Overnight oats are typically made with chia seeds because they help provide a thick texture by soaking up the plant-based milk. But they are completely optional and can just as easily be made with flaxseed or a chia seed alternative. These Overnight Oats without Chia Seeds are made with minimal ingredients and are just as delicious!
Whether you dislike chia seeds or simply ran out, this recipe is for you. It's equally as flavorful, creamy, and filling!
Stir in some peanut butter and banana one day and fresh berries the next. The options for topping and flavors are endless!
What are Overnight Oats?
Overnight oats are the no-cook method of making oatmeal. Instead of cooking oatmeal on the stovetop or microwave, soak the oats with milk overnight in order to create a soft and creamy breakfast or snack.
Chia Seed Alternatives
When chia seeds are combined with liquid, they form a gel-like consistency.
When added to overnight oats they add texture, a boost of nutrients, and help soak up that liquid. But it isn't a mandatory ingredient.
In this recipe, I replaced the chia seeds with flaxseed. But if you aren't a fan of chia or flaxseed, check out my post on chia seed substitutes and pick the one that's best for you!
Overnight oats are a wonderful make-ahead breakfast for busy mornings. Grab a few simple ingredients and your favorite toppings and you can have a healthy breakfast ready in no time!
Old-Fashioned Oats: I highly recommend using Old-Fashioned Oats also known as Rolled Oats instead of quick oats. Quick oats will be thinner and have a mushy consistency.
Plant-Based Milk: Almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, coconut milk, or your favorite plant-based milk will work in this recipe. Use whichever you enjoy most!
Plant-Based Yogurt: I love the brand Kite Hill. I recommend an unsweetened one.
Ground Flaxseed: Ground flax is added instead of chia seeds. Other alternatives can be found in my post about Chia Seed Substitutes.
Maple Syrup: Just a touch for added sweetness. I typically add 1 tablespoon of sweetener but you can add more or less if desired.
Vanilla Extract: Cinnamon would also be nice!
You don't need anything fancy to make this basic overnight oats recipe. You can simply whisk the ingredients up in a bowl and cover them with plastic wrap.
But I recommend buying a few jars with lids so you can prep your overnight oats in advance to have them on hand for a few days.
I recommend either 8-ounce jars or 16-ounce jars.
Here are a few small jars that I recommend: 16oz Weck Jars with Glass Lids, 8oz Jars with Latch, and 16oz Mason Jars.
How to Make This Recipe
This easy overnight oats recipe is simple, filling, and completely customizable. It was created to be used as a base so you can customize a different experience each morning!
The full recipe is detailed in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Add the old-fashioned oats, plant-based milk, plant-based yogurt, ground flaxseed, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt into a jar or container that has a lid.
Step 2: Stir well to combine and seal the lid tight. Place in the fridge overnight.
Step 3: Your oats should be creamy the next morning! Serve your vegan overnight oats with your favorite toppings and enjoy.
Topping & Additions
This easy breakfast is a great way to try different flavor variations daily!
Fresh Fruit: Mango, bananas, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries are all delicious on top of these overnight oats.
Jam: Store-bought or homemade. My favorite is my homemade strawberry jam.
Chocolate: Mix in cocoa powder or chocolate chips for chocolate overnight oats.
Nut butter: Drizzle your favorite nut butter over the top. Creamy peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower butter is best!
Granola or Nuts: Add a crunchy topping like your favorite vegan granola or chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts.
Protein Powder: Add a scoop of vegan protein powder for a protein-packed breakfast.
Overnight oatmeal is made up of healthy ingredients and offers many health benefits while keeping you full longer.
But it is completely customizable to what you have on hand! Here are some alternatives.
Flaxseed: If you don't like flaxseeds or chia seeds, you can replace them with nut butter, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or mashed fruit.
Maple Syrup: Agave syrup or brown sugar is an excellent replacement for maple syrup.
Vegan Yogurt: I love the addition of vegan yogurt because it adds creaminess and a boost of plant-based protein. You can use mashed bananas, pumpkin purée, or apple sauce to replace it but it will change the overall flavor of the oats.
Tips & Tricks
Use the appropriate jar: An 8oz jar will be filled to the top with oats and the toppings will overflow a bit so the jar won't close whereas a 16oz jar will allow room for toppings and the lid to close. The 16oz jar is preferred if you're taking the oats on the go.
Wait to add toppings: This is important! Take the extra few seconds in the morning to add the toppings fresh. You won't regret it.
Salt your oats! I know this sounds weird but trust me. It will help balance and bring out the flavors and won't make your oatmeal salty.
Store your overnight oats in an airtight jar or airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Overnight oats are meant to be eaten cold and straight from the fridge unlike traditional warm oatmeal but they can be heated in the microwave until warmed through.
Overnight oats made with quick oats tend to fall apart and get mushy much faster. If you use quick oats, I'd recommend eating them the first day whereas old fashioned oats can last up to 5 days.
Steel-cut oats will work but keep in mind that they will need to be soaked longer and will remain dense and chewy.
Yes, you can absolutely make overnight oats without milk. Check out my post on Overnight Oats with Water!
More Overnight Oat Recipes
Overnight Oats without Chia Seeds
- ½ cup Old-Fashioned Oats
- ½ cup Plant-Based Milk unsweetened
- ¼ cup Plant-Based Yogurt unsweetened
- 1 tablespoon Ground Flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup more to preference
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Pinch of Salt
- Add the old-fashioned oats, plant-based milk, plant-based yogurt, ground flaxseed, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt into a jar or container that has a lid.
- Stir well to combine and seal the lid tight. Place in the fridge overnight or for at least 2 hours. Overnight is best.
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