Easy Overnight Oats Recipes (6 Flavors!) | Lemons + Zest (2024)

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Want breakfast ready in the morning when you wake up? Try these 6 Easy Overnight Oats recipes for the easiest breakfast of all. 5 minutes to prep and waiting for you in the morning--these will become the best part of your day!

Easy Overnight Oats Recipes (6 Flavors!) | Lemons + Zest (1)

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Whether you are new to overnight oatmeal or a long time fan, these easy overnight oats recipes are going to quickly become your favorite.

Simple ingredients, so easy to whip up and with just 5-10 minutes, you can prepare a week's worth of breakfasts. They can be eaten hot or cold and the possibilities of flavors go well beyond these 6!

Why You Will Love These Easy Overnight Oats Recipes:

  • They are so quick and easy to prep. If you like to meal prep, these recipes are a dream. A healthy, delicious breakfast whipped up in about 5 minutes. Can't beat that.
  • Can easily be varied to meet your dietary needs. There are so many different ways to make these oats--you can truly make them your own. Use dairy free milk if needed, gluten free oats, a different sweetener, endless options, but making them yours is what it's about!
  • Can be eaten hot or cold. I have had readers say they were told overnight oatmeal could only be eaten cold and that is not true. I warm mine up all the time! You can make these recipes and still have your hot oatmeal in the morning.
  • Breakfast is ready when you wake up! Overnight oats are the best make-ahead breakfast. When it comes to busy mornings, you can't beat having your meal ready right when you wake up!
Easy Overnight Oats Recipes (6 Flavors!) | Lemons + Zest (2)

What are Overnight Oats?

They are exactly what they sound like--oats that are prepared by soaking all the liquid up and softening throughout the night. If you want to cook rolled oats, you typically have to boil them stove top. However, if you make overnight oats, you are allowing the liquid to soak into the oats and soften them instead of boiling the oatmeal.

That's why they are called what they are called--it takes time for the oats to absorb the liquid and thus, allowing them to soak overnight in the fridge will make them ready to eat right when you wake up!

Recipe Ingredients:

My go-to base recipe of each of these oatmeal recipes include the following:

  1. rolled oats: this is what I use. They are also known as old fashioned oats. Some people say steel-cut oats are great but I find them to be way too chewy. If that's your thing, then you can use them as well. In a pinch, you can use quick oats if you don't have old-fashioned oats on hand. You may need to adjust the amount of milk but other than that, they will work!
  2. milk: this can be regular or dairy free. Use your milk of choice! Almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk, soy milk and coconut milk will work great along with any version of dairy milk.
  3. sweetener: I LOVE pure maple syrup. It is my preferred breakfast sweetener. Use the sweetener you prefer. Honey, sugar, brown sugar whatever it may be, and adjust to your liking.
  4. chia seeds: not necessary, but a great way to give your oats a boost of protein and fiber. Please do not go out and buy them if you are not interested. They will be fine without.
  5. Pinch of salt: I like to add just a pinch to my recipes for a touch more flavor. Up to you!

*I often use vanilla extract in the base, but it varies because some recipes will use almond extract or another, so I left this out of the base ingredients.

How To Make Overnight Oats:

All you do is stir together some milk and oats, along with some other goodies for flavor, in a jar or bowl that can be sealed shut. That's it. Then you pop them in the fridge for the night.

This is why everyone is so obsessed with this perfect breakfast! Minimal effort, infinite flavor combos, hearty and nutritious. The very best!

Easy Overnight Oats Recipes (6 Flavors!) | Lemons + Zest (3)

These 6 flavors include:

  • Banana Bread Overnight Oats: Wake up to banana bread but without any of the effort! The perfect way to use up bananas that are about to turn--bonus!
  • Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oatmeal: Same story, different flavor. Everyone's favorite muffin in a big hearty bowl. No baking required!
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Overnight Oats: While I LOOOOVE the banana bread version, I find myself making some form of this variety more often than not. Gotta gotta GOTTA have my peanut butter!
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Overnight Oats: I want to call this one something fancy like peanut butter cup or something, but I am just calling this one like I see it. While a basic peanut butter version is fine, when you toss in some chocolate chips, you always take things up a notch, right??
  • Strawberries and Cream Overnight Oatmeal: Nothing like fresh cream with your berries, right? I love adding just a touch to my oatmeal for that rich creamy flavor. There's nothing extraordinary about this recipe, but I promise it will be a favorite!
  • Almond Joy Overnight Oatmeal: Because sometimes you feel like a nut, right? My favorite candy turned into one of my very favorite breakfasts!
Easy Overnight Oats Recipes (6 Flavors!) | Lemons + Zest (4)
Easy Overnight Oats Recipes (6 Flavors!) | Lemons + Zest (5)
Easy Overnight Oats Recipes (6 Flavors!) | Lemons + Zest (6)
Easy Overnight Oats Recipes (6 Flavors!) | Lemons + Zest (7)
Easy Overnight Oats Recipes (6 Flavors!) | Lemons + Zest (8)
Easy Overnight Oats Recipes (6 Flavors!) | Lemons + Zest (9)

Overnight Oatmeal FAQs

Here are some of the FAQs I have found I get asked the most when it comes to overnight oatmeal. I will update this if more questions start popping up! (I also try to include this list on many of my overnight oats recipes for future reference.

How long do overnight oats last?

I typically make 3 or so day’s worth at a time. 3-5 days is the range that they will last and certain ingredients in different flavors impact this. Oats with mashed banana that I makeare typically not good after 2 or 3 days due to the mashed banana but other recipes are good a few days longer. Just keep fruit out of your oats until serving and that should typically help.

What kind of oats do you use?

I preferrolled oatsin mine–I find that they soak up the milk perfectly and are nice and soft after sitting all night. I have seen others suggest steel cut oats for their overnight oats recipe but that is NOT for me. They are too hard and chewy for me. I have found that steel cut oats are best for me in theInstant Pot.

Do you have to make overnight oatmeal in a jar?

When the overnight oatmeal trend hit, it was all the rage to scoop your breakfast out of a mason jar. Heck, I still do. But don’t go out and buy cute little jars just yet. If you have an air tight storage container, then you are in perfect shape. Don’t feel like you have to buy anything extra to make your oatmeal in, bowls can be great as well. I have seen lots of people use the end of apeanut butterjar.

Do you eat overnight oats hot or cold?

I have had readers comment or reach out saying they don’t want to eat cold oats. No one says you have to–promise! Pop them in the microwave in the morning and you are all set! Love them chilled? Great, you just get to eat them about a minute sooner!

Can you add protein powder to your oatmeal?

You sure can! Add your favorite protein powder if you like! Just note that you may need to add more milk to balance it out. I usually add a touch more milk in the morning before eating them if they seem a bit thick.

Easy Overnight Oats Recipes (6 Flavors!) | Lemons + Zest (10)

Possible Add-Ins:

Here are some other great options for ingredients to add to your overnight oats.

  • lemon zest (great in the blueberry muffin!)
  • sweetened or plain Greek yogurt
  • dried fruit like cranberries, raisins, dates, etc.
  • other fresh fruit: raspberries, sliced peaches, blackberries, etc.
  • sunflower seeds
  • another nut or seed butter--cashew butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter, etc.

Check out these other top flavors:

  • Carrot Cake
  • Coconut Cream Pie
  • Peanut Butter Cheesecake
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Lemon Poppy Seed
  • Peanut Butter Banana

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Easy Overnight Oats Recipes (6 Flavors!) | Lemons + Zest (11)

6 Simple Overnight Oats Recipes

Want breakfast ready in the morning when you wake up? Try these 6 Easy Overnight Oats recipes for the easiest breakfast of all. 5 minutes to prep and waiting for you in the morning--these will become the best part of your day!

4.85 from 79 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Chill: 4 hours hours

Total Time: 4 hours hours 5 minutes minutes

Servings: 1

Author: Lorie Yarro


Base Ingredients:

For the Banana Bread

For the Blueberry Muffin:

For the Peanut Butter and Jelly:

For the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip:

For the Strawberries & Cream:

For the Almond Joy:


For All Recipes:

  • Combine base ingredients plus all ingredients for desired flavor in a bowl or jar that can be sealed and stir well.

  • Refrigerate overnight.

  • Add an extra splash of milk if needed before serving. Serve hot or cold.


Base Nutrition information is based on rolled oats, milk and maple syrup. Please see below for individual recipe calories:

Banana Bread: 387 calories

Blueberry Muffin: 445 calories

Peanut Butter & Jelly: 360 calories

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip: 420 calories

Strawberries & Cream: 300 calories

Almond Joy: 488


Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 312mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Calcium: 178mg | Iron: 2mg

Did you enjoy this recipe? Have a Question?Leave a comment below!

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Easy Overnight Oats Recipes (6 Flavors!) | Lemons + Zest (2024)


What not to add in overnight oats? ›

As Best points out, "some of the worst ingredients that are mistakenly added to healthy overnight oat recipes include chocolate sauce, sugar, syrup, and dried fruit."

What is the secret to overnight oats? ›

Add Twice as Much Milk as Oats

Whether you prefer whole milk, rice milk or coconut milk, you can use it. Just make sure to add twice as much milk as oats. Note: You can also use whey, buttermilk or thinned yogurt for a tangier flavor.

How to make overnight oats tastier? ›

Add-ins + toppings – Here's where you can get creative. Just like with regular stove top oats, there are some classic add-ins like vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, maple syrup (or honey) and a pinch of sea salt that really elevate the flavor and make overnight oats super tasty.

Why you shouldn't eat overnight oats in the morning? ›

You see, all grains contain something called “phytic acid”—or phytates—in the outer layer or bran, and oats contain more phytates than almost any other grain. So, if this phytic acid is untreated, it will combine with important minerals in our body and block their absorption.

Why shouldn't you put overnight oats in the fridge? ›

If you soak your oats overnight at room temperature (do not put them in the fridge!) between 7-15hrs it allows the natural enzymes and other helpful organisms to begin fermenting the grain and this will neutralise a large portion of the phytic acid.

What happens to your body when you eat overnight oats everyday? ›

Fiber keeps us full, helps manage blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels, and promotes digestive health, gut health and weight management. So, incorporating fiber-rich foods like overnight oats into your diet can help to bridge this nutritional gap and support your overall health.

Is overnight oats better with milk or yogurt? ›

Milk: You can make overnight oats with any kind of milk — dairy or non-dairy. If using non-dairy milk, it's best to stick with unsweetened. Greek yogurt: Not only does Greek yogurt make overnight oats more filling, but it also gives the oats a super-creamy texture.

What does overnight oats do to your body? ›

When combined with milk or yoghurt, overnight oats can be a source of protein, which is essential for muscle repair and overall body function. The fibre and nutrients in oats are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. They can help lower bad LDL cholesterol levels and promote cardiovascular health.

How long must overnight oats soak? ›

Waiting overnight allows the oats and chia seeds to fully hydrate and soften the oatmeal. We recommend waiting four to five hours for the best experience, but some customers do enjoy eating it immediately for a more textured, chewy oatmeal.

What makes overnight oats better? ›

When soaked overnight, the starch in the oats is naturally broken down, allowing more nutrients to be absorbed by the oats. This causes the oatmeal to swell up and absorb the liquid through every pore, making it a healthy and filling breakfast meal on its own.

Why are overnight oats so thick? ›

Although the consistency of oatmeal mostly depends on personal choice, not adding enough liquid to overnight oats might lead to a thick, pasty mixture.

How do you thicken overnight oats in the morning? ›

But after a little experimentation, I realized that adding chia seeds to overnight oats takes them to a whole new level. They give the oats a delicious thick and creamy texture, sort of like that of chia pudding.

What is the best milk to use for overnight oats? ›

But, anything from whole to skim milk works, or a non-dairy option like soy milk, almond milk, or another option that you prefer. Here you can see (on the right) the more soupy-liquid version is the overnight oats before they have soaked overnight.

What fruit is good for overnight oats? ›

Recipe Tip

Though this recipe calls for blueberries, you can use almost any fruit. Bananas, peaches, or any variety of berries work best.

What not to mix with oats? ›

Some unhealthy toppings for oatmeal include:
  • Sugary syrups like maple syrup or honey.
  • Candied or dried fruit with added sugar.
  • Chocolate chips or other candy.
  • Sweetened whipped cream or heavy cream.
  • Granola or other high-sugar cereals.
  • Sweetened coconut flakes.
  • Artificial sweeteners or sugar substitutes.
Feb 13, 2023

What to avoid with oats? ›

Interactions ?
  • Insulin interacts with OATS. Oats might reduce the amount of insulin needed for blood sugar control. Taking oats along with insulin might cause your blood sugar to drop too low. ...
  • Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with OATS. Oats might lower blood sugar levels.

Can you make overnight oats wrong? ›

Using the wrong oat-to-milk ratio: If you don't add enough milk, some of the oats will soak up all of the liquid before the rest of the oats can absorb any, creating an uneven texture. Some oats will be very soft while others might still be chewy.

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