Easy Overnight Oats 5 Ways

This easy overnight oats recipe includes five dessert-like toppings like banana bread, strawberry and cream, chocolate brownie, lemon blueberry cheesecake, and Thai mango.

5 jars full of healthy overnight oats with yogurt, chia seeds and 5 different toppings

Why This Recipe Works

Here’s why we love these five ways to make this cold oats recipe:

  • Each topping idea is packed with flavor, texture and color, so there’s something for every palate.
  • This is a super healthy breakfast that’s full of fiber, protein, and healthy carbs. Just like this Easy Vegetable Frittata Recipe.
  • You can make the oats ahead of time, so this recipe is perfect for meal prep, just like Healthy Greek Chicken Bowls.
  • The oats are topped with fresh fruit, spices, and seasonings, so you get plenty of vitamins as well.

What Goes Into This Recipe

ingredients for this easy overnight oats recipe

These are the ingredients for the base of the overnight oats:

  • Oats. This recipe works with both quick and rolled oats.
  • Milk. You can use regular or dairy-free milk.
  • Yogurt. I like to use plain Greek yogurt, but you can also use dairy-free yogurt.
  • Chia seeds. These help achieve creamy texture because they absorb liquid, plus they add healthy fats and fiber.
  • Maple syrup. You can use your favorite sweetener.
  • Vanilla extract. I recommend using pure vanilla, but you could use a different extract depending on the flavor you’re making.

And these are the ingredients for the toppings:

Banana Bread Overnight Oats

To make overnight oats that taste like freshly baked banana bread, you’ll need:

  • Banana. Make sure you’re using a ripe banana for the sweetest flavor.
  • Nuts. You can use walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts.
  • Orange zest. This helps add a touch of brightness to the creamy banana bread oats.
  • Cinnamon. For that classic warming flavor.

Strawberry and Cream Overnight Oats

  • Strawberries. Slice them nice and small so they can easily mix into the oats.
  • Protein powder. You can use collagen powder if you like.
  • Sour cream. This adds tanginess.
  • Lemon zest. For a bit of acidity.
Collage with 5 overnight oats recipes

Chocolate Brownie Overnight Oats

  • Cocoa powder. Use unsweetened.
  • Chocolate chips. The mini chips are easier to mix into overnight oats.
  • Brownie. Go right ahead and crumble in your favorite brownie for rich, decadent flavor at breakfast.

Lemon-Blueberry Cheesecake Overnight Oats

  • Cream cheese. Make sure it’s at room temperature for easy blending.
  • Lemon zest. This adds that signature cheesecake flavor.
  • Blueberries. Fresh will work best.

Thai Mango Overnight Oatmeal

  • Mango preserves. I like using sugar-free mango preserve.
  • Fresh mango. This adds wonderful texture and flavor.
  • Coconut butter. For a rich, creamy texture and Thai flavor.
focus on a jar full of Banana bread overnight oats

Ingredient Swaps

Here are a few simple swaps if you don’t have all of the ingredients for this easy overnight oats recipe:

  • In the base, you can use quick, rolled or gluten-free oats.
  • Feel free to use coconut (or another non-dairy) yogurt instead of dairy yogurt.
  • You can replace the milk with water or tea. Or coffee!
  • Try swapping maple syrup with raw honey or stevia extract liquid, to taste.
  • Replace vanilla extract with vanilla paste.
  • You can also replace the chia seeds with flax seed meal.

How to Make Healthy Overnight Oats with Yogurt and Chia Seeds 5-Ways

process steps to make these cold oats recipes

It’s incredibly easy to make this cold oats recipe. Here’s how to do it:

Start by making the overnight oats base with yogurt and chia seeds. First, add the oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, and maple syrup to a single-serving sealable jar or container. Make sure you leave some space at the top for toppings. Stir the ingredients well so they’re evenly combined. Cover the oats and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to overnight.

Finally, just before serving your oats, add the toppings to make your favorite flavor.

focus on a jar with Blueberry Cheesecake overnight oats

FAQs

What is the best oats for making overnight oats?

I like using quick oats. Even though it’s a bit more processed, it makes a creamier texture. However, if you prefer old-fashioned or rolled oats, those work great too.

Can you make overnight oats without chia seeds?

Certainly. Simply replace the chia seeds with ground flax seeds or flax seed meal.

Can you make these cold oats recipe without yogurt?

I like adding yogurt to the oatmeal base for a creamier texture. But if you’d rather skip it, you can do so with no changes to the recipe.

Can you make creamy oats without milk?

Yes. You can replace the milk with water or your favorite tea. I love to make the brownie oatmeal with cooled black tea for a kick in the morning. Cold coffee would also work.
The lemon blueberry cheesecake works well with green tea.
To do so, make your favorite tea, then strain it if needed. Allow it to cool, and add the same quantity as the milk to your oats and stir well.

Can you make the blueberry cheesecake overnight oats with frozen blueberries?

Frozen blueberries work too. However, after thawing, the texture will be mushy. Nevertheless, still tasty!

Is this overnight oats recipe good for weight loss diets?

If you’re not following a strict weight loss diet, these are perfect for incorporating into your healthy eating plan. The ingredients are pretty clean and help encourage healthy digestion, and improved mood.
To make these oats even better and healthier for the gut, I would also mix in your favorite probiotic drops, just before serving.

Can you make this cold oats recipe ahead for meal prep?

Here’s the plan for meal-prepping overnight oats: make a large batch of these 5-way Overnight Oats on a Sunday, and you’ll have a different breakfast ready for each day of the week ahead!

a jar full of strawberry overnight oats

Expert Tips

Keep these tips in mind when making any of this easy overnight oats recipe:

  • Start preparing the oatmeal base in the afternoon. This way, each jar will have at least 2-4 hours of soaking in the fridge. Then, you can divide the oats between individual jars and finish off each one with toppings. I recommend using 12 fl oz/350 ml jars, so you have plenty of space for toppings.
2 jars, one with Thai mango overnight oatmeal and another with Chocolate Brownie overnight oats

More Easy Make-Ahead Recipes

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jars of overnight oats with different toppings
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5 from 1 vote

Easy Overnight Oats 5-Ways

These are the five best ways to make healthy overnight oats with yogurt, chia seeds and fruity toppings.
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Soak in the Fridge 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 1
Author Mihaela

Equipment Needed

  • 5 Mason jar

Ingredients

Overnight Oats Base for 1 serving:

  • 1/2 cup (45g) quick or rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk - dairy-free if needed
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) plain Greek yogurt - or dairy-free yogurt if needed
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Topping for Banana Bread Overnight Oats

  • 1/2 ripe banana - chopped or mashed
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts - pecans or hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Topping for Strawberry and Cream Overnight Oats

  • 1/4 cup small diced strawberry
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder or collagen powder
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Topping for Chocolate Brownie Overnight Oats

  • 1 tbsp sugar-free cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped or crumbled brownie

Topping for Lemon-Blueberry Cheesecake Overnight Oats

  • 1/4 cup cream cheese - room temp
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • lemon slice - to decorate

Topping for Thai Mango Overnight Oats

  • 1/4 cup sugar-free mango preserved
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped mango
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter

Instructions

  • Let's start with the base: To a single-serving sealable jar, add the oats, milk, Greek yogurt, chia seeds and maple syrup. Make sure you leave some space to add the topping later on.
  • Stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate between 2 hours to overnight.
  • Just before serving add the topping for each.

Recipe Notes

  • The oats base needs to soak for at least 2 hours to become the creamiest. 
  • I recommend adding the toppings just before serving so they’re fresh. 
  • This is a great meal prep recipe, you can make a big batch and store them in the fridge for a week. 
  • This cold oats recipe works with both old-fashioned and quick oats. You can also use any kind of milk, including non-dairy.
  • You can skip the yogurt or use dairy-free yogurt. 
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