Bircher Muesli (Chilled Swiss Oatmeal)



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This Bircher muesli (also called chilled Swiss oatmeal) is loaded with crunchy apples, dried fruit and nuts. Full of fiber and protein, plus easy to make ahead of time!

If you’re an overnight oats lover like me, you’re going to love this recipe for Bircher muesli (also known as chilled swiss oatmeal).

This recipe was inspired by a breakfast that I had at Corner Bakery in Northern Virginia years ago! I loved it so much that I decided to recreate the dish at home. And if I do say so myself, it turned out so good.

Bircher Muesli in a white bowl with a spoon.

The Greek yogurt makes the oatmeal extra creamy and adds protein. All the fruity mix-in’s lend a nice sweetness and give the oats a bit of texture.

The best part about this recipe is that it’s super easy – just toss the ingredients together the night before and your breakfast will be ready to eat when you wake up (just like overnight oats!). It’s also portable so is a great make-ahead breakfast that you can take on the go in the morning.

Angled bowl of bircher muesli.

What is Bircher Muesli?

Bircher muesli, also known as chilled swiss oatmeal is a dish that was originally created by Swiss doctor Maximilian Bircher-Benner back in the early 1900’s.

It’s said that he designed this recipe specifically for his patients as a healthy meal that’s rich in nutrients and easy to digest to help with chronic health conditions. His original recipe called for lots of fresh apples, oats, nuts, yogurt, lemon juice and honey.

Unlike traditional hot oatmeal, Bircher muesli is a cold oatmeal dish that’s soaked overnight (just like overnight oats!). The soaking process allows the oats to soften and absorb the flavors of the added ingredients. It’s typically served with a variety of fruits and nuts, providing a nutrient-dense breakfast option.

Ingredients measured out to make Chilled Swiss Oatmeal: almond milk, oats, Greek yogurt, dried cranberries, pink lady apple, vanilla, cinnamon and banana.

Ingredients Needed

  • old fashioned rolled oats – these oats are perfect for overnight soaking as they absorb the liquids and flavors while maintaining a nice texture. My fave brand is Bob’s Red Mill gluten free old fashioned rolled oats. Make sure to use certified gluten-free oats if needed.
  • unsweetened almond milk – the main liquid in this recipe, which the oats soak up as the dish sits overnight. I like using unsweetened vanilla almond milk, which adds a nice vanilla flavor, but any type of milk will work!
  • Greek yogurt – adds some creaminess and a boost of protein. I like using plain full-fat Greek yogurt to get the most amount of protein, but feel free to use your favorite type of yogurt.
  • apple – adds a nice crunch factor to these oats. I typically use either a Pink Lady or Honeycrisp apple, but feel free to use your favorite variety of apple. I chopped the apples in this recipe, but grated apple would also be delicious.
  • banana – adds some natural sweetness and as the oats sit the banana will melt into the oats for a creamier texture.
  • dried cranberries – adds some tartness and a variety of texture to this dish. I recommend grabbing dried fruit that is fruit juice sweetened like these Made in Nature dried cranberries.
  • vanilla & cinnamon – adds a depth of flavor to the oatmeal.
Side by side photos of how to make Chilled Swiss Oatmeal: mixing yogurt, oats, milk and fruit together to set.

How to Make

This Bircher muesli recipe couldn’t get any easier to make!

Mix: Just place your oats, milk, yogurt, cranberries, apple, banana, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl, glass container or even a mason jar.

Soak overnight: Cover and place in the fridge to soak overnight.

Serve: In the morning, add a splash or two of almond milk and stir the mixture. Portion out a serving and sprinkle almonds, chia seeds and a drizzle of maple syrup over the top, or desired toppings. Enjoy!

Woman's hands holding a bowl of bircher muesli.

Substitutions & Notes

One thing I love about Bircher muesli is how easily you can customize it based on what you have on hand. Here are some substitutions you can make to make this recipe your own:

  • Milk: Feel free to substitute the almond milk with your desired milk of choice. Coconut milk, oat milk, cashew milk, soy milk, or regular dairy milk would all work!
  • Yogurt: Feel free to use 2% or low-fat Greek yogurt or your favorite variety of yogurt. If you’re vegan or dairy-free, you can use a a dairy-free yogurt of choice.
  • Fruits: You can use any type of dried or fresh fruits that you prefer or have on hand. Some other great options are blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pears, raisins or dates. If you want some added nutrition you could even swap the chopped apples for some vegetables like grated carrots or zucchini.
Woman's hand pouring maple syrup over bowl of bircher muesli.

Topping Ideas

You really can’t go wrong when it comes to the toppings for Bircher muesli. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Berries: A handful of fresh berries can add a burst of flavor and antioxidants.
  • Seeds and nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds or sunflower seeds can add crunch and additional nutrients.
  • Nut Butter: A drizzle of almond butter, cashew butter or peanut butter can add a creamy texture and additional protein. If you have a nut allergy use a seed butter like tahini or sunflower seed butter.
  • Additional toppings: Shredded coconut, chocolate chips, granola, a drizzle of honey or a dash of cinnamon are all great topping ideas!
Two white bowls of bircher muesli with spoons in them.

How to Meal Prep & Store

This Bircher muesli is perfect for meal prep, which makes it an excellent choice for busy mornings when you need something quick and nutritious for breakfast. I love prepping a big batch during my weekend meal prepping so I have breakfast ready to go all week long.

How to meal prep: Simply prepare the oatmeal as directed and divide it into individual serving containers. You can easily double or triple the recipe to make a bigger batch. I recommend adding your toppings right before serving.

How to store: Store this bircher muesli in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I like storing them in wide mouth 16 oz mason jars or glass storage containers.

More Oatmeal Recipes:

Be sure to check out all of the oatmeal recipes as well as the full collection of breakfast recipes here on EBF.

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4.84 from 6 votes

Bircher Muesli (Chilled Swiss Oatmeal)

This Bircher muesli (also called chilled Swiss oatmeal) is loaded with crunchy apples, dried fruit and nuts. Full of fiber and protein, plus easy to make ahead of time!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Soak Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 2 servings


  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk, or any non-dairy milk of choice
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, or dairy-free yogurt if needed
  • 2 Tablespoons dried cranberries
  • ½ cored Pink Lady apple, chopped into small pieces
  • ½ a ripe banana, chopped into small pieces
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon roasted almonds, chopped, for topping
  • chia seeds, for topping
  • maple syrup, for drizzling


  • Add oats, milk, yogurt, cranberries, apple, banana, vanilla and cinnamon to a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine.
    Woman mixing bircher muesli in a bowl with a large spoon.
  • Cover and place in the refrigerator to soak overnight.
  • In the morning, add a splash or two of almond milk, if desired and stir the mixture. Portion out a serving and sprinkle almonds, chia seeds and a drizzle of maple syrup over the top. Enjoy!
    Bowl of bircher muesli with milk being poured on top.


Serving: 1/2 of recipe | Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 18g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bircher muesli
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I was 100% shocked I loved this recipe. I was making it for my husband. I didn’t think I would like it at all but I thought I will try to be healthy and eat it LOL. It was sooooooo good! I really could eat this as a dessert.

    1. Ahh yay! This is seriously the best, Patty. I am so glad you gave this recipe a try and you and your husband both loved it! Thank you for coming back and sharing your review + star rating, I appreciate it!

  2. 4 stars
    I had never heard of Swiss Oatmeal until, like you, I had it at a Corner Bakery in D.C.

    I instantly loved it and have been looking for a way to make it at home.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. YAY!! I am excited to hear that you found this recipe and it is a hit. Thanks so much for your review + star rating, I truly appreciate it!

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