This overnight oats recipe is an amazing no-bake, healthy meal prep meal.
It together in just a few minutes, then just has to sit in the fridge overnight so you can wake up to a delicious meal that's full of fiber, protein, and flavor.
I’ve never been a fan of hot oatmeal, so naturally the idea of cold oatmeal (oat cereal?) never really appealed to me until I recently had something similar while I was traveling. Now I’m hooked on healthy overnight oats!
Overnight oats are super easy to put together the night before you want to eat it and will last in your refrigerator for up to four days. The oats get softer the longer they soak, so play around with the ratio of milk to oats and time soaked to find your perfect recipe.
The recipe here makes 2 servings of almond butter and banana overnight oats. Check out my other overnight oats recipes for more ideas.
Here's everything you need to know about making the best overnight oats...
How to Make Overnight Oats
Step 1: Choose a container
Grab a jar or bowl with a tight-fitting lid. A pint-sized mason jar (the smaller one) works great, as does any bowl or container with a lid.
Step 2: Layer your ingredients
When using a jar to make 1-2 servings of overnight oats, I prefer to layer the recipe like a parfait with fruit, seeds (chia, hemp, or flax), and/or nut butter at the bottom, then add a layer of oats, and repeat until you have about ½ inch to an inch of room at the top of your container. Layering in a jar helps you have a delicious mixture of flavors and textures in each bite.
To make overnight oats, layer from the bottom like this:
- a few pieces of sliced or chopped fruit
- ½ teaspoon seeds (chia, hemp, flax, etc.)
- 1 teaspoon nut butter or nuts (almond butter, peanut butter, sun butter, etc.)
- ¼ cup or more of whole rolled oats
- then repeat until the jar is almost full, leaving room for the milk
- pour in your milk mixture (see below), cover, and refrigerate overnight
- Good 'ol almond butter and banana overnight oats are always a delicious choice (in the recipe card below), and Apple Pie Overnight Oats makes for a wonderfully delicious and healthy choice when apples are in season.
- Always leave room for the milk! You need room for the liquid and your oats will expand a bit as they soak, so always leave a bit of room at the top of the jar or bowl you are using.
- If you want to make a larger batch for multiple people or to serve breakfast, then check out my Family-Style Overnight Oats recipe to make this in a large bowl.
- Whether you're making a single serving or a large family meal, blueberries make a wonderful addition to top off your healthy overnight oats if you happen to have any around.
- I buy my maple syrup, honey, whole rolled oats, cinnamon and tons of other pantry staples on Thrive Market, a healthy online grocer that eliminates the middle-men to bring us the best prices. Here's my partner link for 40% off your first order if you need it!
Step 3: Add the Liquid & Flavorings
After your ingredients are layered, pour in the milk and let it soak in.
Any plant-based milk (such as almond milk) or even regular milk works. Water even works in a pinch.
I prefer to use all unsweetened ingredients and then add a natural sweetener like honey or pure maple syrup to control the amount of sugar. If you use maple syrup be sure to read the label and only use 100% pure maple syrup, no other ingredients should be listed on the ingredients label. A little sweetness is all you need; the vanilla extract also adds an extra gourmet flavor.
Mix your unsweetened milk with any sweetener you want (if desired) and also add your vanilla extract, cinnamon, or any other flavorings you plan to use. Ground cardamom is also a great addition.
After you've poured in the milk, cover it and put it in the fridge.
Voila! In the morning you'll have wonderful overnight oats.
Overnight Oats Variations
- Make it dairy-free: Use plant-based milk such as almond milk or oat milk to keep this recipe dairy-free
- Make it gluten-free: Oats are gluten-free by nature but often stored in places with gluten-containing grains. Look for "certified gluten-free" oats if that's important to you
- Make it with fresh or frozen fruit: You can use either fresh or frozen fruit in overnight oats—both work great. We like to use whatever is fresh and in-season, and a good price at the store. Berries, cherries, and peaches are wonderful in summertime overnight oats. Chopped up apples are awesome in the fall, and we use banana slices all year round. We tend to use frozen berries during the winter months.
This healthy overnight oats recipe is a staple in my breakfast routine. It's easy, full of fiber, and easy to customize to make it your own. Don't forget the vanilla extract in the milk, it really elevates the flavor and turns bland oats into a gourmet breakfast.
- 1 banana, sliced (or ¼ cup any fruit of your choice)
- 1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened almond butter (or peanut butter)
- 1 ½ teaspoons chia seeds
- 1 cup of whole rolled oats (not instant)
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or any unsweetened nut milk)
- 1 teaspoon organic maple syrup (100% real maple syrup), or raw honey
- ¼ teaspoon high-quality vanilla extract
- optional: berries to top
- You’ll need a wide-mouth pint-sized mason jar or similar glass container with a secure fitting lid.
- In a separate container, mix your nut milk, natural sweetener and vanilla extract. Set aside.
- In your mason jar, layer the ingredients as follows: 3-4 slices of banana, 2 dollops of almond butter, ½ teaspoon chia seeds, ½ cup oats, then repeat two or three times until there is a 1-inch gap between the top of the ingredients and top of the mason jar.
- Pour your milk mixture over the oats leaving about ½ inch gap at the top to allow your oats to expand as they soak. Stick a knife or fork to the bottom of the jar a few times to help the milk soak to the bottom of the jar, if needed.
- Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, or at least 6-8 hours to let the oats absorb the almond milk.
Tip: You can get creative with this recipe and use berries instead of bananas, flax instead of chia, or any unsweetened nut milk or nut butter that you fancy.
This recipe makes 2 servings in a pint-sized mason jar. This recipe is easy to scale using multiple jars, or check out my Family-Style Overnight Oats to make a larger batch.
Keywords: overnight oats recipe, how to make overnight oats
If you like this recipe and want to learn more about clean eating, be sure to check out my book, The Health Habit, now!