Overnight oats are one of the easiest make-ahead breakfasts around. I think they are especially perfect for hot summer months, when you don’t want to turn on your stove, or use your Instant Pot to make a batch of steel cut oats.
What do overnight oats taste like?
They are basically just like regular oatmeal, only cold. For some reason, enjoying cold oats sounded totally unappealing to me at first, but as it turns out, I’m glad I gave them a shot.
Not only are they easier to prepare than making warm oats in the morning, I think I actually prefer them in the summer! Think of it as cold cereal, with a softer, creamier texture.
How to Prepare Overnight Oats
Making overnight oats couldn’t be easier. You simply combine old-fashioned rolled oats and liquid, and let them sit together overnight in the fridge. In this case, I’m keeping the oats dairy-free and vegan by using almond milk, but you can swap it for any other type of milk you like.
You can add in any extras you like for texture and nutrition, including chia seeds, chopped nuts, dried fruit, coconut, and more. (If you practice food combining, try adding pumpkin or sweet potato for a starch-based meal.)
How long do overnight oats last?
If you’re using homemade almond milk, I wouldn’t make more than 3 days’ worth at a time. (Homemade almond milk doesn’t have preservatives, which I think makes it taste better, but it can spoil more quickly.) If you use a store-bought milk, your oats can keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can you make overnight oats made with water?
I tested overnight oats using both almond milk and water, and both “worked” in the sense that the oats became tender overnight. However, the almond milk makes the oats MUCH creamier, and I found that much more enjoyable. Ultimately, the choice is up to you, so feel free to experiment.
Can overnight oats be heated?
If you’d prefer to eat your overnight oats warm, you can certainly heat them up on the stove (or even in a mini crockpot if you can have one at work!). Since they are already tender, you simply need to warm them up, so it shouldn’t take long regardless of the method of heating you use.
However you serve them, I hope you’ll enjoy this easy gluten-free & vegan breakfast idea!
Vegan Overnight Oats (Easy Make-Ahead Breakfast!)
- 4 teaspoons chia seeds
- 4 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- fresh fruit
- If you want to prepare 4 individual servings, you'll need 4 separate jars. (I use these 14-ounce jars with lids)
- In each jar, add 1/2 cup of rolled oats and 1/2 cup of almond milk. Stir to combine, then add in any other add-ins you like. I love to add 1 teaspoon each of chia seeds and maple syrup to each jar. (Note: Wait to add any fresh fruit until just before serving, so that the fruit doesn't get soggy.)
- Cover the jars with an airtight lid and place them in the fridge to soak overnight. The oats will absorb the liquid and become tender, ready to serve by morning.
- To serve, simply grab a jar from the fridge and stir the oats with a spoon. You can add any other toppings you like at this point, such as fresh fruit, nuts, dried fruit, nut butter, and more.
Per Serving (with chia seeds and maple syrup): Calories: 209, Fat: 5g, Cabohydrates: 34g, Fiber: 5g, Protein: 6g
Weight Watchers Freestyle Points: 5 (will vary depending on which toppings you use)
I’ve only tested this recipe using old-fashioned rolled oats, but I assume quick-cooking oats would work as well. I think steel cut oats would be chewier, so I stick to cooking those in my Instant Pot in batches for an alternate make-ahead option.
Reader Feedback: Have you made overnight oats before? I imagine the flavor combinations are endless!