Overnight Oats for a 17. mai morning treat

Start your day right with an easy-to-make breakfast delight

Overnight Oats

Photo: Kristi Bissell
Vanilla Overnight Oats with Cinnamon are fast and easy to make but big on taste and nutrition.

Kristi Bissell
Taste of Norway Editor
The Norwegian American

Overnight oats are a refreshing, ultra-creamy version of oatmeal that is served chilled. Best of all, you can whip up a batch in minutes in the evening and have breakfast ready to go in the refrigerator nearly all week long! This recipe takes less than five minutes to prepare, and no cooking is required—the oats simply soak for a minimum of 3 hours and they are ready to enjoy. So simple yet so delicious, overnight oats will make a tasty and nutritious addition to any 17th of May breakfast buffet.


What is the story behind overnight oats?

Overnight oats are essentially a modernized version of muesli, a Swiss oatmeal dish that is traditionally served cold. The recipe was developed by a Swiss doctor, Maximilian Bircher-Benner, in the early 20th century as a “health food” to serve to his patients as part of their strict vegetarian diet regimen. The original version contained diced apple, nuts, rolled oats that had been soaked for 12 hours, lemon juice, and either milk or cream. Muesli was originally served as an appetizer course before dinner and not as a breakfast food.

How do overnight oats differ from traditional oatmeal?

They are not cooked but are instead are soaked overnight in a mixture of milk (regular or plant-based), possibly some yogurt or skyr (Icelandic yogurt), sweetener (usually pure maple syrup or honey) and chia seeds which help thicken the mixture and give it a hearty, substantial texture.

Can I use any kind of oats?

Overnight oats are almost always made with old-fashioned rolled oats as opposed to quick-cooking or steel-cut oats. Quick-cooking or instant oats create an overly mushy texture to the final product, and steel-cut oats don’t soften enough during the soaking process to be pleasantly edible. But not to worry! All oats, regardless of their processing, contain the same amount of desirable nutrients, including  fiber, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, selenium, and iron.

What is the best way to store overnight oats?

You can portion your overnight oats into individual servings in small glass containers covered with plastic before placing them into the refrigerator. In the morning, top off  your  oats and enjoy!

How long do overnight oats last?

Overnight oats will keep for 4 days covered tightly in the fridge. Almost a week’s worth of nourishing breakfasts at your fingertips!


Makes 4 servings


For the oats:

  • 1 ⅓ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1⅓ cups plain Greek yogurt or Icelandic yogurt (skyr)
  • 1⅓  cups milk of choice (I like unsweetened almond)
  • 2 tsps. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsps. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup

Optional toppings:

  • Berries or other fruit
  • Toasted nuts
  • Coconut flakes
  • Additional maple syrup or honey
  • Additional yogurt or skyr
  • Additional milk
  • A dollop of nut butter (I like roasted almond butter with mine)


  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cover and transfer to the fridge. Let sit overnight or for at least 3 hours. If you want to store the oats in individual portions, simply divide the mixture between 4 small containers and cover. Overnight oats will keep well-covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  2. When you are ready to serve, top each portion of oats with any optional toppings as desired. Enjoy!

Visit Kristi’s food blog, True North Kitchen, at true-north-kitchen.com.

This article originally appeared in the May 2024 issue of The Norwegian American.

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Kristi Bissell

Kristi Bissell is the founder of True North Kitchen, a Nordic food blog designed for the American home cook. She enjoys creating recipes that celebrate her Scandinavian heritage and that approach traditional Nordic ingredients in a modern, fresh and approachable way. Kristi is a native of Minneapolis and currently resides in Omaha, Neb. When she’s not cooking and baking in her cozy kitchen, Kristi teaches private and corporate yoga classes and leads Scandinavian cooking and baking workshops. For more information, visit her blog, www.true-north-kitchen.com.