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These kefir overnight oats are packed with fiber, protein, and gut-friendly probiotics for a nutritious, dietitian-designed, make-ahead breakfast idea. Kefir is the perfect consistency and thickness to replace milk and yogurt in overnight oats!

Kefir overnight oats in 2 small glass jars.

It’s no secret that overnight oats have been one of my go-to breakfasts for YEARS (these lemon blueberry overnight oats, or these overnight oats made with frozen berries are some of my favourite combinations).

While typically overnight oats are made with a combination of milk and yogurt, this recipe soaks the oats in only kefir!

Kefir is slightly thicker than milk, but not quite as thick as yogurt. This makes it the perfect consistency for stirring into overnight oats and results in the perfect texture and thickness.

What is kefir?

Kefir (pronounced “kuh-feer”) is a fermented dairy product that originates from the North Caucasus region of Russia.

It’s made by mixing “kefir grains” (which is a starter culture composed of microorganisms, like bacteria and yeast) with milk.

These microorganisms ferment the naturally-occurring sugars in milk (lactose) into an effervescent beverage that has a consistency similar to thin yogurt.

Want more kefir breakfast recipes? You may love my mango kefir smoothie or this maple kefir chia pudding!

Kefir overnight oats in 2 small glass jars.

What are the benefits of oats and kefir?

Kefir is a good source of complete protein, providing about 11 grams in a 1-cup serving (although this will vary slightly by brand).

It’s also a source of vitamins and minerals, like:

  • calcium
  • phosphorus
  • vitamin B12
  • riboflavin
  • magnesium
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin A

Because it contains beneficial probiotic bacteria, kefir may help to increase the diversity of bacteria in your gut. Bacterial diversity can support gut health and may even help to support a healthy immune system!

Oats are an excellent source of fiber-rich, complex carbohydrates that give you energy. Their high soluble fiber content helps to slow digestion (keeping you feeling full), improve blood sugar control, lower LDL cholesterol, and promote digestive health.

Beyond fiber, oats are also a source of plant-based protein and many micronutrients, like:

  • B-vitamins
  • magnesium
  • zinc
  • iron
Recipe ingredients in small bowls.

About the ingredients + possible substitutions

  1. Rolled oats: I like to use old fashioned, rolled oats for overnight oat recipes. That said, this will work with instant oats if that’s what you have on hand! Nutritionally, there isn’t a big difference. Instant oats are simply more processed, so they will digest faster and you may not feel as full for as long. While oats are naturally gluten-free, if you’re on a strict gluten-free diet you will need to ensure that you use certified gluten-free oats for this recipe as sometimes oats can come into contact with gluten during manufacturing.
  2. Kefir: This yogurt-like drink can be found near the refrigerated milk and/or yogurt section at your local grocery store. I personally use a plain, unsweetened kefir. If you follow a dairy-free or vegan diet, you can also find kefirs made from non-dairy milks, like coconut or cashew! The only type I would personally avoid is goat’s milk kefir – I made this mistake once, and it was very “goat-y.”
  3. Chia seedsThese little seeds have a unique “hygroscopic” property, meaning that they attract and hold onto water molecules from their surrounding environment. This is what makes them absorb some of the liquid around them and gives them their gel-like coating and unique texture, making these overnight oats even thicker. You may use either black or white chia seeds.
  4. Vanilla extract: Used to add a delicious touch of vanilla flavour to the oats!
  5. Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon adds the perfect touch of warming spice to oatmeal. Along with vanilla, I find cinnamon creates a sweeter flavour, without any added sugar. If you’d like, you can also add a touch of cardamom!
  6. Cardamom: I used a touch of cardamom in these kefir overnight oats for extra flavour, but you’re welcome to leave it out if preferred.
  7. Toppings: Feel free to add whatever your heart desires! My personal favourites would be fresh fruit (like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, banana slices, or even mangos). I also love a sprinkle of nuts and/or seeds, as well as a scoop of nut butter.

Step-by-step: how to make kefir overnight oats

Rolled oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt being added to a bowl.

Start by mixing together all the dry ingredients: rolled oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, and cardamom (optional).

Kefir, vanilla, and maple syrup being stirred into oats.

Then, stir in the wet ingredients: kefir, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Make sure everything is combined well.

Covering bowl of overnight oats for refrigeration.

Cover the oat mixture with a lid, and place in the fridge overnight (or for a minimum of 2 hours)

Overnight oats mixed with kefir.

In the morning, the oats will have thickened in the kefir and be ready to eat! Add toppings as desired + dig in.

Full ingredient measurements and detailed recipe instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

More overnight oat recipes:

Did you give these Kefir Overnight Oats a try? Let me know by leaving a comment and recipe rating below!

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Get the Recipe: Kefir Overnight Oats (Healthy Breakfast!)

These kefir overnight oats are packed with fiber, protein, and gut-friendly probiotics for a nutritious, dietitian-designed, make-ahead breakfast idea!
Kefir overnight oats in 2 small glass jars.
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Ingredients

Instructions

  • TIP: This recipe as written is for 2 servings. You may prepare the oats directly in 2 jars or in 2 containers with lids (dividing the ingredients evenly). Alternatively, you can prepare the whole thing in one large bowl, then transfer the servings to jars/containers before placing in the fridge OR when ready to eat. Having the oats already in jars is best if you want a portable, grab-and-go breakfast the next morning 😉
  • Mix dry ingredients (oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, and optional cardamom) together.
  • Then, add kefir, vanilla, and maple syrup to the dry ingredients. Stir everything together until well-combined – the oats should be fully mixed into the wet ingredients.
  • Cover the oats and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight. If making the oats in 2 jars, you can already add toppings now if you'd like!
  • Remove oats from the fridge when ready to eat. Add toppings if you haven't already. Stir everything together + enjoy cold!

Notes

*LEFTOVERS/MAKE AHEAD:
  • Overnight oats will keep for 4-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • This makes them a perfect breakfast meal prep option – just make a large batch, and you have a healthy breakfast ready for the week!
 
*INGREDIENT NOTES:
  • While oats are naturally gluten-free, if you’re on a strict gluten-free diet you will need to ensure that you use certified gluten-free oats for this recipe.
  • For a vegan option, you can also find kefirs made from non-dairy milks, like coconut or cashew!
 
*TOPPING IDEAS:

Nutrition

As a dietitian, I create recipes with whole food ingredients that provide the nutrients needed for optimal health. My nutrition philosophy does not focus on numbers; however, I understand that this information can be helpful.

Do note that the nutrition info provided is an estimate and I cannot guarantee correctness of the displayed values. These numbers will differ depending on brands used, recipe modifications, and amount eaten. If you require specific nutrition information due to medical reasons, please consult with your dietitian or physician.

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @walderwellness on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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Pinterest graphic for a kefir overnight oats recipe.
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