Ora et Schola

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This delicious, healthy overnight oats recipe will become a staple in your home! It is easy to make, and you know that your entire family have a nourishing, fueling breakfast.

a mason jar filled with overnight oats

This healthy overnight oats recipe is a staple in our homeschool! It is probably the easiest and fastest recipe you will ever prepare. It is also inexpensive, delicious, and healthy.

We love it in our family because, by starting with one common base recipe, we can customize the oats so that we never get bored, Each person can also choose his or her favorite add-ins and toppings.

My kids are always happy to help prepare this recipe as well!

I wrote about more of my favorite recipes for busy moms here.

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    What are overnight oats?

    Overnight oats are a way of making oats without having to heat or cook them. The oats are soaked in milk (dairy or non dairy) and then various flavorings or toppings are added – just like cooked oatmeal.

    The main difference between overnight oats and traditionally cooked oatmeal is that overnight oats are usually eaten cold from the fridge. Overnight oats will also require longer time to soak in the liquid (at least 2-4 hours).

    The good news is that overnight oats do not require heat or any fancy skills to cook them! This makes them perfect for busy homeschooling families! 

    Overnight oats are even easy enough for children to help prepare or even measure and prepare on their own.

    What are the healthiest oats to use for overnight oats?

    The best oats to use for overnight oats are rolled oats or “old-fashioned” oats. These are firm enough to absorb the liquid in the recipe. They are also full of fiber, gluten free, and full of vitamins and antioxidants.

    You could use steel cut oats which are very firm. However, the texture will be denser and chewier than rolled oats so just keep that in mind. My family, however, does not prefer steel cut oats in this recipe.

    You cannot use quick cut oats because they are broken down more compared to rolled oats and will become extremely mushy in this recipe. It is best to cook quick cut oats in the traditional fashion – in the microwave or on the stove.

    I also do not recommend using porridge type oatmeal such as cream of wheat or grits.

    close up of rolled oats

    More tips for making healthy overnight oats

    My other main tip for making overnight oats is to use a dairy or non dairy milk. I do not recommend using water. 

    In a pinch, I have used 3 parts water to 1 part half and half, but my family noticed the difference in texture and creaminess.

    We also love making this recipe in a wide-mouthed 16 oz mason jar with a lid. You could also use a tupperware with lid. Another option is to make the oats in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

    After soaking overnight, the oats can be poured into a bowl for you to enjoy or eaten directly from the jar.

    You can prep a whole batch of overnight oats for the entire week! They last up to 5 days in the fridge.

    Another idea is to make a batch of the base recipe for the entire family and then have an oatmeal bar! Simply put out a variety of toppings (see below).

    The basic healthy overnight oats recipe

    For this recipe you will need:

    a 16 oz mason jar

    a spoon for stirring

    a measuring cup


    The base ingredients you will need are:

    1 cup of rolled or old fashioned oats

    1 cup milk (dairy or nondairy)

    1 teaspoon honey

    desired toppings (tips on these below)


    Ideas for healthy overnight oats flavor combinations

    This is the fun part! The sky is the limit when it comes to flavor combinations and toppings for your overnight oats.

    Each family member can even customize his or her oats to fit their individual preferences. Here are some ideas to get you started. 

    These add-ins can be added to the jar at night when you prepare them:

    -2 tbsp mini chocolate chips and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

    -1 tbsp nut butter

    -2 tbsp chopped nuts and 1 tbsp dried cranberries or raisins

    -2 tbsp peeled and diced apple chunks

    Add these toppings in the morning so they don’t spoil or get soggy:

    -sliced banana

    -sliced kiwi

    -diced peaches

    -fresh berries

    -diced pineapple

    -granola (homemade or store bought)

    -shredded coconut

    overnight oats in a jar with chia seeds and fruit

    Instructions for healthy overnight oats

    This is the easy part! Here are the steps for making your overnight oats:

    1. Combine milk, oats, and honey in your jar.
    2. Add desired mix ins (if using) and stir everything together.
    3. Stir well and put a lid on your jar or container.
    4. Allow to soak in the fridge overnight.
    5. Add any other fresh toppings you desire.
    6. Pour into a bowl to enjoy or eat them directly from the jar!

    Is this a high protein breakfast recipe?

    This can certainly be a high protein breakfast! One cup of Trader Joe’s brand rolled oats contains 12 g of protein. The milk you include will also add protein.

    For an extra boost of protein, you can add up to a 1/4 cup of greek yogurt. 

    For more health-boosting properties you can add 2 tbsp chia seeds and/or flax seeds.

    Nut butter is also a great source of added protein to your overnight oats.

    Other sweeteners to use for overnight oats

    If you prefer not to use honey, there are other sweeteners you could use for your oats.

    We love brown sugar or maple sugar to sweeten our oats and give them a slightly different flavor. Just use them in the same amounts as the honey!

    Pin it for later

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    a mason jar filled with overnight oats

    Healthy Overnight Oats Recipe

    These healthy overnight oats couldn't be easier! Simply fill a jar or glass with the ingredients, stick it in the fridge, and enjoy a quick, east breakfast!
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 12 hours
    Course Breakfast
    Cuisine American
    Servings 2 person


    • 1 16 oz mason jar with lid
    • 1 spoon
    • 1 measuring cup (1 cup volume)


    • 1 cup rolled or old fashioned oats
    • 1 cup milk (dairy or non dairy)
    • 1 tsp honey (or more to taste)
    • toppings of choice (cinnamon, mini chocolate chips, nut butter, dried fruit, berries)


    • Combine oats and milk in the mason jar.
    • Add honey and any toppings that will not get soggy in the fridge (such as the ones mentioned above).
    • Stir well and place a lid on the jar. Place the jar in the fridge overnight and enjoy in the morning! Add other toppings such as bananas and berries that are better fresh.
    Keyword cheap breakfast ideas, healthy breakfast ideas, healthy overnight oats

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