Quick and nutritious breakfast packed with protein and fresh fruit + veggies! Easy to make vegan and gluten free.
Learn how to make the perfect batch of overnight oats and 3 delicious and tasty ways to enjoy them! Overnight oats are one of the quickest and easiest ways to enjoy oats for breakfast. The best part is there are endless varieties to make breakfast that is never boring.
Free From: wheat (optional), gluten (optional), dairy (optional), casein, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn, sesame, mustard, lupin, sulfites, and more
Overnight oats are one of my favorite ways to make a healthy breakfast. For more make ahead breakfast ideas, check out my gf + v double chocolate muffins, gf + v bagels, or vegan chocolate chip muffins!
Updated March 11, 2022 with new info and new pictures
Base Overnight Oat Ingredients
There are two parts to any base recipe for overnight oats: Oatmeal and Milk. From here, you can have endless variety to make these oats unique every day. While you can use just water to plump up the oats, I prefer to use non-dairy milk. That’s what makes them so creamy and tasty!
- Rolled Oats - Rolled Oats will make the best overnight oats that are rich and creamy without being soupy. Steel cut oats will provide a chewier texture. Instant oats will dissolve into the liquid, making more of a soup.
- Milk - You can use whatever milk you like, dairy, non-dairy (rice, soy, and oat are my favorite for this!). And like I said, even water will work. It just depends on how you like it!
3 Flavor Varieties
There are endless ways to make your oats. Here are my 3 favorite flavor combinations!
Carrot Cake : Add 1 shredded carrot with maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds, and raisins.
Apple Pie: Add 1 diced apple with brown sugar or dates, cinnamon, ginger, and a pinch of nutmeg.
Blueberry Parfait: Mix 2 tablespoons of greek yogurt with fresh or frozen blueberries, flax seeds, and a splash of vanilla extract.
Other ideas for spicing up your busy mornings
- Fresh fruit: Seasonal fruit is delicious in this, not to mention staples like a mashed banana , strawberries, peaches, pears, or berries.
- Dried fruit: Raisins and chopped dates are some of my favorite flavors , but I also love dried cranberries, especially when I mix in some orange zest.
- Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, cardamon, the options go on and on!
- Nut butter: Stir in a spoonful of your favorite nut butter, like almond butter, or seed butter (sun butter is always my go to) for an extra protein punch.
- Milks: Any type of milk you enjoy works great in this. Coconut milk, oat milk, and soy milk will make for a thicker oatmeal, while rice milk will make a sweeter oatmeal.
- Extras: Chocolate chips, protein powder, chia seeds, coconut flakes, hemp hearts, or even cocoa powder are the perfect way to make these oats special.
To make these overnight oats gluten free, make sure you are using certified gluten free rolled oats. My favorite to use are Bob’s Red Mill gluten free rolled oats.
If avoiding dairy, make with your choice of a non-dairy milk. You can also use your choice of a vanilla non-dairy yogurt.
If you have sensitivities to birch trees, or Oral Allergy Syndrome, make sure you are using allergy friendly maple syrup. My favorite company is Anderson Maple Syrup which states their allergen policy on their website.
For the full recipe with measurements and instructions, please see the recipe card below!
This is for a single serving of oats but you can easily double or triple the recipe to make oats for the whole family!
To begin, you need to grab a container with a lid that you can seal the oats in overnight. A mason jar is really popular, but I also just use a glass bowl with a lid. Whatever you have will work great!
- Stir the overnight oat base recipe together. In your small container, mix the oats with the milk of your choice.
- Soak overnight. Place your container in the fridge overnight or at least for 5 hours to really allow time for the oats to plump up.
- Add toppings and serve! The next morning, add the topping of your choice and give it a good mix.
You can enjoy these oats either cold straight from the fridge or warm them up in the microwave or on the stovetop if you like. There is no wrong way to enjoy them! Just make sure to add any yogurt after cooking if you are making them warm so as to not kill off the probiotics in the yogurt.
You want to store your oats in a jar with a lid, making sure it’s something large enough that everything will fit with the toppings. Keep in mind, oats also will expand as they soak in the milk. Because of that, I recommend that you use a 16-oz container to prep and mix up your oats in.
Mason Jars are super popular and you see a lot of other photos on the internet using them. The pint sized jars are 16-oz and they come in different shapes and even colors.
Pyrex containers are what I use to mix up my oats. I like that they are more stackable for my fridge (because let’s be honest, my fridge is almost never organized!).
Can I make these gluten free?
Yes! Make sure you are using a certified gluten free oat. I like to purchase mine from Bob’s Red Mill.
Are overnight oats healthy?
Yes! Filled with fiber and protein, oats are a healthy part of your diet. Depending on the type you make, you can customize it to be filled with the vitamins and minerals you like best.
Can I use other oats?
Yes, though be aware that different oats will make different kinds of a final result.
Rolled Oats will make the best overnight oats that are rich and creamy without being soupy.
Steel cut oats will provide a chewier texture.
Quick oats will dissolve into the liquid, making more of a soup.
Are overnight oats healthier than cooked oats?
There are some differences between the two styles of oats.
Overnight oats are usually made with rolled oats. These rolled oats are raw, meaning they are full of the fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals found in the whole oat. When you soak rolled oats overnight in milk or water, the phytic acid in them also decreases. Phytic acid prevents digestion, so the lower number means they are easier to digest!
Cooked oats are typically made from instant oatmeal, especially if you are using the kind that microwaves in a minute. These oats are usually not as nutritionally dense as rolled oats. However, cooked oats are lower in carbohydrates, calories, and fat than uncooked oats.
So both kinds of oats are healthy depending on what your goals are!
How to Store
These oats are made to enjoy the next morning. I prefer to make up a fresh batch each night for the next day, however, you could prep a few days in advance if you like.
Fridge: These oats can be made up to 4 days in advance. If you are adding extra toppings, make sure you don’t add them to the base mix as they can go bad more quickly.
Freezer: You can freeze the base mix of overnight oats up to a month in advance! Remove them from the freezer and into the fridge the night before you want to enjoy them and add your fresh toppings in the morning.
More recipes to love
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- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- mixing bowl
- mixing spoons
- Mason jar or other container with a lid
- ½ cup gluten free rolled oats
- ⅔ cup milk of choice Dairy, Rice, Soy, Oats Almond, Coconut, etc.
- Pinch salt
- 1 Basic recipe
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- 1 basic recipe
- 1 apple, chopped
- 3 dates, pitted and chopped can swap for 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- pinch nutmeg
- 1 basic recipe
- ¼ cup frozen blueberries
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon greek yogurt use dairy-free option if needed
- In a mason jar or other small container with a lid, mix the oats and milk. Let this mix overnight or at least 5 hours.
- The next morning, prep your other flavoring ingredients and add them to your base oat mix. Give this a stir and enjoy!