Looking for a quick and delicious vegan breakfast that doesn't involve milk? Your search ends here! These creamy overnight oats without milk have three variations to make sure you have something perfect to throw together and enjoy the next morning. Easy to make and totally customizable, this basic overnight oats recipe makes for a delicious breakfast you'll never get bored of!
You Will Love This Recipe
1. Super Easy: With just a handful of simple ingredients and zero cooking required, you can prep a satisfying breakfast for the next few days.
2. Customizable: Personalize this base recipe with your favorite toppings to create a wholesome breakfast or snack tailored to your liking.
3. Health Benefits: Packed with at least 8 grams of fiber and 7 grams of plant-based protein per serving, these creamy overnight oats are gluten-free, vegan, and allergen-friendly.
Why No Milk?
Maybe you're out of milk. Maybe you want a shelf-stable, easy breakfast to take car camping or backpacking. Maybe you're a sucker for warm, cooked oatmeal, but you're not a morning person and don't tend to keep milk in the house. Either way, I've got three different ways that you can enjoy a creamy bowl of overnight oats without milk, plant-based or otherwise.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Old-fashioned oats: Provide the best texture, though quick oats or instant oats (soft texture) and steel-cut oats (chewy texture) will also work.
- Chia seeds: Form a gel to help make the oats feel a little creamier. Plus, they're full of antioxidants!
- Water: Hydrates the dry oats and chia.
- Cinnamon: Adds a classic oatmeal flavor, but feel free to omit or try something different.
- Sweetener: Whatever sweetener you prefer will work here. If it's liquid (i.e., vegan honey, maple syrup), you can wait to add it until you plan to eat. If it's not liquid (i.e., brown sugar, white sugar), add it to the dry ingredients to give plenty of time for the sugar to break down overnight.
- Option 1. Protein powder: Adds creaminess, protein (of course!), and extra flavor. Make sure you choose a protein powder you really love.
- Option 2. Nut or seed butter: Adds nutty flavor, extra creaminess, and satisfying healthy fats. Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, and tahini are all delicious here. Go for a runnier option for easy mixing.
- Option 3. Dry milk powder: Okay, is this kind of cheating if I say this is "without milk"? The thing is, this option will work really well if you're looking for a camping-friendly option. Several plant-based dry milk powders are on the market now, including soy milk, coconut milk, and oat milk powders!
Note: All the options can work together, so feel free to add multiple for an extra creamy texture!
Step 1. Combine. In a 12 to 16-ounce jar, bowl, or bag, add the oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt. If using protein powder and/or milk powder, add them as well. Using a fork or spoon, stir until all dry ingredients are well combined.
Step 2. Mix. Pour in the water and use a fork or spoon to stir until all ingredients are combined, free of clumps or pockets of dry ingredients.
Step 3. Sweeten. If desired, add granulated sweetener to taste and mix well.
Step 4. Chill. Cover the container and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
Step 5. Stir. Before serving, give the mixture a final stir. If using, stir in the nut butter and/or liquid sweetener at this time.
Step 6. Serve. Top with your desired toppings, and enjoy!
While any option is yummy on its own, try these toppings or mix-in ideas to customize your batch of overnight oats:
- Fresh fruit or berries
- Extracts (alcohol-free for best flavor)
- Cocoa powder
- Chocolate chips
- Jams or jellies
- Dried fruit
- Hemp seeds or ground flax
- Frozen fruit or berries
- Greek or plant-based yogurt
- An extra drizzle of maple syrup or other sweetener
- Make Ahead: Scoop the ingredients into several jars for meal prep. Make a big batch of dry ingredients by adjusting the servings in the recipe card below and scooping them into a large airtight container.
- Storage: Keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Thaw: Place frozen overnight oats into the fridge for 24-48 hours. Stir before enjoying.
- For hiking trips, try using a stasher bag as a compact, washable container for your oats!
- Adjust quantities for a larger batch by typing your desired servings in the recipe card.
- Looking for more of a snacking size? Try my super simple chia pudding.
- Eco tip: Freeze leftovers in an ice cube tray to blend into creamy smoothies.
Not quite. These oats are best prepped for 3-4 days. That said, you can add the dry ingredients to containers for the whole week, add liquid to some, and then add liquid to the others as a partial prep midway through the week. Be sure that once you have added liquid, they go into the refrigerator.
Yup! Adjust quantities based on your desired serving size right in the recipe card.
Yes, both chia seeds and oats are naturally gluten-free. However, if you need oats free from gluten contamination, be sure to buy certified gluten-free oats.
Easy Creamy Overnight Oats Without Milk
Variations (see note):
- ¼ cup preferred protein powder
- ¾ cup water
Nondairy Milk Powder Variation
- 3 Tablespoons plant-based milk powder (or preferred milk powder)
- ⅔ cup water
Nut Butter Variation
- 2 Tablespoons nut or seed butter (Recommend 1 tablespoon if using tahini)
- ⅔ cup water
- In a 12 to 16-ounce jar, bowl, or bag, add the oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt. If using protein powder and/or milk powder, add them as well. Using a fork or spoon, stir until all dry ingredients are well combined.
- Pour in the water and stir again until all ingredients are combined, free of clumps or pockets of dry ingredients.
- If desired, add granulated sweetener to taste and mix well.
- Cover the container and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
- If using, stir in the nut butter and/or liquid sweetener at this time. Give the mixture a final stir.
- Top with your desired toppings, and serve.
- Once liquid is added, overnight oats can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or the freezer for up to 3 months.