Overnight No-Cook Refrigerator Oatmeal

Posted on

Oatmeal is one of the heart-healthiest ways to start your day, but I’ve failed for years to make it my go-to breakfast because even when it’s hot, oatmeal just leaves me cold.

Until now.

Anna Stockwell’s excellent post on epicurious.com’s, How To Make Overnight Oats Without a Recipe (aka in a jar) inspired me to try oatmeal again. Her recipe involved NO cooking, no cleaning, cute mason jars, and she said the healthy chia seeds lend it a tapioca-like texture.


Especially the chia seeds. First of all, I found it fascinating that they change texture; this I had to see. More importantly, chia seeds are a great source of antioxidants, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. For years I’ve justified (not accurately, I’m sure) my bagel with lox habit with the fact that high-sodium lox delivers heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.


Interestingly, chia seeds deliver omega-3s too, albeit a different kind which are not as effective as fish. But still—I eat a lot of fish so the fact that this wonder oatmeal is made with rolled oats, chia seeds AND is easy to make was enough for me to give it a try.

So out I went to purchase mason jars (I had no idea easy-to-use, adorable ‘wide mouth’ mason jars with measuring lines existed! Note: picture links to Amazon; I bought mine at Walmart.) I followed Ms. Stockwell’s ‘no-recipe’ exactly the first time, then ditched measuring (and the unnecessary salt and sugar) and have now had oatmeal for breakfast 15 days in a row—and I even took one on the train to have for breakfast on the go.

Nutritionally, the oatmeal is FAR healthier than the whole wheat bagel with a smidge of whipped cream cheese and 1/2 ounce of lox. It beats my old standby bagel and lox in every category but two: the oatmeal is a smidge higher in calories and the omega 3s from the chia seeds are not the cholesterol-lowering DHA sort. But it’s healthier in every other (read important) way.

This easy, delicious no-cook oatmeal, made with skim milk, chia seeds and rolled oats delivers 8 fewer grams of fat, 75% less salt (!), nearly 3x the cholesterol-lowering fiber(!) and more vitamins, calcium and potassium than my whole wheat half-bagel with lox:

In fact, it’s SO much healthier that even I just can’t justify going back to my bagel and lox. Plus I actually like this oatmeal.

Of course, there are lots of other ways to eat heart-healthy oatmeal. My post, The Triple Threat Oatmeal Breakfast, even features a crock pot recipe—which is good, but proved too much planning and cleaning for me. Plus, IMHO this refrigerated version is both tastier and easier.

I hope you give this ‘recipe’ a try. As I happen to love cinnamon that’s my flavoring of choice, but feel free to follow your heart (bad pun intended) or Ms. Stockwell’s suggestions for changing up the flavor profiles.

No Cook Single-Serve Refrigerator Oatmeal
Prep Time
1 min
Total Time
1 min

Take 1 minute to mix ingredients in a 'jar' and refrigerate overnight for a delicious high-fiber start to the day. Chia seeds add both texture and protein.

Servings: 1 person
Calories: 204 kcal
Author: Anna Stockwell recipe, adapted by Karen Swanson
  • 1/4 cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 cup Skim Milk or Almond Milk
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 pinch Cinnamon (optional, but I use a lot)
  • 1 pinch Salt (optional, I do NOT use)
  • 1 pinch Sugar (optional, I do NOT use)
  • 1 bunch apples and/or almonds, chopped (optional, I'm too lazy to add)
  1. In an 8-ounce mason jar (or anything with a lid), add oats, milk and chia seeds and stir.

  2. Add cinnamon and (optional salt and sugar.)  Stir and cap with lid. In fact, stirring isn't even really necessary.

  3. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

  4. To serve, either stir and eat cold out of the jar (like muesli) or pour into bowl, stir well, and microwave 1-2 minutes until hot. Optionally top with fruit and/or almonds for extra crunch and cholesterol-lowering punch.

Recipe Notes
  • Read Anna Stockwell's excellent How to Make Overnight Oats Without a Recipe post for alternate ingredient ideas and important adjustments to make if you don't use Chia Seeds.
  • Nutritional Value calculated using MyFitnessPal, using skim milk and no salt or sugar.
Nutrition Facts
No Cook Single-Serve Refrigerator Oatmeal
Amount Per Serving (1 bowl)
Calories 204 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 3mg1%
Sodium 56mg2%
Potassium 404mg12%
Carbohydrates 31g10%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 250IU5%
Vitamin C 1.7mg2%
Calcium 280mg28%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *