A simple, easy-to-grab breakfast that can be prepped the night before. As a Registered Dietitian, I am all about creating easy, nutritious breakfast recipes, and overnight oats tick all the boxes. They are
- easy to make
- high in protein and healthy fats (when made using my formula)
- And, of course, tasty!
☀️☔️ Depending on the weather/time of the year, you may prefer warm baked oats; if so, check out my blended baked oats recipe.
However, despite how easy these are to make, I am frequently asked how to get them right. And this is a good question. You need to have the right ratio of liquid to solid so you don’t end up with watery slop! The key is to find what ratio you like best and go from there.
In this post, I give you my tried and tested basic overnight oats formula. You can use this exactly, or you can start making some tweaks based on your own preferences.
- 1 Are Overnight Oats Healthy?
- 2 The Basic Formula
- 3 What are the Best Oats to Use for Overnight Oats?
- 4 Why Make Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt?
- 5 Do You Eat Overnight Oats Cold or Hot?
- 6 How Long Do Overnight Oats Last?
- 7 Connect with Maria Lucey, RD!
- 8 Healthy Overnight Oats Recipe
Are Overnight Oats Healthy?
Yes! Overnight oats contain all of the key ingredients that make up a balanced breakfast:
- Fibre-rich starchy carbohydrates: Oats are a naturally gluten-free whole grain carbohydrate source and a great source of fibre to include at breakfast. A 1/2 cup serving of rolled oats offers 4 grams of fibre. When we add fruit and chia seeds, these bump up the fibre content, too!
- Protein: Protein is one of the keys to an energizing breakfast that keeps you full. Adding Greek yoghurt, dairy milk or soya milk to overnight oats adds protein to give you more staying power. Protein powder can also be used to add flavour and an extra protein punch.
- Healthy fats: Fats are an important component of a balanced meal as they provide satiety and a feeling of satisfaction after eating. I mentioned that chia seeds offer fibre, but they are also a great source of healthy fats like omega-3s! An extra bonus of adding chia seeds to your overnight oats is they improve the texture. The chia seeds absorb some of the liquid, forming a pudding-like consistency. You can also add nuts, seeds or nut butter to provide even more healthy fats.
- Fruit/Vegetables: Lastly, I always recommend at least one serving of fruit or vegetables at breakfast. Overnight oats are extremely versatile, so you can add whatever fruit or veg you like e.g. frozen berries or grated carrot.
The Basic Formula
So, to start… let’s get the basics right. For a satisfying breakfast that will keep us full until lunch, we need a few key components:
- A starchy fibre-rich carbohydrate = This is the oats.
- A Protein source = This can be Greek yoghurt, protein powder, milk, soya milk, etc.
- A portion of Fruit +/or Veg = A handful of berries, banana, etc. Some people also enjoy grated carrots for a carrot cake-style breakfast.
- Healthy fats = Chia seeds or a sprinkle of nuts, seeds or nut butter
- Optional – If you feel it needs some extra sweetness, try a drizzle of honey or a tsp of vanilla extract.
Once we have the critical components above, we can combine them however we want – so choose what suits you best. Below is my basic overnight oats recipe – but as always, customize it as needed.
What are the Best Oats to Use for Overnight Oats?
Rolled oats or plain old-fashioned oats are the best oats to use in overnight oats recipes.
Quick oats tend to soak up more of the liquids and can get a little soggy.
Steel-cut oats can also work, but know that they will likely be chewier. I’d recommend increasing the milk by approximately 1/4 cup. If this is something you try, let me know how they turn out!
Why Make Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt?
I always add Greek yoghurt to my overnight oats recipes. The Greek yoghurt adds an extra creamy texture, but it also increases the protein content of the breakfast.
While oats on their own are a wonderful, fibre-rich whole grain, they likely won’t keep you very full on their own. When we pair them with a protein like Greek yoghurt, this helps to slow down the digestive process, keeping us fuller and fuelled for longer.
I typically use plain Greek yoghurt in my overnight oats and then add a liquid sweetener like vanilla extract, honey or maple syrup to sweeten them. This way, I have a little more control over the added sugar and can make them just as sweet as I like.
Feel free to do this, or use a sweetened/flavoured Greek yoghurt (like vanilla) and omit the sweetener.
Do You Eat Overnight Oats Cold or Hot?
The great thing about overnight oats is that you can eat them cold, straight out of the fridge. That being said, you can also warm them up in the microwave! Both are delicious. Personally, I prefer to eat mine cold as I live in a hot country and it’s just easier. I’m all about quick and easy!
How Long Do Overnight Oats Last?
Overnight oats will keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days as long as they are kept in a sealed, airtight container.
For meal prep, you can easily double (or triple!) this recipe for the days ahead. I’ve done this many times, and it always turns out great.
Connect with Maria Lucey, RD!
I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. If you try it, let me know what you think by leaving a rating and a review in the comments below. Oh, and be sure to take a photo and tag me on @marialuceyrd_dietitian so I can see!
Healthy Overnight Oats Recipe
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 100 g Greek yoghurt
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1 handful chopped fruit
- 1 tbsp nut butter
- Mix all the ingredients together until well-combined.
- Cover mixture or transfer to an airtight container and place in the fridge.
- Let set in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight.
- In the morning, add more milk if you like a softer mixture.Enjoy!