25 Overnight Oats Recipes for Busy Mornings

Overnight oats are simple to put together, full of flavor and slow-burning energy, and they make busy mornings go faster! Here’s a great list of my favorite 25 grab-and-go overnight oats recipes.

What do we want?

BREAKFAST!

When do we want it?

YESTERDAY!

Ok no, really, overnight oats are one of the easiest morning time grab-and-go breakfasts a busy mama can keep in her meal prep arsenal.

Overnight oats are simple to throw together, kids love them, and you can eat them while walking out the door.

I tell my kids it’s like eating lumpy ice cream for breakfast. The 2 year old buys it and the 4 year old rolls her eyes at me (how is this a thing already? #4goingon14) but reality is, overnight oats are the tasty bedrock of any busy morning.

Overnight oats are packed with slow burning energy, meaning they have a better chance of keeping you full til lunch.

Add nuts and milks for protein and sweeteners and seasonings for flavor (and maybe cold brew for your mama brain) and you’ve got yourself a winning breakfast.

You can even make savory overnight oats, if you’re not a big fan of the sweets-for-breakfast thing.

Here’s my basic overnight oats ratio, for those who want to make it themselves:

(psst- I have a whole post outlining my favorite types of overnight oats! Read it here)

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup milk (almond milk is our fave, but regular cow milk is awesome)
  • Cinnamon and maple syrup to taste
  • Pecans or walnuts

Other than that, go crazy! I also like adding peanut butter (powder, creamy, or chunky), chocolate chips, coconut flakes, raisins, you name it: the toppings aisle is your playground.

I even put together a handy list of 25 overnight oats recipes to jumpstart your mornings:

Savory:

Maple Bacon Overnight Oats

Spicy Black Bean Overnight Oats

Miso-Glazed Banana and Bacon

Cheddar and Herb Overnight Oats

Turmeric Poached Egg Overnight Oats

Grilled Avocado and Chili-Spiced Egg Overnight Oats

Sweet:

Banana Chocolate Chip Overnight Oats

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight Oats

Homemade Apple Pie Overnight Oats

Snickerdoodle Overnight Oats

Apple Crisp Overnight Oats

Chai Spiced Chia Overnight Oats

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

Nutella Overnight Oats

Cold Brew Coffee Protein Overnight Oats

Healthy Cookie Dough Overnight Oats

Tres Leches Overnight Oats

Almond Joy Overnight Oats

Pumpkin Spice Latte Overnight Oats

Banana Bread Overnight Oats

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Overnight Oats

Cherry, Vanilla, and Dark Chocolate Overnight Oats

Mocha Almond Overnight Oats

Pecan Pie Overnight Oats

11 Insanely Easy Side Dishes That You Can Make Ahead and Freeze

Freeze all the things! Even your side dishes. 

Side dish recipes are, for me, often the trickiest part of getting dinner on the table.

There are only so many times I can roast broccoli florets with olive oil and salt (my normal weeknight go-to) and instead make one of our side dishes a little more interesting.

The problem with “interesting” side dishes on a weeknight, though? They usually take too dang long. We’re working against the clock here, people!

That’s why I started seeking out some easy side dishes that did double duty as banging freezer meals.

If I could throw a couple together on a weekend and store for later, I knew it would save me time on the weeknights; bonus was it would change up our boring side dish routine!

So here are some of the tastiest side dishes I’ve found out on these there interwebs lately. I’ve saved them to my Side Dishes Pinterest board, where I’m always adding new pins and recipes, so if you dig this list, make sure to follow that board, too!


Lemon Parmesan Zucchini from Damn Delicious

Baked Zucchini Bites from Give It Some Thyme

Balsamic Glazed Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Girl In the Kitchen

Cauliflower Rice from Cook Eat Paleo

Parmesan Garlic Cabbage from Real Housemoms

Freezer Slaw from The Daring Gourmet

Confetti Corn from Better Homes and Gardens

Freezer Mashed Potatoes from The Kitchn

Spinach Balls from Genius Kitchen

Freezer Dinner Rolls from Cooking with Karli

Potato Latkes from Tori Avey


There you have it: a whole buncha freezer sides to get you going! Now I’ve just gotta find the time to batch cook on a weekend….

Maple Butter Carrots

Get your kids eating this easy carrot side dish on a weeknight dinner this week! They hold up well in the fridge for a few days, too- making it a meal prep rockstar.

Hey, wanna know how to get your kids eating more vegetables?

Make a carrot dish dish with butter and maple syrup.

I know, I know. It sounds like you’re basically making candy out of carrots.

And honestly, in a way, that’s exactly what you’re doing.

This kid-friendly carrot side dish is big, soft bites of carrot, cooked in butter and maple syrup.

First, you caramelize the carrots in butter, getting a lovely brown and toasty thang going.

Then, you add maple syrup and a lid to the pot, so they steam in the sweetness and retain that lovely brown caramelization.

We love these carrots on the side of something hearty, like a pot roast or roast chicken.

And they hold up like rockstars in the fridge for up to 5 days, so they get an extra participation trophy in the meal prep game!

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Maple Butter Carrots

  • Author: Ruthy Kirwan

Description

Bite-sized chunks of carrot are browned in butter and then a lid is added and they are steamed with maple syrup, making these kid-friendly and a great side dish for your weeknight dinner tale. I used peeled, chopped carrots but baby carrots work great, too!


Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

3 pounds carrots, peeled and ends trimmed

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons maple syrup

½ cup water


Instructions

Chop the carrots into bite sized pieces.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Add the carrots and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots have begun to brown and caramelize in the butter.

Add the maple syrup and stir to coat, then add the water and quickly cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid.

Cook the carrots until the water has dissolved and the carrots have softened through, about 5 minutes.


Butternut Squash Baked Ziti

Made with mashed butternut squash and a simple white cheese sauce, this Butternut Squash Ziti is comforting, freezes great, and simple to make!

There’s a thing I need to tell you about this easy butternut squash baked ziti.

But first, let’s gaze at its beauty a bit:

There’s the white cheddar and mozzarella layer on top that’s sharp and smooth and pulls away in delicious cheese strands of YES PLEASE I WANT SECONDS:

There’s the creamy butternut squash white sauce mixed in around the chunky ziti noodles.

And the pretty smattering of chopped parsley, natch.

But hey mama, guess what? Guess what’s the best part about it?

This butternut squash baked ziti freezes like a BOSS.

Make it. Put it in the freezer. Then pull it out, get the chill off the glass dish if you’re using one (otherwise it might shatter in a hot oven which would be no bueno), and bake that baby up.

Got a friend who just had a baby? Make her this baked ziti and she’ll love you forever. I mean, forever more than she probably already does.

Got a busy season coming up: your kids is in soccer finals, your husband’s working a big project and coming home late for a week, your calendar is stacked to the nines?

Make a batch of this butternut squash baked ziti in a quiet 20 minute window, and pat yo’self on the back the day you pull it out of the freezer.

Ooh! You know what else you could do? Make this butternut squash baked ziti from fresh and then stand over the stove eating it and burning your mouth while doing so because it’s so creamy and cheesy and delicious and simple to make.

Because if I know anything, I know exactly what that is like. I’ve got the mouth burns to prove it.

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Butternut Squash Baked Ziti

  • Author: Ruthy Kirwan

Description

Roast the squash beforehand to make this even easier to pull together on the day you’ll be cooking. You can also buy pre-mashed butternut squash in some grocery stores’ prepared produce section; check to see if yours has it ready for you!


Ingredients

1 large butternut squash (about 5 pounds)

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons white flour

1 cup milk (2% or whole is perfect)

2 garlic cloves

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 pound penne noodles

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon chopped parsley


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400*F.
  2. Prepare the vegetables:
    1. Slice the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle the squash in oil and lay the halves, skin side down, on a sheet pan. Place the pan in the oven and roast until the squash is soft all the way through, about 20 minutes. When the squash is done roasting, turn the oven down to 350*F.
    2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, then add the penne noodles and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain but do not rinse, then set aside until needed.
    3. Peel and mince the garlic.
    4. Strip away the inner stems from the parsley leaves, then mince the parsley
  3. While the squash is roasting, make the cheese sauce:
  4. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth and combined.
  5. Cook the roux (butter and flour mix), stirring often, until it has turned a light golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  6. Whisk in the milk until smooth, then add the garlic and salt.
  7. Stir in the parmesan cheese until smooth and combined, then add the mashed butternut squash.
  8. Stir to combine, then pour the sauce into the cooked penne noodles and stir to coat.
  9. Pour the penne and cheese sauce into an 9×13” baking dish.
  10. Top the ziti with the shredded white cheddar and place the baking dish in the oven. .
  11. Bake until the white cheddar has melted and begun to brown, about 8-10 minutes.

Notes

Freeze Method: 

Follow steps 1 through 16, then wrap the ziti and freeze. Thaw overnight before cooking

Feta and Garlic Stewed Spinach

Frozen spinach gets a blast of cheese and garlic in this easy to make side!

I’m forever looking for easy sides to throw together for a quick dinner.

It’s like, my obsession. For reals, check out my “Easy Sides” Pinterest board. I’m always adding to it!

One thing I needed more of were sides that used frozen vegetables.

I mean, they’re cheap. They’re easy. They’re great to keep on hand as a backup. And research shows that freezing vegetables quickly after they’ve been picked retains their nutrients and vitamins.

I had a block of chopped spinach sitting in my freezer for, oh, 3 months?

Honestly, I was sick of looking at the thing. And guess what? We needed a side for dinner that night.

So I stewed the frozen spinach on the stovetop with broth, garlic, and some parmesan, and then I smothered it in crumbled feta before serving.

Ever eat a vegetable side so good it makes your eyes roll in the back of your head? If so, try this!

Frozen spinach side nirvana, baby.

We made it again. Then again. And I was eventually like, “this needs to be shared with the world”.

And so, I present to you: the easiest, more flavor packed frozen spinach side this little blog has ever seen.

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Feta and Garlic Stewed Spinach

  • Author: Ruthy Kirwan

Description

This easy side comes together best when used with frozen chopped spinach, but you can use fresh spinach leaves if that’s what you have on hand.


Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed

3 large garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

½ cup chicken or vegetable broth

½ cup crumbled feta


Instructions

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the spinach, garlic, parmesan cheese and stir to combine, then add the broth.

Place a tight fitting lid on the pan and reduce the heat the low. Simmer 5-8 minutes until the garlic has softened and the spinach is fragrant.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the crumbled feta. Serve warm.



Slow Cooker Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Creamy, garlicky, perfect mashed potatoes, made in the slow cooker! This means less hands-on work for you, making this crockpot mashed potatoes recipe perfect for holiday meals or a meal prep side.

I’m a big proponent of using your slow cooker as a meal prep powerhouse.

You mean, I just have to throw in some ingredients, turn the thing on, and it does the work for me?

Yessss, lady! #praisehands

Finding time to get meal prep into an already busy week is tough enough.

But the crockpot makes light work of that, and these creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes prove that.

Big chunks of peeled potatoes are cooked with whole garlic cloves, a little bit of water and butter, and salt. THAT’S IT.

Then you let those flavors come together sloooowwwwlly, before whisking in milk at the end and mashing everything up.

It makes for a great hands-off holiday meal side, meal prep side, “I’m-in-love-with-mashed-potatoes-and-I-don’t-care-who-knows-it” side.

You do you, honey boo.

And then throw some potatoes in a crockpot and forget about them for a while.

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Slow Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • Author: Ruthy Kirwan

Description

Creamy, garlicky, super easy mashed potatoes- made entirely in your slow cooker! Free up your oven or just make this simple side when you’re not at home.


Ingredients

2 pounds russet potatoes

6 large cloves garlic

2 tablespoons butter

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup water

½ cup milk


Instructions

  1. Peel the potatoes and slice into large chunks.
  2. Lightly smash the garlic to break the papery outsides, then peel the cloves.
  3. Add the potatoes, garlic, butter, salt and water to a 4 or 6 quart slow cooker and secure the lid.
  4. Cook on low for 3 hours.
  5. When the potatoes are ready, remove the lid and add the milk.
  6. Mash the potatoes until creamy and serve.