The holidays are closing in on us fast, and my pants are already snug (mashed potatoes, I’m looking at you). I’ve been perfecting this Bircher muesli recipe since I finally figured out how to make overnight oats tasty.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your cravings and energy level in check this holiday season (who isn’t?), I hope this Bircher muesli recipe will be a big help. It’s basically overnight oats with fresh apple and applesauce, oats, raisins, nuts and nut butter.
Bircher muesli is a healthy make-ahead breakfast that tastes like a holiday treat. Bonus? It’s very easily made vegan and/or gluten free, if need be.
Bircher Muesli History
Bircher muesli was created in the early 1900s by a Swiss physician named Maximilian Bircher-Benner. He claimed to have cured his own jaundice by eating raw apples, and encouraged his patients to eat raw fruit and vegetables to cure their ailments.
Bircher-Benner’s original recipe was inspired by a “strange dish” that he and his wife were served while hiking in the Swiss alps. His recipe called for lots of fresh apple with a small amount of oats, lemon juice, nuts, cream and honey. He served it to his patients as a healthy appetizer before most meals.
His concept reminds me of my mom’s advice when I was little. When I complained that I was hungry before dinner, she always told me to go eat an apple!
The Best Bircher Muesli
My version is more similar to my overnight oats recipe than Bircher’s original. I use more oats, almond milk instead of cream, and add a spoonful of almond butter for a creamy texture.
I also added a couple tablespoons of homemade applesauce for extra apple flavor. Store-bought applesauce will work, too, but homemade takes this recipe to the next level. It’s a nice snack to have around, too.
My Bircher muesli is thick and satisfying. It’s a breakfast that I look forward to eating in the mornings, and it keeps me going until lunchtime.
Watch How to Make Bircher Muesli
Please let me know how you like it in the comments! And if you’re craving an equally wholesome but warm apple breakfast, don’t miss my apple steel-cut oatmeal.
Homemade Bircher Muesli
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 serving 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Refrigerator
- Cuisine: Swiss
This bircher muesli recipe is so delicious! It’s a healthy way to start the day. Recipe yields 1 serving; I recommend making these oats in multiples of 2 in order to use up 1 apple while making and then 1 more apple for serving.
- ⅓ cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 tablespoon raisins or dried cranberries or cherries
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon almond butter or peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons homemade applesauce or store-bought applesauce
- ⅓ cup milk of choice (I used almond milk), plus extra for serving (optional)
- 1 medium Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apple, preferably organic
- Chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds
- Drizzle of honey or maple syrup, if desired
- In a jar or bowl (a 14-ounce working jar or 1-pint mason jar is perfect), combine the oats, raisins, cinnamon, nut butter and applesauce. Stir to combine. Then add the milk and stir to combine.
- Grate half of the apple, then stir the grated apple into the oatmeal (if you’re making multiple jars, just use 1 grated apple for 2 jars, and so on).
- Place the lid on the jar and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 5 days. When you’re ready to serve, chop the remaining ½ apple into matchsticks. Top the oatmeal with the fresh apple, a splash of milk and/or a drizzle of honey (both optional). Enjoy chilled.
Why buy organic? Apples are #4 on the Dirty Dozen list, meaning that conventionally grown apples are generally high in pesticide residues.
Make it gluten free: Use certified gluten-free oats.
Make it vegan: Choose one of the dairy-free milk options listed above. If adding additional sweetener, use maple syrup instead of honey.
Make it nut free: Omit the nut butter or replace it with sunbutter. Omit the nuts on top, or use sunflower seeds or pepitas instead.
Warm it up: Overnight oats are typically served chilled. However, if you prefer warm oats, you can heat them in the microwave before topping with fresh apple. Just use a microwave-safe jar and stir frequently while you’re warming them up. Since the oats are so thick, I’m not sure this would work well on the stovetop, but you could give it a try.
Does this recipe really have over 1000 calories and 64g of fat (?) – or is the serving size listed incorrect? Sounds yummy, but can’t afford that many calories (lol). Thanks!
Sorry, I’m not sure how you are seeing those details! I see 409 calories per serving. Do you see those numbers when you click on “nutrition information”?
Ha! Didn’t see the nutrition link below the recipe (!). I popped the link into MyFitnessPal and let it calculate and it came up with those numbers :)
Great photos, this looks so tasty!!
Looks delicious. Nice idea for breakfast or snacks
Whenever I am in Switzerland I eat Bircher Muesli. I just love it , thanks for the recipe
Let me know what you think once you try it!
Cassie Autumn Tran
I have always wanted to try bircher muesli. It looks like such a delicious recipe. Most of the recipes I see call for a TON of quinoa flakes or oats, but I love that this one is more fruit-based and more balanced with all kinds of ingredients!
Let me know what you think, Cassie!
Esta receta no la he hecho asi exactamente, pero uso casi esos mismos ingredientes( sin la mantequilla de nueces) para prepararme mi desayuno solo le digo como lo hago yo .. por si le gusta mi sugerencia:
Yo caliento la leche casi hasta que va a hervir, y la avena, se la incorporo ya previamente remojada pero sin cocinar, agrego las nueces y los demas ingredientes en el momento que la voy a consumir,es muy rapido y asi me aseguro que todo mantiene sus propiedadesy su sabor original
My previous comment was poorly translated, I do not write in English and I think your translation does not say the correct words
I just wanted to say that I use the same ingredients, only with raw oatmeal and without butter. with the milk about to boil
Thank you, Nivia for for your comment :)
Hey Kate, this looks great and I’m sure tastes amazing. I live in Germany. The Bircher Muesli I have eaten here is made with yogurt. As an alternative, you could swap out the liquid for coconut-based yogurt and some lemon and let is sit overnight. Give it a try. I think you’ll love it.
Oh, so delicious!
This looks AMAZING!
Itś amazing! Thank you for the recipe. My little daughter ate half of my portion, so next time I have to make two :) Greetings from Finland.
That is a win! This is a great recipe to double and have some additional, that is for sure. Thank you, Jana for your review :)
Doubled and made this recipe with dried cherries and a whole apple per serving (I stretched into 3 servings) and it was the most perfect breakfast! The apple in three forms makes it so naturally sweet and delish!! Thanks so much for the recipe! You made my week wonderful!
You are welcome! Dried cherries sounds delicious. Thank you for your comment. If you would want to leave a star review since you liked it so much, I would appreciate it!
It’s quite delicious, isn’t it? I’ve soaked mine overnight in orange juice instead of apple juice/sauce too for a change.
I made this yesterday. On it’s own I felt it was a bit too sweet for me, but when I added it to coconut yogurt it was perfect.
Thank you for your comment and review, Jaimee!
I made this because I happened to have all the ingredients on hand, including some homemade applesauce (from your own recipe!) that I LOVE the taste of but can only eat in small amounts by itself. I didn’t expect it to love it, but it is delicious! The cinnamon works so well with the peanut butter (can’t wait to try almond or other nut butters) and makes the whole thing quite hearty, and yet it retains the freshness of raw oatmeal and apples. I should say that since it’s quite cold where I live now, I warmed it up in the microwave after adding a splash of almond milk. It was excellent, but I tried it cold too and it’s great both ways. Thanks for sharing!
I am happy you were pleasantly surprised! Thank you for giving it a try and for your review.
Just made this and it is delicious! I’ll definitely add this to the recipe lineup in our house.
Great! Thank you, Sherry for sharing.
This is so delicious – definitely my new go to recipe!
Love to hear that, Steph! Thank you for sharing. If you would want to leave a star review since you liked it so much, that would be great!
This was absolutely delicious. I want to eat it every morning. Perfect.
I agree with you! Thank you for your review, Aliza.
SO good! The perfect fall breakfast. I added dried cherries and they were incredible with this combination of ingredients! Your breakfast recipes like this one have made breakfast more fun and less mundane for me :-) thanks Kate!
Happy to hear that, Rosie! Thanks so much for the comment and review.
How many calories per serving? And serving size?
Great question! I have the nutrition information below the notes section. You just need to click to expand. :)
Can you use cocoa powder in overnight oats? Maybe a few mini chocolate chips instead of honey or syrup?
I’ve been struggling to find motivation to make healthy breakfasts lately and this recipe hit the spot. Made a double recipe to enjoy over two days and now I’m coming back to the recipe to make again. Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes. Been following along for several years :)
Thanks, Hannah! I’m so happy you have been following for so long.
I made this with cashew butter, 50/50 oats and quinoa flakes and rice milk. I made 4x quantity of your applesauce and Bircher and the whole family loves it. Do you know if it’s possible to freeze it?
Thank you for sharing! It would likely freeze well!
Just tried this and it’s delicious!!
Me again – working with what I have. I am combining your Muesli recipe and this one – to make over night oats . In this house “in oats we trust”!
Soooo good! I used homemade apple sauce instead store bought and it turned out amazing! 10/10
I did not make the recipe yet, and I plan to do it soon, but making one serving at a time seems to create extra work! What about making 4 times the size recipe using 1 1/3 cups of oatmeal and everything else proportionally? I do not eat large quantities of cereal because my appetite is not large, so a 4 X recipe would probably last me for 8-10 breakfasts…Will it work? Can it be kept in a one- gallon jar out or in the refrigerator for longer than just 5 days or will it become bad somehow after 5 days?
Hi Tob! You can easily increase this recipe by the equal amounts listed in the recipe. This is best in the refrigerator per my recommendations for up to 5 days. You want to be mindful of spoilage.
This is a really yummy recipe!
Great hearty breakfast and easy to make. I’ve been looking for new twists on the routine breakfast and this was delicious and easy! I’ll definitely share with my friends as well. I just bought some local honey yesterday and it was the perfect compliment to drizzle on top!
Kate, I’m like Pavlov’s dogs any time you Instagram a recipe I haven’t tried yet. It’s like immediately I must make this thing NOW! Haha… It’s another winner, of course. I made it this afternoon for tomorrow’s breakfast. I just licked the spatula after putting it into the pint jars, and it is so amazing. Can’t wait for my husband to try it — he’s a fan, too! I’m thinking of adding a sprinkle of chia seeds to the next batch.
I AM ADDICTED TO THIS MUSELI! I’ve always preferred hot breakfasts, but this recipe looked tasty so I gave it a go. I’ve been making it for over a month now and I can’t stop! I eat it for breakfast, as a snack, and even as my dinner if I’m lazy. It’s got such an awesome flavor profile and variety of textures. And the best part is that I don’t need to eat much for it to keep me full. Thanks for this recipe!
Hi Kate, thanks for a great recipe. I made this up last night and enjoyed a bowl for breakfast. The flexibility with ingredients is a bit plus. I found it was plenty sweet enough from the apple and I had already halved the applesauce, so I might try not adding the applesauce next time. But there will definitely be a next time! Thanks again.
Thanks for this recipe, easy,quick and above all hits my hunger spot in the mornings.
Apples + Peanut Butter = Heavenly, Delicious, & Somehow Nutritious Combo. Thanks for making this recipe the flavor of my FAVORITE snack. I go through a small container of peanut butter too fast to admit..it tastes good in everything..it turns smoothies into milkshakes, celery into the best vegetable ever, and oh so much more. Until one day I ran out. I only have tahini. Could I use tahini in place of the peanut butter?
Thanks for this FABULOUS recipe! I make it all the time. Here are the reasons I LOVE it:
1. It is super healthy. Nothing bad in this awesome breakfast. Only fruit, nut butter, oats, cinnamon, and milk. (I also like adding 1 TB of chia, flax, and hemp seeds per batch.)
2. Super easy. It takes only a few minutes.
3. Yummy and filling.
4. Pretty Cheap.
Could you PLEASE make some more overnight oats recipes?!
Hi Danica! Thank you for your note! I think you could try tahini in place of peanut butter, for sure. Maybe start with a little bit to see if you like it first! I’m so glad you love this recipe. I’ll try to come up with some more overnight oats for you. Have you tried my baked oatmeal or apple steel-cut oats? Love both of those.
I’ve made this a few times now and just love it. Omit the peanut/nut butter and add a few seeds: flaxseeds, pumpkin and sunflower instead. It lasts me two servings. Also I like it warmed in the microwave.
Thank you Kate for your lovely recipes.
You’re welcome, Anne! Thank you for taking the time to comment.
I’ve used this recipe for a few months now and have absolutely loved it. It’s incredibly simple to prepare and very easy to make up a week’s portion in one go.
I like to top the serving portions with a sprinkling of granola finished with fresh passion fruit before eating.
I also prefer to add an extra tablespoon of cinnamon to the batch for an additional kick.
I made this delicious Müsli with Almond milk it was a hit
So pleased I tried this recipe! Absolutely delicious, and quick to throw together the night before for an on-the-go healthy breakfast in the morning. After logging all my ingredients in MyFitnessPal (excluding the added nuts and honey on the top) my ingredients came to 442 per serving.
Due to being on a restricted calorie diet at the moment I am only eating half a portion of the bircher with half a chopped apple on top and it’s still very satisfying! Will happily eat the lot when I’m not though!
This was AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!!! I made it a little different, using cinnamon applesauce as a sort of sauce, and maple pecan granola on top as well. Thank you for sharing! This is now a part of my regular breakfast routine! <3
Thank you, Amie! I appreciate your review.
Yum. Excellent carb loading alternative to porridge as post training breakfast
This is perfect for me attending a course at the moment . A very healthy alternative and give me sustaining food to concentrate.
I tried the recipe and it was delicious. Sharing with friends and family. The almond butter just gives it the extra level of flavor to the whole breakfast. No more boring breakfast…..thanks
This recipe is so yummy! It is a favorite for our whole family including our 2 year old. We make it with different combinations of ingredients (walnut butter, almond butter, peanut butter, dried cranberries, blueberries or raisin) and it turns out great every time. Thank you!
I’m glad you loved it, Alicia! Thank you for your review.
I gave it a whirl. Sort of. I didn’t have any fruits around. so I rob Welch’s from my parent’s pantry last time I visited and tried that; it was no good, though. (The Strawberry Spread, in particular.) I mean it *tasted* good- a bit too sweet tho, like candy even. I used almonds for nuts – it ain’t Birchers if there’s no nuts involved, IMO.
for some reason it gave me that bloated feeling / lots of gas. :( I know that foods with a higher fructose to sucrose ratio have that issue- as fruit ripens the fructose converts to sucrose – but Welch’s isn’t unripe. Its just bad news. To top that off- aesthetically all the mush turns sort of red or pink. Not very becoming for a proper Bircher, methinks. I conclude: Welches Birchers may taste wholesome, but it ain’t. Not by a long shot.
Regime.n change is difficult, and once you do it- your stuck again. Anyways I’ll give a score of 3 ago, since the problem was on my end- not the recipes.
I’m sorry to hear that, Itajara. I appreciate your feedback.
Thank you for your review, Rebecca!