How to Make Overnight Oatmeal

If you're not already making overnight oatmeal, you're missing out on one of the easiest healthy breakfasts out there. Plus, the recipe is super adaptable, with dozens of potential toppings and flavor combinations. What are you waiting for?

Oatmeal in a glass topped with raspberries and nuts

The Internet is buzzing about overnight oats-and for good reason. It’s everything you want in a breakfast: easy, healthy, quick and customizable. Make it in a jar at night, and you’ll have a grab-and-go breakfast in the morning. You can even prep it on the weekend and feel good knowing a hearty breakfast is in the bag.

Our Test Kitchen teaches you how to make overnight oatmeal, and serves up some ideas for flavor variations.

For one serving, you’ll need these basic ingredients:

1/3 cup old-fashioned oats

3 tablespoons milk

3 tablespoons plain yogurt

Test Kitchen Tip: Quick-cooking oats will be softer; regular, old-fashioned oats will have a chewier texture.

You’ll also want some mix-ins. For a classic take, we like to add:

A sweetener, such as honey or maple syrup. About 1 tablespoon, or to taste

A healthy, flavorful mixer, such as fresh or dried fruit, to taste

A crunchy mixer, such as nuts or coconut flakes, to taste

Test Kitchen Tip: If you want to make a big batch, just stick to the above ratio, increasing the amounts as much as you’d like. We like to store each serving in an individual container for easy grab-and-go eatin’.

honey being mixed in with a spoon to the oatmeal mixture and a person topping finished oatmeal with raspberries and nuts

Step 1: Mix

In a small container or mason jar, combine oats, milk, yogurt and honey. You can either add the toppings tonight, or wait ’til morning. Keep in mind: Items like nuts may lose some texture with the overnight soak.

oatmeal chilling in a lidded glass container

Step 2: Chill

Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for up to a few days. The texture will get a bit softer over time.

Step 3: Eat

Yup, that’s it. Enjoy!

As you can tell from the recipe, overnight oats are pretty much infinitely flexible. Here are a few more ideas for flavorings:

  • Seasonal fresh fruit and toasted nuts (think strawberries and pistachios, apples and pecans or peaches and walnuts)
  • Use an alternative milk, such as nut, soy or rice
  • Coconut milk adds a rich, creamy flavor
  • Skip the yogurt and add an additional 3 tablespoons of liquid for a thinner, porridge-like consistency
  • Sweeteners like maple syrup and demerara sugar are delish, but consider adding a spoonful of jam to hit both sweet and fruity notes
  • Get adventurous by adding a savory topping, like crispy bacon bits or toasted sunflower seeds
  • Sprinkle in spices such as cardamom or cinnamon for cozy flavor
  • Stir in a healthy seed, such as flax or chia, for added protein and nutrients

And we’ve got even more easy breakfast ideas right this way.

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