I’ve been preparing batch after batch of overnight oats, and keeping notes. Overnight oats are a nutritious, make-ahead breakfast alternative, but they’re not always attractive enough to get me out of bed.
I’m giving my greatest tips and my favorite overnight oats recipe today. Ready? These overnight oats are really wonderful, and so easy to make!
Overnight oats are often served chilled, directly from the refrigerator. That makes them excellent for warmer months, although you can certainly enjoy overnight oats year-round.
Overnight oats store nicely in the refrigerator for up to five days. So, make your oats on Sunday night, and you’ll have breakfast covered for the workweek.
How to Make the Best Overnight Oats
I make my overnight oats with old-fashioned rolled oats, toasted or ordinary. Then I add chia seeds for a more pudding-like texture and additional fiber, and a dollop of nut butter to make them extra creamy. (Would you know that one serving of these overnight oats has nearly half of your daily fiber requirements?)
Here’s what you’ll need to make overnight oats:
Oats: You can’t make overnight oats without oats! Overnight oats are often made using basic old-fashioned oats. I actually prefer to prepare overnight oats with homemade muesli instead, which is comprised with toasted old-fashioned oats, nuts and dried fruit. The muesli adds greater texture and flavor.
If you prefer to go the easier, more conventional approach, simply use old-fashioned oats and add a dash of cinnamon. Don’t use instant or quick-cooking oats, because those will turn to complete mush.
Chia Seeds: Technically, these are optional, but I adore how chia seeds absorb moisture and make the finished product more creamy and delectable. Chia seeds include beneficial omega-3’s and, like oats, loads of fiber.
Nut butter: Almond butter or peanut butter makes these oats even more creamy, while providing delightful savory, nutty flavor.
Milk of choice: You can use your favorite milk here (almond milk, coconut milk from a carton, homemade cashew milk, homemade pecan milk, oat milk or cow’s milk). I suppose you could use water instead of milk, but the end result won’t be quite as creamy or tasty.
The amount of liquid is essential to the final consistency—I want my overnight oats particularly thick and creamy, with concentrated flavor. If you prefer a looser consistency, add a little extra milk.
Also read: Pumpkin Pancakes
Fruit: Now that we’ve built the base of the oats, I like to add fruit. If you’re following my formula with only 1/2 cup milk and using a fruit that stores well for a few days (as in, sliced strawberries, not sliced bananas or apple), you may go ahead and toss the fruit on top of the oat-and-milk mixture.
In fact, you can top the oat mixture with frozen raspberries or blueberries and they’ll defrost overnight. (Don’t try this with frozen strawberries or other large chunks of frozen fruit; they leak too much water). Or, you can wait to top your oats with fruit before serving.
Optional sweetener: Overnight oats are often sweet enough for me as-is. However, add a drizzle of sweetness if that makes your oats more tempting!
That’s it! Go go and cook overnight oats to last you through the week. Please let me know how your overnight oats work out in the comments below!
If you’re interested in additional healthy, make-ahead breakfasts, check out my favorite chia seed pudding, baked oatmeal dish and apple steel-cut oats.
In my cookbook, don’t miss the toasted coconut muesli (page 2), apple crisp breakfast parfaits (page 7) and carrot cake breakfast cookies (page 26). (page 26). With so many alternatives, you won’t want to skip breakfast.
- ⅓ cup homemade muesli, or ⅓ cup old-fashioned oats plus ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tablespoon almond butter or peanut butter
- ½ cup milk of choice for a fairly thick consistency, or up to ⅔ cup milk for a lighter consistency
- ½ cup fruit (I like fresh or frozen blueberries or raspberries, or sliced fresh strawberries) (I like fresh or frozen blueberries or raspberries, or sliced fresh strawberries)
- Drizzle of maple syrup or honey, if desired
- In a jar or bowl (a working jar or 1-pint mason jar is excellent), combine the muesli (or old-fashioned oats with cinnamon), chia seeds and nut butter. Add a splash of the milk and stir the nut butter into the oats. Then add the rest of the milk and mix to blend.
- Top with your fruit of choice. (If you used more milk than ½ cup and you want your fruit to stay on top, wait to top the oats until you’re ready to serve. If you’re using fruit that doesn’t store well, like sliced apple or banana, wait to top the oats until you’re ready to serve.)
- Place the lid on the jar and refrigerate overnight, or up to 5 days. When you’re ready to serve, add a sprinkle of maple syrup or honey if you’d like, and enjoy chilled.