The Best Way to Make Overnight Oats (No Recipe Required!)
Want more healthy meal prep ideas? This easy-to-follow formula is everything you need to make perfect overnight oats every single time.
Pictured Recipe: Creamy Blueberry-Pecan Overnight Oatmeal
If you haven't already jumped on the overnight oatmeal bandwagon, there's no time like the present! Overnight oats (and, really, any easy breakfast you can put in a mason jar to grab and go to work) save my life on a daily basis, and here's why.
They're completely no-cook & easy to meal prep. Just load up mason jars with oats and water (or milk or nondairy milk) and let them soak overnight in the fridge. I make three jars at once so I have breakfast ready for me three mornings in a row without even having to think about it. Then I can just throw one in my bag to eat at work if I don't have time to sit and eat at home (says the one who wakes up 20 minutes before getting on the road—the beauty of meal prep recipes).
You can change the flavor profile in a jiff. Just top each one with a different fruit or nut. Or, stir in a little yogurt, some spices, cocoa powder, nut butter or whatever you need to mix up your stale breakfast routine.
And, of course, they're a delicious breakfast that's actually good for you! With overnight oats, you get the goodness of fiber and vitamins and minerals from the whole grain, and you can control the added sugars to keep them much lower than flavored instant oatmeal.
Whether you're already on board with overnight oats or you're just a beginner, use this easy formula to make perfectly creamy oatmeal every time with delicious flavor combos of your own.
Related: All the Oatmeal Recipes You Need
Step 1: Prep Oats the Night Before
Pictured Recipe: Apple-Cinnamon Overnight Oats
Mix equal parts old-fashioned oats (rolled oats, that is, not quick-cooking-they'll get too mushy) and water along with a pinch of salt in a jar, cover and refrigerate overnight and up to 3 days. For one serving, we recommend using:
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup water (or milk or nondairy milk)
- pinch of salt
Step 2: Topping Time
Pictured recipe: Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Overnight Oats with Banana
This is where you get to be the oatmeal master! Sweet, savory, it's up to you. Once your oats are soaked and ready to go, open up that jar to add mix-ins and toppings. (You can also heat your oats first if you want warm oatmeal; just microwave in the jar-without the lid!-for about 30 seconds before topping.)
First, stir in sweeteners, creamy agents and spices, such as:
- nut butters or chocolate spread
- yogurt or ricotta
- milk or nut milk
- maple syrup, honey or sugar
- ground cinnamon
- curry powder
- ground cardamom
Then, top it off with some fruit for natural sweetness and/or chopped nuts for a little extra crunch and texture, such as:
- raisins, dried cranberries or dried cherries
- sliced bananas
- chopped dates or dried figs
- chopped pecans or cashews
- slivered almonds
- flaked coconut
Step 3: Dig In
Pictured recipe: Blueberry-Banana Overnight Oats
If you can't wait, go ahead and dig in at home. But for those mornings when you're rushing out the door, put that lid back on and take it to go. Or, even better, keep some toppings at work to mix in once you get there so you don't have to do anything to get a delicious, healthy breakfast put together before leaving the house.