Go-To Protein Overnight Oats

If mornings are crazy for you, I’m guessing your breakfast situation is less than ideal. (Womp, womp…) These protein overnight oats are the ultimate timesaver for busy mornings. Simply mix the ingredients together before heading to bed, then grab your jar as you head out the door. This recipe also packs a protein punch that will keep you full and satisfied all the way until lunch. Read on for a basic protein overnight oats recipe and delicious flavoring ideas.

4 overnight oats jars

Mornings are hard.

Hate is a strong word, but I hate mornings. Anyone who has seen me before I’ve had my sacred morning coffee can attest to that. Cut to me scowling at my desk — “Chelsea, is everything okay? Smile!

I will always be more of a night person. Knowing this about myself, I don’t trust myself to wake up any earlier than I need to in the morning. This means using the times where I’m most motivated (aka night time) to prep for times where I know I’ll have less energy. Meals, clothes, bag – it all gets laid out the night before. Otherwise, there’s a 90% chance I’m sprinting out the door with two different colored shoes and no breakfast.

If you’re a busy person, it’s all too common to skip breakfast, lunch, or pick up something quick and not-so-healthy on the go. Preparing grab-and-go meals when you have just a bit of extra time or energy can save you from falling off the wagon when things get hectic.

Overnight oats are easy.

No matter if you’re a night owl or a morning person, you could probably benefit from making your life easier in the morning. Cue high-protein overnight oats. Prepare them before you go to bed, then simply grab them from the fridge before you head out the door in the morning. (Bam, nutritious breakfast. Go you!)

oatmeal ingredients in bowls

Are Overnight Oats Healthy?

Yes! It’s easy to skimp out on one or more nutrients at breakfast, which can leave us feeling unfocused and unsatisfied. Save yourself! You should aim for including a mix of macronutrients at every meal, and this recipe hits on all of them. It has complex carbs (oats), healthy fats (nuts and chia seeds), and protein (whey) to keep you full until lunch.

You don’t even need to dirty any of your pots and pans to make overnight oats. This is a no-cook recipe. Oats naturally soften up when they sit in liquid because of the soluble fiber they contain.

Aside from making your overnight oats the perfect texture, soluble fiber also has some amazing health benefits:

  1. Helps lower LDL-cholesterol levels (more commonly known as “bad” cholesterol)
  2. Decreases blood sugar spikes by slowing the rate that simple sugars are absorbed by your body
oatmeal ingredients in jar

How to Make Protein Overnight Oats

1. Mix dry ingredients and milk in a jar

First, add the dry ingredients (oats, protein powder, and chia seeds) to the jar. I always put the lid on and give it a good shake to ensure that everything is evenly distributed. Then, add enough milk to cover your oats, put the lid on, and shake vigorously.

2. Refrigerate

To give your oats time to “cook,” refrigerate them for at least 4 hours or overnight. When you’re ready to eat, the oats should have absorbed most of the liquid and softened considerably.

3. Add your favorite toppings

The protein overnight oats base is pretty plain on its own, so adding tasty toppings is a must in my book! You can do this step before or after refrigeration, depending on what type of toppings you’re using.

Frozen fruit is best when added the night before, as this will give it time to thaw. Fresh fruit (especially fruits like bananas and apples that brown) is best when added right before eating.

Your options for toppings are endless! Fruit, nut butter, nuts, seeds, cinnamon, and chocolate all taste great.

Other Variations on Basic Overnight Oats

Try these ideas to add some flavor to this classic overnight oats base.

pouring almond milk into jar containing overnight oats ingredients
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Go-To Protein Overnight Oats

The ultimate timesaver for busy mornings. Simply mix the ingredients together before heading to bed, then grab your jar as you head out the door!
Prep Time2 minutes
Refrigeration Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 2 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: grab-and-go, no cook
Servings: 1
Calories: 345kcal
Author: Chelsea Jackle, RDN


  • mason jar


  • 0.5 cup old fashioned oats
  • 0.5 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds


  • Add ingredients to Mason jar or food container. Cover and shake to mix consistently.
  • Refrigerate for anywhere from 4 hours to 3 days. Add toppings if desired before serving.


  • Enjoy cold or hot! If you prefer your oats warmed up, microwave uncovered for 1 minute + 30 seconds. Just keep in mind, you might have to add a bit of extra liquid.


Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 180mg | Potassium: 258mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 2g

Need more breakfast ideas? I’ve got you – find breakfast ideas from the blog here.


    1. Great question! Any 8oz Mason jar works great. You can also make this in any food container with a lid that you may have around the house.

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