You might think you’ve had muesli, but I’m here to introduce you to Swiss-Style Bircher Muesli, one I tasted on my travels this March to Switzerland. It’s my new go-to breakfast and the perfect way to fuel the start of a busy day! 

Swiss Style Bircher Muesli recipe

Let’s start this post by being completely honest – never in my 32 years on Earth have I consumed more oatmeal than after discovering this recipe. I was one that actually did not enjoy oatmeal at all, for some reason or another. But when we traveled to Zurich this past March and stayed at the Glockenhof Zurich, I discovered a newfound love for this gorgeous yet simple cereal grain.

Developed around 1900 by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital in Zurich, where he believed that a healthy diet would be the cure to all ailments.

The original Bircher-Benner recipe consists of the following ingredients:

  • Apples, “two or three small apples or one large one.” The whole apple was to be used, including skin and core.
  • Nuts, either walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts, one tablespoon.
  • Rolled oats, one tablespoon, “previously soaked in 3 tablespoons water for 12 hours.”
  • Lemon juice from half a lemon.
  • Either cream and honey, 1 tablespoon.

Swiss Style Bircher Muesli recipe

During our visit to ZurichBirchermüesli was part of our mornings every day. The hotel served it up by also adding blackberries into the overnight oat mixture, making it a gorgeous deep pink color but for this recipe I have decided to top with the fresh berries instead, along with walnuts, extra cream and maple syrup.

This is unlike any other overnight oats you’ve ever tasted, as the grated green apples and the hint of lemon really brighten the recipe up. You can adapt this recipe to be dairy-free and vegan by simply substituting the milk and yogurt with coconut-based milk and yogurt, easily found at your local grocery stores.

Stay tuned for my full travel guide to Zurich, where we discovered some of the best vegetarian foods, ate our way through their historical restaurants, and enjoyed the pristine sights and sounds of this gorgeous European city. In the meantime, make this for breakfast – heck, double this recipe and ate from it all week long, it’s what I do when I know I have a busy week ahead of me!

Swiss Style Bircher Muesli recipe

Photography by Stacey Rupolo / Recipe by Cooking with Books 

Swiss-Style Bircher Muesli

This is my go to breakfast - prep on Sunday and have a delicious way to start the day all week long if you double the recipe!
Print Recipe
Swiss Style Bircher Muesli recipe
Prep Time:10 minutes
Total Time:10 minutes


  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 green apple grated
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • to serve: fresh berries maple syrup, extra milk


  • In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together,, and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Once the oats have fully hydrated after 12-24 hours, serve in bowl with more berries, maple syrup, and a touch of milk or cream.
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Marnely Murray

Swiss Style Bircher Muesli recipe

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