Craving sweets for breakfast? Kick your morning off right these protein overnight oats that have 14 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber, and only 6 grams of sugar. Or, you if you’re super hungry, can eat two servings for 28 grams of protein total!
Adding protein powder will keep you full and the recipe is easily customizable. Plus it is a make ahead breakfast so you do the work the night before and can just grab and go!
Nothing beats waking up to a healthy breakfast. Especially when that breakfast has chocolate in it! Yessir, these overnight oats are loaded to the brim with chocolatey goodness, without the sugar overload that normally comes with it.
Overnight oats are one of my quick weekday breakfast staples since they’re satisfying and healthy. What’s faster than making breakfast the night before with zero prep required in the morning? Nada. Make ahead recipes rule.
Yes, healthy breakfasts like a veggie quiche have their time and place, but not when you’re in a hurry.
Don’t let a lack of time in the morning ruin your clean eating streak though! A little planning ahead can keep you on track.
If you haven’t had overnight oats yet, these chocolate protein overnight oats are a great entry recipe. With over 14 grams of protein, this recipe is made for active folks that need to kick their day off with some gusto.
Why Eat Overnight Oats
The best part about eating overnight oats is that you make them the night before and the oats soften overnight in the fridge. No cooking necessary, just throw some ingredients together, stir and throw the jar in the fridge.
Oats are a great addition to a healthy diet and a healthier way to satisfy your cab craving than most other options out there. Oats have been proven to lower cholesterol and be good for heart health in general. Healthline has a great article on the benefits of oats if you need more convincing.
Here are a few other highlights of this recipe:
- Prep only takes 5 minutes
- Made the night before for grab and go breakfasts
- Oats are incredibly healthy and filling
- Only 6 grams of non-refined sugar
- 14 grams of protein
- 10 grams of fiber
- Chocolate (need I say more?)
Protein overnight oats are a simple no brainer make ahead breakfast for me and will probably become a regular for you too after making them once.
How to Make Chocolate Protein Overnight Oats
To make chocolate overnight oats, you truly only need a few ingredients, minutes and steps.
First, as with most recipes, assemble the ingredients:
- oats – rolled oats (aka old fashioned oats) work best. Oats are naturally gluten free but are often produced in facilities that process gluten so look for “gluten free” on the packaging if you need this.
- almond milk or whatever milk you prefer
- cocoa powder – or you can
- protein powder – I used to use whey but switched to dairy free pea protein powder
- pure maple syrup
- vanilla extract
To make the overnight oats, stir all of this together in a small container. Place it in the refrigerator and let it chill for a few hours or, preferably, overnight and then eat.
Chocolate Overnight Oats Substitutions
There are so many overnight oat recipe options, I’m not going to go through them all here. See the section below on Other Overnight Oat Recipes for some ideas.
But, if you’re trying to tweak this recipe based on what you have on hand and/or prefer, I’ve got some options for you:
- Only have vanilla or chocolate protein powder? Perfect! That means you need one less ingredient. If using vanilla protein powder, leave out the vanilla.
- If using chocolate, leave out the cocoa powder or use less cocoa powder. The amount will depend on how chocolatey your protein powder is and how you prefer it.
- Want to make it even healthier? Add a sprinkle of chia seeds, flax, cinnamon, and/or hemp hearts to up the nutrition content and make this breakfast even healthier.
Can I half or double the recipe?
The recipe has two servings as written. You can always cut the ingredients in half and make a single serving instead, no problem. Just cut the amounts in half or drag the slider in the Servings area of the recipe and it will automatically scale it down to one serving. Or, if you’re really hungry, you may be able to eat two servings at once.
While you can easily double the recipe, I don’t recommend pre-mixing for more than two mornings at once. While it’s of course possible, the oats get too soft and the texture just isn’t great that second day.
You can mix all the dry ingredients together in multiple jars once though and then add the wet ones at night for the next morning. You can pre-mix the dry ingredients for a whole week’s worth of overnight oats at once to reduce prep time.
Using Protein Powder in Overnight Oats
Making overnight oats with protein powder converts an otherwise carb heavy, low protein breakfast into a power meal. That being said, there are lots of different kinds of protein powders, some much better than others.
Luckily, in this recipe, the strong chocolate flavor covers up the protein powder taste that is a major turn off in lots of other recipes.
To make the recipe vegan, use a plant based protein powder like pea protein. While I’m sure any protein powder will do, here are some of my favorite types of protein powder:
- Vegan – Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder is a great, readily available brand that you can buy in most stores, Amazon, or even Costco. This chocolate fudge Orgain flavor is one of my favorites. It is made from a blend of pea, brown rice and chia seed proteins. This blend helps a lot with the flavor, compared to just using pea protein.
- Whey – Levels 100% Grass Fed Whey Protein is a high quality whey protein powder made from grass fed, pasture raised cows that aren’t treated with hormones. It is also flavored with cold pressed cacao and lightly sweetened with monk fruit so this one is Keto and Paleo friendly.
- Whey – Raw Organic Whey Protein Powder is made from grass fed cow milk with access to open pastures year round. It is processed at low temperatures which is great ideal since most whey protein powder isn’t.
Technically you can but the oats will disintegrate and turn to mush since they’re so thin and small. If you do use quick oats, just soak the oats for less time, only a few hours instead of overnight. Rolled old fashioned oats work best.
They are best eaten within 8-24 hours but will keep for up to 2 days. They are still edible for 3-5 days but after day 2, the texture becomes less appetizing.
Most people eat them cold. If you want them warm, you can microwave just watch carefully and do this in short bursts, stirring in between, since oats can easily overflow in the microwave.
Other Overnight Oat Recipes
If you’re now in love with overnight oats and looking for other options, here’s a consolidated list to try out:
- This blueberries and cream overnight oats recipe was one of my first overnight oat recipes and still a favorite.
- This strawberries and honey overnights oat recipe is always satisfying and a favorite for my toddler!
- For something a bit different, try this carrot cake overnight oats recipe out. The toasted oats and nuts add nutrition and texture!
- Or, if you didn’t plan ahead and are still craving a quick oat breakfast, try this microwave oatmeal.
Other High Protein Make Ahead Breakfast Recipes
If oats aren’t your thing or you’re just looking for a change, here are some other high protein make ahead breakfast options:
- Crustless quiches are a go to make ahead breakfast for me since they reheat so well.
- These spinach cottage cheese pancakes reheat well and as an added bonus, you get a veggie without even tasting it.
- Chia pudding is an all time favorite of mine either for breakfast or dessert – try this almond pudding.
- This cherry oat quinoa bake has oats and quinoa but in baked form. It reheats great and has 12 grams of protein per serving!
- These egg bites are a savory make ahead breakfast and each one has 4 grams of protein!
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any milk you prefer)
- 1 cup rolled (old fashioned) oats
- 2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder*
- 1/4 cup plain protein powder*
- 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract*
- Mix all ingredients together in a small jar or split between two jars to keep the two servings separate. Stir well to mix ingredients and dissolve chunks.
- Place jar(s) in refrigerator overnight or for 2 hours at the very minimum (overnight is preferred).
- Remove from refrigerator before eating and stir well.
- Either eat directly from the jar(s) or place in a bowl. Eat within 24 hours of mixing for best results.
did you make this recipe?
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Recipe originally published on April 9, 2016 but post and recipe have since been updated multiple times.
Comments & Reviews
Hi Christy, I have just come across this recipe and would like to know that if I add my chocolate flavour whey protein powder and omit the cocoa, how much shall I add? Same as what the recipe states which is 1/4 cup or a little more? Please advise as I am trying to make this for my daughters whom need fibre in their diet as well protein.
Yes, adding the same amount of protein powder should be perfect! Most protein powders have a pretty strong chocolatey flavor so that should work great. 🙂
Hey what can be used as a substitute for protein powder?
Is your goal to get an alternative form of protein into the recipe or that you just don’t want to use the protein powder and want it to still work? If you skip the protein powder, just use less liquid and it will be fine. If you want another form of protein, you can swirl peanut or almond butter throughout the recipe before eating. It will be a different flavor of course but I don’t have another easy tweak for adding protein to this recipe. I hope that helps!
Can I use steel cut oats?
Yes you can but may need to add more milk than the recipe calls for. Also, make sure to let them sit overnight – a few hours won’t cut it with steel cut oats!
I cut the recipe in half for just me. Can add just one banana?
I don’t see why not! It would be great with banana added.
Can I check what the white cream on top in the photo is please? Would it be a thick yogurt?
In the pictures it is just whipped cream. Yogurt or a coconut whipped cream would be way healthier though!
Heyy how do I make Cocunut whipped cream I’ve always wanted to just have no idea how!! Can’t wait to make this.
Here’s a link to a tutorial: https://ohsheglows.com/2012/08/30/coconut-whipped-cream-a-step-by-step-photo-tutorial/
I’ve made it a few times and honestly, sometimes I’m just lazy and buy it since they sell it in a can now. 🙂
Hi, just made these!
The calories are per serving or for both servings?
It makes two servings so the nutrition facts are for half of the recipe.
Carina Chiara says
WOW, I m sure, my kids gonna love this
Taylor Rachel says
Oats are really healthy. Thanks for sharing
can you use water instead of milk?
I’m sure you can, I just used milk in the recipe to make it more creamy and add a little more protein. Water should work just fine. 🙂
Ohioren Endurance says
I love oat and this recipe is a must for me this weekend.
I haven’t taken overnight oats before…Thanks for this recipe.
It was more or less like icecream in my mouth. So soft and creamy.
I like the texture too! The starches break down to make it so nice and creamy.
Hey , this is Manar from Israel. Thank you for the recipe and i will certainly subscribe to your website.
I have chocolate Whey protein powder . Can i use it insted of the cocoa and protein powder?!
Thank you again and have a lovely day
Hi Manar – thanks for reaching out all the way from Israel! I’ve always wanted to travel there. You can definitely use chocolate whey protein powder. Just leave out the cocoa powder or use less of it. I hope you like the recipe!
Christopher Wilkens says
Hey! This looks delicious! Just to be clear, you are using vanilla beans scraped from the pod?
Oh no, I just use vanilla extract. I updated that to be more clear in the recipe with a link to the one I use. 🙂
Finally a protein overnight oats recipe I like! I think the key was using less protein powder.. All others seemed to call for a whole scoop of protein and it would be just awful. I used a vegan protein powder and it was great! I was a little worried because subbing vegan protein for whey protein doesn’t usually work well in recipes. I’m so glad I tried this! Thank you!
Good to know the vegan protein worked here! I’ve had some epic fails with subbing protein powders for each other too so I’m always nervous when I do it. Happy to hear its safe on this one! Woohoo!
Katie Gaynor says
To be clear, the recipe makes a serving for 2??
Yes, the recipe makes two servings. I know it’s confusing since I only picture one of them, but it makes enough for two…unless you’re super hungry in the morning!
Julia Trops says
Could this recipe be adjusted to make “cookies” iow reducing the milk or such? I’m not super with recipes but am thinking if the oatmeal was portable with small one or two, they’d be a great snack. Thoughts?
I like this idea but I think it would need some more substance to be able to form a cookie out of it. Have you tried this chocolate protein cookie recipe? It might be more in line with what you’re looking for!
If it’s a little runny how can I make it a little bit thicker?
All protein powders are a little bit different in how they absorb so tweak until you figure out what works best with yours. Maybe try a little less milk next time? You can always add more so if you know it turns out runny for you, just don’t fill the measuring cup up all the way and add extra milk in the morning if needed.
I really struggle with finding and eating a filling protein packed breakfast – and I’m a chocoholic – and this was PERFECT! I had it warm, and had 30g protein powder per serving. Brilliant. Thank you!
I struggle with it too! Half the time I end up eating a second breakfast around 9:30 or 10 because I didn’t get enough protein. Not with these oats!
Hi, what size jars is this for?
I think that was a 20 oz. jar. That’s for two servings though!
Thanks! Had these today, reminded me of cocoa krispies which I loved when I was a kid, thanks for sharing!
I LOVED cocoa krispies too!! Those and fruity pebbles were my jam. Alas, we had to grow up someday so we’ll just call this the grown up version of cocoa krispies. 😉
Have you tried this adding more protein powder? I generally use two full scoops in my morning shake but I have a feeling that would be way to much for this recipe?
I haven’t tried adding more protein powder to this recipe but have in others and personally didn’t like the results. It was too chalky for me. You might be able to stomach it better than I can though! Maybe if you used chocolate protein powder instead of the plain protein powder and cocoa powder?
Elizabeth Hunt says
Is there anyway to skip the maple syrup? I’m not a fan of maple, but I like the sound of the recipe otherwise.
Sure, there are tons of options! Maybe try honey? I like using maple syrup because it is thinner and easier to mix in but if you stir enough, honey will dissolve and do the trick of sweetening the oats up. You could try coconut sugar too if that sounds more appealing.
Nicole Mickelson says
Okay maybe dumb question but I’ve never made overnight oats before… cook the oats first yeah?
No! That’s the beauty of overnight oats. By soaking overnight you don’t have to cook them first. The oats absorb the liquid and are soft by morning. Laaaazy recipe. 🙂
Sarah Bogan says
Yum! This looks delicious! I’m going to have to try this with a kick of cayenne.
I never would have thought of cayenne and chocolate together – let me know how it goes!