Our Favorite Overnight Oats!

29 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

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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).

Recipe for Overnight Oats

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.

Perfect Oats Recipe for an Easy Snack

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. 

Do you Eat Overnight Oats Cold?

For our family we serve overnight oats cold! It’s perfect for keeping throughout the day in an insulated container like a thermos, and it’s a great way to enjoy a cool and nutritious snack in the summer months! We don’t recommend heating these oats, since the ingredients wouldn’t lend well to a hot oatmeal dish.

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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355 thoughts on “Our Favorite Overnight Oats!”

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Recipe Rating

  1. 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. ;)

  2. 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!


    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.

  3. 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!

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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!

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

  11. 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!

  12. my niece told me about this oatmeal recipe. i am an older adult & have stomach issues so i have never been able to digest oatmeal. i also can’t do dairy plus i am diabetic. but i tried overnight in fridge with water then adding unsweet almond milk with no yogurt.. and it works great that way. for more variety i have even been using the packets of flavored oatmeal. the apple cinnamon & peaches/cream are my favs. for those who want even more, put in blender with organic whey protein. really has helped my energy level. but the whey protein isn’t good for later, only a now drink or it clumps up.

  13. What a great idea!! Can’t wait to try this. The fresh cinnamon looks lovely and what a great gift it would make. It’s a little pricey though, $72 for 2 sticks, grater and shipping.

  14. I made this last night so I can have it at my desk while working today and let me just say, these are some of the best oats (overnight or otherwise) I’ve ever had (typing this while eating them…yum!). I think might cut back on the honey and use stevia instead and omit the raisins next time but otherwise, ah-maz-ing!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Patricia. I think either would work. If you thaw it first, the oats will absorb more of the fruit flavor. ~Amy

  15. 5 stars
    This is my daughter and my new thing, and we are really enjoying it! I should have known better than to try some overnight oat recipes from other websites, they were ok but not NEARLY as delicious as this one! My daughter likes to omit the raisins (never been much of a raisin fan) and says it tastes just like a cinnamon roll! We also like to warm ours up in the morning. :) The yogurt makes these oats so creamy…yum!!! Thanks Lisa for yet another wonderful recipe!!!

  16. Hi, I tried this last night and just had it for breakfast. I warmed mine for a minute in the microwave I couldn’t eat it cold. It was really good.

  17. I love your posts, and can’t wait to try this out. However, I have a question about rolled oats. We have always eaten them, but my husband says they are (mildly) processed. We try to limit our processed foods, so I was wondering if you considered them processed?

  18. For those who are vegan or dairy free I make these using almond milk (chocolate almond milk with a scoop of peanut butter doubles as dessert!) and in place of yogurt you can use a mashed banana. I also add chia seeds along with other mix ins.

  19. There is a health difference between cassia cinnamon — what is usually found on the grocery shelf — and Ceylon cinnamon, which is better for you. Cassia contains high levels of coumarin, a blood thinning agent believed to cause liver damage when taken in high quantities. Ceylon cinnamon is often called true cinnamon and usually has no side effects.

  20. 5 stars
    I lovelovelove this recipe! I have always used regular rolled oats and recently decided to try steel cut and found that I definitely prefer the rolled. The steel cut are too chewy for my liking and weren’t as creamy. I microwave the bowl for 1 minute then top with fresh blueberries, they go great in this!

  21. I made overnight oats for the first time last week. They were ok. Mine were a big lump in the morning. Do you add anything to them in the am? Also can you use steel cut oats in this reciepe?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hello. You can always add more milk in the morning if if is too thick. You can use steel-cut oats but be prepared for a very different texture and you might give them more soaking time. I love them! ~Amy