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.
355 thoughts on “Our Favorite Overnight Oats!”
Can you use steel cut oats instead of rolled oats? I prefer them over rolled but can switch if I need to.
You will have to soak the steel cut oats longer. I usually allow mine to soak for a full 24 hours.
what does the yogurt do in this recipe? Would it work without it? What could I substitute?
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.
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?
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.
Can you give more details on packing them in a thermos for school lunches? Should the thermos be chilled first? TIA
Hello Melanie. I do chill my thermos if I am sending something cold.
Will quinoa soften up enough to add that?
Hi Lisa. If you use quinoa flakes.
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
Can this be frozen and then thawed overnight?
Hi there. It can. The texture will be changed a bit.
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.
Hi Liz. You can definitely pull them from the fridge for the work week. ;)
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.
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.
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?
None at all! They’ve had nothing other than good reports from the dentist.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Hi there. You will have to soak the steel cut oats longer. I usually allow mine to soak for a full 24 hours.
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
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.
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.
Can you substitute Greek yogurt and soy or almond milk in the recipe?
Hi. Yes, that works, too.
I just put my first batch in the fridge for the night. I added chopped raw cashews and some fresh ground cardamon. It smells like kheer. I can’t wait!
Does anybody happen to know the calorie count of this recipe?
Hi Jill. We do not provide calorie info. This post explains the philosophy behind that: https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/01/04/healthy-eating-defined/.
Do you recommend eating it hot or cold?
Hello Reg. Most eat it like a cold cereal.
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.
Coconut jam is wonderful. New organic item for my family.
Where do you buy coconut jam? Are there different flavors?
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?
Hi Donna. Sure, you can be very creative with this oat method. ;) Here are some yummy variations: http://www.katheats.com/favorite-foods/overnightoats.
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.
Can you make up a weeks worth in small jars, or will it not last that long?
Hi Laura. I’ve made them on Sunday for the school week. It works well but I tend to prefer steel cut oats.
LOVE LOVE LOVE! New favorite! :D
Do the raisins plump up (like they do in baked items)?
Hi Tracy. They do absorb some liquid but the texture of the raisins is still chewy.
Is it possible to use flavored yogurt? How will that change things?
Hi Alexis. It would change the taste. Plus, flavored yogurts are typically high in sugar or have artificial sweeteners.
Hello, can this be heated in the morning?
Hi Cyndy. Sure, you can heat it if you like.
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?
Hi Beth. They should still be fine.
Just got back from the grocery store and bought quick oats instead. Can these be used?
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!
It is possible that they might get a little mushy.
Can you use steel cut oats with this recipe?
Hi Lynette. You can. I love them. The texture is very different and you have to let them soak much longer. ~Amy
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 :)
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!
You’re really meant to use it “fresh” (not in baked goods, etc.) so it’s lasted us a LONG time!
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.
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.
This is my favourite overnight oats recipe, I add some blueberries and banana just before I eat them in the morning :)
We made this recipe last night with a couple of modifications: we doubled the yogurt and added 1 tsp of chia seeds. It was a hit!
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.
Hi Stacy. You can leave it out or you can use a non-dairy yogurt.
Will the 8 oz mason jar work for one serving or do I need to make a batch and place it into multiple jars?
Hi Dan. The recipe is for one serving. The 8 oz jars are what we use. ~Amy
So u eat this oatmeal cold?
Yes, Tracey, it is akin to cold cereal. However, you can always heat it up if you prefer.
Can I use steel cut oats if I don’t have the rolled?
Hi Abby. I love this made with steel cut oats but I do leave them in the fridge longer to soften. ~Amy
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 Â½ c – Â¾ 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!
Made these and my children love them. The recipe does fit better inside the smaller “half size” mason jars though.