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How to Make Overnight Oats + 11 Flavors to Try

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11 Awesome Flavors of Overnight Oats! Overnight oats are a delicious make-ahead breakfast the whole family will love. And with this many flavors (and inspiration for more!), you’ll never run out of ideas! (Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan-friendly)

7 Flavors of Overnight Oats from One Lovely Life

Overnight oats are nothing new–this healthy breakafast has been on the scene for years–but it seems like they’re going through a big revival lately, as I see recipes popping up all over the place. Everyone makes their oats a bit differently–some people love adding yogurt for a more muesli effect, some people always add chia seeds, some only add mix-ins right before serving.

But almost any way you make them, overnight oats make a delicious meal-prep breakfast you can make with pantry staples any time!

I thought I’d walk you through the basics of overnight oats, as well as 8 different ways to make them (one for every day of the week!). Let’s get to it!

7 Flavors of Overnight Oats from One Lovely Life
7 Flavors of Overnight Oats from One Lovely Life

OVERNIGHT OATS: THE BASICS

WHAT ARE OVERNIGHT OATS? Overnight oats are a yummy, no-cook way to prepare oats. They’re oats that have been soaked in milk, which makes the oats more easily digestible and makes them a great meal-prep breakfast. They’re usually mixed with other ingredients for taste, such as sweetener (maple syrup, honey, or sugar), a *little* salt, and extras like vanilla, nuts, seeds, fruit, etc. The texture is soft and creamy without being soggy or gluey.

DO YOU REALLY HAVE TO SOAK THEM OVERNIGHT? Nope! I’ve found oats will start to soften in about 20-30 minutes, so if you’re in a pinch, you don’t need to refrigerate them overnight.

DO YOU EAT OVERNIGHT OATS HOT OR COLD? Most people eat overnight oats cold, straight from the fridge. The soaking process makes the oats easier to digest, and they’ll still taste great cold. If you don’t want to eat them cold, you can absolutely heat yours through. Since the oats are soaked, they’ll likely cook faster, so keep that in mind as you heat them on the stove or in the microwave.

WHAT KIND OF OATS DO YOU USE FOR OVERNIGHT OATS? I typically make my overnight oatmeal recipes with rolled oats (sometimes labeled “old-fashioned oats”). You can use quick oats in a pinch, though they get a bit softer, and some people prefer using steel-cut. I personally find steel-cut oats remain too chewy for my taste but do what works best for you!

WHAT ARE THE BEST JARS FOR OVERNIGHT OATS? I love my Weck jars and use them for All The Things, but I also use these glass containers with lids regularly. Anything you can cover will work!

7 Flavors of Overnight Oats from One Lovely Life
7 Flavors of Overnight Oats from One Lovely Life

MY BASIC RECIPE FOR OVERNIGHT OATS

WHAT’S IN YOUR BASIC OVERNIGHT OATS RECIPE? My easy overnight oats recipe has pretty straightforward, pantry-staple ingredients I always have on hand. We’re talking:

  • 1/3 CUP ROLLED OATS. Rolled oats are my fave for overnight oats because they soften without getting mushy. If you’re gluten-free, be sure you’re using certified gluten-free oats!
  • 2 TSP. CHIA SEEDS. Chia seeds make these oats nice and creamy, and–bonus!–add some healthy fats and proteins which help this breakfast stick with you. Not a chia person? You can skip them–your oats just won’t be quite as creamy)
  • 1/2-3/4 CUP MILK. You can use whatever milk you typically drink for your overnight oats. You can use whatever milk you typically drink for your overnight oats. We’re dairy-free, so I usually opt for a non-dairy milk like almond milk, but you can use cashew milk, oat milk, or dairy milk depending on your needs. (Soy milk, rice milk, hemp, etc. all work, too!)
  • 1-2 TSP. SWEETENER (I LIKE MAPLE SYRUP OR HONEY). You can go as light or heavy as your tastebuds dictate, but I typically go with 1-2 tsp. of pure maple syrup or honey in my oats. You can use whatever sweetener you like, to taste.
  • A TINY PINCH OF SALT. To round out the flavors and keep my oats from tasting flat, I add a tiny (less than 1/8 tsp.) pinch of salt.
  • A LITTLE VANILLA OR GOODIES!  To give my overnight oats a little flavor, I like adding a few drops of vanilla or cinnamon, but you can flavor these ALL kinds of ways! (Keep scrolling for ideas!)

You’ll mix everything together in a bowl, then chill at least 30-60 minutes, up to overnight. Give it all a good stir in the morning (add a splash of milk, if needed), and dive in!

From there, you get to choose your flavor by adding some mix-ins…

7 Flavors of Overnight Oats from One Lovely Life

MIX-IN IDEAS FOR OVERNIGHT OATS

You can mix and match basically any goodies you like once you’ve mastered the basic overnight oats recipe, such as…

  • NUTS & SEEDS (almonds, cashews, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, etc.)
  • FRESH FRUIT (bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches, etc.(
  • DRIED FRUIT (coconut, raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried blueberries, etc.)
  • FREEZE-DRIED FRUITS (freeze-dried strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mango, pineapple, etc.)
  • NUT BUTTER OR SEED BUTTER (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, chocolate hazelnut butter, sunflower seed butter, etc.)
  • FUN EXTRAS (vanilla extract, cinnamon, almond extract, chocolate chips, cacao nibs, cocoa powder, powdered peanut butter, protein powder, etc.)

THINGS GET REALLY FUN WITH A FEW CLASSIC COMBINATIONS. HERE ARE 11 FLAVORS OF OVERNIGHT OATS TO TRY…

Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats from One Lovely Life

Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats

Strawberry-banana is such a yummy classic combination! I love how the natural sweetness of the fruit really comes into play here. This fresh, fruity breakfast is fantastic on a busy morning! (Don’t miss the extra toppings I love adding in the morning!)

Overhead view of vegan chocolate peanut butter overnight oats drizzled with peanut butter and topped with chopped peanuts and cacao nibs

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Wake up to a yummy meal prep breakfast with our peanut butter chocolate overnight oats recipe! It’s delicious, and easy to make in advance. (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats from One Lovely Life

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

Creamy, delicious overnight oats with a blueberry muffin twist! You’ll love this combination. I switch between using cinnamon and my chai spice mixture. Plus, there are some YUMMY topping options in the most I think you’ll LOVE. 

Chunky Monkey Overnight Oats from One Lovely Life

Chunky Monkey Overnight Oats

This overnight oats recipe was totally based on ice cream. However, this version is 100% breakfast approved–creamy peanut butter banana overnight oats with a little coconut and *maybe* a little chocolate…

Chocolate Hazelnut Overnight Oats from One Lovely Life

Chocolate Hazelnut Overnight Oats

You can totally have chocolate for breakfast when it’s served like this! These chocolate hazelnut overnight oats get their chocolate kick from unsweetened cocoa powder, and when you pair them with the crunch of some hazelnuts…you get major Nutella vibes. #winning

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats with pecans and pepitas with a spoon ready to take a bite

Healthy Pumpkin Overnight Oats (That Taste Like Pie!)

We channel pumpkin pie vibes into this healthy overnight oats recipe. I love this so much during the fall and winter months!

Cinnamon Raisin Overnight Oats from One Lovely Life

Cinnamon Raisin Overnight Oats

All the flavors you love in an oatmeal raisin cookie turned into overnight oats! This meal-prep breakfast almost feels like cheating…

Front view of a jar of raspberry overnight oats topped with sliced almonds and chocolate.

Raspberry Overnight Oats

A delicious twist with a bright, fresh raspberry layer on the bottom that’s LOVELY stirred into the creamy overnight oats. There are so many delicious ways to top these oats, but my favorite involves even more raspberries, some sliced almonds, and a few cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips for good luck. 😉

Overhead view of a jar of almond joy overnight oats topped with chocolate and coconut.

Almond Joy Overnight Oats

A gorgeous chocolatey breakfast that’s made from good-for-you ingredients but tastes like a treat. Count me in! Pro tip: toast the coconut if you can–it adds amazing flavor!

Cherry Almond Overnight Oats from One Lovely Life

Cherry Almond Overnight Oats

Creamy overnight oats loaded with tangy cherries and crunchy almonds. This yummy overnight oats recipe is one of our favorites! Plus, you can totally swap out the dried cherries for fresh when they’re in season. 

Honey Almond Overnight Oats from One Lovely Life

Honey Almond Overnight Oats

Creamy overnight oats studded with crunchy almonds and a kiss of honey. This honey almond overnight oats recipe is dynamite on its own, but it’s also the perfect “home base” for adding all sorts of yummy toppings–berries, peaches, etc. I love that you can change it up based on what’s in season!

7 Flavors of Overnight Oats from One Lovely Life

What are YOUR favorite flavors? 

88 Comments

  1. I’ve always wanted to try overnight oats because they look so delicious! One question, do you eat them cold, or do you heat them up in the morning… was that dumb? They look like you would eat them cold, but I just wanted to make sure!

    1. Not a dumb question! I eat them cold (it’s like a parfait or rice pudding), but (as long as you haven’t put any yogurt in them) you can pop them right in the microwave like normal oatmeal. Just add an extra splash of milk. They’ll cook faster since the oats have been soaking all night.

        1. Vickie – Mostly, I know that when I’ve tried it with our yogurt (dairy free) it can sometimes sort of “curdle” in the microwave or take on a sour taste. But that’s largely personal preference! I know lots of folks who like to add yogurt to their hot oatmeal. It’s up to you!

  2. I know it’s really weird, but I do flax and spinach, then throw a little cheese in and an egg on top while I microwave them the next morning (or microwave with egg whites). I just prefer savory to sweet and I love getting some greens in my breakfast!

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for posting these delicious, easy and nutritious overnight oat recipes! Love them! =)

  4. You’ve inspired me to finally try some overnight oats. The only problem is deciding which one to try first 🙂 Thanks for these easy & healthy recipes!

    1. Thank you so much! They’re Weck jars. I got them here for a good price (waited for a sale and stacked a coupon). They last forever and they’re so cute!

  5. These look great and I am always looking for new ideas with my oats! I have some in the fridge right now that have chia seeds, pineapple, and coconut! I can’t wait to dig into them tomorrow!

  6. For the recipes with peanut butter, have you tried the powdered pb2 in them? I’m wondering with the milk if I would need to add the water normally used to mix the peanut butter. These recipes look great and thanks for the great explanation of what they are for us newbies!

    1. Amy – I haven’t tried them with pb2, but I would think you’d probably at least want to add a little extra liquid (since the powder would be absorbing some of the liquid).

      If you give it a try, I’d love to know how it turns out for you!

  7. I have a question, I’m wanting to try these but was thinking about prepping more than one so I can just grab them and go. Is it bad if they stay in the fridge for more than one night? Would they get soggy? Thanks so much for the recipe this is one I’m definetly going to try 🙂

    1. Sarah – Great question! They do get a bit soggy, but I don’t mind. I can do two at a time without feeling like I’m losing much in the way of texture of flavor.

      I like prepping ahead of time, too, so I mix up all the dry ingredients in jars (usually for about a week’s worth of jars at a time) and then usually just add the milk and pop them in the fridge right after dinner the night before. Does that help at all? I hope so!

  8. How long do they stay good for? Do you make a couple at a time or do you make a single serving each night?

    1. I find that the texture starts to get too mushy for my taste after the 3 day mark. What I like to do is pre-measure all the dry ingredients for a week’s worth at a time (they’re shelf stable when dry), then I add milk and any fresh ingredients (like banana or berries) about twice a week making about 3 days at a time.

  9. Do you layer everything in the jar, or do u stir it all together before putting in the frig overnight?

    1. Mollie – I’m so sorry I don’t have nutrition facts readily available. You can plug the ingredients into any online calculator. My favorite is MyFitnessPal (either the free app or the website). You can even import recipes straight from the web!

        1. Erica – In the MyFitnessPal app, you click the three dots on the right hand side over “more.” Then, select “Meals, Recipes & Foods.”

          From there, you can click “Create a Recipe” and it’ll give you the option to “Add from the Web” or “Enter Ingredients Manually.” I highly recommend entering the ingredients manually for the most accurate results.

          (Lately, the “Add from the web” option hasn’t been working for me on any site that I’ve tried (I don’t think it’s compatible with the modern/current recipe plug-ins most bloggers are running these days)

          I hope that helps!

  10. When you toasted the oats do you put them on parchment paper or anything? Or just straight onto the baking sheet?

    1. I’ve never had mine stick since there’s nothing wet on them (no honey or coconut oil, etc.). I just put them right on the baking sheet! If you’re nervous, you can always put parchment or a silicone baking mat under them. Best of luck!

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