This healthy vanilla overnight oats recipe is like dessert for breakfast! Filled with amazing vanilla flavors and the texture is so unbelievably creamy. This recipe is also completely dairy-free and vegan, plus naturally gluten-free as well. Great to meal-prep nutritious breakfasts before a busy week!
I love overnight oats so much! They are my favorite healthy breakfast to enjoy during the week as I often prep them ahead and they are just SO delicious.
I switch up their flavors often and especially love these pumpkin flavored overnight oats or chocolate orange creamy overnight oats versions, but this simple plain vanilla overnight oats recipe probably is the one I make the most. Meant to be enjoyed for breakfast, but I would absolutely serve this one for dessert to guests.
It is ultra creamy and loaded with vanilla flavors, with the chia seeds adding a fun tapioca beads texture. It feels like eating a velvety vanilla pudding! My kids go nuts for this version and so do I.
Plus, you can easily make a few single portions of this basic vanilla flavored overnight oats and then top with fruits in the morning depending on what you feel like. The plain sweet flavor actually pairs well with just about anything: fruits, nuts or even chocolate. Swap up the garnishing just before serving to make each morning different.
And you will get everything you need to start your day just right with this recipe: tons of plant-based protein, healthy fiber and valuable omega-3 healthy fats. I like to combine with berries to load it up with more antioxidants too. This recipe also is 100% dairy-free, vegan and naturally gluten-free, so it fits many diets.
What a delicious way to get all your nutrients in!
Hope you give it a try and please share your ideas on how you like to serve it! ❤️
Why we love this recipe
- ULTRA creamy, thanks to the addition of vegan yogurt
- Uses vanilla extract, plus some vanilla flavored dairy-free yogurt + milk for a big boost in flavor
- Very kid-, toddler- and even baby-friendly.
- Great basic sweet flavor if you like simply flavored oats, but can also add just about anything as it is super versatile
- Very easy and quick to make: whipped up within 5 minutes, then let chill overnight
- Make it nut-free and pack them in your kids lunch boxes, makes for a healthy snack they love
- AMAZING for meal-prep, holds up well in the fridge for days
- Feels like eating dessert for breakfast!
Health benefits of vanilla overnight oats
There is an overwhelming amount of goodness in vegan overnight oats. Each ingredients, especially the oats and chia seeds, provides tons of fiber, plant-based protein and minerals + vitamins.
This recipe asks for ¾ cup of rolled oats + 1 tablespoon of chia seeds + 5.3 g of almond yogurt. These 3 ingredients alone provide more than 12 grams of fiber and 13 grams of plant-based protein. Use soy milk when making it to boost the protein even more, if you want. It makes for such a filling breakfast that can help you stay satisfied for a while!
But also, chia seeds are an amazing source of healthy omega-3 fats, which are important for brain health, and also are a powerful source of antioxidants.
Ingredients you'll need
- Rolled oats: choose the thicker kind of rolled oats, also called old-fashioned oats. Avoid quick cooking oats and definitely do NOT use instant oats as you would end up with a super mushy texture, unless that's what you like. Also, steel-cut oats do not work well for overnight oats.
- Chia seeds: great to add texture and to thicken the consistency, but also adds so many healthy nutrients.
- Plant-based milk: use your favorite, but for this recipe, I recommend vanilla flavored milk. I love oat milk, but use vanilla soy milk for a higher-in-protein breakfast.
- Vegan yogurt: I'm so in love with this Kite Hill vanilla almond yogurt. I think they recently improved the texture and flavor of this product, it is so good now (not a sponsored post, I just really like that kind✌️). Plus, they use real vanilla beans, which allows you to see the tiny specks of vanilla beads within the yogurt.
- Vanilla extract: really boost the vanilla flavor, it taste like vanilla cake!
- Sweetener: use your favorite, but I love maple syrup in overnight oats. Brown rice syrup and agave nectar would be good option too and a little less expensive. I think any granulated sugar would work too.
How to make vanilla overnight oats
Overnight oats are SO easy and straight forward to make.
In a glass container, combine the oats, chia seeds, plant-based milk, HALF of the yogurt, vanilla extract and sweetener to taste. Stir well and cover.
Transfer the oat mixture to the fridge to rest overnight.
I often make overnight oats in a pinch as well, meaning the morning of, giving it about 1 hour to chill and rest. This result in a thinner consistency, but it works well for me especially when I forget to make it the night before.
Garnish and serve
The next morning (or whenever ready to eat), give the oat mixture a good stir and adjust consistency to your liking by adding a splash of milk, if needed.
Then, eat right away as is straight from the bowl (especially if on-the-go).
BUT, what I like to do is to layer the creamy oats with the second half of yogurt. You can also layer the overnight oats in a see-through glass jar with fruits, nuts, nut butter and top with more yogurt and fruits as well. It takes about 2 minutes to serve it that way, but adds great texture and makes your breakfast looks very pretty and appetizing.
Watch how to make it
- You will have to adjust consistency to your liking as the oats will absorb more of the milk as it rests, giving you a thicker texture as time goes. This is easy to adjust simply by adding a little more milk to your taste just before eating.
- If making this recipe ahead for meal-prep, then definitely keep the recipe as is and add fresh fruits only when serving (or no more than 24 hours ahead) for best freshness.
- I love using mason glass jars to meal-prep a few overnight oats ahead.
More adds-in and topping ideas
The best part of overnight oats is how easy to customize they are. Especially with this basic vanilla overnight oat recipe: it is very flavorful on its own, but also pairs well with lots of other ingredients.
You can add more when you are stirring the oat mixture the night before, but also, simply vary the garnishing ingredients when serving.
Here are a few ideas:
- Fresh fruits: strawberries and raspberries are great choices for a vanilla flavored recipe, but blueberries and peaches would also be amazing.
I also LOVE orange and vanilla flavors together, such as seen in my recent peach, pineapple and orange smoothie. So feel free to add some pieces of Navel orange within the mixture for a yummy breakfast.
Other fruits to consider are pears, bananas (add only when ready to eat so it does not turn brown), mango, kiwi and cherries.
- Chocolate: top the overnight oats with mini chocolate chips at serving for a nice treat.
- Nuts: adds more healthy fats and some more fiber and protein, but also amazing at providing texture and a good crunch to balance the creaminess from the overnight oats. Try chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans.
- Jams: my kids always ask for their overnight oats with jam. It add sweetness, of course, but also a nice pop in color. To keep this recipe healthy and lower in added sugar, then simply make your own jam using chia seeds!
- Nut/seed butter: add a drizzle of peanut butter or almond butter over your bowl at serving or layer some if serving in a jar as seen in the pictures. I love it with a homemade pumpkin seed butter!
- Dried fruits: to avoid having to add any sweetener at all, then feel free to add finely chopped dates to the mixture. Raisins and dried cherries also are amazing in overnight oats as they plump while resting making the texture even better.
- Shredded coconut, granola, or tahini caramel would all be amazing healthy addition to this overnight oats recipe!
I think the ultimate texture for overnight oats are 12-24 hours after prepared. That being said, I make them days ahead regularly.
The thing is that the consistency will keep thickening up while chilling in the fridge, which can easily be adjusted by adding a splash of milk to loosen up the mixture to your taste.
Yes, I often make overnight oats without yogurt! Simply omit it if you prefer and add a little less milk (about ¼ cup less) to compensate and ensure good texture.
No, I used an almond yogurt. To make it nut-free, then use soy yogurt instead and be sure to use a nut-free milk as well, such as soy or oat milk.
Yes you can! Follow the recipe as is and then simply warm up on the stove or using the microwave just before serving. You might need to add a little more milk afterward as warming up the creamy oats tends to thicken the overall texture. For a warm oat recipe, also check out these vegan baked oats recipe for one!
More overnight oats recipes to try next
- How to personalize vegan overnight oats
- Pumpkin overnight oats
- Maple pecans overnight oats
- Strawberry almond butter overnight oats
- Chocolate orange overnight oats
- Mango swirl overnight oats
- High protein peanut butter overnight oats
- Overnight oats with frozen fruit
- Quinoa overnight oats
- Cherry overnight oats
- Overnight oats without chia seeds
Vanilla recipes you might like
- Vanilla cherry energy bites
- Vanilla chai banana smoothie
- Almond vanilla granola
- Vanilla matcha oat milk latte
- Vegan vanilla cashew icing
- Vegan sandwich cookie with vanilla filling
- Flaxseed pudding
- Vegan baked oats for one
I hope you like this vanilla 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!
Vanilla Overnight Oats
- ¾ cup rolled oats
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- ¾ cup plant-based milk
- 5.3 oz vegan vanilla yogurt - divided
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup - or to taste
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- In a jar, combine the rolled oats, chia seeds, plant-based milk, half of the yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir well until combined, cover and store in the fridge overnight (or for a minimum of 1-2 hours).
- Cover and store the second half of the yogurt in the fridge until ready to serve.
- To serve, test consistency of the overnight oats and add a little more milk iof needed. Then, layer the overnight oats with the second half of yogurt with some fruits (or any other toppings you like).
- This overnight oat recipe is great for meal-prep. You can make a few jar ahead of time and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. Add some fruits or nuts no more than 24 hours before enjoying for best freshness.
- This recipe is highly customizable. Feel free to pair with: berries, cinnamon, raw cacao powder, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, nut/seed butter, fruit jam, etc.