Learn how to make the perfect batch of protein overnight oats! These healthy, high-protein overnight oats are packed with protein and taste absolutely amazing! It’s one of the easiest, no-cook breakfast options that is perfect for meal prep, to enjoy throughout the week. Bonus – it’s endlessly customizable!
What are overnight oats?
Overnight oats is a no-cook method of making oatmeal. So, instead of cooking oats on the stovetop or in the microwave, you soak the raw oats in a flavored liquid. This soaking process allows the oats to absorb the liquid and soften them enough to eat uncooked. Honestly, it’s as easy as stirring together a couple of ingredients in a jar, placing it in the fridge, and enjoying the next morning. That’s it! It tastes best when you soak the oats for 8 hours or overnight, hence the name overnight oats!
The consistency is like a porridge or pudding. It makes for an easy convenient breakfast that has a more dense and creamy texture than warm oatmeal. The beauty of overnight oats is that you can make them as simple or creative as you’d like. The base recipe is delicious, and filling all on its own. But if you’d like to spruce it up, you can add a variety of toppings and mix-ins, including fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, spices, jams, and more. I’m sharing my favorite flavors with you down below.
What makes these overnight oats high protein?
This recipe has so many amazing sources of protein. To start, half cup of old-fashioned oats is about 5 grams of protein on its own. Greek yogurt, hemp and chia seeds are also amazing sources of protein. If you add nut butter like peanut butter, you get added protein from that as well. To make it jam packed with protein, I add a scoop of protein powder, which takes the protein content to ~40g per serving!
Usually, I like using unflavored protein powder as it lets me customize the recipe with any flavor I choose. If I'm feeling like chocolate flavored oats, then I like using this chocolate flavored protein powder.
Why I love these protein overnight oats
- They contain a lot of protein (~40g per serving).
- They’re a rich source of fiber, which helps you feel fuller longer (8g per serving).
- They are a nutrient dense food, which makes your feel more satiated.
- They can be prepped ahead for the entire week and need no cooking.
- They can be customized in so many different ways.
- What are overnight oats?
- What makes these overnight oats high protein?
- Why I love these protein overnight oats
- Ingredients to make protein overnight oats
- How to make protein overnight oats?
- Different flavors to try
- Tips for making the best protein overnight oats
- The best containers to make overnight oats
- How to meal prep and store
- Frequently asked questions
- More healthy breakfast recipes
Ingredients to make protein overnight oats
- Rolled oats: I like to use old fashioned rolled oats for the best texture. Quick cooking oats get too mushy and will not work well for this recipe
- Milk: Feel free to use dairy or dairy-free milk (like soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, or cashew milk), or even water. Milk makes the overnight oats more creamy but I like to use water when I want to cut calories.
- Yogurt: I love using Greek yogurt for the added protein. You could also use dairy-free yogurt in this recipe. Yogurt makes this overnight oats extra creamy while amping up the protein.
- Chia Seeds: These magical little seeds will gel up in the oats to make it creamy and thick. Plus, they’re loaded with health benefits and give a nutrient boost.
- Hemp Seeds are rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fatty acids, including omega-3s and omega-6s. They taste so delicious in these overnight oats.
- Protein powder adds a big boost of protein to these overnight oats. My go to protein powder is unflavored, so I can choose to flavor the oats however I want. I sometimes also like using chocolate protein powder if I am craving chocolate flavored oats.
- Toppings: This is where you can be as creative as you like with your flavors. I have shared my top 5 favorite flavor combinations down below.
How to make protein overnight oats?
- Place the rolled oats, chia seeds and hemp seeds into a glass container or jar.
- Add in the protein powder, yogurt and milk/water.
- Mix everything well until combined and there are no lumps of chia seeds or protein powder.
- Cover the container and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
- For the chocolate version, use chocolate protein powder instead of unflavored protein powder. Remaining ingredients remain the same.
- Mix everything well until combined and there are no lumps. You can also close the jar with a tight fitting lid and shake it well instead of stirring. Next morning add in your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Different flavors to try
This flavor of protein overnight oats is inspired by the iconic Indian drink, mango lassi. I love using Alphonso mango pulp in this recipe. It is my absolute favorite variety of mango with the most amazing flavor. Mango puree when mixed with the creamy Greek yogurt in the oats, tastes exactly like mango lassi. These overnight oats are also scented with saffron and cardamom, to reinforce those delicious mango lassi flavors. This is definitely my favorite among all these flavors. ❤️
Ingredients to make mango lassi protein overnight oats
- Mango pulp: I like using alphonso mango pulp for the best flavor.
- Ground cardamom & saffron add an amazing flavor to the oats, making it taste just like mango lassi.
- Sweetener: I like to use honey but you could also use maple or agave syrup. Add as much or as little as you like. If your mango pulp is sweet enough already, feel free to skip it.
- Pistachios: adds a lovely crunch and pairs well with mango.
- Fresh/frozen mango: I like to top the oats with fresh/frozen mango cubes for added texture.
Ingredients to make chocolate coconut protein overnight oats
- Chocolate protein powder: replace unflavored protein powder with chocolate protein powder for chocolate flavored oats.
- Chocolate chips: I like adding a few chocolate chips for added sweetness and extra crunch.
- Shredded coconut: I use unsweetened shredded coconut.
- Sliced almonds: add a lovely crunch and healthy fats.
This flavor reminds me of my favorite breakfast treat, banana walnut bread! The bananas add natural sweetness and it pairs so well with the crunch of the walnuts.
Ingredients to make banana walnut protein overnight oats
- Banana: I like using both mashed and sliced bananas. I mix in mashed banana with the oats for natural sweetness and top it with sliced bananas.
- Walnuts: are an amazing source of of omega-3 fats.
- Sweetener: I like to use honey but you could also use maple or agave syrup. Add as much or as little as you like. Feel free to skip it and use more banana instead.
- Nut butter: use any nut butter you like. I like using almond butter or mixed nut butter for that creamy nutty flavor.
Peanut butter jelly
This flavor is like having a peanut butter jelly sandwich in overnight oats form. It has a sweet and salty taste that’s irresistible. I like using frozen/fresh raspberries instead of jelly to cut down on added sugar.
Ingredients to make peanut butter jelly protein overnight oats
- Raspberries: I like using frozen raspberries as they become juicy and syrupy when thawed and melt into the oats wonderfully. You could also use raspberry jelly or fresh raspberries.
- Peanut butter is what makes it that classic PB&J flavor combination. Use all natural peanut butter, where peanuts are the only ingredient.
- Sweetener: I like to use honey but you could also use maple or agave syrup. Add as much or as little as you like. If your raspberries are sweet enough already, feel free to skip it.
- Pistachios add a beautiful color contrast, lovely crunch and healthy fats.
I love this classic flavor pairing of blueberries and almonds. The slightly tart and sweet blueberries flavor the oats so nicely and give it a gorgeous purple hue while the sliced almonds add a lovely crunch.
Ingredients to make blueberry almond protein overnight oats
- Blueberries: I like using frozen blueberries as they become juicy and syrupy when thawed and melt into the oats wonderfully. You could also use fresh blueberries.
- Sliced almonds add a lovely crunch and healthy fats.
- Sweetener: I like to use honey but you could also use maple or agave syrup. Add as much or as little as you like. If your blueberries are sweet enough already, feel free to skip it.
- Nut butter: use any nut butter you like. I like using almond butter or mixed nut butter for that creamy nutty flavor.
Tips for making the best protein overnight oats
- Use plain old fashioned rolled oats, not quick oats. Quick cooking oats will get too soggy when soaked with milk. Don't use steel cut oats either, because they won’t soften enough.
- Make it inside of a glass jar or a mason jar. This makes it so convenient to mix, chill, carry and eat the overnight oats all in one convenient container.
- Use a protein powder you love. There are a lot of weird tasting protein powders out there, that won't make your oats taste good. I find that whey proteins typically taste better than plant protein. This brand of protein powder is my current favorite for things like smoothies and overnight oats.
- Warm it up if you prefer warm oats in the morning. Although overnight oatmeal is typically served cold, you can definitely eat it warm. Just place them in the microwave for one minute and be sure to use a microwave-safe jar.
- Make a big batch for the week. Overnight oats usually stays good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so you can make a large batch on Sunday. You will love having breakfast on hand for the whole week.
- Use any toppings you enjoy- nut butter, dried fruit, seeds, granola, fresh fruits and spices (like cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg etc.). These are super customizable which is why I love them so much!
- Add fresh fruit the night before or the morning of. If you add fruit beforehand, it can get mushy and will typically not remain fresh for more than a couple days.
The best containers to make overnight oats
I like using jars/containers that are large enough to stir everything and still have enough room leftover for toppings. I recommend using a 16-ounce jar if you plan to add toppings and a 12-ounce jar works well for the base recipe with a small amount of mix-ins.
- Mason Jars: Traditional mason jars are perfect for overnights oats. The pint-sized jars are 16-ounces, and the screw top lid is secure and super easy. You can also get 16-ounce wide mouth jars if you prefer.
- Glass containers: I like using my glass meal prep containers for this recipe as they stack nicely and have ample room for toppings.
How to meal prep and store
Whether you’re making a single serving or 5 days worth of breakfast, overnight oats is a meal prep savior.
- To Store: Overnight oats will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge. The oats gets creamier over time. If your oats seem to be dry (from sitting and soaking up all the liquid), just add a splash of milk or water before eating. If you have fruit toppings or fruit mix-ins, I recommend no more than 2 days, as the fruit is likely to go bad first. Also, fruits like bananas and apples will oxidize and might not be visually appealing when stored overnight.
- For Freezing: Overnight oats freezer well and will stay good for several months in the freezer. To thaw, just place it in the fridge the night before you want to eat it.
Frequently asked questions
Are overnight oats healthy?
Overnight oats offer a range of health benefits, due to their rich fiber and protein content. They also contain a number of vitamins and minerals, which means it is great for your gut, as well as for overall health and well-being.
Can you use quick cooking oats?
Yes you can but I personally don't like the texture. The oats will break down overnight and become mushy, like porridge.
Can I heat my overnight oats?
Athough overnight oatmeal is typically served cold, you can definitely eat it warm. Just place them in the microwave for one minute and be sure to use a microwave-safe jar.
Are overnight oats a good source of protein?
Yes! Overnight oats are a great source of nutrients and make a well-balanced meal with fiber that will keep you fuller for longer. I like to boost the protein by adding a scoop of protein powder to my overnight oats.
Do I need to use protein powder?
No. If you don't like protein powder or don't regularly use it, you can omit it from this recipe. The oats + Greek yogurt provided a good amount of protein on their own! You could also add ¼ cup more Greek yogurt or cottage cheese for more protein.
More healthy breakfast recipes
Protein overnight oats
- ½ cup rolled oats/old-fashioned oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon hemp seeds (optional)
- ¼ cup greek yogurt (I prefer non-fat)
- ½ cup milk of choice (can be replaced with water)
- 1 scoop protein powder (see flavor combinations below)
Peanut butter jelly
- Combine the oats, protein powder, hemp seeds and chia seeds in a container like a mason jar or glass container.
- Pour in the milk/water and yogurt. Mix until well combined, making sure to stir up any chunks of protein powder or chia seeds that may be stuck on the bottom.
- Cover the glass container with a lid or plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Uncover and enjoy from the glass container the next day. Thin with a little more milk or water, if desired.
- Toppings can be added the night before or immediately before serving. See ingredients above for 5 different flavor combinations.
- Make it vegan/diary free: Use plant-based milk, plant-based yogurt, plant based protein powder and maple syrup for sweetener
- Make it gluten-free: Use certified gluten-free oats
- Make it sugar-free: Omit the sweetener all together or used mashed or pureed fruit in the base recipe