4 Ideas for Overnight Oatmeal

For me, oatmeal is one of those foods that I just plain forget about. I’ve pretty much always loved oatmeal. It’s warm, easy to customize cereal. Who doesn’t love cereal? And once I learned that oatmeal can actually be quite good for you, I was even more sold on it as a breakfast option. The one draw back is prep time. You can easily make oatmeal on the stove top or in the oven (yay for baked oatmeal!). Neither option takes much time. But when you’re the kind of person who waits until the last possible moment before leaving your house to think about breakfast, well, your options get pretty limited fast. That’s why I was so excited to try out overnight oats.I am happy to report overnight oats are awesome! You can quickly put this together the night before and you have a ready to go breakfast in the morning. You could easily pop this in the microwave too, if the weather is super cold where you live right now (we just got more snow yesterday!). So, how do you make overnight oats? Here are a few of my favorite combinations so far. Very Berry Oats, serves one.

2/3 cup oats
2/3 cup coconut milk (or almond milk)
1 tablespoon blueberry jam or 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
fresh or frozen berries for the top

The night before combine the first three ingredients in a small jar. Give it a good shake with the lid on. Place in the refrigerator. This variation isn’t very sweet, the only sugar being whatever is in your particular blueberry jam (you could use any fruit jam you prefer).Banana Nut Oats, serves one.

2/3 cup oats
2/3 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy milks both work great in these)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
banana slices and chopped pecans

The night before combine the first four ingredients in a small jar. Give it a good shake with the lid on. Place in the refrigerator. Top with bananas and pecans the next morning just before eating.Pumpkin Spice Oats, serves one.

2/3 cup oats
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
a big pinch of cinnamon
a small pinch of nutmeg
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
granola or chopped nuts for the top

The night before combine the first seven ingredients in a small jar. Give it a good shake with the lid on. Place in the refrigerator. In the morning top with crunchy granola. Oats on oats. Then, go ahead, it’s good I tell you. 🙂Tropical Oats, serves one. (Exotic sounding, no?)

2/3 cups oats
2/3 cup coconut milk (or almond milk)
1 tablespoon brown sugar or maple syrup
sliced mango
chopped almonds

The night before combine the first three ingredients in a small jar. Give it a good shake with the lid on. Place in the refrigerator. In the morning top with sliced mango and chopped almonds. I also think a little toasted coconut would be wonderful in this one. The morning I made this I found I did not have any coconut left though. Oops. Before adding the toppings in the morning be sure to give the oats a taste and add a little more sweetener or even a pinch of sea salt to boost the flavor. Try it! You’re gonna love it. xo. Emma

Note: If you are enjoying these as part of the WeekDay Weekend Challenge be sure to use non-dairy milks and natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey. Yum!

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman.


Overnight Oats

Keyword overnight oats
Servings 1


Very Berry Oats

  • cup oats
  • cup coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon blueberry jam or 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • fresh or frozen berries for the top

Banana Nut Oats

  • cup oats
  • cup milk dairy or non-dairy milks both work great in these
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • banana slices
  • pecans chopped

Pumpkin Spice Oats

  • cup oats
  • cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a big pinch of cinnamon
  • a small pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • granola or chopped nuts for the top

Tropical Oats

  • cups oats
  • cup coconut milk or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or maple syrup
  • mango sliced
  • almonds chopped


  • The night before combine the oats, milk, jams, syrups, and any extract or spices in a small jar. Give it a good shake with the lid on. Place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning add additional toppings. Or warm in the microwave (or oven) before serving.
    • Yes, they are raw. That’s the idea, that they soak overnight to ‘cook’ them

  • I love making overnight oatmeal! I made it a lot while I was pregnant because it was healthy & filling, and then I made it a lot while breastfeeding to help with milk production. And now I just make it because it’s easy & yummy! Never made it with bananas & syrup though, so I’ll definitely try it out that way as well! yum!

  • Also great to grab for a fast lunch at the desk when you have refridgeration at work. I like using Saigon Cinnamon and raisens — no need for sweetener.

  • i haven’t tried overnight oats yet, though it sounds so good! giving it a try soon 🙂
    xo, cheyenne

  • Hi Emma and Elsie, these look great. Mentioned them on my blog today: http://littlebearsinoxford.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/breakfast-bears/

  • This is a silly question but do you cook the oats the night before when u put them in the jar or do u cook it them the next morning?

  • These sound great. What type of oats are you using… just plain rolled oats – steel cut – ???

  • it all looks great and very healthy, cool inspiration


  • I LOVE overnight oatmeal! have you tried making it with Greek yogurt instead of milk? now that is some rib sticking yummy goodness! I personally love using Yogurt of the Gods honey vanilla, with some blueberries or raspberries.

  • Just whipped up four jars for the morning! LOVE overnight oats, thanks for the new combos!!!!

  • I am so thrilled to have caught this recipe when I did! I was actually just thinking about making oats for my kids in the morning, but as I am also a very last-minute kind of person, I’m not very good at making hot breakfast on weekday mornings. I was looking at some of the photography tips and saw the link for this on the side. A serendipitous find, I tell you! Thank you!

  • I tried the Banana Nut Oats and it was de-li-cious !
    I’m gonna taste the Pumpkin Spice Oats tomorrow morning !
    Thanks for these receipe !

  • What type of oats did you find worked best? Steel cut, Old-Fashioned, or Quick oats? I’m looking forward to making these as an easy on-the-go breakfast!

    Love, Em

  • The Pumpkin Spice Oats and the Tropical Oats look fantastic!
    Just stocked up on oatmeal so will give it a try!

  • Yum yum can’t wait to try this! I love bananas with oats. And the berry one looks good too. x

  • What kind of oats are you using? The regular kind or the quick cook kind? Could you use steel cut oats? They are the best.
    Thanks for the great idea.

  • I love this idea, but I have to ask- are you actually eating this cold? You said we “could” pop it in the microwave. How long do you suggest to heat it so it doesn’t turn to glue?

  • Hi Emma, how long can we keep these in the fridge for? Will they get too soggy if left there for more than one night?
    Thanks for the ideas, they look delicious!

  • Is Quaker instant oatmeal not an option in your part of the world….or you just prefer making it from scratch? Growing up, my go to breakfast was always plain instant oatmeal with milk and brown sugar. Sometimes I’d add nuts and/or fruits and that would take no more than 2 minutes to make. I’ll have to try this version to see if it’s actually better from scratch 😉

  • Looks delicious! Do you know if it lasts in the fridge longer than just overnight?

  • I love this idea! Coming across this article has been fate. Definitely trying this tonight.

    x C


  • This is probably a stupid question (I don’t know how to cook ok?) but you don’t cook the oats? you just let it soak in there and it gets soft? Even when I cook my oats sometimes they’re too hard and I get indigestion 🙁 But I’m gonna trust ya and try this 😉

    The Artistically Challenged: Beauty, Fashion, Music, Lifestyle Blog

  • I’ve been looking for more do-ahead/overnight breakfast ideas so the timing on these is perfect! thanks, ABM! <3

  • YES! My son LOVES oatmeal but I am always pressed for time in the morning. Definitely trying this tonight…maybe some baby friendly versions too with just oats, water and fruit? Will IG any successes and tag you! Thanks for the breakky inspiration! xxSamantha


  • This is a great idea for when I’m on the go with my daughter!


  • never would of thought of these ideas to spice overnight oats up! i’ve gotten so bored of just plain ones and I am excited to try the berry and banana ones! pumpkin spice looks good too, but maybe that can be saved till fall because right now I am longing for warm weather. xx wanderlise.blogspot.com

  • I can’t wait to try this! Thanks for sharing. I’m new to reading your blog and I LOVE it!!! So many great ideas… thanks for sharing them with the world and thanks for inspiring others to get a little crafty 😉

  • I love the simplicity and convenience of over night oats. I love adding peanut butter to mine, but your pumpkin spice version sounds divine!


  • That looks very good, and the fact you make it the day before is awesome, but I’m a savoury person – any tips for making savoury overnight oatmeal ?

  • These sound INCREDIBLE! I tried (and failed horrifically) to make overnight oats last summer, but these recipes are too delicious to ignore so I’ll definitely be trying these out. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day so this is perfect.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Jo xxx


  • This is a great idea, thank you for sharing. I often make Bircher muesli which is very similar, and it’s a brilliant breakfast which keeps you going all morning. I just use oats, natural yoghurt, some apple juice and berries.

  • This is brilliant and perfect for a 9-5er! I will be making the banana one ASAP 🙂

  • Yummy! Overnight oats are so great because you can make them the night before and take them in the car on busy days! Mmmm!


  • I have never tried overnight oatmeals before but it sounds like I will have to because they’re so easy and they seem so yummy!
    Celina | The Celution | Bloglovin’

  • Love these ideas! I do steel cut oats, almond milk, canned pumpkin, chia seeds cinnamon and pumpkin spice all in the croc pot on low for 3 hours, refrigerate and the next day add a bit more almond milk and microwave it and soooo gooood! 🙂


  • Gah, thanks for these! Always looking for more overnight oat ideas — I’ve had my fair share of overly-bland overnight oats. Never would have thought to put some fruit jam in oats!

  • MMMMMMM! yum they look delish, i will need to try it! my favourite was the banana nut one, it seemed very warm and sweet : )

  • Definitely going to trying these!! Perfect for my “Start eating breakfast because it’s the most important meal of the day” resolution!


  • I’ve been using the overnight oatmeal recipes from The Yummy Life (http://www.theyummylife.com/Refrigerator_Oatmeal) for a while now and am so excited to see new combinations! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • These look so delicious! I didn’t realize oatmeal was a food you didn’t have to cook in order to prepare. Quick question though, what kind of oats do you use? Steal cut or instant oats? I know the prep time on these are much different so I didn’t know which one would work for this. Thanks!

  • I haven’t heard of overnight oatmeal, but it sounds great! I especially like the blueberry one.

  • I’ve never actually made overnight oats, but these look delicious!



  • These all sound delish! I love oatmeal!


  • Oooh, what a fun idea! I have to be at work crazy early, and I miss having a good breakfast, so may have to try this! Though I don’t have a microwave and I didnt know cold porridge was a thing!

  • Thank you so much for this. I really wanted to try to eat more gluten free and I’ve been trying to figure out breakfast. It seemed like I was either going to have to be an uber carnivore or eat like Chex cereal. I forgot about oatmeal.

  • This sounds like a great idea! I will have to try the Banana nut oats. It’s perfect for people who need a grab and go breakfast, or even as a midday snack for work. Thanks!

  • In Scandinavia where I’m from we eat a LOT of oats in the form of porridge, but it’s not as sweet as it seems to be elsewhere. I eat porridge every morning though, it’s so easy – just pop 1dl of oats in a bowl with 2dl of water, microwave for 2mins and you’re done! I usually put frozen fruit in the warm porridge so that they melt a bit but at the same time cool it down, or sometimes cinnamon which is lovely too!

  • mmm! these are great ideas. I love cold oatmeal! And i forget that it’s an option, too…I always seem to grab for a bagel, the obvious choice.

    thanks for these ideas!


  • This was the perfect post for me right now! Great ideas. 🙂

    ♥ Naomi Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups

  • i always forget to make oatmeal, but these sound absolutely fantastic!
    will definitely be giving them a try 🙂

    Molly {Dreams in HD}

  • It cooks on it’s own in the fridge??


  • I was just thinking that I needed a new breakfast routine and this sounds perfect. I would definitely heat them up in the morning. I’m from Toronto and the snow and cold is in full force here right now.

  • Great recipes! I’m always running out the house at the last minute. I’m also liking that you included almond milk in the recipes – great for my milk-hating tummy 🙂

  • I am learning to love oatmeal again, and this is just what I needed! Thanks so much 🙂

  • These ideas look super yummy. I often make overnight muesli, but normally stick to the apple juice/milk combo. Time to branch out!
    Claie xx
    somewhere… beyond the sea

  • Funny how hard it is to come up with mixing ideas on my own sometimes. Thanks for the suggestions!

  • overnight oats became my most favourite breakfast last year!! Not everyone is into eating cold oatmeal, but I really got into it. I add 1/2 tbsp of chia seeds as well, for more omegas! I love the texture it adds, too. 🙂 Love the idea of adding jam, hadn’t thought of that!

  • The banana one sounds so good! I usually just have the instant oatmeals for breakfast but this is so much better!


  • I love this idea! I’m definitely going to try a couple of these recipes 🙂

  • this looks soooo good!
    thanks for the recipes going to try to make one now for tomorrow morning ^^

  • Cuuute idea! I like oatmeal, but my boyfriend LOVES it. And he eats the store kind with tons of sugar in it, unfortunately. Maybe some yummy homemade oatmeal will convert him!


  • I totally have to try that pumpkin spice oatmeal – perfect for a chilly Vermont morning!

    Meghan xo

  • Yum! What a sweet idea! Mason jars seem to make any meal a bit more fun! 😉


  • Since I discovered overnight oats not too long ago I have never looked back!
    It’s so simple, and you wake up to an already made and ready to go breakfast, which gives me more time to hit the snooze in the morning =)

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  • Tomorrow morning’s breakfast resting right now in the fridge. Yey!
    (We had coconut milk, oats and brown sugar, topping-to-be bananas and chocolate, yummy!)

  • Looks delicious- am going to try it!
    Have you been warming them in the AM or eating cold? I’m used to hot oatmeal- not sure the cold texture would be something I enjoy but worth a shot.

  • love everything about that tropical oatmeal, deliciousness in a jar.


  • These all look delicious, and since I just happen to have lots of jars and lots of oats, it will be at the top of my “to try” list! Do you have a preference between regular (old-fashioned) oats or quick oats? Thanks for the great breakfast idea!


  • Emma
    Great ideas! But quick Q- I get that you just refrigerate overnight- but then what do you do in the morning? Pop in microwave for how long? Do you need to use instant oatmeal for this?

  • These are great….and I seem to have heaps of empty jam jars…for some reason! 😉


  • Ohhh I’ve always wanted to try this! Living in a dorm overnight oatmeal sounds perfect!

    xo, Juliette Laura

  • What a wonderful idea! How long do you microwave, just until warm? I’ve been making leftovers from the previous night’s dinner to take as breakfast. Check out my Frilly Cheesesteaks! (http://briannabrumfield.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/menu-frilly-cheese-steak/)

  • I tried overnight oats long ago and couldn’t deal with the texture, but I think I’d like to give them another go. These look like great flavor combinations!

  • Great idea! As a student in full exams, every minute counts! And i love oatmeal! (:

  • Yumm, I love oatmeal and these are great ideas. Looks great. 🙂

    Je suis L’amour et Aquarius

  • I’m going to try this when I get back home from the holidays…if I ever am able to live the midwest. Breaking records here. LOL. So warm oatmeal sounds delicious!

  • LOVE overnight oats!! Angela over at Oh She Glows makes the coolest dishes with them 🙂 They’re so easy to make!

  • It’s looks yummy and healthy, we sure are gonna try 🙂
    I may start with the tropical one, as the weather here in Paris in still amazingly warm for the season.
    Nope, no snow in Paris…

  • I am the queen of “wake-up-last-minute-grab-a-granola-bar” and I think that’s probably why I don’t like breakfast.

    I will be sure to try this…it’s really good for grabbing and taking to the office to eat there! Hah!

  • Sounds great! I´ve always wanted to make oatmeal but where I live many people don´t even know what oatmeal exactly is….. So thank you for these easy recipes!!

  • These look so yummy! Definitely adding to my “to try / to do” lists! Thank you!

  • I needed this. Thank You. As hard as I try I can maybe pre plan breakfast once a month. Horrible! I think with this trick I may be upping that number.

  • How clever! I didn’t know you could let it soak in the fridge like that overnight! Thanks for sharing and can’t wait to try! ^_^

  • Yum! I eat oatmeal everyday but never as fancy as this, will definitely give these a try! Xox

  • I love the idea of overnight oats, life has just kicked up a gear for me recently and being able to grab an easy breakfast in the morning will make a massive difference, really want to experiment with some flavour combinations too!

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