Vanilla Chia Overnight Oats

By Sally Cameron on November 12, 2018

Breakfast, Dairy Free, Gluten-Free, the daniel plan, Vegan

Eating a healthy breakfast is a challenge when you’re on business travel. Being a smoothie or eggs kind of guy, my husband wondered what healthy options would be available for fueling him during a grueling week-long business conference. Vanilla chia overnight oats was the solution that I now make at home. Make them for your busy week day breakfasts. No cooking required.

vanilla chia overnight oats |

Vanilla Chia Overnight Oats

Overnight oats is handy and healthy because you can make enough for a few days at a time saving time during busy mornings. It’s so easy to make and even transportable for a grab-and-go breakfast.  You can make many variations with this basic recipe for vanilla chia overnight oats. See idea for toppings at the end. To get this just right, I experimented with ratios of rolled oats, fluid, chia seeds and vanilla.

vanilla chia overnight oats |

Important Ingredient Tips

Oats – To make overnight overnight oats gluten-free, buy gluten-free, organic rolled oats like Bob’s Red Mill, otherwise use regular rolled oats.

Almond milk – Using almond milk keeps this dairy-free, and homemade is the best. Homemade, unstrained almond milk is creamier that store bought. It’s super easy to make. See the easy recipe here. You’ll never go back store bought again. If you do use store bought almond milk, use 1/4 cup less and make any personal adjustments for texture with the next batch, because brands vary.

Chia seedsChia seeds make the overnight oats set up nicely and add a little healthy fat and fiber. I prefer the white chia seeds versus the black for overnight oats but either work.

Sweetener – If you want to sweeten, try raw agave syrup, maple syrup, date syrup, yacon or raw honey. You can mix it in as the oats set up overnight, or use a little of what you prefer in the morning over the top. For sugar-free, try the liquid stevia drops in vanilla.

Vanilla – I like the strength of vanilla paste and the little flecks of vanilla bean but vanilla extract works too – regular, double, or alcohol-free.

vanilla chia overnight oats |

Other Awesome Additions to Personalize

Top overnight oats with raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or blackberries, chopped walnuts, or try my Spiced Apple Compote. Warmed up, it tastes like apple pie for breakfast.

spiced apple compote |

To spice things up, add a little cinnamon or nutmeg. To increase the protein level, stir in some protein powder or hemp seeds before eating.  Raw cacao nibs add nice crunch and fiber, and unsweetened shredded coconut are things my husband always adds, along with a dollop of creamy cashew better (or almond butter).

vanilla chia overnight oats |

Vanilla Chia Overnight Oats

A healthy dairy-free and gluten-free breakfast is easy each morning when you make overnight oats the night ahead. Soaking rolled oats and chia seeds in almond milk makes them soft and creamy. Make in one large container or in individual sized containers to grab-and-go on busy mornings. 
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword Dairy-free, Gluten-free, oatmeal, overnight oats
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 cup rolled oats gluten-free if desired
  • 2 tablespoons white chia seeds
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk, preferably homemade recipe on this site
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 teaspoons raw honey, agave, maple, date or yacon syrup optional, either mixed in or served on side


  • In a quart glass container, stir together rolled oats and chia seeds. Add the almond milk, sweetener if using, and vanilla. Stir well or cap tightly and shake well to combine. Place in the refrigerator overnight to set up. Stir in the morning and serve. 


Recipe Notes: Homemade almond milk makes the best overnight oats, so make a batch of that the day prior. See the easy recipe link here. If you use store bought almond milk and find the overnight oats are not thick enough in the morning, reduce the milk quantity by 1/4 cup. Homemade almond milk, unstrained, is thicker and creamier.
It's your choice to sweeten or not. Raw agave syrup, maple syrup, date syrup, yacon or raw honey all work. You can mix it in as the oats set to up overnight, or just use a little of what you prefer added in the morning. For sugar-free, try the liquid stevia drops in plain or vanilla.

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