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Overnight Oats Are Your New Morning Miracle

Cold cereal and eggs aren't the only breakfast game in town.


Packed with whole grains and totally customizable, overnight oats are a fantastic make-ahead meal for busy weekday mornings. A quick dump-and-stir the night before is all it takes. Like our other favorite DIY meals, we love any recipe where kids can improvise and explore new flavor combinations.

To get you inspired, we got some overnight oat tips from Jessica Merchant, creator of the popular food blog How Sweet Eats, and author of the cookbook The Pretty Dish (March 2018, Rodale). As a mom juggling 5-month-old Emilia, 3-year-old Max, and a full plate of writing projects, she says overnight breakfast options are a lifesaver.

Overnight oats are a no-recipe-needed affair: For the base, just combine a cup of old-fashioned rolled oats and a cup of milk (cow, almond, coconut—whatever you prefer), a touch of sweetener, and some chia seeds if desired. Cover and pop the bowl in the fridge for an overnight transformation from raw oats to creamy, comforting breakfast. In the morning, set out a selection of toppings and tell your family to go to town. Merchant’s recommendations: “Nut butters, chia seeds, hemp seeds, chocolate chips, flaked and shredded coconut, granola, toasted nuts, fresh and frozen fruit, milks for drizzling (coconut, almond, cashew), honey, maple syrup, and sprinkles for fun.”

Here are Merchant’s tips for mastering the overnight oat method, plus two of her family’s favorite recipes.

Think beyond tomorrow morning
“Max and I can make two or three jars ahead of time, and they stay great. All I have to do is grab them from the fridge and we have a healthy breakfast, whether it’s on the go or just at the kitchen counter. Because let’s be real—with two kids, you’re always on the go!” One oat-building session on Sunday night equals a few days of worry-free morning meals.

Take the chill off
Merchant likes to let her oats sit out at room temperature for a bit before serving. “I don’t love food at severe temperatures, be it hot or cold—except for ice cream, of course,” she says.

Embrace the salty-sweet combo
“The key is making sure to add just a touch of sweetener and a pinch of salt,” she says. “And then, of course, lots of toppings! Max is a boy after my own heart and loves anything with chocolate, peanut butter, and banana. I usually make him peanut butter overnight oats and we top them with mini chocolate chips and sliced banana. He goes crazy!”

Scroll down for two more of Jessica’s favorite overnight oat recipes!

Did you know? Little Sous offers a monthly themed kids cooking box that will help your family connect in the kitchen. Check out our subscription options!