Bircher Muesli is a humble but delicious overnight oats recipe made with simple wholesome ingredients such as apple, oats, milk, almonds, and raisins.
This bircher muesli recipe is vegan, dairy-free, and perfect as a make-ahead breakfast.
Check out our best vegan breakfast recipes collection!
Bircher Muesli, Birchermüesli in swiss german, is a healthy meal made with rolled oats soaked overnight in milk, then mixed with grated apples and chopped almonds.
Maximilian Bircher-Benner, a Swiss doctor, developed this recipe in early 1900 to serve as a healthy starter for people that consumed too many calories for dinner.
The muesli, being fulfilling and low calorie, would make people feel satiated, and so they would eat less of the actual dinner.
But because the meal was so delicious, it quickly became popular around Europe, and eventually became one of the most popular breakfast foods in the world, known as simply Muesli, although the original recipe is similar to overnight oats.
In our version of Bircher Muesli, we replace condensed milk used in the original recipe (they used condensed milk back then because it was safer than regular milk) with non-dairy milk (like almond, oat, or soy milk).
Also known as old-fashioned oats, they are ideal for this recipe because they soak the milk and become soft overnight, while still keeping you satiated for a long time.
You can replace them with other types of oats, however, I tried quick oats and while the recipe would work, I personally think they become too mushy when soaked overnight, and they don't keep you as full.
For gluten-free Bircher Muesli, make sure your oats are labelled gluten-free.
For soaking the oats overnight. You can substitute milk with apple juice or applesauce to soak the oats overnight.
Added as a natural sweetener. You can replace them with pieces of dates or other dried fruits such as figs or apricots.
Toasted and added on top at the end to add some protein and healthy fats. You can replace them with hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or any nuts of your liking.
The key ingredient here, but of course, if you don't like apple, you can replace it with any other raw fruit. Try banana, peach, apricots, figs, or fresh berries.
To prevent the apple from browning. Also, originally lemon juice was added to increase the bio-availability of nutrients in the oats, although I'm not sure if that's scientifically sound.
Optional, based on your taste, you can add a little maple syrup, agave syrup, cinnamon, or any other sweetener of your choice. This is especially true if your apples are not very sweet.
To make about three servings of Bircher Muesli you'll need a large bowl to put 2 cups (220 grams) of rolled oats, 1⅔ cups (420 grams) of almond milk, and ¼ cup (40 grams) of raisins.
Give it a stir, then cover with a plate and let it rest in the fridge overnight. The next morning the rolled oats will have absorbed all the milk and will be very soft.
Take a smaller serving bowl and grate an apple in it, with all the peel, then mix it with the juice of half a lemon.
The original recipe calls for one grated apple per serving of muesli, and I like it very much with these doses, but if for you an apple is too much you can also put half.
Now add a portion of the oats, which is about a third of the entire mixture in the big bowl, and mix well.
And if you're not used to eating cold things from the fridge for breakfast, you can safely heat the oats in the microwave before mixing them with the apple.
All that's left to do is add a handful of chopped toasted almonds, and if you wish, half a tablespoon of a natural sweetener such as maple syrup.
Although this Swiss oatmeal is really humble and simple it is fiber-rich and satisfying.
The sweetness and freshness of the grated apple perfectly match the creamy texture of the oats soaked in almond milk. An easy breakfast packed with fresh flavor and crunch.
The great thing about this recipe is that it can be customized as you like since the oatmeal base is basically overnight oats that pair well with most toppings:
- Fresh fruit
- Dried fruit
- Chocolate chips
- Hazelnut spread
- Nut butter
An indulgent version is one with banana, peanut butter, flax seeds, chia seeds, toasted almonds, and a few pieces of dark chocolate.
Bircher muesli with berries
This Swiss bircher muesli is easily adapted into a fruity breakfast. Use the basic recipe, and add fresh berries on top or fruit compote. Drizzle with hemp seeds or walnuts for added healthy fats and protein.
You can even add a dollop of vegan greek yogurt to your muesli for extra creaminess, it pairs well with fruits and compote.
This is a great recipe to make in advance. You can either make the portions you need the night before, or you can make more and keep them in the refrigerator (before adding the apple and the toppings) for 3 to 4 days.
More Oat Recipes
If you love to cook with oats, take a peek at these oat-packed recipes:
- Easy oat cookies with raisins
- Healthy granola bar with peanut butter
- Muffins with oat flour
- Granola served on yogurt
- Oatmeal pancakes with fruit compote
- Oat flour tart with blueberries
More Breakfast recipes
A healthy breakfast sets the tone for the day. Here are some of our favorite breakfasts for the week and weekends:
You can keep the rolled oats soaking in the refrigerator (before adding the apple) for up to 3 - 4 days. Not suitable for freezing.
For many more breakfast ideas, make sure to check out our breakfast category page.
Bircher Muesli - overnight oats with apple and almond
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1⅔ cups almond milk or other milk
- ¼ cup raisins
- ½ cup almonds toasted and chopped
- 2 - 3 apples grated on the large holes of a box grater
- 1 lemon the juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional on top)
- To a large bowl, add the oats, milk, and raisins. Cover with a plate and let rest overnight in the refrigerator.
- Portion the oats into 3 to 4 serving bowls. Add 1 grated apple per bowl/portion, drizzle the apple with lemon juice and mix the apple with the oats.Tip: the original recipe of Bircher Muesli calls for 1 apple per portion, however, if you think it's too much for you, you can reduce that to half apple per portion.
- Add some toasted and chopped almonds on top, and if you like, a drizzle of maple syrup.Tip: If your almonds are not toasted alrady, you can do so in a pan for a couple of minutes, or in the oven at 350F (180C) for 7 to 8 minutes.
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