This quinoa overnight oats recipe makes for such a complete, filling and high-protein breakfast, but also amazing for snacking and to enjoy after working out. Simply combine quinoa, oats, chia seeds, plant milk and flavoring ingredients and then let it sit until ready to enjoy. There are endless ways to personalize this recipe and it is completely vegan, dairy-free and simply the BEST meal-prep breakfast recipe to make ahead of a busy week!
I have had so much positive feedback from my high-protein overnight oat recipe and I know a lot of you like breakfast recipes that are very filling and nutrient-dense, so here is another similar recipe to try this week: quinoa overnight oats!
It is not only super easy and simple to make, but also naturally loaded with healthy plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, thanks to the addition of quinoa!
It is like a classic overnight oats recipe that's boosted with tons of yummy nutrients.
Compared to regular vegan overnight oats recipes, the only extra step is to cook the quinoa first, which takes 15-20 minutes to do. And since cooked quinoa stores so well in the fridge for days, you can prepare some ahead of time to make filling overnight oats recipes during the week or to use in savory bowls, such as these quinoa poke bowl and Mediterranean chickpea and quinoa bowl.
Once the quinoa is cooked, then this breakfast comes together so easily, just the same as any other overnight oats: simply combine the ingredients and let it sit overnight (or at least for 4 hours). Then, wake up to a creamy bowl of cold oatmeal that you can eat like a sweet pudding. The quinoa adds a super interesting texture to the mixture, slightly more hearty and less mushy than the regular kind of overnight oats, which is something you might be looking for.
I would even say that the quinoa itself is mostly unnoticeable within the mixture, since the small soft shape and very mild flavor blends so well with the rolled oats and plant milk.
So, whether you want to avoid getting hungry too quickly later in the morning, you like to offer filling meals to your growing kids before they start the day or simply are looking for high-protein recipes to fit your workout routine, then give this overnight oats recipe a try, you will be hooked!
Let me know if you tried it! ❤️
Highlights of this recipe
- Great way to use up leftover cooked quinoa!
- Shockingly packed with plant-based protein, vitamins, fiber and more
- Easy-to-make and GREAT for meal-prep
- Makes for an amazing breakfast that will fuel you for hours, but also great for snacking or to enjoy as a post-workout treat
- So delicious, it actually feels like dessert for breakfast!
- Highly customizable, see below for tons of ideas on how to personalize yours
- Perfect for kids, babies or toddlers
- Suits many diets, such as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free
Ingredients you will need
- Cooked quinoa: you can use any kind of quinoa, such as white, red or tri-color. Use white quinoa if you are looking to sneak it in (such as for picky-kids) OR aim for a colored kind to add a nice visual within the creamy mixture of oats.
- Rolled oats: you will need old-fashioned thicker kind of oats for this recipe. Avoid quick cooking and instant oats or your meal will be too mushy!
- Plant-based milk: I used Oatly oat milk to make it. I love how creamy oat milk is!
- Chia seeds: I love using chia seeds in overnight oats for the added tapioca-like texture it gives the oats and the bonus nutrition, such as omega-3 health fats and plant-based protein. You can also simply omit if you don't have it.
- Sweetener: simply add to taste, I love maple syrup to sweeten overnight oats, but agave nectar or any sweetener you like will work.
- Frozen raspberries: they add a nice tangy and sweet flavor, I use them all the time in my overnight oats! Frozen blueberries work too or simply omit them if you prefer.
- Flavoring ingredients: I like a little vanilla (boosts the natural sweetness of the recipe) and cinnamon (warming spice known for its anti-inflammatory benefits), but feel-free to swap them for other spices or simply omit. If your milk is already flavored with vanilla, then taste first before adding more!
How to make quinoa overnight oats
Making overnight oats is SO simple! This version adds a small extra step since you have to cook the quinoa first. Here is how to make it:
Cook the quinoa
Since one serving of this recipe requires only ½ cup of cooked quinoa, then I recommend to cook more and either use in other savory recipes or simply meal-prep a few jars of overnight oats for the week. It is hard to cook such a small amount in a pot, so cook more!
To cook the quinoa, you will need a ratio of 1:2 of quinoa:water. So, if you want to cook 1 cup of dry quinoa, then you will need 1 cup quinoa + 2 cups of water. As a side note, 1 cup of dry quinoa will give you about 2 ½-3 cups of cooked quinoa.
Start by rinsing the quinoa in plenty of cold water (I use a fine mesh-colander for this) and then transfer to a small pot. Then, add the water over and cover. Bring to a simmer and then turn down the heat to medium-low. Keep it on a low simmer for about 15 minutes and then, remove from the heat (but keep the pot covered). Let sit at room temperature for another 5-10 minutes to allow it to finish cooking, then fluff with a fork.
Combine the ingredients
In a glass jar or storing container, combine the cooked quinoa, rolled oats, chia seeds, plant milk, sweetener, frozen raspberries, vanilla extract and cinnamon (if using). Then, stir well and cover.
Chill/Rest and serve
Transfer to the fridge and let it sit for at least 4 hours, but even better, overnight.
The next day when ready to eat, then stir and adjust consistency with more milk if needed and serve layered with peanut butter and jam, if desired. See below for more serving ideas!
- When cooking quinoa for lunch or dinner, then make more and use up the extra to meal-prep a few jars of nutrient-rich overnight oats for the week!
- To make it completely without any added sweetener, then you can either add mashed bananas or diced sweet Medjool dates to the mixture.
- The recommend chilling time before enjoying is 4 hours. That being said, I regularly let it sit for less than that, often just for one hour. In that case, the oats will keep their hearty texture and the mixture will be less creamy, but it might be worth giving it a try if you are in a rush and forgot to meal-prep the day before. I am now used to "short soaking time" because life is so busy with young kids and I actually like it better that way now!
There are endless ways you can make this recipe your own! You can check out my vegan overnight oat recipe where I share tons of variations, but here are my favorite ways to flavor overnight oats:
- Swap the frozen fruit: just like I shared in my frozen fruit overnight oat recipe, frozen berries work so well when making overnight oats. Try swapping the frozen raspberries for frozen blueberries, cherries or strawberries. You can roughly chop the frozen fruit first if they are larger (make them bite size).
- Make it even creamier: feel-free to include some vegan yogurt to your overnight oats, especially a vanilla-flavored one. We love the cashew yogurt from the brand Forager Project. Or just like in my vanilla overnight oat recipe, you can serve it layered with some yogurt.
- Add even more protein: include a spoonful of peanut butter to the mixture for more protein, but also an amazing flavor. Or if you love protein powder, then add some!
- Skip the chia seeds: you can easily omit the chia seeds if you prefer. In that case, then use about ½ cup milk (instead of ¾ cup).
You can eat the quinoa-oats mixture straight from the jar, although I like to layer with both peanut butter and some fruit jam just before eating (as seen in the pictures and ***video). Use a chia jam for a healthier option or aim for a naturally sweetened or lower in added sugar store-bought jam, if you can.
You can also simply top the quinoa overnight oats with more wholesome and delicious ingredients, such as:
- Nuts and seeds: pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds or sunflower seeds would add nutrition, but also as nice crunch that contrasts well with the creamy consistency.
- Granola: also great to add a good crunch! I love my vanilla almond granola for garnishing overnight oats.
- Fresh fruits: top with berries, diced bananas, mango, peaches or any other fruit you like or what's currently in season.
- Shredded coconut: such a fun texture and naturally a little sweet.
- Cacao nibs: will add a nice crunch and extra antioxidants too.
- Dried fruits: chopped dates, raisins, dried blueberries or cherries would be amazing to add a nice chewy texture, but also more sweetness naturally.
To make this recipe a sweet dessert that's healthier, but feels like a treat, then add some chocolate chips to the creamy mixture and top with vegan whipped cream and diced brownies. These banana brownies would be amazing here! You can also drizzle a tahini caramel sauce over, yum!
Storage tips and how to meal-prep
Keep this overnight oats in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
The longer it rests, the thicker it will become. So, once you are ready to eat, then adjust consistency with a splash of milk to loosen up the pudding.
If you would like to layer the overnight oats with peanut butter and jam, then I would recommend doing so just before eating or the night before you need it, but not days ahead to keep it as fresh as possible.
Also, if you like to add fresh fruits to your overnight oats, then try to keep them sitting on top and stir them in just when eating for a more fresh taste (fresh fruit can turn soggy over time, that's why I prefer frozen fruit when stirring them in ahead of time).
As for the quinoa, you can cook it ahead or up to 5 days before you need it. Simply let the cooked quinoa cool off at room temperature and then, keep in an air-tight container in the fridge until you need it.
Yes! My kids actually prefer overnight oats warm, so I'll simply warm it up using the microwave and then serve it layered with fruits, yogurt and peanut butter. You can also reheat on the stove. Add some extra milk when warming it up since it will thicken slightly.
If you really love to meal-prep ahead and batch prepare food, then yes, you can freeze it. Make sure to freeze without any toppings or layering ingredients and let it thaw overnight in the fridge before enjoying. The texture will change and be softer or even a little more soggy after thawed though, just something to keep in mind.
More high-protein vegan breakfast recipes to try
- Curry tofu scramble
- Flaxseed pudding
- Vegan savory power bowl
- Quinoa-tomato breakfast bowl
- Warm chia pudding
- Silken tofu scramble
- Oatmeal, pear and cinnamon bars
- Vegan egg bites
- Black bean toasts
Also check out these overnight oats recipes!
- Basic vegan overnight oats recipe
- Pumpkin orange overnight oats
- Peanut butter overnight oats
- Maple pecan overnight oats
- Vanilla overnight oats
- Overnight oats with frozen fruits
- Mango swirl overnight oats
- Strawberry overnight oats
- Cherry overnight oats
- Overnight oats without chia seeds
I hope you enjoy this quinoa overnight oats recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Quinoa Overnight Oats
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- ½ cup rolled oats - such as old-fashioned oats
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- ¾ cup plant-based milk - I used oat milk
- 1 tbsp maple syrup - or to taste
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon - optional
- ¼ cup frozen raspberries or blueberries - optional
- peanut butter and jam - to serve, optional
- If not already done, start by cooking the quinoa. This recipe calls for ½ cup of cooked quinoa, but it is hard to cook a small amount, so I recommend to cook more and make a few jars or use the extra for savory recipes. To cook quinoa, you will need a ratio of 1:2 of quinoa:water. I like to cook 1 cup of dry quinoa (+ 2 cups of water), which gives almost 3 cups of cooked quinoa to use in recipes.
- Rinse the quinoa (I used 1 cup) in plenty of water using a fine-mesh colander and then drain. Transfer to a small pot and pour the water over (I used 2 cups). Then, cover and bring to a simmer. Then, turn down the heat and keep cooking on low for 15 minutes. Then, remove from the heat (but keep the cover on) and let it sit for another 5-10 minutes to allow it to finish cooking.
- Then, in a glass storing container or large jar, add the cooked quinoa, oats, chia seeds, plant milk, sweetener, frozen raspberries and flavoring ingredients (vanilla and cinnamon). Stir well, cover and transfer to the fridge.
- Let the mixture sit overnight or for at least 4 hours, although I also often do a quick soak that's less than that and it works fine for me.
- The next day or when ready to eat, adjust consistency with more milk if needed. Then serve topped with more fruits, nuts, nut butter, shredded coconut, cacao nibs, etc. I also like to layer with peanut butter and fruit jam.
- Storage: Quinoa overnight oats store well in the fridge for up top 4-5 days. The longer it sits, the softer and creamier it becomes. You might have to readjust the consistency for an overnight oats that's been sitting for a while by adding more milk to it.
- Variations: feel-free to use different kind of frozen fruits, such as blueberries or strawberries (check out my overnight oats with frozen fruit post) and also, add different ingredients to yours such as nutmeg, cacao powder, mashed bananas, chopped Medjool dates, flax seeds, cacao nibs, yogurt, etc. Read the blog post for more ideas!