Overnight oats make for an incredibly versatile breakfast or snack.
They can be enjoyed warm or cold and prepared days in advance with minimal prep.
Moreover, you can top this tasty meal with an array of nutritious ingredients that benefit your health.
This article provides 7 tasty, nutritious, and easy overnight oats recipes.
1. Basic overnight oats
Most overnight oats recipes are based on the same few ingredients.
- Oats. Old-fashioned oats work best for overnight oats. For a shorter soaking time, use quick oats, and for a longer one, use steel-cut oats.
- Milk. Use cow’s milk or a fortified, unsweetened, plant-based milk of your choice at a 1:1 ratio with the oats. For example, 1/2 cup (120 ml) of milk per 1/2 cup (120 ml) of oats.
- Chia seeds (optional). Chia seeds act like glue to bind the ingredients. Use 1/4 part chia seeds per 1 part oats. For instance, use 1/8 cup (30 ml) chia seeds per 1/2 cup (120 ml) oats.
- Yogurt (optional). Yogurt adds extra protein and creaminess. Use a dairy or plant-based yogurt and adjust the amount to your preference.
- Vanilla (optional). A dash of vanilla extract or vanilla bean adds a touch of flavor to your overnight oats.
- Sweetener (optional). A little maple syrup, 2–3 chopped dates, or half a mashed banana can sweeten your overnight oats.
Overnight oats are a great source of many nutrients.
One prepared cup (240 ml) of the basic recipe made with 2% cow’s milk and without the optional ingredients provides the following (1):
- Calories: 215 calories
- Carbs: 33grams
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Sugars: 7 grams
- Fat: 5 grams
- Protein: 9grams
- Vitamin D: 299% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Manganese: 25% of the DV
- Selenium: 27% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 26% of the DV
- Vitamin B12: 25% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 23% of the DV
- Copper: 22% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 22% of the DV
This amount of overnight oats also provides 12–19% of the DV for calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, thiamine, and pantothenic acid.
Oats contain more protein and fat than most other grains. They are also a particularly good source of beta glucan, a type of fiber that reduces hunger and promotes feelings of fullness (2, 3, 4).
Naturally, the nutritional content of this recipe varies depending on the type of milk and which optional ingredients you choose to include.
To prepare your overnight oats, simply combine all the ingredients and refrigerate them overnight in an airtight container.
The oats and chia seeds soak up the milk and soften overnight, yielding a pudding-like texture come the next morning.
Overnight oats keep for up to four days when refrigerated in an airtight container. That means you can easily batch-prepare larger portions of the base recipe and add your favorite toppings to individual portions throughout the week for variation (5).