Bircher Muesli Overnight Oats

As an Amazon Affilate, I earn commission on qualifying purchases.

You’ve heard of overnight oats, but did you know that they were originally called “Bircher muesli”? This overnight oats recipe is made with unprocessed ingredients, including rolled oats, real fruit, and healthy nuts. I started making Bircher Muesli overnight oats after reading Gayelord Hauser’s, 1963 book, Treasury of Secrets, in college in the early 80s. I was into my super healthy eating phase.

bircher muesli overnight oats

What are the origins of Bircher-Muesli overnight oats?

Gayelord Hauser was a nutritionist who studied in Switzerland at Dr. Maximilian Bircher-Benner’s clinic. One of the recipes at the clinic was Bircher-Muesli which is the original recipe for what we know call “overnight oats”. Bircher developed the recipe right around 1900, and it was served in his spa as a healing food. It was a “raw food” before raw foods were hip. But when I first started making this recipe, it was just called “Bircher muesli”. (This post was originally published on October 10th, 2012 and has been updated to contain nutritional information. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn commission on qualifying purchases.)

What is Bircher Muesli?

Bircher muesli is basically rolled oats, which, instead of being cooked, are soaked overnight in either milk or if you’d like a dairy free or vegan option, use a non-dairy beverage like oat, almond or coconut milk. The next morning add diced or shredded fruit, yogurt, spices like ginger or cinnamon, and some nuts or seeds. Now days everyone seems to make it in cute mason jars, which is great for an on-the-go breakfast. I’ve always added shredded apple, chopped toasted walnuts, and cinnamon, but this is a super flexible recipe!

overnight oats in mason jars

This healthy overnight oats recipe makes a fast breakfast.

After sitting in the fridge all night, stir in some chopped or shredded fruit and chopped nuts, and maybe a drizzle of honey. Then, either eat it at home or take it to work, school or as a healthy afternoon snack.

overnight bircher muesli

Are overnight oats gluten free?

While oats are gluten free, if you are celiac and cannot handle any cross-contamination, look for certified gluten free rolled oats like these.

Are overnight oats vegan?

If you use coconut, almond, oat or another non-animal based beverage, overnight oats will be vegan. If you use dairy, it is vegetarian.

How do you make overnight oats?

The recipe below is for two servings. You can double, or quadruple the recipe. The following day you can let everyone add their own fruit and nuts. You can make it in mason jars which makes a great portable meal, but any container will work. When I make more than two servings, I use a large glass bowl with a lid.

overnight oats with toppings

overnight oats closeup

Bircher-Muesli Overnight Oats

Oats, nuts and fruit are prepared the night before for a quick, on the go breakfast.
5 from 39 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Overnight 7 hours
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Swiss
Servings 2 servings
Calories 227 kcal



  • Mix milk(s) and oats together and refrigerate.
  • The next day add:
  • apple, walnuts, cinnamon and honey to taste


Serving: 2peopleCalories: 227kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 6gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 165mgPotassium: 186mgFiber: 5gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 23IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 179mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Overnight Waffles with Buttery Peach & Maple Topping

Overnight waffles with peach topping

Similar Posts


  1. 5 stars
    This looks wonderful, Cynthia. I’ve never even tried overnight oats so it’s about time I made this. Looks fabulous! Sharing, as a few readers have asked for an overnight oats recipe – so thanks for posting.

  2. 5 stars
    This turned out perfectly! Even better than expected. I added a ton of cinnamon and some nutmeg and I’m definitely making this one regularly. Thank you!

  3. 5 stars
    Easy to throw together and perfect for grabbing while going out the door to work. This is a healthy and delicious breakfast option.

  4. 5 stars
    This article is great! I love your Bircher Muesli recipe, Cynthia. It’s a truly healthy option with natural and nutritious ingredients. I’m impressed that you started making this after reading Gayelord Hauser’s book. Thank you for sharing your recipe and experience! I will definitely give this a try.

5 from 39 votes (33 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe Rating