Overnight Oats with Coconut Milk is a nutritious breakfast that can be enjoyed hot or cold. Coconut milk, chia seeds, and vanilla makes a creamy and sublime oatmeal. It's silkier and keeps you full longer than regular oatmeal. And, you can meal prep them in jars for a quick grab-and-go breakfast.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Meal prep friendly: This recipe can be made in advance for healthy portable breakfasts throughout the week. You can easily make one or multiple servings.
- No cooking required: This recipe comes together in minutes and it's assembled right in the jar. Then, you can enjoy it the next morning—straight from the fridge.
- Doesn't bother with "Light" coconut milk: To make canned light coconut milk, manufacturers simply water down full-fat coconut milk...then turn around and sell it for the same price! So, we always recommend buying full-fat coconut milk, which has more flavor and is a better value for your money. You can always water it down yourself at home—for free.
- Customizable: You can add as little or as many toppings as you'd like! Fresh fruit, nut butter, toasted coconut, extra milk or yogurt all taste great.
You just need a handful of pantry ingredients for this make-ahead breakfast:
- Oats: Use whole rolled oats for this recipe (not quick oats or steel cut oats).
- Chia Seeds: Chia seeds help overnight oats become thick and creamy. And, they're a healthy source of protein, fiber, and omega 3 fatty acids (source).
- Coconut Milk: Use full-fat canned coconut milk. Make sure you've stirred the milk thoroughly, until smooth, before measuring it out for this recipe.
- Cardamom: Ground cardamom makes these overnight oats extra special! It's delicious paired with vanilla and maple syrup. In a pinch, you could skip it, but we highly recommend using it!
How to make (step-by-step photos)
To make coconut overnight oats, all you need to do is mix everything together the night before. Then, let it thicken overnight. In the morning you can enjoy it cold (as is)—or warm it in the microwave or stove for an extra cozy hot breakfast.
Find the recipe card below for the complete recipe, including all ingredients and instructions.
See how this coconut milk overnight oats makes the perfect portable breakfast:
Prefer to enjoy your oats hot instead? This recipe works for that too:
- Tropical: Raspberries, mango, and toasted coconut.
- Blueberry Dream: Blueberries, almond butter, and sliced almonds.
- Chunky Monkey: Bananas, peanut butter, and cacao nibs (or chopped chocolate).
- Apple Crumble: Apple sauce, cinnamon, and Easy Nut Pulp Granola.
- PB&J: Strawberries (or strawberry jam) and peanut butter.
Frequently asked questions
This recipe was developed for full-fat coconut milk and water. We don't typically recommend buying light coconut milk, because it's more expensive and less flavorful.
But, if you need to use light coconut milk instead, use it to replace both the full-fat coconut milk (⅓ cup) and water (½ cup)—otherwise your oats won't have much coconut flavor.
You could, but it's less ideal because the toppings will likely sink into the oat mixture before it sets. For best results, let the overnight oats set (about 6 hours)—then add the toppings. For example, if meal prepping multiple jars, you could add all the toppings after the first night.
Food safety best practice is to keep leftovers for 3 to 4 days. So, plan to enjoy your overnight oats within 4 days if possible.
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Overnight Oats with Coconut Milk
- ½ cup rolled oats (see note 1)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can, stirred well, see note 2)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
- Combine: In a lidded jar or container, combine oats, chia seeds, water, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and cardamom (if using). Stir until well mixed. Cover and place in the fridge overnight (minimum 6 hours recommended).
- Enjoy: Enjoy cold straight from the jar. Or, warm gently over the stove or in a microwave (see note 3). Overnight oats can be topped with garnishes of your choice (see note 4).
- Oats: Use whole rolled oats for this recipe, not quick oats or steel cut oats.
- Coconut milk: Make sure to stir the full-fat coconut milk until smooth, before measuring it out. If your canned coconut milk has separated into a thick cream and a watery layer, whisk it thoroughly with a fork until no clumps remain. Sometimes it helps to warm it gently. "Light" coconut milk is simply watered down full-fat coconut milk (for the same price!). For this reason, we recommend starting with full-fat coconut milk and adding water yourself (as this recipe calls for).
- Warm variation: These overnight oats can be enjoyed cold, but if you'd like, you can warm them over the stove or microwave. We usually like to add an extra splash of coconut milk (or milk of your choice) to thin the oatmeal a bit more when heated.
- Toppings ideas: Fresh fruit (berries, mango, banana), nut butters (peanut, almond), toasted coconut flakes, chopped nuts, dried fruit, extra coconut milk, etc. See recipe post for suggested pairings.
- Storage tips: Keep refrigerated for up to 3 to 4 days.