How to Make Dairy-Free Overnight Oats + Six Easy Recipes

pbj Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are easy, nutritious, tasty, and great for busy mornings. This breakfast champion checks all the boxes. Dairy-free overnight oats are creamy and perfect for customizing. We include six yummy flavor combinations to try, so you’ll be jumping out of bed in excitement all week.

There are a few different ways to prepare overnight oats, and we’ll give you some options so you can figure out what works best for you.

Why overnight oats?

Not only are they convenient, but they also offer many health benefits. Oats are rich in fiber, keeping you full and satisfied throughout the morning. They’re also full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, promote heart health, and aid in digestion. But our favorite thing about them is that overnight oats can be customized to suit your taste preferences and dietary restrictions, making them a versatile breakfast option for everyone.

Making overnight oats is incredibly easy and requires just a couple of basic ingredients:

Oats: Start with rolled oats, which are ideal for soaking overnight and result in a creamy texture. We prefer organic old-fashioned oats. Any brand or variety will do; just make sure they’re not instant or steel-cut. Also, if you or a loved one are gluten-sensitive, purchase oats with certified gluten-free processing. Oats are gluten-free by nature but are typically processed in close proximity to wheat products with high amounts of cross-contamination.

Liquid: We prefer non-dairy milk. Almond milk is one of the most popular non-dairy milks. It’s low in calories and has a creamy texture. Soy or pea milk tend to have high protein content. Coconut milk is extra creamy but higher in calories, and oat milk can be sweeter. You have lots of options, so experiment and see what works for you! You can even use plant based yogurt to max out the creaminess factor.

Dairy-free overnight oats recipe formula

You won’t believe how easy these simple dairy-free overnight oats are. You’ll be using a 1:1 oats to liquid ratio

1 part uncooked rolled oats (⅔ cup is perfect for one serving)
1 part non-dairy milk (⅔ cup is perfect for one serving)

That’s it! 

This is where customization comes in. When soaking, mix and match the following items. Each item is optional.

  • Fruit (fresh or dried)
  • Mix-ins
  • Sweetener
  • Spices
  • Flavoring

Then, get crazy with the following ideas for additional mix-ins and toppings!

Mix in & topping ideas for dairy-free overnight oats

Sweetener: We like 100% pure maple syrup and fruit to sweeten our oats. Adjust the amount based on your preference. Other plant based sweetener options are date syrup, coconut sugar, applesauce, or jam. We especially love our Easy Chia Seed Very Berry Jam

Fruit: This is where the magic happens! We love sliced bananas (or mash them into your oats for extra sweetness throughout), berries, sliced apples or pears, mango chunks, pineapple chunks, and dried fruit. You can mix in fruit before soaking or add as a topping before serving.

Nuts: Adding chopped nuts and soaking them overnight helps soften the nuts, provides a nice flavor and texture, and packs a serious nutrient punch. We love adding chopped almonds, walnuts, pistachios, macadamias, and pecans before soaking. 

Seeds: Up the omegas with hemp, flax, or chia seeds. Raw sunflower seeds or pepitas are also great options. They can be added before soaking or as toppings.

Nut or seed butters: These add a protein boost, as well as creaminess. We love adding peanut butter for a classic nutty flavor. Almond butter has a milder flavor that plays well with others without taking over. Sunflower seed or cashew butter are also nice additions. 

Spices: You’ll see spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom all up in our oats. A dash of salt helps bring flavors together, too. 

Flavorings: Things like pure vanilla or almond extract add so much flavor with just a few drops. 

Extras: Dark chocolate chips, cacao nibs, cocoa powder, homemade granola, muesli, Coconut Whipped Topping, plant based protein powder, unsweetened coconut shreds, plant based yogurt, the list goes on and is limited only by your imagination.

Okay, now that we have all the yums we want to use, let’s go over three ways to make overnight oats

1. Single serving grab-and-go

Whether you live alone or have to leave the house before everyone else, we’ve got your individual breakfast-on-the-run needs covered.

We like to use lidded glass jars for this, but you can use any container you like.

Grab your container and add: 

  • ⅔ cup uncooked rolled oats
  • ⅔ cup non-dairy milk 
  • 2½ tablespoons mix-ins like nuts 
  • 2 teaspoons sweetener
  • ¼ teaspoon spices 
  • ¼ teaspoon flavoring

Stir well, cover or put the lid on the jar, and place in the fridge overnight.

Cardamom Vanilla Overnight Oats

Then, grab your jar of oats and a spoon in the morning and head out.

2. Breakfast for four

Feeding the whole family? Easy peasy! Here’s a breakdown of how you would make the Cardamom Vanilla Overnight Oats as an example. You’ll need: 

  • 2⅔ cups uncooked rolled oats 
  • 2⅔ cups non-dairy milk 
  • ⅔ cup chopped raw almonds 
  • 2⅔ tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup 
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Simply combine all of your ingredients in a large bowl and give it a good stir. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or about six hours. 

vegan Cardamom Vanilla Overnight Oats

When breakfast time comes, stir again, divide among four bowls, and serve cold or warm! For texture, we like to add a sprinkling of more chopped almonds on top.

plant based Cardamom Vanilla Overnight Oats

Then, when you’re ready to embrace your day (or running out of the house because you’re late), you can grab your jar of Cardamom Vanilla Overnight Oats and head out. Don’t forget the spoon!

Overnight Oats variations

Prep dry oat mixes in bulk

Overnight oats are already crazy convenient and easy, but you might want to shave some time off of prep the night before. Or maybe you want to make a few servings with different toppings on the fly. We got you!

You can do a big batch in a single container, or you can prep individual servings in lidded glass jars for this method. We like the jars for ultimate convenience.

Overnight Oats base recipe

To each jar, add the dry ingredients you want to soak overnight according to your recipe, such as: 

  • Uncooked rolled oats 
  • Nuts
  • Spices

Place the lid on the jars and shake to mix. Store them in your pantry for whenever you want overnight oats.

The night before you plan to enjoy your oats, grab a jar of your dry oat mix and add your liquid ingredients as well as any fruit or mix-ins you want to soak overnight according to your recipe, such as:

  • Non-dairy milk 
  • Fruit
  • Sweeteners
  • Flavorings

Stir well, cover, and place in the fridge overnight. The next morning, give it a stir, add any toppings, and enjoy! Don’t leave your oats in the fridge longer than 24 hours, as they can get mushy. 

Okay, now we know the basics of making dairy-free overnight oats. Let’s go into some yummy recipes.

Dairy-free overnight oats recipes

grab and go Overnight Oats

Dairy-free overnight oats are great with all manner of fun flavors, so let’s dig in!

Cardamom Vanilla Overnight Oats

plant based Overnight Oats

This unique blend is perfectly spiced and sweet.

Get the free recipe >

Chocolate Banana Overnight Oats

vegan chocolate banana Overnight Oats

Fresh bananas and chocolate are a match made in heaven.

Go bananas with this free overnight oats recipe >

Tropical Delight Overnight Oats

vegan tropical Overnight Oats

Take your tastebuds to paradise with this luscious variation.

Get the recipe in Plant Fueled Life >

Blueberries & Cream Overnight Oats

vegan blueberries and cream Overnight Oats

This fresh variation is perfect for summer.

Get the recipe in Plant Fueled Life >

Nutty Cherry Pie Overnight Oats

vegan nutty cherry pie Overnight Oats

Make breakfast feel like a treat with perfectly sweet cherries and smooth almond butter.

Get the recipe in Plant Fueled Life >

PB&J Overnight Oats

vegan peanut butter and jelly Overnight Oats

Start your morning with a protein-packed blend that the whole family will love.

Soak in the classic vibes >

simple Overnight Oats

A few more tips on dairy-free overnight oats

  • Experiment with different combinations of flavors and textures to keep your breakfast exciting.
  • Adjust the liquid-to-oats ratio to achieve your preferred consistency.
  • If you prefer warm oats, heat them in the microwave for a minute or two before serving.
  • Get the family involved and let them add their own toppings and mix-ins.

What are your favorite toppings and flavors? Have dairy-free overnight oats helped you fall in love with breakfast? Let us know in the comments below.

Here’s to a breakfast that checks all the boxes.

Team Dirty

pbj Overnight Oats

Get a weekly dose of inspiration to eat more plants and celebrate imperfection

Our Sweary Saturday Love Letters are written by our ex-boozer, ex-smoker, plant-loving co-founder, Molly Patrick.

Leave a Comment

You may also enjoy...

New? Download your free Beginner's Guide and start the most delicious and rewarding journey of your life, fueled by plants.

Our mouthgasmic plant based meal plans are designed around batch cooking. Get your free Batching Handbook and dive in.

Get support on your plant fueled journey in our private Facebook group with non-judgy Dirties around the world. Nice, let me in!

Love the food that loves you back

Get instant access to thousands of plant based recipes and meal plans, no credit card or perfection required.