If you've never tried overnight oats before, you're in for a treat! This recipe is packed with nutrition, a little peanut butter for extra protein, and fresh berries to top it all off. And once you learn how to make overnight oats (don't worry--it's simple!) you might just be converted forever. 😉
I'm a gigantic oatmeal fan--so much so, in fact, that it is my breakfast about 90% of the time. It's easy, filling and super nutritious if you top it with superfoods like nuts and berries like I usually do. (Here's my favorite cool-weather oatmeal recipe.)
But when summer hits I love to mix things up with overnight oats. They are:
- easy to digest
- delicious and bursting with flavor!
And the best part of all? This healthy overnight oats recipe literally takes just 5 minutes to prep before you put the in the fridge overnight, and they're ready in the morning. What could be easier?
Most of the ingredients below are optional. Just make sure you grab some old fashioned oats and your favorite milk or kefir, and you're good. I'd definitely recommend fresh berries if you have them though (so good!) and my other favorite ingredient, peanut butter. (Almond butter is also delish!)
See recipe card below for exact quantities.
Overnight oats ratio
Pro tip: A quick rule of thumb for the ratio between oats and milk or kefir is 1:2. For example, I like to use ⅓ cup oats with ⅔ cup kefir. But if you prefer your oats to be a little less moist, feel free to cut back a little on the milk or kefir.
As promised, these easy overnight oats with peanut butter are SO simple to make. Just place your oats, spices, seeds and milk in a small jar and mix to combine with a spoon. I used a glass working jar as shown here, but a pint-sized Mason jar would work perfectly too.
Then, mix in the peanut or almond butter if you're using some, just enough to create some swirly swirls in your oats. 😉
Finally, wash and add some fresh berries on top of your oats, place the lid on your jar and refrigerate overnight or for up to 4 days.
In the morning, mix the fresh berries in a little, top with honey or maple syrup if desired, and enjoy!
This is one of the most flexible recipes on this entire site. You can totally customize things according to your needs and taste.
- Blueberries - substitute strawberries, raspberries, sliced kiwi or your other favorite fruit (or use more than one!)
- Peanut butter - use almond butter, cashew butter, SunButter, or just leave out altogether
- Chia seeds - substitute ground flax seeds or flax meal, or leave out
- Cinnamon, cardamom, sea salt - feel free to leave any of these out if you don't have them on hand
- Vegan - use almond milk or your favorite plant-based milk instead of dairy, and maple syrup instead of honey
- Dairy free - substitute your favorite plant-based milk or yogurt for dairy milk; unsweetened almond milk or oat milk work well
- Gluten free - this recipe is naturally gluten free as written, but If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, make sure to use certified gluten free oats to avoid cross contamination issues
You can also mix things up with these variations on overnight oats:
- Steel cut overnight oats - yes! you can use steel cut oats for this recipe--just swap out the same amount of steel cut as rolled oats (keep in mind that they will be chewier than rolled oats; if you prefer a softer version, leave overnight for an additional night or use quick cooking steel cut oats instead)
- Protein overnight oats - add 1-2 scoops of your favorite protein powder (I like Vega Protein Made Simple Vanilla)
- Yogurt overnight oats - simply swap out your favorite dairy or plant based yogurt or Greek yogurt for the milk or kefir (I love this option; you'll up your probiotic game for the day and the yogurt or kefir cultures help to predigest the oats for you...a win win)
- Banana overnight oats - swap the blueberries with banana slices, but wait until just before you eat to add the banana (to prevent them from browning in the fridge)
- Apple cinnamon overnight oats - instead of berries, slice some apples and add to your oats in the morning to prevent browning overnight, then sprinkle with a little cinnamon and a touch or extra honey or maple syrup if desired
- Peanut butter overnight oats - skip the berries and double up on the peanut butter; I love this oh-so-creamy variation!
- Chocolate overnight oats - swap in chocolate chips or chocolate syrup instead of blueberries, because some days you just need chocolate with breakfast 😉
- Kid friendly - add a little extra honey or maple syrup if desired, and skip the chia seeds if your kiddos aren't really into that yet
I used the following equipment for this recipe; the main thing you'll need is a good jar:
- Glass working jar with a lid (a pint-sized Mason jar would also work well)
- Small colander - to wash the berries
These overnight oats with chia will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days and work well for meal prep if you'd like to make ahead for the week. They don't stand up well to freezing.
🎉 Top tip
Don't be afraid to try new toppings to make your own perfect overnight oatmeal recipe. You can't go wrong, and it's fun to try new flavors along the way to mix things up and still have a super healthy breakfast waiting to greet you in the morning.
Overnight oats are a method of "cooking" oats without actually cooking them on the stove. They are soaked overnight in milk, kefir or yogurt which softens and predigests the oats so that they are ready to eat in the morning.
They can last up to 4 days in the fridge, but are freshest when consumed within the first 1-2 days of preparing.
Yes! When topped with fresh fruit, nuts or seeds and sweetened only with honey or maple syrup, overnight oats are a very healthy breakfast thanks to their fiber and nutritional profile. Adding some nut butter or protein powder will increase their protein level as well.
The average prep time is only about 5 minutes, followed by chilling in the fridge overnight.
Yes; overnight oats are ready to eat once you take them out of the fridge in the morning, no cooking required. If you prefer warmer oats, you can lightly heat them in a small pot over low heat first.
- ⅓ cup old fashioned rolled oats (see notes)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 dash cardamom optional, if you have some on hand
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds or ground flax seeds optional, for extra nutrition and fiber
- ⅔ cup milk or kefir any kind (I used Lifeway Vanilla Whole-Milk Kefir)
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter or almond butter optional, for extra protein
- ½ cup fresh berries any kind (I used fresh blueberries)
- 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup or to taste; optional, for extra sweetness
- Mix: Place the oats, spices, seeds and milk in a small jar and mix to combine (I used a working jar; a pint-sized Mason jar would work too). Mix in the nut butter if using, just enough to create some swirls in your oats.
- Top: Wash and add the fresh berries on top of your oats, place the lid on your jar and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.
- Enjoy: Mix the fresh berries in a little, top with honey or maple syrup if desired, and enjoy!