wonders as it brings out all the other flavors. Just don’t overdo it!
PROTEIN & EXTRA HEALTHY ADD-INS
- Nut Butter – This is a great way to add in some extra protein and to help it fill you up. Peanut butter, almond butter, and sunbutter are all great options.
- Protein Powder – Here is another good way to add in some extra protein and flavor to your overnight oats.
- Chia Seeds – These are jam-packed with all kinds of nutrients, so they’re a great way to make your overnight oats extra healthy.
- Flaxseeds – These are another great way to pack a lot of good nutrients into your overnight oats!
- Yogurt – Greek yogurt especially adds some protein and a little tangy flavor to your overnight oats!
- Fruit – Pretty much any fruit will go well in overnight oats! If you’re going to use fresh fruit, I would suggest waiting to add it until right before you eat it in the morning, since it can get soggy if it stays in overnight. If you’re using frozen fruit, add it in when you make it in the evening so that it’ll have plenty of time to thaw before you eat it in the morning. Dried fruit is also an option.
- Vegetables – Yep, you read that right! Try adding in something like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, or even cauliflower.
- Granola – You really can’t go wrong with adding granola to anything! Whether it’s store-bought or homemade, you won’t be sorry that you added it.
- Chocolate – Any chocolate will work here! Dark chocolate is healthy because of all the antioxidants, right?!
- Nuts – If you’re a nut lover, then it’s a given that you’ll be adding nuts into your overnight oats. Pecans, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, the options are endless!
Are you starting to realize why overnight oats are shelf cooking-friendly? You can add so many different things to them to both use up what you have on hand AND experiment with new flavors.
HOW TO MAKE OVERNIGHT OATS
Now that you know all of the different ingredients that you can add in, let’s go over how to make overnight oats. This recipe is just a base to start out with! Then you can add in all the flavor and toppings you want in the morning right before you eat it!
- 1/2 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
- 1 Tbsp Plain Greek Yogurt Optional
- 1/2 Cup Liquid
- 1 Tbsp Chia or Flax Seed Optional
- 1 Tbsp Sweetener
- 1 Tsp Vanilla
- Toppings & Additional Flavor
- Add oats, yogurt, milk, chia or flax seed and sweetener to a jar. Mix well. Store in the refrigerator overnight.
- Add in additional toppings and flavor and mix it all up right before you eat it up!
These amounts are just a starting point. Feel free to experiment and see what gives you the best consistency and tweak it to your liking.
You really won’t regret learning how to make overnight oats! They’re so easy, delicious and have endless possibilities. Now that you know how to make overnight oats, let’s get to some recipes for you to try!
APPLE PIE OVERNIGHT OATS RECIPE
This is such a delicious way to eat some apples with your breakfast. It’s great for any time of the year, but it’ll definitely have you pretending like it’s Fall when you’re eating it!
- Add-ins – A dash of cinnamon, 1-2 tsp brown sugar or maple syrup, 1/3 cup diced apple
Doesn’t that sound so delicious? Try it and you won’t be sorry!
BANANA BREAD OVERNIGHT OATS
If you love banana bread, then you’re going to love this! The bonus? You don’t have to heat up your kitchen to make it!
- Add-ins – 2 tsp pecans, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, dash sea salt, 1/2 cup mashed banana, 2 tsp maple syrup
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER OVERNIGHT OATS
I can eat a whole bag of Reeses Peanut Butter cups in one setting. This is a slightly healthier option to get the same great flavors.
- Add-ins – 1-2 tbsp peanut butter, 1-2 tbsp chocolate chips, 1 tsp honey
This would be a great one to add a little extra protein powder to for an energy boost.
PB&J OVERNIGHT OATS
A kid friendly option.
- Add-ins – 1/3 cup chopped strawberries, 1-2 tbsp peanut butter, 2 tsps strawberry jam, 1 tbsp chopped peanuts
MANGO COCONUT OVERNIGHT OATS
Want to be whisked away to a tropical location?? Me too! But if that’s not a possibility for you, try this tropical flavor combo for breakfast as the next best thing.
- Add-ins – 1/3 cup diced mango, 1/4 cup coconut flakes, 1-2 tbsp nut butter, 1 tsp honey
Mmmmm. Now that should put a little pep in your step!
COOKIE DOUGH OVERNIGHT OATS
Don’t worry about making a batch of cookie dough. Add these toppings to your oats and they’ll have you thinking fresh baked cookies in no time.
- Add-ins – 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 1-2 tbsp peanut butter, dash of cinnamon, 1 tbsp chopped walnuts
BANANA NUTELLA OVERNIGHT OATS
This is a family favorite. The nutella just takes these oats over the edge almost pushing it into dessert territory! True story!
- Add-ins – 1-2 tbsp nutella, 1/3 cup sliced bananas, 1 tsp honey, 1-2 tbsp mixed nuts (we love the kind that include cashews and hazelnuts for a special treat)
CHUNK MONKEY OVERNIGHT OATS
This is a tried and true combo that we serve up all the time at our house.
- Add-ins – 1/3 cup sliced banana, 1-2 tbsp peanut butter, 2 tsp chocolate chips (melt them if you wish to swirl the chocolate in), 1 tsp maple syrup
NUTS & BERRIES OVERNIGHT OATS
You’ve gotta try these classic flavors and toppings for oatmeal in the overnight version. You’ll be impressed.
- Add-ins – 1/3 cup strawberries and blueberries, 1-2 tsp brown sugar or honey, 2 tbsp mixed nuts
And last but not least…
ALMOND JOY OVERNIGHT OATS
We might be a little bit nutty, but we’re obsessed with these sweet toppings that make breakfast a little more like dessert… a healthy dessert. Go ahead and add dark chocolate chunks instead if that makes you feel better!
- Add-ins – 1/3 cup coconut flakes, 1/4 cup chocolate chips, 2 tbsp chopped almonds, 1 tsp honey
Well, that should be enough inspiration for you! What other flavor combos would you want to try?
Check out these other breakfast posts!