This simple vanilla overnight oats recipe is perfect for a nutritious breakfast on busy mornings. Stir a few simple ingredients like Greek yogurt, whole oats and chia seeds up in a mason jar in the evening, and you will have a delicious breakfast waiting for you the next morning.
Overnight oats are are one of my favorite meal prep breakfast recipes. A super simple and filling breakfast, this vanilla overnight oatmeal is a great option for the busy weekdays. These creamy oats are a simple breakfast the whole family will love.
In this recipe, old-fashioned oats are softened with Greek yogurt and your milk of choice, and flavored with pure maple syrup and vanilla. The overnight soaking process leaves you with creamy thick oats with no need to cook in the morning! This basic vanilla oat recipe is perfect for a limitless variety of toppings - my favorite ideas are below. Serve these oats with a healthy green smoothie for a truly nourishing start to the day. For other simple pre-ahead breakfast options, try our healthy whole wheat banana carrot muffins or favorite maple walnut granola.
You Will Love This
- This simple recipe provides a protein-packed breakfast that is full of healthy fats
- Overnight oats only take a little bit of planning and will save you time in your busy morning.
- Use plant-based milk and plant-based yogurt for a yummy vegan breakfast option.
Gather up your ingredients. For this easy breakfast, you will need the following (exact measurements are in the recipe card below):
- Old-fashioned oats: old-fashioned rolled oats are the best choice for this recipe. Quick oats will get too soggy when soaked overnight, and steel-cut oats will not soften enough without cooking.
- Milk: Use any milk of your choice. I used regular 2% milk in this recipe, but you could also use oat milk, soy milk, coconut milk, or another plant-based milk.
- Greek yogurt: I used nonfat plain yogurt. You could substitute vanilla yogurt for extra vanilla flavor. If so, reduce the liquid sweetener to one teaspoon.
- Chia seeds: When soaked, chia seeds get a jelled pearl texture, similar to tapioca. They make the overnight oats pudding-like, and are nutritional powerhouses - high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. The texture of chia seeds can be off-putting to some, so feel free to leave them out if you don't like them.
- Maple syrup: This all-natural liquid sweetener is perfect for overnight oats. You could also substitute honey.
- Pure vanilla extract: Vanilla extract gives our overnight oats that signature vanilla flavor that goes so well with tons of different toppings.
- Salt: Just a tiny pinch of kosher salt helps enhance the flavor of the oats.
- Toppings: Overnight oats are all about the toppings. See below for ideas!
Toppings for Overnight Oats
When it comes to overnight oats, toppings are the star. Without toppings, overnight oats are a perfectly fine breakfast. Something I eat because they are healthy, quick and easy to prep ahead. With toppings, overnight oats become a breakfast to look forward to!
This healthy vanilla overnight oat recipe is a perfect basic recipe to pair with all of your favorite toppings. Here are some ideas:
- Fresh fruit, like fresh strawberries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds, apples, pears, peaches or sliced banana
- Coconut chips
- Nuts like chopped honey roasted almonds, walnuts or pecans
- Nut butters like peanut butter or almond butter
- Mini chocolate chips
- Chia seeds or flax seeds
- Fruit jam
- Warming spices, like cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
My personal favorite combinations are:
- Fresh berries with walnuts and a drizzle of honey
- Diced apples with cinnamon, almonds and a drizzle of maple syrup
- Peanut butter and banana slices with mini chocolate chips
Step One: In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients until well combined.
Step Two: Put the oats in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 3 hours).
Step Three: In the morning, layer on your favorite toppings and enjoy!
TIP: If you are taking these oats to work, make them in individual jars for a super quick breakfast. Add all the ingredients to a mason jar, give everything a good stir, and refrigerate. Just grab the jar and any toppings you want as you head out the door the next day.
Can overnight oats be heated?
Yes!! Overnight oats recipes are usually intended to be eaten cold. I may be in the minority, but I actually prefer my oats warm, especially during the cold fall and winter months. To warm up your oats, just put them in the microwave for about a minute, stopping to stir halfway through. Add toppings after the oats are warmed up.
Your overnight oats will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. For best results, wait until you are ready to eat to add your toppings!
Vanilla Overnight Oats
- ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup 2% milk
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch kosher salt
- toppings of choice
- In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients until well combined.
- Put the oats in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 3 hours).
- In the morning, layer on your favorite toppings and enjoy!