Overnight oats is our favorite healthy breakfast idea that can be prepared ahead of time and last the entire week. They’re whole grain and packed with fiber!
In this post, we’ll teach you how to make overnight oats, answer all of your overnight oatmeal FAQs, give you a basic overnight oats recipe, and share 8 of our favorite overnight oats recipes!
We love Overnight Oats!
Here at Fit Foodie Finds we absolutely adore overnight oats (and oatmeal in general!). Some of the very first recipes that we ever posted on FFF were healthy overnight oats recipes…and that dates back to 2010! They never get old and they’re so delicious I could eat them for dessert.
There are also so many different flavor combinations and topping ideas that you could almost eat a different variation of overnight oats 365 days a year!
Today we’re sharing the low on this magical breakfast in general. We get so many comments and questions about our overnight oats that we thought we’d lay it all out in one post.
What are overnight oats?
Overnight oats are a thick and creamy way to make oats that taste just like dessert. Making oats overnight is when you soak oatmeal in a liquid such as milk, making it no-cook oatmeal. Instead of having to cook your oats, you can actually eat them raw by soaking them in milk or water for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Are overnight oats healthy?
Overnight oats are a healthy breakfast idea because they’re 100% whole grain and made with other nutritious ingredients such as chia seeds, almond milk, and Greek yogurt.
After a few hours of soaking, the texture of the oats becomes soft and chewy and is quite similar to classic oatmeal.
Overnight oats are meant to be eaten cold, but some people like to heat them up and that’s okay too.
Healthy Benefits of Overnight Oats
We obviously love the flavor and texture of overnight oats, but did you know they’re a healthy breakfast idea perfect for any time of year? Here are some health benefits of overnight oats:
- 100% Whole grains: oatmeal is a whole grain and a nutritious way to start your morning.
- Fiber-packed: per serving, oatmeal has 4g fiber.
- On-the-go breakfast: prep your overnight oats in a jar or meal-prep container and take it with you.
- Meal prep: double or triple a batch of overnight oatmeal and you’ll have breakfast ready all week long.
- Lower in sugar: Our healthy overnight oats recipes are made with all-natural sweeteners and fruit.
What is in overnight oats?
The most obvious ingredient in overnight oats is…oatmeal! But, did you know that you can actually use 3 different types of oatmeal? Each is equally delicious but has a slightly different texture.
Rolled oats: rolled oats (or old fashioned oats) are the most common oat to use in overnight oats and become thick and creamy after soaking in liquid.
Quick-cooking oats: quick-cooking oats end up more like a cold porridge, but they’re still chewy and flavor super well.
Steel-cut oats: your steel-cut overnight oats will end up best if you use a quick-cooking steel-cut oat and give it a quick microwave before letting it soak overnight. The texture of these has more of a bite to it, but it’s so good good! Try our Overnight Steel Cut Oats recipe.
Other Common Ingredients
- Milk: milk is our preferred liquid to make overnight oats and very essential. You can use any kind of milk you want such as cow’s milk, almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, etc.
- Chia seeds: Chia seeds are not only a great source of antioxidants, fiber, and omega-3’s, but they help thicken your overnight oats and make them extremely creamy and satisfying.
- Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is such an amazing, tangy add-in for overnight oats that really enhances the flavor and makes them extra creamy. Oh, and it’s a great post of extra protein.
- Vanilla extract: You can’t go wrong with vanilla. We almost always add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to all overnight oatmeal recipes!
- Honey or maple syrup: All natural sweeteners are key when it comes to overnight oats. Ditch the table sugar or brown sugar for something more natural like honey or maple syrup.
- Fresh/Dried Fruit: In many of our recipes you’ll find the oats flavored with fresh and dried fruit. Try blueberry, banana, or lemon!
Our Favorite Overnight Oatmeal Topping
Don’t skip topping your overnight oats with nut butter! You can use almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, or any of your favorite seed or nut butters.
Other Toppings Ideas
- Fresh fruit
- Granola butter
- Chia seeds
Recommended Kitchen Tools
How to Make Overnight Oats (2 Steps)
The best part about overnight oats is that they are so easy to make! Think 5 minutes and done. Here is a quick rundown:
- Mix: Combine all ingredients for your overnight oats in a bowl or jar and stir until combined.
- Soak: Cover oatmeal and let soak in the fridge overnight or for at least 2 hours.
Do I have to let me oats sit overnight? The longer you let your oats soak in the liquid, the thicker they will be. We recommend at LEAST 2 hours, but overnight is optimal.
Oats too thick or too thin?
- Too thick: add more milk and mix to thin things out.
- Too thin: add more oats and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
Overnight Oats FAQ
We get so many questions on the daily about overnight oats, so we laid out all the deets for you below!
Overnight oats are meant to be eaten cold, however, if you prefer warm oats you always have the option to heat them up. Because you soak the oats overnight, they become soft and easy to digest making them delicious eaten cold!
I like to eat my overnight oats thick and chewy with more of a bite, but you can always add more milk to thin things out.
Yes! Our standard milk to rolled oatmeal ratio is 1.5 cups of milk to 1 cup rolled oats.
Overnight oats will typically stay good in the fridge for 3-5 days (depending on what recipe you use).
Overnight oatmeal is a healthy breakfast idea because it’s 100% whole grain and packed with fiber.
Of course, you can make overnight oats without milk. If you need a dairy-free option, you can use any kind of dairy-free milk or even use water!
Oats are great for weight loss because they are high in fiber and a 100% whole grain. They aid in regulation and will keep you fuller longer.
It takes about 5 minutes to prepare overnight oats and about another 2 hours for the overnight oats to soak and be ready to eat! We recommend preparing your overnight oats before bed so that you can wake up to an already-made breakfast!
You can make overnight oats with quick-cooking oats. You can sub quick-cooking oats for rolled oatmeal 1:1.
You can make overnight oats with seel cut overnight oats but they require a bit more liquid and leg work. We have an easy steel cut overnight oats recipe for you to try.
If you make your overnight oats right in a mason jar, you can store them just like that. Store them in single-serve containers like jars is a great way to portion control, too!
And now…for our favorite overnight oatmeal recipes from Fit Foodie Finds! Check them out, below!
8 Healthy Overnight Oats Recipes
- Maple French Toast Overnight Oats
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Overnight Oats
- Moose Tracks Overnight Oats
- Neapolitan Overnight Oats
- Coconut Latte Overnight Oats
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Overnight Oats
- Vanilla Strawberry Overnight Oats
Have your french toast and oatmeal too. Make Maple French Toast Vegan Overnight Oats for an easy, make-ahead breakfast that’s packed with maple and cinnamon flavor! This healthy vegan overnight oats recipe is high in fiber and whole grains.
These 6-ingredient peanut butter and jelly overnight oats are the perfect way to start off your morning! They’re made with a peanut butter overnight oatmeal base and topped with your favorite jelly giving you tons of fiber, protein, and a whole lotta lovin’.
Love Moose Tracks Ice Cream? Try this overnight oat recipe to get a HEALTHY variation including a vanilla base with a fudge swirl and cookie dough pieces. This overnight oatmeal recipe is perfect for meal prep throughout the week if you are looking for something sweet.
3 flavors are better than one! Make Neapolitan Overnight Oats and get a HEALTHY bite of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry in every bite. This overnight oats recipe is packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fats!
Got 5 minutes? Whip up these delicious coconut latte vegan overnight oats for an easy, fiber-filled breakfast that are oh-so-delish! This overnight oatmeal recipe only requires 5 simple and healthy ingredients to make and this breakfast that will have you full all morning long.
Chocolate-covered strawberries for breakfast? YES PLEASE! Make this chocolate-covered strawberry overnight oats recipe and eat dessert for breakfast. Well, not really, but it sure does taste like it! These overnight oats are packed with fiber, 100% whole grain, and a healthy breakfast option all week long.
These peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough overnight oats pack 15 grams of protein and a ton of fiber! Sick of your typical breakfast routine? Whip up these overnight oats and kick off your day off with a delicious and nutritious breakfast that will keep you full til lunch!
These Strawberry Vanilla Overnight Oats are a breakfast meal-prep miracle! All you have to do is throw all of the ingredients into a jar, let them sit overnight, and an easy and delicious breakfast is ready for you in the morning. Not only are these overnight oats tasty, but they are packed with fiber and protein to keep you satisfied until lunch!