I hold a very special place in my heart for these healthy Coconut Chocolate Overnight Oats. I love all of our overnight oats recipes like they’re my own children (okay, maybe not quite that much), but I think I love these rich, chocolaty, coconutty ones the very best. There is some serious magic that happens when you make overnight oats with cocoa powder. I’m no food scientist, so I don’t have the details on what chemical reaction happens—but whenever you add cocoa powder to my base overnight oats recipe, it becomes even MORE creamy, fluffy, and decadent. It happens in our Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats recipe and it happens here, too. It’s breakfast magic!
What are overnight oats?
Overnight oats are a no-cook oatmeal that you make by letting them rest overnight (hence the name!) in the fridge. In the morning, you can eat it cold like a pudding, or you can heat it up. If you’re new to making overnight oatmeal and want a full primer (plus lots of other easy-to-make recipes), check out our Overnight Oats 101 post.
What makes overnight oatmeal so special?
I think that overnight oats should be a staple of any busy household. Here’s why they’ll always have a spot in our weekly meal prep sessions:
- Overnight oats are super easy to make ahead. Spend just a few minutes in the evening mixing up your oats, and you’ll have a grab-and-go breakfast in the morning! Overnight oats aren’t just easy to make ahead—they’re designed for it!
- Overnight oats can be made in bulk. They are a staple of many meal prep menus for good reason—you can mix up an entire week’s worth of breakfast in just a few minutes.
- You can customize them to fit your dietary preferences. It’s easy to make these oats gluten-free, vegan, super nutritious, or super decadent. Make them your own! We’re covering coconut chocolate overnight oats in this post, but once you get the idea of overnight oats down, you can go discover your own favorite combination.
- They can be as healthy (or as decadent) as you’d like. You are in control of how healthy or rich (or both!) these oats become. Reduce the added sweeteners, mix in some protein powder or collagen peptides, or add in some superfoods like hemp seeds or chia seeds. The possibilities are endless!
- Overnight oats are just delicious! The oats soften up in the fridge to make a sweet, creamy pudding that is totally tasty, decadent, and rich. Even my kid devours overnight oats!
Can you make substitutions to these overnight oats?
One of the glorious things about overnight oats is that they are super customizable! You can easily make swaps to suit your preferences. It’s simple to make these oats vegan, gluten-free, and lower in sugar. We cover all the substitutions you can make in our in-depth overnight oats post, but here are some specific swap ideas for these coconut chocolate overnight oats:
- Make it vegan: Use plant-based yogurt and maple syrup for sweetener.
- Make it sugar-free: Drop the sweetener and add 1/2 mashed ripe banana. Or use stevia or monk fruit sweetener in place of the maple syrup or honey if you prefer.
- Make it gluten-free: Make sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
Do you eat overnight oats cold or heated up?
Most folks choose to eat them cold (that’s part of the grab-and-go appeal of them), but if you’re not into cold oatmeal, just warm them in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, stirring frequently. Or, you can warm them in a small saucepan on the stove until heated to your liking.
Where can you find more overnight oats recipes?
We’ve got you covered when it comes to simple and easy overnight oats recipes! Here are some of the most well-loved recipes on Wholefully.