This creamy Bircher Muesli, also known as Overnight Oats, is a portable, make-ahead breakfast packed with fiber, nutrients, and protein, perfect for keeping you satisfied all morning long. Made with wholesome ingredients like rolled oats, fresh apples, nuts, and seeds, it’s a healthy, easy breakfast option that’s ideal for meal prep and customizable with a variety of toppings. Vegan & Gluten Free Options.

My mom would make this bircher muesli overnight oats for my sisters and I when we were in high school. I’ve always loved anything oats, but my sister couldn’t get passed the slimy glue-y like texture. So her method of pre-cooking the oats and rinsing it removes the slimy-gumminess from the oats.

Bircher Muesli vs. Overnight Oats

The main difference between overnight oats and Bircher muesli lies in their preparation and ingredients. Overnight oats are typically made by soaking rolled oats in liquid (such as milk or yogurt) overnight, often with added sweeteners and toppings, resulting in a softer texture. On the other hand, Bircher muesli is a Swiss dish created by soaking a mixture of oats, grated apple, nuts, seeds, and sometimes dried fruits in liquid (often apple juice or milk) overnight, yielding a creamier consistency with a blend of flavors. Additionally, while overnight oats can be customized with various ingredients, Bircher muesli traditionally includes grated apple and lemon juice for a tangy sweetness.


The beauty of Bircher Muesli is how versatile it is! You can add whatever you want to the base which consists of:

  • Rolled oats: Whole oats that have been steamed and rolled flat, providing a hearty base for the muesli with a chewy texture.
  • Fresh Fruit: Traditionally, fresh apples are grated in, adding natural sweetness, moisture, and a refreshing flavor to the muesli. You can also use mashed bananas.
  • Seeds: Flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds for crunch, protein, healthy fats, and additional nutritional benefits.
  • Milk: Liquid component that helps soften the oats and bind the ingredients together, offering creaminess and a source of calcium and protein.
  • Yogurt: Extra yoghurt can be added to the muesli for a creamier consistency and additional probiotic benefits, enhancing the overall texture and flavor profile.
  • Lemon juice: Citrus juice added to prevent the grated apple from browning while also imparting a subtle tangy flavor to the muesli.
  • Honey or sweetener: Optional sweetener added for additional sweetness and flavor, balancing out the tartness from the lemon juice.
  • Nuts: Varieties like almonds, walnuts and pistachios add crunch and more healthy fats.
  • Dried fruits (optional): Varieties like raisins, cranberries, or cherries can be included for added sweetness, chewiness, and bursts of flavour.
  • Fresh fruits (optional): Sliced bananas, berries, or other seasonal fruits can be added as toppings for freshness, sweetness, and additional nutrients.
  • Cinnamon or spices (optional): Ground cinnamon or other spices can be sprinkled for added flavor and warmth, complementing the other ingredients in the muesli.

How to Make Bircher Muesli Overnight Oats

Bircher Muesli is incredibly quick and easy to make and can be prepped ahead of time for a on-the-go breakfast!

  1. Prep the oats: This step is optional, but I find pre-cooking the oats or toasting the oats provides different textures.
  2. Combine Ingredients: In a mixing bowl, combine rolled oats, grated apple, seeds, dried fruits and lemon juice. Add sweeter to your liking.
  3. Add Liquid: Pour in milk and yogurt to cover the ingredients. You can adjust the amount of liquid based on your desired consistency—more for a thinner muesli, less for a thicker one.
  4. Mix Well: Stir all the ingredients together until well combined, ensuring that the oats are evenly coated and the mixture is well blended.
  5. Soak Overnight: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate it overnight, allowing the oats to soak up the liquid and the flavors to meld together.
  6. Serve: The next morning, add nuts and give the muesli a good stir. Add more milk or yogurt to achieve your preferred consistency. Serve the bircher muesli chilled, topped with fresh fruits, nut butter, additional nuts and seeds and sweetner.

Lisa’s Recipe Tips

  1. Pre-cooking the oats: This makes the oats softer quicker for those who don’t like a lot of chew to their oatmeal. Rinsing the oatmeal removed sliminess and that glue-y texture that oats sometimes tend to have.
  2. Toasting oats: Makes the oats taste more nutty and chewy! If cooking in butter, it adds a nice buttery toasty flavour.
  3. Nuts & seeds: Add the nuts and seeds right before serving to maintain their crunch! They get soggy when added to liquid for too long.

Ways to Serve

  1. Classic Style: Serve Bircher muesli in a bowl topped with fresh fruit slices, such as strawberries, bananas, or blueberries, and a sprinkle of nuts or seeds for added crunch and texture. Drizzle with a touch of honey or maple syrup for extra sweetness, if desired.
  2. Layered Parfait: Create a layered parfait by alternating layers of bircher muesli with layers of fruit in a glass or jar. Top with nuts, seeds and honey or maple syrup.

How to store bircher muesli

After mixing all the dry ingredients, store this mix in an air tight container for up to one month.

Store prepared bircher muesli with milk and yogurt in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume within 2-3 days for optimal taste and texture.

Whats the difference between bircher muesli and regular muesli?

The main difference between bircher muesli and regular muesli lies in their preparation method. Bircher muesli is typically soaked overnight in liquid, often including grated apple and lemon juice, resulting in a creamier texture, while regular muesli is a dry mixture of oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, served with milk or yogurt but not necessarily soaked beforehand.

Is bircher muesli vegan?

Yes, Bircher muesli can be made vegan. The basic ingredients of rolled oats, grated apple, nuts, seeds, and a liquid such as plant-based milk or dairy-free yogurt are all vegan-friendly. Simply ensure that you use plant-based alternatives for any non-vegan ingredients, such as opting for almond milk or coconut yogurt instead of dairy milk or yogurt.

Is bircher muesli gluten free?

Bircher muesli can be gluten-free if gluten-free oats are used in the recipe.

Enjoy!! If you make this Bircher Muesli Overnight Oats recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rating and if you decide to share it on socials, tag me on instagram @Okonomikitchen. I’d love to hear from you!

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Bircher Museli Recipe

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  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x


This creamy Bircher Muesli, also known as Overnight Oats, is a portable, make-ahead breakfast packed with fiber, nutrients, and protein, perfect for keeping you satisfied all morning long. Made with wholesome ingredients like rolled oats, fresh apples, nuts, and seeds, it’s a healthy, easy breakfast option that’s ideal for meal prep and customizable with a variety of toppings.


Units Scale

Overnight Oats

  • 1 cup (90 g) rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp (14 g) flaxseeds or chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp (25 g) raisins
  • 1 mashed banana or 1 grated apple
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) soy milk
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp (25 g) chopped nuts

For serving

  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • hemp seeds
  • nut butter
  • seed butter
  • fresh fruit


Optional prep step:

  1. Pre-cook: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add oats and once it comes to a boil, immediately remove from heat, drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze out any excess liquid.
  2. Oven: Spread oats on a baking tray and bake at 350 F for 6-10 minutes, tossing half way. 
  3. Stove top: Melt 1 tbsp of butter over medium high heat and then once melted immediately add the oats. Toast, stirring every minute for 5 minutes.

For the rest of the oats:

  1. Add the remaining ingredients except the nuts to the bowl and mix well. Let it sit for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Stir in the nuts right before serving.
  3. Top with berries, more fruit, granola, seeds and sweetener of choice. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.

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