Creamy cherry overnight oats with almond butter for busy mornings or just to be able to have a cold breakfast on warm days.
This recipe uses frozen cherries, so save your fresh ones for snacking. Also, frozen cherries are usually already pitted and they can be found year-round in the frozen section at the grocery store.
Overnight oats use a method of soaking rolled oats in milk to create a creamy texture and have breakfast ready for the next morning. This recipe pairs dark sweet cherries with almond butter and just a tiny touch of almond extract for a delicious breakfast. The frozen cherries will be thawed, mashed, and then mixed with the rest of the ingredients.
My methods of mashing the fruit or blending flavors the entire serving, like in my recipes for vegan strawberry overnight oats and raspberry overnight oats. For more ways of using frozen fruit in overnight oats try mango overnight oats, blueberry cheesecake overnights, or overnight oats with frozen berries.
- Easy to put together!
- Easy breakfast for meal prepping!
- Uses frozen fruit so you can have them year around and no pitting cherries!
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Please see the recipe card below for the exact measurements.
Old-fashioned oats - They are the basis for my easy overnight oat recipes. I like to stick to old-fashioned oats for the best texture, not steel-cut oats or quick oats.
Plant-based milk - Any non-dairy milk will work. Try it with unsweetened almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, or cashew milk.
Frozen sweet pitted cherries - I opt for frozen because they're available year-round and no pitting is needed. The frozen cherries I find at the store are already pitted, but occasionally one or two get missed. I also prefer mashing the fruit to give every bite of oats a cherry flavor.
If it's cherry season, fresh cherries can be used instead of frozen ones. Pit and quarter the cherries before adding them to the overnight oats recipe. If you can’t find frozen cherries or fresh cherries, preserves would work. Preserves are more concentrated than fresh fruit, so start with 2 tablespoons of cherry preserves instead of ½ cup of cherries. Since most preserves have added sweeteners, I would leave out the maple syrup or add sweetener to taste.
Almond butter - Almond butter can be substituted with cashew butter. I didn’t test it, but if you enjoy sunflower butter it can probably be used instead of nut-based butter for a nut-free version. Or you can just skip the almond butter.
Ground flaxseed - Ground flaxseeds can be substituted with ground chia seeds or whole chia seeds. For more recipes with flaxseeds try flaxseed pudding with banana and strawberries. Just a personal preference, but if I use chia seeds in overnight oats, I prefer to use 2 teaspoons of chia seeds instead of 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds.
Maple syrup - Pure maple syrup can be substituted with your sweetener of choice.
Fresh lemon juice - This is optional to help preserve the color.
Almond extract - This is optional. This recipe only calls for ⅛ teaspoon because a little goes a long way. If you want to substitute with vanilla extract, start with ¼ teaspoon, taste, and adjust if needed.
Meal prepping overnight oats
If you’re meal-prepping overnight oats, I don’t recommend mixing multiple servings together and immediately portioning them off into individual containers. Since the oats won’t have time to soak up the milk, sometimes the liquid-to-dry ratio can get messed up. See method 1 below if you’d like to mix it all up at once.
Method 1: If prepping multiple servings, add them all to a container with a lid and don’t portion out until the oats have soaked up most of the liquid. Alternatively, just keep the servings in the container and scoop out your desired portion when you’re ready to consume.
Method 2: The assembly line method. Line up your jars or containers, then just go down the line adding one ingredient to each jar. Then go on to the next ingredient, adding it to each jar.
When thawing multiple servings of cherries at one time and using this method, I just try to estimate adding the thawed cherries AND juice to each jar. Having a little extra cherry juice in one jar won’t impact the liquid-to-dry ratio as much as the milk will. Just don’t add all of the cherry juice to one container (unless you’re only making one serving) and you’ll be fine.
Containers for overnight oats
Your oats don’t have to be stored in a mason jar, any container with a lid will work. I use 16-ounce peanut butter jars; when we’re done with the peanut butter they get washed out and the labels are removed. They work great for individual portion sizes and they come with a lid.
- Since everyone has a preference for sweetness, I suggest adding it to taste, starting with 1 teaspoon. It will also depend on how sweet the cherries are.
- If you prefer a thinner consistency, add a splash of dairy-free milk to thin out, or add dairy-free yogurt for a creamier texture.
- To transform these into chocolate cherry overnight oats, add 2-3 teaspoons of cocoa powder and skip the lemon juice.
- For even more cherry almond overnight oats flavor, add ⅛ teaspoon of almond extract. A little goes a long way. If you like the cherry/almond combination, I have a cherry nice cream recipe that also uses almond extract to bring out the cherry flavor.
- A ½ tablespoon of fresh lemon juice can be added to the overnight oats to help preserve the cherry color. Without the lemon juice, they will turn purple while they sit in the refrigerator.
Add your frozen cherries to a bowl and thaw in the refrigerator, or use a microwave. I mash the cherries with the back of a fork, sometimes they’ll squirt the juice, cupping your hand over the bowl while mashing the cherries will help. This method lets the entire serving taste like cherries.
The bowl will catch the cherry juice from the thawed cherries: don’t discard that, it’s more cherry flavor. Add the cherries, their juice, and the rest of the ingredients to a container and stir everything together until it’s combined.
Let the oat mixture soak for at least 2 hours, but overnight is best. Then you can store the oats covered in the refrigerator for around 3-4 days. Before serving give them a good stir.
- Mix in vegan chocolate chips or cocoa powder to make cherry chocolate oats
- Top it with yogurt
- Oil-free granola
- Garnish with more cherries or slivered almonds
Frequently asked questions
Quick-cooking oats will make the oatmeal more mushy, but if you like that texture then yes you can use them. I personally prefer the texture of rolled oats. As for steel-cut oats, no the oats cannot be substituted with steel-cut oats.
Overnight oats are usually eaten cold, but you don't have to. Heat them in the microwave until warmed through and add any additional milk if they thicken up too much.
Overnight oats with fruit are best eaten within 2-3 days of making but are fine for 3-4 days if stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
- Strawberry overnight oats
- Simple overnight oats with flaxseeds
- Chocolate peanut butter overnight oats
- Raspberry overnight oats
As always, I hope enjoy this recipe for cherry overnight oats for a healthy breakfast! If you like it feel free to rate it and leave a comment.Print
Creamy cherry overnight oats with almond butter for busy mornings or to just be able to have a cold breakfast on warm days.
- ½ cup (45 g) old fashioned oats
- ½ cup (118 mL) dairy-free milk
- ½ cup (70 g) frozen sweet pitted cherries
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) almond butter
- 1 tablespoon (7 g) ground flax-seed
- 1-2 teaspoon maple syrup
- ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice, optional
- ⅛ teaspoon almond extract, optional
Vegan chocolate chips
- Thaw the cherries in the refrigerator overnight or in the microwave. If using the microwave, let them cool before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
- For smaller pieces of cherries in the overnight oats, smash the thawed cherries in a bowl with the back of a fork or in individual containers.
- There will probably be cherry juice separating from the cherries, don’t discard it, add the juice to the oats with the cherries.
- To a jar or container with a lid, add all of the ingredients (along with the excess cherry juice) and stir to combine.
- Store covered overnight or at least two hours to thicken up.
- Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Add ½ tablespoon of lemon juice to help preserve the cherry color.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- soaking overnight: 6 hours
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Category: breakfast
- Method: no bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: cherry overnight oats, cherry almond overnight oats, overnight oats with cherries, chocolate cherry overnight oats