Overnight Chia Oats (Gluten-free, Dairy Free)
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These overnight oats are loaded with fiber and protein, and I find them irresistible. They take no time to assemble and the recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for make-ahead breakfasts for the week.
In May, en route home from the Pizza Night photoshoot in Northern California, I grabbed a cup of the overnight oats from the Dolores Park Cafe stand at SFO. I typically don’t love overnight oats from these places for a few reasons — they tend to be too sweet and the fruit included often is on its last legs — but I was short on time and craving something healthy-ish.
Once settled in my seat on the plane, I tucked in, and immediately wished I had bought two, because they were so tasty: not too sweet, loaded with fresh berries, and garnished with toasted coconut. These oats had a higher ratio of chia seeds than others I had tried, and I loved the creaminess they provided.
I vowed to re-create the recipe upon returning home, thinking it would be so nice to have a stash of overnight oats in the fridge to wake up to each morning. I saved the lid, which listed the ingredients on a sticker, for weeks — months — but finally tossed it when I never got around to making them.
I mostly forgot about the oats until a few weeks ago, when my friend Serena Wolf posted a reel of her favorite breakfast of late — overnight coconut chia oats! — noting her creation was “heavier on the chia seeds than normal overnight oats, but too oat-y to be a true chia pudding.”
Serena’s oats looked exactly like those DPC oats I so loved, and I made her recipe immediately, subbing in oat milk for the coconut milk. Friends! These oats are irresistible, perfectly sweet, vanilla- and cinnamon-spiced, and oh so satisfying.
The beauty of this recipe is that it can be tailored to your liking by using the milk, sweetener, and flavorings of your choice. It takes no time to stir together and yields enough for two servings, but can be doubled or tripled for make-ahead breakfasts for the week. And while I loved the toasted coconut garnish at DPC, I skip it at home, opting for fresh fruit instead.
How to Make Overnight Chia Oats, Step by Step
Gather your ingredients: chia seeds, oatmeal, oat milk or milk of choice, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, flaky sea salt.
Measure your ingredients…
… then combine them all in a large bowl.
Stir to combine…
… then transfer them to a storage vessel. I love these Weck Jars.
Transfer to the fridge for at least 4 hours but preferably for at least 8 to 12 hours. During their time in the fridge, the chia seeds swell and the oats hydrate and soften.
I find them irresistible.
Top with fruit of choice (if desired)…
… and store until you are ready…
… to enjoy. Such a treat.Print
Oat Milk: I love the Minor Figures oat milk for my morning muesli, for my sleeping chocolate (Beam), and, now, for these oats. I do not like it in my coffee. As noted below, use whatever milk your heart desires.
Weck jars: I love these Weck jars for storing the muesli because one is large enough for the entire batch with room for fruit.
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups oat milk or milk of choice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- a big pinch of flaky sea salt
- cinnamon, to taste
- Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, using 1.25 cups milk if you like a thicker “oatmeal” consistency and 1.5 cups milk if you like a milkier mixture. Transfer the mixture to a storage jar and place in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours but ideally 12 or more. The oats can stay in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
- Remove the jar from the fridge and transfer the contents to two bowls. Top with fruit if desired, then serve.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Stir
- Cuisine: Amerian
Keywords: chia seeds, oatmeal, oat milk, vanilla, maple syrup, sea salt, cinnamon