Overnight Oats

Chia oats

Laurel Randolph

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Chill Time: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
329 Calories
7g Fat
51g Carbs
16g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 329
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 150mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 51g 19%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 288mg 22%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 464mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Overnight oats are one of the easiest and most nutritious breakfasts you can make to feed your family. In barely 10 minutes of prep, this no-cook wholesome meal comes together by simply mixing the ingredients the night before and placing them in the fridge. Rolled oats, milk, and a few other tasty ingredients are the base of this simple recipe that's easy to customize. If you're keener on hot oatmeal, simply warm up slightly in the microwave when you're ready to eat. Hot or cold, it's equally delicious.

These overnight oats contain chia seeds for added nutrition and better texture. The seeds soak up some of the liquid as the mixture sits and creates a thicker, creamier consistency. If you're gluten-free, use certified gluten-free oats and toppings. To make the recipe vegan, use non-dairy milk and leave out the yogurt or use a non-dairy brand.

A little maple syrup, cinnamon, and vanilla make this breakfast dish just sweet enough. We added dried cherries, toasted almonds, and bananas for some extra natural sweetness and lots of texture, but feel free to use your favorite toppings. The recipe yields two servings, but simply double or triple the amounts to make larger batches—leftovers keep well in the fridge for a few days, making overnight oats great for meal prep.

Ingredients

For the Oatmeal:

  • 1 cup rolled oats

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 cup milk or non-dairy milk

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, optional

  • 1/4 cup dried cherries, optional

For Serving:

  • 1 medium banana, sliced, optional

  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine the oats, chia seeds, cinnamon (if using), and salt in a plastic container or large mason jar. Stir to combine.

  3. Add the milk, yogurt, maple syrup, and vanilla (if using) and stir. Add the cherries (if using) and stir everything together until combined.

  4. Top with a lid or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

  5. Serve the oatmeal topped with almonds and sliced banana or your favorite toppings.

How to Store

Overnight oats keep well for up to three days. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and avoid adding toppings like fresh fruit and nuts until serving.

Tips

  • Rolled oats give the best texture for overnight oats as they become pleasantly soft but not mushy.
  • Quick oats work well, but they do soften more so only use them if you want a thinner consistency.
  • Steel-cut oats are not recommended for this no-cook method since the end result has a lot of bite and texture, probably not what you'd expect from oats. To make overnight steel-cut oats, cook the mixture briefly on the stovetop and let it sit overnight before serving.
  • Feel free to adjust the sweetener to your tastes (adding more or less maple syrup) or swap it for honey or agave.

Recipe Variations

These overnight oats make the perfect base for a variety of other flavors and textures. Any dried fruit, nuts, fresh fruit, nut butter, and more can be combined to create unique combinations. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Carrot cake: Replace the cherries with 3/4 cup of shredded carrots, and add a pinch of nutmeg and a handful of raisins. Refrigerate overnight and top with bananas, almonds, and a spoonful of apple sauce.
  • Peanut butter and jelly: Omit the cherries and add 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or 2 servings of powdered peanut butter. Refrigerate overnight and top with a spoonful of your favorite fruit jelly. Omit the almonds or swap for peanuts.
  • Coconut cream: Omit the cherries and replace the yogurt with coconut cream or coconut yogurt. Refrigerate overnight and top with bananas, coconut flakes, chopped walnuts, and an additional dash of cinnamon.
  • Chocolate extravaganza: Omit the cherries and add 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Refrigerate overnight and top with bananas, a handful of cocoa nibs or chocolate chips, coconut flakes, and sliced almonds.
  • Protein oatmeal: Follow the recipe as is but add 1 scoop of your favorite vanilla protein powder and an extra splash of milk. Refrigerate overnight and top with bananas, a spoonful of your favorite nut butter, and fresh fruit.

Can I Eat Overnight Oats After 1 Hour?

While you can safely eat overnight oats after an hour, the texture will likely be chewier than desired. Chilling the mixture overnight yields softer results. It's best to let the oats sit for at least four hours before eating.

What Are Chia Seeds?

Known and used for centuries in Central America where they grow wild, chia seeds are the tiny kernels harvested from the plant Salvia hispanica. Frequently used in vegan baking, chia seeds act as an agglutinant thanks to their gluey texture when combined with a liquid. One tablespoon of chia seeds plus three tablespoons of water make what's known as a "chia egg." Replace each regular egg with a chia egg in a 1:1 ratio.