Easy Healthy Overnight Oats (The Best Lazy Breakfast)
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If you’re guilty of hitting the snooze buttons too many times and missing out on breakfast as a result, these overnight oats recipes are here to help!
I’ve included step by step instructions for the easiest overnight oats ever, and six of my favourite flavours to experiment with.
All the prep and assembly is completed the night before so they’re the best easy breakfast ever – all you have to do is remember to take the overnight oats out of the fridge the next morning.
They’re portable and can be eaten on the commute, in the office, or at home. You’ll never skip breakfast again!
Rolled oats work best, in my opinion, since they get softer more quickly than steel cut oats, which are generally thicker.
Use your milk of choice for overnight oats: dairy milk or non-dairy milk like oat milk, soy milk, almond milk, cashew milk or coconut milk.
Adding the nuts of your choice to your oats is a great way of getting protein into your breakfast.
Sweet and woody cinnamon perfectly complements overnight oats, but you can add any and all of your favourite spices like cardamom or vanilla extract.
Just a little honey gives these quick oats a sweet edge, but if you’re vegan you can use maple syrup, agave syrup or brown sugar instead.
Overnight oats can take any of your favorite toppings (peanut butter, greek yogurt, chocolate chips, flax seeds, fresh fruit or dried fruit), though I’ve recommended my favorite flavor combinations below.
How many calories are in overnight oats?
This recipe contains 350 calories per serving, and it contains 15g protein per serving.
Here’s an overview of what a single serving contains:
These quick breakfast recipes are packed with around 15g of protein per serving and are a great egg-free vegetarian breakfast.
This breakfast can also be dairy-free and vegan, and gluten free if you use gluten free oats!
Health Benefits of Overnight Oats
Oats are packed with fiber, the main soluble fiber being beta-glucan. This is the magic ingredient which leaves you feeling fuller for longer thanks to the fact that they slow down digestion, suppress appetite and increase satiety.
Besides being super-filling, oats are a fantastic source of minerals and antioxidants including Phosphorus, Thiamine, Zinc, Iron and Magnesium.
There are numerous studies which have found that oats are associated with health benefits like reduced cholesterol, reduced risk of coronary heart disease and improved blood sugar control.
Plus, adding your favourite nuts to your overnight oats can really boost the protein content – for example, sprinkling your oats with a portion of almonds adds 7g of protein! This makes overnight oats perfect for a post work out breakfast to refuel and help build muscle.
The evidence for oats is pretty compelling, and I think overnight oats are one of the quickest and healthiest breakfasts for busy mornings.
How to make the best Overnight Oats
Preparation: Prep for overnight oats is pretty minimal, but if you’re using fresh fruit, you’ll need to cut it up into chunks, and may wish to chop large nuts into smaller chunks. Measure out half a cup oats and half a cup of milk.
Assembly: Pour the milk and oats into a jar and add your toppings. Place it in the fridge and leave overnight.
The morning after: Remove the oats from the fridge a while before eating to bring them to room temperature if you don’t want them cold.
Ta-dah! It really is that simple.
Overnight Oats FAQs
Can I make them ahead?
Make this recipe the night (or around 8 hours) before you intend to eat them, to allow the oats to absorb the milk and get soft. However, overnight oats also stay fresh for 2-3 days so they can be prepared further in advance.
How to store and re-heat overnight oats?
Store the oats in a mason jar, a reused food jar, or even a tupperware (basically any airtight container), and heat by placing them in the microwave for a couple of minutes the next morning – just be sure to check the container is microwavable. Of course, you can eat them cold, and I normally do!
What to serve with overnight oats?
Overnight oatmeal is the perfect, filling breakfast all by themselves, but follow them up with a protein smoothie for extra satiety!
Are overnight oats healthy?
Overnight oats are a very healthy breakfast, since they’re full of fibre, protein and antioxidants – they’re also quick, simple and cheap to meal prep!
Are overnight oats good for weight loss?
These oats are the perfect weight loss breakfast because their high beta glucan fibre content leaves you feeling fuller for longer, and their 15g of protein per serving helps to build muscle.
How long do the oats have to soak before I can eat them?
Ideally let them sit for eight hours, but they should be fine after around four hours.
Can I use yoghurt instead of milk?
Sure! Just make sure you give it all a good stir or pop the lid on tightly and give the whole thing a solid shake.
Can I add protein powder to my overnight oats in a jar?
Definitely! You’ll want to add a little more liquid though and give them a good shake/stir to avoid lumps.
What’s the difference between rolled oats and oatmeal?
Don’t panic, they’re the same thing, and are ideal for making this breakfast.
Overnight Oats Variations and Alternatives
I have included a simple overnight oats recipe that is a perfect base recipe if you’re just trying overnight oats for the first time.
Once you’ve fallen in love with this easy and delicious breakfast, scroll further to see six flavourful toppings combinations that I love.
Using these, or experimenting with your own flavours will keep your overnight oats breakfasts varied and interesting.
- ⅔ tbsp chia seeds
- some slices of fruit (again, any are possible. Well, maybe not avocado. Or tomato.)
- any berries (fresh or frozen)
- Throw everything in a jar, screw the lid on top, shake, and off it goes into the fridge.
- The next morning add a dash of milk, a sweetener (if you want) and enjoy 🙂
Our 6 favourite Overnight Oats Recipes
I’ve experimented a lot with different oatmeal recipes over the last couple of years.
Some results were amazing, some were not so good. But it was all worth it! Let me introduce you to our 6 favourite overnight oats recipes!
What great combo of peaches, almonds, lemon juice and maple syrup. All goes really well together, refreshing and filling at the same time. Tip: once peaches are out of season substitute them for pears.
A beautiful mix of bananas, cacao powder and peanut butter. All three ingredients are known for their “affinity” to each other. You’ll taste what I mean!
Get in a proper batch of tropical vibes every morning! Pineapple goes so well with coconut and vanilla, you wouldn’t believe.
An excellent choice of milk would be rice or coconut milk since it complements the other ingredients nicely as well.
This flavour combo just can’t go wrong. Cinnamon, apple sauce and oats work so well together, it’ll take a long long time till you get finally tired of it!
Who doesn’t like cheesecake? Nobody. And who doesn’t agree blueberry cheesecakes are the best of cheesecakes? Nobody.
And this is why I tried to recreate this delicious treat for breakfast. And I have to say it worked very well. Try out this delicious combination of blueberries, lemon, yogurt and maple syrup. You won’t be disappointed!
Another excellent combination of foods that match very well together: Grapes + Walnuts + Yogurt + Cinnamon = win! A true oatmeal beauty.
If you’re in need of more overnight oat inspiration, check out these 26 recipes below:
- Kat’s Vegan Overnight Oats in a Jar
- Key Lime Pie Overnight Oats
- Pumpkin Persimmon Overnight Oats
- Blueberry Lemon Overnight Oats Parfait
- Banana Blueberry Overnight Oats
- Cinnamon Apple Overnight Oats
- Almond Joy Overnight Oats
- Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats
- Raspberry Almond Overnight Oats
- Banana Bread Overnight Oats
- Salted Turtle Overnight Oats Chocolate Dates and Pecans
- Raspberry Almond Overnight Oats Recipe
- Tropical Overnight Oats
- Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Overnight Oats
- Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats
- Make Ahead Fruit Yogurt Breakfast Parfaits
- My Favourite Overnight Oats
- Recipe Coconut Mango Overnight Oatmeal
- How to Master Overnight Oats Chia Bowls
- Blueberry Muffin Batter Overnight Oats
- Healthy Breakfast Ideas Overnight Oats
- Vegan Overnight Oats
- Healthy Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Oats
- Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats
- Cinnamon Date Overnight Oats
- Cinnamon Roll Spice Oatmeal
Best flavours for overnight oatmeal
These include Blueberry Cheesecake and a Chocolate Banana flavour with cocoa powder that will have you actually excited to wake up and eat breakfast!
The basic overnight oats recipe is really the perfect blank slate for different flavors. I can’t even begin to list all the possible variations and alternatives because your imagination is really the limit!
I suggest using rolled oats (also known as old-fashioned oats) since they are flakier and get softer more quickly.
However, steel-cut oats are also a good option, just be sure to select a brand that aren’t too thick, so that they get nice and soft by the morning.
Are overnight oats good for people with allergies?
If you are gluten intolerant or Coeliac, be sure to buy oats that are labelled as gluten-free oats, as regular oats contain a protein called avenin, which is similar to gluten.
Also be sure to check the packaging on instant oats, as these often contain added sugars and sweeteners.
However, these oats are cut much more finely than other types of oats, so will get soft very quickly and may be a good option if you don’t have many hours to soak your oats.
If you prefer to make your oats with water, feel free to use this instead of milk. If you’d like to add an extra bit of creaminess to your water based oats, mix in a dollop of peanut butter or almond butter, which also happen to be great sources of protein.
More Oats Recipes
If you’ve got a sweet tooth and want a breakfast treat, these banana oatmeal cookies are for you!
Try oats another way with this homemade Swiss Bircher muesli.
This high protein oat bake is basically a really healthy breakfast cake – yes, really!
What our readers are saying
Thank you for sharing this! I have made this so many times. Everyone that tries it, loves it!Polly ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is a recipe for all ages! As a high school student I always find myself running to catch the bus before I could eat breakfast (and sometimes have embarrassing stomach growls right before lunch). I am so glad I found overnight oats so that I could make this before bed and eat on the way to school! Thanks so much, I loved the post. 😀Cindy ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This looks tasty! These are absolutely mouth watering! It will quickly disappear in our house, very tasty and flavorful!Olga ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
If you enjoyed this delicious recipe, please leave a rating on the recipe card, and let us know your favourite toppings in the comments!