Can you make creamy overnight oats without yogurt? Definitely! If you ever ran out of yogurt but wanted to make overnight oats, then this recipe is for you! It's the perfect quick and healthy breakfast that only requires a couple of minutes of prep time.
Overnight oats are one of the easiest healthy breakfast recipes out there. In case you ran out of yogurt (or just aren't a fan of it), this recipe is for you! Even though there's no yogurt involved, you'll end up with a hearty, creamy oatmeal base.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Overnight oatmeal is a great make-ahead breakfast option - perfect for busy mornings!
- This recipe includes only 7 simple ingredients and is very easy to prepare!
- It's packed with nutrients, plant-based protein and dietary fiber which can help you feel full for longer!
- It can easily be made dairy-free, vegan and gluten-free by opting for gluten-free oats.
- There's no cooking involved- just whisk everything together and you're ready to go!
What are Overnight Oats?
When soaked in liquid overnight, oats will soak up that liquid and expand in size. This will create a thick and creamy oatmeal base that you can then modify to your own taste by adding your favorite toppings.
The reason why overnight oats are such a popular breakfast recipe is because it makes the perfect breakfast when you're short on time. It takes literally 5 minutes to prepare overnight oats and they are ready to eat the next morning.
Ingredients & Substitution Notes
- Oats: We recommend using old-fashioned, rolled oats. Because of their texture, they have the ability to soak up considerably more liquid than quick oats or instant oats, will result in a super creamy texture. You could try using quick oats but you might need to adjust the amount of liquid (usually a bit less). If you prefer to make gluten-free overnight oats, opt for certified gluten-free oats. This recipe won't work with steel-cut oats.
- Chia Seeds: They can soak up even more liquid than oats, which will help create a thick texture. You could use ground flax seeds instead, but this will slightly change the taste as flax seeds have a more distinct flavor.
- Milk of choice: Any milk of choice should work here- which one you take is based on personal preference. You could use regular cow's milk or for vegan overnight oats use any non-dairy milk alternative such as oat milk, almond milk, soy or cashew milk. Coconut milk would also work but this will also add some coconut flavors. Also, make sure that the coconut milk you choose is not too thick or you'll need more milk.
- Maple Syrup: Our preferred choice is maple syrup because it tastes delicious and works well as a sweetener. Feel free to use your preferred sweetener such as agave syrup, honey (not vegan) or sugar (coconut sugar or regular brown sugar).
- Apple Sauce (Unsweetened): Since the base recipe for these easy overnight oats doesn't include yogurt, we need something else to create a creamy oat mixture. Apple sauce acts as a natural sweetener and helps thicken the mixture. The end result is creamy oatmeal even without the use of yogurt. We recommend using unsweetened apple sauce. It could be replaced by equal amounts of mashed bananas.
- Vanilla Extract (optional): adds a touch of vanilla, could be omitted.
- (Sea) Salt (optional): further enhances the flavors, could also be omitted.
- Toppings: Oats don't taste particularly exciting on their own, that's when your toppings of choice come into play! Feel free to play around with different flavor combinations.
This basic overnight oats recipe consists of only a couple of healthy ingredients. There's also no special equipment needed- a bowl and a spoon to mix everything together is all you'll need. In case you'll want to prepare it as a grab-and-go breakfast, you'll need a meal-prep container or mason jar with a lid.
STEP 1: Mix ingredients together. Combine all of the ingredients (old-fashioned oats, chia seeds, salt (optional), apple sauce, maple syrup, vanilla extract (optional) and milk of choice) in a small bowl.
Give the mixture a good stir so that everything is well combined.
STEP 2: Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours but preferably overnight. This will leave the oats enough time to fully absorb the liquid.
STEP 3: Toppings. This is where the fun part starts. Oats don't taste particularly exciting on their own so toppings are crucial to making this easy breakfast taste delicious.
The different flavor variations that you can achieve with toppings are endless. Our personal favorite is a combination of different fruits, nuts, nut butter and more maple syrup on top. For more ideas check out our topping recommendations below.
Flavor & Topping Ideas
- Fresh Fruit: Slice up your favorite fruit or fruits and add them to your oatmeal bowl to turn this into a delicious breakfast. Great additions would be fresh blueberries, (caramelized) banana or slices of apple.
- Nut Butters: Homemade Almond Butter or peanut butter add some healthy fats, protein and more flavor. We recommend using natural unsweetened nut butters that don't include any additives. If you can't tolerate nuts, sunflower seed butter might be an option.
- Nuts & Seeds: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds or walnuts make amazing toppings. Add a brazil nut or two for some extra selenium!
- Dried Fruits: chopped up dates, cranberries or figs are naturally quite sweet and dates amazing in oatmeal.
- Caramel Sauce: Adding a tablespoon of our 2-Ingredient Vegan Caramel Sauce is another great way to pimp your oatmeal.
- Cocoa Powder: give these overnight oats into some chocolatey flavor by adding a teaspoon of unsweetened dark cacao powder.
- Coconut Flakes: For more tropical flavors, add some (toasted) coconut flakes.
- Protein Powder: for some additional protein, add a scoop of your favorite protein powder. Make sure that it's quite neutral in taste though. Especially plant-based protein powder blends can have a quite strong taste.
- Toppings: They are essential to make this rather simple breakfast taste exciting! Take this extra minute or two to prepare your toppings of choice and you won't regret it! Make sure, however, to only add them shortly before serving!
- Mix it up: Don't use the same toppings over and over again. Mix it up from time to time to not get bored. Also, try using toppings with different textures to create soft and crunchier layers.
- Type of oats: This recipe works best with large flaked, rolled oats.
- Meal prep: Overnight oats will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. This means you could prepare a big batch on Sunday night and won't need to think about breakfast until the middle of the week. Give the mix a good stir each time before serving.
- Hot oatmeal: If you're not a fan of cold oats simply heat them up in the microwave (using a microwave-safe container) or on the stovetop while constantly stirring. That way you can enjoy your overnight oats as a warm breakfast.
- Grab-and-go: Instead of a bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together in a suitable container with a lid. That way you can take your breakfast to work. Store toppings in a separate container and add them just before serving.
Store your overnight oats in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You could make a big batch on Sunday night and have some breakfast ready throughout the week. Give it a good stir before serving and add a tablespoon of milk of too. Serve with different toppings of choice.
The chia seeds together with the apple sauce in this recipe help thicken the oats and you'll end up with a creamy oatmeal even though there's no yogurt included.
(Unsweetened) apple sauce makes a great substitute for yogurt, as does mashed bananas.
Chia seeds help thicken the oat mixture further and result in a creamier oatmeal base. Especially because this recipe doesn't include yogurt, I would recommend not skipping the chia seeds. They could be replaced with ground flax seeds though.
Usually YES, but since this recipe doesn't include yogurt, you could probably let the oat mixture sit on the counter for 1 night (if you're using a dairy-free milk). If you make a big batch for the week ahead, I would suggest storing them in the fridge.
Overnight oats can make a great healthy breakfast option. Oats are high in phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals. Another health benefit is that oats are high in dietary fiber which can play an important role in a healthy diet. Studies show that an increased intake may play a role in reducing a number of metabolic diseases. What makes an overnight oat recipe healthy or not is mostly the remaining ingredients in the recipe (added sugar and other processed food).
More Recipes to try
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Overnight Oats Without Yogurt
- ½ cup large flaked, rolled oats
- ⅓ cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup (or agarve, honey...)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ¾ cup milk of choice (regular milk or non-dairy option such as soy milk, almond milk, oat milk...)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- tiny pinch of salt (optional)
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl or your preferred meal-prep container if you want to prepare it as a grab-and-go breakfast for the next morning.
- Give the mixture a good stir so that everything is well combined.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
- Add your toppings of choice shortly before serving (grab-and-go breakfast: Store toppings in a separate container and add them just before serving)
- Top Tips: Check out our expert tips above.
- Type of oats: This recipe works best with old-fashioned, large flaked oats.
- Topping Ideas: Toppings are essential to make this simple breakfast taste delicious! Try adding fresh fruit, nut butters (peanut butter, homemade almond butter), nuts & seeds (add a brazil nut for some extra selenium), dried fruit pieces, 2-Ingredient Caramel Sauce, coconut flakes, protein powder...
- Meal Prep: Overnight oats will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. This means you could prepare a big batch on Sunday night and won't need to think about breakfast until the middle of the week. Give the mix a good stir each time before serving.
- Nutritional information calculated without toppings.