6 Protein Overnight Oats Recipes with Oatmeal Health Benefits

Oatmeal is a breakfast mainstay in many American homes. This whole grain is nutritious, fiber-full, and known for its myriad health benefits. Instant oatmeal packets and “quick” oats aren’t the best option when searching for a healthy breakfast. If you are looking for a recipe for protein overnight oats, you’ve come to the right place.

The healthiest oats are those that have been processed the least. The less the oats have been processed, the longer they take to prepare. For example, rolled oats, or old-fashioned oats, can take 5 minutes to cook, while steel-cut oats require 20 minutes or longer to reach the desired consistency.

If you are like most people, a ready-to-eat and healthy breakfast is a god-send in the morning. These six recipes for protein overnight oats require just a bit of prep work the night before and will delight even the pickiest of eaters!

Types of Oats

There are five main types of oats, each processed to a different degree. If you are sensitive to gluten or avoiding gluten, be sure to purchase oats that are labeled “gluten free.” Oats are naturally gluten free, but they are often processed in facilities that also process wheat and other grains and contamination is possible.

  • Instant oats: Instant oats, or quick oats, are the thinnest of the group. These oats are still a whole grain that provides health benefits, but their texture is not appropriate for overnight oat recipes.
  • Rolled oats: Old-fashioned oats, or rolled oats, are processed by steaming the whole oat’s kernel until it is pliable, and then they are rolled into flakes. Rolled oats are most often called for in a protein overnight oat recipe.
  • Scottish oatmeal: Scottish oats are essentially stone-ground whole oat groats (kernels). Cooking them creates a creamy porridge-like consistency. This type of oat is generally not used in overnight recipes.
  • Steel cut oats: Steel cut oats are the kernel of the oat cut into two or three pieces with a steel blade. They take a much longer time to cook and have a chewier consistency. To swap out rolled oats for steel cut oats in the protein overnight oats below, use more liquid and soak for a minimum of 12 hours.
  • Whole oat groats: Whole oat groats are the kernel of the oat with the indelible hull removed. Oat groats take much longer to cook and are not recommended for raw preparations.

Oatmeal Health Benefits

Oats are a whole grain that is packed with dietary fiber. Oats contain more healthy fats and protein than most other grains. Their nutrient makeup is impressive; oats are chock-full of vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients.

Oats are rich in beta-glucan, a soluble dietary fiber that lowers LDL cholesterol levels. These beta-glucans have also been proven to increase immune system functioning. And the health benefits of oats don’t stop there. In addition to their excellent vitamin and mineral content, whole grain oats contain bioactive phytochemicals that demonstrate strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  Health Benefits of Oats

6 Delicious Recipes for Protein Overnight Oats

If you like to start your day with a protein-rich breakfast, these overnight oat recipes are for you! Protein overnight oats don’t require any cooking. Instead, oats are partnered with a liquid and allowed to soak for eight or more hours. Make no mistake, the oats remain raw and retain much of their structure and chewiness, depending on the amount and the type of liquid used and the length of time for the soak.

If the idea of cold oatmeal turns your stomach, thick of overnight oats as a cold cereal, not raw oats. What do overnight oats taste like? Honestly, they take on the flavor of the other ingredients in the recipe. Overnight oats are easy to adapt to your personal taste. If you enjoy a dry oat, add less moisture the next time. For a softer oat, add more moisture and soak for longer.

Most of these protein overnight oats creations contain chia seeds. This isn’t by accident. Chia seeds, in addition to being packed with nutrients, create a pudding-like texture that is pleasing to the palate. As you will see from these delicious overnight oat recipes, virtually any liquid and add-ins can be used. Try these recipes and then start experimenting with the flavors you love.

Almond Joy Overnight Rolled Oats

If you love chocolate, coconut, and almonds together, you are going to love this rich and creamy protein overnight oats. Before diving in, top the oats with a few extra almonds and some more coconut for added texture and crunch!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 5%
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats or old-fashioned oats
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. In an 8-ounce canning jar, layer the ingredients in order as listed.
  2. Secure the lid and shake until well combined. You can stir with a spoon or chopstick if that is easier.
  3. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. This overnight oat recipe is delicious cold, right out of the fridge—but you can also warm it in the microwave if you prefer warm oatmeal.

Almond Joy Overnight Rolled Oats Nutrition

Protein: 12 grams

Calories: 369

Total carbs: 50 grams

Fiber: 10 grams

Fat: 15 grams

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats

Who doesn’t love a slice of carrot cake? Ripe with flavor and packed with nutrients, this overnight oat recipe is a crowd-pleaser. Add a dollop of yogurt in the morning before serving to boost the creaminess of this delicious overnight oatmeal.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, 5%
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon grated carrots
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 teaspoons chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon raisins or another dried fruit

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  2. Refrigerate overnight or for at least eight hours.
  3. To add a bit of crunch, top the oatmeal with pecans just before serving.

Carrot Cake Overnight Oats Nutrition

Protein: 15 grams

Calories: 413

Total carbs: 60 grams

Fiber: 10 grams

Fat: 15 grams

Overnight Oats with Yogurt

From Fountain Avenue Kitchen comes this delicious no-cook overnight oat recipe that is packed with fruit, fiber, and protein. Frozen berries or fresh fruit can be used successfully in this preparation. Customize as you like!

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, 5%
  • 1/3 cup almond milk (unsweetened) or dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup fruit, frozen or fresh

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients to a canning jar and mix well. Add the fruit and stir until combined.
  2. Seal and refrigerate overnight.

Overnight Oats with Yogurt Nutrition

Protein: 12 grams

Calories: 293

Total carbs: 45 grams

Fiber: 6 grams

Fat: 7 grams

Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Peanut butter is loaded with protein and healthy fats, and it gives this overnight oat recipe a ton of flavor and added creaminess. This delicious Peanut Butter Overnight Oats recipe comes from the Minimalist Baker, and she recommends topping it in the morning with slices of banana, strawberries, or raspberries. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 3/4 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats

Instructions

  1. In a canning jar or small bowl, mix the almond milk, chia seeds, peanut butter, and maple syrup together.
  2. Fold in the oats, stirring to combine.
  3. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least six hours or overnight.

Peanut Butter Overnight Oats Nutrition

Protein: 16 grams

Calories: 477

Total carbs: 56 grams

Fiber: 10 grams

Fat: 24 grams

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

Steel cut oats are the least processed oat and they require more soaking time and more moisture. This Overnight Steel Cut Oats recipe is from Well Plated by Erin, and is written to provide four servings. Erin notes that steel cut oats will continue to absorb moisture for several days and become softer as time goes by. You can whip up a batch and it will last you nearly all week!

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups 2% milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Optional add-ins:
    • Chia seeds
    • Flaxseeds
    • Hemp seeds
    • Cinnamon
    • Dried or fresh fruit
    • Toasted nuts
    • Protein powder

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the milk, honey, nut butter, protein powder, and seeds until smooth. Stir in the oats and the salt.
  2. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10 hours before eating.
  3. The first day, be sure to stir well before spooning out your serving.

Overnight Steel Cut Oats Nutrition

Protein: 10 grams

Calories: 264

Total carbs: 40 grams

Fiber: 4 grams

Fat: 8 grams

Vegan Overnight Oats with Banana

From Oh She Glows comes this delicious raw Vegan Overnight Oats recipe. The addition of a ripe banana adds sweetness and an excellent boost of potassium.

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup almond milk or other dairy-free milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Optional add-ins:
    • Granola
    • Fresh fruit
    • Coconut flakes
    • Maple syrup
    • Nuts
    • Seeds

Instructions

  1. Mix the mashed banana, chia seeds, and cinnamon until well combined.
  2. Stir in the oats, almond milk, and vanilla extract.
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Stir before eating.

Vegan Overnight Oats with Banana Nutrition

Protein: 11 grams

Calories: 422

Total carbs: 71 grams

Fiber: 16 grams

Fat: 12 grams

The Original Overnight Oats—Muesli

Overnight oats are a recent phenomenon in the United States, but in Europe, the concept of soaking oats overnight has been enjoyed for generations. Muesli contains raw oats, usually yogurt, fresh juice, fresh fruits, and something crunchy for texture.

From Bon Appetit comes this crave-worthy Orange-Date Muesli with Coconut and Cacao Nibs recipe that is perfect for Sunday mornings or even Christmas morning. It is rich and creamy and the texture and flavors make it feel like a decadent treat. As a warning, this recipe does require a bit more prep work than the others in this list—you need to toast the coconut in the oven before preparing the ingredients to soak.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 orange, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 Medjool date, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 5%
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon cacao nibs

Instructions

  1. Toast the coconut in a 350º oven for five minutes and set aside.
  2. Stir the orange, orange juice, date, yogurt, and oats together.
  3. Cover and chill overnight.
  4. Before serving, top with the toasted coconut and cacao nibs.

The Original Overnight Oats—Muesli Nutrition

Protein: 16 grams

Calories: 365

Total carbs: 54 grams

Fiber: 7 grams

Fat: 11 grams

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