How To Make Overnight Oats (Plus 10 Amazing Recipes!)

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Everything you need to know to make the overnight oats including 10 delicious recipes and the perfect overnight oatmeal recipe that works every time..

250 CAL 36g CARBS 6g FAT 12g PROTEIN

Learn the secret to making easy and delicious Overnight Oats for a healthy meal prepped breakfast! Plus, browse through 10 of our most popular overnight oats recipes.

Maybe you've seen them online or maybe you've heard about your friends making them. But, what are overnight oats? Keep reading and discover everything you ever wanted to know about this healthy and easy breakfast or snack.

Eat them anytime you want. They are packed with fiber and, depending on the ingredients you use- super good for you too!

Overnight oatmeal in a jar with rolled oats, blueberries, almond milk, and chia seeds.

What Are Overnight Oats?

Overnight oats are a different "cooking" method for preparing oatmeal without actually having to cook or bake them. Most people just put all the ingredients for the overnight oats in a glass mason jar and let them soak overnight in the refrigerator. As they sit, the oats naturally soak up the wet ingredients, making them taste as if you had cooked them.

Overnight oats are usually eaten cold just like you would a smoothie bowl. They are a great option for anyone that is busy and needs something they can grab and take with them.

Various flavors of overnight oats in mason jars with fresh fruit and small wooden spoons.

10 Amazing Overnight Oats Recipes You Must Try!

The easiest way to learn how to make overnight oats is to follow a recipe. The good thing about these recipes is that they are all so different that you will enjoy eating them all week long.

Check them out and try adding all 10 of these into your meal prep rotation!

These easy Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight Oats are made with rolled oats, peanut butter, and cocoa powder all sweetened with mashed bananas. It tastes like healthy peanut butter cup and will keep you full all morning.

Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal

398 CAL 4 HOURS, 5 MIN
Blueberry overnight oatmeal with almond butter in a mason jar with blueberries on the side.

These easy Blueberry Overnight Oats with almond butter, cinnamon, and vanilla are a healthy, filling breakfast that's perfect for meal prep and taking on the go.

Strawberry Overnight Oatmeal

303 CAL 4 HOURS, 5 MIN
Strawberry overnight oatmeal with rolled oats and chia seeds in a mason jar with fresh strawberries and cream.

Strawberry Overnight Oatmeal with rolled oats, chia seeds, strawberry jam, and fresh strawberries tastes like strawberry shortcake but is actually a healthy breakfast.

Blueberry Chia Overnight Oats

309 CAL 4 HOURS, 5 MIN
Blueberry chia seed pudding served in a bowl with fresh blueberries and sliced bananas on top.

Blueberry Chia Overnight Oats combine my two favorite things, chia seed pudding and oatmeal. This version with blueberries and honey makes such a filling and fiber packed breakfast with just 300 calories.

Are Overnight Oats Healthy?

Yes, overnight oats are usually pretty healthy for you. Of course, determining how healthy they really just depend on the ingredients you use in your recipe.

If you use a lot of sugar and processed ingredients, then they won't be as good for you as if you used whole fruits and no added sugar.

When you make overnight oats, I recommend using oats that are minimally processed. That means steel-cut oats or rolled oats. So, try to avoid instant oats because they will have less fiber.

Overnight oatmeal ingredients on a marble board with rolled oats, cinnamon, almond milk, and chia seeds.

Benefits Of Eating Overnight Oats For Breakfast

Now let's look at the biggest benefits of overnight oats - they are more than just good for you! Which of these is the reason you enjoy eating them?

Healthy Breakfast

When you use whole fruits and fortify your oats with chia or flax seeds, you are preparing a nutrient-dense meal or snack. Oatmeal is an excellent source of fiber, which helps you digest your food better and increases your metabolism. Eating high-fiber meals also helps you stay full longer.

If health is your top priority, use natural ingredients, and avoid processed ones that are high in sugar.

High in Protein and Fiber

Studies show that when you eat foods that are high in fiber and protein, you will increase how much fat you burn. This is a healthy way to give yourself energy after a workout and it will help you feel full in between meals.

Saves Time

Making overnight oats also saves you time the next day.

Instead of trying to figure out how to cook breakfast, you can just grab a jar of your overnight oats! This is as easy as grabbing a carton of yogurt - and so much healthier for you too.


There are literally hundreds of ways you can change overnight oats and make them different. You can change the berries, the protein, and even the syrups are all ways that you can change them up.

I'll share some of my favorite customizable oat recipes at the bottom of this post.

Easy overnight oatmeal in a bowl with almond milk being poured on top.

How To Make Overnight Oats

Before I share all of my top 10 recipes, I want to share with you the basic steps to making a batch of overnight oats.

Honestly, making overnight oats is a pretty simple process. All of the recipes I will be sharing with you use the same basic prep steps:

  1. Pick out your ingredients - Decide which kind of fruit and milk you want to use.
  2. Layer the ingredients - Mix them up so that the oats can soak up the wet ingredients.
  3. Seal them tightly - Store them in an airtight container.
  4. Refrigerate them - Keep your overnight oats in the refrigerator overnight and up to 5 days.

Meal Prep Plain Oats

Another way to speed up breakfast is to make a few jars of plain overnight oats and store them in the refrigerator. Then, you can grab a jar, add your favorite fruit and toppings, and you are ready for breakfast.

Liquid To Oats Ratio

When you make your own overnight oats, remember to use a 1:1 or 1.25: 1 ratio of liquid to oats, depending on how liquidy you like the oats. Consider adding 1/4 cup yogurt when using the 1:1 ratio to add extra creaminess.

That means if you use 1 cup of oats, add 1-1.25 cups of some kind of milk, water, or liquid. This will help the oatmeal have enough liquid to soften correctly. It will also give your overnight oats a porridge-like consistency!

How long does it take for overnight oats to become edible?

Lots of people prefer to let the oats soak overnight because it's just easier that way. You don't need a timer and you know they will be ready when you need them.

Most forms of overnight oats will be ready to eat after soaking for about 4 hours. If you are going to soak them for 4 hours, you might as well just leave them overnight.

How long do overnight oats last?

You can keep overnight oats in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They might not look or smell bad on day 6, but it's best to throw them out on day 6 or 7. This is the time when bacteria starts to grow on the food.

How To Create Your Own Overnight Oats Recipe

Overnight oats are such a fun way to start your day or enjoy a snack break! If you want to make your own, I suggest following a few recipes first to become familiar with how it should turn out. Then, start swapping out ingredients for others.

Eventually, you'll become a pro at creating your own overnight oats recipes!

Overnight Oats: Final Thoughts

If you want to start eating healthier, overnight oats are the best place to start. They are effortless - you just mix everything together and let it sit!

In fact, once you learn how to make a few different kinds of overnight oats, you'll feel like a pro and start making up your own varieties. Follow the recipes here and then start branching out and making your own! It's so much fun to make your own edible creations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions about making overnight oatmeal.

The bets oats for overnight oats are always old-fashioned plain rolled oats. Quick cooking or instant oats will come out soggy and mushy after being soaked overnight, Steel cut oats will not soften enough and need to be cooked in order to soften.

There are so many ways to add protein to your overnight oats. The easiest option is to choose high-protein milk like soy milk, pea milk, or protein-fortified almond or oat milk.

Adding yogurt or cottage cheese to your oats is another easy way to add protein. Or add 1-2 scoops of plain or flavored protein powder to your overnight oatmeal.

Overnight oatmeal can be eaten cold, at room temperature, or warmed up and eaten warm like more traditional oatmeal. 

Mason jars with overnight oatmeal including bananas, blueberry, strawberry, and more.
The Recipe
How to make overnight oats including a picture of various flavors of overnight oatmeal in mason jars.

Overnight Oats

250 CAL 36g CARBS 6g FAT 12g PROTEIN
COOK TIME: 4 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 4 Hours, 5 Min
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  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/16 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

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Mix together the almond milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and yogurt. Add the remaining ingredients, including the sweetener of choice and any toppings if desired, and stir well to combine.

Rolled oats, milk, yogurt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a mason jar.

Place in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours for the oats to soften.

Jar of overnight oats with blueberries.

Serve cold right from the fridge, room temperature. or heat up in the microwave. Add an extra splash of milk if needed if the mixture becomes too thick.

Overnight oats with fruit and nut butter in mason jars.
Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 250
Calories from Fat 51
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 248mg
Total Carbohydrate 36g
Dietary Fiber 6g
Sugars 5g
Protein 12g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
† We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
On How To Make Overnight Oats (Plus 10 Amazing Recipes!)
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Jill Moore
January 3, 2021 - 19:58
Ingredients don’t list almond butter, yet instructions mention it. Is it part of the recipe and what amount should be used?
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March 29, 2023 - 15:55
Thanks! We updated this. Almond butter can always be added to the base recipe, usually we add about 1 tablespoon per serving.
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January 3, 2021 - 15:20
Question: I cook my oatmeal with water not milk. Can I use water instead of milk in overnight oats?
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Sharon Lorah
January 3, 2021 - 16:34
Add a Rating:
Can you make these with water instead of a milk?
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March 29, 2023 - 15:56
Absolutely! The texture will not be quite as creamy, but the oats will also soften with water.
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January 3, 2021 - 21:58
Technically it will work with water but the texture and taste won't be quite as good. If possible, I would recommend using unsweetened nut/oat/coconut milk or low fat dairy milk.
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January 3, 2021 - 21:55
This is a tough question. Although technically it will work, the texture won't be quite as creamy and nice. I would recommend using low fat dairy, unsweetened nut milk, or unsweetened oat milk.
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