Three Make-Ahead Recipes for Breakfast Oats

Tell me if this sounds familiar: Your alarm goes off. You hit snooze. Your alarm goes off again. You hit snooze again. Next thing you know, it’s an hour after your original wake-up time and you’re scrambling to shower, find something clean to wear, blow dry your hair, check your email, put on makeup and scarf down breakfast.

Or maybe you don’t even have time to make breakfast, even though you know breakfast is a smart way to start the day.

Reclaim your morning and jumpstart a day of healthy eating by making these simple recipes the night before. You’ll save morning prep time and can even bring them to work, assuming you have a microwave for the rice-cooker oatmeal. Plus, all three recipes are oats-based, which means an extra dose of whole grains, B vitamins and soluble fiber. Healthy in a hurry – it’s just what you needed.

breakfast oats

Overnight Oats

We’ve sung the praises of overnight oats on this site before because they’re fast, easy and delicious. I’m adding my two cents with my favorite overnight oats recipe, courtesy of my youngest sister, an on-the-go college junior.

Here’s what to do: 

  • In a mason jar, mix together ½ cup of old fashioned oats, 1 tsp of brown sugar, ½ tbsp of almond butter and half a banana.
  • Pour ½ cup of almond milk on top and screw on the lid.
  • Refrigerate overnight. Pour into a bowl and enjoy. (Yes, they are meant to be eaten cold.)

For variations, try adding cinnamon, frozen blueberries or diced dried fruit, such as peaches or apricots.


Oatmeal Breakfast Bites

Pop a few of these into your mouth on the way out the door and you’ll be ready for whatever the day throws at you.

Here’s what to do:

Mix together 1 cup quick oats, ½ cup almond butter, 1 tbsp of maple syrup and 2 tbsp of water. Roll into 15 balls. These can be refrigerated for up to one week.


Rice-Cooker Oatmeal

It turns out that rice cookers can do a lot more than, well, cook rice. I put this theory to the test with overnight rice-cooker oatmeal, and the results were nearly as good as stove-top oatmeal and far better than those microwaveable oatmeal packets.

Here’s what to do: 

Pour one cup of rolled oats and 1 ½ cups of water into your rice cooker before you go to bed, enter the time you want the oatmeal to be done and prep the toppings to stir in the next morning. I suggest some combination of slivered almonds, pecan pieces, golden raisins, blueberries, banana, cinnamon and brown sugar.

Eat Recipes

About Kelsey Schagemann

Kelsey is a former NCAA Division III cross country and track athlete who exchanged sneakers for spin shoes in her twenties. Hailing from the great state of Oregon (by way of St. Louis, where she spent her childhood), Kelsey has made Chicago her home since 2006. She can often be found at the helm of her daughter’s stroller, walking miles throughout the city. Her other favorite fitness activities include spinning, yoga, lifting weights and biking. As a freelance writer, Kelsey works with universities, nonprofits, websites and magazines (visit for more information). In her spare time, she enjoys trying new recipes, traveling with her family and keeping the library in business. Kelsey holds a BA in English from Kenyon College and an MA in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago.