When breakfast looks and tastes like dessert, is make-ahead, and has nearly 30 grams of protein to boot — it goes from a meal that’s easy for me to skip (guilty!) to one that I can’t wait to eat.
I probably shouldn’t be this excited to share the recipe for High Protein Overnight Oats, but each bite tastes like a treat you’d enjoy on the patio of a quaint little bakery.
The best part? It’s made with everyday ingredients and requires ZERO protein powder!
High Protein Overnight Oats — an Eggless Breakfast Alternative
I often get asked for high protein breakfast recipes that aren’t made with eggs (and bananas — lots of allergies slash aversions to bananas out there!) which I totally understand. My daughter is allergic to eggs so I know how difficult it can be to find filling, egg-free breakfast options. Peanut butter is usually our go-to, but that’s not for everyone.
Enter High Protein Overnight Oats. Overnight oatmeal is a refreshing, make-ahead breakfast option with a creamy, slightly chewy texture. Overnight oats have been a go-to of mine since 2010, but I’ve modified the dish over the years to pump up the protein. My current go-to ingredient combo contains 29 grams of protein which I reach without having to use protein powder!
Nothing against protein powder — it’s just a specialty ingredient that I know would start collecting dust in my pantry after a few uses. That’s what the tea I occasionally trick myself into thinking I’ll start sipping at night but never do is for.
Anyway, the true hero of my high protein overnight oats is Greek yogurt.
Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt
Yes Ma’am! Overnight oats with a greek yogurt base gets us 15 grams of protein from the yogurt alone. Oikos Triple Zero is my favorite which I buy in bulk from Costco, though it’s sold at the regular grocery store in individual and quart-sized containers.
What Else Makes these Overnight Oats High Protein?
Here’s the full ingredient list plus the grams of protein they’ll add to each serving:
- 15 grams – Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is yogurt with the whey strained out resulting in a thickened, high-protein yogurt. Oikos Triple Zero Greek Yogurt is fat free, low in sugar (with no artificial sugars or sugar alcohols) and the vanilla flavor makes the protein overnight oats taste like a summery shortcake dessert when topped with fresh or frozen berries – YUM! You can use your favorite Greek yogurt if you can’t find this one.
- 5 grams – Gluten free rolled oats: If you have Celiac Disease, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, it’s important to look for “Purity Protocol Oats”. This indicates that the oats have been grown, transported, and processed in dedicated fields, trucks, and plants to reduce or eliminate the overall risk of cross contamination from gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, and rye. Oats not grown following the purity protocol method rely on mechanical processing to separate gluten-containing grains from the oats, which is not 100% reliable. (This is what General Mills does to make Cheerios which is why a lot of Celiacs get sick from eating them! I digress…)
- 3 grams – Chia seeds: Chia seeds are protein and nutritional powerhouses. Not only do they provide a boost of protein in these overnight oats, but fiber and omega-3 fatty acids too.
- 2 grams – Milk: Any kind of milk you have on hand will work for this recipe, though depending on if the milk is cow or plant-based can effect the amount of protein it provides. For example, almond milk and coconut milk are very low in protein.
- 2 grams – Berries and fruit: Use whatever fruit or berries you love. Fresh or frozen!
- 2 grams – Sliced almonds: A sprinkling of sliced almonds on top of each High Protein Overnight Oats serving not only adds a satisfying crunch, but a couple extra grams of protein. You could use any type of nuts you like.
How to Serve and Store Overnight Oats
One of my favorite parts about overnight oats recipes is that the oats and chia seeds need to soak up and thicken in the yogurt and milk overnight, or at least for a couple of hours. So, each Sunday I make at least two servings to have on hand for instant breakfasts during the week.
Here’s a couple of serving options:
- Overnight Oats in a Jar: Layer the oat and chia mixture with fruit or berries in 16oz wide-mouth mason jars for a pretty parfait look. Totally optional, but it does make breakfast feel a little fancy.
- Overnight Oats in a Bowl: Scoop the oat and chia mixture into 2 cup Pyrex storage containers then top with berries and fruit. Place a lid on top then refrigerate. Easy!
I like using fresh vs frozen fruit and berries, and vis versa, for different reasons. Frozen berries create a yummy syrup as they thaw in the fridge over the course of a few days, while fresh fruit and berries are incredibly refreshing. You can’t go wrong either way.
Switch it Up
This recipe is super easy to customize — try a different flavor combo each day! Here’s some inspo:
- Banana Bread: Bananas + pecans + cinnamon
- Pina Colada: Mango + pineapple + coconut flakes
- Apple Cinnamon: Apples + cinnamon + walnuts + maple syrup
- Dark-Chocolate Blueberry: Dark chocolate chips + blueberries + walnuts
- Chunky Monkey: Peanut butter + bananas + strawberries + chocolate chips
To make the protein overnight oats vegan, use the dairy free yogurt and milk of your choosing. Most plant-based yogurts are lower in protein and higher in sugar, so read labels carefully before buying. Typically soy milk and pea-protein milk (like Ripple) are high in protein, so those would be good dairy-free milk options for these overnight oats!
Truly ANY version of this high protein overnight oats recipe is a fantastic way to start the day. Lightly sweetened, made ahead, and ready to rock — plus each serving keeps me full for HOURS. I just know you’re going to love them!
How to Make High Protein Overnight Oats
Start by adding Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and rolled oats (also called “old-fashioned oats”) into a mixing bowl.
Add milk then stir to combine.
If you want to layer the oat mixture with fresh fruit and berries in a mason jar for a parfait look, scoop 1/2 cup into the bottom of 2, 16oz wide-mouthed mason jars. Top with 1/2 cup fruit then repeat the layers. Finish with a flourish of sliced almonds.
Or, scoop half the oat mixture into a 2-cup pyrex storage container, then top with 1 cup fresh or frozen fruit/berries. Cover with a lid then place in the refrigerator for at least one hour and up to 4 days.
Voila! Protein, whole grains, fiber, plus a whole lotta fresh fruit – protein overnight oats are one of the BEST ways to start your day. I hope you love each and every bite – enjoy!
More High Protein Breakfast Recipes
- Mini Egg Bites
- Mini Ham & Cheese Quinoa Cups
- Crock Pot Breakfast Casserole
- Grain Free Granola
- Egg & Chorizo Avocado Toasts
- Make Ahead Breakfast Bowls
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High Protein Overnight Oats
Start your day with High Protein Overnight Oats! This fresh and filling breakfast recipe has nearly 30g of protein and doesn't require protein powder!
- 10-12oz yogurt, see notes
- 2/3 cup gluten free old fashioned oats, purity protocol oats recommended
- 1/2 cup milk, any kind
- 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 cups mixed fruit or berries, fresh or frozen
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 2, 16oz wide-mouthed mason jars OR 16oz storage containers with lids
- To a small mixing bowl add yogurt, oats, milk, and chia seeds then stir to combine.
- To layer the overnight oats in mason jars: Let oat mixture sit and thicken for 5 minutes then scoop 1/2 cup into the bottom of each mason jar. Top with 1/2 cup fruit/berries then repeat layers. Top with sliced almonds then screw on the lids.
- Alternatively, divide the oat mixture between the two storage containers, top each with half the fruit/berries and sliced almonds, and then cover.
- Store high protein overnight oats in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before eating. Can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
- I like low-sugar, high-protein Greek yogurt like Oikos Triple Zero Yogurt. Different brands offer different sized cups of yogurt - anywhere between 10-12oz of yogurt total in this recipe is fine.
- You don’t have to layer the oat mixture and fruit, but I think it makes for a pretty presentation.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
Photos by Ashley McLaughlin