Overnight Oats Recipe

Overnight oats are the best healthy make-ahead breakfast! Here are 4 easy, delicious recipe variations to keep you from getting stuck in a breakfast rut.

overnight oats recipe

Overnight oats are the perfect breakfast if you love eating oatmeal in the morning but don’t have time to cook before you head out the door. My base recipe consists of whole rolled oats soaked in almond milk overnight with a dash of maple syrup. In the morning, the oats are soft and easy to digest, and the mixture has a thick, porridge-like consistency that’s satisfying to eat.

I absolutely love overnight oats – they’re an easy, grab-able, dairy-free, healthy breakfast – but I have a tendency to get stuck in an oat rut, reaching for the same ‘ol toppings every time. If you feel the same way, here are 4 overnight oats recipe variations that will hopefully spice up your breakfast routine!

overnight oats recipe

How to Make Overnight Oats

If you’re new to overnight oats, making them is easy! Here’s how:

  • On the night before you plan to enjoy your oats, mix together 1/2 cup whole rolled oats and 1/2 cup milk. I typically use coconut or almond milk, but oat milk, soy milk, or cow’s milk would also work here. Then, add 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup and a dash of salt. Stir to combine!
  • Refrigerate the mixture overnight in an airtight container.
  • In the morning, they’ll be ready to eat! Transfer them to a bowl before topping and devouring them, or top and take them on the go.

These are the toppings I started with to create these 4 overnight oats combinations – how pretty are all of these healthy ingredients?!

Seeds and fruit in bowls

Best Overnight Oats Recipe Tips

  • Know your oats. Different types of oats will yield different final consistencies. Steel-cut oats will be chewier, while quick oats will be softer. I prefer a texture in between the two, so I use old-fashioned rolled oats in my recipe.
  • Leave your oats plain while they refrigerate overnight, and add toppings in the morning! That way, dried fruit will stay chewy, and any nuts and seeds will be crunchy, not gummy.
  • Or use a Mason jar to take them on the go. If you’re someone who likes to grab your breakfast and head out the door on busy mornings, try making your overnight oats in a Mason jar. The lid seals tightly, the jar isn’t too big or bulky, and its narrow shape keeps most of the toppings separate from the oats until you’re ready to eat, so you’ll have better results if you top them ahead of time.
  • Prep a big batch ahead for the whole week! Scale this recipe up to get ahead on breakfast all week long! Store individual servings in Mason jars and use different toppings each day.

Overnight Oats Recipe Variations

In the recipe below, you’ll find my go-to overnight oatmeal base. Use it as a starting point to make one (or more!) of these fun variations, or top it with your favorite nut butters, fresh or dried fruits, seeds, and more! You could also stir cocoa powder or spices into the milk and oat mixture. Feel free to get creative!

overnight oats with yogurt

Cherry Berry with Chia & Yogurt

A classic antioxidant-filled combo. Since it’s wintertime, I used frozen fruit (tart cherries and blueberries) in my bowls. Then, I topped them with Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and a drizzle of maple syrup.

how to make overnight oats

Coconut Turmeric

An unexpected breakfast bowl filled with anti-inflammatory spices! Make the base recipe with coconut milk, and stir in a heaping 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. In the morning, dress it up with mango, dried currants, hemp seeds, and coconut flakes.

overnight oats in a bowl with tahini and pomegranates

Sweet Sesame Tahini

I love tahini so much that now I’m eating it for breakfast! This pretty bowl is topped with a big scoop of tahini, pomegranate arils, chopped dried apricots, sesame seeds, and crushed pistachios. To make it sweeter, add a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

Overnight oats recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookie

If you’re trying to get your kids (or husband) to eat oats, this one is for you :). Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract to the base recipe the night before, and in the morning, top it with almond butter or peanut butter, chocolate chips, and chopped almonds for crunch.

overnight oats

More Healthy Breakfast Ideas

If you love this overnight oats recipe, try this baked oatmeal, stovetop oatmeal, or this whole oat porridge next! Then, find more healthy breakfast ideas here, and check out this link for more healthy meal prep inspiration.

Overnight Oats Recipe

rate this recipe:
4.96 from 67 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Serves 1
Use this base overnight oats recipe to make any of the 4 fun variations above! Alternatively, experiment with your favorite nuts, seeds, jam, fresh or dried fruits, and nut butters as toppings.


  • 1/2 cup whole rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk or light coconut milk, more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Desired toppings from above


  • In a small jar, combine the oats, almond or coconut milk, maple syrup, and salt. Stir and chill overnight.
  • In the morning, scoop the oats into a bowl, stir in more almond or coconut milk, if desired, for consistency. Top with desired toppings.
  • Alternatively, for a grab-and-go breakfast, you can assemble the overnight oats in jars with the toppings the night before.


Make these vegan by using maple syrup in place of the honey.


Note: If you’re gluten free, be sure to use Certified Gluten Free Oats.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Killoran

    I must try your savory oats, but you only have one recipe! I particularly like using up leftover spaghetti sauce, with oatmeal replacing the pasta. I usually add a little extra Italian seasoning while cooking the oatmeal. Pizza sauce is also good.

    Oatmeal can also replace mashed potatoes, and is pretty good with your favorite gravy. Sometimes I just don’t feel like more brown sugar, cinnamon, fruit etc.

  2. Amy

    Canned or carton coconut milk?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Amy, light canned or cartoned coconut milk will both work.

  3. Beck

    thank you for such unique and delicious flavor combinations! I’ve been eating overnight oats and been bored with my usual options. I’ve had the cherry one and the mango one so far and I am blown away how easy and delicious they are! thank you for sharing!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Beck, I’m happy these toppings inspired!

  4. Leslie McDonough

    5 stars
    This was delicious and so easy! I made the version with berries, chia seeds and yogurt (and added some almond butter and cacao nibs). Great weekday breakfast. Can’t wait to try the coconut turmeric version soon!

  5. Joyce Wang

    This was so simple to make! I usually eat really sweet things for breakfast (think brownies, cookies, cake…), so this is great healthier choice :).

  6. Sarah Cocuzzo

    5 stars
    Love this simple recipe and fun ideas for toppings! I was able to prep for the whole week while also mixing it up enough to not get bored.

  7. Korena Bradford!

    5 stars
    This is such a fun idea… It is perfect for my four kids and people going in all directions, summit them at home, some take them to work, and some take them to school on the bus with a spoon :-)! Thank you

  8. Bridget Cassun

    5 stars
    So quick and delicious! Great for a grab and go breakfast; very filling! I made my oats with a riff on carrot cake ; carrots, walnuts, cinnamon and fresh nutmeg; tasty!

  9. Jessica Erwin

    5 stars
    Overnight oats are the best. So easy and no clean up. I especially love them for a quick easy breakfast. I topped them off with peanut butter and chocolate chips. My 8 year old loved it.

  10. Stevie Smith

    5 stars
    These were very tasty! Perfect quick and filling breakfast. I topped mine with bananas, peanut butter, hemp seeds and a drizzle of maple syrup!

  11. Christi

    5 stars
    Yummy. I made the base recipe…and in place of maple syrup added some healthy Maine Blueberry jam…and a drizzle of peanut butter for the protein! Scrumptious!

  12. Gillian Bower

    5 stars
    So easy! I’m hoping to try all the variations here, but used it as a base for some Meyer lemon curd I had made. Yum!

  13. Rachel Kummerfeld

    5 stars
    Easy and delicious! Thanks for the inspiration😋

  14. Cassidy

    5 stars
    Overnight oats are such a great food prepping trick! There are endless, delicious topping combinations and it’s super easy to boost the nutritional content with flax or chia seeds. This was the first time I had ever prepped them in a mason jar – how fun!

  15. Nicole

    5 stars
    Love the simplicity of this recipe! It was delicious, nutritious, satisfying and oh so easy. I also love how customizable it is. The base recipe works great with whatever you have on hand that day. Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.