Nutella overnight oats are a tasty way to start your day (or have for snack!).
Even though the title of this recipe includes the name brand Nutella, you don’t have to use Nutella. A generic brand of chocolate hazelnut spread is perfectly fine.
I’m assuming most Western grocery stores in this day and age carry some sort of chocolate hazelnut spread. If they don’t, you can try to find it online, or combine hazelnut butter with melted chocolate (I’m not sure if you’re going to have much luck finding hazelnut butter if chocolate hazelnut spread is a no go… maybe hazelnuts though??).
Of course, you can put Nutella on/in everything (lattes, toast, cookies, etc), but how about this Nutella and banana layer cake if you’ve run out of ideas?!
I’m normally a steel cut oat girlie (I can’t stand how mushy and soft rolled oats get when cooked into oatmeal). Except here; the rolled oats soften without getting gloppy in overnight oats, and even if they’re quick cooking steel cut oats, steel cut oats are a wildcard when it comes to softening.
In case you’re looking for other overnight oat ideas, peep this tiramisu overnight oats recipe!
If you’re trying to live your most basic, aesthetic life, then using a clear glass mason jar makes the most sense when mixing up and storing this recipe. Honestly, any single serving container works, especially if you’re taking it on the go and eating on your commute or at your destination.
A big container to store a batch for multiple days also works, should you be someone who has breakfast and/or snacks at home.
How to Make
Mix everything (save for the nuts) together, then let it sit in the fridge until thickened. Technically these are overnight oats, but you can test them out with a shorter wait and see if you’re okay with the oats being slightly firmer/the oatmeal slightly thinner.
Right before serving, add the toasted hazelnuts as well as any other toppings, and serve!
Eating overnight oats cold is perfectly fine. However, as I’m writing up this post it’s almost wintertime in the Northern Hemisphere, so cold overnight oats on a chilly morning does not sound ideal.
You can heat the leftovers up, and I prefer this anyways, since the Nutella softens a bit (it can be kind of hard after chilling in the fridge).
You can store the oats in the fridge for up to a week, and eat throughout your week!
Haven’t tried storing these in the freezer, though I’m sure that works too (lmk if you do try this out!).
This recipe does veer more towards the thick end of the oatmeal spectrum rather than the thin, out of personal preference.
For thicker oats, you can try one (or more) of the following:
- Add more oats
- Decrease the amount of milk you use
- Mix in chia seeds, protein powder, or yogurt
For thinner oats, you can try:
- Using more milk/water
- Decrease the amount of oats you use
A pinch of salt helps bring out the flavor of the Nutella! The milk and oats are plain and unseasoned, so salt is crucial.
Substitutions and Variations
This version of overnight oats doesn’t have any yogurt in it, though you can definitely add some if you’d like, whether it’s a thicker type like Greek yogurt, or a thinner, more liquid-y yogurt.
Since the yogurt will likely be thicker than any milk you use, keep in mind that your oats end up thicker, and you may need to add more milk or water to get the texture you want.
You can also add in chia seeds! Make sure to stir them completely into the milk and oats, so that they plump evenly and the oats are thick throughout, rather than random pockets of heavy gel.
Chia seeds suck up a ton of liquid, so you’ll definitely need to add in additional milk/water. You can add some right before eating to loosen if you’re not sure how much to add when prepping them!
I’m not a big protein powder user besides the occasional scoop in my smoothies, but this would be a great add-in to boost the staying power of your breakfast!
Make sure that any protein powder you use dissolves completely in the milk before adding anything else. You might need to shake or blend it to get rid of any clumps.
Flavor wise, I can see vanilla, chocolate, coffee or hazelnut protein powder being delicious!
I used toasted hazelnuts as the main topping on the oats you see pictured here. I love the roastiness and crunch they add, and how they emphasize the Nutella vibes.
That being said, hazelnuts can be annoying to deal with (you have to remove the skin, which takes forever for me every time regardless of which hack I try out), and expensive, so here are some other topping options:
- Other nuts! Obviously hazelnuts make the most sense, but almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, etc add the same crunchy, nutty deliciousness.
- Seeds are also cool if you’re trying to make this nut-free.
- Drizzle the top with peanut butter, or another kind of nut/seed butter!
- Fruit! Fresh strawberries or bananas sliced on top are no-brainers, though chopped apples or defrosted frozen fruit sounds good for winter or other times when there isn’t as much fresh fruit available.
- 1 ½ tablespoons Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts chopped
Combine the Nutella, milk, oats and salt, then transfer to 1-2 containers and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, you can either eat the oats hot or cold. Right before serving, add the hazelnuts and serve!
You can increase the yield of this recipe as much as you want! I wouldn’t recommend making more than a week’s worth at a time.
Make this recipe vegan by using dairy-free milk.
You can omit the hazelnuts and top the oats with other nuts/seeds, nut/seed butter, fruit or anything else you can think of!