Easy Overnight Oats for Busy Mornings

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overnight oats recipes

What’s Up, Hungry People!

Ever been caught between the love for sleep and the need for a good brekkie? Say hello to overnight oats: your new BFF for those groggy mornings. They’re my life-saver for a simple, ready-to-eat, and varied breakfast menu. Because let’s be honest, who can commit to the same breakfast day in and day out without wanting to cry into their cereal bowl?

In one quick shopping trip, you can pick up everything you need for overnight oats. Some recipes call for milk, but I used almond milk as a healthier alternative. You can mix and match your own toppings. Overnight oats can actually be made up to a week in advance, but for the freshest results, pop everything into a jar the night before. I’m one of those weirdos who enjoys oats like, really soggy, so I thought mine were best after a day or two or three!

overnight oat ingredients

Here’s What You Need

  • Oats: Foundation for overnight oats, oats absorb liquid and become soft.
  • Almond Milk: Dairy-free liquid for soaking oats, adds a nutty flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract: Enhances flavor complexity with a warm, floral note.
  • Strawberries: Provide natural sweetness and a juicy texture.
  • Bananas: Offer creaminess and a mellow, sweet taste.
  • Graham Crackers: Add a honeyed crunch and nostalgic s’mores flavor.
  • Mini Chocolate Chips: Introduce chocolatey bits for a sweet surprise.
  • Peanut Butter: Contributes richness and protein.
  • Grape Jelly: Adds a burst of grape flavor and sweetness.
  • Nutella: Gives a luxurious, chocolaty hazelnut spread to mix in.
  • Apples: Give a fresh crunch and a tart contrast.
  • Maple Syrup: A natural sweetener with a woodsy, autumnal flavor.
  • Walnuts: Add texture and a nutty essence, plus healthy fats.
soaking overnight oats

Soggy Oat Enthusiasts, Unite!

I’ve got a soft spot for the soggier side of life. If you’re with me on this, aim for a good 24 to 72-hour soak. Just dunk your oats in milk, and let them swim with a splash of vanilla – trust me, a little dollop does wonders.

The Layering Game

When prepping for the week, stack your jar like this:

  1. Oats drown happily in almond milk
  2. Fruit layers come next – to keep things bright and perky
  3. Peanut or nut butters – because they’re the glue to your oat concoction
  4. A dash of jam or jelly for a sweet finish

Bananas are high-maintenance and tend to go all diva if not buried under other ingredients to prevent browning. Oh, and team peanut butter? Your oats are stars both warm or cold.

Flavor Town – Population: Your Oats

Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats

The Strawberry Banana Classic

Strawberries are nature’s candy, seriously. They’ll sweeten up your morning without the sugar crash. Chill them, or have them make room temperature their home – either way, they’re winners.

Cinnamon S’more Overnight Oats

cinnamon smore overnight oats

Campfire in a Jar

Craving that fireside feeling? Add a little marshmallow fluff (diet-smashing optional), and cinnamon graham cracker for crunch. Warm them up, and your spoon’s in for a cozy treat.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Overnight Oats

pb&j overnight oats

PB&J Remix

My top pick, hands down. Change up your jelly game as you like – no microwave required, unless you want that warm, fuzzy feeling.

Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats

peanut butter banana overnight oats

The Banana Peanut Butter Duo

Chunky peanut butter isn’t just for sandwiches; it’s the texture your oats dream about. Dive into this one either warmed or as it is – because who’s judging?

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats

chocolate covered strawberry overnight oats

Indulge with Chocolate

Listen, if eating Nutella was a sport, I’d be an Olympian. Mix it with strawberries, and you’ve got a chilled or warm indulgence that’s pretending to be breakfast. And I’m here for it.

Strawberry Banana Walnut Overnight Oats

strawberry banana walnut overnight oats

Strawberry Banana with a Crunch

Jam or fresh strawberries – depends on how fast you’ll devour it. Toss in some walnuts for good measure.

Maple Apple Walnut Overnight Oats

maple apple walnut overnight oats

Fall in a Jar

Maple and apple with a hint of walnut crunch make a hearty combo. Keep it chilled or zap it warm – it’s comfort food that doesn’t cling to your hips.

Overnight Oats Tips

  • Choosing the Right Oats: Rolled oats are ideal for overnight oats as they absorb liquid well and offer a creamy texture without becoming too mushy. Avoid instant oats if you can, as they tend to become too soft, losing that satisfying chew.
  • Almond Milk Alternatives: If almond milk isn’t your cup of tea, feel free to use any other milk or milk alternative you prefer. The key is to use a liquid that will soak into the oats and one that you enjoy the taste of.
  • To Peel or Not to Peel Bananas: If you’re using bananas, you don’t need to peel and slice them until you’re ready to eat if you’re worried about them browning. Alternatively, a little lemon juice on the slices can prevent browning.
  • Spicing It Up: Don’t shy away from spices! Cinnamon, nutmeg, and even a dash of ginger can bring warmth and depth to your overnight oats.
  • Layering for Success: When adding your toppings, think about the order; put jams and nut butters closer to the middle to prevent sogginess and to create a delightful surprise as you dig in.
  • Nutella Moderation: While Nutella is delicious, remember it’s also rich in sugar. A little goes a long way in terms of flavor and caloric content, so use it sparingly unless it’s a cheat day treat.
  • Texture Talk: For added texture, try toasting your nuts or adding raw seeds like chia or flax. They’ll also up the nutrition quotient of your oats.
  • Fruit Freshness: If using fruits like apples or bananas that oxidize and brown, coat them in a small amount of citrus juice or layer them under other ingredients to maintain their color and freshness.
  • Heat It Up: If you’re warming your oats, remember that the toppings may change in texture. Something like Nutella may melt and become more gooey, which can be delicious, but may not be what you’re after if you prefer your oats on the cooler side.
  • On-the-Go Oats: For an on-the-go breakfast, make sure your container is secure. A mason jar with a tight-fitting lid works wonders to prevent any oatmeal accidents on your morning commute.

And…Snack Time!

Who said you can’t have oats for snacks? Not me. A jar with less might just keep those afternoon hunger pangs at bay.

So, there you have it, Hungry People – a foolproof way to kick-start your day without the fuss. Make ’em, stack ’em, eat ’em – and Enjoy!

Remember, this isn’t just about eating well; it’s about living well and making sure you don’t snooze through breakfast. With overnight oats, you’ll be ahead of the game without breaking the bank or your alarm clock. Until next time!

overnight oatmeal ingredients

Grab-and-Go Breakfast: Overnight Oats

The Starving Chef
Master the art of easy, healthy breakfast with this versatile overnight oats recipe.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Overnight Chill 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Healthy
Servings 8



  • 3 cups oats
  • 4 cups almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla


  • 3 strawberries sliced
  • ½ banana sliced
  • ¾ cup base oats


  • ½ banana sliced
  • 2 graham crackers crushed
  • 2 teaspoons mini chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup base oats


  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons grape jelly
  • 1 cup base oats



  • 2 tablespoons Nutella
  • 3 strawberries sliced
  • ¾ cup base oats



  • 3 strawberries sliced
  • ½ banana sliced
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts
  • ¾ cup base oats


  • Place the oats and almond milk in a large bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract. Soak the oats for at least ten minutes to allow them to begin absorbing the liquid.
  • Spoon the soaked oats into individual mason jars or an equivalent container. For best flavor and texture, soak the oats in the refrigerator overnight before adding toppings.
  • Before serving, add the desired toppings to each jar based on the flavor combinations listed above and shake well to combine.
  • Enjoy your overnight oats chilled or at room temperature. For a warm treat, remove the lid and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. Be sure to stir well after heating to distribute the warmth evenly.
Keyword breakfast, oats
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