How to Make Bircher Muesli

A bowl of bircher muesli with spoon and napkin

How to Make Bircher Muesli ~ this healthy oat cereal is a traditional Swiss recipe, and I’ve been loving on it for years. It’s gluten free, full of fiber, and crazy delicious! Eating it most mornings helps keep my cholesterol in check, too…not bad for a yummy breakfast cereal.

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Muesli is the healthy breakfast cereal invented by a doctor!

Have you ever eaten muesli? It’s a breakfast cereal originally invented in Switzerland by a Doctor Bircher-Benner around the turn of the century as a nutritious food for patients in his Swiss clinic. I know that sounds kind of sketchy, but don’t let it scare you away. This is really a lovely breakfast based on oats, fruits and nuts. It made a brief comeback in the 60s and 70s when the health food movement emerged, and it’s having a second ‘moment’ now. You can find packaged European muesli in the supermarkets. It’s a fresh alternative to oatmeal, and even easier to make. I’ve been eating it on and off since high school.

Bircher Muesli oat cereal in a bowl with spoon

How to make muesli cereal

If you want to make one serving of muesli to see what’s it’s all about:

  • Take a half cup of old fashioned rolled oats
  • combine it with the same amount of milk. The milk can be dairy or non-dairy.
  • Let the oats sit in the fridge for an hour or so, or overnight. This step is traditional, but you actually don’t have to let the oats sit at all if you don’t want to.
  • In the morning, top your thickened oat cereal with apples, nuts, and dried fruit. Add more milk if you like. 
  • Indulge.

Muesli is fun to make because you can add a little of this and a little of that. Apples, lemon juice and hazelnuts are traditional, but it’s great with summer berries, too. In the fall you can use dried fruit.

pouring almond milk into a bowl of bircher muesli

Other topping ideas for muesli

Rules were meant to be broken, so while tradition dictates apples raisins and nuts, don’t let that cramp your style…

  • bananas
  • citrus fruit
  • stone fruit in season
  • berries
  • wheat germ
  • flax seed
  • chia seed
  • sunflower seeds
  • coconut
  • yogurt
  • fruit juice

Rolled oats ready to be made into bircher muesli cereal

Bircher Muesli is healthier than granola because it doesn’t have all that oil, and it doesn’t feel as heavy as oatmeal. While you can buy ready made muesli cereal in boxes, it’s not going to be nearly as lovely as your own homemade, and since it’s practically an instant recipe, there’s no reason not to try it. I think you’ll like it if you do 🙂

Making Bircher Muesli cereal with rolled oats

Muesli is one of those foods that just feels right, like we were meant to eat this way. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Also try ~

A bowl of bircher muesli with spoon and napkin
5 from 4 votes


How to Make Bircher Muesli ~ this healthy oat cereal is a traditional Swiss recipe, and I've been loving on it for years.  It's gluten free, full of fiber, and crazy delicious!  Eating it most mornings helps keep my cholesterol in check, too...not bad for a yummy breakfast cereal.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Swiss
Prep Time 5 minutes
soaking time 1 hour
Author Sue Moran


  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats don't use steel cut or quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 peeled apple. grated or chopped squeeze a little lemon juice on the apple to keep it from browning
  • 1 tbsp of sliced almonds
  • 1 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • 1 tbsp dried strawberries my newest obsession
  • a drizzle of honey


  • Combine the milk with the oats and let them soak in the refrigerator for an hour.
  • Mix in your fruit and nuts, drizzle on some honey and enjoy.

Cook's notes

Make it your own ~

  • Make it non dairy ~ traditionally made with dairy milk, muesli is just as wonderful made with coconut milk, or any type of nut milk.  I used my own Homemade Almond Milk.
  • Make it with other grains ~ you can actually make muesli with any rolled grain such as wheat, rye, or barley, check your local health food store.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

VINTAGE VIEW ~ this muesli recipe is from TVFGI archives, first published in 2011. As part of a series on the blog I’m reviving some of the best recipes that you may have missed over the years ~ I’ve updated my notes, taken new photos, and enjoyed making this wonderful breakfast cereal again. It’s even better than I remember it!

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  • Reply
    Ulises Martell
    January 17, 2020 at 7:22 am

    I have been eating this great conbination for quite some time for breakfast and as you say, “there’s no reason not to do it yourself!” I use Bob’s Red Mill organic steel cut oats and milk, put them in a Mason Jar and put it in the fridge overnight to soften, and in the morning I added greek yogurt, chía seeds, wheat germ, amaranth, sliced almonds, banana, and honey …. It’s perfect to start your day. Happy New Year Sue, you are the best!!

  • Reply
    Debby Nelson
    January 16, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    I have a question..have you ever made a large batch of muesli and then add the milk for overnight soak or used it dry on yogurt..I realize you would also have to add the shredded apple separate.
    Thanks, Debby

    • Reply
      January 16, 2020 at 5:32 pm

      Yes, you can definitely do that, just keep it in an airtight container.

  • Reply
    Amanda Marie
    January 16, 2020 at 9:39 am

    5 stars
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane! My mother thought this was so innovative … we’d never really heard of healthy eating – just dieting. I was raised in the 50s and 60s in Nairobi, Kenya, so anything from abroad was instantly popular.

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