This is one of our base recipes. Overnight oats are great for breakfast and can make busy mornings a breeze. This recipe teaches the basic overnight oats ratio so that you can customize any bowl of overnight oats to your taste!
Three Must-Know Cooking Skills
Culinary Tips for the Basic Overnight Oats Recipe
Want to make a quick and healthy breakfast for the entire week or for the whole family? To speed up prep time, make a big batch in a bowl, then distribute into individual servings.
If adding nuts, toast them first for best flavor.
- Oats: use old-fashioned or quick oats. Old-fashioned oats create a firm, chewy texture, whereas quick oats create a soft, mushy texture. Do not use steel cut oats, as these have to be cooked for optimal digestion.
- Milk: use regular or dairy-free milk. Don’t have milk? You can also make overnight oats with water, but they won’t taste as creamy.
- Greek Yogurt: can substitute regular plain yogurt. Choose a fat content that works for your overall diet. Choose sugar-free varieties and sweeten to your taste. Want to make your overnight oats vegan? Simply leave out the yogurt or substitute a plant-based yogurt.
- Sweetener: use any variety you like. You can also use jam, juice, or pureed fruit in place of sweetener.
- Spices: use any variety of sweet spices – allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, or nutmeg.
Base Recipe Variations
Remember that this is a base recipe, so the goal is for you to customize it to your taste!
Use these recipe variations for inspiration, then have fun exploring other flavors, ingredients, and textures!
Feel free to add other mix-ins of your choosing: chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut flakes, cocoa powder, nut butter, flavor extracts, etc.
Overnight Oats are a Healthy Breakfast
The first meal of the day can affect how you feel for the rest of the day. A balanced breakfast should contain fiber-rich complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. The featured ingredients in this healthy overnight oats recipe are oats and Greek yogurt. This recipe also contains natural sweetener, but a much lower amount than many breakfast cereals.
Oats of any variety are a good source of fiber and complex carbohydrates. Fiber is important for digestion, satiety, stable blood sugar, good cholesterol, and healthy gut bacteria. Complex carbohydrates are important for steady energy and focus (1, 2).
Making overnight oats with Greek yogurt creates a creamy texture and taste. Plus, it adds a nutritional boost! Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, calcium, and gut-friendly probiotics.
Less Sugar than Breakfast Cereal
Many breakfast cereals contain large amounts of added sugars that don’t support health. By making refrigerator oats, you get to control the amount of added sugar that you eat! The fruit in this recipe also adds natural sweetness along with antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Overnight oats aren’t just for breakfast! They can also be a great snack or post-workout treat. Serve hot or cold.
How to Store Overnight Oats
Store overnight oats in the refrigerator. They’ll be ready to eat the next morning but can be stored for up to one week. If storing for more than a few days, add fresh fruit in the morning for best taste and texture. This is especially important for quick-to-spoil fruits like berries. The longer the oats are held in the refrigerator, the mushier they will become.
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Overnight oats are great for breakfast and can make busy mornings a breeze. This recipe teaches the basic overnight oats ratio so that you can customize any bowl of overnight oats to your taste!
- ½ cup old fashioned or quick oats
- ½ cup milk (may sub almond or soy milk)
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sweetener (brown sugar, honey, maple syrup)
- Dash of spice (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg)
- Toppings of your choice (fresh or dried fruit, nuts)
Mix oats, milk, yogurt, sweetener, and spices in a bowl. Top with additional ingredients or add them in the morning.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Use any variety of sweetener you like and adjust to taste. You can also use jam, juice, or pureed fruit in place of sweetener.
Use any variety of sweet spices to taste – allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, or nutmeg.