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9 Chia Seed Oatmeal Recipes That Nutritionists Love

Here's how to make overnight chia seed oatmeal with easy recipes from registered dietitians and nutritionists. Get started on your healthy breakfast tonight!

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chia seeds and oats in wooden spoonsNelliSyr/Getty Images

Chia seeds and oatmeal

Beloved by nutritionists, chia seeds are booming in popularity thanks to their nutrition-packed benefits. They’re high in antioxidants, full of protein and fiber, and an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, manganese, and magnesium.

“These tiny seeds pack a powerful punch,” says Akua Woolbright, PhD, national nutrition director for Whole Cities Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Whole Foods. Chia seeds can be added to everything from smoothies and yogurt to cereals. And, yes, there’s even chia seed pudding.

Oatmeal is a natural pairing for chia: not only does chia’s nutty flavor complement oatmeal and taste great together, but oatmeal is similarly nutritious, with cholesterol and heart-healthy benefits.

“I love using oatmeal in recipes since it provides a source of whole grain, and oats contain the specific fiber beta-glucan which has been found to lower levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, a nutrition consultant and author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet. “The combination with chia can offer additional benefits as the added fiber from chia seeds can contribute to a feeling of satiety and may also have a positive impact on gut health and blood lipids.”

breakfast with overnight oatmealnatashamam/Getty Images

Overnight chia seed oatmeal

Overnight oats recipes are particularly popular, says Lianna Nielsen, integrative nutrition health coach, because the soaking helps starches break down and reduces their natural phytic acid. “This makes it easier for the body to digest it and utilize the nutrients,” she says. “Overnight oats also contain more resistant starch, which helps with digestion and weight loss, and increases the feeling of fullness.

That’s not all. “Besides keeping you regular, oatmeal also has been shown to lower your risk of heart disease, improve your immunity, and keep you full longer,” says Nielsen.

No wonder recipes combining oatmeal and chia are so popular among nutritionists. And there are all sorts of creative twists involving fruit, alternative kinds of milk, spices, and unique ingredients like tahini. Here are 10 favorite overnight chia seed oatmeal recipes from registered dietitians and nutrition experts.

almond butter chia oatmealCourtesy Jennie Miremadi, MS, CNS, LDN

Almond Butter Overnight Oats

This protein-packed recipe features almond butter and chia seeds, is courtesy of licensed integrative clinical nutritionist Jennie Miremadi.

Serves one

Ingredients:

1/2 cup organic, gluten-free rolled oats

1 tbsp. chia seeds

1/2 cup almond milk

Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Stevia, to taste

1 tbsp. raw almond butter

Instructions:

Add oats, chia seeds, almond milk, salt, and stevia to a mason jar and stir to combine, making sure that the oats and chia seeds are totally soaked in the almond milk. Adjust stevia to taste. Allow oats to sit for about 10 minutes and then stir almond butter into oats. Do not combine completely, making sure to leave almond butter swirls in the oats. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to eat, remove lid, serve, and enjoy.

christine bullock chia oatmealCourtesy Christine Bullock

Golden Milk Immune Boosting Overnight Oats

This chia seed oatmeal recipe claims immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties thanks to curcumin, the primary compound in turmeric, as well as from chia seeds. Recipe provided by Christine Bullock, fitness coach, nutrition counselor, and founder of Kayo Body Care.

Serves one

Ingredients:

1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free, if desired)

1 tbsp. chia seeds

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 to 1/2 tbsp. ground turmeric

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 cup oat milk (or any non-dairy milk)

1 tbsp. maple syrup

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Apple slices or raspberries (for garnish)

Instructions:

In a bowl, whisk together oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, turmeric, and nutmeg until well combined. Add oat milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract; whisk until well combined. Place in an apothecary jar and cover. Refrigerate at least two hours, or overnight. Garnish with apple slices or raspberries. Enjoy straight out of the refrigerator cold. 

mary ellen phipps chia seed oatmealCourtesy Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD

Warm Chia Seed Oatmeal

This simple recipe, courtesy of Mary Ellen Phipps, RDN, of Milk & Honey Nutrition, can get a flavor boost from a variety of toppings: everything from coconut chips to trail mix to kiwi.

Serves one

Ingredients:

1/3 cup gluten-free oats

3 tbsp. chia seeds

2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Optional mix-ins/toppings:

Peanut butter

Trail mix

Bananas

Kiwi

Cinnamon

Coconut chips

Instructions:

Place oats and chia seeds in a microwave-safe bowl, and stir until fully combined. Add in almond milk and mix until combined. Microwave on high for two minutes. Remove from microwave and add any additional mix-ins or toppings of choice. 

fig chia oatmealCourtesy Institute for Integrative Nutrition

Fall Fig & Chia Overnight Oats

This warming autumnal recipe, provided by Sheri Vettel, RD, of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, features cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, and fresh figs.

Serves one

Ingredients:

1/2 cup old-fashioned or rolled oats

1 cup milk or milk alternative (such as unsweetened almond or oat milk)

1/2 cup fresh figs, diced

1 tbsp. chia seeds

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. pure maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a jar or container with a lid. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, add an additional splash of milk (if desired), and stir. Eat directly out of the jar, or transfer to a bowl and microwave. 

pumpkin chia seed oatmealCourtesy Leah Barron

Pumpkin Chia Seed Overnight Oats

Get in the fall spirit with this seasonal treat featuring pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and maple syrup, courtesy of Leah Barron, RD and certified personal trainer.

Serves two

Ingredients:

1 can coconut milk

1 cup oats

3 tbsp. chia seeds

1/2 cup pumpkin purée

2 tbsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp. turmeric

Pinch of salt

Cinnamon

Apples and toasted pecans (optional)

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate overnight. Serve with apples and toasted pecans, if desired.

cherry chocolate chia oatmeal from susan bowermanCourtesy Susan Bowerman, M.S. RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND

Chia-Cherry-Chocolate Oats

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this chia-cherry-chocolate oatmeal recipe, featuring chocolate protein and cocoa, cherries, and honey or agave nectar, courtesy of Susan Bowerman, RD.

Serves one

Ingredients:

1/2 cup rolled oats (1 minute or 5 minute)

1/2 cup low-fat milk

1/2 cup water

1 tbsp. chia seeds

2 tbsp. chocolate protein powder

2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tbsp. dried cherries, coarsely chopped

1 tbsp. honey or agave nectar

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring, until oats are cooked thoroughly.

erein palinski chia oatmealCourtesy Erin Palinski-Wade, RD

High Protein Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Bursting with protein and fiber, this chocolate peanut butter overnight oats concoction is as filling as it is healthy, explains Palinski, who provided this easy recipe.

Serves one

Ingredients:

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 tbsp. chia seeds

1 cup low-fat chocolate milk

2 tbsp. crunchy peanut butter

1 medium avocado, pitted

Banana (optional)

Instructions:

In a small container or Mason jar, combine rolled oats and chia seeds. Set aside. In a blender, add chocolate milk, peanut butter, and avocado. Blend until smooth. Add liquid to oats and combine well in container. Refrigerate overnight. Top with a banana in the morning and enjoy.

Chia Pudding Parfait With Yogurt And RaspberriesVladislav Nosick / 500px/Getty Images

Oatmeal and Chia Seed Breakfast Cups

These delicious breakfast cups, courtesy of Mary Gollan, RDN, Preg Appetit, are not only vegan but also gluten free.

Serves four

Ingredients:

½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed)

½ cup chia seeds

4 tsp. honey, maple syrup, or sweetener of your choice

1 ½ cups milk, any kind (including non-dairy)

1 ½ cups plain or vanilla yogurt, any kind (including non-dairy)

1 cup chopped fruit of your choice

4 tbsp. chopped or sliced nuts of your choice

Instructions:

Combine oats, chia seeds, sweetener, and milk. Pour into an 8-ounce cup or Mason jar halfway. Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes. Top with the remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until needed for a quick grab and go snack or breakfast. Keeps in fridge for up to 5 days.

Overnight oats with strawberries in a jarArx0nt/Getty Images

Favorite Overnight Oats

This surprisingly filling chia oatmeal recipe is equally tasty for breakfast or for a late-afternoon snack, courtesy of Nielsen.

Serves two

Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla nut milk (such as macadamia nut milk)

2 scoops protein powder of your choice (such as Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides or Vanilla Collagen Creamer)

1/3 cup gluten-free rolled oats

1 tbsp. unsweetened almond or peanut butter

1 tbsp. chia seeds

1/2 cup berries (such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)

A dash of organic maple syrup, raw honey, or a couple of drops of stevia (optional)

Instructions:

Mix together the nut milk and protein powder in a Mason jar. Add the oats, nut butter, chia seeds, and berries. Top with lid and shake well. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy for breakfast.

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Nadine Jolie Courtney
Nadine Jolie Courtney is an LA-based journalist covering travel, beauty/spa/health, lifestyle, family, and royalty. Her work has appeared in Oprah Mag online, Town & Country, Robb Report, Cosmo, Vogue online, Vanity Fair online, Harper's Bazaar online, and Angeleno, among many other publications.

A former beauty editor at Lucky, Ladies' Home Journal, and FHM, Courtney also spent years teaching blogging and social media classes through Mediabistro and FIDM. She is the author of ALL-AMERICAN MUSLIM GIRL, ROMANCING THE THRONE, BEAUTY CONFIDENTIAL, and CONFESSIONS OF A BEAUTY ADDICT.