This recipe for Overnight Oats requires minimal ingredients and is equally delicious and creamy despite being made without yogurt! Overnight oats are commonly prepared using yogurt or vegan yogurt to create an extra creamy texture. However, yogurt is not mandatory and you can achieve the same results by using nut or seed butter as an alternative.
Whether you dislike yogurt or simply ran out, this recipe is for you. It's equally as flavorful, creamy, and filling!
This recipe is dairy-free, and vegan, and can easily be made gluten-free as well by using certified gluten-free oats.
What are Overnight Oats?
Overnight oats are a convenient no-cook alternative to traditional oatmeal.
Rather than cooking oats on the stovetop or using a microwave, this method involves soaking the oats in milk overnight. This process results in a soft and creamy breakfast or snack option.
I recently wrote an article about yogurt substitutes for smoothies but a lot of the alternatives mentioned can be applied to overnight oats as well.
In my recipe below, I opted for nut butter as a substitute for yogurt.
If you don't want to use a nut or seed butter, try the following:
Mashed Banana: Replace ¼ cup of plant-based milk with ¼ cup of mashed banana.
Puréed Pumpkin: Replace ¼ cup of plant-based milk with ¼ cup of puréed pumpkin. Keep in mind this will alter the flavor.
Applesauce: Replace ¼ cup of plant-based milk with ¼ cup of applesauce.
Canned Coconut Milk: Replace ¼ cup of plant-based milk with canned coconut milk to add a creamier texture.
Flaxseeds: Replace the seed or nut butter with 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds.
Vegan overnight oats are a fantastic make-ahead breakfast option for busy mornings. This recipe is prepared by combining simple ingredients to create a healthy and customizable breakfast option!
Old-Fashioned Oats: This recipe uses 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 whichever plant-based milk you enjoy most will work.
Chia Seeds: Adding chia seeds helps with thickness and creaminess which is extra important when omitting yogurt. If you don't enjoy chia seeds, try this recipe for Overnight Oats without Chia Seeds instead.
Maple Syrup: Just a touch for added sweetness. I will usually add 1 tablespoon of sweetener but you can add more or less if desired.
Add-ins: Always add a pinch of salt to balance flavors- cinnamon and vanilla extract are great additions too!
To prepare this simple overnight oats recipe, you won't need any elaborate equipment. Just whisk the ingredients together in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
However, I suggest investing in a few jars with lids to conveniently prepare overnight oats ahead of time, ensuring you have them readily available for a few days and can take them on the go with ease.
I recommend using either 8-ounce jars or 16-ounce jars.
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.
How to Make This Recipe
The full recipe is detailed in the recipe card below.
Add the old-fashioned oats, plant-based milk, chia seeds, nut butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt to a jar or container with a lid and stir until well combined.
Seal the lid on the jar or container and place it in the refrigerator and let it sit overnight.
Alternatively, you can refrigerate it for at least 2-3 hours but leaving it overnight yields the best results.
Next day, add any desired toppings and enjoy!
Overnight oats are the perfect healthy breakfast that is 100% customizable. You can add crunchy toppings like granola, fresh fruit like banana slices, or even chocolate chips!
Fresh Fruit: Fresh berries, frozen berries, sliced bananas, diced apples, and chopped mango are delicious options to top off oats with.
Nuts and Seeds or Nut Butter: Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, etc!
Dried Fruits: Try raisins, cranberries, apricots, or dates.
Granola or Cereal: Homemade or store-bought granola is wonderful to add some crunch. Shredded coconut or coconut flakes would be great as well!
Chocolate: Dark chocolate chips or cocoa powder are wonderful options for a chocolaty twist.
Jam or Fruit Preserves: Blackberry and strawberry are my favorites!
Boost of Protein: Stir in a scoop of vegan protein powder to add a boost of plant-based protein.
This basic overnight oats recipe offers a blank canvas for your creativity and personal preferences. Feel free to change things up depending on what you have on hand or go wild with your favorite toppings to create a unique breakfast experience each morning.
Old-Fashioned Oats: Quick oats will be thinner and have a mushy consistency but will work in a pinch.
Non-Dairy Milk: Almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, cashew milk, or coconut milk are great options.
Chia Seeds: If you don't enjoy chia seeds, try this recipe for Overnight Oats without Chia Seeds instead. I don't recommend leaving them out for this particular recipe because they add a creamy texture.
Nut or Seed Butter: I used creamy peanut butter but any nut or seed butter that you love the flavor of will work. If you want a neutral flavor, try cashew butter. Read a list of substitutions above.
Pure Maple Syrup: Brown sugar, agave syrup, date syrup, or coconut sugar will work.
Tips & Tricks
Use the appropriate jar: When using an 8-ounce jar, the oats and toppings will fill it to the top, making it difficult to close the lid. But a 16-ounce jar provides enough space for both toppings and the lid to securely close. If you plan on taking the oats with you while on the go, the 16-ounce jar is the preferred choice.
Wait to add toppings: This is important! Take the extra few seconds in the morning to add the toppings fresh.
Don’t Skip the Chia Seeds: The chia seeds create a thick, creamy texture which we need especially because we are omitting the yogurt. If you don’t have chia seeds, use flax seeds instead.
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
No, yogurt adds a creamy texture but it isn't mandatory. You can use nut butter, banana, applesauce, or coconut milk instead.
Chia seeds add a nice thick and creamy texture. This recipe omits yogurt so it relies on the chia seeds. Try my recipe for Overnight Oats without Chia Seeds instead.
Overnight oats are meant to be eaten cold and straight from the fridge unlike traditional warm oatmeal but if you tried it and aren't a fan, simply heat them in the microwave until warm.
Overnight oats made with quick oats tend to fall apart and get mushy much faster. If you want to use quick oats, eat them within the first day.
If you opt for steel-cut oats, please note that they will require a longer soaking time and will have a dense and chewy texture.
More Overnight Oat Recipes
Overnight Oats without Yogurt
- ½ cup Old-Fashioned Oats
- ¾ cup Plant-Based Milk
- 1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
- 1 tablespoon Nut Butter of Choice
- 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
- Pinch of Cinnamon
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
- Add the old-fashioned oats, plant-based milk, chia seeds, nut butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt to a jar or container with a lid and stir until well combined.
- Seal the lid on the jar or container and place it in the refrigerator and let it sit overnight. Alternatively, you can refrigerate it for at least 2-3 hours but leaving it overnight yields the best results.
- Next day, add any desired toppings and enjoy!
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