Overnight Oats (Best Easy Recipe!) – A Couple Cooks
This overnight oatmeal recipe is the epitome of a healthy and easy breakfast! Here's how to do it, with lots of decorating tips and ideas. Looking for the epitome of an easy breakfast idea? Try that oatmeal recipe for the night! There's no cooking here: in fact, you can mix a pot in just 2 […]

This overnight oatmeal recipe is the epitome of a healthy and easy breakfast! Here's how to do it, with lots of decorating tips and ideas.

Oats for the night

Looking for the epitome of an easy breakfast idea? Try that oatmeal recipe for the night! There's no cooking here: in fact, you can mix a pot in just 2 minutes! Wash the oatmeal in the refrigerator overnight with milk, and they magically turn it into a porridge. Eat them cold topped with berries or nut butter and they are absolutely fantastic! This easy breakfast has been in fashion for years. But it wasn't until recently that Alex and I found a recipe that we really love (more on that below). Here are many decorating tips and ideas on how to better oats overnight ever!

How to make oats for the night

This overnight oatmeal recipe contains only 4 ingredients, plus salt. That's less than most recipes you'll find! Here's the breakdown of what you'll need (or skip to the recipe below):

  • Old fashioned oatmeal *
  • Milk of choice (2%, oat milk, or almond milk or other)
  • Maple syrup
  • Vanilla

That's it! Throw them in a jar and leave them in the fridge overnight. Instant breakfast! Here's the thing though: there are a few tips to keep in mind about this process. Let's review quickly!

Oatmeal recipe for the night

Use old-fashioned oatmeal, not steel cups

This overnight oatmeal recipe is for old-fashioned oatmeal, the type you use to make your standard oatmeal that look like flat discs. Don't use steel cut oats here! Why? Well, steel cut oats are whole grains oats cut into lumps instead of unrolled: the kernels look like Brown rice or barley. They take many cook longer than the oatmeal. We tested the process overnight with steel cut oats, but it turned out terribly. The texture of the oats tasted like soaked grains of rice (yuck!), Even after several days in the refrigerator.

Some people think steel cut oats are healthier than rolled oats. This is in fact not true! The two varieties have very similar nutritional profiles: lots of protein and fiber to start the day right. So go for the oatmeal here and you don't lose a thing. (Read more on Steel cut vs rolled oats.)

Chia seeds are not necessary!

Many overnight oatmeal recipes contain chia seeds. Confession: We tried an overnight oatmeal recipe with chia seeds a few years ago, and it's kept us off the concept for years. Chia seeds form a gel when wet, so they give oats a gelatinous quality overnight. For us, it was not appetizing!

If this has happened to you before: fear not! Chia seeds are not essential for overnight oats. Overnight oats are simply oats soaked in milk and seasonings. So the texture here is just soggy oats: no jelly at all!

How to make oats for the night

Best eaten the next day, but you can keep

Speaking of texture ... let's talk briefly about this. Be sure to note this, if you've never had them before: The texture of oats overnight does not resemble that of normal oats. It's sweeter and a little more… gooey. But it's very delicious, once you get used to it.

It is best to consume this oatmeal recipe overnight the day after it is prepared. Why? We have found that the texture of oats can get very soggy and viscous after a few days in the refrigerator. If you don't mind, you can keep it for 2-3 days. We prefer to eat it the next day.

Oat Overnight Recipe is eaten cold (but you can reheat it)

Another thing: overnight oats are usually eaten cold straight from the refrigerator. This still makes it a little different from normal oats so you have to get used to it. Think of it more like a combination of breakfast cereal and oatmeal.

Do you want to warm it up instead? You can do this too! Microwave it for about 40 to 60 seconds, stopping halfway through to stir. Make sure you have enough room in your pot for the overflow. You can also heat it on the stovetop, although that defeats the purpose of these oatmeal! In that case, you might as well just make oatmeal (This will take only few minutes).

Oats for the night

Oatmeal filling ideas for the night!

Once you have your tasty oatmeal for the night, you can choose your toppings! Here's the thing: Many overnight oat recipes have a lot of sugar in the toppings. For us, we prefer not to overload sugar for the first meal of the day! So here are some ideas for healthy oatmeal toppings for the night:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Banana slices
  • Cubed apples
  • Peanut Butter
  • Almond butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Dried cranberries or cherries
  • Raisins

What's our favorite? Personally, I love my oatmeal with a pinch of salt and a swirl of cashew or almond butter. Alex likes to load it up with fruit and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.

More oatmeal recipes

Confession: We love this overnight oatmeal recipe, but we have a soft spot for regular oatmeal and our delicious baked oatmeal. This oats for the night is a close second. Here are a few more of our favorite oatmeal recipes:

Best oats for the night

This overnight oatmeal recipe is ...

Vegetarian, vegan, vegan, dairy free and gluten free.

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The description

This overnight oatmeal recipe is the epitome of a healthy and easy breakfast! Here's how to do it, with lots of decorating tips and ideas.



  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oatmeal *
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice (2%, oat milk or almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp Maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Garnish ideas: berries, banana slices, diced apple, peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, roasted nuts, dried fruits, maple syrup, etc.

  1. Place everything in a small pot with a lid and stir or shake to combine.
  2. Leave in the refrigerator or overnight. Oats are best the next day, but you can store them for 2-3 days (the texture becomes stickier). This oatmeal is intended to be enjoyed cold straight from the refrigerator. But if you want, you can put the pot in the microwave for about 40-60 seconds.


* Do not use steel cut oats.

  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Shakes
  • Cooked: American

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