An easy Banana Overnight Oats recipe with a satisfying chewy texture and just the right amount of nutty sweetness.
I’ve been experimenting with overnight oats for a while. I love the idea that I don’t have to deal with making breakfast in the morning. (Remembering to put the coffee cup under the coffee maker is challenge enough for me most mornings!) But every recipe I tried resulted in a cold, mushy mess. Which some folks love (like Hemant), but me, I need some texture in my oatmeal.
At Chez Shah, we tend to rotate our breakfasts. Some weeks I'll make a big batch of grains to eat in bowls like this Quinoa Porridge and Berries. Some weeks, we eat granola with fruit. And some weeks, we like oats because they're simple, satisfying and nutritious.
This vegan overnight oats recipe with banana, walnuts and dates does the trick beautifully. First, it’s absolutely delicious. And it’s ready and waiting for you when you wake up, but it tastes ‘just made.’ I say ‘trick’ because, there is indeed a little trick to keeping your overnight oats from turning to mush.
How to Make Chewy, Crunchy Vegan Overnight Oats
To make what I would call the perfect overnight oats, I like to keep the ‘milk’ to a minimum and add banana for extra moisture. This helps give the oatmeal a just-creamy-enough texture, without turning the whole thing to a gloppy mess. (Sorry if you’re a fan of gloppy oats!)
Next—and this is key—don’t stir your walnuts and dates (or whatever add-ins you choose to use) into the oats right away. Instead, mix up the banana, oats, chia or ground flax seeds (video), plant milk and cinnamon together, but pile the other ingredients on the top. The oat mixture will be thick enough so that these ingredients don’t sink. Then, right before you enjoy your overnight oats, you can stir these toppings in—or not. I usually just eat away!
(Note: I personally eat 1 tablespoon of ground flax every day because it's SO good for you, but it can be a bit mealy if you're not used to it. So use whatever you prefer for this recipe.)
Before I discovered this little trick, my dates would pretty much dissolve into the oats, and even the nuts didn’t offer much crunch. But this method is the bomb for oats with a beautiful, chewy texture.
Tips for Making Easy Overnight Oats
To keep things as simple as possible, I like to mash a banana in a bowl by hand with a potato masher. A fork can be a little harder to work with in a bowl, and why mess up a food processor?
Then, I add all of my mixture ingredients to the same bowl, give it a good stir, and pour it into individual containers. Finally, I chop up my date and walnuts and toss those on top. This entire process takes no more than 5 minutes, and there’s not much clean up. Then, just pop them the fridge overnight.
How to Make Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats
Ever since Elvis made the peanut butter banana sandwich famous, there’s been a loyal following of this flavor combo. If you’re a fan, you can easily make this recipe a peanut butter banana overnight oats recipe by simply adding a tablespoon or so of peanut butter to the oat mixture. It will be a little richer and creamier, and really tasty.
You may want to reduce or eliminate the walnuts to limit the fat content. You can also substitute almond butter if that’s what you have on hand, or seed butter for a nut free version.
This recipe is designed to fit perfectly into those cute little 8-ounce Mason jars. Just like you see in my pictures. It is a pretty generous serving of oats, so you could divide it into 3 or 4 servings if you desire.
That’s it. Easy-peasy, crunchy, chewy vegan overnight oats. In the fridge and ready to eat.
If you like this healthy, whole food plant-based recipe, you might also like Quinoa Porridge with Berries, No-Bake Carrot Cake Bites, Vegan Pumpkin Bread with Chocolate Chips, and Apple Cinnamon French Toast.
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Banana Overnight Oats
- 1 banana mashed (plus a few slices for topping, if desired)
- 1 cup rolled oats not quick cook. Gluten free if desired
- 1 cup unsweetened plant milk or more, for creamier texture
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds or ground flax seeds. See notes
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1-2 medjool dates chopped
- 4 walnuts chopped. Omit or sub sunflower seeds for nut free
- Optional: For peanut butter banana oats add 1 tablespoon peanut butter (or sub almond butter seed butter for nut free. See notes)
- In a small mixing bowl, mash the banana with a potato masher or large fork.
- Add the oats, plant milk, chia seeds and cinnamon to the bowl, and mix well. (Add the peanut butter now, if using.)
- Pour the mixture into 2 small jars or other containers.
- Top with the chopped dates and walnuts. Dont mix yet (See notes.)
- Cover tightly and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. Mix toppings in just before eating.