How to Make Overnight Oats

This overnight oats recipe is chock full of healthy goodness!

A base of oats and yogurt is layered with your favorite fruits. Prep it ahead of time and enjoy for days throughout the week.

Overnight oats can be eaten cold (or warmed if you’d like). They’re the perfect breakfast on the go for busy mornings!

a jar of overnight oats with bananas and strawberries

What are Overnight Oats?

This is a healthy breakfast recipe that is easy to prepare ahead of time.

  • Overnight oats are a mixture of oats, yogurt, chia seeds, and milk with a little bit of sweetener. The oat mixture is layered with fruits and nuts and left to sit in the fridge overnight.
  • As the oats sit, they will soak up some of the liquid, thicken a bit, and slightly soften for an easy breakfast all week long.
  • Make a batch and layer with a variety of fruits and nuts for a different breakfast every day.
  • I most often enjoy overnight oatmeal cold from the refrigerator but it can be heated in the microwave until warm if you’d prefer.

Overnight Oats ingredients with labels

Ingredients and Variations

OATS: Rolled oats (sometimes called large flake or old-fashioned oats) are best for this recipe as they retain their shape and texture. Regular or quick oats will work, but the result will be softer oatmeal.

You CAN use steel cut oats in this recipe, the texture will be different and they will need to sit 2 days in the fridge before eating (instead of just one).

CHIA SEEDS: Chia seeds not only pack a lot of nutrition but also soak up liquid to add great texture to this recipe. A little goes a long way. You can get chia seeds online and most grocery stores sell them as well.

If you don’t have chia seeds, substitute ground flax seeds, finely chopped nuts, or even oat bran. Overnight oats won’t have the same texture if you skip the chia seeds.

YOGURT & MILK:  Yogurt is the creamy base for this breakfast, use plain or flavored (or even Greek yogurt). Milk or a (non-dairy milk like almond milk, cashew milk) provides the right consistency.

EXTRAS: Swirl in some peanut butter or another nut butter, swap the sweetener, stir in some vanilla extract, or even pumpkin pie spice.

Overnight Oats ingredients in a bowl

What to Add to Overnight Oats

NUTS & SEEDS: Seeds like pumpkin seeds or chopped nuts (try almonds, walnuts, or pecans). Swirl in almond butter for extra flavor.

FRUIT: Customize the overnight oats with layers of fresh or frozen fruits, blueberries, sliced strawberries, or bananas. We love frozen fruit because as it thaws, it releases juices.

SWEETS: Chocolate chips, dried fruit, or coconut will all taste great and give an extra crunch!

PRO TIP: If you’re using fruit that tends to brown such as apples or bananas, toss them with a touch of lemon juice and/or place them at the bottom of the jar which will help keep them from oxidizing (turning brown).

plated Overnight Oats

How to Make Overnight Oats

It’s easy to make on Sunday night to enjoy throughout the week.

  1. Combine the oats, chia seeds, milk, yogurt, and a little sweetener.
  2. Layer fruit or nuts on the bottom of a jar, top with oatmeal base.
  3. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy throughout the week.

4 jars of overnight oats with different toppings

How Long do Overnight Oats Last?

Overnight oats can be kept in the refrigerator for about 5 days (as long as your dairy is fresh).

You can freeze overnight oats, they’ll need to be stirred after thawing. Leftover overnight oats can also be blended, frozen into cubes, and added to your favorite smoothie recipes.

More Make-Ahead Breakfasts

Did you make these Overnight Oats? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are one of our go-to breakfast recipes. Delicious oatmeal is infused with yogurt, chia seeds, and honey or maple syrup.

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

  • Combine all oat base ingredients in a small bowl.

  • Add in any extracts or flavorings (such as vanilla or mashed banana below).

  • Place fruit/nuts in the bottom of 4 mason jars (or other containers). Top with yogurt mixture and seal.

  • Allow to sit at least 4 hours or overnight.

Use flavored or unflavored yogurt. If using plain yogurt, you might like to add extra sweetener.
Large flake oats work best for this recipe. Steel cut oats work but will provide a different texture and need to be refrigerated for 2 days before eating.
Chia seeds make the best texture in this recipe. If you don’t have chia seeds, substitute ground flax seeds, finely chopped nuts, or even oat bran. This will change the texture.

Flavor Ideas

Pina Colada
1 cup pineapple & 4 tablespoons coconut
Stir 2 tablespoons coconut into the yogurt mixture. Divide pineapple over 4 jars. Top with yogurt mixture and remaining coconut. 

Banana Nut
3 bananas & ⅓ cup walnuts (or pecans), chopped
Mash one of the bananas and mix it into the yogurt mixture. Slice remaining bananas and divide over 4 jars. Top with yogurt mixture and nuts. 

Mixed Berries
1 ⅓ cup berries, fresh or frozen & ½ teaspoon vanilla
Mix vanilla into yogurt mixture. Divide berries over 4 jars and top with yogurt mixture.

Strawberry Banana
1 cup sliced strawberries & 2 bananas
Mash one of the bananas and stir into yogurt mixture. Slice remaining banana and divide over 4 jars along with strawberries. Top with yogurt mixture.

Apple Cinnamon
1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon vanilla, 1 granny smith apple, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon brown sugar (or use homemade apple pie filling)

Chop apple and toss with lemon juice and brown sugar. Stir cinnamon and vanilla into yogurt mixture. Divide chopped apple over 4 jars. Top with yogurt mixture.
Nutrition information does not include toppings.

Calories: 217, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 65mg, Potassium: 335mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 215IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 224mg, Iron: 1.6mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Breakfast

Cuisine American

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