Want to learn how to make overnight oats? All you need is old fashioned rolled oats, chia seeds and milk. Add maple syrup and brown sugar for flavor or mix it up with these other ideas!

four jars of overnight oats on marble surface

Overnight oats have arrived on If You Give a Blonde a Kitchen—video included! Whoever is the mastermind behind this idea I would like to personally thank them. This easy breakfast saves me time in the morning when I’m rushing out the door. My go-to oats recipe is simple and flavorful—maple and brown sugar oatmeal—but you can add any mix-ins you like!

Who else ate instant oatmeal as a kid before going off to school? I remember those mornings. As I grew up and attempted eating instant oatmeal in college I found that the little packets didn’t quite fill me up as much as they used to. I turned to overnight oats and it changed my morning routine and gave me energy for the entire day! I also love this healthy baked oatmeal with peanut butter.

overnight oat ingredients in bowls on marble surface, oats, cinnamon, milk, chia seeds

What are overnight oats? Overnight oats is simply oatmeal made overnight in the refrigerator. There is no stovetop cooking. The raw oats rest in liquid overnight to thicken up so they are soft enough to eat in the morning. They soak up all the ingredients and flavors that are mixed in. It’s a filling, healthy and easy breakfast!

How to make overnight oats

Overnight oats require three ingredients: old fashioned rolled oats, chia seeds and milk.

  1. Mix oats, milk and chia seeds together in a mason jar or container with a lid.
  2. Add any mix-ins or flavors if desired (ideas below). Stir again.
  3. Seal container and let oats sit overnight (or at least 5 hours) in the refrigerator. Enjoy cold or heat in the microwave.
photo collage demonstrating how to add ingredients to mason jar for overnight oats
hand stirring ingredients in mason jar

Oatmeal flavor ideas

Oh there are endless options of flavor ideas for overnight oats! I had fun making these classic oatmeal flavors with some variety. Here you go!

  • Maple brown sugar oats: Add 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 1 teaspoon brown sugar to the mix.
  • Peanut butter banana oats: Add 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 1/2 banana chopped into slices.
  • Apple cinnamon oats: Add 1/2 an apple chopped into small pieces and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Alternatively, you can mix in apple compote instead.
  • Blueberry almond oats: Add 1/4 cup fresh blueberries and 1 tablespoon almond butter.

Love oats? Try these strawberry oat bars with crumble topping.

chopped apples and cinnamon stick on top of overnight oats in mason jar
peanut butter drizzled on bananas in overnight oats jar

Frequently Asked Questions

Are overnight oats healthy?

Yes, overnight oats are healthy when made with whole ingredients. Rolled oats are loaded with whole grains and fiber as well as magnesium, thiamin and zinc. They can also control blood sugar levels while keeping you fuller longer. You can read more about it here.
Chia seeds are also packed with fiber while providing protein and healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. The milk you choose is up to you. Low-fat dairy milk is a good option, but almond milk and oat milk works just as well. Choose a minimally process dairy-free alternative for the best health benefits.

What type of oats to use?

Old fashioned rolled oats are best for overnight oats. They will yield creamy, smooth oatmeal. The are packed with health benefits and will absorb the liquid better than other types of oats. Steel cut oats do work, however, the texture will be dense and chewy. Quick oats also work, but they are more processed and lack as many health benefits.

How long do overnight oats last?

Overnight oats will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Make sure the oatmeal is in an airtight container to keep fresh.

What size mason jar for overnight oats?

I used a 16 ounce mason jar for this recipe so there was room for toppings after the oats expanded (12 ounce jars will work too). I think 8 ounce jars are too small as the oats and chia seeds will expand. Any airtight container that fits at least 12 ounces will work!

Can you heat up overnight oats?

Yes, you can heat up the oatmeal if you prefer it warm. Remove the lid and microwave the oats for 30 seconds. Remove and stir the oats. Microwave again for 30 seconds and serve.

blueberries and almond butter on top of overnight oats jar
brown sugar overnight oats in mason jar with spoon

Did you love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card below and if you REALLY loved it, consider leaving a comment further down the page.

four jars of overnight oats on marble surface

Get the Recipe: How to Make Overnight Oats {4 ways}

Overnight oats are easy to make with old fashioned rolled oats, chia seeds and milk. Add maple syrup and brown sugar for flavor or mix it up with these other ideas!
5 (5 ratings)


Overnight Oats Base

  • ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¾ to 1 cup low-fat milk, or dairy-free milk1
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Maple Brown Sugar

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar

Peanut Butter Banana

  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • ½ medium banana, sliced into thin pieces

Apple Cinnamon

  • ½ medium apple, chopped into small cubes
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Almond Blueberry

  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries


  • Combine oats, milk and chia seeds in a 16 ounce mason jar. Stir until combined.
  • Add flavor mix-ins (if desired). Stir ingredients again.
  • Cover jar securely with the top and refrigerate overnight (or at least 5 hours).
  • Serve cold or reheat in the microwave for 1 minute (stirring halfway through).


  • I prefer 3/4 cup milk for a thicker oats consistency. If you like a normal/thinner oat consistency, try 1 cup milk instead.
How long do overnight oats last? Overnight oats will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator if covered tightly with a lid.
Can you use steel cut oats or quick oats? Yes, however, steel cut oats will make a denser oatmeal. Quick oats are more processed and will lack as much nutrition, but will work nonetheless.
Chia seed substitute: Flax seed works well and helps gives the pudding texture. You can also use Greek yogurt, but the texture will change slightly.
Serving: 1jar, Calories: 286kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Sodium: 82mg, Potassium: 461mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 347IU, Calcium: 318mg, Iron: 3mg

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