This basic recipe for Overnight Oats with Chia Seeds can be served both warm and chilled. I share instructions on how to heat up overnight oats for a cozy bowl of oatmeal or porridge. Plus, this recipe is naturally sweetened, healthy, and packed with protein, fiber, and heart healthy omega-3s.
Did you know that you can heat up overnight oats? You can conveniently make your oats the night before (no cooking required), and then enjoy them warm in the morning. Of course, you still have the option of eating them chilled for an easy grab-and-go breakfast or snack.
Basic ingredients for Overnight Oats with Chia Seeds:
- Use old-fashioned rolled oats for the perfect chewy texture. Rolled oats are made by taking oat groats (the whole oat kernels) and steaming them before flattening them with large rollers. This process stabilizes the healthy oils in the oats and partially cooks them, which is why they are perfect for making no-cook overnight oats. They are a good source of dietary fiber, and are relatively low in calories, and have no added sugars. While oats themselves are naturally gluten-free, cross-contamination can occur during processing and storage. If you follow a gluten-free diet, look for certified gluten-free rolled oats.
- Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, providing both soluble and insoluble fiber, which supports digestive health, regulates blood sugar levels, and promotes a feeling of fullness. They are also a source of plant-based protein and contain all nine essential amino acids. Chia seeds can absorb large amounts of liquid, forming a gel-like consistency. This property can help maintain hydration. This is especially beneficial for when you are physically active. Adding them to overnight oats boosts the protein, fiber, and nutrient content and it makes the oats even creamier.
- Almond, soy, and oat milk , or any type of milk, is suitable for this oatmeal recipe. Soy and oat milk are creamier, where as almond milk is lighter. (Soy milk typically has the most protein.) Coconut milk has a rich, tropical flavor and a creamy consistency, but it is higher in saturated fats. Rice milk is a good option if you have allergies, as it is free from common allergens like nuts, soy, and gluten. Hemp milk has a slightly nutty flavor and is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, but may not be as readily available as other nondairy milks.
Optional add-ons for naturally sweetened oats and more protein:
- Prunes (or pitted medjool dates): Blending pitted dates or prunes into the milk is a healthy way to sweeten oatmeal. Prunes are dried plums. They are sweet and tangy, and have a wrinkled appearance due to the drying process. They are popular for their natural laxative effect due to their high fiber content. I blended them into the nondairy milk before adding the oats and chia seeds to naturally sweeten this healthy vegan breakfast. They can also be consumed as a snack on their own, added to cereals, salads, or trail mixes, and used in various recipes such as stews, sauces, and desserts.
- Hemp hearts are an excellent source of plant-based protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, which promotes a feeling of fullness, and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Plus, they are rich in healthy fats, particularly omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for brain health, heart health, and overall well-being. They have a mild nutty taste, and can be sprinkled over salads, added to smoothies or yogurt, used as a topping for oatmeal, or incorporated into baked goods like bread, muffins, and cookies.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Hemp hearts - add hemp hearts for more protein (10 grams plant-based protein per 3 tablespoons)
- Banana or peeled apple - use banana or apple instead of dates or prunes to sweeten the milk
- Protein power - Add one scoop protein powder per serving for even more protein. You will need to adjust the milk accordingly for the desired texture.
- Vegan yogurt - mix in some cashew, oat, coconut or soy yogurt for more creaminess
- Vanilla extract - add some to the milk before mixing in the chia seeds for a vanilla flavor
- Cocoa powder - turn this recipe into chocolate oats by blending some cocoa power into the milk before adding the oats
- Maple syrup - drizzle with maple syrup or agave for serving for more sweetness
- Spices - add a dash cinnamon, cardamom, all spice, nutmeg, or ground ginger
- Gluten-free - use certified gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
- Optional toppings: fresh berries, peanut butter, almond butter, sliced bananas, chopped nuts, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, tahini
For more healthy breakfast or snack ideas, visit my Vegan Breakfast Recipes page on this site.
Note: For naturally sweetened overnight oats, blend the dates or prunes into the nondairy milk before adding the rolled oats and chia seeds.
Step 1. Transfer the nondairy milk to a Pyrex measuring cup or Mason jar with lid. Add the oats and chia seeds and mix well.
Step 2. Let the mixture sit for one minute before mixing again. Transfer the mixture to 2 (7-ounce) single serve jars, or cover the Mason jar used for mixing with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight.
💡 Expert Tips
- Oats and Chia Seed Ratio: You can change the quantities of rolled oats and chia seeds based on your preference. Another possible combination is ¼-cup rolled oats plus 2 teaspoons chia seeds.
- Oats-to-Liquid Ratio: Use a 1:2 ratio of oats + chia seeds to dairy-free milk. If you prefer fewer chia seeds, stick to the quantity listed in the recipe.
- Mix the oats and chia seeds into the milk. Stir everything until well combined and there are no clumps of chia seeds. Let the mixture sit for one minute, and then stir again.
- How long to soak overnight oats: For the best texture, soak them for at least 8 hours. However, they can be eaten after just 2 hours of soaking. Soaking them for longer helps reduce the phytic acid content, making the nutrients in oats more accessible to your body.
- Storage: Refrigerate Overnight Oats with Chia Seeds in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
🙋🏽♀️ Recipe FAQs
Chia seeds boost the nutrition content in overnight oats. They provide both gut-healthy insoluble and soluble fiber. These help slow digestion and prevent blood sugar spikes. In addition, they are loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce inflammation and protect against chronic disease. They also add protein to this recipe. (Two teaspoons chia seeds contain about 4.7 grams protein.)
Microwave method: Place the overnight oats with chia seeds into a microwave-safe container. Ad a touch more milk and stir. Heat for 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until the desired temperature. Add your favorite toppings.
Stovetop method: Add enough liquid to just cover the bottom of a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. Once the liquid starts to gently boil, add the overnight oats and turn the heat down to low. Stir constantly until warmed through. Add toppings and enjoy.
To achieve the desired gel-like texture, it is generally recommended to soak chia seeds for at least 20 minutes. However, allowing them to soak for hours or even overnight is ideal for the fullest absorption and optimal results.
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Overnight Oats with Chia Seeds Recipe
- ⅔ cup milk (I used unsweetened soy milk)
- 3 pitted medjool dates or prunes (optional)
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons hemp seeds (optional)
- Optional for naturally sweetened: Blend the nondairy milk with the pitted dates until fully incorporated.
- Mix: Transfer the nondairy milk to a Pyrex measuring cup or Mason jar with lid.
- Add the oats and chia seeds and mix well. Let the mixture sit for one minute before mixing again.
- Transfer the mixture to 2 (7-ounce) single serve jars, or cover the Mason jar used for mixing with a tight-fitting lid.
- Refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight.
- For warm overnight oats: Microwave method: Place the overnight oats with chia seeds into a microwave-safe container. Add a touch more milk and stir. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until the desired temperature. Add your favorite toppings.Stovetop method: Add enough liquid to just cover the bottom of a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. Once the liquid starts to gently boil, add the overnight oats with chia seeds and turn the heat down to low. Stir constantly until warmed through. Add toppings and enjoy.
- Oats and Chia Seed Ratio: You can change the quantities of rolled oats and chia seeds based on your preference. Another possible combination can be ¼-cup rolled oats plus 2 teaspoons chia seeds.
- Oats-to-Liquid Ratio: Use a 1:2 ratio of oats + chia seeds to dairy-free milk. If you would prefer fewer chia seeds, stick to the quantity listed in the recipe.
- Mix the oats and chia seeds into the milk. Stir everything until well combined and there are no clumps of chia seeds. Let it sit for one minute, and then stir again.
- Storage: Refrigerate Overnight Oats with Chia Seeds in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
This information is provided as a courtesy and is an ESTIMATE only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe.