This simple overnight oats recipe is a great foundational recipe for your tool kit. Packed full of protein, fiber and healthy fats, this recipe is the perfect way to start your day. It will help keep your blood sugars balanced until your next meal and keep you feeling full for longer. Plus it only takes 5 minutes to whip together and gives you 5 days of grab and go breakfasts. No more stress in the morning!
It’s no secret that I love finding easy, time saving hacks and meal prep is a big one. Whether you’re new to meal prep or a meal prepping pro, I like to recommend batching at least one meal for the upcoming week to save yourself time and money. That could look like meal prepping your salads so you have grab and go lunches for the week or making a big batch of this overnight oats recipe for quick breakfasts every morning.
I love this foundational overnight oats base recipe because it uses oats. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, oats are a registered dietitian’s dream. They’re so versatile. You can use them to make stovetop overnight oats (like in this delicious apple, turmeric stovetop oats recipe), grind them up in your food processor to make home-made oat flour and use in your baking, or even add them into a creamy tomato soup for an added boost of fiber.
Plus it can be tailored to suit anyone’s taste buds. Don’t be afraid to top it with your favorite flavor combo for a delicious start to your day.
What you Need for this Simple Overnight Oats Recipe & Substitutions
Quick oats: I used quick oats in this recipe. I love how they soak up the flavor of the cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup. They’re also the softest type of oat so they don’t need as much time in the fridge before you can eat them. If you have rolled oats, you can use those (and can substitute for the same amount). You might just want to keep them in the fridge for 2 hours before eating. We don’t recommend using steel cut oats for this recipe. You won’t get the desired texture that you want.
Chia seeds: Besides being nutritional powerhouses (more on that here), chia seeds help thicken up the overnight oat base. I love that they transform their texture from a crunchy seed to a soft pearl-like texture when they’re in liquid. If you don’t have chia seeds, you can omit them completely. We recommend choosing a topping that has some healthy fats like a nut butter.
Hemp hearts: Hemp hearts are packed full of nutrition and add a little crunch into this recipe. If you don’t have them on hand, you can either not include them in the recipe or substitute for flax seeds or sunflower seeds.
Cinnamon: I used cinnamon to boost the flavor of the oats. You can substitute for another spice like nutmeg or pumpkin spice.
Vanilla: Vanilla extract enhances the flavors of other liquids in this recipe and is soaked up into the
Milk: I used 2% milk in this recipe because that’s what we had on-hand but you can use whatever milk you have on-hand including non-dairy milks. This would be delicious with vanilla oat milk.
Maple syrup: Maple syrup adds a natural sweetness to this recipe. You can easily substitute for honey or another liquid sweetener. You can also use brown or white sugar, you just might need to add an extra dash of milk to make sure the oats don’t get dry.
How to Make the Base
Pour your oats into a large reusable container.
Mix in your chia seeds, hemp hearts, cinnamon and salt.
Add in your liquids (milk, vanilla and maple syrup) and stir until well combined. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
You can either keep the base in the reusable container and remove one portion each day or equally distribute between 5 mason jars and top with your favorite topping combo when you’re ready to enjoy!
Boost the Flavor with These Topping Combos
Raspberry & Lemon Zest: I love raspberries. They’re sweet and tart and pair perfectly with lemon zest.
Blueberry & Toasted Walnuts: I love toasted walnuts. They’re packed full of nutrition and add the satiety factor which will keep you feeling full in between meals. Paired with antioxidant-rich blueberries, this combo is a winner.
Nut Butter & Jam: For an added boost of protein, top with a nut butter of your choice. Mix in your favorit jam (I love raspberry) for some sweetness. This one takes me back to my elementary school days.
Mango & Coconut: I’m a coconut lover! This combo has a tropical flavor that reminds me of Hawaii and is so delicious. I also love the extra boost of vitamin C from the mango and antioxidants from the coconut.
Greek Yogurt & Berries: Greek yogurt will add some extra protein into your breakfast and the berries are a great way to get more vitamins and fiber into your belly.
Nutritional Benefits of Simple Overnight Oats
Oats: Oats are a type of whole grain that are packed with fiber, which is great for promoting healthy digestion and helping you feel full and satisfied. They’re also a good source of protein, which is great news for anyone looking to add more plant-based protein to their diet. They’re rich in nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and iron, making them a great way to nourish your body from the inside out.
Hemp Hearts: I love hemp hearts. They’re an excellent source of healthy fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fats are essential for maintaining good heart health, brain function, and can even promote healthy skin and hair. They’re an excellent source of plant-based protein and they contain yummy nutrients like iron and magnesium.
Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are small, black seeds that are incredibly nutrient-dense. They’re a great source of fiber and are rich in healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. Packed with antioxidants, chia seeds can help protect your body from damage caused by free radicals. And like oats and hemp hearts, chia seeds are also a good source of important nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and iron.
If you make this simple overnight oats base, it would make my day if you would leave a comment and/or star rating below— I love hearing your feedback! And don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @lindsaypleskot so I can see your versions! It makes me so happy to see these recipes come to life in your kitchens! xoPrint
Simple 5-Minute Overnight Oats Meal Prep Base
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 5 1x
This easy overnight oats base recipe is a great foundational recipe for your tool kit. Packed full of protein, fiber and healthy fats, this recipe is the perfect way to start your day. It will help keep your blood sugars balanced until your next meal and keep you feeling full for longer.
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- ½ cup hemp hearts
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 cups milk
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
Pour your oats into a large reusable container. Mix in your chia seeds, hemp hearts, cinnamon and salt.
Add in the milk, vanilla and maple syrup and stir until well combined. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour (or overnight).
To eat: Either keep the base in the reusable container and remove one portion each day or equally distribute between 5 mason jars. Top with your favorite toppings the day of eating. Enjoy
- Prep Time: 5
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: no bake
The overnight oat and extras base recipe is easy to make and very tasty. It is easy to add other nuts and fruits in the morning for a quick and delicious breakfast. I also make a similar overnight recipe for hot cereal in a rice cooker and add cut up granny smith apples, apricots, prunes and almond slices (or walnuts) to the mix. The milk is substituted with some non-sweetened apple juice and water. We eat this mostly in winter and switch to the cold recipe in the summer. It’s GREAT!
Lindsay Pleskot, RD says
I’m so happy you like this one Bill and I love how you switch up the recipe depending on what you have on hand and the seasons.