Overnight Chai Steel-Cut Oats Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Overnight Chai Steel-Cut Oats

Ayurvedic lifestyle counselor Aisha Bahrami created this delicious no-cook oatmeal by accident: “I put all my ingredients into a pot for breakfast, got a phone call, and totally forgot about it,” she says.



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1 cup steel-cut oats
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1 cup hemp milk or non-dairy milk of your choice
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2 Tbs. chia seeds
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¼ tsp. ground cardamom
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¼ tsp. vanilla extract
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¼ tsp. ground ginger or 1 Tbs. crystallized ginger
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¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
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1 pinch nutmeg
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1 pinch black pepper
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1 Tbs. maple syrup, optional
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1 Tbs. shredded coconut, optional
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1 Tbs. chopped pistachios, optional


1. Combine oats, hemp milk, chia seeds, cardamom, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, and maple syrup (if using) in glass jar with lid. Stir, close lid, and refrigerate overnight.

2. Open lid, stir, and sprinkle with coconut and pistachios, if using.

Nutrition Information: 

8 g
Total Fat: 
5 g
Saturated Fat: 
1 g
35 g
0 mg
31 mg
7 g
4 g
Serves 4

Comments on this Recipe

A waste of good & expensive ingredients. Followed this recipe to the letter..the oats & chia seeds took in so much liquid that I had to add additonal cup of milk, and that still was not enough. Started the batch at 6PM the night before & @ 6:30AM the following morning the oats were still hard as a rock. Only positive was the flavor...steel cut oats need to be cooked to soften. Into the trash can it went.

For me, this came out very dense. I poured a little black tea on it which made it easier to eat.

Love this.

I made a single serving (halved the recipe) and used 1 cup of almond milk to 1/2 cup steel cut oats and the consistency was about right for me. However the nutrition stats are way off, 1/2 cup of steel cup oats is 300 calories, then add the milk, chia seeds, and maple syrup it comes to a lot more than 270 calories (without the nuts and coconut).

@ Kate - I know that my container says 150 Calories per 1/4 cup steel cut oats to be cooked. It makes sense then that prior to cooking 1/2 cup is 300 Calories. Just a thought.

Thanks for pointing that out, Kate. We had a glitch in our system, but have fixed it online with the correct nutritional information (400 calories per serving instead of 270). Apologies!

Like the over reviewers said, oats to liquid ratio is a little off. I added water to mine because that is all I had on hand. Next time I will increase the amount of hemp milk. I also added some cloves which I think tied the flavors together. Makes for a nice breakfast though.

Is this supposed to be very, very chewy? I haven't had steel-cut oats before, so I am not used to the consistency.

I had not had the steel oats before and was leery, but went for it anyway. It was actually pretty good and something I will fix again. Since it was a serving for two and there is only one of me doing this, I hope it keeps in fridge for another morning's breakfast.

Carol, steel cut oats are very chewy, so I always cook half steel cut and half regular rough cut oats. That makes the consistency right for me. The steel cut have to cook about twice as long as the regular do, however, so cook them a while first before adding the regular. I like my oatmeal hot, but the flavors here sounded interesting, so I just cooked the oatmeal adding the spices. It was very good.

Like everyone else, I found this a bit chewy. I'm very glad I quartered the recipe, since I'm dieting and the nutrition info was so far off. Although I used lite soymilk, so I guess that balanced it a bit. However, my complaint is that I didn't like the spice mixture. Too much cardamom for me and the black pepper really threw it off. I will, however, use this method again, as it made a really easy breakfast on-the-go...but I'll use my own spice mix (maybe cinnamon and vanilla...) and I might add some craisins or some other dried fruit.

I love the flavor of these Steel Cut oats! The texture was dryer than I was expecting but it didn't bother me. I might put in a little more milk next time for my significant other though, who found the texture too dry.

So love this but with all VT recipes I customize them. For a single serving I use the recommended size on the canister which is 1/4 on the one I buy. love the spices! I also add banana and omit the maple syrup since I put agave.

I agree it is rather dry, but I love the spices. I added a little milk and banana in the AM prior to heating in the microwave. I also found I can easily get three servings from this mixture which reduces the calories. It does keep just fine in the fridge.

I love this. Now, as with most recipes, I had to modify because I did not want to run out and get containers of ingredients I may not use up. So, from my experience, using rolled oats, soy milk and flax seeds, and leaving everything else the same, makes for great results as well. This way it's also not as chewy as some people have mentioned.

This one didn't work for me. Oats were still rock hard and clumpy in a soupy spice mix. Maybe irish style would absorb it better. Oh well.

I enjoyed this though am surprised at the calorie change. I would like to try it warmed up. I used rice milk and agave nectar. I will cut back on the cardamon also and I found it a little overpowering but liked the pepper in it. I also didn't have pistachios or coconut so had it "plain". I will play with this one.

I loved this recipe! I added extra hemp milk to make it a little creamier. Also added raisins and some extra crystalized ginger at the end. I made a big batch of the spice blend so that I can make this more quickly next time. I think I'll add more cinnamon and nutmeg and some cloves to balance out all the cardamom. It was a little too much cardamom for me.

I am in the middle of trying this recipe and I was worried about it not having enough liquid so I came on to check reviews. I am frustrated that the calorie count is significantly higher than it stated in the magazine-- I probably wouldn't have fixed it had I known the real count. I don't eat 400cals for breakfast! But, I guess I now have at least 3 servings of oats. Hopefully it will "cook" alright now that I've adjusted the milk. Thanks for the other reviewers suggestions on that.

Don't raw oats contain some kind of anti-nutrient? Also, I'm sure water needs to be added. A cup of steel cut oats requires 4 cups of liquid when cooked on the stove.

I made this with regular oats (NOT steel cut) and it was AMAZING!!! Love this recipe. I have made it many many times. I also add an extra 1/2C of soy milk. I keep the spices mixed in a little jar. Great with blueberries!

I'm looking for overnight oats recipes and keep seeing comments like Valerie's, about throwing it all out in the morning just because the oats didn't soften enough. Put it on the stove. Or save it in the fridge for longer and see what happens. The LAST thing you should do is throw it out, especially if you liked the flavor and none of the ingredients went bad. Remember how privileged you are to have enough food to eat. And to have hearty, healthful things like steel-cut oats on your plate. That being said, overnight oats recipes should come with a warning: Make it plain first. If it works, you can add some nuts and fruits to it in the morning, and get creative the second time round. If it doesn't work, add more liquid and put it on the stove. Then try something else another day. This recipe sounds like a lovely flavor combo. Thanks for the idea.

I tried this a bunch of times a bunch of different ways.... and I have to say, the steel cut oat part must be a mistake. Whenever I didn't cook the steel cut oats (even leaving it in the fridge for 2 nights!), they were so hard my jaw got sore. Definitely use old-fashioned rolled oats, or cook your steel cut oats in advance.

The flavor of this recipe is fantastic! I found it to be a bit chewy, which is tolerable. I think that I will try this as an overnight crockpot recipe next time with more hemp milk.

I have made this several times with uncooked steel cut oats and it has been fantastic every time! You really do have to let sit in the fridge at least 12 hours and it is still good after 24-48 hours. I'm not certain why it hasn't worked out for some of the other commenters, but it did for me...

I always prefer a hot breakfast, so I've never tried it just soaked. I microwave it for a couple minutes and have a quick, flavorful breakfast without having to wait to cook the steel-cut oats conventionally. Black pepper isn't the sort of "kick" I enjoy in the morning, so I've never tried that either.

Microwaving negates all the benefits of raw food nutrition, you end up eating dead calories, slightly heating in small pan on stove would be more beneficial.

This is sooo good, and it smells wonderful! I used vanilla soy milk in mine, and added raisins and slivered almonds (instead of the coconut and pistachios), letting the raisins plump with the other ingredients. I found i did have to add some additional liquid when heating it up in the morning so the consistency wasn't so thick.

Use twice the milk! I don't know who would prepare grain at a 1:1 grain:liquid ratio when the cooking instructions call for 1:3 or 4, AND they're adding chia seeds here. Still, I love this recipe. Thanks, VT!

I love this recipe! It is so easy and my kids love it and request it regularly! I use rice milk and I do use a little more than the recipe calls for. I have added all the optional ingredients except the coconut and it always turns out great. I omit the pepper for my children but I don't mind it in mine. I could always add it later if I wanted. Thank you for this recipe. I cherish it!

Is there a typo? "Chai " and "chia" aren't the same thing, are they?



This was wonderful loved the crunch of the oatmeal, no need to cook was delicious .

When heating it up, the consistency is rather thick. Eaten as is, the amount of liquid was just right. Didn't have cardamom on hand, but this was really good. Perfect for an Autumn morning.


This recipe has become a family favorite. Try it!

vegan oatmeal recipie

Don't you have to cook the steel cut oats ahead of time?

That sounds really good. I may try that on a warmer day. Just not mid winter.

Sounds good, but what is chai about this?? Typo?

The recipe uses many of the same spices that give chai tea its flavor: cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper. The fact that the recipe also uses chia seeds does make it look like it could be a typo, though! :)

Looks almost identical to my usual breakfast. Having said that, I believe it is important to soak the oats separately with a tablespoon of Raw apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of spelt flour in warm filtered water to help reduce the phytic acid. Then just drain and rinse with filtered water.

Chai refers to the comination of cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, nutmeg, and black pepper. Chai literally translates to Tea. So in this use the oatmeal will taste like a chai

I made these and the next morning they were still rock hard the next day. Am I supposed to cook them still? The recipe doesn't indicate that.

I love the taste of chai, or the spices I know as chai. :) This recipe looks amazing, and I will be using these flavors with my overnight oatmeal. Lisa and Trish, I would not be able to eat steel cut oats without cooking them first. Search for "overnight steel cut oats". Basically boil them for one minute, let them sit overnight. I am going to do that, then add the spices. Thank you for the great recipe for chai flavored oatmeal. I love chai. I am having chai flavored tea right now. :)

definitely not enough liquid. i had to divide mine into four containers and add about another cup of water. i also added a chopped apple and it was perfect after heating in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes

this was disgusting i had diarrhea for almost a week because of this i am definitely not making this again thtas for sure!!!! :(

You need to double the milk.

Ridiculously good.