Easy Overnight Oats


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Learn how to make the perfect batch of overnight oats! It’s one of the easiest, no-cook breakfast options that will leave you with healthy grab-and-go breakfasts to enjoy throughout the week. Bonus – it’s endlessly customizable!

Overnight oats in a few jars with fruits on a table.

If you love healthy breakfast ideas but don’t want to do a whole lot of work in the morning, overnight oats were made for you. Honestly, it’s as easy as stirring together a couple of ingredients in a jar, placing it in the fridge, and enjoying the next morning. That’s it! There’s no cooking, baking, and you don’t even get any extra dishes dirty. It’s a total winner all around.

The beauty of overnight oats is that you can make them as simple or creative as you’d like. The base recipe is delicious, and filling all on its own. But if you’d like to spruce it up, you can add a variety of toppings and mix-ins, including fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, spices, jams, and more. I’ll share a few ideas with you today, but as always, feel free to share your overnight oats creativity in the comments below!

A jar with ingredients to make overnight oats.

Overnight Oats Ingredients

While technically you only need rolled oats and milk to make overnight oats, I always add chia seeds, yogurt, and a smidge of maple syrup in my base recipe. That’s what makes them ultra creamy and tasty!

  • Rolled oats: Make sure to use old fashioned rolled oats for the best texture. And remember to look for certified gluten-free oats if you’re gluten-sensitive or celiac.
  • Milk: You can use dairy or dairy-free milk (like almond milk, oat milk, or cashew milk), and yes, even water works. It just depends how creamy you’d like it.
  • Yogurt: A simple Greek yogurt or dairy-free yogurt provides extra creaminess, protein, and that perfect touch of tangy flavor.
  • Chia Seeds: These magical little seeds will gel up in the oats to make it creamy and thick. Plus, they’re loaded with health benefits and give a nutrient boost.
  • Maple Syrup: Natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey blend in beautifully. You can always add as little or as much as you’d like.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

What to Love About Overnight Oats

A warm bowl of oatmeal is pretty high up on the list when it comes to healthy breakfast options. But I’ll let you in on a secret – overnight oats is equally healthy and a cinch to make with no cooking. Here’s a few reasons why you should to whip up this recipe today…

  • It’s a time and money saver. Oats are one of the best ingredients when you’re looking to eat healthy on a budget. Best of all, prepping overnight oats takes less than 5 minutes!
  • It’s a nutritional powerhouse. It’s a known fact that oats are heart-healthy. They’re also rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
  • It’s easier on the gut. Soaking your oats overnight helps to break the starches down and reduce phytic acid. That means it’s easier to digest the oats and absorb their nutrients more efficiently. Perfect for those of us with gluten sensitivities!

How To Make Easy Overnight Oats

For a single serving: It’s super easy to make overnight oats in a jar!

  • Stir it all together. In a small jar, stir together the oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, and maple syrup.
  • It’s soaking time. Place the jar in the fridge to let the oats soak for at least 2 hours, though overnight is best.
  • Add toppings and serve. The next morning, add your favorite toppings and enjoy! Alternatively, you can scoop the oats out into a bowl and add toppings from there.
Mixing overnight oats ingredients in a jar.

If you’re looking to make a bigger batch: just double, triple or quadruple the recipe. It’s as easy as that!

  • Stir everything together. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, and maple syrup.
  • Cover and soak. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let it soak overnight in the fridge.
  • Serve individually. Scoop out a portion (about 1 cup) from the bowl into a serving glass or bowl. Then add your favorite toppings!
Mixing overnight oats ingredients in a bowl.

8 Ways To Make Overnight Oats Exciting

Now here comes the fun part – toppings and mix-ins! Creativity is the name of the game here. So whatever your heart desires, go for it. But if you need some inspiration, here’s some of my favorite flavor combinations!

  • Fresh fruit: Make the most of seasonal fruits, including blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, bananas, peaches, pears, and apples. You can also blend them into a puree or make a chia seed jam and stir it in.
  • Dried fruit: Raisins, cranberries, goji berries, and chopped dates lend a chewy texture and fruity flavors.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Sliced almonds, chopped pecans or walnuts, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, and toasted sesame seeds add a subtle crunchy texture.
  • Extra Flavor: Sprinkle on coconut flakes or cacao nibs. They’ll taste amazing with banana, strawberry, or tropical flavors.
  • Spices: Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, cardamom, or ginger to spice things up a bit!
  • Yogurt: Mix in any type of yogurt for extra creaminess. Plus, it’ll add extra protein and a probiotic boost.
  • Nut Butter: Choose your favorite nut butter (I always love almond butter), and stir it in or drizzle it on top. It too will provide a protein boost.
  • Protein Powder: Still want an even bigger protein boost? Feel free to add protein powder or collagen powder.
Jars of overnight oats on the table.

The Best Jars to Use

While many photos show overnight oats filled to the brim with toppings overflowing, that’s just not realistic in terms of mixing. You want a jar that’s large enough to stir everything together without making a mess. So with that in mind, I recommend a 16-ounce jar if you plan to add toppings. And a 12-ounce jar works for the base recipe with a small amount of mix-ins.

  • Mason Jars: Traditional mason jars are perfect for overnights oats. The pint-sized jars are 16-ounces, and the screw top lid is secure and super easy. You can also get 16-ounce wide mouth jars if you prefer.
  • Weck Jars: While I normally love Weck Jars for so many things (like chia pudding), if you plan to “grab and go” with your overnight oats, you might lose the clips. But if you’re careful, the 1/4 liter mold jar is the perfect size for the base recipe at 12.5-ounces.

How To Store and Meal Prep

Whether you’re making a single serving or 5 days worth of breakfast, overnight oats is a meal prep savior.

  • To Store: Overnight oats will stay good for up to 4 days in the fridge. If you have fruit toppings or fruit mix-ins, I recommend no more than 3 days, as the fruit is likely to go bad first.
  • For Freezing: Yes, you can freeze overnight oats! Similar to my meal prep chia pudding, overnight oats will stay good for several months in the freezer.
Overnight oats with different flavors in jars on a table.

Common Questions

Can you use quick cooking oats?

Yes, you can. But just be aware that the texture will end up more mushy, like porridge.

Do you have to use yogurt?

No, you don’t have to. But I find that yogurt gives a wonderfully rich and creamy texture. If you’re dairy-free, you can always use dairy-free milk and dairy-free yogurt.

Can you eat overnight oats warm?

Absolutely! Overnight oats don’t have to be eaten cold. Just warm them up on the stovetop in a small pot or in the microwave for a minute or two the next morning.

Will oats expand as they soak?

Yes, they’ll expand a little (about 10-15%). So don’t fill the jar to the brim.

Can you eat overnight oats for dinner?

Of course! As I always say… any food can be eaten any time of any day. So feel free to enjoy overnights oats for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

More Easy, Make-Ahead Breakfast Ideas

When you need a break from overnight oats, give these recipes a try! They’re easy, flavorful and perfect for meal prepping.

  • Loaded Breakfast Casserole: Bake, slice into squares, and store in the fridge or freezer.
  • Chia Seed Pudding: Did you know you can also freeze chia pudding?
  • Breakfast Egg Muffins: These bites are customizable and can be stored in the fridge or freezer.
  • Sweet Potato Toast: Prep slices for the week for a veggie-heavy breakfast! It will keep in the fridge for 5 days.
  • Paleo Pancakes: And when you’re feeling for good ol’ pancakes, these ones store well in the fridge and freezer!

If you make this recipe, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

Six jars of overnight oats.

Easy Overnight Oats (6 Amazing Flavors)

4.96 from 240 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Lisa Bryan


Learn how to make the perfect batch of overnight oats! It's easy, healthy, customizable, and great for a grab-and-go breakfast. Watch the video below to see how I make all of the different flavors in my kitchen!



Basic Overnight Oats

Banana Bread Overnight Oats

Spiced Pear Overnight Oats

PB&J Overnight Oats

  • 2 tablespoon raspberry jam or puree
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped pistachios

Pina Colada Overnight Oats

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

Strawberry Protein Overnight Oats


  • Add all the ingredients into a sealable jar or bowl and give it a stir until combined.
  • Let it soak in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but it's best to soak overnight for 8 hours. This will yield a creamier consistency.
    Overnight oats mixed in a large bowl with a spoon.
  • Top your overnight oats with your favorite toppings and enjoy!
    Different flavored overnight oats in jars on table.

Lisa’s Tips

  • If you make a large batch in a bowl, once it’s set and thickened overnight scoop out about 1 cup for a single serving.


Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 311mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 174mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy overnight oats, overnight oats, overnight oats recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted January 2021, but updated to include new information. 

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Made the strawberry overnight oats After 6 hours in fridge it did not firm up, was mushy. I will see what it is like in morning. However, I tased it and it is Delicious3 stars

    1. Hi Marge – Overnight oats are meant to be a bit mushy overall. But let us know how it turned out overnight!

  2. I appreciate the base recipe very much! I have made so many different recipes with overnight oats. To me, it’s a way of sneaking in some of those veggie and fruit servings for the day. It’s almost like a dessert instead of breakfast. No need to put sweetener in them usually for me and I use low fat yogurt because of a little plaque build up I have. I’d say my favorite is the Pumpkin Spice recipe. One I would like to try is with avocado and organic Dutch cocoa powder ( like the chocolate pudding recipes). Maybe you’ll try and do a video on it? I have your cookbook front and center on my desk in the kitchen for all to see! Can’t wait for another cookbook from you. Thank you for all you do Lisa to make eating healthy, delicious and a whole lot easier ! XOXOXO5 stars

  3. I can’t wait to try the overnight oats recipes, but I wonder if I need to cook the oats first. Please advise.

  4. This recipe is my FAVE! I almost always make the strawberry protein one. This is perfect for my kids to eat quickly before school or even take on the go for work or errands. I’ve made this recipe with almond, oat and cow milk- all worked beautifully!5 stars

  5. First time making these! Did the PB & J oats. So delicious and SO easy! Perfect for our road trip breakfast. Excited to add this to my rotation of breakfasts and try some other variations too.5 stars

  6. I thought I would hate this dish because cold oats and the soggy-looking texture grossed me out. However, I’ve made this recipe so many times and it is my absolute go-to! I love the consistency of the oats- not too runny, but not too chunky either. The wide variety of mix-ins and flavors makes it a breakfast I love to have all year. My favorite is adding pumpkin purée and pumpkin spice for fall-flavored oats!
    Thank you Lisa!!5 stars

    1. Hi Lisa I was told to look for Overnight Oats recipes. I will go get the ingredients but will change to Sugar-Free ingredients. I’m Diabetic. Breakfast was very difficult for me. So excited to try the oats. Thanks Lillie M😊

  7. I am very picky about my oatmeal and had low expectations about these overnight oats. BUT they are soooo good and the texture is perfect! I did not have any yogurt on hand but that did not seem to matter. This is a quick, easy breakfast (and snack)!5 stars

  8. Hi Lisa,
    We have made these overnight oats numerous times. We especially like the gogi berries & chia seeds. We also use unsweetened coconut milk.
    It is so easy to put together, right after dinner, we prepare them and send them to the refrigerator.
    Love it ,Love it, Love it!
    If you haven’t tried it, please do so.

  9. Recipe was good but when I warmed it up in the microwave, the texture and flavor changed. It wasn’t as good as the cold one. I only microwaved for 90 seconds. Tastes a lot better when it is cool even if I prefer warm oatmeal.4 stars

  10. Would have bet money I wouldn’t like this. Cold oatmeal? Made it primarily for my husband. Added cinnamon, cocoa powder, chia seeds and slivered almonds. Cut the recipe from 1/2 to 1/3. Well! Hubby will be lucky if I share. Thanks for all the recipes. Love love!5 stars

  11. I just made it and used less maple syrup (actually, papaya syrup since I am from Chile and maple syrup is less common) because our greek yogurt was sweetened. However, I was wrong!! It really needs more sweetness! Overall, I really enjoyed it with my husband, specially the texture and how filling it turns out to be. I love your recipes, Lisa! I have been watching your videos for years and there are so many recipes I make that some of them have become part of the family recipe book (like your falafels, turkey meatballs, butter chicken, etc.). Love the aestethic, your easy step by step instrucctions and your beautiful kitchen, utensils, everything!
    Cheers from Chile!5 stars

    1. Thanks so much, Maria! I’m thrilled you loved these overnight oats and you enjoy my other recipes as well. Hugs to you in Chile!

  12. So excited to make these, they sound delicious!! Do you add in all the extras from the different recipes before you let them soak overnight, or would you make the base first, then add the fun stuff before you indulge?

    1. Yes, you can use any non-dairy milk! As for yogurt, you can use a bit more milk as well. But, you might have to play around with the ratio a bit so it’s not overly watery.

  13. Love love love! Incredibly helpful instructional video and great ideas for variety. Just made the banana bread and really looking forward to trying it!5 stars

  14. I don’t like Chia seeds so if I omit them from the recipe should I make a measurement adjustment to any of the other ingredients? Thanks, they sound delicious and I look to trying them.

    1. You can just keep the recipe as is. But if you find that it’s a bit liquidy, you can reduce the milk or yogurt a bit next time.

  15. Turned out perfect and yogurt really added great flavor and thickness. I tried with with different fruit and it was delish!5 stars

    1. The base recipe will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge. If you have fruit mixed in, it will keep for up to 3 days.

  16. I’m addicted to this pudding, I eat it as a midday snack, it’s delicious and satisfying. A good foundation recipe to build upon, I alternate between using organic almond milk and organic soy milk and; I sometimes add espresso powder and/or cacao powder to give it a different flavor. I always add crushed mixed nuts just before serving.5 stars

  17. What kind of greek yogurt do you use? Plain? I have everything but the greek yogurt. I only have strawberry flavored greek yogurt. I’m trying to avoid going to the store if possible I can use what I have on hand.

  18. Where has this been all my life? Lisa, this is outstanding… so good. Will try all your great combo ideas and create a few of my own. The orange creamsicle is delicious. ❤️ Thank you!5 stars

  19. Hi, can you add the top layer of fruit before it sets to leave over night so it’s ready to go first thing? Making some for myself and Mom in law, don’t want to be chopping fruit etc at 5am

  20. I made overnight oats for the first time with almonds and raspberries… how delicious…
    this is one way I can eat breakfast which is good for you! thank you for sharing, was so easy to make and tasty!!5 stars

  21. This is one of my go-to weekday breakfasts and the only way I will eat oatmeal. Many times, I re-use the peanut butter jar when it is almost finished (with any leftovers) to make overnight oats in it. It uses up even the last dollop and it tastes amazing! I always use honey, cinnamon, some fruits and nuts and it is very satisfying.5 stars

  22. Delicious – I made apple cinnamon overnight oats with about 1 cup of grated apple and a tablespoon of cinnamon. They were great and quick to pull together on a Sunday night for the busy week ahead!5 stars

  23. Made the carrot cake overnight soaked oats, but substituted cashew yogurt for Greek yogurt due to lactose intolerance. It was sooooo delicious. I highly recommend!

      1. Can this be served warm? As the weather is getting colder, I’m looking for a warm, easy breakfast for my kids.

  24. I was never an oatmeal eater. I have tried eating cooked oatmeal in many combinations and have never been able to get passed the consistency. Knowing oatmeal is so good for you in so many ways, I thought I would give it another shot with this overnight recipe. I had all ingredients on hand, even fresh strawberries, so strawberry protein overnight oats I made. THIS! WAS! AMAZING! The flavors blended so well, the consistency was spot on, and I did not have to change or add anything to this recipe. This has totally changed my perspective on oatmeal and I will continue to make these overnight oats quite frequently.5 stars

      1. Just curious if you mix the protein powder in when you make it or when you are about to eat it? Thanks!

    1. This recipe is specifically for rolled oats. Will make a steel cut version in the near future :)

    2. Does it matter if you leave it in a big bowl for up to 3 days or should you separate them out into individual containers after 8 hours?

  25. I made these for my grand daughter to try so that she could grab them for a quick breakfast when she goes back to school. I think they were delicious and healthy. Thanks for the recipe.5 stars

  26. these are fantastic! really enjoyed the banana bread one this morning!
    Are all these each 300 calories like it says at the bottom?
    I measured quickly and i think they were closer to 500 calories for the banana bread one?
    If you have a list of how many calories for each that would be great

  27. It’s my first time trying carrot oats, so delicious!! I really enjoyed it, One of my favorites now
    thank you❤5 stars

  28. Very easy to follow and simple measurements. I used toasted quinoa instead of chia seeds, and honey instead of maple syrup. I think I added too much honey as it was quite sweet, so adjust accordingly.5 stars

  29. For clarification – if i choose to make the strawberry protein recipe, do I make the base/basic overnight oats recipe, then top with the variations ingredients in the morning OR do I mix the basic recipe plus the strawberries, protein powder etc all at once and let that sit overnight? Thanks!5 stars

    1. You can do either! Just remember that if fresh fruit is prepped on top ahead of time, it will only keep in the fridge for up to 3 days max.

  30. I make these overnight oats every week for work and I am obsessed! It is so easy, delicious, and most of all healthy! I even Share this recipe with coworkers because they say theirs doesn’t taste the same! I am obsessed with downshiftology and look for recipes all the time! 5 stars

  31. Thank you for the ideas. I ate raw oats with soy milk for many years. I added raisins and some peanut butter. I loved them. Now I need to get back to them. Ha! My roommate told me that I ate so many raw oats he was surprised I didn’t turn into a horse! 😄5 stars

  32. Hello, ads are appearing in the printed (PDF) version of the recipes. Is there any way to disable this?

  33. Wow, just wow! Made one to test last night and put mashed raspberries and a few mini chocolate chips in. I used Oikos mixed berry yogurt as that what we had on hand. I heated it up in the MW this morning and it was AMAZING! I am going to attempt a sugar free one so my husband with Type II can enjoy. Thank you!5 stars

  34. These were amazing!!! I had fun making them too, very easy delicious WOW. Seriously where have these been all my life. These will forever be a part of my weekly routine.5 stars

  35. Lisa- for the banana with walnuts.. is that something for your recipes we mix altogether and then we can add more when it’s time to eat? Or save it all for toppings ?

    1. Carrot cke overnight oats…hmm, it sounded intriguing bt I wasn’t so sure about cold oatmeal. OK, I’m late to the overnight oats experien but one bie and I was convinced. These ae amazingly good! Can’t wait to try some of the other flavors. Never again will I turn up my nose at breafat.5 stars