It only takes 5 minutes to prep these Overnight Oats Protein Bowls, perfect for a quick and easy breakfast or afternoon snack! These bowls are gluten free and vegan, with plant-based protein from oats, chia seeds and protein powder.
With 7 different flavor variations, you can eat a different low calorie, high protein, oat bowl every day of the week!
Overnight oats have become increasingly popular in the last few years, and in my opinion are an improvement to traditional oatmeal. They're ready in the morning for an easy grab and go breakfast, and there's no need to heat anything up!
Plus, they require only 5 minutes of prep time and will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, making them the perfect addition to your Sunday meal planning routine.
Oatmeal is a healthy food that should definitely be included in your diet. Not only is it a great source of fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol, but it also adds calcium and protein to your diet.
One of the easiest ways to work oatmeal into your life is to eat it for breakfast, and this overnight oats recipe is the simplest method! This recipe provides a great base for customizing, with so many different flavor combinations. Prep a variety of flavors to keep things interesting every day of the week!
- Oats- for this recipe you will want to use old fashioned or rolled oats. Instant oats or steel cut oats will not work for this recipe. I used Bob's Red Mill rolled oats, which are certified gluten-free.
- Chia seeds - this plant-based superfood is a good source of fiber and omega 3's. It also adds 4 grams of protein to this recipe.
- Protein powder - feel free to use your favorite vanilla protein powder, but if you'd like to keep this recipe vegan, I recommend a vanilla plant-based protein powder, like the one you see pictured above.
- Almond milk - you can also use coconut milk, soy milk, oat milk, or traditional cow's milk. Soy milk will have the highest protein content of all of the non-dairy milks at 7 grams per cup, but it's also higher in calories, carbs and fat, than almond milk.
- Maple syrup - you can also use agave nectar or honey instead, if you prefer.
- Ground cinnamon
Step by step instructions
- Measure the oats, chia seeds, protein powder and ground cinnamon into a large bowl.
- Use a spatula to stir everything together until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Mix in the maple syrup and almond milk until combined, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl as you stir.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap, or transfer into individual airtight containers. Allow the mixture to set in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours, or overnight.
Load this bowl up with all sorts of flavors and textures to keep things interesting and add extra nutrition! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Berries - add diced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries. These can be added in ahead of time or just before eating.
- Banana - slice them up and add them just before serving for added potassium.
- Jams or jellies - mix in a dollop or two of your favorite flavor when you're prepping the oats.
- Nut Butter - stir in peanut butter or almond butter for a thick and creamy texture, this can be done ahead of time, or in the morning.
- Nuts - chopped almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, peanuts, or pistachios add a nice texture to the oats. These are best added just before serving to keep them from softening.
- Dried fruit - try raisins, cranberries, apricots, figs, or dates. If you mix them in ahead of time, they will soften as they absorb the liquid, so wait to add them if you want them to keep their texture.
- Granola - this gives the perfect crunch when added right before eating.
- Chocolate chips - keep it vegan with a dairy free variety, or cacao nibs would also taste great. Add them in any time in the process.
- Coconut chips - you could also mix in shredded coconut or flakes. As with the other options, they will soften as they sit.
- Sweetness - finish it off with a drizzle of maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar just before enjoying!
Mix up these overnight oats protein bowls with 7 different flavors for every day of the week!
- Peanut butter and banana - I like to heat up the peanut butter in the microwave for 60 seconds, then drizzle it over the bowls with sliced bananas. You can also simply add a dollop of peanut butter on top before serving.
- Peanut butter and jelly - use strawberry jam, or your favorite flavor, along with smooth or chunky peanut butter.
- Chocolate dipped strawberry - mix in diced strawberries, chocolate chips, and substitute the vanilla flavor of protein powder for chocolate protein powder.
- Spiced apple - add ground cinnamon and nutmeg, or pumpkin spice, along with diced fresh apples.
- Almond joy - copy the candy bar flavor with chocolate chips, coconut, and almonds.
- Banana nut muffin - get the classic taste with sliced bananas, chopped walnuts, and a dash of cinnamon.
- Blueberry lemon - try a little lemon zest and blueberries for a bright and fresh start to your day.
Frequently asked questions
- How long can you store overnight oats in the refrigerator? When sealed in an airtight container, overnight oats will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- Do you have to soak the oats overnight? No they do not need to be soaked overnight, but I do recommend soaking them for at least 5 hours. Any less time and the oats will still be chewy.
- Are overnight oats vegan? Yes, this recipe is vegan using the ingredients shown, and mentioned, throughout the post. If you want to make this recipe vegan, always make sure that the protein powder and milk used is vegan.
- Which oats should I use for overnight oats? Old fashioned or rolled oats are best for this prep-ahead meal. Quick oats, or steel cut oats, will not work for this recipe as the texture won't hold up.
- How do you store overnight oats? For meal prepping, it is best to store the overnight oats in individual portions such as in mason jars or glass storage containers with tight fitting lids. Make sure they are airtight and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to eat.
How to add more protein
You can make this recipe even more high-protein by adding any of these ingredients for an extra boost of plant-based protein.
- Peanuts - get 9 additional grams of protein by stirring in ¼ cup of raw peanuts to each serving. Or add 8 grams of protein with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
- Almonds - mix in ¼ cup of almonds for an extra 7 grams of protein. Or, almond butter will give you just over 3 grams of protein per tablespoon.
- Cashews - by adding ¼ cup of chopped cashews, you can add 6 grams of protein. Or, stir in 2 tablespoons of cashew butter for the same benefit.
- Spirulina - just one tablespoon will add 4 grams of protein to this overnight oats bowl.
- Pumpkin seeds - ¼ cup of these seeds offers 8 grams of protein, and pumpkin seed butter has 8 grams of protein in 2 tablespoons.
- Sunflower seeds - sprinkle in ¼ cup of seeds for 6 grams of protein, or get 3.5 grams per tablespoon of sun butter.
- Hemp seeds - this slightly nutty tasting seed will give you 3 grams of protein for every tablespoon used.
- Sesame butter - mix in 1 tablespoon for an extra 3 grams of protein.
- Flax seeds - get an added 2 grams of protein by sprinkling 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds on top of the bowls.
More high-protein bowls
Try these other high-protein plant-based recipes for lunch and dinner!
- Buffalo Tofu Salad
- Asian Tempeh Bowl
- Chipotle Taco Bowls with Tofu Taco Crumbles
- Buffalo Tempeh Salad
- Tofu Scramble Burrito Bowl
- Italian Bowls with Vegan Meatballs
Overnight Oats Protein Bowls
- 1 ½ cups old fashioned or rolled oats not instant oats or steel cut
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 2 cups almond milk unsweetened
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- fresh berries strawberries, blueberries or raspberries
- banana sliced
- jams or jellies
- peanut butter or almond butter
- nuts almonds, walnuts or pecans
- dried fruit
- chocolate chips
- coconut chips
- maple syrup agave or honey
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, chia seeds, protein powder and cinnamon.
- Add the almond milk and maple syrup.
- Stir until all of the ingredients are combined.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap, or transfer into individual airtight containers.
- Allow the mixture to set in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours, or overnight.
- Before serving, add the optional toppings of your choice.
- The nutritional information provided is for one bowl of overnight oats, not including any of the optional toppings.
- When sealed in an airtight container, overnight oats will stay good for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- This recipe is vegan when using a vegan protein powder, like the one pictured in this post.