Overnight oats are the master of morning convenience. Transform a power trio of rolled oats, chia seeds, and Greek yogurt into luscious, creamy oatmeal without any cooking or mess. Simply soak the ingredients in milk, pop the mixture in the fridge, then get a good night's sleep. The magic happens overnight.

By Caitlin Sole
Updated December 30, 2020
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If you haven't hopped on the overnight oatmeal trend, you're missing out (especially if you're someone who usually has oats for breakfast). Learn how to make overnight oats so you can speed up your mornings with this grab-and-go breakfast. Plus, we'll share a few of our favorite recipes for easy overnight oats to help you try the trend yourself. 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 three simple steps to make this super-easy no-cook breakfast, then check out our other healthy oatmeal recipes (all of which you can make the night before, naturally).

How to Make Overnight Oats

If you're not sure where to start, our recipe for Overnight Oats with Fruit just might be the best oatmeal recipe out there. It's super simple and ridiculously delicious, so it's a great starting point for anyone diving into the world of simple overnight oats. It only takes about 10 minutes to prep these healthy overnight oats, so you won't have to give up much of your evening to enjoy a speedy breakfast tomorrow.

Get Our Basic Overnight Oats Recipe

Step 1: Prep for Success

In a large bowl mix together one 6-ounce carton of plain low-fat yogurt or whole milk Greek yogurt, ⅔ cup regular rolled oats, and ⅔ cup milk.

Now is your chance to get creative! Stir in any variety of your favorite add-ins. Some of our favorites include fresh or dried fruit, chopped nuts, peanut butter, honey, and chocolate chips. You can also increase the nutritional value of your oatmeal with a tablespoon of chia seeds and/or flaxseeds.

Refrigerator Oatmeal

Step 2: Chill Out

Carefully pour the oatmeal mixture into canning jars; either two 8-ounce single-serving jars or one pint-size jar. 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.

Test Kitchen Tip: A half-pint Mason jar ($8, Target) makes a convenient (and adorable) one-portion serving to tote with you on busy mornings.

Refrigerator Oatmeal

Step 3: Indulge!

And there you have it! Heavenly overnight oatmeal as easy to make as it is delicious. To serve this 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.

Test Kitchen Tip: Our overnight oats recipes call for regular rolled oats, also called old-fashioned oats. (Be sure to grab the gluten-free oats if you have allergies.) 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.

Our Best Ideas for Overnight Oats

The best feature of overnight oats is that they're ready when you are (no matter how many times you hit the snooze button). Here are some of our best overnight oat recipes to change-up the flavor of your mornings.

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. Of course, if you're already a fan of savory oatmeal, adding bacon is a must.

Get the Overnight Oatmeal Recipe

Cherry Java Refrigerator Oatmeal

Skip the trip to your coffeehouse and instead infuse the flavor of your daily cup of joe into refrigerator oatmeal with espresso coffee powder and brown sugar. Sweet-tart cherries and rich toasted hazelnuts make this overnight oats recipe feel fantastically fancy. These overnight oats are a great breakfast to pair with your morning cup of coffee.

Get the Coffee-Infused Oatmeal Recipe
Credit: Helen Norman

Orange-Honey Overnight Oats

This bowl of overnight oats looks so inviting that we're already reaching for our spoons. In this case, it's partially due to its delicious toppings and add-ins: flaked coconut, honey, and orange zest are mixed in with the oats, while toasted coconut and fresh berries make for a delectable topping. This recipe makes six servings, so you can prep your breakfasts for the whole week or share with your family.

Get the Citrus Overnight Oats Recipe

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. This is one oatmeal recipe that always gets us out of bed.

Get the Dessert Overnight Oats Recipe

Blackberry-Ginger Overnight Bulgur

Of course, oatmeal isn't your only option when it comes to easy overnight grains. You can also make overnight bulgur. Bulgur is a whole wheat grain, so it's a great choice when you're looking to eat healthy. In this recipe, we dressed it up with Greek yogurt, crystallized ginger, and fresh blackberries. You can make this overnight oat recipe using traditional rolled oats as well.

Get the Overnight Bulgar Recipe

Overnight Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal

This oatmeal recipe isn't quite like overnight oats, but it's just as easy and tasty. Rather than refrigerating your oats overnight, you can also try making them in your slow cooker ($50, Bed Bath & Beyond). This apple and cinnamon overnight oatmeal slow cooks while you're sleeping so you can wake up to a warm, comforting bowl of oats on those chilly winter mornings.

Try the Apple Overnight Oats Recipe

After you've had your fix of overnight oats, you can also follow our Test Kitchen's tips on making the best hot-cooked oatmeal at home. Then try some of our best oatmeal recipes. Or you can keep your busy mornings delicious and exciting with even more make-ahead breakfast recipe ideas.

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