$2.54 recipe / $0.32 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 9 votes
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I was rummaging through my pantry the other day and noticed that I had way too many half-used bags of dried fruit and nuts, and I knew exactly what I needed to make to use up all those odds and ends. Muesli! What is Muesli? The short answer: muesli is the old-school version of overnight oats. Keep reading below for a more detailed explanation!

A batch of muesli in a bowl with ingredients on the sides.

What is Muesli?

Muesli is a mixture of rolled oats, nuts, seeds, and fresh or dried fruit that have been soaked in milk, yogurt, or juice. This dish is attributed to a Swiss doctor, Maximilian Bircher-Benner, who fed this refreshing and filling breakfast to the patients in his hospital. For that reason, muesli often goes by the name “Bircher Muesli.”

Muesli vs. Granola

You might be asking yourself, “How is that different from granola??” While they are similar, there are distinct differences between muesli and granola. Muesli is almost like raw granola. You can turn muesli into granola by adding some sweeteners and binders, like honey or brown sugar and oil, then baking it until it becomes deliciously crunchy.

How Do You Eat Muesli?

There are a few different ways you can enjoy muesli. You can add cold milk or yogurt, stir it on up, and let it soak for just a few minutes so the oats are just barely chewy. Or, if you prefer a softer oat, you can let them soak overnight or for up to about four days. And just like the “overnight oats” that have taken the internet by storm over the past decade, muesli is a great way to meal prep your breakfast for the week.

You can also treat your muesli like little homemade instant oatmeal packets. Divide the muesli into ⅓ or ½ cup servings, place in resealable containers, then every morning add about a cup of milk and microwave for a minute or two and you have a hot bowl of oatmeal.

What Kind of Oats are Best for Muesli?

The best type of oat for muesli is, in my opinion, old-fashioned rolled oats. These oats are hearty and have a lot of texture, but still soften fairly quickly when soaked. Quick oats are very thin and delicate and will create a much mushier texture in your muesli. Steel-cut oats are very tough and will need to be soaked for several hours before they soften.

What Else Can You Put in Muesli?

Just like overnight oats, you can add so many different things to your muesli. You can add any type of dried fruit, nut, or seed to the dry mix (stored at room temperature), or once you begin soaking your muesli you can add wet or perishable ingredients, like fresh fruit or maple syrup.

Side view of a bowl of muesli with milk and a spoon.
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5 from 9 votes
Rolled oats, dried fruit, and nuts soaked in cold milk or yogurt make Muesli a quick and refreshing meal prep breakfast for summer!
Overhead view of a bowl full of muesli with ingredients on the sides.
Servings 8 ½ cup each
Prep 5 minutes
Total 5 minutes


  • 3 cups dry old-fashioned oats ($0.68)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts* ($0.60)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries* ($0.88)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds* ($0.25)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar (optional) ($0.08)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon ($0.05)


  • Combine the oats, cranberries, walnuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir until evenly mixed. Store mixture in an air-tight container in a cool dry place until ready to eat.
  • To prepare the muesli, combine 1/2 cup muesli with 1/2 cup of cold milk. Let soak for 5 minutes, or up to four days in the refrigerator.

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*You can use any type of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds.


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 6gFat: 9gSodium: 4mgFiber: 4g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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How to Make Muesli – Step By Step Photos

Muesli ingredients in a bowl, not stirred.

Add your oats, fruit, nuts, spices, and sweetener (optional) to a bowl. I used 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, ½ cup chopped walnuts, ½ cup dried cranberries, ¼ cup sunflower seeds, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, and ½ tsp cinnamon.

Muesli ingredients stirred together in the bowl.

Simply stir the ingredients together and now it’s ready to use!

Muesli in a food storage container.

You can store this mix in an air-tight container at room temperature. It will last just as long as the individual dry ingredients themselves.

Milk being poured onto a single serving bowl of muesli.

To enjoy your muesli, measure ½ cup of the dry muesli mix into a bowl. Pour ½ cup of milk (or more) over top and let sit for about five minutes (or refrigerate overnight for a softer oat).

A bowl of muesli ready to enjoy with milk.

Enjoy the muesli as is or top with your favorite fresh fruit, maple syrup, or nut butter.

Close up side view of a bowl of muesli.
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  1. Great job Beth! Delicious, cheap, and easy.

    Love it just the way it is but excited to try different mix-ins

  2. Hi…toast the oatmeal in a cast iron or stainless…on top of the have to put the heat on med and stir it frequently…or you can toast it in the makes this recipe more flavorful…I add sliced almond…and also toast those and non sweetened coconut …then if I want to add raisins or dates or any dry fruit or fresh fruit…bananas…right before I eat it…I used to make granola…but you have to mix a sugar or honey and oil…this is a lot less sugar…and it is easy. You can also add sunflower seeds, flax or hemp…to it before you eat it..makes it super healthy. I use almond milk, add a 1/2 scoop of protein powder to the milk in my bowl and mix…then add this and maybe some blueberries…you will not be hungry for hours…great breakfast!

  3. I treat myself to a 2d breakfast …..w/muesli add some unsweetened coconut flakes, 1 clipped dried fig, 1 clipped dried date, 1 slice tiny cubed fresh apple, walnut pieces or almonds ,topped w delicious coconut milk,sprinkled w/cinnamon! Dynamite!

  4. I LOVE the texture of uncooked oatmeal. I add it to my smoothies because I like to chew while drinking them. I think this is going to be a new favorite of mine, especially when I forget/am too lazy to prep overnight oats. I’m also excited to experiment with different fruit/seed combos (can’t do most nuts to my endless sorrow). 

  5. It’s so funny to see a recipe celebrated when it has been a staple of your diet since childhood :) good old Müsli!

    1. lthough I never came across anyone soaking it even a minute as it is soggy. I only know the Müsli, milk/ yoghurt, eat it straight away.

      Bur whatever floats people’s boat….Maybe I give the overnight thing a chance and just ignore the set expectations of having to chew this.

  6. I wish I had tried making this when I first found the recipe about 2 years ago. This recipe is completely customizable! I’m allergic to walnuts and pecans and not a fan of almonds so I put off making it until last week. I ended up using oats, chopped hazelnuts, dried strawberries, brown sugar, and mini chocolate chips. GREAT as an easy breakfast either for home or to pack to work with me. The texture was weird to me at first but I got used to it pretty quickly and now I love it. MUCH better than mushy warm oatmeal. I can’t wait to try different combinations of flavors with this recipe as a starting point! Thanks Beth!

  7. Yum!  We have been eating this regularly since I came across the recipe a few weeks ago.  Lovin’ the different add in ideas.  We haven’t been boring yet.

  8. This also goes really well with nice cream for a cool snack or a slightly less than adult breakfast. Be warned that since nice cream is mostly fruit (I prefer chocolate banana), there is not much extra liquid for it to absorb so it will come out dryer than even the yogurt version. Just be careful not to add too much. But even if you do I can think of much worse things than a chocolate banana muesli for breakfast.

  9. Move over hot oatmeal. You’ve been replaced by cold muesli. I love the slight crunchiness of the oats. It beats warm, sticky oatmeal by a mile. It’s easy to make and easily adaptable to whatever fruit you have on hand.

  10. This is one my go-to breakfasts… but I cheat by just dumping a fruit & nut trail mix in with the oats. 1/4 cup trail mix (dried cranberries, golden raisins, walnuts, cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds) in with 1/2 cup rolled oats and 1 cup milk. The sweetness from the dried fruit is enough for me, so I don’t add extra sugar. I just bought a giant bag of ground flaxseed so I might start adding that too! I definitely eat it warm in the wintertime.