Bircher Muesli - Basic Recipe for Swiss Oatmeal | The Worktop (2024)

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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 - Basic Recipe for Swiss Oatmeal | The Worktop (1)

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
  • Customizable

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 is a breakfast I love waking up to

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.

Bircher Muesli - Basic Recipe for Swiss Oatmeal | The Worktop (2)

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.

Bircher Muesli - Basic Recipe for Swiss Oatmeal | The Worktop (3)

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
  • Yogurt
  • 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.

Bircher Muesli - Basic Recipe for Swiss Oatmeal | The Worktop (4)

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.

Or even top it with this paleo granola. The recipe doesn't contain any oats. But instead uses lots of nuts and dried fruit.

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.

Bircher Muesli - Basic Recipe for Swiss Oatmeal | The Worktop (5)

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.

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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
  • Overnight Oats with Yogurt
  • Chia Pudding with Coconut Milk
  • Pantry Staple Granola Dust
  • Oatmeal Energy Balls
Bircher Muesli - Basic Recipe for Swiss Oatmeal | The Worktop (7)

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

Bircher Muesli - Basic Recipe for Swiss Oatmeal | The Worktop (8)

Bircher Muesli - Easy Recipe for Swiss Oatmeal

4.80 from 5 votes

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Serves: 4

Prep: 2 minutes mins

Resting Time: 8 hours hrs

Total: 2 minutes mins

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.


Basic bircher muesli to prepare the night before

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

US Customary - Metric


  • 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.


The soaked oats will keep for 2 days in the refrigerator if you leave off all the toppings.

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Oats and Grains

Cuisine: American, European

Keyword: Bircher Muesli

Special Diet: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Author: The Worktop

Cal : 196kcal

Note: Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Love this?I would appreciate a star review! Snap a picture and share it with me on Instagram using #theworktop and tagging me @theworktop.

This bircher muesli recipe was originally published on Feb 11, 2014. The recipe and photos were updated on Dec 11, 2019.

Bircher Muesli - Basic Recipe for Swiss Oatmeal | The Worktop (2024)


What is the difference between Bircher muesli and overnight oats? ›

While the preparation is essentially the same, Bircher muesli contains a lot more apples than oats. Overnight oats contain mostly oats with some additional ingredients. What is Bircher muesli made of? The original Bircher muesli recipe contains apples, oats, milk, chopped nuts, and some lemon juice.

What is the difference between muesli and Swiss style muesli? ›

Story has it years ago the Swiss army added milk powder to their muesli so when they were up in the Swiss Mountains they would melt snow and add it straight to their muesli. This does mean Swiss Style mueslis are quite different and much more powdery when compared with other mueslis.

How long can you keep Bircher muesli in the fridge? ›

This is where Bircher muesli comes into its own as it is prepared the night (or several nights) before. It has the bonus of being delicious and nutritious, easily transported, eaten on the go, and (if you have not added fresh fruit other than the apple) can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.

How do the Swiss eat muesli? ›

Muesli (/ˈmjuːzli/ MEWZ-lee) is a cold Swiss breakfast dish, the primary ingredient of which is rolled oats. Traditionally, it is set to soak overnight and eaten the next morning.

Which is healthier oatmeal or overnight oats? ›

The intensity of heat while cooking is the contributing factor, lower the heat better the nutrient availability. When you soak the oats overnight, it's almost like you're cooking them, but the process is much longer and slower, and it's done without heat. Hence, it is more nutrient rich than cooked version.

What is bircher muesli in english? ›

Meaning of Bircher muesli in English

a type of muesli (= a mixture of grains, dried fruit, and nuts, usually eaten with milk for breakfast) in which oats are left in milk or fruit juice for a time before being eaten: This is an easy version of the original overnight-soaked muesli: Bircher muesli.

What is the number 1 healthiest cereal? ›

This article will cover the 14 healthiest cereals you can eat.
  • Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Cereals. ...
  • Nature's Path Organics Superfood Cereals. ...
  • Barbara's Shredded Wheat Cereal. ...
  • Arrowhead Mills Spelt Flakes. ...
  • Cauliflower “oatmeal” ...
  • DIY peanut butter puffs cereal. ...
  • Love Grown Original Power O's. ...
  • DIY flax chia cereal.

How healthy is Swiss muesli? ›

Muesli is a breakfast cereal that contains oats, seeds, nuts, and dried fruits. Compared to sugary breakfast cereals, muesli is a healthier option. Muesli is full of ingredients that can aid your digestion, help you feel fuller, and protect your heart. Muesli may be a great food to add to a healthy diet.

What is healthier oatmeal or muesli? ›

Oats is rich in key nutrients, protein and fibre, but muesli has comparatively higher protein and nutrient due to presence of additional ingredients in it. But unlike oats, muesli also has added sugar which somehow eliminates all the good properties.

Is Bircher muesli good for gut health? ›

This muesli is packed with all the beneficial ingredients needed to feed the gut bacteria, making for a happy digestive system.

Why is it called Bircher muesli? ›

Bircher-Benner Muesli was named after Dr. Maximillian Bircher-Benner, a Swiss physician. He “found” it while on a hike with his wife in the southern Swiss Alps in the 1900s. They were evidently given some by a mountain guest house proprietor as a snack and he fell in love.

Is Bircher good for you? ›

A delicious, low-calorie breakfast bircher muesli recipe, that is so easy to make and leave overnight. Not only high in fibre and calcium, it's also diabetes friendly.

What's the difference between bircher muesli and muesli? ›

On It's own muesli has the same concept as it entails a mixture of oats, nuts and seeds. Muesli can also be toasted but the main difference between bircher muesli and muesli is that bircher is soaked overnight in apple juice and yoghurt or milk. Muesli is served dry and then the yoghurt and fruit is added afterwards.

What is muesli called in America? ›

Muesli and granola are considered by some people, especially Americans, to be the same thing…but they are not! Granola is made with similar ingredients as muesli, specifically oats, nuts, seeds and fruit, but granola typically has a lot more sugar and oil than muesli does.

Is muesli Swiss or German? ›

Muesli was first created at the turn of the 20th century by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner as a healthful dietary supplement for his patients where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy.

What is the difference between overnight oats and muesli? ›

Oats is rich in key nutrients, protein and fibre, but muesli has comparatively higher protein and nutrient due to presence of additional ingredients in it. But unlike oats, muesli also has added sugar which somehow eliminates all the good properties.

Are overnight oats better than muesli? ›

Both options offer unique health benefits and can be part of a balanced and joyful breakfast routine. Oats provide an excellent source of fiber and energy, while muesli adds variety with a mix of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits that offer both nutritional values.


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