There’s a reason “overnight oats” is perched high on the healthy breakfast ranking chart. It takes less than five minutes to make, is easily modified, and great for most special diets.

Here’re the basics of overnight oats: Pour old-fashioned oats (not instant) into a container with a milk of your choice until the liquid covers the oats. Add nuts, berries or spices to taste. Mix it together, pop a lid on top, and stick in the fridge. Go to bed.

Whenever you wake the next morning, the oats will be ready to eat. Eat them straight out of the fridge, or heat them up for a minute in the microwave. A lot of people top with fresh fruit or a swirl of sweetener, but it’s not necessary.

Here are five easy add-ins to get you started.

Cocoa Powder:

Stir in a tablespoon of cocoa powder and a serving of raspberries (fresh, frozen or jam) and you have a chocolate-berry breakfast cereal. (Pinterest types like to layer the oats and the raspberry to create a lovely stripe effect.)

Banana & Peanut Butter:

Banana and peanut butter are two of the most popular additions to overnight oats, and appear in hundreds of different recipes, but we’re suggesting them together for those who loved peanut butter-banana sandwiches in primary school and never get to eat them anymore.

If you don’t like the brown banana effect, definitely cut the banana on top of the oats in the AM instead of mixing it in the night before.


Overnight oats and coffee are a perfect combo that some people enjoy even better when they’re mixed. Use half the milk that you’d usually use, and for the rest of the liquid, brewed coffee or a couple of shots of espresso. Also, a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder. Voila! Mocha breakfast. If this is weird to you chilled, microwave it for a minute.

Coconut Breakfast Pudding:

The addition of coconut milk and mixed berries (strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, etc.) turns overnight oats into a breakfast pudding, which some people make even more decadent by topping with coconut whipped cream.

Dried Fruit:

Dried fruit plumps up deliciously in an overnight milk bath, so you can go wild with the choices. Faves include cut-up apricots and cherries. Sprinkle pecans on top for added crunch.