Overnight Oats Recipe - Dr. Axe

Overnight Oatmeal Recipe

Overnight oats recipe - Dr. Axe

Oatmeal is a terrific healthy breakfast option. It’s easy to prepare and a high-fiber food that will keep you feeling full and satisfied — and it’s easy to customize when feeding the family. It also gets overlooked often, and it’s not hard to guess why. Without the right ingredients accompanying it, oatmeal can be downright boring to eat. Because it’s fairly flavorless on its own, it’s not the type of dish that gets you excited about breakfast.

That is, until my Overnight Oats recipe came along. Using steel cut, gluten-free oats, this is the recipe you need to kickstart a love of oatmeal. It’s easy to prepare and, unlike those overpriced oatmeal packets sold in the store, totally natural. Give this overnight oatmeal nutrition a try — I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Oatmeal is one of the most popular whole grain recipes worldwide, and steel cut oat grains are a great source of fiber, trace minerals, and even plant-based protein and healthy fatty acids!

How to Make Overnight Oats

Start by soaking the steel-cut oats overnight in water. I like doing this in a small pot — you’ll use it later, so it’s one less dish to wash.

Why is it necessary to soak steel-cut oats overnight? Because these oats are so power-packed and dense that cooking them the morning of 1) takes at least 40 minutes and 2) they often still don’t get soft enough for a pleasant eating texture. Soaking them overnight results in them only taking a few minutes to cook in the morning and a perfect texture.


In the morning, drain the oats and add them (back) to a small pot, along with a cup of water. Turn the heat on to medium high and bring the oats and water to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the oats simmer for about 5 minutes. Your overnight oatmeal is forming!

Let the overnight oats recipe cool slightly and then add it and dates (or raisins) to a food processor. Blend until the ingredients have mixed together nicely. The dates here are a great touch. They sweeten this oatmeal without overpowering it. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top, and you’ve got yourself a delicious breakfast oatmeal!

This is one of my favorite ways to prepare oatmeal, but it’s easy to adjust to your family’s tastes, too. You can soak them overnight with a cut up apple. You can also serve with sliced berries or bananas, or sprinkle a little granola on top for texture. Slivered almonds would add some healthy fats and provide a little crunch. You just can’t go wrong with this steel cut overnight oats.

Other Warm Breakfasts to Make

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Overnight oats recipe - Dr. Axe

Overnight Oats Recipe

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  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Using steel-cut, gluten-free oats, this is the recipe you need to kickstart a love of oatmeal. It’s easy to prepare and, unlike those overpriced oatmeal packets sold in the store, totally natural.


  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • ½ cup dates
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Add the water and oats to a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Turn stovetop off and cover the pot to soak oats overnight.
  3. In the morning, drain oats and 1 cup of water to the pot. Heat over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add oats and dates to food processor and blend until well incorporated.
  5. Distribute in bowls and sprinkle cinnamon on top, along with any other fresh fruit such as cut-up strawberries or bananas, or blueberries or raspberries.
  6. If you want to add some more liquid, add a little unsweetened almond milk.


To add some healthy fats, consider adding slivered almonds or even almond butter to each bowl.

  • Prep Time: Overnight
  • Cook Time: 5 min
  • Category: Breakfasts
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 205
  • Sugar: 11.7g
  • Sodium: 0mg
  • Fat: 2.8g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 1.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 40.2g
  • Fiber: 5.9g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

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  1. richard anderson on

    I have oats everyday. I add fresh coconut water Plus goji berries, ground fresh almonds, bananas or Blue berries. It sit for a half hour to absorb the coconut water. No cooking. Is this healthy?

  2. Elva Cruz on

    Enjoyed reading the “how to” of this recipe, as I have heard it before, but it’s never been explained like this before. Thank you for caring about our health.

  3. Carol L on

    Hi. I’m trying to make healthy oatmeal packets like you see in stores that use steel cut oats. Have you any ideas? These need to be dry ingredients so I can packet them up in one serving ratios, and store for emergencies. And I’d need the recipe for reconstituting/ making the oatmeal. Thanks.

  4. Natalie Brtalik on

    I eat oatmeal often for breakfast but I thought it was considered an acid after reading this webpage. I eat it with walnuts, raisins, cinnamon and oat milk. They are organic, gluten-free oats. Is this ok? I’m confused.

  5. JohnWiggins on

    I’m trying to lose weight and have never eaten oats thank you for sharing how, I will learn that way Slope 2 unblocked


    Why would you use steel cut oats when you can use whole oat seeds? Steel cut are damaged and probably already losing nutrients. Whole oats can be “sprouted”, (soaked for 30 minutes, then rinsed and drained 2-3 times at 8 hour intervals for at least 24 hours). The phytic acids are reduced and they are also more nutritious when sprouted.

    • Ethan Boldt on

      If you have acid reflux or leaky gut, you need to make sure you’re using sprouted oats. Learn more about foods to avoid here: https://draxe.com/health/leaky-gut-diet-treatment/

  7. Cold City on

    I do ferment oatmeal from early afternoon to about midnight where the oven is programmed to cook at 205 degrees. The oatmeal is nice and ready in the morning. I just add milk.
    Also there is a variety of oats, called naked oats. According to the nutrition facts label, it has much more water than ordinary oat groats which are heated to destroy an enzyme that makes the oat rancid. They also have much less carbohydrates.
    I gather from Dr Axe’s website, he does not believe in ketogenic diet.

  8. Dawn Warburton on

    Dr. Axe,

    Are there other add-ins besides dates? Has anyone mixed anything else into this recipe?


    • Mike on

      Hi Dawn,
      I put mine in my instant pot with delayed setting to be ready when I get up. 10 minutes on high pressure with natural release (about 10 min).
      I add real cinnamin or cassia (most commonly called cinnamin in USA). I add a touch of pure maple syrup for sweetness.

  9. Cassie on

    Dr. Axe,
    I understand that soaking the oats helps break down the phytic acid. For we have to drain them to get rid of toxins in the water? Also, what are the benefits of cooking them after soaking rather than eating them raw? I’m asking because I love oatmeal but have a hard time digesting it with the traditional cooking method. I tried overnight oats using chia seeds and oats together along with a bit of honey and almond milk and had much easier time digesting them. This cuts the morning prep completely out, and makes breakfast easy. However, seeing that health is my overall goal, if there are specific reasons for rinsing and cooking, then it might be worth it. My 4 girls all like cold oatmeal better, so that’s another reason I am wondering. Thanks!

  10. Linda on

    My husband is type 2 diabetic. When we eat oatmeal it raises his blood sugar. Is there an alternative breakfast. He gets hungry so quickly after an egg breakfast. Thanks

  11. Lori on

    Glad to see this. Steel cut oats are gluten free, and I use organic. I don’t like what resembles sand as oatmeal going to soak overnight. Steel cut is the only recommended oatmeal for the best nutrition value

  12. Julia on

    Dr. Axe , Thank you so much for all this free information. I’m going to use it to get on the road to better health and weight loss. This sounds like the real answer I’ve been looking for, at 69 I’ve tried every diet out there not paying much attentions to my health. Now is the time to do this for the right reason..

  13. Anne Vanderheide on

    I pre soak my oatmeal with hot water for about 10 minutes before cooking. I buy organic oatmeal that would take 15 minutes to cook. Pre soaking shortens cooking time in half. Cook in some cinnamon. After cooking add some ground flax seed and a few raisins and some honey. Don’t mix in, spread evenly and eat. Raisins can be cooked in with oatmeal.

    • Taylor on

      You can make it with quinoa!! I cook the quinoa then just add the other ingredients then put it in the fridge overnight. It’s delish ^-^

  14. Anonymous on

    Nowhere does this recipe indicate “steel cut oats” ……. If a person knows anything about oats, that would be the only type that takes more than 5 minutes to cook from dry. It should really state that in the recipe.

  15. Raven on

    Love oatmeal, yeah! Totes have it once x week or every 2 weeks. Top it with a few Cut up strawberries and stir in a couple spoons of honey. Yum yum.
    Personally, I get rolled oats and don’t soak them. How does cooking not break down the phytic acid?

  16. Terry on

    I have no problem with the over night soaking but I would like to find a GF & organic oatmeal? Why go GF and still get the toxins? Can anyone educate me how GF would be healthy without it being organic?

  17. Della on

    I don’t think I’d put the fruit in the blender when I make this just because I’d like it more than just “mush”. I would chop my dates and plump those up overnight as well. (I do this for my cakes, I put my dates and raisins in a small bowl and pour a mini bottle of Capt. Morgan’s Spiced Rum over). Add to the oatmeal when cooked.

  18. Chris on

    I think I’m missing the part why the soaking makes a difference? maybe it’d in the overall texture, but if I were to just cook the GF oats and use the food processor, it seems I would have the same result. What am I missing?

      • Claudia on

        I don’t see where there is any difference in the time it takes to cook it. The recipe on the container says to cook for 5 minutes anyway.

      • John Pilla on

        Typically, healthy steel cut oats, what you should be using, take 30 min to cook. By soaking overnight, you reduce the cooking time to 5 min. If your oats are quick or not steel cut, then not getting best nutrition, they are at least partially if not fully processed.

    • Kelly on

      I think soaking oats helps to break down the phytic acid which blocks mineral absorption. Also if you are using steel cut oats which take 30-40 minutes to cook- soaking reduces that to about 5 min in my experience.

    • Anna Aires on

      Ive heard that soaking the oats overnight makes it easier to digest … I admit I like it as musli sometimes adding nuts seeds & fruit to it but I should soak it realy especially if I want Chia seeds with it as they are better soaked too hope that helps

    • Cindy on

      That’s what I do sometimes. I mix it with my yogurt and flax oil with fruit and cinnamon. I would love to know the answer to that question as well.


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