How to Make Overnight Oats (+ 7 flavors!)
Overnight oats are a versatile breakfast or snack.
They can be eaten hot or cold and can be prepared several days in advance
In addition, you can add a range of wholesome nutrients to this delicious meal.
This article contains 7 delicious, nutritious and easy overnight oatmeal recipes.
Table of Contents
1. Basic Overnight Oats
Most overnight oatmeal recipes are based on the same few ingredients.
- Oatmeal. Old-fashioned oats are best for overnight oats. Soak time is shorter with instant oats and longer with steel cut oats.
- Milk. Use milk or your choice of fortified, unsweetened plant-based milk and oatmeal in a 1:1 ratio. For example, 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk per 1/2 cup (120 ml) oatmeal.
- Chia seeds (optional). Chia seeds act like glue to hold the ingredients together. Use 1/4 part chia seeds per 1 part oatmeal. For example, use 1/8 cup (30 ml) of chia seeds for every 1/2 cup (120 ml) of oats.
- Yogurt (optional). Yogurt adds extra protein and creaminess. Use milk or plant-based yogurt and adjust the amount to your liking.
- Vanilla (optional). A dash of vanilla extract or vanilla bean can add a splash of flavor to your overnight oats.
- Sweetener (optional). A little maple syrup, 2-3 chopped dates, or half a mashed banana can sweeten your overnight oats.
Overnight oats are a great source of many nutrients.
Prepared 1 cup (240ml) basic recipe with 2% milk, no optional ingredients, containing the following:
- Calories: 215 calories
- Fiber:4 grams
- Sugar: 7 grams
- Fat: 5 grams
- Protein: 9
- Vitamin D: 299% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Manganese: 25% DV
- Selenium: 27% DV
- Vitamin A: 26% DV
- Vitamin B12: 25% DV
- Riboflavin: 23% DV
- Bronze: 22% DV
- Phosphorus: 22% DV
This amount of overnight oats also provides 12-19% of the daily requirement for calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, thiamine and pantothenic acid.
Oats contain more protein and fat than most other grains. They’re also an especially good source of beta-glucan, a fiber that reduces hunger and promotes satiety.
Of course, the nutritional value of this recipe will vary based on the type of milk and optional ingredients you choose to add.
To make overnight oats, simply combine all ingredients and refrigerate overnight in an airtight container.
The oatmeal and chia seeds soak up the milk and soften overnight for a pudding-like texture the next morning.
Overnight oats will keep for up to four days when refrigerated in an airtight container. This means you can easily prepare large batches of basic recipes and change up parts with your favorite ingredients throughout the week.
Overnight oats are simple, nutritious and can be made in large quantities without heating. Just mix the ingredients, refrigerate overnight, and add your favorite ingredients in the morning.
2. Chocolate Peanut Butter
This variation on basic overnight oats is reminiscent of the popular peanut butter cups.
Just add 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) of cocoa powder to an easy overnight oatmeal recipe. In the morning, add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of natural peanut butter followed by chopped peanuts, fresh raspberries and mini chocolate chips for extra flavor and texture.
Peanuts and peanut butter add a dose of healthy fats to this recipe, while cocoa and raspberries add antioxidants, beneficial compounds that help protect your body from disease.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oatmeal is the nutrient content of a popular candy. This recipe is especially rich in beneficial antioxidants and healthy fats.
Substitute coconut milk and coconut yogurt for the milk and yogurt in the base recipe in this Tropical Overnight Oats recipe.
Then top with a handful of pecans, sprinkle with unsweetened coconut flakes and freshly sliced or thawed tropical fruit like mango, pineapple, or kiwi. Refrigerate overnight as in the base recipe.
You can also use dried fruit, just remember to control the portion size. In general, a serving of dried fruit should be 2-3 times smaller than a serving of fresh fruit. Choose unsweetened, oil-free varieties.
Tropical Oats are a traditional overnight oatmeal recipe with the addition of coconut. Just add fresh or thawed fruit of your choice, or swap fresh fruit for a small portion of unsweetened, oil-free dried fruit.
4. Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin is high in fiber and vitamins C and K. They add a rich, perhaps unexpected flavor to this overnight oatmeal recipe.
Squash is also a good source of beta-carotene, a compound that may reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
To make this recipe, add 1/2 cup (120 ml) pumpkin puree to your Easy Overnight Oats recipe and refrigerate overnight. Season with 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground cloves and nutmeg.
Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats are high in fiber, vitamins, and beta-carotene, a compound that may protect against metabolic syndrome and related conditions.
5. Carrot Cake
Carrots are high in fiber and have a low glycemic index (GI), which means they’re less likely to cause a blood sugar spike after consumption (14, 15).
Similar to pumpkins, they are rich in beta-carotene. Your body converts this compound into vitamin A, which is important for your vision, growth, development, and immune function.
To make this popular dessert nutritious, simply combine 1/2 cup (120mL) grated carrots, 1/4 cup (60mL) raisins and 2 tablespoons (30mL) cream cheese or cream cheese substitute Stir in the essential overnight oatmeal ingredient with yours.
Keep it in the fridge overnight and garnish in the morning with freshly grated carrots, some raisins, and some cinnamon or allspice.
Carrot Cake Overnight Oats are a great alternative to sugary desserts. This recipe is high in fiber and beta-carotene, and since carrots have a low GI index, this version may help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
6. High Protein Mint Chocolate Chip
Protein is a nutrient known to reduce hunger and promote satiety.
About 13 grams (240 ml) per cup, the basic overnight oatmeal recipe already contains the right amount of protein.
Adding yogurt to your recipe and topping it with nuts or seeds can further boost the protein content to about 17 grams per cup (240 ml) prepared.
If you prefer more protein, you can add 1-2 tablespoons (15-30mL) of protein powder to the mixture. This will increase the protein content to about 20-23 grams per cup.
For extra flavor, add a dash of peppermint extract and garnish with freshly sliced strawberries, mini chocolate chips, and a few mint leaves. Add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of spirulina powder at the end for a natural, nutrient-rich green.
Yogurt, nuts, seeds, or protein powder can increase the protein content of overnight oats. A little peppermint extract, strawberry slices, mini chocolate chips and spirulina powder complete the recipe.
7. Pour in coffee
This recipe is a fun way to add caffeine to breakfast.
Substitute a cup of espresso for 30ml of milk, or simply mix 1 teaspoon (5ml) of ground or instant coffee with the original amount of milk.
This adds 30-40 mg of caffeine to your overnight oats – a level that studies suggest may be sufficient to improve alertness, short-term memory and reaction time.
Toss this recipe with your choice of fresh fruit, nuts and seeds.
If you love the taste of your coffee but want to limit your caffeine intake, simply replace espresso or ground coffee with ground chicory root. Brewed chicory root tastes similar to coffee, but is naturally caffeine-free.
Add a cup of espresso or 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of freshly ground or instant coffee to Overnight Oats to infuse them with enough caffeine to wake you up. Roasted chicory root is a good decaffeinated substitute and tastes similar.
Overnight oats are healthy and easy to make.
They can be enjoyed as breakfast or as a snack with minimal preparation and are a time-saving dining option.
Overnight oats are also very versatile, allowing you to create a wide variety of recipes by simply changing the ingredients. It’s worth it if you haven’t already added it to your meal plan.