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Try stirring together a batch of this no-bake 5-Minute Swiss Muesli Recipe for an easy and healthy breakfast or snack that’s ready when you need it! The muesli is full of fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, and other filling ingredients that will keep you and your family going without weighing you down.

Pouring milk over bowl of Swiss muesli

After eating my way through a few bags of store-bought Muesli, I was suddenly dismayed when, on one of my shopping trips, my grocery store was sold out of the stuff! I stood there for a moment looking at the empty spot on the shelf, and then a light bulb went off. Instead of buying a (not-so-cheap) bag of the stuff, why couldn’t I just make my own? I purchased all of the ingredients that go into my favorite muesli and stirred it together at home for a much more affordable version!

What is Muesli?

Muesli is a breakfast or brunch dish that’s popular in Switzerland and Germany, consisting of raw rolled oats and other ingredients like fresh or dried fruits, seeds and nuts. It’s often mixed with milk, soy milk, almond milk, yogurt, or even fruit juice for a light and satisfying way to start the day.

Bircher Muesli

Bircher muesli is basically the original “overnight oats.” Invented by a Swiss physician around 1900, the dish was initially developed for hospital patients. It’s now widely enjoyed in Switzerland (and elsewhere) for breakfast, and as a supper called Birchermüesli complet: muesli with Café complet (milk coffee, accompanied with bread, butter, and jam (Butterbrot)).

Bircher muesli is made by taking a dry muesli recipe (such as the one shown here) and soaking it in cream, milk, lemon juice, or other fruit juice. Once the ingredients soften and come together in the liquid, the Bircher muesli (or “Swiss oatmeal”) is ready to enjoy!

Muesli vs. Granola

While muesli and granola both contain grains, nuts, seeds and dried fruit, the main difference is that muesli is raw, while granola is baked with a sweetener and an oil. Since muesli does not include the extra sugar and fat that’s required for a batch of granola, it’s a healthier way to incorporate these nutritious ingredients into your diet. Muesli is also easier and faster to prepare, because there’s no baking necessary!

Muesli in a glass with milk and spoons in background

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a batch of our favorite muesli cereal. As always, specific measurements and complete cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Oats: a great source of whole grains. Look for rolled oats (also called “old fashioned oats”).
  • Wheat germ: a great source of vegetable proteins, along with fiber and healthy fats.
  • Raw sliced almonds: for a nice, nutty crunch, as well as healthy fats, fiber, protein, magnesium and vitamin E.
  • Raw sunflower seeds or roasted, salted pumpkin seeds: adds a good crunch and nutritional benefits like zinc and selenium, which are great for supporting the immune system.
  • Dried cranberries or raisins: for sweet flavor and soft, chewy texture.
  • Chopped dates: or substitute with other dried fruit like cherries or apricots.

Ingredients for easy homemade Swiss muesli recipe

How to Make Muesli

As mentioned above, this is hardly a recipe at all! There’s no baking required, so you’re really just stirring together a handful of delicious ingredients.

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Package in airtight containers or serve immediately!

Muesli ingredients in a glass mixing bowl

Storage

Store the muesli cereal in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month, or in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Muesli in a glass storage jar

How to Eat Muesli

This Swiss muesli recipe is so versatile! My favorite way to enjoy it is just like a regular bowl of cereal with milk. The oats get a bit soft and chewy, while I still get the crunch of the nuts and the sweetness from the fruit. It’s a great vegan or vegetarian meal when paired with a non-dairy milk.

Make Bircher Muesli Overnight

Many folks like to prepare a muesli recipe overnight by combining the muesli with yogurt or milk, covering, and refrigerating until the morning. Soaking the oats and other ingredients allows them to soften, plump up, and absorb the liquid. You can eat the overnight muesli cold, straight from the refrigerator, or you can warm it in a bowl in the microwave. This soaked version of muesli is called Bircher Muesli.

No matter how you choose to enjoy it, muesli is a nourishing bowl of goodness and a healthy breakfast to start your day! The oats and the wheat germ, combined with the nuts, seeds, and fruit, provide dietary fiber, which helps in fighting bad cholesterol and digestion problems, as well as vitamins, protein, omega 3 fatty acids, and minerals!

Muesli with milk in a glass with a spoon

How do you roast oats for muesli?

As noted above, a traditional muesli is raw — so the oats and other ingredients are not toasted or roasted at all. That said, when you’re preparing your own muesli recipe at home, you can feel free to roast the oats if that’s your preference!

To roast oats for muesli, spread the raw oats on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the oats to cool before combining with the rest of the ingredients.

Recipe Variations

  • Add warm spices to your muesli, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves or allspice. You can take a shortcut and use a seasoning blend like pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice, too.
  • For a gluten-free recipe, check to make sure that you’re using certified gluten-free oats.
  • You can use any type of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit that you love. Try swapping out the almonds for pecans, cashews, pistachios, or walnuts; use raisins, golden raisins, or dried currants, instead of cranberries; try chopped dried apricot instead of dates; or use sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds instead of the sunflower seeds.
  • Coconut flakes are a delicious addition to the basic muesli recipe!
  • Add fresh fruit like blueberries, fresh currants, sliced strawberries, or diced apple to your Bircher muesli just before serving.
  • When I have leftover cranberry sauce in my refrigerator, I love to combine yogurt, muesli and the cranberry sauce together for a true treat!

Tips for the Best Muesli Recipe

  • Use whole grain rolled oats (also called “old fashioned oats”) instead of steel-cut oats or quick-cooking oats. The quick oats have a tendency to turn to mush when soaked, while the steel-cut oats will be too hard and crunchy to eat raw.
  • I love a touch of salty crunch in my muesli recipe, so I use roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) instead of raw sunflower seeds. They add the perfect contrast to the sweet, chewy fruit!
  • Prepare a muesli recipe overnight (also called Bircher muesli) by stirring together muesli and milk or yogurt in the evening. Keep the bowl covered and refrigerated while you sleep, and then wake up to a ready-made breakfast! You can warm the muesli in the microwave or enjoy it straight from the fridge.
  • For a touch of sweetness, drizzle a bowl of muesli with maple syrup or honey just before serving.
  • This muesli is also a great warm breakfast when it’s cold outside. Just cook it with milk exactly like you would a regular bowl of oatmeal. This version is simply more interesting than the plain stuff!

Front view of muesli in a glass with milk and a spoon

More Recipes with Oats

5-Minute Swiss Muesli Recipe

5 from 5 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings 18 servings
Calories 95 kcal
Try stirring together a batch of this no-bake 5-Minute Swiss Muesli Recipe for an easy and healthy breakfast or snack that's ready when you need it!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Old-Fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup wheat germ
  • ½ cup raw sliced almonds
  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds or roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • ½ cup chopped dates

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

This recipe yields a total of 4 ½ cups of muesli. Nutrition facts are for a serving size of ¼ cup.
  • Use whole grain rolled oats (also called "old fashioned oats") instead of steel-cut oats or quick-cooking oats. The quick oats have a tendency to turn to mush when soaked, while the steel-cut oats will be too hard and crunchy to eat raw.
  • I love a touch of salty crunch in my muesli recipe, so I use roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas) instead of raw sunflower seeds. They add the perfect contrast to the sweet, chewy fruit!
  • Prepare a muesli recipe overnight (also called Bircher muesli) by stirring together muesli and milk or yogurt in the evening. Keep the bowl covered and refrigerated while you sleep, and then wake up to a ready-made breakfast! You can warm the muesli in the microwave or enjoy it straight from the fridge.
  • For a touch of sweetness, drizzle a bowl of muesli with maple syrup or honey just before serving.
  • This muesli is also a great warm breakfast when it's cold outside. Just cook it with milk exactly like you would a regular bowl of oatmeal. This version is simply more interesting than the plain stuff!

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 cupCalories: 95kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 125mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: muesli recipe, swiss muesli
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: European
Author: Blair Lonergan

This post was originally published in July, 2014. It was updated in January, 2019.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. This sounds fantastic and I have everything already on hand. I’m going to try to squeeze in some time to whip a batch up this afternoon. Thanks for sharing!

    1. That’s great, Karen! I think that we have very similar kitchens (and tastes), since you already have the ingredients on hand!

  2. 5 stars
    Blair, I cannot believe how delicious this is. We are making a determined effort to eat healthier in the new year, so when I saw this post I wanted to try it. Although honestly I had to admit I had serious doubts that any of us would like it. So I got all the ingredients on my grocery shopping trip, and made a batch. I just had to try it right then, so I made myself a very small bowl with a little milk like cereal. I was so very pleasantly surprised!! It’s delicious! And no additional sugar is needed. And very economical. The ingredients will make many batches. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes, Blair, and now we are muesli eaters! ????

    1. Oh, yay! Isn’t it great, Jean?! I love muesli too, and I think it’s totally underrated! 🙂 So glad that you enjoyed it!

    1. Hi! I’ve never thought about it, but yes — I would imagine that you could. You can freeze granola, so this should be very similar. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    This is a wonderful muesli recipe, thanks for posting! I wonder which wheat product you generally use in your recipe – bran, as listed in the recipe itself, or wheat germ, as you mentioned at the beginning of the article? Maybe you use both?

    1. Hi, Mag! Thanks for catching that typo! I’ve used both, but prefer wheat germ if I have it in my pantry. I’ll update the recipe to reflect that. 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    I mixed up a batch of the recipe as stated. I mixed some yogurt with the muesli and left it over night. In the morning I added some almond milk and placed it 8n the microwave for about a minute. Then added some fresh strawberries and blueberries. It was amazing. Loved it. Thank you for great recipe.

  5. Best thing about muesli is that breakfast is ready when you get up.
    I’ve been making it for a long time; somewhere I have the Bircher-Benner Swiss sanatorium health plan. I wouldn’t want to follow it now, but the muesli has always been good.

  6. 5 stars
    Great suggestions in here, by the way. I’m adding coconut and cranberries, using yogurt and milk for soaking, sometimes goat kefir as well.
    I also add barley flakes now. Same as rolled oats but it’s rolled barley, should be available in health food stores. Barley is one of the healthiest grains you can eat, practically a cure for diabetes; it has the lowest GI of all the grains. Google nutrition in barley, and rye, another very healthy grain that you can put through the flaker.

    And for your own very fresh rolled oats/barley/rye, you can get a German-made flour mill, made of wood, and one version will also flake grain for you so you can get really fresh rolled oats/barley/rye.
    All you have to do, after finding the grain mill, is to get a supply of oat grains, barley grains, (preferably not hulled), and wheat or rye berries. The grain mill also, of course, grinds those grains into flour, and apparently it makes amazing bread. I’ve been waiting ages for my own grain mill; stuff takes forever to get anywhere now.
    I used to make granola (Deaf Smith Country Cookbook) out of flakes of wheat, rye, and oats – great granola, but muesli is easier.