~ These Apple Overnight Oats are bursting with yummy layers of flavor from sweet-tart cranberries, juicy apples, and cozy notes of vanilla and cinnamon! Plus, the whole grain oats are boosted with extra protein from creamy Greek yogurt and crunchy nuts. This deliciously easy, hearty power breakfast takes just 10 minutes to prep … and is ready whenever you are! ~
(Originally published as 10-Minute, No-Cook Overnight Oats with Apples, Cranberries and Cinnamon on August 7, 2014. Recipe, photos and text completely updated.)
This Recipe Is: • Ready in 30 Minutes or Less (Plus Chilling) • Make Ahead • Vegetarian • Gluten Free •
I don’t know about you, but morning is definitely not my bright-and-shiniest moment.
Before my bleary eyes even open, I’m somehow simultaneously experiencing both a thick, mental fog … and also a jarring, panicked dash through the day’s to-do list.
Starting with OMG girl, what’s the breakfast plan??
But you know what’s awesome? When breakfast is already DONE!
My feet haven’t even hit the floor yet, and I’ve already got the very first thing checked of that looming to-do list!
YES! Breakfast is ready and waiting!!
Thank you, wonderful and delicious and practically life-saving Apple Overnight Oats. I am dying to punch the snooze one more time, and I still haven’t brushed my teeth, and WOW do I need some coffee … but thanks to you, my morning just got so, so much easier!
If your mornings are ever hectic and rush-rush and busy … or just kinda hard … then you, my friend, need these Apple Overnight Oats in your life, too!
But first, you might actually be wondering, hey …
What Are Overnight Oats?
Basically, Overnight Oats are a cool and refreshing, no-cook oatmeal. Oats are combined with a liquid (usually some sort of milk) to soften up and thicken overnight in the fridge. Plus, you also add whatever fruits or flavorings or mix-ins you like. Sometimes Greek yogurt is also stirred in for a creamy boost of protein.
It’s the same concept we use in making our Easy Blueberry Overnight Oats and our Praline Peach Oats. And really, all these Overnight Oats recipes are pretty similar to the idea behind Overnight Chia Pudding, too (another one to put on your must-try breakfast list!).
Super quick, super easy. Every.single.time.
Overnight Oats are a great meal prep option for making mornings so much easier. Mix ’em up the night before, and breakfast is ready and waiting for you!
Why You’ll Love This Specific Recipe
So, ok … I think we can all agree that the whole quick, easy, make-ahead thing is a total win here. That’s obviously a terrific upside to any Overnight Oats recipe.
But what about this specific recipe? Why should you be running to your grocery list to add the ingredients right.this.very.minute?
Mmmmmmm … because …
• Loads of crisp, juicy apple chunks.
• Crunchy walnuts and little pops of dried cranberries for extra layers of flavor and great textures. (This is no boring bowl of oats, my friends!) It’s fully loaded with goodies!
• Those classic, cozy homespun flavors of cinnamon and vanilla and a little caramel-y brown sugar.
• All mixed into a creamy-dreamy base of old-fashioned oats and milk and protein-rich vanilla Greek yogurt.
Kind of like apple pie for breakfast!
Except energizing and filling all morning long. And portable. And nutritious. And just basically all-around awesome.
Yes … yummmmmmm … the morning just keeps getting better and better, doesn’t it?!?
Wanna make it (so your tomorrow can be better x1000)? Here’s all you’ve gotta do:
How to Make Apple Overnight Oats
This truly takes only about 10 minutes, tops!
If you can chop up an apple and make your arm move in a “stirring” motion, you’re totally set here, I promise!
And notice: there are basically just 2 very simple steps. Two!
Combine all your ingredients in a bowl, and stir ’em up. (Told you this was EASY!)
And if you thought step 1 was easy … check out step 2 …..
Cover and chill overnight.
For real – that’s it!
Now, you do have a couple choices here, but they’re easy ones:
Option 1: You can simply throw some plastic wrap over your mixing bowl full of Overnight Oats and let everyone serve themselves in the morning.
Option 2: Or, you can pre-portion your Oats into individual serving containers, so breakfast is all ready for a grab-and-go-and-eat-on-the-run kinda morning.
Oh … but maybe I should add one more step, just so we can all pat ourselves on the back …
Wake up the next morning (after hitting at least one extra “snooze”, ’cause … hey … you’ve got the time) to the happy, relaxed feeling of “breakfast is already done”!
It’s lookin’ like a winner of a day, and we’re already crushin’ it!! Ahhhhhh … awesome feeling.
Recipe Update: Now with MUCH Less Sugar!
When we originally tested, tested, and re-tested this recipe back before we first posted it in 2014, we liked the interplay of very tart Granny Smith Apples with sweet brown sugar.
But, over the years, I’ve found that I’m just not comfortable with so much sugar – the original recipe called for 1/4 cup.
I’ve updated the recipe to use sweeter Honeycrisp apples, and slashed the brown sugar to just 1 tablespoon. It’s enough brown sugar to still offer up a cozy, homey, caramel-y background flavor … but much healthier, too!
Sidenote: If you’re a loyal THK’er who’s been making this recipe for years, you might also notice that I’ve increased the amount of milk.
The original 2014 recipe called for just 1/3 cup milk, but I’ve upped it to 2/3 cup. I tested about 10 different batches of these Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats last month, as I was tweaking the apples and sugar. And, I found that the additional milk yielded a more pleasantly creamy final recipe, that was still thick enough to be really portable.
If you like ultra-thick Overnight Oats, you can certainly stick with the original 1/3 cup of milk.
And the opposite is also true, of course. If you’re not worried about portability, you can thin your oats out a bit in the morning before you eat.
As an example: I often send my hubby out the door with the portable, thicker version (made just as the recipe’s written), and then add a little milk to my own bowlful at home, as I sit down at my computer to start the day.
How to Serve Up Your Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats
This recipe is definitely meant to be served chilled … straight from the fridge.
No need to heat it up.
Just grab it, and you’re off to seize the day.
If you want, you can toss a few more apples, cranberries, or nuts on top for a pretty presentation, but that’s totally optional. It’s delicious just as it is!
What Oats Are Best for Overnight Oats?
You might be wondering if you can use “quick oats” to make overnight oatmeal, instead of “old-fashioned” rolled oats. But, quick oats don’t work well for Overnight Oat recipes. Quick oats are rolled thinner (so that they cook more quickly when people make regular, hot oatmeal). As a result, the thinner quick oats get too broken-down by morning and create a gummy, almost paste-like consistency in Overnight Oats. Definitely stick with the thicker old-fashioned oats for the best texture in your Overnight Oats.
How Long Do Overnight Oats Have to Soak?
For the best texture, you want the oats to soak for at least a couple of hours. It takes a while for the oats to soften and the texture of the Overnight Oats to become creamy and pleasant. That’s why overnight is so ideal.
Can I Swap in Different Types of Apples?
Sure! As I explained in more detail above, we originally started making this recipe with tart Granny Smiths. But after making this for years and years, I’ve switched to using Honeycrisps. The sweet but edgy flavor of varieties like Honeycrisp or even Pink Ladies allows me to use much less brown sugar in this recipe than I need to with tart Granny Smiths. Plus, they don’t turn brown quickly, and they keep their crispness for several days, which is handy if you’re prepping a big batch of Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats for a whole week of breakfasts. Have fun trying your favorite apple varieties, too, adjusting the amount of sugar slightly, if needed.
How Long Can Overnight Oats Sit in the Fridge?
Properly covered and refrigerated, Overnight Oats will easily last for 4-5 days. Great for meal prepping!
Is It Necessary to Refrigerate Overnight Oats?
You should definitely refrigerate your Overnight Oats for safety. Different recipes may call for different types of milk, and may or may not include refrigerated ingredients like Greek yogurt. Nonetheless, proper refrigeration is always best. And certainly, with this particular Apple Overnight Oats recipe, the ingredients require refrigeration.
A Win on Busy Mornings!
This Apple Overnight Oats recipe has so many things going for it.
√ It’s healthy.
√ It’s delicious.
√ It’s reeeaaalllllyyy quick and simple.
Whip up a batch, and you’ve got breakfast for several days! (Well, if you’re lucky … ’cause it might not last that long.)
Ahhhhh … mornings just got a whole lot easier!
Need More Super-Quick Breakfast Ideas? You’ll Love:
- 5-Minute Healthy Avocado Toast with Smoked Salmon
- 10-Minute Almond Joy Oatmeal
- Easy Chia Seed Pudding
- Farmers’ Market Overnight Breakfast Egg Casserole (Feeds a crowd!)
- 10-Minute Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
Love the Recipe? • Were My Tips Helpful?
Please leave a star-rating in the recipe card below – I truly appreciate all your wonderful feedback!
- 1 3/4 cups cored and chopped apple (we prefer Honeycrisp – see note)
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats (see note)
- 1 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
- 2/3 cup nonfat milk
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- optional for serving: additional apple chunks, cranberries and nuts to garnish on top; additional milk to thin slightly, if desired (see note)
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl, and stir thoroughly to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate several hours, or overnight. Serve chilled.
Apples, yogurt and sugar: We prefer this recipe with sweet-tart apples like Honeycrisp. We originally tested and posted this recipe back in 2014 with tart Granny Smith apples, but over the years, we found we didn't like using so much extra sugar (the original 2014 recipe had 1/4 cup brown sugar) to offset the tartness of the Granny Smiths. Feel free to experiment with whatever apples you prefer, adjusting the sugar if needed. (Note that various brands of vanilla Greek yogurt also differ in their levels of sweetness.)
Oats: For best results, do not use quick oats in this recipe. The consistency of quick oats isn't hearty enough to withstand overnight refrigeration. By morning, the quick oats will have broken down, and will be paste-like. Throughout our testing, we found that old-fashioned oats are truly the best for Overnight Oats recipes.
Adjusting consistency: Using 2/3 cup milk gives these Apple Overnight Oats a creamy but thick consistency that's perfect for eating on-the-go. If you're not eating on the run and you'd prefer a slightly looser consistency, though, you can thin your serving by stirring in a little extra milk just before eating.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 servings Serving Size: about 3/4 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 209Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 62mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 4gProtein: 8g
Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.