Overnight Oatmeal Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 10 min. + chilling
Overnight oatmeal starts your morning off on the right foot, even if both feet are running out the door as soon as you wake up. Just mix the ingredients together the night before (no cooking necessary!) and grab it on your way out to enjoy a wholesome breakfast on your schedule.

Updated: May 15, 2024

If you’re an on-the-go morning person, making time for a wholesome breakfast can be a challenge. And, let’s be honest, a granola bar doesn’t cut it. With filling, food-forward ingredients, this overnight oatmeal was basically made for you.

All you need to do is quickly mix everything together the night before and let the oats sit overnight in the fridge to soak—no cooking required. In the morning, grab the oatmeal on your way out and eat it at a time that works best for you!

And once you’ve mastered this recipe, try one of our many overnight oat recipes for a fun new flavor.

What are overnight oats?

Overnight oats (aka overnight oatmeal recipes) combine oats, a liquid and a sweetener together to create oatmeal slowly during the night. Mix the overnight oatmeal ingredients the night before so you have a ready-made, transportable oatmeal for breakfast by the morning.

Ingredients for Overnight Oatmeal

  • Yogurt: Basically any kind of yogurt works here: plain, nonfat, Greek, Icelandic and even flavored yogurt (although it will affect the taste of the overnight oatmeal).
  • Old-fashioned oats: When grabbing oats at the store, double-check the label for “old-fashioned oats” or “rolled oats” (they’re the same thing). Oat packages tend to look exactly alike, and this one tiny detail can make or break your overnight oatmeal.
  • Milk: While we recommend fat-free, you can use any type of milk here, even a dairy-free milk alternative.
  • Honey: Check out our list of the best store-bought honey brands, as recommended by our Test Kitchen cooks. Substitute maple syrup or agave nectar for the honey if desired.
  • Fruit: Use your favorite fruits as a topping. We love to use berries in our overnight oatmeal recipe, just be sure to wash the berries properly without making them soggy.
  • Walnuts: You can really use any nut here, just make sure to toast the nuts to remove any raw flavors and bitterness.


Step 1: Mix the base

high angle shot of combined oats, milk, yogurt and honey in a mason jarTMB Studio

Start this overnight oatmeal recipe at least one night before you want to enjoy it. Grab a small container or Mason jar, and stir together the oats, milk, yogurt and honey until combined.

Step 2: Add toppings and store

high angle shot of overnight oatmeal topped with fruits and nuts in a mason jarTMB Studio

Top with your preferred fruit and the nuts. Seal the lid on the container, and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy the next morning!

wide shot of oatmeal topped with fruit and nuts in a jarTMB Studio

Overnight Oatmeal Variations

  • Make chocolate-cherry oats: Use cherry-flavored yogurt and add 1 tablespoon cocoa powder. Top with fresh or frozen pitted cherries.
  • Try banana bread oats: Replace the honey with maple syrup, and stir in half a mashed banana and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Top with toasted pecans.
  • Attempt carrot cake oats: Add 2 tablespoons grated carrots, and substitute spreadable cream cheese for the yogurt.
  • Prep pina colada oats: Add half a mashed banana, 2 tablespoons crushed pineapple and 1 tablespoon shredded coconut to the oat mixture.
  • Add your favorite fruit: You can basically use any fruit with this overnight oatmeal recipe. Berries, bananas, stone fruits, and tropical fruits like mangoes and passion fruit are all excellent options. Play with your food!
  • Swap in granola for the nuts: Not a nut person? You can easily swap in your favorite nut-free granola for the walnuts.
  • Drizzle with nut butter: Add wholesome fat and protein with a drizzle of your favorite nut butter.

How to Store Overnight Oatmeal

To store, keep the overnight oatmeal in the fridge for up to five days.

Overnight Oatmeal Tips

overhead shot of oatmeal topped with fruits and nutsTMB Studio

Can you use another type of oat?

Do not use another type of oat for overnight oatmeal. Old-fashioned oats have the perfect thickness for the amount of liquid in this recipe. Other types (like quick oats) are too thin and won’t soak up as much liquid, leaving you with runny overnight oatmeal. Thicker oats (like steel-cut) need a lot more liquid than old-fashioned oats and will end up very hard if used in this recipe.

Can you heat up overnight oatmeal after soaking the oats?

You sure can! Place the soaked oats in a saucepan and heat on the stovetop. Or, transfer them to a microwave-safe bowl and nuke them until heated through, about 60 seconds.

How can you make overnight oatmeal creamier?

To make your overnight oatmeal creamier, add an additional tablespoon of yogurt before soaking the oats.

Why are the oats still hard after soaking?

If your oats are still hard after soaking, your ratio may be off. Try not to add more or less of any one ingredient. You may have also used a thicker oat than old-fashioned oats. Double-check your oat container to make sure it says “old-fashioned oats” or “rolled oats”—it’s the same oat with two different names. Any other name means it wasn’t the right oat. Additionally, check to see if your oatmeal has chia or flax seeds, which also soak and gelatinize. They may have stolen some soaking liquid from the oats.

Can you make overnight oatmeal in one large batch instead of individual containers?

Yes, great idea! Multiply this recipe for how many overnight oatmeal servings you’d like to make, and mix it all together in a bowl. From here, you can either divide the mixture into containers or keep the mixture in the bowl. If you do the latter, cover it with storage wrap, keep it in the fridge for up to a week and portion out as much as you’d like when the craving strikes.

Do you add the toppings before or after soaking?

That fully depends on which toppings you’re using and how long they’ll be on the oatmeal. Cut apples and bananas will oxidize, so add those only when you’re ready to enjoy your overnight oatmeal. Any other toppings can be added beforehand, but we don’t recommend keeping toppings like berries on the oatmeal for more than three days as it can speed up their ripening process more quickly than when stored separately.

Watch how to Make Overnight Oatmeal

Overnight Oatmeal

Prep Time 10 min
Yield 1 serving.


  • 3 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup assorted fresh fruit
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted


  1. In a small container or Mason jar, combine oats, milk, yogurt and honey. Top with fruit and nuts. Seal; refrigerate overnight.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 345 calories, 13g fat (2g saturated fat), 4mg cholesterol, 53mg sodium, 53g carbohydrate (31g sugars, 5g fiber), 10g protein.

Start this breakfast the night before so you can get some extra sleep in the morning. My husband adds coconut to his, and I stir in dried fruit. —June Thomas, Chesterton, Indiana