Overnight oats… I bet they were invented by and for busy parents.
In fact, I couldn’t name one other breakfast recipe that requires this little preparation and is literally ready to eat or grab the next morning.
So what are overnight oats?
The short version? Overnight oats are the best ally to get you through hectic mornings.
In a few more words, overnight oats are a way of making porridge without cooking. Instead of heating your oats with milk on the stove or in the microwave you let them soak in milk overnight (in the fridge).
There are millions of different recipes out there so feel free to discover and experiment with flavors, ingredients and proportions. The recipe below is my go-to basic recipe to which I add things following my mood, daily inspiration and the content of my fridge.
Overnight oats keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days, so do make a few portions ahead to enjoy stress-free mornings throughout the week.
My basic overnight oats recipe
This basic version is as simple as it gets: all you need are 4 ingredients, a jar, and 4 minutes of your time.
4 basic ingredients:
Oats, of course. Make sure to use old-fashioned (rolled) oats. Instant or quick-cooking oats will result in a mushy unappealing mixture.
Milk: plant-based milk (coconut, oats, almond milk, pecan milk, …) or fresh organic cow’s milk.
Nut butter: crucial for extra indulgence and creaminess. I like almond butter best but peanut butter lovers will love this add-on to their overnight oats.
Chia seeds: for a more pudding-like texture and extra fiber.
To these I almost always add a splash of vanilla extract or vanilla powder, and a pinch of cinnamon.
A few possible add-ons:
Fruit: either mixed in the night before (grated apple or pear, mashed banana, fresh or frozen berries, lemon or orange juice or zest…), or added as toppings right before eating (banana, apple, pear, strawberries, mango, pineapple, passion fruit, shredded coconut…).
Vegetables: pumpkin puree, shredded carrots, zucchini (drained), beetroot.
Nuts & seeds: flaxseed, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds. I recommend adding these last minute to enjoy the crunch.
Sweetener: if you like it a bit sweeter, feel free to add a teaspoon of honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar.
Spices: cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, cardamom, turmeric, nutmeg.
Cacao: cacao nibs, cacao powder, chocolate chips.
Granola to sprinkle right before enjoying your oats.
Overnight oats are:
Gluten-free (if you have a gluten intolerance or allergy make sure to buy certified gluten-free oats)
Dairy-free if using plant-based milk
Sugar-free (unless you add a sweetener of course)
Vegan (if using maple syrup)
A big timesaver
For more breakfast inspiration make sure to scroll through my easy healthy breakfast recipes or find out more about what to give your kids for breakfast when you’re on a tight schedule.
1 medium portion
½ cup* rolled (old-fashioned) oats
1 cup milk (almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, pecan milk, cashew milk, frash organic cow’s milk)
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tbsp. nut butter (almond, peanut, cashew, pecan, …)
½ tsp. vanilla extract or powder
¼-½ tsp. cinnamon
Plus any add-ons listed above.
*Unless stated differently, my recipes are measured with US measuring cups like these ones.
Combine all ingredients in a large glass jar.
Shake well and leave in the fridge overnight.
Enjoy the next day or up to 5 days later with extra toppings as desired.
Tip: Take out of the fridge a few minutes before eating to enhance the flavors.
Find other delicious overnight oats recipes in this post from Wholefully - 8 classic overnight oats recipes you should try.