Protein overnight oats prepared with simple ingredients in just 5 minutes without cooking. It comes in 3 different flavors for you to make ahead, making a healthy wholesome breakfast on the go. It is also gluten-free and comes packed with 20 grams of protein per serving.
What Are Overnight Oats?
Overnight oats are a healthy breakfast made from soaking rolled oats in milk overnight in the fridge. The texture is similar to oatmeal, except it’s uncooked, preserving all the nutrients and healthy properties of the ingredients because heat is not involved.
Do You Have to Soak the Oats Overnight?
No, you don’t have to! But because you don’t cook the oats you’ll need to let them soak at least for a few hours (about 2-3 hours) in order to make them edible.
The longer you soak the oats, the softer they will be. When I only soak for a few hours, the oats get a little chewy.
High protein overnight oats
Not every overnight oats recipe is high protein. But almost all the ingredients in our recipe are a great source of protein! To start, a half cup of old-fashioned oats contains about 5 grams of protein on its own.
Moreover, we also used milk, Greek yogurt, protein powder, and flax seeds which are also great sources of protein.
These ingredients make the base of our protein overnight oats and you can customize it in whatever flavor you’d like to.
If you decide to add nut butter like peanut butter, nuts, or other seeds, you’ll be boosting this recipe with extra sources of healthy protein.
Other Protein Sources for Making this Protein Oats Recipe
If you don’t have protein powder in your pantry, no worries! Here are a few alternative sources of protein to add to your overnight oats!
- Milk: Although we used unsweetened soy milk, you can use regular milk such as low-fat or fat-free milk.
- Yogurt: Kefir and Greek yogurt are great sources of protein. We added ¼ cup of Greek yogurt (thicker than Kefir) to our recipe along with the milk to make our protein overnight oats creamier. It will add about 4 grams of protein or more, depending on what brand you use.
- Cottage cheese: Add 2-4 tbsp of cottage cheese to the overnight oats mixture (7 grams of protein).
- Nuts and nut butter: Chopped nuts and/or nut butter are a great way to add extra protein to your protein overnight oats. They also contain healthy fats, which will make the oats more filling!
- Seeds: Hemp, chia, and flax seeds all contain protein too.
Ingredients for overnight oats with protein powder
Here are the ingredients need to make our basic recipe:
- Old-fashioned oats- Old-fashioned oats (also known as rolled oats) is the main ingredient. By mixing them with milk and yogurt, they soak up all the liquid overnight while still keeping their oat form. This means they won’t turn into mush like you sometimes get when cooking oatmeal. To make this recipe gluten-free, use Use gluten-free rolled oats!
- Plant-based milk: We used unsweetened soy milk, but you can add any milk of your choice including coconut milk and almond milk although they are not a good source of protein.
- Greek yogurt- I used non-fat Greek yogurt. You can buy the plain one of vanilla flavored.
- Protein powder- You can omit whey protein but it is the easiest way to add a lot of protein to your overnight oats and is great for bodybuilding. Just make sure you use a protein powder that you enjoy. Some don’t taste that good and would be a waste of money! I used vanilla whey protein in our recipe but if you can use chocolate protein powder too if making Nutella chocolate overnight oats.
- Flax seeds- These add a lot of nutrients, extra protein, and also make the oats extra creamy after soaking up the liquid overnight. If you prefer, use either hemp or chia seeds.
- Vanilla extract: It will flavor the base, but you can leave it out especially if you will add extra ingredients to customize the base such as Nutella or peanut butter.
- Sweetener: We used honey but you can replace it with pure maple syrup, brown sugar, a mixture of both, or stevia.
Flavors to Try:
Here are 3 flavor variations that you can try:
- Strawberries and Cream– Dice up about 6-8 large strawberries. Use half to blend with 1-2 tbsp of Greek yogurt and mix the mixture into the protein overnight oats. Then add some of the remaining chopped strawberries to the mixture and use the rest as a topping.
- Nutella– Just mix in ½-1 tbsp of Nutella with the protein overnight oats right before eating. If you’d like to, top with mini bittersweet chocolate chips of hazelnuts. If you prefer, make a chocolate protein overnight oats by simply skipping the Nutella and adding cocoa powder instead.
- Banana Bread– After making and soaking our protein overnight oats, mix in and then top it with a small sliced banana cooked for 30 seconds in the microwave along with 1 tbsp of honey or maple syrup, and a dash of ground cinnamon. Oh, don’t forget to add 1 tbsp of crushed toasted walnuts.
How to Make Protein Overnight Oats
Follow the steps below to make protein overnight oats. It is the easiest healthy breakfast recipe ever!
STEP 1: COMBINE DRY INGREDIENTS WITH LIQUID INGREDIENTS
First, add all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, including rolled oats, protein powder, and flax seeds, Stir well to distribute ingredients evenly. Then, stir in the milk, yogurt, vanilla extract, and honey.
You may skip the sweetener if you prefer.
If making in mason jars, close the lid well and give it a good shake to mix all the ingredients well.
STEP 2: SOAK OVERNIGHT
Seal the mixing bowl well with a silicone lid or use plastic wrap and top with a plate, and place it in the fridge overnight.
We recommend giving a quick stir at least once during the soaking process.
STEP 3: SERVE THE NEXT DAY
The next day, serve the protein overnight oats with one of our 3 suggested flavors or come up with one on your own.
Can you make protein overnight oats dairy-free or vegan?
Yes! Just make sure to use plant-based milk and yogurt, vegan protein powder, and maple syrup as your sweetener instead of honey.
Can you make this protein overnight oats recipe with steel-cut oats?
Yes, you can but be prepared for a chewy breakfast after soaking them overnight. I particularly don’t enjoy it!
The reason why steel-cut oats don’t get as soft as rolled oats after soaking overnight is they are the whole grain from the oat plant (and so one of the least processed versions of oats you can get).
Make sure to increase the amount of liquid by 1/4 cup!
Can I Use Instant Oats?
You can replace old-fashioned oats with quick oats, but you may have to add more instant oats to achieve the desired creamy texture.
In addition, instant oats contain less fiber, and it’s less liquid absorbent than rolled oats, altering the texture.
Do you have to use the chia seeds or flax meal?
No, you don’t but your protein overnight oats won’t be as creamy and thickened. If you decide to not add either, cut back on the liquid by about 1/4 cup.
To add some creaminess and thickness, mix in 1-2 tbsp of Nutella, melted chocolate, or nut butter to the soaked overnight oats.
I used whole flax seeds instead of ground flax meal. They don’t have the same thickening properties as the ground stuff or chia seeds but they help somehow and are higher in protein. I reduced the milk by ¼ cup and add 2 extra tbsp of greek yogurt. Our recipe already reflects that!
Toppings for Protein Overnight Oats
Overnight oats can be served in mason jars or bowls. You may top it with:
- Fruits– fresh berries, coconut flakes, chopped apples, or banana slices to say a few.
- Nuts– chopped pecans, almonds, or hazelnuts.
- Seeds – hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, toasted sesame seeds, or even these roasted pumpkin seeds if making savory overnight oats.
- Peanut butter or almond butter.
- Chocolate chips– you can use sugar-free dark chocolate chips to keep the recipe healthy and sugar-free, or the regular ones.
- Melted dark chocolate
The possibilities are endless!
How to Eat Protein Overnight Oats
You can eat them cold, straight out of the fridge (usual). But if you prefer them warm, you can heat them in the microwave for 30-60 seconds after the oats soak.
You can enjoy them plain, or add some toppings for extra flavor!
Are Overnight Oats Healthy?
Yes, overnight oats are one the most healthy breakfast. They contain health benefits and help with weight loss:
- High fiber– flax seeds and oats are high in fiber, and one serving of overnight oats contains at least 4 grams of fiber.
- High protein– these overnight oats are made with protein powder, adding most of the protein per serving.
- Low GI –these overnight oats with protein powder are high in fiber and lower in carbs, keeping your blood sugar level stable for longer. Oats are a complex carb! Moreover, if you don’t add the sweetener, one serving only contains 22 grams of net carbs and 238 kcal!
- High nutrient profile– Because it is a raw breakfast (uncooked), it preserves all the vitamins and nutrients from grains and seeds.
Store protein overnight oats for up to 3-5 days in the fridge in a plastic airtight container or mason jar. If you add fresh fruit, make sure to eat your oats up to one day later or reserve the fruits to add right before eating.
You can also freeze them in a small airtight plastic container and thaw them in the fridge the day before eating but make sure to stir them very well.
More Oat Recipes to Enjoy
Other healthy breakfast recipes to try
- How to Make an Omelette
- Air Fryer Hard Boiled Eggs
- Keto Egg Muffins
- Keto Starbucks Egg Bites
- Sunny Side Up Eggs
- Breakfast Chilaquiles
- Acai Bowl Recipe
PIN & ENJOY!
Protein Overnight Oats (3 Flavors)
- 1 Mixing bowl
- 1-2 serving bowl or more if you are making all 3 flavors at once
- ½ cup old-fashioned oats Also known as rolled oats. We used gluten-free oats!
- 2 tbsp protein powder Use one that you enjoy. If you prefer, skip it and use nut butter instead
- 1 tbsp flax seeds To make the oats thicker and creamier, use either half amount of chia seeds or ground flax meal
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup milk I used unsweetened soy milk but you can use any of your choice (even regular milk – whole, reduced-fat, or fat-free)
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt I used plain and reduced-fat
- 2 tbsp honey Or maple syrup or another sweetener of choice
- Add all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, including rolled oats, protein powder, and flax seeds, Stir well to distribute ingredients evenly. Then, stir in the milk, yogurt, vanilla extract, and honey.
- You may skip the sweetener if you prefer. If making in mason jars, close the lid well and give it a good shake to mix all the ingredients well.
- Seal the mixing bowl well with a silicone lid or use plastic wrap and top with a plate, and place it in the fridge overnight. Give a quick stir at least once during the soaking process.
- The next day, serve the protein overnight oats with one of our 3 suggested flavors or come up with one on your own (SEE NOTES).
- Strawberries and Cream- Dice up about 6-8 large strawberries. Use half to blend with 1 tbsp of Greek yogurt and mix the mixture into the protein overnight oats. Then add some of the remaining chopped strawberries to the mixture and use the rest as a topping.
- Nutella- Just mix in ½-1 tbsp of Nutella with the protein overnight oats right before eating. If you’d like to, top with mini bittersweet chocolate chips or hazelnuts.
- Banana Bread- After making and soaking our protein overnight oats, mix in and then top it with a small sliced banana cooked for 30 seconds in the microwave along with 1 tbsp of honey or maple syrup, and a dash of ground cinnamon. Oh, don’t forget to add 1 tbsp of crushed toasted walnuts.
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