Protein Overnight Oats


5 from 104 votes
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These overnight oats with protein powder make a fabulous and healthy make-ahead breakfast that boasts over 30 grams of protein per serving! 

protein overnight oats.

Kicking off our mornings with a high-protein breakfast is imperative in our family.

While we love cinnamon rolls or breakfast cake like the next person, our energy and satiety levels dwindle soon after eating them.

Enter- protein overnight oats (aka Proats!). Thick, creamy, and hearty, we prep them on the weekends and have a speedy breakfast sorted for the week ahead! They are a spin on our protein oatmeal, except these ones are enjoyed straight from the refrigerator, and there is no microwaving or cooking required!

Table of Contents
  1. Why this recipe works
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to make protein overnight oats
  4. Which protein powder is best?
  5. Other ways to add protein
  6. Storage instructions
  7. More oatmeal recipes to try
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Protein Overnight Oats (4 Ingredients!) (Recipe Card)

Why this recipe works

  • Just 4 ingredients. All you need is oats, chia seeds, protein powder, and milk! 
  • Two minutes prep. Seriously, this recipe could not be any easier. You give everything a good mix and voila- it’s done!
  • Naturally vegan and gluten-free. If you follow a dairy-free diet, this is the perfect breakfast for you. 
  • Easy to customize. Like classic overnight oats or overnight steel cut oats, you can jazz it up with your favorite mix-ins. Try dried fruit, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and berries.

Ingredients needed

As mentioned earlier, this recipe calls for very simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry! Here is what you’ll need: 

  • Rolled oats. While quick oats work, the rolled variety has a chewy and satisfying texture. 
  • Chia seeds. Thickens the mixture beautifully. You can also use ground flaxseed. 
  • Protein powder. Flavored or unflavored protein powder. Whey, casein, brown rice, and most blends work well. 
  • Milk of choice. I used unsweetened almond milk, but any milk works (whole milk, coconut milk, soy milk, etc). 
  • Mix-ins. The fun part: fresh or frozen fruit, nut butter, nuts, coconut, or even some chocolate. 

Sweetener options

Opt for vanilla or other flavored protein powder. This will naturally add sweetness to the protein overnight oats. There will be no need to add sugar or a liquid sweetener to sweeten it.

How to make protein overnight oats

Start by adding the oats, chia seeds, protein powder, and milk of choice in a small bowl or glass jar. Gently mix it and refrigerate it, covered, overnight. 

The next morning, add more milk if needed. Stir through and top your favorite mix-ins and enjoy immediately. 

overnight protein oats.

Which protein powder is best?

For recipes like overnight oats, some protein powders are better than others. These blends have specific ingredients in them that help thicken oatmeal and other foods and also taste better. Choose these ones to ensure these oats turn out perfectly:

  • Casein protein powder
  • Brown rice protein powder
  • Pea protein powder

Other ways to add protein

If you aren’t a fan of protein powder, there are other ways to add protein to overnight oats. Here are some ideas: 

Cottage cheese. A protein-packed powerhouse, a half cup of non-fat cottage cheese packs in 15 grams of protein. 

Greek yogurt. Non-fat and unsweetened Greek yogurt yields around 18 grams of protein per cup. Like cottage cheese, add some liquid or granulated sweetener to compensate for the tartness. 

Nut or seed butter. Peanut butter, almond butter, and even tahini are all fantastic ways to add 7-8 grams of protein per two-tablespoon serving. They also add healthy fats which will keep you fuller for longer. 

Unsalted nuts or seeds. Like nut or seed butter, whole nuts and seeds provide similar amounts of protein per serve. 

Cow’s milk. Use non-fat or skim milk as the mixer and pack in at least 10 grams of protein. 

Storage instructions

To store: Prep your oats in advance and store them in the refrigerator for up to one week. Just be sure to give the oats a good mix, as it will continue to thicken. 

To freeze: Place the overnight oats in shallow containers and store them in the freezer for up to two months.

Meal prep protein overnight oatmeal

Make a big batch of this recipe on a Sunday and have breakfast prepped for the week ahead. Simply multiply this recipe by five and divide the mixture into five Tupperware containers and you have breakfast sorted for every weekday morning!

overnight oats with protein.

More oatmeal recipes to try

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this be gluten free?

If you use certified gluten free oats, this recipe is suitable for celiacs.

Can I substitute the oats?

Use quinoa flakes or buckwheat flakes to replicate the overnight oats texture without using oats. Alternatively, try keto oatmeal.

Do you eat this cold?

Yes, protein overnight oatmeal should be enjoyed directly from the refrigerator or at room temperature. You can heat it up if you like- see how to heat up overnight oats.

protein overnight oats recipe.

Protein Overnight Oats (4 Ingredients!)

5 from 104 votes
These protein overnight oats need just four ingredients to make and yield thick and creamy oatmeal! They make a healthy and filling breakfast that is easy to customize.
Servings: 1 serving
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 6 minutes



  • Add your dry ingredients into a shallow container or cereal bowl. Add your milk of choice and give it a mix.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  • When ready to enjoy, give it a mix and add more milk if needed. Add your toppings and enjoy immediately.


TO STORE: Prep your oats in advance and store them in the refrigerator for up to one week. Just be sure to give the oats a good mix, as it will continue to thicken. 
TO FREEZE: Place the overnight oats in shallow containers and store them in the freezer for up to two months.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 288kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 29gFat: 7gSodium: 287mgPotassium: 228mgFiber: 5gVitamin A: 72IUCalcium: 334mgIron: 4mgNET CARBS: 26g
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I just love this recipe. I’ve made it up for the morning, added a few blueberries. Can’t wait to try it.

  2. Made some overnight oats for tomorrow and I can’t be more excited! I would love to try the keto-friendly recipe one day. Been meaning to integrate more keto-friendly recipes that are also vegan!

  3. Where is the recipe for the low carb option? You write, “This thick and creamy overnight oatmeal recipe is vegan, gluten-free and comes with a keto and low carb option!” So where is it?