Cold Brew Overnight Oats are an easy, no-cook breakfast you can make the night before. Made with cold brew coffee, yogurt, and old-fashioned oats, overnight oats are a quick way to start your day with a nourishing meal. Think minimal effort for maximum flavor, especially if you can’t get enough coffee in your system!
Coffee lovers, you’ve landed in the right place! My Cold Brew Overnight Oats combine coffee flavor with the convenience of overnight oats.
They’re a great way to fuel up for whatever you have in store for the day. Think of them as a little kickstart on top of your morning cup of coffee. Or cups, in the plural sense, because if you’re like me one is just never enough!
Why Overnight Oats Are A Must for Busy Mornings
If you’re not into quick, easy breakfast options, how did you get here? I’m assuming if you landed on this overnight oats recipe, you’re looking for a time-saving option so you can get out the door or start your day with something in your belly.
And that’s exactly why overnight oats are a go-to favorite. Oats are a whole grain, so they have a pretty impressive nutrition profile. Yes, they are mostly carbs, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Oats are complex carbs, which is slower to digest than simple carbs and provide the energy our bodies need. And a 1/2 cup serving of oats provides about 5 grams of plant-based protein.
Oats and oatmeal also deliver plenty of vitamins, like B vitamins. Plus minerals like iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.
Oats are a whole grain, which means they’re a good source of fiber. Oats have a specific type of fiber called beta glucan, which may help lower cholesterol. Most Americans don’t eat enough fiber. A 1/2 cup serving of uncooked oats provides about 4 grams of fiber.
But one of my favorite things about oats is how versatile they are. They’re an affordable, shelf-stable food that can be served hot or cold, sweet or savory, blended into smoothies or ground into flour. I consider them a staple pantry item, especially for easy breakfasts like these cold brew overnight oats!
Ingredients for Cold Brew Overnight Oats
Make sure you have these simple ingredients to make cold brew overnight oats. If you want to set up a grocery delivery, get a ready-to-shop list from Instacart. It’s an affiliate link, which means I’ll get a small commission if you place an order.
- Old-fashioned oats or rolled oats
- Cold brew coffee, either brewed, store-bought in a bottle, or use cold brew concentrate for extra intense coffee flavor
- Milk of your choice. I like to use whole milk for the nutrition and creamy texture, but see below for some swaps and dairy alternatives
- Vanilla extract
- Vanilla Greek yogurt. You can use a plain yogurt if you choose, but the final result will be less sweet
- Brown sugar
- Powdered espresso, which is optional but makes for a nice topping if you want to include it. Same with a pinch of sea salt, which can intensify and balance the other flavors
I don’t recommend using steel cut oats for overnight oats recipes. The have a much different texture, as do instant oats or quick oats. They can end up gummy or way too sticky. You can learn more about the different types of oats in my post about a tour through a mill in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Swaps and Substitutions
One of the best things about overnight oats is how easy it is to customize the recipe. The basic ingredients listed above are great on their own, but try these additions or swaps to mix it up based on what you need or want for your breakfast.
- Add cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips for more of a mocha-flavored experience
- Mix in some hemp hearts, chia seeds, or ground flax seeds for extra fiber and some healthy fats. This can make your overnight oats more thick and dense, so use about a tablespoon or less per serving or add a little extra liquid
- Top it with coconut flakes or mix in shredded coconut, which can be sweetened or unsweetened
- Use a flavored coffee creamer, half and half, or heavy cream to give your cold brew overnight oats an extra creamy texture
- Stir in your favorite protein powder if you want a few extra grams of protein
And depending on your dietary preferences or food allergies, you can swap the dairy milk for a non-dairy substitute.
- Oat milk is my top choice because it’s so creamy. Plus, brands like Oatly preserve some of the beta glucan, the soluble fiber in oats
- Soy milk is similar in protein content compared to cow’s milk
- Coconut milk and almond milk are usually available in sweetened or unsweetened flavors. Vanilla flavors are easy to find and work well in creamy coffee overnight oats.
For gluten-free options, make sure you buy oats that are certified gluten-free. Although oats are a naturally gluten-free grain, they are sometimes processed on equipment that’s shared with gluten-containing ingredients.
How to Make Cold Brew Overnight Oats
Grab a large bowl to mix the ingredients. You can use a mason jar, glass jar, or any other airtight container to store the overnight oats until you’re ready to eat them.
When you’re ready to get started, follow these three simple steps to make cold brew overnight oats:
- Measure out all the ingredients except for the yogurt and add them to the mixing bowl. Stir to combine into a soupy oat mixture.
- Divide the oat mixture into the jars or containers. Scoop the yogurt on top, but no need to spread evenly or mix. Seal the mason jars or containers and place them in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight.
- When ready to serve the next morning, top with powdered espresso or add any other favorite toppings you want to use. Serve chilled and enjoy!
As you can see, even the prep steps are super simple if you don’t have much time the night before. And if you have an extra busy day, skip the toppings altogether and just grab your ready-to-eat breakfast so you can get going!
Storage and Meal Prep Tips
Overnight oats need to chill for at least a few hours so the oats can soak up all the liquid. But they can be stored up to 3-4 more days in the refrigerator.
This recipe is written for four servings. If you’re prepping for one, this gets you several rounds of breakfast (or snacks) for the week. If you want more or less, just keep the ratio the same as you adjust this overnight oats recipe.
Cold Brew Overnight Oats
- Mixing Bowl
- measuring cups and spoons
- small airtight containers, such as mason jars with lids
- 2 cups rolled or old-fashioned oats
- 6 oz cold brew coffee or cold brew concentrate , see notes
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp brown sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- powdered espresso, optional
- Add all ingredients except the yogurt in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
- Divide the oat mixture into four portions and transfer into storage containers with an airtight lid. Spoon the yogurt over the top, but no need to mix. Place containers in the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least 4-6 hours, or preferably overnight, so the oats will absorb all liquid.
- When ready to serve the next morning, top with powdered espresso or add any other favorite toppings you want to use, such as extra yogurt. Serve chilled and enjoy!
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Cheers to more fearlessly nourishing meals!
Disclosure: This recipe and blog post were created in partnership with Quaker Oats when originally published in July 2020. I was compensated for my time. Since then, updates have been made to the recipe, information and images to improve the overall quality. As always, opinions are my own and I did not receive additional compensation.