Swiss Bircher Müesli - The Original Overnight Oats

Swiss Bircher Müesli - The Original Overnight Oats

The first time I had "Swiss Bircher Müesli" was at a 10 room eco-lodge on top of a peak in the Purcell Mountains in BC Canada, on our honeymoon almost 25 years ago. Everything was flown in and out via helicopter - including the guests!

The incredible gourmet meals were served family style at a large wooden table and I never forgot this creamy, luscious cold “porridge” that was one of the offerings served each morning with an assortment of berries, nuts, seeds and dried fruits to top it off.

Little did I know at the time, we’d soon be visiting Switzerland every summer as my dad re-married a Swiss Miss. Each visit we’d all go together for a stay in the Alps and there it was - in every chalet and hotel - that dreamy, creamy oats concoction -- Bircher Müesli. Afterall, it was invented by Swiss Dr. Maximillian Bircher-Benner at his health clinic in the early 1900s -- although it was not quite the version it evolved into -- the original “overnight oats”!

Oddly, it never occurred to me to make it myself, but upon seeing the proliferation of posts about “overnight oats” it triggered my memory, and I began my search for a recipe. I discovered a variety of recipes professing to be Bircher Müesli, but most weren’t what I recalled enjoying until I stumbled across this one and success!!!

THIS is what I remember and now I eat it most mornings! It’s a calcium rich, heart healthy, cholesterol lowering, fiber filled, probiotic, stick-to-the-ribs-breakfast that’s out of this world delicious!

Both my dad and his wife are out of this world now too, but this will forever be a sweet reminder of the wonderful Swiss family we gained as well as my own magical honeymoon on top of the world.

Creamy, dreamy…

Swiss-Style Bircher Müesli (Overnight Oats)

My slightly modified version of a recipe I found online at “Cooking With Books” by Marnely Murray 

Servings: 4

Active Time: 10 minutes

Inactive Time: 2-12 hours



  • 1 cup plain low-fat* yogurt (Greek yogurt works, but you will need to stir in extra milk or water when you serve it)
  • 1 cup low-fat* milk
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • ½ of a large lemon (or 1 small), juiced
  • 2 small granny smith apples, finely grated with skin on (any apple will do, but green is traditional)
  • To serve: extra milk or cream, fresh berries, maple syrup or honey PLUS any of the topping suggestions below.

         *For an even richer porridge, use full-fat dairy. For vegan option, substitute preferred plant-based products.

Additional topping options:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnut or Almonds
  • Chia or flax seeds
  • Dried fruit - cherries, raisins, cranberries, apricots
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • A pinch of cinnamon or a touch of freshly grated nutmeg


In a large bowl, mix the first 5 ingredients together, then grate the apples directly into the oat mixture, stir then refrigerate overnight.**

**If you can't wait 12 hours, give it a minimum of 3 to let the oats hydrate somewhat, but for the proper creamy consistency -- let them sit overnight!

SERVE WITH: fresh berries, maple syrup, milk or cream, and any additional toppings -- especially the seeds and nuts! Wunderbar!

NOTES: Best consumed within 2 days.

This is a lower fat version of what I undoubtedly ate in Switzerland, where the dairy is typically full-fat and more luscious than what's available from commercial dairies here in the USA. 

QUESTIONS: If you have any questions, just email me at: madeleine@madmadedesign

Want to feel as cozy as this porridge? Slip into one of my reversible aprons and bask in comfort all day long! 


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