A jar is filled with lemon poppyseed overnight oats. It is topped with a twirl of lemon zest.

One of my favorite things about overnight oats is that they can be as rich and decadent or as light and nourishing as you choose. These Lemon Poppyseed Overnight Oats have a bright, fresh flavor that works beautifully for a light breakfast.

I love these oats in particular because they are a wonderful flavor base for all kinds of added fruit. I love topping these lemon poppyseed oats with fresh berries, banana slices, or fresh peach slices. Yum!

A jar is filled with lemon poppyseed overnight oats. It is topped with a twirl of lemon zest.

What are overnight oats?

Overnight oats are a no-cook way to make oatmeal. Instead of cooking your rolled oats in water or milk, you stir them together with the liquid and other mix-ins, and let it chill in the fridge overnight. It makes a pudding-like porridge that you can eat cold, or warm up. For more on this grab-and-go breakfast, head on over to our Overnight Oats 101 post.

Ingredients for lemon poppyseed overnight oats sit in a white bowl. A whisk sits beside the bowl.

What makes overnight oats so special?

I think that overnight oats should be a meal prep staple. Here’s why they’ll always have a spot in my heart:

  • You can customize them to fit your dietary preferences. Make your overnight oats your own—they can be super nourishing or super decadent. We’re covering lemon poppyseed overnight oats in this post, but once you get a feel for overnight oats, you can find your own favorite flavor.
  • Overnight oats are just straight-up delicious! This porridge is creamy, thick, and hearty. Even my kid devours overnight oats!
  • Overnight oats are so easy to meal prep. Overnight oats are not only easy to make in advance— they are designed for it! Putting in just a few minutes of prep work in the evening or on the weekend gives you a great grab-and-go breakfast by morning.
  • Overnight oatmeal can be made in bulk. There’s a good reason overnight oats appear on so many meal prep menus—you can make an entire week’s worth of breakfasts at once.
  • 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 sweeteners, add some protein powder or collagen peptides, or mix in some superfoods like flax or chia seeds. The possibilities are endless!
A hand pours milk onto the ingredients of overnight oats. A lemon sits in front of the bowl.

Do you eat overnight oats cold or heated up?

Overnight oats are usually eaten cold, to stick to their grab-and-go style. But if you’re not into cold oatmeal, just warm them in the microwave for 30-60 seconds, stirring often. Alternatively, you can heat them in a small saucepan on the stove.

Do I have to use BOTH the chia and poppy seeds in these oats?

Sorry, Charlie. You definitely need both to make lemon poppyseed overnight oats. The chia seeds (or ground flax seeds) help thicken the overnight oats, and the poppy seeds add flavor. If you just want lemon overnight oats, you can skip the poppy seeds, but the chia seeds/flax seeds are non-negotiable to get the right creamy overnight oats texture.

A spoon with a blue handle sits in a jar of overnight oats. Lemons and lemon zest rest on a white counter beside the jar.

Oh no, my lemon poppyseed overnight oats taste bitter! What happened?

If your lemon poppyseed oats taste bitter, then you may have accidentally scraped off some pith (the white part under the peel) while zesting your lemon. The pith tastes very bitter and can turn a batch of overnight oats bitter in an instant.

Can you make substitutions to these lemon poppyseed overnight oats?

One of the best things about overnight oats is that they are easily customizable to suit your dietary needs or preferences! Need them to be vegan, gluten-free, or low-sugar? That’s simple! We discuss all sorts of swaps you can make in our in-depth overnight oats post, but here are some specific swap ideas for these lemon poppyseed overnight oats:

  • Make it vegan: Use non-dairy milk, plant-based yogurt in place of the Greek yogurt, and maple syrup instead of honey.
  • Make it sugar-free: Drop the sweetener, make sure to use unsweetened milk, 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.
A glass jar is filled with lemon poppyseed overnight oats. Lemon and lemon zest also sit on a white dishtowel.

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.

A jar is filled with lemon poppyseed overnight oats. It is topped with a twirl of lemon zest.

Lemon Poppyseed Overnight Oats

Yield: 1 large serving, or 2 small
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

These Lemon Poppyseed Overnight Oats are like your favorite muffin flavor in oatmeal form!  These brightly flavored oats are a great way to kickstart your day.



  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Spoon into a pint or half liter jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Close and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight before eating.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 small Serving Size: 1 half batch
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 194Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 86mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 3gSugar: 25gProtein: 7g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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    1. Thanks so much, April! We really appreciate your kind words and we’re glad you love the recipe! =)

  1. The way you type and talk is annoying and was hard to read the recipe because of it. Anyway it was okay, I added way my chia seeds bc I wasn’t paying attention but it was pretty solid

    1. So happy to hear you love it, Mel! Thanks so much for sharing your topping idea—that sounds delicious!