How to Make Overnight Oats for Breakfast so You Can Actually Get Out the Door on Time

[updated 9-19-2019. This post includes affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a small commission in exchange for any purchases you make through the links below. In other words, thanks for the coffee money!

Today, my busy lovelies, I’m going to teach you how to make overnight oats for breakfast so you can actually get up, get out, and not be running late on an empty stomach for once.

You’ve probably heard some fuss about overnight oats and how they can save you time, money, and extra calories in the mornings. It’s true! Overnight oats are a fab option for busy people breakfasts since they are literally made while you sleep.

Overnight oats can save you a ridiculous amount of time in the mornings, and as a bonus, they are super customizable, easy to make, and a great make-ahead prep recipe!

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Here’s why learning how to make overnight oats can save you morning time hassles.

I’ve long struggled with eating breakfast; I’m rarely hungry in the morning and would prefer just coffee.

But I know breakfast is important, and if I don’t eat it, I usually wind up a hangry, shouty mommy by like 9am.

Not good.

Read: Make-Ahead Smoothie Bags for the Freezer

I kept hearing how amazing overnight oats were, but I was hesitant to try it out since, like, cold oatmeal? Um, no.

But my son loves oatmeal and I was sick of making it from scratch in the mornings, so I gave an overnight oats recipe a whirl.

They’re more filling than a bowl of cereal or a slice of toast, and I can create individual options for my kids based on their tastes. PBJ for one, brown sugar and walnuts for the other, fruit-topped for me.

Or we could all eat the same flavor instead. No one will die from the lack of variety. But that’s not nearly as Pinterest-y, now, is it? 😉

These little overnight oats in a jar are also a fab grab-and-go breakfast item. Kinda like this Overnight Chia Pudding, you can whip up a batch during a weekend Power Hour prep sesh and line them up in your fridge for the week.

Since they do all their ‘cooking’ while you sleep, it’s the ultimate in easy prep!

Read: Blueberry-Maple Chia Overnight Pudding

Does it matter which oats you use for overnight oats?

In a word, no.

Personally, I prefer steel-cut oats to rolled oats, since I like the chewy, hearty texture.

But rolled oats are the standard style of oats most “experts” (ahem, other foodies) recommend when teaching how to make overnight oats, so that’s the more “traditional” choice.

1-minute or quick oats are generally not recommended since they get super soggy overnight.

How do you store overnight oats so they don’t get soggy and gross?

I prefer to mix up overnight oats plain, with no seasoning other than some salt, and pop the mixture into small, 1-cup Pyrex glass containers since they will stack easier to stack in the fridge. But mason jars are a great place to store overnight oats as well, also.

And, of course, mason jars are way more Instagram-worthy. These are the important details, after all.

Here’s an easy formula to remember how to make overnight oats: 1 Part Oats + 2 Part Liquid + Sit Overnight, then add toppings. 

  • Take one part steel cut oats (which are better for overnight oats since they’re ‘sturdier’ than quick oats)
  • Combine with double the liquid (milk, water, even bone broth if you like your oats savory)
  • Shake
  • Sit, overnight if possible
  • Add toppings (nuts, peanut butter, coconut flakes, etc)
  • Enjoy!

What’s the deal with overnight oats lately?

If it seems like you’re seeing overnight oats lately, that’s because you totally are.

Overnight oats are absolutely enjoying a surge in popularity, and it’s easy to see why: easy to make, taste great, adjustable depending on your flavor preferences, and they’re a cheap and quick breakfast.

Oats include soluble fiber, which means they break down slowly in your body- keeping you fuller for longer. What’s more, breaking down slowly means no spikes in insulin, which is the main culprit in producing and storing fat in our bodies.

The TLDR? Oats can help you lose weight. PLUS taste good. AND are cheap.

I mean, come on. That’s a full-on win-win proposition right there.

Here are 5 easy variations on overnight oats:

Some people like to add the flavorings and toppings beforehand, but I find a lot of toppings don’t hold up well to overnight soaking and can get a little soggy. We add our toppings after the oats are out of the fridge.

Experiment and find what you like best!


1 cup oats

2 cup milk

1 pinch salt


  1. Combine oats, milk, and salt in a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid, seal, and shake to mix thoroughly.
  2. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Top as desired and enjoy!

A note on oat types: Steel cut oats will give you a ‘chewier’ and heartier texture (they’re my favorite!) Rolled oats are the standard style used in most overnight oats recipes and bring a more traditionally soft oatmeal texture Quick or 1-minute oats tend to get too soggy when left overnight; these are best used when you want “overnight” oats but forgot to make them the night before 🙂

A note on milk types: Feel free to use any kind of milk here, be it plant-based or animal based. You can also sub in water or even bone broth if you’re going for a savory flavor!

16 thoughts on “How to Make Overnight Oats for Breakfast so You Can Actually Get Out the Door on Time”

  1. Oh my gosh! It’s a stupid mistake; I always use a 2:1 ratio when making overnight oats as I find they soak up tons of liquid while in the fridge, and I like them soft. I’m going to amend the post- I was wrong there- but not the recipe. So sorry for any confusion.

  2. You mentioned 1 Part Oats + 1 Part Liquid, which is what I’ve used in the past, but the recipe says 1 Part Oats + 2 Parts Liquid. Confused.

  3. I love oatmeal and my son (10 months) also loves oatmeal. I haven’t tried overnight oats yet though. I am really interested and I love these different recipes. I think I will make some. I’ve also heard you can do overnight oats then in the morning add an egg and make them into pancakes, I want to try this too.

  4. I love making oatmeal for breakfast. Two out of three of my girls loves oatmeal too. Love your flavored options. Pinning it for later!

  5. These are so delicious and healthy ! Haven’t tried overnight oats but this is such an awesome idea for an healthy breakfast.Loved the combinations also especially the french toast

  6. I’ll be honest, I’ve never made overnight oats before but these all look DELICIOUS! I think my picky husband would even like them so I’m DEFINITELY adding them to my list! THank you so much for sharing. I’m most excited for the french toast. 😉

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