Our Favorite Overnight Oats!

27 Reviews / 4.8 Average
I was intrigued by the idea of overnight oats for a long time, and then one day we finally tried them and have never looked back! These are our favorite overnight oats. They are an easy way to make oatmeal for school lunches that are quick to pull together.
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Our Favorite Overnight #Oats at 100 Days of #RealFood

You see, for years I’ve been sending warm oatmeal in thermos containers for my daughters’ snacks at school. Snack time usually occurs early in the morning and that’s after scarfing down what little breakfast they can manage before running out the door for school at 7am (the day starts early around here).

So oatmeal on the go was the perfect solution, and my kids loved it. But then my 1st grader’s snack time got changed to the afternoon, so we were really pushing the 5 hour thermos warm food limit by continuing to send her oatmeal.

Enter Overnight Oats, our new perfect solution! But, I guess if I am being technical here we don’t actually make these oats overnight. We mix it up in the morning (still in an insulated thermos container) while the kids are eating their breakfast and then by snack time later that day (approximately 5 1/2 hours later), it’s ready to go. And since thermoses can keep cold food cold for longer (7 hours to be exact), it really is the new perfect solution for us. 

That’s why I am excited to share our favorite “Overnight” Oats combination with you today—the one my 1st grader has been eating (and loving) almost every single day so far this school year! Also, be sure to check out our other “Overnight Oats” blog post for more recipe ideas in addition to the one below.

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351 thoughts on “Our Favorite Overnight Oats!”

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  1. Hmmm this did not work. We used rolled oats as directed (bobs red mill organic) and followed the recipe exactly. I made it and placed in the fridge at 830p. 11 hours later I opened it and stirred and it was totally soupy and the oats were just floating in the milk. I’ve made other overnight oats recipes and they come out nice and thick. Not sure why they didn’t soak up the milk.

    1. Hi Rachel, sorry to hear these didn’t come out as you planned. Lisa mentions in the post that these aren’t technically overnight oats as she makes them in the morning and suggests that you don’t let them sit more than 7 hours. – Nicole

  2. Hi Lisa,

    Thanks for this overnight oatmeal recipe. I definitely want to try it out for 2 reasons. The first is that oatmeal for breakfast has been a mainstay of mine for many years. And oatmeal was my first stop for my own experiment with real food which helped me lose 75 pounds in 6 months just about 6 years ago. And I was the worst cookie monster, and so far, so good, been getting fitter and stronger as time goes on. Number 2, I am not too fond of spending a lot of time in the kitchen, but I prefer real food any day, so this is a perfect blend of my fav breakfast food and quick and easy preparation. Will have to give you my review after trying it out!

    Richard

  3. debbie gardiner

    Does this have the same texture as cooked oatmeal which I hate.

    I know how good oatmeal is for you so I am hoping you say no.

  4. Hi! We are making overnight oats several times a week and I need to stock up on mason jars. The three we have aren’t ebough! What size works best? Which are good for freezing other recepies (like tomatoe bisque)? Thanks!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      I only use steel cut. Love them. You make them the same way but for a minimum of 8 hours and they come out chewy and nutty. I prefer the texture.

      1. Yes they get soggy the milk soaks into the oatmeal but you can heat it up in the microwave if you like.

  5. Hi, I bet somebody already asked this, but can I use quick oats? What’s the difference (it says ingredients: organic rolled oats). Sorry for a probably repetitive question :-)

    Thanks!
    Claudia

    1. Old fashioned oats….not instant, not steel cut…are the best. Instant break down too much overnight and steel cut, too chewy. I just use Quaker old fashioned. Superb!

  6. Hello.plz do u soak oats b4 using them or what?? I’ve read alot about the importance of soaking n nvr used them raw ever since

    1. the overnight process does the soaking for you I believe doesn’t it? pretty sure that’s the case. I make these a lot btw, my girlfriend turned me onto them, they are great for quick meals that will last a few days in the fridge.

      1. It is my understanding that you have to soak at room temperature in order to neutralize the phytic acid, and milk is not a good soaking liquid for that anyway. I am thinking to try soaking normally beforehand and then prepare according to the recipe.

  7. I love this recipe but I really dislike yogurt. I have tried all kinds and have tried to acquire a taste for it but I just cannot. Would this recipe be okay without the yogurt? Would you substitute anything in place of it?

    1. We use Fairlife whole milk instead of regular milk with yogurt. We get the extra protein without the stronger yogurt flavor. Fairlife milk has less carbs and more protein than regular milk and it tastes wonderful!

      1. They are normally what I eat, and just sounded like they would be perfect for this kind of recipe. :)
        Thanks for your response!

  8. When I make overnight oatmeal, I use 2 cups each of the following to make daily breakfast to take to work (or just take the whole container to work.:
    2 cups of:
    Minute Oatmeal
    Greek Yogurt (I use vanilla flavoured)
    1 Tbsp of Cocoa
    2 tsp of Cinnamon
    3/4 c up raisins
    You can use any nuts/almonds or mixed nuts that you like.
    If you want to throw in some blueberries or any other fruit that you like there are no rules you can change the recipe according to your taste.
    This is such an easy way to ensure that you have a healthy ready-to-eat breakfast!
    ENJOY ❤️

  9. Could you add fresh fruit and nuts or would you want to add them in the morning? Also, is it thick or running in the morning?

  10. Easy way to do steel cut oats..
    Instructions
    Place oats and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil, watching carefully so the water doesn’t boil over. Turn down heat quickly and allow the oats to simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Cover with a lid and let stand overnight at room temperature.

  11. 5 stars
    I have been adding a tablespoon of Chia with a little more liquid and also some chopped walnuts – really yummy! My husband who used to eat sugary cereals for breakfast is loving this :)

  12. Is this the kind of thing where multiple batches could be made at once and then dished out throughout the week or would it completely change the texture?

  13. 5 stars
    I just started eating ‘overnight’ oats in November. I use Soy Milk (unsweetened), golden raisins and reduced sugar craisins, as well as heapin’ tablespoon of toasted sliced almonds, and a couple drops of pure almond extract. And then I top with 6-8 thawed dark cherries. Pretty close to dessert, but a very pleasant breakfast. Ask me about diced apples, cinnamon, and some raw cranberry relish as ‘instead’ add-ins. :)

  14. 5 stars
    I just started eating ‘overnight’ oats in November. I use Soy Milk (unsweetened), golden raisins and reduced sugar craisins, as well as heapin’ tablespoon of toasted sliced almonds, and a couple crops of pure almond extract. And then I top with 6-8 thawed dark cherries. Pretty close to dessert, but a very pleasant breakfast. Ask me about diced apples, cinnamon, and some raw cranberry relish as ‘instead’ add-ins. :)

      1. I like the steel cut that aren’t instant, but that usually take 20+ minutes to cook stove top; do u think those would work? Thanks!

    1. Hi Stacy. You do not have to use yogurt or you could use a non-dairy yogurt. I typically just make mine with almond or coconut milk.

  15. Do you serve just as it’s out of fridge? I would like to have warm meal in the morning, so maybe warm up a bit in microwave or on the stove?

    1. You can absolutely warm them up in the morning. I have one child that eats them cold and my other two like when I heat theirs up.

      1. Thanks Amy for taking the time to answer my question. I never heard of quinoa flakes. I’ll have to look for them next time I shop

  16. Does anyone know how long these will keep? I would love to make a whole bunch at once so I can just grab them in the morning for the whole week.

  17. I love overnight oatmeal. They are good to keep on hand to keep from heading the junk food. (Not everyone in my household shares my healthy eating ideas.)

    I have a question about the Cinnamon Hill products. Which grater did they send you? Wood or plastic? Also, how much cinnamon do you think each stick produces? I would like to use this formula to make my decision about how much I would need to order.

    Thank you.

    1. I have both graters and they both work equally well. And a cinnamon stick lasts a LONG time. It’s more powerful than the stuff out of the jar so you don’t need as much (in my opinion)! :) I hope that helps.

  18. I’ve read about phylates in whole grains (especially oatmeal) causing tooth decay etc.. I would love to have this disproved. Given the fact that your children eat oatmeal daily, do they have any tooth decay issues?

      1. I’ve been reading about phylates in oats lately. Apparently soaking for at least an hour, preferably overnight in a fridge, will break down the phylates in oats, making them easier to digest, and better for us. Some people who would otherwise react to oats, may find soaking allows them to eat them.

  19. I am new to whole food eating and will begin the adventure this weekend! I found this easy recipe and can’t wait to try it! Just to confirm though, really, you don’t have to cook the oats at all? Just soak the raw oats and eat?

    Also, the instructions say to wait no more than 7 hours to eat it. What happens if it goes longer than that? I was going to have my kids make it before they go to bed (around 7-8 pm) but we don’t have breakfast until around 8am. Even if I make it around 10pm that would still be longer than 7 hours. What time have others made it the night before so it is fine in the morning?

    Thanks!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. That is referring to keeping it in a thermos if it is sent to school. :) You can keep it in the fridge soaking for much longer.

  20. We just bought a big container of quick cook steel cut oats at Costco. Can I use that instead? What kind of a difference will the “quick cook” make in soaking.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. You will have to soak the steel cut oats longer. I usually allow mine to soak for a full 24 hours.

  21. What is the purpose of the yogurt? I am trying to minimize dairy in my diet and would substitute the milk for almond milk. Does the yogurt have to be in there? Thanks! Andrea

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. You do not have to use yogurt or you could use a non-dairy yogurt. I typically just make mine with almond milk.

  22. Thank you for this recipe! This is so much better then stove top oats. (Though I’d definitely recommend adding a pinch of salt.) I eat mine with peanut butter and jam, (homemade very low sugar jam!). It tastes like you’re eating an oatmeal cookie for breakfast, even though it’s super healthy. (I usually leave out the honey when I make it this way.) This recipe has been great for traveling.

  23. O.M.GEEE!! My fav. But if you forget to make the o/n oats-you can use regular oats. I also use some almond/rice milk. And a natural sweetener-maple syrup. Added chia seeds makes a perfect thickener, along with ground flax. I usually use a banana, but have used non-sweetened canned fruit, and of course, no sugar added frozen fruit. This is a super easy snack/breakfast, etc.

  24. Are there different variations that can be done by using frozen or fresh fruit since we have a few in the family that are not raisin lovers?

    1. Donna,
      I’d suggest peanut butter and jam. Even with my very low sugar homemade jam, I feel like I’m eating a PB&J oatmeal cookie for breakfast.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Laura. I’ve made them on Sunday for the school week. It works well but I tend to prefer steel cut oats.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Alexis. It would change the taste. Plus, flavored yogurts are typically high in sugar or have artificial sweeteners.

  25. How long will they last refrigerated? I made 2 and my husband forgot to eat before work. Will they still be good tomorrow or too soggy?

    1. I bought the quick oats as well! Rolled old are not available and if they are they will cost me an arm and a leg. LOL!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Lynette. You can. I love them. The texture is very different and you have to let them soak much longer. ~Amy

  26. I have tried a recipe similar to this and my oatmeal loving kids and husband thought it was terrible. I liked the convenience, but my family prefers their oatmeal warm. I will give this recipe a try and see if they change their minds. The other recipe I tried had more yogurt than this one call for. Here’s for hoping :)

  27. I checked out the link to Cinnamon Hill as I was curious about using fresh cinnamon however after looking at the prices of the grater plus the cinnamon and shipping, it’s well over $90. It seems overpriced. With that said, I would like to know how long a package of their cinnamon lasted you. Thanks!

  28. 5 stars
    I would give this recipe 5 stars. I make several jars at a time for the busy week. I use my canning funnel to keep the jars clean when making them. Our 13 year old refuses to eat cooked oatmeal but devours this!! I make a double batch for the skinny little thing and he loves it, score! Our 9 year old daughter loves it too and would eat it for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. I really enjoy the convenience of grabbing one on my way out the door to work. With 4 children and a hubby to get out the door, it’s a lifesaver and so tasty and nutritious. Thank you so much for giving us a healthy, simple, economical, delicious morning alternative.

  29. 5 stars
    My son who is 10, and I made these together late this afternoon. He refuses oatmeal but likes oatmeal raisin cookies and decided to give them a try. He couldn’t wait and had to try them for a before bed snack,they were in the fridge for about 3-4 hrs, and he loooved them! We had to make more for breakfast tomorrow. Woot woot! Thanks so much for another item we can add to our “real food” list.

  30. 5 stars
    This is my favourite overnight oats recipe, I add some blueberries and banana just before I eat them in the morning :)

  31. Is there anything you need to replace the yogurt with if you don’t eat cows milk yogurt? Can you leave it out? I have soy yogurt but it’s flavored.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Abby. I love this made with steel cut oats but I do leave them in the fridge longer to soften. ~Amy

  32. 4 stars
    I’ve made these and they love them. I also make them a “pancake” – 1 egg and 2 egg white beaten. Add uncooked oatmeal to thicken (about ½ c – ¾ c) and some cinnamon. Pour into oiled skillet (I use ghee or coconut oil) and cook until set, flip over and cook until browned. Can be eaten as a pancake or cut up to eat as a snack later. I serve them hot with maple syrup and little more ghee – love them!

  33. I’m intrigued to try this as well. I’m just not sure how we will like cold oatmeal. That’s the only thing stopping me here

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Lorie. I love this with steel cut oats but you do have to let it sit in the fridge longer. The texture is crunchy and nutty. ~Amy

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Oh, there are endless possibilities. :) You can use any dried or fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, etc. ;)

  34. 5 stars
    Our whole family absolutely LOVES this recipe! We have made it over and over again since trying it a couple weeks ago. However, I’m just realizing that I may have a slight oat sensitivity. This is a huge bummer since I love to eat oats in most of my baking dishes I make. I was curious if you have any knowledge of another grain that could be in place of oats in this recipe? Amaranth, Wheat Berries, Spelt, Millet? I’ve personally never cooked with any of these so I didn’t know if they would soften overnight just like the oatmeal or not. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Sincerely,
    Liz

    1. Liz, not cooking the oats could be part of the problem for you. Here’s an alternative overnight oats recipe you could try once to see how it goes: Mix 1 part old-fashioned rolled oats with 1 part water (about one half cup oats per serving), a dollop of yogurt (teaspoon or so) and pinch of salt. Let sit overnight. In the morning bring a second part water to a boil in a saucepan, add the oat mixture, stir, cover, turn the heat to the lowest setting and let simmer about seven minutes, then turn the heat off and let sit maybe ten minutes more. Serve with milk, fruit, etc. This is from memory, but originally from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook (Sally Fallon, Weston Price association), which is very opinionated indeed about how harmful whole grains can be for us if not properly fermented and cooked! In any case it is a very tasty and easy version of traditional oatmeal. Good luck with this.

    2. Liz, I just looked up the original Nourishing Traditions recipe for overnight cooked porridge thinking I remembered variations replacing the rolled oats with rolled kamut, spelt, rye, whole teff, amarath, and corn grits, and yes, all of these are possible, according to the the book, though some (rye, teff) will require more soaking time – and the corn grits are soaked not in yogurt water, but in limed water to improve nutritional quality as per the ancient culinary tradition. The original porridge recipe specifies 2 tablespoons live and active plain yogurt per 1 cup oats and 1 cup water and a half a teaspoon sea salt in the pre-soak for adequate fermentation, but this tastes too sour and salty for me and I regularly enjoy my version with about a quarter of the yogurt amount and the pinch of salt.

  35. This is my new favorite too! Do you ever try to make multiple days worth at one time or does it get too soggy that way? Thanks!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Michelle. You can make it for a whole week at a time. I do that with steel-cut oats. Works great! ~Amy

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Melissa. Lisa uses regular rolled oats. You can use quick oats but they will me more mushy. ~Amy

    2. The first time I made one of these recipes I used quick oats and I didn’t like it at all. This is much better with the rolled oats…a little better texture!

  36. We make this to but I have always heard it call summer porridge. I do oats, yogurt, milk, chia seeds ( yum), honey and strawberries.

  37. I hope this doesn’t sound like a stupid question…So you eat this cold? Just clarifying as I didn’t see in the directions to warm it up.

  38. I’ve made these for about a year.. I sub almond milk for milk and up the amount of yogurt. My fav is to use vanilla yogurt and mix in coconut flakes and pineapple chunks and chia seed.

  39. Stephanie, I prefer it without the honey, cinnamon, and vanilla – I just add a spoonful of brown sugar instead. You could substitute maple syrup to stick with a whole food. I also add slivered almonds to give a crunch!

  40. So I made aversion of this with old fashioned oats and stones field plain yogurt last night. My kids thought it tasted like play dough and I have to agree it was a bit sour. What went wrong.? Should I try flavored yogurt?

    1. I completely agree! I made this a couple of months ago with old fashioned oats and stony field plain yogurt and I too thought it tasted very sour. My kids ate it but didn’t love it. I couldn’t finish mine – it almost was as if the yogurt soured overnight. I too would like to know what went wrong or if that is the flavor. I so want to like this – it has such potential in my house for making morning a little bit less rushed!!

    2. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Stefanie. You can try it without the yogurt. That is typically what I do simply because I avoid dairy. It always turns out fine. ~Amy

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Jim. It does but I let mine rest in the fridge longer. It has a nutty crunchy texture. ~Amy

  41. Can I just say how much I love your site? I was, no lie, sitting here thinking what the heck am I going to make for breakfast tomorrow? (as usual I haven’t gone grocery shopping because I’m a procrastinator). And this pops up on my Facebook feed. The best part? I have every single one of these ingredients chilling in my kitchen right now. Almost every single recipe on your site are all things that I have on hand which is just awesome! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  42. Inhave been wanting to try overnight oats and this recipe sounds wonderful! Would it be possible to substitute almond milk for the milk?

  43. Obsessed!!!! I’ve been wanting to try this for some time but was apprehensive about the whole “eating it cold” thing. Um, it’s amazing! My 15 month old loves it too and shovels it in his mouth, it’s adorable. We’ll top it with fresh blueberries in the morning so they don’t get soggy overnight. If you’re thinking about trying this, do it. You won’t regret it!