This is my favourite overnight oats recipe, made with just a few ingredients and a touch of vanilla. An easy overnight oatmeal is a super healthy breakfast that you can make ahead for busy mornings. Even if you’re working from home these days, a pre-prepped breakfast is always a bonus when you’re starting the day.
Overnight oats are made by combining old fashioned rolled oats and milk and then letting the mixture sit overnight in your refrigerator. Does this sound sketchy to you? Me too. I always thought you had to COOK the oats in order to eat them. NOT TRUE. The oats actually soak up some of the milk and soften a bit but also retain some of their chewy texture. It’s the same premise as making a creamy Swiss muesli. I once had a muesli at a resort up north that I was obsessed with, never got the recipe down pat but these overnight oats is very similar to the texture and taste that I loved.
Another question answered. Do you eat overnight oats cold or warm? This is 100% up to you. I tend to like mine at room temperature or slightly warmed but I’ve eaten it straight out of the fridge and it’s just as delish.
- Oats: Traditionally, overnight oats are made with old-fashioned (rolled) oats. Do not substitute quick oats or instant oats, as the texture would be yucky. You can use steel cut oats in this recipe but expect a much chewier texture. If you’re going the steel cut oats route, I recommend soaking the overnight oats for at least 24 hours which I always do anyways so it’s all good. One more thing, I use gluten-free oats. It works just as well as the rolled oats.
- Milk: Use the milk of choice in this recipe. Dairy, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, cashew milk… they will all work! Just don’t get crazy and use water because milk will give you the best flavour and creaminess in the recipe.
- Sweetener: I use pure maple syrup or raw honey to sweeten my overnight oats. You can also use honey, brown sugar or coconut sugar. Feel free to adjust the amount of sweetener to your tastes, or leave it out all together for a sugar-free breakfast.
- Vanilla Extract: This is a KEY ingredient, and I suggest you don’t skip it! Adding just a tiny splash of vanilla extract to your overnight oats before soaking them overnight makes a huge difference in the flavour. The vanilla adds a delicious flavour, aroma and sweetness.
- Optional Add-Ins: You can stop at ingredients mentioned above, or add other mix-ins to your jar of oats. Some of my faves are protein/collagen powder, Greek yogurt, a nut based butter and chia seeds, flax seeds or hemp seeds for a nutritional boost. I’ve also added a dash of cinnamon for flavour.
- Toppings: I always add my toppings in the morning otherwise they tend to get mushy. Try some fresh berries, sliced banana or peaches. Nuts and seeds such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, pepitas, or sunflower seeds add a delicious crunch. If you want to add frozen berries you can do so the night before and they will defrost overnight.
Overnight oats will last for up to four days in the refrigerator, so they are a great option for make ahead meal prep breakfasts. I like to make individual portions of oats in mason jars so you can just reach in and grab one for breakfast. No fuss. No muss.
What’s the best part of this overnight oats recipe?
Yep. That’s yet.
I know you have 5 minutes to make these.
- 1 cup rolled oats (I used gluten-free)
- 1½ cups milk
- 1 tbsp chia seeds or ground flax meal
- splash of vanilla extract
- optional - 1 scoop of protein or collagen powder
- 1 cup blackberries
- 2 tbsp slivered almonds
- maple syrup or raw honey for drizzle
- Coconut yogurt (or any type of yogurt you like)
- Place the oats, protein powder, chia seeds and milk into a mason jar or container with a lid. Shake or stir until ingredients until well combined. Chill overnight. Garnish with desired toppings and serve.