Strawberry overnight oats are an easy, make-ahead breakfast with no cooking involved. Creamy oatmeal is filled with extra strawberry flavor thanks to the addition of freeze-dried strawberries. A hearty grab-and-go breakfast!
Overnight oats are a fantastic fuss-free breakfast. Simply assemble and mix the night before, then grab and go in the morning!
These overnight oats are creamy and rich, made with old fashioned oats, vanilla Greek yogurt, and whole milk. The strawberry flavor is amped up with the addition of ground freeze-dried strawberries - they add way more flavor than fresh strawberries alone!
Enjoy your strawberry overnight oats cold, just like a bowl of cereal, topped with sliced fresh strawberries. They make a quick, make-ahead breakfast that's filling and nutritious!
Ingredients and substitutions
Any type of milk works with this recipe, like whole milk, skim milk, or almond milk.
I used vanilla Greek yogurt for this recipe, but plain Greek yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup is a great substitute. You could also try adding a flavored yogurt, like strawberry or blueberry, for extra flavor.
For this recipe, you'll need freeze-dried strawberries and a few fresh strawberries to slice on top. Freeze-dried strawberries can be found in the produce section of your local grocery store.
Freeze dried strawberries vs. fresh strawberries
You may be wondering - can I use fresh strawberries instead? In short - not really.
The reason I use freeze-dried strawberries in this recipe is because they add a much more intense strawberry flavor to your oats. Freeze-drying removes 98% of the water, leaving behind the most flavorful parts of the strawberry.
They'll give your overnight oats an actual strawberry flavor without artificial flavorings added in. Fresh strawberries make a great topping, but since they're mainly water, it's hard to add enough strawberries to flavor your oats overnight.
Don't have freeze-dried strawberries on hand? Try adding a spoonful of strawberry jam. Jam is made by cooking out some of the moisture from your fruits, giving it a stronger fruit flavor.
What oats work best for overnight oats?
Old fashioned oats are the best option for overnight oats.
Instant oats are thinner and powdery in texture compared to old fashioned oats. They get too soft and mushy when soaked overnight.
Steel-cut oats can work, but you'll need to add a bit more liquid (about ¼ cup of milk), and they'll be much more chewy. I find that steel-cut oats do not soften enough overnight, which is why I recommend old fashioned oats.
Phytic acid in oats
Oats contain a substance called phytic acid. Phytic acid is often referred to as an "anti-nutrient" because it binds itself to nutrients like zinc, iron, and calcium, preventing your body from absorbing those nutrients.
Cooking oats, like when making oatmeal on the stovetop, reduces the phytic acid in the oats. Soaking also reduces phytic acid, however that phytic acid now resides in the milk it was soaked in.
Adding a splash of an acidic ingredient, like yogurt, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar will help destroy that leftover phytic acid.
So, if you'd like to substitute the Greek yogurt it this recipe, I suggest adding an additional ¼ cup of milk, plus a splash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
Do you eat overnight oats cold?
Overnight oats require no cooking and can be eaten cold. The ingredients are mixed together the night before, stored in the refrigerator, and can be enjoyed straight from the fridge in the morning.
However, your oats can be microwaved if you prefer them warm. Stir frequently and microwave in 30 second bursts until warmed to your desired temperature.
Strawberry Overnight Oats
- ½ cup (45 g) old fashioned oats
- ½ cup (114 g) milk
- ⅓ cup (76 g) vanilla Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons freeze-dried strawberries
- 4 fresh strawberries, sliced
- In a 16 ounce mason jar or other container with a lid, add oats, milk, yogurt, and freeze-dried strawberries. Stir until combined. Seal with a lid and refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- Just before serving, top oats with fresh sliced strawberries and any other desired toppings. Oats can be enjoyed cold or microwaved until warmed through.
- Overnight oats will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, but the texture is best within the first 2-3 days.
- Greek yogurt can be substituted with an additional ¼ cup of milk, plus a splash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
- Old fashioned oats are best for making overnight oats. Steel cut oats will remain very chewy and instant oats will get soggy.
- Optional additions: collagen peptides, protein powder, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, pecans, fresh fruits.