Overnight oats, refrigerator oatmeal, chia pudding: The names for this simple breakfast recipe are as varied as its mix-ins, toppings, and flavor possibilities.
Follow our 3 simple steps to make the easy, no-cook breakfast, plus see our top sweet and savory overnight oats recipes.
In a large bowl, mix together a 6-ounce carton of plain, low-fat yogurt or whole-milk Greek yogurt, 2/3 cup regular rolled oats, and 2/3 cup milk. Now is your chance to get creative. Stir in any variety of your favorite toppings. Some of our favorites include fresh or dried fruit, chopped nuts, peanut butter, honey, and chocolate chips. Increase the nutritional value of your oatmeal with a tablespoon of chia seeds and/or flaxseeds.
Carefully pour the oatmeal mixture into canning jars -- either two 8-ounce, single-serving jars or one pint-size jar. Note: A half-pint mason jar makes a convenient, portable, and adorable 1-portion serving. Cover the jars, and chill in the refrigerator overnight or up to 3 days. Over time, the oats will absorb the milk and become fabulously rich and creamy.
The best feature of overnight oats is that they're ready when you are. To serve the breakfast-in-a-jar, top each serving with fresh fruit or more of the ingredients you've mixed in. Make your oatmeal pop with a dollop of thick Greek yogurt and a generous drizzle of maple syrup. And there you have it! Heavenly overnight oatmeal as easy to make as it is delicious.
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Skip the trip to your coffeehouse, and infuse the flavor of your daily cup o' joe into refrigerator oatmeal with espresso coffee powder and brown sugar. Sweet-tart cherries and rich toasted hazelnuts make the breakfast parfaits feel fantastically fancy.
Peanut Butter-Banana Refrigerator Oatmeal Sweet meets salty in this divine breakfast that even the King of Rock 'n' Roll would crave. First, swirl your overnight oats with peanut butter to make them extra creamy. After refrigerating, top with sliced bananas and, if you're feeling daring, bits of salty, melt-in-your-mouth bacon.
Blackberry-Ginger Refrigerator Oatmeal Punch up overnight oats with a swirl of peach preserves. The no-cook jar of delight also features fresh blackberries, toasted almonds, and crystallized ginger, making it certifiably scrumptious.
Carrot Cake Refrigerator Oatmeal Why wait until after dinner to satisfy your sweet tooth when you can wake up to this quick and easy twist on classic carrot cake. Maple syrup and cinnamon sweeten the oats, while shredded carrots, crushed pineapple, and walnuts contribute the perfect amount of bite.
NOTE: Our overnight oats recipes call for regular rolled oats, also called old-fashioned oats. You could substitute instant oats if that's what you have on hand, but instant oats are processed to be thinner than rolled oats, so the recipes will be done sooner and have less texture than if you use regular rolled oats.