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These vanilla overnight oats are smooth and creamy, made with plenty of vanilla extract and optional mix-ins depending on how creative you want to get with breakfast.
We’ve talked about cocoa overnight oats, but what about those of us who prefer a vanilla flavoring?
These vanilla overnight oats are absolutely delicious, and a great option for anyone who wants a more dessert-type taste rather than a fruit taste.
The bonus is that it tastes like a dessert, but it’s actually a healthy breakfast.
Thank you, overnight oats gods!
Overnight oats took me awhile to get into.
I’ve always eaten oatmeal the “regular” way, that is to say, warm and boring, and making the oats overnight in the fridge just seemed so counterintuitive.
After a bit of experimenting with different options, though, I’m 100% sold and eat these most mornings.
In this vanilla overnight oats recipe, we’ll talk about how to make vanilla overnight oats, the ingredients you’ll need, and my tips for making your overnight oats a huge success for the whole family.
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What are Overnight Oats?
Overnight oats are made by refrigerating a combination of dry oats and milk or water (and additional ingredients like yogurt, which we’ll get to) overnight.
This lets the oats soak up the liquids, which is what it would do during the normal cooking process of microwaving oats and water or putting oats on the stove, it just takes longer and can be much creamier and fun to play around with than regular oats.
For these vanilla overnight oats, we’ll use:
- water – I prefer water to milk in my overnight oats because it has a more mild taste and let the other flavors stand out. This is essential to make sure the oats don’t remain dry
- greek yogurt – I use this brand, but you can use any kind of greek yogurt or even a different kind of yogurt if that floats your boat. This adds creaminess as well as ensuring our oat mixture isn’t too dry
- vanilla extract – the main event for our vanilla flavoring (buy in bulk here)
- salt – to balance out the sweetness
- chocolate chips – a completely optional step, sorry, I’m obsessed with chocolate chips (I love the Ghiradelli ones)
- rolled oats – the “oats” in overnight oats. Rolled or steel cut oats are fine, but instant oats will not work quite as well and may end up gummy
How to Make Vanilla Overnight Oats
There are very few steps to making vanilla overnight oats and no heat required, which is why this is an amazing breakfast recipe for the summer or for when your busy life has caught up to you and you feel like you have negative time in the morning to think about what to eat.
Combine the water, greek yogurt, and vanilla extract in a small bowl, mixing until smooth.
Add in the salt, chocolate chips, and rolled oats.
Pour the mixture into a mason jar with a lid, a small bowl, or a mug and put saran wrap over it (if not lidded).
Store in the fridge for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
When ready to eat, dig in with a spoon and add any extra mix-ins like fresh chocolate chips.
Can You Eat Vanilla Overnight Oats Warm?
If you really want to, you could heat up these overnight oats in the microwave, but eating them cold results in a much better taste in my opinion.
What to Serve with Overnight Oats
These oats are so filling that they can really be enjoyed on their own with a nice glass of orange juice or water to start the day.
If you want to try some other flavor combos, check out:
- blueberry overnight oats
- matcha overnight oats
- banana overnight oats
- plain overnight oats
- strawberry overnight oats
- lemon overnight oats
- honey overnight oats
- birthday cake overnight oats
- chocolate chip overnight oats
You can also enjoy them as a snack during the afternoon instead of being a breakfast item.
It’s a great option for when the kids get home from school as they can just grab a jar or a mug of oats and get back to playing.
There are so many different ways you can make overnight oats, but the most important thing to remember is that you need about a 1:1 ratio with the oats and the liquids or yogurts.
You can have more of the liquid/yogurt compared to the oats, but if you did a total of 1/2 cup of oats, you wouldn’t want to only have 1/4 cup of water and nothing else.
If you want a tangier flavor, you can use milk instead of water in this recipe.
If you are lactose intolerant, you can replace the yogurt with dairy free yogurt or take it out altogether and use a dairy free milk in its place or water.
If you want to make it more fun, you can do everything from adding sprinkles to adding chocolate chips to adding marshmallows.
Ultimately, everyone is going to prefer a slightly different consistency and taste when it comes to overnight oats just like we do with regular oats, so make a few different options.
Storing Overnight Vanilla Oats
The process of turning the dried oat mixture into something more palatable has to take place in the fridge, preferably for 8 hours or more.
However, I’ve enjoyed overnight oats for up to 3 days after making them, as long as they are covered in saran wrap or in a colorful bowl with a lid.
- Combine the water, greek yogurt, and vanilla extract in a small bowl, mixing until smooth.
- Add in the salt, chocolate chips, and rolled oats.
- Pour the mixture into a mason jar with a lid, a small bowl, or a mug and put saran wrap over it (if not lidded).
- Store in the fridge for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
- When ready to eat, dig in with a spoon and add any extra mix-ins like fresh chocolate chips.
1. If you're lactose intolerant, switch out the yogurt for more water or use a non-dairy milk
2. You can add whatever mix-ins you prefer, including chocolate chips, fruits, or other ideas like nuts - go crazy!
3. Make sure to let chill for at least 8 hours, but preferably completely overnight for the best and creamiest results.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 330Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 1106mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 5gSugar: 11gProtein: 17g