Mason Jar Overnight Oats


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Simple and delicious with rolled oats, chia seeds, almond milk, and fruit, mason jar overnight oats are a healthy breakfast to make ahead and take on the go.

Overnight Oats on a white table

Meal prepping friends, I know you’re out there, and I have a great no-cook, make-ahead breakfast recipe to put on your list. When things get busy (looking at you back-to-school season), or we’re eating lots of meals out, I feel so much more balanced if I have a healthy breakfast prepped in the fridge. I make them parfait-style in mason jars with delicious layers, but there are so many ways to customize (see below).

Here’s how!

mason jars of peanut butter on a white table
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Before you get started, set out your ingredients.

  • Rolled or “Old-Fashioned” Oats – Be sure to get rolled or “old-fashioned” oats. Quick cook oats, instant oats, or steel cut oats will work but won’t have the same texture.
  • Nut Butter – Use any type of nut butter. I love natural almond butter or peanut butter.
  • Chia Seeds – Chia seeds add texture and nutrition. You can skip these or stir flax seeds or hemp hearts or your other favorite healthy additions to the liquid and oat mixture.
  • Liquid – Milk gives these a creamy texture – any dairy milk, oat milk, almond milk, or coconut milk are all great options.
  • Honey – Optional, but adds a bit of sweetness on top.
mason jars of overnight oats on a white table

How to Make Mason Jar Overnight Oats

Step 1: Layer Ingredients

Assemble the overnight oats in layers right in the mason jars. Almond butter on the bottom, then chia seeds, then oats.

Step 2: Pour Liquid over Top

Pour liquid over the ingredients. The liquid will soak through to the chia seed layer but shouldn’t affect the nut butter on the bottom.

adding milk to overnight oats in a mason jar

Step 3: Top with Fruit

Add fruit on top if you’d like. Fresh fruit is great, but frozen works really well (it will defrost by the time you eat them). For a little added sweetness, add a drizzle of honey on top.

mason jars of overnight oats topped with berries

Step 4: Refrigerate

Refrigerate, covered, for at least 8 hours and up to 5 days.

jars of oats and toppings on a white table

Variations on Overnight Oats

  • Add yogurt – Adding yogurt to the oats gives them an extra creamy texture and adds protein. Plain or Greek yogurt, flavored yogurt, or non-dairy yogurt options all work well. For the best results, substitute yogurt for about 1/3 of the milk. Whisk them together before pouring over the oats.
  • Add nuts or granola – Adding nuts or granola gives the oats more texture and protein. For the best results, add them on top right before serving so they don’t get soft.
  • Add chocolate – Chocolate is always welcome in overnight oats! Stir some unsweetened cocoa powder and your sweetener of choice into the milk before pouring it over top. (Taste it to make sure it has your preferred amount of sweetness.)

Jars for Overnight Oats

  • 8 ounce Mason Jars or 16 ounce Mason Jars – Either size will work. I make these in 8 oz mason jars and they are filled all the way to the top (as shown in photos above). If you make them in the 16 oz jars, you’ll have plenty of room to stir everything together before you eat it if you’d like. I also use these reusable lids (instead of the metal lids that come with the jars) because they are so easy to wash and store.


Do you stir overnight oats before eating?

You don’t need to, but giving them a little stir will help the oats to distribute more evenly in the liquid. If you assemble the jars in layers, you might want to stir everything together to combine it before serving.

Rolled (Old-Fashioned) Oats vs. Steel Cut

Rolled (old-fashioned) oats are the most common in overnight oats and get an increasingly creamy texture the longer they soak. They will be soft and slightly chewy after 8 hours. Steel cut oats are small grains and need to soak longer in order to soften – about 24 hours.

Can I make the oats sweeter?

Yes! Use sweetened almond milk or drizzle some honey, maple syrup, agave, or brown sugar in when you add the milk.

Hot or Cold?

Your choice. Overnight oats can be eaten cold from the fridge, at room temperature, or warmed briefly in the microwave.

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Mason Jar Overnight Oats {Meal Prep}
4.59 from 34 votes

Mason Jar Overnight Oats

Make a week's worth of healthy breakfasts with mason jar overnight oats. They can be easily customized and use nut butter, rolled oats, milk, chia seeds, and fruit.
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 5 servings


  • 8 ounce or 16 ounce Mason Jars
  • Mixing Bowls


  • 10 tablespoons almond butter (sub any nut butter)
  • 5 teaspoons chia seeds (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled or old-fashioned oats
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (use any type of milk you like – skim, 2%, almond, oat, coconut, etc.)
  • 10 ounces fruit, fresh or frozen
  • honey (optional)


  • Set out five mason jars (I use 8 ounce but they are packed all the way to the top as in the photos; 16 ounce will give you more room to stir and add toppings; or use any other similar-sized container). Fill each jar with almond butter (2 Tablespoons / jar), chia seeds (1 teaspoon / jar), and oats (1/2 cup / jar).
  • Slowly pour milk over top, giving it time to fill in the spaces between the oats. (Note: Be sure that the oats are just barely covered with milk. You may need a little more or less than the amount listed.)
  • Top oats with frozen berries and a drizzle of honey (if using).
  • Put lids on the jars and transfer to the fridge. Refrigerate overnight and up to five days.
  • When you're ready to eat the oats, just pull them out of the fridge and dive in. You can stir everything together or eat the layers one at a time.


Chia seeds are optional, but they soak up the liquid and add a great texture contrast / layer with a bit of seedy crunch.
Be sure to get rolled or “old-fashioned” oats. Quick cook or instant oats will soften too much if left overnight to soak in liquid.
If you need these to be gluten-free, be sure to choose rolled oats that are certified gluten-free (not all are).
Nutrition information was calculated using skim milk.


Serving: 1jar | Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 51mg | Potassium: 590mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 234IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 306mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $3.00
Calories: 420
Keyword: breakfast, healthy breakfast recipe, kid-friendly recipe, make with kids, meal prep, overnight breakfast
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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    1. Yes! The bananas will be just fine though as you can imagine, they’ll soften and turn slightly brown as they sit in the fridge. You’ll have the best luck if you add them at the bottom of the containers and they are well covered by the other ingredients – being surrounded by liquids will help minimize browning.

    1. If you use 8 oz mason jars they’ll be filled all the way to the top as in the photos (and may even spill over into a 6th jar). 16 oz will give you much more room. But either will work.

  1. Hi there! I see the ingredients and calories are for 1 tablespoon of almond butter but the directions say to do 2 tbl almond butter per jar?

  2. 5 stars
    I make this with Mango Nectar, a little bit of milk and the frosen tropical fruit blend offered at my local grocer. They are awesome. I never get tired of them and if I do I just change up the nectar and fruit. Chia seeds are a must though. TY for getting ne started on overnight oats. Besides being good they are good for you. My gastroenterologist is thrilled.

    1. Hi Tammy – I buy them from Amazon or Target. A link to them on Amazon is in the bottom of the post under – “tools” and there’s also a link to these plastic reusable lids I use to cover them. Hope that helps!

  3. Many thanks for your recipes !
    I’ve tried this one, but didn’t read it until the end (I’m incorrigible) so I didn’t put the “right” oats and it was very fluid this morning… 🙁 But I warm it up in the microwave for 2 mn and it was perfect ! (>> you can mention it 😉
    Delicious !
    The only thing I do declare it that it was really less nice than your picture ! ;P
    Tell me the truth, on your picture there is no milk inside, right ? ;D
    Have a nice day in this hard period of confinement because of Covid-19.
    All the best

    1. Hi Leira – this note made me smile! I just made a batch of these for us to use this week and they definitely don’t always look quite as photo-worthy as when I make them to photograph them for the blog. I bet if you use the rolled oats, yours will look very similar though. GREAT idea to warm them in the microwave! Perfect for these sometimes chilly spring mornings. Hope you are taking care and making it through this strange lockdown time.

  4. Hii,
    i have read many of your recepies , and they were amazing …. the best part of ur recepies are they are working for me ….
    thanks for sharing such a delicious list with us….
    keep posting

  5. I just prepped these tonight! I’m excited to try one tomorrow. Thanks for sharing another wonderful recipe.