Overnight Oatmeal Tutorial + 20 Delicious Overnight Oats Recipes

Overnight Oatmeal Tutorial + 20 Overnight Oats Recipes

I have become quite the oatmeal fan over the last 3 years. Up until then I despised oatmeal and never understood the reasons people found comfort in bowls of tasteless mush. Looking back, I now know I had it all wrong. I thought the only type of oatmeal available to me were packets of instant oatmeal. Obviously, I was a sheltered person. Now I know there is a whole world of oatmeal at my fingertips.

My first discovery came when I learn about steel cut oats. These are the least processed of the oats. Instant oats can’t even compare to the wholesome deliciousness these hearty oats offer. My favorite steel cut oat recipes are pumpkin pie oats, blueberry lemon, and coconut. They take a long time to make so I often prepare them ahead of time using these instructions or I make them in the slow cooker. No matter how I make them steel cut oats turned me into an oatmeal believer again.

A hot bowl of steel cut oats



Then I discovered baked oatmeal. These are made with rolled or old-fashioned oats, which are more processed than steel cut oats but less processed than instant. The oats are mixed with milk, eggs, and other ingredients then baked in the oven and served warm. Again, these oats are delicious. Here is a basic recipe I love to play around with and my blueberry coconut baked oatmeal that is delicious!

Blueberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal Recipe #Silk #YAYwater

And…just when I thought oatmeal couldn’t get any better I tried overnight oatmeal. Overnight oatmeal or oats in a jar is amazing and has become one of my absolute favorite ways to eat oatmeal. Basically, it is oats soaked in milk or another liquid overnight. There is no cooking or additional preparation needed. In the morning, you just give it a stir, add a little more liquid if needed, and enjoy.

Overnight oats are easy to throw together, can be made ahead of time, and after the oats soak up the liquid overnight they become this delicious pudding like consistency. I made my first overnight oats recipe this past June and since then created 8 more recipes. I will share the recipes, along with overnight oats recipes from other bloggers, at the end of this post.

Since posting my first recipe I get tons of “how to” questions on overnight oats. How do I make them? What liquid can I use? Do I eat them cold? Along, with many more questions. Whenever I get lots of questions on a certain recipe or strategy I share I always put together a tutorial of sorts to help out. For example, my mason jar salad tutorial, green smoothie tutorial, and food prep tutorial were each born from many of the same questions getting asked over and over again.

Below are my answers to the most common overnight oats questions I get. I also provided a visual step-by-step tutorial and recipe round up. I hope you find this helpful. If I did not answer a question, or you need more clarification, then leave me a comment and I will update the post with the information.

What type of container do you use?

I use a pint size glass mason jar for my overnight oats. This gives me enough room for the oats, liquid, and any other add ins. Personally, I love glass containers. However, many of my readers say that plastic containers work just as well. I guess it is more of a preference. You can purchase glass mason jar containers at any grocery store. I have even seen them at Target and Walmart. If you can’t find them or don’t feel like driving around then just purchase mason jar containers from Amazon.

What type of oats do you use?

I use rolled oats for my overnight oats recipes. These are also called old fashion oats. If I can’t find them in the bulk section then I will purchase Bob”s Red Mill Rolled Oats. You can purchase them from Amazon. Like I said earlier, rolled oats are less processed than instant oats but more processed than steel cut oats. They work perfectly in overnight oats recipes. Instant oats turn into gummy mush and steel cut oats stay way too crunchy. Many people ask me if they can use steel cut oats. I tested steel cut oats and even after 2 days they were still very crunchy. So from my experience I would say no. If you have a different experience or tips to offer using steel cut oats I would love to hear from you.

How do you eat them?

Overnight oats are meant to be consumed cold. They get prepped at night so you eat them in the morning without any additional work. The oats process in the liquid so you don’t need to cook them. Some people let the oats sit on the counter for ½ hour or so to take the chill off but I eat straight from the refrigerator. If you want to warm them up you can do so in the microwave or on the stove. I understand that the concept of eating oatmeal cold is very foreign to us but I recommend giving it a try. I think the overnight oats are delicious. Depending on the ingredients sometimes I feel like I am eating dessert. Think pudding. Yum.

What type of liquid do you use?

My preferred liquid is coconut milk. I am referring to the coconut milk in the dairy section not the canned coconut milk. This is my favorite and I always have it on hand for green smoothies. But any liquid will do. You can use dairy milk, almond milk, rice milk, or whatever liquid you prefer in your oatmeal.

I have also seen a lot of overnight oats recipes call for yogurt. As much as I love yogurt I must say I am not a fan of yogurt in my overnight oats. I feel it becomes too thick and I am not crazy about the tang. But again it is all about preference. I recommend giving it a try and see what you think.

The overnight oats formula I prefer is 1/2 cup rolled oats + 1/2 cup liquid. If I am using fruit I use about 1/4 – 1/2 cup fruit. I adjust the liquid, as needed depending on the liquid I use and ingredients I add in. After all the ingredients are mixed together the oats should be covered in liquid. I have a picture below illustrating this.

What spices and other ingredients can I use in overnight oats?

Think of overnight oats as you would any oatmeal recipe. It really is a blank canvas. You can use any kind of fruit, nuts, chocolate, or spice and/or flavors you like. My only suggestion is if you add an ingredient you don’t want to get soft or soggy (ex. nuts) then stir them into the oats in the morning.

I also add chia seeds to most of my overnight oats recipes. They add fiber, omega fatty acids, and protein. Chia seeds soak up the liquid and help with the pudding like texture. You don’t have to use them but I think they are nice nutritional boost.

How long do the oats have to sit in the liquid before I can eat them?

I always prepped overnight oats the night before. So they usually sit in the refrigerator for at least 7-8 hours or a little longer. However, they will be ready to eat in about 4-5 hours so if you want some for lunch or afternoon snack you can prep a jar when you wake up.

How far in advance can I make them?

For best results make these no more than 3 days in advance. That has been my experience. They are so easy to prepare so it hasn’t been a big deal to whip up another batch mid week should I need or want to.

Here’s a quick video I put together to help you prepare overnight oats.


Here is a quick visual step by step to preparing overnight oats.

Step 1. I start with the oats. I always use 1/2 cup of oats. If you think that is too much then reduce the amount of oats.


Step 2: Add the liquid. If I use 1/2 cup of oats then I will use 1/2 cup of liquid. I always use the same amount of liquid as oats. If you are using yogurt then add it in during this step. Adjust the liquid as needed depending on the amount of oats you are using.


Step 3: Add in the chia seeds. Like I said earlier I, more often than not, add chia seeds to my overnight oats recipes. You can also add ground flax seed, hemp seed, or any other nutritional add in. I also use this step to add in the spices, sweetener, ground cocoa powder, PB2, peanut butter or things like that. Adjust the liquid as needed.


Step 4: Add in the  fruit. I always use frozen fruit because that is what I have on hand. You certainly can use fresh or even dried fruit. Bananas are awesome in overnight oats.

oatstutorial4Step 5: Mix it all together. You want to see all the oats covered in liquid. Once it is mixed if you think it needs a little more liquid to cover the oats then add it at this step. The fruit you use will release juices as the oats soak so keep that in mind as you are adding in more liquid. This is what the oats should look like before you put it into the refrigerator.


Step 6: Put the lid on and store in the refrigerator overnight or at least 4-5 hours.


Step 7: In the morning, the oats will look like this. Stir in about 1 tablespoon of additional liquid to loosen up the oats. If you are using pure maple syrup as a sweetener add that first, stir it up, then add more liquid if needed. Once you get the consistency you want add in the nuts, seeds, or any other crunchy ingredient you are using.





Step 8: Enjoy!

Here are my 8 overnight oats recipes…

Blueberry Coconut Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats Blueberry Almond and Coconut Oatmeal in a jar recipe

Cherry Flax Overnight Oats

Overnight Refrigerator Oats Cherry Vanilla Flax Recipe

Raspberry Almond

Raspberry Almond Overnight Oats Recipe 322 calories and 8 weight watchers points plus

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter and Banana Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter and Banana Overnight Oats Recipe Oats in a Jar

Salted Turtle Overnight Oats

Salted Turtle Overnight Oats

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats. Oatmeal in a Jar Recipe

Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats

Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats

Here are additional overnight oats recipes from other food bloggers. Some of these recipes includes yogurt so you can take a look at those if you are interested in using yogurt in your overnight oats recipes.

Skinny Overnight Oats in a Jar by Skinnytaste

Skinny Pumpkin Overnight Oats in a Jar by Skinnytaste

Cookie Dough Overnight Oats by Fresh, Fit, and Healthy

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats by Creme De La Crumb

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats by Nutritionist in the Kitchen

Overnight Peanut Butter and Honey Chia Oats by Slender Kitchen

Peach Pie Overnight Oats by My Whole Food Life

Peanut Butter Cup Overnight Oats by Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Salted Carmel Overnight Oats by Honey & Figs

100 Days of Real Food Favorite Overnight Oats

Blueberry Almond Oats by Two Peas and Their Pod

Carrot Cake Overnight Protein Oatmeal by Dashing Dish

What are your thoughts and/or tips on overnight oatmeal? Any other questions I can answer?

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  1. McCann’s makes a 5 minute steel cut oat (cut smaller than regular 25 minute steel cut oats). I wonder if that would work.

  2. These look delicious!! I’m doing the Body & Soul Fitness 20lb challenge… as soon as it’s over I hope I can try these recipes! They look delicious!! Thank you! Love your blog!! I’m in East Aurora, NY!

  3. Loretta Gilbert says:

    I don’t soak overnight. I just make into a biscuit & pan fry.

  4. I love love love oatmeal! Thanks for sharing! And I love your recipe!

  5. Thanks for sharing mine! All of yours look delicious!! I was like ooo chocolate pb, then ooo turtle..ooo pumpkinnnn. hahah oh my <3
    xoxo Sarah Grace, Fresh Fit N Healthy.

  6. Monica calls them refrigerator oatmeal, and also offers 16 recipes (between two blog posts) that use milk and yogurt:



    I’ve been eating fridge oatmeal most mornings for months. I make 6 or 7 at a time, put most of them in the freezer, and take one out at night to thaw overnight. Love that!

  7. Have you ever tried freezing them?
    I love overnight oatmeal as a quick easy breakfast. I found one in the back of the frdige I forgot about &wished I had found earlier.

  8. i love mine with steel coat oats! It’s how I’ve made it since I started making them, so I can’t compare it in texture to the rolled oats but they are definitely not crunchy. Overnight oats have been a lifesaver–I could never find something quick for breakfast and would always end up having some kind of muffin, toast, bagel etc that had no health benefit and also left me hungry within the hour. I truly look forward to eating this every morning!!

    • How do you do this with steel cut oats? How much liquid compared to oats? And do you have to cook the oats or heat the liquid?

  9. Joyce Rowley says:

    Thanks so much these look delishious. I plan to use coconut water as added liquid.

  10. I love overnight oats and eat them faithfully 5 mornings a week. I’ve always, always used steel-cut oats. I buy Country Choice Organic Oven Toasted Steel Cut Oats from Amazon; oats on the bottom, thin layer of chia, just enough honey to cover, a heaping tablespoon of plain no-fat yogurt, then almond milk to fill the jar. I prep five jars on Saturday and by Monday morning, my oats are deliciously chewy little nuggets of awesomeness 🙂

  11. Thank you for the guide! It has been helpful and very clear for someone like me who is totally new to overnight oats 🙂
    Just to clarify a few questions..
    1. Can i use skimmed milk only for the liquid? (i do not like yogurt either.. so will it become too watery?)
    2. Can i add my fruits like strawberries and raisins the next morn instead? Do not want them to become soggy.
    Thanks so much! 🙂

  12. Tina Roberts says:

    I just prepared three of these recipes, 2 each. Licking the spoon each time, I was surprised at each ones great and unique flavor. Thanks for this excellent tutorial. I can hardly wait for brealfast. I have one big problem though…I don’t know which one to try first.

  13. Just an idea I used instant steel cut oats in place of regular oats and it turned out very well.

  14. Lisa Wallace says:

    Can you use quinoa in the oats?

  15. Amount of yogurt and chia seeds?

  16. I’ve tried overnight oats with the steel cut oats and the texture isn’t great. I did find if I cooked the heck out of them in the microwave they were edible. The recipe I used was a banana and vanilla recipe and since the steel cut oats don’t seem to suck up much liquid it was a much soupier consistency, but I have to admit the bananna/vanilla milky flavour was delish even if the oats were a bit of an odd new consistency for me 😉

    I have to tell you that I am a bit of an evangelical fan of yours lately! I am a BIG fan of using the web and pinterest to try new recipes and at best I get a 50% success rate (I may be the reason they invented the term “Pinterest Fail”). But since I found your site I’ve had at least a 90% success rate (I can’t think of anything I did not love, but if I say 100% it may sound like I haven’t really invested! ).
    Your recipes are clearly ones you actually eat and perfect. Thanks so much!

    • Thanks so much for your comment. I’m going to try and perfect overnight steel cut oats this week because I actually prefer steel cut to rolled oats. Yes everything I make is what we eat. I don’t have the time (or money) to make food for my family and separate food for the blog. My fridge would be more packed than it already is haha

      Have a great start to the week.

      • William Nissen says:

        We love overnight oats and prefer the steel cut (generic purchased at Aldi’s) and do not find the texture to be a problem. I think it may be a preference thing, we use almond mild exclusively, and add fruit in the am after stirring it. We like other multigrain “hot cereals” like Bob’s Red Mill 10 grain done “overnight style” also. Keep up your good work.

  17. Julie Raymond says:

    Someone ever tried overnight oats in water?? It’s the only thing I can use in my meal plan. I’m an athlete ans I have to follow my plan. I ‘ m a litle scared about trying it on water. Thanks

  18. Can you make it without chia seeds

  19. Hi, I’m in school and I don’t have access to a refrigerator, can I just use cold water for the overnight oats instead? thanks for your response

  20. Dee Johnston says:

    I made this last night – 3/10/17 and had it this morning…I really like this idea of oats in a jar amd I plan on making other variaties. Thank you for your tutorial it was very helpful.

  21. Regina Zeyzus says:

    Holy cow! Tried your tutorial as a jumping off point and used ingredients I had on hand. Wow, this was every bit as good as you said! I never would have thought cold oats could be so good. Second batch is already in the fridge and I can’t wait till it is done. Thank you for such great instructions.

  22. It would be helpful if you specified the type of coconut milk on all your recipes. I nearly made a 1,000-calorie smoothie.


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