Basic Overnight Oatmeal Recipe





Introduction: Basic Overnight Oatmeal Recipe

Overnight oatmeal is the perfect breakfast. If you have never heard of overnight oatmeal before, I know what you're thinking: Warm oatmeal is nice and comforting, but cold oatmeal?!

Don't worry - that's exactly what I thought the first time I tried this a few years ago! But then this became my breakfast for almost every single day of the year. Overnight oatmeal is delicious and especially refreshing during hot summer days. You can even choose to have it warm during the winter if you quickly microwave it. It is also perfect for those of you who don't have much time in the morning to make a proper breakfast. I make my overnight oats the night before, and it's great because if I wake up late the next day, I can eat it on the way to school.

In this tutorial I will share my basic overnight oatmeal recipe, as well as a few creative recipes I made.

Step 1: Get Your Oats!

You can choose any type of oats you like – steel cut, quick oats, rolled oats, etc. I usually use quick oats, but I've heard from many people that they prefer rolled oats. Either way, it will taste great.

Pour 1/2 cup oats into a jar or airtight container.

Step 2: Combine the Oats With Liquid

Just remember the 1:1 ratio. You will soak 1 part liquid with 1 part oats overnight. The liquid can be milk, almond milk, yogurt, etc. Since I used 1/2 cup oats, I will use 1/2 cup milk.

Add the milk to the jar or container.

Step 3: Add a Sweetener and Other Mix-ins

The sweetener can be anything: brown sugar, maple syrup, agave, honey, jam, a packet of truvia, etc. You can also choose to skip this step if you like the oatmeal itself.

Then add other mix-ins like cinnamon, fruits, nut butter, nuts, vanilla extract, raisins, chocolate chips, mashed banana, seeds, etc. If you want to add something that might get soggy (like granola or cereal), you should add it after the oatmeal is refrigerated (Step 5).

For the oatmeal I made, I added 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp honey, and a handful of frozen mango pieces.

Step 4: Stir and Refrigerate Overnight

Mix the oatmeal mixture and seal the jar or airtight container.

If you are planning to have your oatmeal for breakfast, put the oatmeal in the fridge the night before and the next morning, your oats should have soaked up all or most of the liquid. It should look thick and creamy!

If you choose not to wait overnight, I would recommend waiting at least 3-4 hours.

Step 5: Add Extra Liquid and Fresh Toppings. Enjoy!

In the morning, add a little bit of extra liquid (about 1-3 tsp), as the oats will have absorbed almost all of the liquid added earlier. I added 3 tsp milk.

Then add your fresh toppings. This can be anything – fresh fruits, granola, cereal, or the things I listed in the overnight mix-in list previously. I just added a handful of fresh blueberries.

Enjoy! You can either have your oatmeal straight out of the jar/container, or you can transfer it to another bowl. If you would like to have your oatmeal warm, you can also put it in the microwave for a few seconds.

Step 6: Overnight Oatmeal Idea: Chocolate Banana Pudding Oatmeal


For the banana pudding layer:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 mashed banana (save the rest for the topping)

For the chocolate layer:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp honey (or more if you would like it sweeter)
  • 1 tbsp chocolate chips (optional)


  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • granola (optional)
  • chocolate chips (optional)


  1. In a jar or container, combine ingredients for the banana pudding oatmeal layer.
  2. In another jar or container, combine ingredients for the chocolate oatmeal layer.
  3. Put containers in fridge overnight.
  4. In the morning, add a few teaspoons of milk to the containers if oatmeal is too thick. Pour the oatmeal in another jar, alternating between the banana pudding layer and the chocolate layer.
  5. Top with sliced banana, granola, and/or chocolate chips!

Step 7: Overnight Oatmeal Idea 2: Honey Nut Oatmeal


  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • handful of mixed nuts (mine had cashews, almonds, and macadamia nuts)


  • handful of nuts (I just used almonds)
  • granola
  • drizzle of honey


  1. In a jar or container, combine oats, almond milk, honey, and mixed nuts.
  2. Put jar in fridge overnight.
  3. The next morning, add 1-3 tsp more almond milk if mixture is too thick. Top with nuts, granola, and honey.
  4. Enjoy!
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59 Discussions

We do steel cut oats and water. The night before, in a covered bowl microwave the water to a boil, add the oats, swaddle with pot holders and towel, let sit until morning. Then add coconut, walnuts, Chinese five spice, and molasses, microwave on low for about 15 minutes and have our breakfast tea while waiting. Portion out and enjoy, you'll never get something this good in a restaurant.

7 replies

Wow, that sounds delicious!

I can't find steel cut oats where I live. I wonder if rolled oats would work?

Sometimes steel-cut oats are called Irish Oats, you could look for that. Otherwise, rolled oats are the next best thing.

I don't have fridge. Can I keep this overnight in room temp?

I do that with mine every time, leaving it on the stove top, just totally cover after cooking to retain heat as long as possible, no problem if water is the base fluid and no fresh fruit added until next morning.

Same ratio 1:1 water and oats? I would think those type of oats need more water but perhaps boiling it helps soften the nuggets? The addition of the Five spice is really clever, and the molasses will deepen the flavor. Nice recipe, thanks!

Our recipe is for two persons: 1/2 + 1/3 cup pin oats, added after boiling 2 cups water. My microwave heats the water in about 4 minutes on high. I make up enough dry portions for 3 meals during the week, just heat water, add ingredients, warm up next morn and enjoy. It actually does the cooking the night before, and some folks like it cold, but like I stated we give it a long low warmup time so as to have our tea first. We also add strawberries and blueberries if the market price is right, but it's good to go as above.

I get my oats from:

For an even healthier variation, use pure fruit juice for the liquid, or a smoothie, which cuts out the milk and sweetener.

3 replies

Actually when you remove the juice from the fiber of the fruit you turn it into a less healthy form of sweetness because it is just sugar water at that point.

I totally agree with u, eating whole fruit is better than drinking fruit juice, fruit juice doesn't have any of the dietary fiber that the whole fruit does. A person's body processes fruit juice faster because of that so blood sugar levels will spike & drop faster which is also not good. Plain water to "cook" the oats with cut up fruit is a better option if dairy products are not an option or soy, almond or other milk substitutes can't be used. Most have a high amount of protein & low fat as well.

I've never tried fruit juice before, but that sounds like a great idea. I think apple juice or orange juice might sound good.

You can also try making 'green oatmeal' using a green smoothie!

MMMMMMMM,... I am going to try them all! Yummm!

Anyone know if you can used flavored oats

This looks sooooo yummy ?. I can't wait to try it out!
Thanks for sharing ???

1 reply

I did like it. The texture was nothing I was expecting - creamy and yet chewy. I'm trying it with steel-cut tonight and see how that will work. Thank you for this recipe. :D