Pint-size canning jars are perfect for this breakfast treat. The extra headspace gives you room to stir the cereal before eating. To make an “apple pie” variation of this recipe: Prepare as directed, except substitute ½ teaspoon apple pie spice for the orange zest and ginger.

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped apple, such as Braeburn or Honeycrisp
  • 1 cup unsweetened plant milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or rice
  • 2 pitted whole dates, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon orange zest
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Dash sea salt


  • In a medium bowl combine all of the ingredients. If desired, divide mixture between two glass jars or bowls. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.
  • If desired, top servings with additional orange zest.

Comments (32)

(5 from 13 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Love the taste! I saved the walnuts until right before eating. I warmed this up to eat and it was delicious!




I didn’t have the orange zest to add doesn’t need it as far as I’m concerned it was delicious I did warm it up a bit just to take the chill off. I will definitely be making again.

Nula Nula

Love it


I eat this often and I love it! It's great for breakfast or lunch.


U can heat this up. I don’t care for cold oatmeal so I heat it up and very good

Nula kelly

Looks great


Love love love this recipe!! It is my new favorite breakfast. I use a fist full of raisins in place of each chopped date, and another in place of the maple syrup (syrup just doesn't seem like a whole food to me). I also omit the salt. Be generous with the orange zest and ginger - you should smell orange with undertones of ginger right away when you sniff it. Heaven!


Really enjoyed the flavour combinations. When I make overnight I usually add more liquid(3/4.c). This made you eat slower, more chewing.


You must have read it wrong (unless they have changed it). This calls for 1 cup. That is more than 3/4 cup.


The recipe is for 2 servings so that’s a 1/2 cup per serving. I think she means she uses 3/4 per serving.


The flavor was really good. If you want to try it with steel-cut oats, you'll need to double the liquid amount (2 cups instead of 1 cup).

Susan Johnson

Going to try this tomorrow. I made overnight oats before giving up dairy. I’m hopeful these will be even better. Nancy, I see your credentials and I wonder if you are WFPB’d. I have worked in healthcare for 48 years and have never met anyone connected to nutrition who believed in this lifestyle. I’m hoping that will change. Thank you for the recipe.


Isn’t that amazing? Working in health care and never even hearing about WFPB benefits?


Add cinnamon and it’s top shelf!!!


Nancy, thank you for sharing your recipe. I believe sweetness, crunch, hot, cold are all a personal preference. The important thing is that you provided us with amounts and guidelines for preparing overnight oats. I've been failing miserably in my attempts to throw things into a jar and call it overnight oats.


I prefer it without the orange zest. Other than that it's the best over night oats recipe ever! JS


So, I am eating this cold? Never had cold oatmeal before.


It’s delicious!


What spices do I use to make my own apple pie spice? Thanks


I would think cinnamon & a little nutmeg?


I really prefer steel cut oatmeal, is there a way I could do it with it? Thanks.


Yes, double the liquid amount.

Ann H

Not sure why you included a sweetener in the recipe. It is surely not needed.

Tammy Scholl

Not everyone has the same tastes. I prefer the taste of the maple syrup. If you dont want the extra sweetener then just leave it out. Why even make this statement?

Ann H

It doesn't need any sweetener. Not sure why you would choose to include it in this recipe.

Dawn Herbert

I look forward to changing my eating habits,


With dates, maple syrup may not be necessary. Dates are sweet and so is apple.


I agree! To the minimum choose one over the other; both are not needed for sweetness.


The MOST amazing cold oatmeal ever!! Deserves an award !


Yes it does need a reward . If you like cinnamon add 1/2 tsp it’s amazing!!!

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
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