These banana bread overnight oats offer all the flavor of banana bread served up in a mason jar. They’re so easy to prep ahead of time.
Somehow out of all the overnight oats recipes that I have posted before there isn’t a banana bread overnight oats recipe!? As much as I love banana bread, I find this hard to believe, but it’s happening today!
Ingredients Needed for Banana Overnight Oats
old fashioned rolled oats – rolled oats are the best for overnight oats. Instant/quick oats and steel cut oats don’t work well because they don’t absorb liquid the same way rolled oats do
almond milk – I like using unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but any type of milk will work
Greek yogurt – yogurt gives overnight oats an extra creamy texture while adding a bit of protein. I personally like using plain Greek yogurt since it’s the highest in protein and lowest in sugar. To make this recipe vegan or dairy-free you can use a non-dairy yogurt or skip the yogurt all together and use additional milk
maple syrup – pure maple syrup is the perfect natural sweetener to use because it’s liquid so it blends in nicely with the oat mixture and I personally love the flavor. Honey or another natural liquid sweetener will work here. If you want to reduce the sugar in this recipe, feel free to use a sugar alternative like stevia or monk fruit
vanilla extract and almond extract – these aren’t must-haves, especially the almond extract, but they add such a nice flavor so if you have them use them
sea salt – a pinch of sea salt is the perfect flavor enhancer and brings out the nutty flavor of the oats
walnuts – banana bread with walnuts is my fave and I love the added crunch the walnuts add to the oats
Overnight Oats Ratio
The base “recipe” for overnight oats is so simple! The hardest part is getting the right ratio of oats to liquid, but if you follow my recipes you’ll be set!
I aim for a 1:1 ratio of rolled oats to milk, plus half as much yogurt. So for 1 cup of oats, I use 1 cup of milk + 1/2 cup of yogurt (or an additional 1/2 cup of milk). This seems to give the oats the perfect consistency, not too thick, but not soupy. For the liquid, I usually go for non-dairy milk like almond milk, but you can use whatever milk you have on hand and if you really want to experiment you can try using different liquids like fruit juice.
How Long Do Overnight Oats Need to Soak?
Given the name, you’d assume overnight oats need to soak overnight, but you can actually make them in 2-4 hours if you’re in a rush. While it does take some time for the oats to absorb the liquid, they don’t necessarily have to be soaked overnight. I recommend at least 8 hours for true overnight oats, but there have been mornings where I decide I want overnight oats for breakfast even though I didn’t prep them the night before. When this happens I’ll make them the morning of and let the oats soak for just 2-4 hours. With this quick soak, they’re not as soft as overnight oats that have soaked longer and they’re a bit more liquidy, but they’re still delicious.
Can You Eat Overnight Oats Hot?
Short answer, yes! You can definitely warm up overnight oats, but the whole point of overnight oats is to eat them cold like muesli. Even if you think cold oats sound strange, I recommend giving it shot before you write them off. Of course, if you simply can’t do the cold oats you can always heat them up. Just pop the overnights oats in your microwave, cooking in 30 second increments until the oats are warm throughout and enjoy.
The best part about overnight oats is that the oats absorb everything, so the flavors turn out to be well-rounded and balanced. I like to add flavors like vanilla or cinnamon and sweet components like fruit, honey or maple syrup. For this recipe I went with bananas (because banana bread…), vanilla and almond extract. The almond extract isn’t 100% necessary, but it gives the oats that “quick bread” flavor that makes the oats taste even more like banana bread. Cinnamon is optional since traditional banana bread recipes don’t add cinnamon, but I like it in banana bread and in these oats!
So next time you’re craving banana bread, but don’t have the time to bake a batch or want to have a healthier, lighter version, I hope you whip up a batch of these delicious banana bread overnight oats! They’re perfect for an everyday breakfast or snack, but could also make a fun brunch… single serve overnight oats in mini mason jars anyone?! Who wants to come over for brunch?
If you try these banana bread overnight oats, be sure to leave a comment and star rating letting me know how it turns out. Your feedback is super helpful for me and other EBF readers who are planning to try the recipe.