Overnight oats are one of the most popular ways to eat oats – for a good reason! This simple no-cook recipe is versatile, portable, filling, nutritious, and convenient.
What Are Overnight Oats?
Overnight oats are oats soaked in the liquid you put them in – any kind of liquid you like but most commonly milk – for a few hours up to a day or two. Generally the ratio is 1:1 oats to milk, and I like a third component of yogurt for a 1:1:1 ratio. Chia seeds also help the whole mixture gel together.
That’s the base, and toppings are endless.
There is NO COOKING involved at all! (Although you could heat them just a tiny bit in the microwave to take the chill out.)
- Oats – rolled oats are best, but you can use quick or instant oats too. Steel cut oats are a bit too tough to “cook” just by soaking alone.
- Liquid – I like cow’s milk, but you can use almond, coconut and even thinner liquids like coffee or juice
- Yogurt or chia seeds – the oats will still soak up whatever liquid you use without these, but I like both for a thicker texture. Greek yogurt will lend to the thickest texture and highest protein.
- Pinch of salt – I think this is a necessary component!
- Sweetener – I personally don’t add any, but you can use honey, jam, or maple syrup for a natural option
Why are overnight oats the best breakfast recipe for busy people?
- There is no cooking, stirring, or cleaning of pots
- You can make oats on prep day and enjoy them during the week
- When prepared in a jar or container with a lid, you can take them to work with you.
- They’re the perfect travel breakfast that can be made in a mini fridge with no kitchen (or soak oats in water and add pantry staples for a fridge-free option!)
- The recipe is so versatile you can customize it any way you like
- They never get boring: eat oats everyday and try a new topping each time!
Overnight Oats Health Benefits & Nutritional Info
You’ll hit all of the major macronutrient categories with this recipe: whole grain carbohydrates, protein from milk and yogurt, and healthy fat from chia seeds. This easy breakfast will keep you full all morning long.
My favorite mixture is equal parts old fashioned rolled oats, 2% cow’s milk and whole milk yogurt. You can use any kind of yogurt or milk you like – almond milk or coconut yogurt.
The basic KERF recipe with 1/3 cup oats, 2% milk, whole Greek yogurt, and half a tablespoon of chia seeds provides just under 250 calories, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 14 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fat. Super filling without any toppings!
You’ll also get over 100% of your DV for calcium from the milk and yogurt and 26% (ha!) of your DV for vitamin A.
The fiber content, especially if you use chia seeds, will help aid in digestion and keep you full longer.
Overnight Oats Ingredients
In addition to the base recipe, you can add as many ingredients as you can dream up.
I like to use some kind of fruit (to round out a nutritious breakfast!) and then various different textures from there. There are so many different flavor and topping variations, and the creativity is endless!
You won’t want to put anything in you don’t mind getting soggy (i.e. crunchy cereals) the night before, but I love a little crunch the day of.
Topping + Mix In Ideas
- Fresh berries
- Sliced banana
- Peanut butter
- Almond butter
- Chopped nuts
- Chopped apples
- Whipped coconut
- Whipped cream (!)
- Dried fruit
- Chia seeds
- Ground flax
- Hemp seeds
- Cocoa powder
- PB2 or powdered peanut butter
- Vanilla extract
How To Make Overnight Oats
- In a jar or bowl, stir together oats, milk, yogurt, pinch of salt, chia seeds and any spices you’re using.
- You can add any optional ingredients that you don’t mind getting soggy here, like banana or berries.
- Cover and store in fridge for a few hours or overnight. They will keep in the fridge for a few days if you are a prep day gal!
- Remove from fridge, add toppings, and enjoy immediately or on the go.
Basic KERF Recipe
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup milk of your choice
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt You can use regular non-Greek yogurt too!
- 1/3 cup fresh or frozen fruit Berries, banana, chopped apple!
- 1 tbsp chia seeds Optional, but they will help it thicken up!
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- Stir everything together in a bowl.
- Place in fridge overnight.
- In the morning top with something crunchy and something with healthy fats - like nut butter or nuts.
More Oats Recipe Ideas
- In A Near-Empty Nut or Seed Butter Jar
- Patriotic Overnight Oats
- Blended Overnight Oats Mermaid Bowl
- Gingerbread Overnight Oats
- Yerba Mate Overnight Oats with Pistachios and Honey
- Raspberry Coconut Overnight Oats Sundae
- See all of my oatmeal breakfast ideas here!
- Quaker has a ton of ideas too!
More OO Ideas From My Friends
- Eating Bird Food: Overnight Oats Four Ways
- Fit Foodie Finds: 8 Ways To Eat Overnight Oats
- Fannetastic Food: Overnight Oatmeal Six Ways
Some KERF variations throughout the years!