Start your morning off right with these creamy and delicious overnight oats! Chia seeds, oats and protein powder (optional) all come together to give you a great protein hit. Made with simple pantry ingredients and customised to add your favourite fillings, they make a healthy and nutritious make-ahead breakfast!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- No cooking involved, minimal clean up and only 5 minutes of prep time.
- Everything is made the night before, perfect for busy mornings!
- Overnight oats make a portable, protein packed breakfast, lunchbox treat or after workout snack.
- Dietary restriction friendly – this recipe is affordable and allows for limitless combinations to suit every palate and dietary lifestyle. It can be made vegan and is nut-free, egg-free and contains no refined sugars.
- Kid-friendly – perfect for a healthy and filling kids or toddler breakfast on the go!
- No fancy ingredients! Just common pantry staples like oats, apples, maple syrup and your favourite fillings.
- High in fibre and protein.
- Adaptable – Use this recipe as a base to add your own twist. Add your favourite fillings and flavours (see below for some ideas!).
The beauty about these clever oats is that all of the ingredients are stirred together in the jar or bowl they are eaten from and come together overnight. No cooking, no mess, no clean-up!
They take less than five minutes to make and all of the hard work happens in the fridge overnight.
What you’ll need
- Oats contain protein, iron, phosphorus, thiamine and selenium. And they are also a good source of magnesium. After being placed in milk overnight, the oats soak up the liquid and soften, becoming more digestible.
**For the best results, use rolled or steel cut oats, rather than instant or “quick” oats. Not sure which to choose? If you prefer a smoother oat with a milder flavour, choose rolled oats. They will soak up the liquid and make a smoother texture. If you like a chewier, more textural consistency, choose steel cut.
- Plant based milk is used to soak the oats overnight. You can use rice milk, soy milk or any other preferred milk of choice. Dairy milk can be used, although of course then the recipe won’t be vegan friendly.
You can also use almond milk, hemp or soy milk, or try overnight oats with coconut milk and peaches or passion fruit for a tropical twist!
- Apple. I use one whole grated apple and leave the peel on for extra fibre. A little apple juice (¼ cup) can also be added for flavour and to keep a thinner consistency.
- Greek yoghurt; for an extra protein hit, serve the oats with some unsweetened Greek yoghurt to the oats when serving. To keep this recipe vegan friendly, use coconut yoghurt instead!
- Protein powder; I like to add 1-2 tablespoons of my favourite plant based protein powder for a little extra protein boost. However, you can leave this out if you prefer. Try using ¼ cup Greek or natural yoghurt in its place to keep the protein count up!
Step by step photos
This recipe makes enough for 2 serves. The oats can be made in two ways;
- Mixed into a single bowl and then added to individual containers when ready to serve, or;
- If you prefer, directly added to a large mason jar (2 cup/500ml capacity) or 2 smaller jars for minimal clean-up and the ability to grab-and-go on the run!
Step 1. First, the oats, chia seeds and protein powder are added to the jar. Stir through the maple syrup, vanilla and your preferred milk of choice.
Then, add the remaining ingredients (including your favourite fillings) and stir. Cover the jar or bowl and leave the oats overnight, or for at least 3 hours for the oats to soften and soak in the liquid.
Top with some yoghurt, berries, coconut or nuts (or a combination of your favourites!) and serve hot or cold, depending on your preference.
- The consistency of oatmeal is a personal preference. Not adding enough liquid to your oats will result in a thick, pasty texture. Too much liquid and they will be runny! To change the texture and consistency of the oats, you can adjust the ingredient quantities. Add more milk or a little apple juice for wetter oats, or more chia seeds and extra oats for thicker oats. You’re likely to find the right balance after your first attempt!
- Keep this recipe as a base and then add your favourite fillings and toppings to suit (see the list below for some ideas).
- The apple and berries add sweetness to the oats, so you can skip the maple syrup if you prefer to reduce the sugar content.
- Overnight oats are best eaten within 24 hours of preparing them. But this can be stretched to 2-3 days if you leave the toppings out and add them when you are ready to eat.
Topping and flavour suggestions
Using this recipe as a base, the flavour possibilities are endless! Try some of the following combinations;
- Top with some baked or stewed apples with extra cinnamon (my favourite!)
- For blueberry overnight oats, add some blueberry compote, extra blueberries and Greek yoghurt
- Chopped banana, medjool dates and walnuts
- Swap the grated apple for a little extra milk and add some cacao powder or Nutella and banana.
- Add some acai powder or matcha powder for added antioxidants or a scoop of your favourite protein powder (a little extra milk will be required) for extra protein.
These oats can be prepared 2-3 days in advance and stored in a mason jar or airtight container in the fridge. You can even freeze them in individual portions to add to lunchboxes.
Overnight oats are usually eaten cold like bircher muesli, but can also be eaten hot if you prefer. To heat, add a single serve to the microwave for 30-45 seconds, or until warmed through.
Pure oats are gluten free and safe for people with a gluten intolerance. However, some oats can be processed in facilities that also process ingredients like wheat, rye and other grains that contain gluten. If you require the oats to be gluten free, then it is safest to source gluten-free certified oats.
Fold in some Greek yoghurt when serving (non-vegan option), add some chia or flax seeds or stir through your favourite plant-based protein powder for some extra protein overnight oats. You can also add a tablespoon of nut butter for an extra protein boost.
I love to use vanilla protein powder for these oats. But you can choose your favourite flavour and customise it to suit. I prefer to use a plant based, vegan protein powder, but whey protein powder does dissolve into the oats better.
Comparing soy milk to nut milks, hemp or oat milk, soy milk has the highest amount of protein per serving. Soy milk manufacturers will often add calcium and vitamin D to increase the nutritional value.
For healthy and protein packed breakfasts on the go, you’ll also love these recipes!
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating or leave a review below and let me know how you went!
Hungry for more? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest recipes and news.
Berry and Apple Overnight Oats with Protein Powder
- ⅔ cup rolled oats
- 3 tbsp chia seeds
- ⅔ cup rice milk or almond milk, or other milk of choice
- 1 tsp vanilla vanilla bean paste or essence
- 3-4 tbsp maple syrup
- ¼ cup raspberries or other preferred berries
- 1 apple grated, peel on. Use the extra juice from the grated apple or also add ¼ cup apple juice
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp currants
- 1-2 tbsp vanilla protein powder optional. You may need an extra ¼ cup milk or some apple juice if using protein powder.
- Greek yoghurt or coconut yoghurt
- Extra berries, or baked apples see below for more ideas!
- Add the oats, protein powder and chia seeds to a mason jar (at least a 2 cup capacity) or a medium sized bowl. Add the milk, vanilla, and maple syrup and stir.
- Add the remaining ingredients (add an extra ¼ cup of milk or even apple juice if adding protein powder).
- Stir the contents until they are combined. Place the lid on the jar (or cover the bowl) and leave in the fridge overnight, or for at least 3 hours.
- The oats and chia will thicken and soak in the liquid to set. Top with Greek yoghurt (or coconut yoghurt for a vegan option) and extra berries or your favourite toppings. Serve either hot or cold.
- I use one whole grated apple and leave the peel on for extra fiber. Keep the excess juice from the apple after grating and add this to the oats too. A little apple juice (¼ cup) can also be added for flavour.
- To add extra protein, add your favourite protein powder, or add some Greek yoghurt, chia or flax seeds or a tablespoon of your favourite nut butter.
- Choose your oats based on the consistency you’d like. If you prefer a smoother oat with a milder flavour, choose rolled oats. They will soak up the liquid and make a smoother texture. If you like a chewier, more textural consistency, choose steel cut.
- Liquid is used to soak the oats overnight. You can use rice milk, soy milk or any other preferred milk of choice. Dairy milk can be used, although of course then the recipe won’t be vegan friendly. You can also use almond milk, hemp or soy milk, or coconut milk.
- For wetter oats, add a little more juice or milk. For thicker oats, add more oats of chia seeds. After experimenting with the quantities, you will be able to make your desired consistency every time!
- Store overnight oats in the fridge for 2-3 days, or freeze them in individual serves for up to 3 months. To thaw, leave overnight in the fridge, or at room temperature for an hour.
Update Notes: This recipe was originally published in 2019, but was re-published with new information and photos in February 2021.