Make-ahead Breakfast: Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats Bircher Muesli from

I cannot possibly say enough good things about make-ahead breakfasts. Especially at this time of year, when shorter days and darker mornings make for longer sleep-ins and rushed routines. (Or is that just in my house?)

I’ve called this recipe “Overnight Oats”, but on a different day I might have called it Bircher Muesli. Many years ago, when breakfast was usually picked up on the way to the office and eaten hurriedly at my desk, I fell in love with a similar muesli concoction, and have sworn ever since that I *would* one day figure out how to replicate it.

Overnight Oats Bircher Muesli from

And yes, that day has come. Motivated in no small part by the two-year old crank-pot that I now share my life–and breakfasts–with. When the Bean is hungry she is HUNGRYYYYYY AHHHHHHH MAMA HUNGRYYYYYYYYY I WANT I WANT!!!!!! And in those moments, there is nothing more satisfying than pulling these oats out of the fridge, spooning them into a DayGlo yellow bowl, and putting them in front of her. Occasionally she throws them at me or uses them to paint on our dining table. But usually she eats them. And so does her mom.

My version of overnight oats/bircher muesli is a healthful mash-up of pantry and refrigerator staples, and can be adapted to use up whatever you’ve got on hand. Different kinds of berries, nuts and seeds, dried fruit, and even a titch of citrus zest could really mix things up here.

Overnight Oats Bircher Muesli by

I make these oats after dinner, and then let them sit in the fridge overnight until they are soft and mushy, and the flavours have combined. Leftovers–if you’ve got any–will keep for a couple of days in a covered container and, if they thicken up, can be thinned to your preferred consistency with a little milk.

Now tell me…do you have a favourite make-ahead breakfast?

Make-ahead Breakfast: Overnight Oats

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 3 servings


  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (2% or more)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons raisins or currants
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 apple peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries.


  1. Combine all ingredients, except raspberries, in a glass bowl or container with a tight fitting lid. Pour raspberries over top. Put the lid on and refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours).
  2. In the morning, stir in the raspberries. The oats can be served on their own, or with additional maple syrup, sliced fruit, nuts, and/or granola.

3 Responses to Make-ahead Breakfast: Overnight Oats

  1. Kinga September 17, 2013 at 5:31 am #

    This was divine! Added some cocoa nibs for an extra kick. Reminded me of breakfast in the Swiss Alps 🙂

  2. NatWest September 15, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    I am about to make this and wonder (as I look in the cupboard and realize it is all I have) why quick cooking rolled oats won’t work? (They were bought because I am a sucker for anything identitied as quick when it comes to cooking… Was I led astray?!)

    • Sarah September 15, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

      The quick-cooking oats will leave you with a finer texture…less “toothsome” I think, but I’d go ahead and use what you have. If you haven’t made it before, you won’t notice the difference 🙂

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