Can You Heat Up Overnight Oats? (Tips + Easy Recipe)

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Overnight oats are a convenient and great breakfast choice.

You can make them ahead of time and simply eat them in the morning.

Usually overnight oats are eaten cold, but, as you’ve stumbled across this article you’re probably wondering: can you heat them up as well?

Let’s dive right in and find out!

You can heat up overnight oats. It is best to heat them up in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or on the stove over low heat. Be careful not to overcook as this will make the oats dry and difficult to eat. Adding toppings such as apple and spices can also help to make them more enjoyable warm.

When you warm up overnight oats, it releases the flavors and aromas more, making them even more delicious!

So if you’re looking to change up your breakfast routine, or if you simply want to enjoy your oats in a new way, give heating them up a try.

You might be surprised at how good they taste!

Now let’s go ahead and go over some useful tips so you can be sure your heated overnight oats turn out perfectly every time.

Tips For Warming Up Overnight Oats

Use Milk

Heating overnight oats that have a base of milk, such as (dairy-free) almond milk or oat milk, will make them more creamy and delicious.

You can also add a little extra milk of your choice when heating to keep the oats from drying out. The healthy fats and fatty acids in milk options like coconut milk also add nutrition and flavor.

Add Toppings 

Sprinkling on fresh fruit like bananas or berries, chopped nuts, or aromatic spices is a great way to enhance the flavors of heated overnight oats. Toppings that pair especially well are apples, cinnamon, nutmeg as well as peanut butter.

These flavors can make your oats taste like freshly baked apple pie, which is a perfect nutritious breakfast!

Get creative by topping reheated oats with seasonal fruit like berries, sliced bananas or chopped apples.

Nuts like walnuts, almonds or pecans add crunch. Chocolate chips, brown sugar or maple syrup satisfy a sweet tooth. Shredded coconut is a fun variation.

Use A Microwave-Safe Container

Be sure to heat overnight oats in the microwave using a container that is safe for microwave use.

This prevents accidents and makes cleanup easier.

Glass jars or ceramic bowls allow you to see the oats as they warm up.

Stir Well

Thoroughly stir the oats before microwaving or heating on the stovetop.

This helps them warm evenly and prevents hot spots from forming.

Stirring also incorporates mix-ins like chia seeds, hemp seeds or Greek yogurt.

Be Careful Not To Overcook

Overcooking will result in dry oats that are difficult to eat.

Gently heat the oats until warmed throughout, then remove from the heat source and let sit briefly before enjoying.

Proper cooking time preserves the whole grain goodness of rolled or steel-cut oats.

Add Liquid If Needed

If oats seem dry after reheating, stir in extra milk, yogurt, nut butter or plant-based milk until reaching a creamy yet not soggy consistency.

How Long Do You Heat Up Overnight Oats?

Here are some guidelines for how long to heat up overnight oats:

  • Microwave: 30 seconds to 2 minutes depending on the amount. Start with 30 seconds and stir the oats, then continue heating in 15-second increments until the oats are warmed through. This works well for single servings or leftovers from a larger batch.
  • Stovetop in a saucepan: 2-5 minutes. Add a splash of your favorite milk or dairy-free milk to prevent sticking. Stir frequently and adjust the heat as needed. Thicker varieties like old-fashioned oats may take longer to warm than quick-cooking oats.
  • Stovetop in a mason jar: Place the sealed jar in a pan of simmering water for 5-10 minutes. Check the temperature periodically with a thermometer until it reaches 165°F. This is a gentle method for reheating an entire batch.
  • Individual servings: 30-60 seconds each serving in the microwave, stirring halfway through. Adjust as needed based on add-ins like nut butters, fruit or your favorite toppings.
  • Large batches: 2-3 minutes in the microwave, stirring every minute. Or 5-10 minutes on the stovetop, stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on it to avoid over-heating the nutritious ingredients.

Best Basic Overnight Oats Recipe

Here is a basic overnight oats recipe that you can easily customize with your favorite ingredients:


  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (or quick-cooking oats for a thinner texture)
  • 3/4 cup milk of your choice (dairy, almond, oat etc.)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds, hemp seeds or ground flaxseed (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Toppings of your choice like fruit, nut butter, coconut, etc.


  1. In a mason jar or container, layer the oats, milk, and optional seeds. Secure lid and shake to combine.
  2. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours to allow the oats to soften.
  3. In the morning, remove from the fridge and top with your favorite toppings like banana slices, berries, peanut or almond butter for extra flavor and creaminess.
  4. For hot oats, microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway until warmed through. For cold oats, enjoy!


  • Feel free to substitute the milk for soy milk, coconut milk or Greek yogurt for extra protein.
  • Spice it up with cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa powder or other flavors.
  • Double the batch for grab-and-go breakfasts all week.

Other Questions You May Have

Can You Heat Up Overnight Oats With Yogurt?

If you plan on heating your overnight oats, making them with yogurt may not be the best option.

Yogurt can curdle when heated, making it unappetizing and difficult to eat.

If you still want to include yogurt in your oats, it’s best to add it after they have been heated. 

This way, you can enjoy the creamy texture and delicious flavor without having to worry about it curdling.

Can You Heat Up Overnight Oats With Chia Seeds?

You can heat up overnight oats with chia seeds.

Chia seeds are a great source of fiber and nutrients, making them a great addition to any breakfast.

However, they can also absorb a lot of liquid. This means that if you heat up your oats with chia seeds, they may end up being too dry.

To avoid this, you can either add a little extra liquid when heating, or you can add the chia seeds after your oats have been heated.

Can You Heat Up Overnight Oats With Banana?

You can heat up overnight oats with banana. However, it is best to add the banana after your oats have been heated.

This is because bananas can become mushy when heated, making them difficult to eat.

If you still want to include banana in your oats, it’s best to add it after they have been heated. 

This way, you can enjoy the sweetness and flavor of the banana without it becoming mushy.

Can You Heat Up Overnight Oats With Protein Powder?

You can heat up overnight oats with protein powder.

Protein powder is a great ingredient to easily add extra protein to your breakfast.

However, it can also make your oats dry and chalky.

To avoid this, you can either add a little extra liquid when heating, or you can add the protein powder after your oats have been heated.

Can You Heat Up Overnight Oats In A Jar?

You can heat up overnight oats in a jar.

However, it is important to make sure that the jar is microwave-safe.

If you are not sure, it is best to heat up your oats in a bowl.

This will help to prevent any accidents and make cleanup much easier.

Can You Heat Up Overnight Oats More Than Once?

You can reheat your oats multiple times, but be aware that they will continue to cook and soften as they are heated.

This means that they may not have the same texture or flavor as they did when they were first made.

If you plan on reheating your oats multiple times, it’s best to add a little extra liquid to them so they don’t become too dry.

Can You Freeze Heated Overnight Oats?

While you can freeze your oats after they have been heated, it’s not recommended.

The texture of the oats will change as they are frozen and thawed, making them mushy and unappetizing.

If you still want to freeze your oats, it’s best to do so before heating them up. 

This way, you can enjoy them at their best!

How do I reheat overnight oats made with steel-cut oats? 

Steel-cut oats will take a bit longer to reheat than rolled or instant oats since they have a thicker texture.

Low and slow is best – simmer the jar of steel-cut oats in a saucepan with a splash of almond milk for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until warmed through.

Will reheating overnight oats change the nutrition? 

Reheating overnight oats does not significantly impact the nutrition.

Any live cultures from yogurt or milk may decrease slightly during the reheating process, but overall the fiber, protein and other nutrients remain intact.

Can I add more liquid when reheating? 

You can add a bit more of your milk of choice when reheating overnight oats if you prefer a looser consistency.

Start with 1-2 tablespoons and adjust to your desired thickness. More liquid will prevent the oats from getting too thick or drying out in the microwave.

Can I prep overnight oats ahead of time? 

Overnight oats are perfect for meal prep! Assemble individual jars or a batch up to 5 days in advance.

The oats will hydrate and thicken in the refrigerator overnight. Simply reheat or enjoy cold based on your preference each morning.

Final Thoughts

So now you know that you can heat up your overnight oats if you want to!

Whether you use quick oats, steel cut oats or any other type of oats for your overnight oats, heating them up is not a problem.

Just be careful not to overcook them.

Adding some toppings can also help to make them more enjoyable.

I personally like to add a little bit of fruit such as apple or cherry and some nuts and spices to my oats.

If you are looking for another hot and easy breakfast option, then you could also try oatmeal!

I’ve written this other article that gives some great ideas for oatmeal toppings, so definitely make sure to check it out as well.

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