Make-Ahead Breakfast: Overnight Oats in a Jar


Breakfast- the most important meal of the day, and also the most difficult to fit into your day.  At least it is for those of us who hit snooze one too many times every. single. morning.  For years the problem for me was compounded by the fact that I worked 12-hour nursing shifts that started at 7 am.  Breakfast had to be quick, easy, filling, and nutritious enough to fuel me until 1 or 2 pm when (if) I finally got to eat something again.

I learned about overnight oats for the first time on, and found them to be one of the most convenient and versatile breakfasts I’d ever encountered.  They only take a few minutes to make, require no cooking, and can be made days in advance.  There are lots of different recipes and flavors, so most people will find one they love.  And as long as you put them in a leak-proof container, you can throw them in your bag and tote them anywhere.

These are usually eaten cold, but they are just as delicious hot, if that’s what you prefer.  There are recipes out there that use all kinds of fruit, like bananas and peaches, but I personally stick to those that don’t brown, such as berries and cherries.  I do also sometimes like to make mine chocolate flavored- I just add a tablespoon or two of unsweetened cocoa powder to the mix.

These are great when you have a busy week at work ahead of you, and know you won’t have time in the morning.  I often make five servings at once so I have one for every day of my work week.

Overnight oats are an excellent thing to have on hand when you have houseguests- if they wake up in the morning before you, they can just grab a jar of the oats and a spoon and their breakfast is handled.  No hungry houseguests for you.  No awkward waiting around for you to wake up and make breakfast for them.  Win-win.

Overnight Oats in a Jar (Two Servings)

  • 1 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 T maple syrup, brown sugar or white sugar
  • 1/4 t cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 cups fresh berries or cherries

In a large bowl, combine oats, almond milk, yogurt, chia seeds, vanilla, syrup, and cinnamon.  Divide oat mixture evenly among two pint-sized, leak-proof containers (canning jars work well).  Add 1 cup of fruit to each container.  Seal each container and place in refrigerator overnight before serving.