How to Prep Overnight Oats: 3 Cheap & Easy Recipes

Jaime Bacon
by Jaime Bacon

Discovering how to prep overnight oats is a game-changer for many families. Packed with nutrients and very cost-effective, overnight oats make feeding your family members easier than you ever could have imagined.

And the best part is that there isn’t just one way to make them. You can use up several ingredients in your home and enjoy different flavors all week long with the following recipes.

Now, I don't know if any of you have ever tried overnight oats recipes before, but a few people that I've talked to recently seem to think it's kind of weird to put oats in the fridge and then eat them cold the next morning.

But let me tell you, overnight oats have made my mornings a whole lot easier and much less stressful since I learned how to make them ahead of time. And you could always heat them up in the microwave if you really wanted to.

Why make overnight oats

My favorite part is that it’s easy to tailor any of the overnight oats recipes I share below based on what you currently have at home and your personal preferences. The most basic way to prep them is to use oats, some sort of milk, and then whatever toppings you like best.

That’s it!

Okay, but what’s so great about overnight oats exactly? Overnight oats are so simple to make right inside a mason jar or storage container. They are also highly portable. If you need something you can quickly take to work with you, you can easily grab it out of the fridge on your way out the door.

The easy overnight oat recipes I’m sharing with you today are also vegetarian, and they can also be made vegan by changing out some of the ingredients, so they work well with any diet.

Base recipe ingredients

1. Pulling out the base recipe ingredients

The three types of cheap overnight oats recipes I'm going to share with you today are chocolate peanut butter, banana bread, and apple cinnamon.

The base recipe that I use for all of them includes one-third cup of rolled oats, one-third cup of milk, and one-third cup of Greek yogurt. 

Easy overnight oat recipes

2. Selecting the oats

The reason I use rolled oats is that I like the consistency a lot better. The quick oats tend to be a little on the mushy side for me, and then steel-cut oats are typically used for longer periods of time when cooking, not necessarily when cold. 

Adding milk to the overnight oats

3. Choosing which milk to use

When it comes to milk, you can use whatever kind you like. If you are vegan, feel free to use almond milk or your favorite plant-based milk. 

Adding yogurt to the overnight oats

4. Finding the right yogurt

Greek yogurt is the last ingredient in the base recipe. Again, if you are vegan or lactose intolerant, feel free to use some sort of plant-based yogurt instead. 

I like to use regular milk and Greek yogurt because they have a lot of protein in them. And more protein is always a good idea. I always say breakfast is the most important meal of my day, so I have to make sure I have a good supply of protein to keep me full for the morning.

Easy overnight oats

5. Adding a sweetener 

I'm also going to add about a tablespoon of honey to each one. You could also use maple syrup if you like, but I am actually out at the moment, so honey it is. That's just to sweeten it up a little bit. 

Cheap overnight oats recipes

6. Customizing the recipe

The first one I'm going to do is the chocolate peanut butter one, which really is the easiest one out of all of them because it doesn't take that much preparation.

So to mine, I add one tablespoon of cocoa powder, and then about a tablespoon of peanut butter. I love the natural kind because the ingredients for this one are just peanuts and salt. And you could also use powdered peanut butter instead if you wanted to.

Powdered peanut butter has a little bit less fat and a little less calories. But feel free to use whatever you want. 

Once you finish it, you can just give it a good stir. You'll put the lid on it, and then set it in the fridge. 

Next up is the banana bread overnight oats. I'm going to take one whole banana, and I'm going to smash it up really finely. Then, I’m going to add that to the oat mixture. You could always use just half a banana if you want to.

For a little bit of extra healthy fats, I'm going to add about two tablespoons of walnuts next. And then I'm going to add a little bit of cinnamon and a tiny bit of vanilla extract. Once again, I just mix it all up, and it's good to go.

Now, the apple cinnamon one is pretty much the exact same as the banana bread recipe, except in this case, we're adding diced apple instead of a mashed banana.

So what I'm going to do actually, is put in all of the stuff first, and then I'll mix it all up. And then I will probably just add the diced apples to the top. I usually use a smaller apple, and I do not peel mine.

However, if you would rather peel your apple, that's okay too.

How to prep overnight oats

7. Adding your toppings

Other things that you can add to these easy overnight oats would be things like chia seeds or ground flax seeds. Those ingredients add good unsaturated fats as well as a little bit of protein. 

Easy overnight oats

How to prep overnight oats

Having a hearty breakfast doesn’t have to take you forever to make or dirty all the dishes in your kitchen. Learning how to prep overnight oats is as simple as reading the easy instructions listed above.

Plus, you can make them days ahead of time and have an easy-on-the-go meal as you commute to school or work. Tell me which recipe sounds the best to you in the comments below.  

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