These protein overnight oats are a quick and simple protein-rich breakfast for your busy lifestyle. They're nutritious, contain about 22 grams of protein per serving, and last all week long. Have these easy oats prepped in just 5 minutes!
Quick grab-and-go breakfasts are my go-to during busy seasons when I don't have time to spend in the kitchen every morning. They're realistic, made with affordable ingredients, and more nutritious than a granola bar. If you love overnight oats, you may be interested in my Overnight Oats Without Milk or my Overnight Oats with Frozen Fruit.
Why You'll Love These Oats
- They'll keep you full. If you've recently gone vegetarian or simply find yourself feeling hungry again a couple of hours after breakfast, these protein overnight oats are a must try. They're high in protein plus have carbs and healthy fats to help keep you full and satisfied all that way until lunch.
- Easy to customize. Use your favorite protein powder, milk, liquid sweetener, and nut butter. There are endless ways to flavor your protein overnight oats. These oats can be made 100% dairy free, vegan and gluten-free too!
- Perfect for busy weeks. These overnight oats can be prepped on Sunday night and enjoyed all week long without any additional prep work or effort. Follow my easy, customizable recipe instructions and have a healthy, high-protein breakfast ready for the week in a matter of minutes!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- rolled oats - Any brand of old fashioned rolled oats will do. If you are gluten-free, make sure to purchase gluten-free rolled oats. Oats are a naturally gluten-free food, but are often harvested very close to wheat or other gluten-containing grains and cross contamination is possible.
- milk - Any dairy or plant based milk will work, but I'd recommend using a plain, unsweetened milk and sweetening to taste with maple syrup. For extra thick oats, you could substitute ½ cup of the milk with greek yogurt, coconut yogurt or even cottage cheese. If you are out of milk, check out my Overnight Oats Without Milk.
- protein powder - 1 scoop of any protein powder will work when making overnight oats. It is good to note that not all protein powders are made equally. Some are more grainy than others and do not dissolve as seamlessly into liquid. If you are vegetarian, whey proteins are a good choice as they are very bioavailable. If vegan or plant-based, a pea protein protein powder will work well.
- nut butter - Depending on the type of protein powder you go with, you may want to adjust the type of nut butter used. For example, peanut butter would pair well with a chocolate protein powder. If using a vanilla protein powder, I'd suggest a more neutral tasting nut butter like almond butter or cashew butter.
- chia seeds - Chia seeds add a boost of healthy fats, omegas and help absorb the liquid and make these protein oats thick and creamy. If desired, substitute the chia seeds with ground flaxseeds or hemp seeds. Or, you may even like my Creamy Flaxseed Pudding.
Step by Step Instructions
As written, this recipe makes 2 servings of protein overnight oats. Adjust the amount called for to your personal needs.
- Mix together oatmeal ingredients. Using a large container or 32 oz wide-mouth mason jar, combine the rolled oats, milk, protein powder, maple syrup, nut butter, chia seeds, and cinnamon. It may appear like too much liquid, but these oats will thicken up considerably as they chill overnight.
- Chill "overnight." Cover the oats with a tight fitting lid and place in the refrigerator to chill overnight, or for a minimum of 3 hours.
- Stir and serve. After a minimum of 3 hours, remove the lid and mix the oats well. Portion into two serving bowls and top with your desired topping. I personally like fresh fruit and peanut butter. You could also top with chocolate chips, greek yogurt, or alternative nut butters.
Storing and Heating Instructions
For best results, overnight oats should always be stored in an airtight container such as a jar with a tight fitting lid or a Tupperware. If the lid is not tight fitting or the oats are loosely covered, they oats will be exposed to the air and dry out overnight in the refrigerator.
How to heat overnight oats: Overnight oats are typically enjoyed cold straight from the refrigerator. It's the reason they're so popular and a favorite grab-and-go breakfast for many. With that being said, if you prefer to enjoy your oats warm, place the desired portion of oats in a microwave safe dish and heat until warm. Add an additional splash of milk to keep them creamy.
Time Saving Hacks
I'd also recommend pre-portioning your overnight oats into individual jars you can grab and go on your way out the door in the morning. 16 oz mason jars or similar sized containers with airtight lids are inexpensive and work perfectly for this. If you'd like to go the pre-portioned route, split the ingredients between two jars.
Overnight oats can be high in protein, but they aren't always. My Overnight Oats with Frozen Fruit and Overnight Oats Without Milk, you'll know they are lower in protein (about 8 and 5 grams of protein before serving). These high protein overnight oats however pack about 22 grams of protein per serving from the protein powder, nut butter, and chia seeds.
These protein overnight oats will keep for up to 4 days, so feel free to make up to 4 days of servings at once.
Yes, overnights are meant to be eaten cold. Soaking the oats in liquid overnight makes them soft, creamy and easy to eat straight out of the jar. They do not need to be cooked in order to be safe to eat. If you would like to eat them warm, scroll up for my heating instructions!
Overnight oats can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost the oats in the refrigerator completely before enjoying again.
Tips for Success
- Mix the oats thoroughly. If the oats and chia seeds are not properly submerged in the liquid, they won't absorb the liquid and will be too chewy. Depending on the protein powder you use, you may need additional liquid to help make the oats creamy.
- Try out a couple of brands of protein powder. Not all protein powders are made the same and some absorb better into liquid than others. If the first one you try isn't your favorite, don't be afraid to experiment!
More Quick Breakfast Recipes You May Love
If you make this recipe, I would absolutely love for you to leave a rating and review. I absolutely love connecting with you!
Quick + Simple Protein Overnight Oats Recipe
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 + ¼ cup plant based milk
- 1 scoop protein powder approx 1 cup
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or sweetener optional
- 1 tbsp nut butter
- 1 tbsp chia seed
- ½ tsp cinnamon optional
- Using a large container or large mason jar, combine all ingredients and mix well. The mixture will look slightly soupy + wet.**
- Place in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 3 hours.
- When ready to eat, remove the lid and mix the oats. Top with your desired topping. I personally like fresh fruit and peanut butter.