10 Different Ways to Make Overnight Oats

Never Skip Breakfast Again

Leah Maroney


Let’s face it: A lot of us have less than no time to get breakfast on the table during those busy weekday mornings. When you’re trying to get everyone out the door on time, but still want to feed the family—or yourself—a nutritious start to the day, overnight oats can be just the thing. Whole grains will keep you satisfied right through lunch, and you can dress them up in a wide varieties of ways to suit your tastes. You’ll never stand over the stove stirring a pot of oatmeal again.

  • 01 of 10

    Chocolate-Covered Banana Overnight Oats

    Leah Maroney


    Chocolate and banana are a match made in heaven and this decadent recipe will make you think you’re having dessert for breakfast. Even though it tastes luscious, healthy whole-grain oats will hold you over through the morning. Use old-fashioned oats for this overnight version; quick-cooking or minute oats will get too soggy while sitting in the fridge.

  • 02 of 10

    Gluten-Free Overnight Oats

    Getty Images // Aleksandra Piss 

    Even though most who follow a gluten-free diet don’t react to oats, a small number do. And oats are often grown in the same fields as grains containing gluten, so those with Celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities should choose old-fashioned oats labeled “certified gluten-free” to be on the safe side. Mix up these overnight oats using whatever sweetener, nuts, and berries you prefer and make it even more allergy-friendly by using a non-dairy milk.

  • 03 of 10

    Brown Sugar Banana Overnight Oats

     Leah Maroney

    This simple, hearty recipe uses chia seeds in addition to oats, which gives it a thick, creamy texture. Make it in a mason jar so you can just grab it and head out the door for a delicious on-the-go breakfast. You can enjoy them cold or heat them up in the microwave depending on your preference. Feel free to add additional spices to suit your taste.

  • 04 of 10

    Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

    Leah Maroney


    You don’t have to limit this filling and tasty overnight oats recipe to fall—we won’t tell! Just stock up on pumpkin pie filling at the grocery store when it’s in season because it can be a tad hard to find at other times of the year. If you’d rather, use plain pumpkin puree and add your own spices to taste. Use any kind of milk you want or Greek yogurt for an even thicker, creamier texture. Chia seeds, shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, or a sprinkle of granola would all make tasty toppings.

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  • 05 of 10

    Overnight Oatmeal with Chia Seeds

     Laurel Randolph

    Not only do chia seeds give overnight oats a soft, luscious texture, but they add a light nutty flavor and healthy dose of omega-3s to start your day off right. Adjust the sweetness level by drizzling a little extra maple syrup over the top in the morning. Even though this recipe doesn’t contain much maple, it does the trick for most palates. Try adding dried cranberries or raisins, slivered almonds or other chopped nuts, flaked coconut, or a little granola on top for additional flavor and texture.

  • 06 of 10

    Crockpot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

    1MoreCreative / Getty Images


    Wake up to a lovely breakfast for the whole family with this apple-studded recipe. Use steel cut oats for the right texture; old-fashioned or minute oats will give you a bowl of gluey mush. Chopped apples add a fruity note that goes beautifully with cinnamon; add nutmeg or ginger for an even spicier twist. Make sure to set your slow cooker on “low” or “warm” if it’s a newer model; some will cook faster than others and you don’t want to overdo it.

  • 07 of 10

    Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

    Leah Maroney 

    If you like carrot cake, you’ll love this delightful overnight oat that showcases the same spices as the classic dessert. It’s also a great way to repurpose leftover carrots that are getting soft in the fridge. Use any kind of milk you have on hand, but sweetened almond or soy milk may make it too sweet if you don’t also adjust the level of maple syrup. If you’d rather use a different sweetener, brown sugar or agave would work well, too.

  • 08 of 10

    Simple Slow-Cooker Oats

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    By using your slow cooker, you can just set these overnight oats and forget them. Steel cut oats will cook up into a lovely, slightly chewy texture in just four hours, so consider making a big batch of this oatmeal on a weekend and storing it in mason jars in the fridge for the rest of the week. Blueberries will give it a nice muffin-like flavor, but you can use any type of berries and chopped nuts to customize your breakfast.

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  • 09 of 10

    PB&J Overnight Oats

    Leah Maroney


    Peanut butter and jelly isn’t just for the brown bag lunch anymore. Mix up these super easy oats the night before and either reheat them in the morning or eat them cold for a filling and flavorful breakfast. Include any flavor of jelly or jam you like; grape is a classic, but it also tastes great with strawberry or raspberry. Chunky or smooth peanut butter both work and you can sprinkle some chopped peanuts on top before eating for a lovely crunch.

  • 10 of 10

    Basic Steel-Cut Overnight Oats

    J Shepherd/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images


    If you’re just getting started making oatmeal in your slow cooker, here’s a simple starter recipe to get you going. Once you get the hang of it, feel free to customize it with spices, chopped nuts, flaked coconut, and berries. You can also add nut butters or really any flavors that strike your fancy. Toasting your oats ahead of time will give them a slightly chewier texture, so consider popping them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes before cooking. Make sure you let them cool completely before adding to the rest of the ingredients, to avoid affecting cook time.