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Basic overnight oats are vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and easy to make! This healthy overnight oats recipe is made with chia seeds, yogurt, and milk. It’s a convenient meal prep breakfast for busy mornings and back-to-school season. Once you learn how to make simple overnight oats, there are endless ways to customize the flavor with toppings and mix-ins!
Say hello to the greatest breakfast invention! If you’re a fan of oatmeal but you’ve never tried overnight oats before, prepare to have your life changed forever. These basic overnight oats are guaranteed to level up your mornings.
Unlike traditional warm oatmeal, these oats are soaked overnight along with other ingredients (like chia seeds, yogurt, and milk). The next morning, you’ll wake up to a sweet, thick and creamy, chilled oatmeal that tastes like pudding. It will satisfy you with a dessert-for-breakfast feeling, but provide long lasting energy to fuel your day. Don’t be fooled by the tasty flavor, this healthy breakfast is packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals!
This is the first of many overnight oatmeal recipes to come. It will act as a basic outline for how to make overnight oats. We’ll keep it simple by adding maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon (three things I use to flavor every oatmeal recipe). Then, once you learn how to make this base, there are endless ways to customize the flavor. You can add all sorts of mix-ins and toppings to enjoy it however you’d like!
These basic overnight oats are:
- Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free
- A quick, easy, and healthy breakfast recipe
- Thick, creamy, and naturally sweetened
- A make ahead breakfast for busy mornings
- Easily customizable and kid-friendly
- Great for meal prep and back-to-school season
- Like enjoying a delicious dessert for breakfast!
Ingredients in this healthy overnight oats recipe
- Oats: In particular, rolled oats are used for overnight oatmeal. You may find steel cut oats or instant oats at the grocery store, but those won’t work for this recipe. Rolled oats have gone through a steaming and flattening process, which makes them suitable for enjoying raw.
- Milk: Use any type of non-dairy milk (or regular milk) for this recipe. Since we are sweetening the oatmeal with maple syrup, I recommend selecting an unsweetened plant-based milk.
- Yogurt: This ingredient is optional. However, I prefer making overnight oats with yogurt because it produces a thicker and creamier texture. You can use any type of non-dairy yogurt (or regular yogurt).
- Maple syrup: Maple syrup is a natural sweetener, which keeps these oats refined sugar-free. Other options include honey, agave nectar, date syrup, or coconut sugar.
- Chia seeds: Chia seeds provide healthy omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Additionally, they expand while soaking, which helps create a creamy consistency.
- Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract adds a sweet flavor and aroma.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a healthy anti-inflammatory spice and add warm flavor.
- Salt: A pinch of salt enhances the taste of all other ingredients.
How to make overnight oats with chia seeds
For the full ingredient measurements and step-by-step instructions, scroll down to view the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
First, add rolled oats, milk, yogurt (optional), chia seeds, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt to a jar. Mix the ingredients together, then seal with a lid.
Next, store the oats in the refrigerator overnight or at least 4 hours.
The next morning (or whenever you are ready to eat), remove the lid and stir the oats. If desired, add a splash of milk to thin the consistency.
Enjoy the oats directly out of the jar or transfer them to a bowl. Add any toppings of your choosing, like fresh fruit, nut butter, and granola. Enjoy!
Frequently asked questions
What is the ratio of oats to liquid for overnight oats?
For a thick and creamy consistency, use a 1:1 ratio of oats to liquid. For example, ½ cup rolled oats would require ½ cup milk. Similarly, 1 cup rolled oats would require 1 cup milk. This is true whether you are using non-dairy milk or regular milk.
If you like overnight oats with a thinner consistency, you can always use extra liquid! Feel free to add a few extra splashes of milk before serving.
What oats are used for overnight oats?
There are three types of oatmeal available at grocery stores: steel cut, rolled, and quick oats (also known as instant oats). Overnight oatmeal is typically made with rolled oats. Be sure to use this kind when making the recipe.
Can I make overnight oats without yogurt?
Yes, absolutely! If you don’t enjoy the taste of overnight oats with yogurt, you can leave it out of the recipe. Keep in mind the oats will be creamier if you include the yogurt though.
Is it good to add chia seeds to oatmeal?
Yes! Chia seeds are known as the one ingredient everyone’s adding to their overnight oats. They add fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, improve digestion, and help create a creamy texture.
What can I put on top of my overnight oats?
Oh, the possibilities are limitless! I always love adding something crunchy, something fruity, a sweet topping, and a drizzle. Since overnight oats have the consistency of thick pudding, it is best to contrast it with various textures on top. Browse the options below to discover your favorite.
- Crunchy toppings:
- Nuts: almonds, pistachios, peanuts, cashews
- Coconut flakes or shredded coconut
- Seeds: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds
- Cacao nibs
- Brown rice crisps
- Buckwheat groats
- Fruity toppings:
- Berries: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries
- Kiwi fruit
- Sweet toppings:
- Chocolate chips
- Chopped medjool dates
- Raisins, dried cranberries, dried blueberries
- Chopped fruit & nut bar
- Chopped protein bar
- Drizzle toppings:
- Nut butter: almond, peanut, cashew, hazelnut
- Healthy caramel sauce
- Granola butter
- Maple syrup or honey
How to store overnight oats
Overnight oats are best enjoyed within 24 hours. However, you can keep them stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Be sure they are tightly sealed with a lid.
If you try these Basic Overnight Oats, please let me know your thoughts by leaving a rating and comment below! Ready for more? Subscribe to my newsletter or follow along on Instagram and YouTube!Print
Basic Overnight Oats
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 serving 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Mix
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
This basic overnight oats recipe is healthy, vegan, dairy-free, and easy to make! These overnight oats in a jar are made with chia seeds, yogurt, and milk. It’s a quick make ahead breakfast for busy mornings, meal prep, and back to school season. They are kid-friendly and customizable with endless flavors and toppings! #overnightoats #overnightoatmeal #oatmeal #oatmealrecipes #healthybreakfast #veganbreakfast #chiaseeds #mealprep #makeahead
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup non-dairy milk or regular milk
- ¼ cup non-dairy yogurt or regular yogurt (optional)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (or honey, agave, etc)
- ½ tbsp chia seeds
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp salt
- Fresh fruit
- Nut butter
- Add rolled oats, milk, yogurt (optional), maple syrup, chia seeds, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt to a jar. Mix ingredients together, then seal with a lid.
- Store oats in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 4 hours).
- The next morning (or whenever you are ready to eat), remove the lid and stir the oats. If desired, add a splash of milk to thin the consistency.
- Enjoy the oats directly out of the jar or transfer them to a bowl. Add any toppings of your choosing, like fresh fruit, nut butter, and granola. Enjoy!
- How to store: Overnight oats are best enjoyed within 24 hours. However, you can keep them stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Be sure they are tightly sealed with a lid.
- Toppings: Serve with any of your favorite toppings. Read the blog post for the best topping recommendations.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 274
- Sugar: 13g
- Fat: 7.5g
- Carbohydrates: 45g
- Fiber: 6.5g
- Protein: 6.5g
Keywords: basic overnight oats, vegan overnight oats, overnight oats with chia seeds
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I have tried several recipes for overnight oats, but this is now the only recipe I will use! I’ve upped my game adding ground flax and chia seeds, so good! I often add dried wild blueberries when I’m making mine, they will soften & rehydrate overnight.
Just want to clarify the serving size; does the basic recipe use a 500ml, (2 c) and/or pint jar?
I am so happy to hear that, Tammy! Thank you! Yes, I recommend using a 16 ounce (2 cups) mason jar. It helps to have some extra room for stirring + adding mix-ins or toppings. Enjoy! 🙂