Skip the Morning Rush: Overnight Oats


Ever find yourself rushing out the door in the mornings and skipping breakfast? You’re not alone. Many people find it difficult to eat breakfast because they don’t have time to make anything before work or class. I’ve definitely experienced this more than once! Overnight oats is one of my go-to breakfast recipes because it’s a simple recipe you can prepare the night before, stick in the fridge, and grab it on my way out the door. With a mixture of carbohydrates and protein, it’s a great way to kickstart your day and support your daily energy needs. It’s also super customizable, so you can experiment with endless combinations of toppings and mix-ins.

First, prepare the base of the oats. You can use any container that you can bring to work with you such as a mason jar or a Thermos. You’ll also need:

  • ½ cup oats* - I like to use old-fashioned, but quick oats is also fine! Just make sure not to overdo the liquid or it will get really mushy
  • ½ cup liquid* - can be milk, milk alternative such as almond or soy milk, water, or a combination
  • 1 tsp chia seeds, optional – chia seeds have a lot of great nutrients such as omega-3s and fiber
  • Sugar or Sweetener, to taste, optional – the oats soak up some of the sweetener as it sits overnight

*NOTE: If you want to make more than ½ cup of oats, just make sure you have a 1:1 ratio of oats to liquid. If you use 1 cup of oats, use at least 1 cup of liquid. Personally, I use a bit more liquid because I don’t like my oats to be too thick.

Once everything has been added to your container, stir to combine, cover, and let it sit overnight or for at least 4 hours. You can make 2-3 servings ahead of time since it can last a few days in the fridge. You can also add other things like Greek yogurt for more protein or vanilla extract to boost the flavor. Feel free to play around with it.

Here’s the fun part – toppings! Toppings are an excellent way to add a variety of nutrients to your diet. You can add your choice of fruits, nuts, seeds, spices, protein powder, or anything else you feel like adding to your oats. There’s really no way to mess things up, so just experiment with it until you figure out what you like. You can add your toppings in the morning, or you can prepare them the night before

in a separate container to quickly add to your oats later. You can even add them in the base of the overnight oats as you’re preparing it so there’s nothing to worry about in the morning.

Here are some of topping combination ideas:

  • Banana + nuts/nut butter + dark chocolate chips
  • Diced peaches + Greek yogurt
  • Raspberries + almonds
  • Nut butter + apples + cinnamon
  • Mixed berries
  • Strawberries + banana
  • Cinnamon + nutmeg + brown sugar

Overnight Oats

  • Serves: 1



    • ½ cup liquid (milk, milk alternative, water, etc.
      • ½ cup old fashioned oats
    • 1 tsp chia seeds, optional
    • Sweetener, to taste, optional
    • Greek yogurt, optional
    • Spices, optional

    Topping Ideas, optional

    • Fruit, fresh, frozen, or dried
    • Nut butter (e.g. peanut, almond, etc.)
    • Seeds (e.g. sunflower, pumpkin, etc.)
    • Nuts
    • Granola
    • Spices (e.g. cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, matcha, etc.)
    • Chocolate


  1. Add oats, liquid, chia seeds, sweetener, Greek yogurt, and spices in a container or bowl. Mix until combined.
  2. Cover container or bowl and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  3. Prepare toppings and add them to the base when ready to eat. Enjoy!

Ada Chau

Ada Chau is a recent graduate of Texas A&M University and is a current dietetic intern at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, and is always learning how to better help people live healthy, happy lives. She is always on the hunt to try new foods, and loves experimenting with recipes.

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