Last Updated on March 15, 2022
Overnight oats are simple, easy, nutritious, and a great way to start the day. Typically they are prepared the day or evening before, then left in the refrigerator overnight to work their magic.
What is the magic? Well, uncooked oats absorb the liquid added to them (as well as the sweeteners and other goodies), and after 8 hours or more, the result is a delicious oatmeal breakfast or snack.
But, how about freezing overnight oats? Is it possible? Can you freeze overnight oats? The short answer is yes, it is generally agreed that you can freeze overnight oats for up to three months.
Let’s take a closer look at the process of preparing overnight oats for the freezer, which is a little different than the typical preparation. We’ll also consider the types of containers that will give the best result when preparing overnight oats for the freezer.
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How Do You Prepare Overnight Oats for the Freezer?
If you typically make your overnight oats in a large batch and keep them in the refrigerator for the week, you can portion them into individual servings and freeze them for later. This is a great time-saver on busy mornings.
Making overnight oats is simple, and preparing your recipe to freeze overnight oats is just as easy, friend.
To freeze overnight oats, start by preparing them as you normally would. Once they are mixed together, portion them into freezer-safe containers. I like to use small mason jars, but any airtight container will work. More about that in a minute.
NOTE: You are not going to use overnight oats that have already sat in the refrigerator overnight. You’re starting from scratch with this preparation and then freeze overnight oats immediately!
Here are some quick tips for preparing your overnight oats for the freezer:
- Choose your favorite oats (regular, instant oatmeal, rolled oats, quick oats, steel cut oats, etc) and blend with your choice of liquid. If you’re not sure of the proportions, here is a simple recipe for overnight oats to use as a reference.
- Blend in a sweetener if you choose to use one, such as sugar, honey, etc.
- Don’t add fruit yet because it will turn soft and mushy in the freezer. Wait until your plain overnight oats are thawed and ready to eat before adding in the fruity goodies.
Make sure to leave enough space at the top of each freezer safe container because the liquid will expand as it freezes. If you don’t leave any space to accommodate this, you might find yourself with an exploded mess in the freezer. Nobody wants that!
Your container should seal securely to make sure that no air is allowed into it. We’ll discuss some of the container options below.
Be sure to label your containers with the date you’re putting them in the freezer, to make sure you adhere to the 3 month maximum for keeping the overnight oats frozen.
Freeze the overnight oatmeal immediately, don’t place them in the refrigerator first. Why is this? Two reasons:
- you’ll prevent the oats from becoming soggy
- you’ll minimize the risk of any type of foodborne illness or bacteria
When you want to enjoy some overnight oats, just take a container of frozen oats out of the freezer and place it into the fridge overnight. If you want your overnight oats at room temperature, just put them on the counter for about 4 hours, then add your desired fruits or toppings.
Best Containers for Freezing Overnight Oats
Because these overnight oats will be frozen, you want to make sure that you use containers that can handle that appropriately. Decide if you want to freeze single servings or larger portions.
There are several ways to accomplish this: mason jars, plastic containers, and freezer bags. Let’s look at each one individually.
Mason jars are a popular choice for freezing overnight oats because they are airtight and can be easily labeled. They come in a variety of sizes, making them perfect for any amount of overnight oats you want to prepare.
Just make sure that you leave enough space at the top of the mason jar for the liquid to expand as it freezes. If you don’t, you might end up with an exploded mess in the freezer. Not fun to clean up!
Plastic containers are another option for freezing your overnight oats. They come in a variety of sizes and can be found at most stores. The key is to make sure that they are airtight and freezer-safe.
You’ll want to be aware that plastic containers may absorb odors, so keep this in mind if you decide to use them to store overnight oats.
Like the mason jars, be sure to leave enough room at the top of the container for the liquid to expand. If you don’t, you could end up with a mess on your hands.
A freezer bag is probably the most versatile option for freezing overnight oats. They come in a variety of sizes and you can find them at most stores.
Just make sure that they are freezer-safe and airtight. This will help to prevent freezer burn on the soaked oats, and keep your overnight oats tasting fresh.
Be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible after placing the overnight oats into the freezer bag.
How long can you store frozen overnight oats?
Overnight oats will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months. After that point, they will start to lose their flavor and texture.
So be sure to label your containers with the date you’re putting them in the freezer. That way you can keep track of how long they’ve been in there.
Can frozen overnight oats go bad in the freezer?
Yes, if they’re not stored properly or if they’ve been in there for too long, your overnight oats can go bad.
This is why it’s important to make sure that you’re using airtight and freezer-safe containers. That way, you’ll help to prevent any bacteria from growing and your overnight oats will stay fresh tasting.
Practical Tips for Freezing Overnight Oats
There are a few things to keep in mind when freezing overnight oats:
Freeze them individually in small batches. This way, you can take out as many or as few as you want without having to thaw a larger batch all at once.
Add any fresh fruit or toppings after thawing. Frozen fruit can make your oats mushy, so it’s best to add it in right before you eat them.
Don’t forget to label your containers! Write the date on them so you know how long they’ve been in the freezer.
What can you add to your overnight oats after thawing them? Here are a few tasty suggestions for other add ins:
- sliced bananas
- chopped apples
- chia seeds
- add spices such as cinnamon
- sliced strawberries
- dried fruit
- chopped nuts
If you want more overnight oats recipes, check out this post of some of our favorites: Favorite Overnight Oats
What is the best way to thaw frozen overnight oats?
The best way to thaw your frozen overnight oats is to place them in the fridge the night before you want to eat them, or for 4 to 8 hours prior.
Can I add fresh fruit to my frozen overnight oats?
Yes, you can add fresh fruit to your frozen overnight oats after they have been thawed. Frozen fruit can make your oats mushy, so it’s best to add it right before you eat them.
How long do frozen overnight oats last in the freezer?
Frozen overnight oats will last for up to 3 months in the freezer. After that point, they will start to lose their flavor and texture. Be sure to label your containers with the date you’re putting them in the freezer so you can keep track of how long they’ve been in there.
Do frozen overnight oats go bad?
Yes, if they’re not stored properly or if they’ve been in the freezer for too long, your frozen overnight oats can go bad. This is why it’s important to make sure that you’re using airtight and freezer-safe containers. That way, you’ll help to prevent any bacteria from growing and your oats will stay fresh tasting.
Conclusion: Can You Freeze Overnight Oats?
So, now you know that you can freeze overnight oats with great results. They’re great in the morning for breakfast, as a mid-day snack, or as a treat at night.
Just follow these simple tips and you’ll be on your way to an easy, delicious, healthy meal. Overnight oats are just one more way to enjoy the health benefits of oats!