Bircher Muesli is filled with wholesome ingredients like rolled oats, fresh apples, nuts, and seeds. Made overnight, this Swiss oatmeal recipe is a healthy and easy breakfast that's full of flavor and texture.
Bircher muesli is a wholesome, make-ahead breakfast
Also known as Swiss oatmeal, bircher muesli is a make-ahead breakfast that’s packed with good-for-you ingredients like oats and fresh apples.
In addition to being a healthy start to your day, it’s also super convenient as you just mix it up the night before, let the oats soak overnight, and then add your favorite toppings in the morning.
If you haven’t had bircher muesli before, there are so many reasons why I think you’re going to love it:
- It’s nutty
- Just the right amount of sweet
- Filling, hearty texture
- Simple to make
And did I mention that it’s absolutely delicious?
Let me show you just how healthy and tasty this easy creamy bircher muesli recipe is!
Swiss oatmeal isn’t a breakfast I grew up eating
This creamy bircher muesli recipe is one I make over and over again, yet up until a few years I had never even heard of it.
It wasn’t until I moved to London and the coffee shop was looking for new recipes to serve that this Swiss oatmeal came onto my radar after looking through a local magazine.
Not being familiar with the recipe, I was uncertain about the idea of oats soaked in apple juice and stored in the fridge overnight. But then bircher muesli recipes kept popping up everywhere I went: restaurant menus, blog posts, and even newspapers. So I finally gave it a try.
The morning I woke up to it, I ran to the fridge. Sprinkled on a handful of toppings, and could not have been happier the moment I ate my first spoonful. It was a little nutty, slightly sweet, and had a good hearty texture.
Definitely a breakfast I wanted to make again. Since then, I've perfected the recipe and I'm happy to share it with you here.
Is bircher muesli healthy?
Yes, Bircher can be a very healthy breakfast.
Unlike sugary breakfast cereals, this easy bircher muesli is packed with good-for-you whole ingredients:
- Oats - rich in heart-healthy fiber
- Nuts and seeds - great source of protein and healthy fats
- Yogurt - high in calcium
- Apples - naturally sweet
Now, I do use 100% apple juice in the recipe, which does add a bit of sugar.
If you want to reduce the sweetness you can swap half of the apple juice for milk or water. I’ll often use one of these swaps when making this Swiss oatmeal for my toddler.
Also be sure to use an apple juice that is 100% pure juice with no added sugars. You can double check this by looking at the ingredient list.
What makes this bircher muesli recipe different than regular muesli?
You can think of muesli as an uncooked granola. In its most basic form, it is a combination of oats nuts, seeds, and fresh or dried fruits.
You can easily buy delicious bags of muesli on Amazon, or simply just take a look at it. But this recipe makes enjoying muesli much cheaper!
Classic bircher muesli has the same ingredients as traditional muesli, but is softened by soaking the oats in milk or juice overnight. In fact, the original Swiss recipe actually calls for sweetened condensed milk.
There are so many variations to bircher muesli. Some recipes add in yogurt while others use lemon juice or cream. The Ritz Hotel in London even uses apricots, orange juice, pears and crème fraîche.
This recipe makes a very simple bircher muesli recipe that works as a great base for adding your favorite topping combinations.
How to make bircher muesli at home
Now, you may be wondering: what is bircher muesli made of?
Ingredients for overnight bircher muesli
To make this easy bircher muesli recipe, you just need a few simple ingredients:
- Old fashioned oats
- Apple juice
- Whole apples
- Nuts and seed mix
- Dried fruit
If gluten-free, make sure to use oats that are certified gluten-free.
You can't go wrong using these organic old fashioned rolled oats. Plus, they are gluten free too.
This overnight bircher muesli is quick to assemble in the morning
After soaking oats in apple juice overnight, in the morning you’ll simply mix in freshly grated apples.
But which should you use: green or red apples?
I opt for red apples when I use half water or milk, as they’re a bit more mellow and sweet. But when I use all apple juice, I like how the tartness of green apples balances out the sweetness of the juice.
Once your apples are mixed in, all that’s left are the toppings. Simple.
Toppings for Swiss oatmeal
One of the best parts of this Swiss oatmeal recipe is adding toppings, as you can make your bowl as creamy, crunchy or sweet as you’d like.
For creamy bircher muesli use regular yogurt
The key to serving this a creamy bircher muesli recipe is adding a generous dollop of yogurt on top.
To keep the texture from getting too thick and sludgy, I use regular yogurt, rather than Greek yogurt.
Also, as this recipe is sweet enough from the apples and juice, I prefer plain rather than sweetened yogurt. Plus, the tang is nice with the sweetness.
Nuts and seeds give this bircher muesli recipe a wonderful crunch
For the nuts, feel free to use your favorite ones or any that you already have in your pantry. Walnuts are my favorite as I like how the nutty, earthy flavor pairs well with the sweet apple flavor.
For the seeds, I use a combination of:
- Sunflower seeds
- Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Brown and golden flax seeds
For a premixed option, this is a great Raw Superfood Topping Mix, which contains chia, flax, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, thin-sliced almonds, organic goji berries and raisins.
Of course, you can also make your own seed mix.
Add dried fruits for a classic touch
To keep it classic, I like adding just a few raisins on top. If you like your raisins on the plump-side, you can soak them overnight with the oats.
And of course, you can swap in other types, such as dried blueberries or cranberries for a pop of color.
TIP: To keep your bircher muesli healthy, don’t go overboard with dried fruit as the calories and sugars can quickly add up.
Do you have to soak bircher muesli?
I always soak mine.
You might see some Swiss oatmeal recipes that suggest soaking for as little as 10 minutes, but personally I like the texture better after the oats have soaked overnight.
I’ve also found that soaking gives it more flavor. Plus, soaking the oats overnight in the fridge makes breakfast quick and easy the next day.
However, I always wait to add the fresh apples and yogurt until just before serving for optimal texture.
Can you heat bircher muesli?
It’s really up to you. I like it best cold, straight from the fridge.
But on frosty days when you’re craving something warm you can also heat it up before eating. Simply pop it in the microwave for 1 minute or so, and then add your toppings after.
To make warmed bircher muesli even cozier, you can add a sprinkle of cinnamon on top too.
Another way to add a little warmth to overnight bircher muesli is by adding grilled fruit like in this bircher muesli recipe with smashed cherries and grilled apricots.
Trust me, the warm fruit add a completely new dimension to this simple breakfast.
I love oats for breakfast
I find there’s something so comforting and wholesome about an oat-based breakfast.
Plus I just love the nutty, slightly sweet flavor and chew texture of them. Oats also the perfect canvas for a variety of toppings and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
Especially on colder mornings, there’s nothing better than cozying up with a bowl of hot oatmeal porridge. One of my family’s favorite recipes is this apple cinnamon oatmeal, especially with a drizzle of maple syrup on top.
This creamy bircher muesli recipe is a simple and nutritious make-ahead breakfast option
If you love the convenience of this recipe, be sure to try other no-cook recipes on The Worktop:
- Overnight Chia Seed Pudding
- Chia Pudding with Coconut Milk
- Pantry Staple Granola Dust
- Oatmeal Energy Balls
I really hope this creamy bircher muesli makes it on your table soon. It’s definitely a recipe we make when we’re craving a healthy, filling breakfast.
Any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bircher Muesli - Easy Recipe for Swiss OatmealPrint Recipe
Basic bircher muesli to prepare the night before
- 2 cups old fashioned oats (jumbo rolled oats) (use GF if needed)
- 1 ½ cups apple juice
In the morning
- 2 whole apples (green or red)
- regular yogurt (any type, including vegan works)
- seed mix - I like mix of sunflower seeds, pepitas, brown and golden flax seeds (this raw superfood topping mix also works great)
- nuts - my favorite is walnut
- dried fruit - I use raisins and cranberries
- In a medium bowl, combine the jumbo rolled oats and apple juice. Cover, and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
- In the morning, grate 2 apples (including the peel), and mix into the bircher muesli. I use one red and one green for the photos, but both varieties work. See post for more info.
Serve with your favorite toppings
- After the bircher has soaked overnight, serve with your favorite toppings. I use a spoonful of regular yogurt, then add on walnuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas, brown and golden flax seeds, raisins and cranberries. You can also add in a swirl of jam if you like.
This bircher muesli recipe was originally published on Feb 11, 2014. The recipe and photos were updated on Dec 11, 2019.