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Overnight food refers to the foods that are half prepared or cooked in the previous night. There are certain dishes that call for overnight marinade, fermentation or chilling. The overnight marinade is a prolonged process, which is done in order to ensure that all the juices and flavors of the ingredients are infused deep-inside the foodstuff. Generally, meats are soaked in the marinade to prepare some delectable overnight recipes. Overnight food comprises of the dishes containing pork, beef, mutton and chicken. Extended hour marinade makes the meat tender and allows it to cook relatively in less time. Overnight fermentation is done usually for the baked dishes. Salads, smoothies and even puddings also come under the category of overnight food that is kept for chilling overnight.

Basically, Overnight food includes the dishes that can be prepared in the previous evening or night and finally cooked on the other day. People, who are short of time, generally use overnight recipes. Some of such recipes are Upside down French toast; salsa marinated chicken and German apple cake.

History of Overnight Recipes

There is no particular detail about the history of overnight foods, but this may be true that these overnight recipes must be introduced when people felt the need of cooking in short period of time. Though overnight food seems lengthy to prepare but in reality it’s quite easy to do half of the preparations in the previous night.

Popular Overnight Recipes from Different Cuisines

  • Indian – Idli, dosa (require overnight fermentation) and tandoori chicken (overnight marinade).
  • American – Overnight food in American cuisine comprises of the dishes, such as, Egg soufflé, coffee cake and coleslaw mustard seed salad.
  • Chinese – Rice pudding, Buddha jumps over the wall and radish pickle are the few recipes in Chinese cuisine that can be prepared in previous night.
  • African – Moroccan lamb casserole, Macau style African chicken and black eyes pea salad require overnight marinade.
  • European – French toast, bacon sausages and cinnamon rolls.


Overnight oats doesn’t require any cooking. Dried oats are soaked in liquids and kept in refrigerator for overnight. All the liquids absorbed by the oats and an overnight dish is ready to eat in the morning.