Prepped in under 2 minutes, protein overnight oats without yogurt is the easiest no-cook recipe. With a creamy texture and healthy ingredients that fuel your body with essential macronutrients (healthy fats, protein, and carbs), this recipe is worth waking up for!
What Readers Say
“I love this recipe. I make a big batch of oats on the weekend. Easy and healthy for busy mornings. Adding lemon zest for extra flavor is the best idea.”
I’ve been tracking macros and seen incredible success with weight loss (fat loss) and muscle growth. At the moment, my daily target protein goal is 136 grams and 200 grams net carbs. Getting at least 30 grams of protein at breakfast is essential.
I’m obsessed with eggs for breakfast. But sometimes I need a break from eggs. Overnight oats are the perfect no-cook breakfast alternative.
How to make high protein overnight oats without yogurt?
Greek yogurt is added to overnight oats for 3 reasons:
- creamy texture
- thicken the oatmeal
Instead of using yogurt, add your favorite protein powder and chia seeds. Not only does the protein powder make the best overnight oats, it also boosts the protein (20+ grams).
Chia seeds increase the creamy texture and thicken the oatmeal.
Ingredients Needed to Make This Simple Overnight Oats Recipe
With this basic overnight oatmeal recipe, make your own custom variations or enjoy the basic oats.
- 2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (I like sprouted oats for easier digestion)
- 1 serving vanilla or chocolate protein powder (I like this whey protein brand)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/2 cup milk of choice + 1/2 cup water (or 1 cup milk or 1 cup water)
- pinch of salt
My Favorite Optional Ingredients for Extra Flavor:
- 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey for sweetness
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon for a warm, sweet flavor
- pinch of nutmeg add a warm, sweet flavor
- 1 teaspoon orange zest or lemon zest grated orange or lemon rind; adds the best flavor–fresh, fruity, and citrusy!
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract for a subtle vanilla flavor
- 1 meal-prep container with a lid (like a Mason Jar or Weck Jar) or small bowl for making and storing the oats
Here are even more ways to add extra flavor or customize your oatmeal…
More Variations & Mix-In Ideas
- Plant-Based Milk or Dairy Milk: Use coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk, whole milk, skim milk-whatever you love. I use 1/2 milk, 1/2 water, but you’re welcome to use all milk instead.
- No Milk? Use Water: If you don’t want to use milk, use 1 cup of water instead.
- Add Sweetener: Most protein powders contain some sweetener. If you want more sweetness, add maple syrup, honey, stevia, or coconut sugar.
- Add Banana: Add 1/4-1/2 of a banana (mashed). This will increase the creaminess and natural sweetness.
- Add Nut Butter: Stir in 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite nut or seed butter: almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter. Or, if you can’t tolerate nuts, sunflower butter is a delicious nut-free option.
- Chocolate Oats: I make chocolate overnight oats with 1 teaspoon cocoa powder (or cacao powder) and 1-2 servings chocolate protein powder. Mix in 1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter–so good!!
- Add Dried Fruits: Add 2 tablespoons of dried fruit: chopped apples, mangoes, figs, raisins, or cranberries. The fruits will soften as the oat mixture soaks in the fridge.
- Add Ground Flax Seeds or Hemp Seeds: Mix in 1 tablespoon for extra fiber and healthy fats.
Gather your ingredients and let’s make this easy overnight oats recipe.
Step 1: Combine Dry Ingredients
Add the dry ingredients to a meal-prep jar or small bowl: oats, chia seeds, protein powder, salt.
If you’re adding any extra dry ingredients (cinnamon, nutmeg, hemp seeds, flax seeds, cocoa powder, dried fruits), now is the time to add one or a few of these ingredients.
Step 2: Add Liquid Ingredients
Add the milk and water to the oat mixture.
If you’re adding any extra liquid ingredients (maple syrup, honey, lemon or orange zest, mashed bananas, vanilla extract, nut/seed butter), now is the time to add one or a few of these ingredients.
Stir all the ingredients together with a fork until well combined.
Step 3: Refrigerate Overnight
Secure a lid on the jar or bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight (8 hours), before consuming. As the oats rest in the fridge, the mixture will thicken.
Step 4: Add Toppings
The oats may be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Before eating the oatmeal, whether that’s the next day or a few days later, add toppings.
Eat the oats cold, straight from the fridge, or warm in the microwave or stove-top.
Delicious Topping Ideas for Overnight Oats
This is the fun part. Enjoy the oats as-is (without any toppings) or add your favorite toppings.
8 TASTY TOPPINGS
- Fresh Berries or Frozen Berries: Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, or raspberries.
- Fresh or Frozen Fruit: Pitted cherries, mango chunks, apple slices, banana slices, peach slices, orange slices, kiwi slices, or pineapple chunks.
- Coconut Flakes: Sprinkle coconut flakes over the top of the oats.
- Nuts or Seeds: Chopped pecans, walnuts, slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, crushed macadamia nuts, or pumpkin seeds. Or homemade nutty granola.
- Honey or Maple Syrup: Drizzle maple syrup or honey over the top.
- Nut Butter or Tahini: Drizzle almond or peanut butter, tahini, or sunflower butter over the top. Tahini and honey is my favorite topping-sweet, nutty, and salty!
- Lemon or Orange Zest: I love to add zest directly to the oats before refrigerating, but you can also add zest as a garnish. Grate orange or lemon rind (“zest”) over the top.
- Greek Yogurt: Add a spoonful of plain Greek yogurt for even more protein. Or, for a dairy-free option, use a vegan yogurt.
How to Make a Big Batch of Overnight Oats
There are two ways to make a big batch of oats (multiple jars for the week ahead):
- Double, triple, or quadruple this recipe in a large bowl, then spoon the prepared oats into meal-prep jars and refrigerate.
- If you’re tracking macros, the easiest way to make a large batch (so you can be precise with tracking) is to make multiple individual jars at one time: spoon the dry ingredients into each jar, add liquid ingredients, then mix. I use this program’s app to track macros.
How to Store
Store the oats in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days.
Best Tips for Success
- Wait At Least 4 Hours Before Eating: You need to let the oats rest for at least 4 hours before enjoying. This will ensure the best results!
- Use Rolled Oats: Rolled oats will give you the best texture. Quick oats are too mushy and steel cut oats (alone) are too chewy. My favorite brand is One Degree Sprouted Oats, which are easier to digest since they’re sprouted.
- Don’t Skip the Chia Seeds: The chia seeds create a thick, creamy texture. If you don’t have chia seeds, use flax seeds instead.
- Hot Oatmeal: If you want to eat this recipe hot, warm the oats in the microwave or on the stove-top. If using the stove-top, add 1-2 tablespoons of additional milk/water to keep the oats from drying out.
- On-the-go Lunch or Snack: Spoon the oats into a thermos and take them to work or school. Here’s how to keep food cold in a lunchbox.
Frequently Asked Questions
Protein Overnight Oats Without Yogurt
Optional Extra Flavor Enhancements:
- 1-2 teaspoons pure maple syrup or honey
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest (grate the rind of a lemon or orange)
- Add all the dry ingredients to a meal-prep jar or small bowl: oats, chia seeds, protein powder, salt. If you're adding cinnamon or nutmeg, now is the time.
- Add the milk and water to the oat mixture. If you're adding any extra liquid ingredients (maple syrup, honey, lemon or orange zest, vanilla extract, etc.), now is the time to add one or a few of these ingredients.
- Stir all the ingredients together with a fork until well combined.
- Secure a lid on the jar or bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight. As the oats rest in the fridge, the mixture will thicken.
- The oats may be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Before eating the oatmeal, whether that's the next day or a few days later, add toppings and enjoy!
- Eat the oats cold, straight from the fridge, or warm in the microwave or stove-top for warm oats.
- Meal Prep: Make this recipe up for 4 days in advance. Store in the fridge. Before serving, add your favorite toppings.
- Topping Ideas: Top the overnight oats with fresh or frozen berries, mangoes, pineapple, apples, peaches, pitted cherries, kiwi slices, banana slices, almond or peanut butter, tahini, honey or maple syrup, nuts, or coconut flakes.
- Warm Oats: The oats are meant to be enjoyed cold. If you’d like hot oats, heat in the microwave or on the stove-top. Add 1-2 tablespoons of extra water or milk for the stove-top.
- See other variations and flavor ideas above for how to customize this recipe using different mix-ins.
- The nutritional value doesn’t include optional ingredients, like maple syrup or toppings. Whole milk is calculated as the milk of choice.