Easy Overnight Zoats (Zucchini Oats)

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by Alena Schowalter
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Chocolate overnight zoats are the healthiest breakfast you’ll make all week! They are filled with fiber and essential nutrients, easily customizable and so meal prep-friendly.

These chocolate zucchini oats (or zoats for short) combine healthy ingredients and delicious flavor in just one bowl!

It’s a genius way to eat more veggies — starting at breakfast. This recipe requires under 10 minutes of prep time, and you can serve it with your favorite seasonal fruit!

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If you haven’t tried zoats, you should definitely make them! They are flavored with delicious spices and fruit, so you won’t taste the veg.

Try our chocolate porridge, matcha oats, and protein oatmeal for more healthy breakfast ideas.

female hands placing some fresh fruit on chocolate overnight oats next to bowls of blueberries, sliced zucchini and fits

Recipe overview

Having a batch of homemade vegan overnight zoats in your fridge really helps you make healthier eating choices. This is the most convenient and healthy breakfast you can grab!

Ingredients needed

  • Rolled Oats – use between half a cup and a cup per serving; our recipe makes two filling servings but you can prepare larger batches of this oatmeal, too.
  • Zucchini – feel free to start with a small amount and work your way up once you trust this whole concept.
  • Cocoa & Cinnamon – cozy and delicious spices that take your oatmeal up a notch and hide the zucchini flavor really well!
  • Soy Milk – this adds some protein & creaminess; feel free to use any plant-based milk.
  • Fruit – bananas are pretty much a must to make this zucchini oatmeal nice and sweet; add other seasonal fruit, such as berries, apple or figs.

Depending on how sweet you like your oatmeal to be, you can add a tablespoon of maple syrup to the zucchini oat mixture before placing it in the fridge!

In terms of kitchen tools, you need a grater for your zucchini, one mixing bowl, measuring equipment and two food containers or glass jars to store your zoats.

20+ Vegan Zucchini Recipes
top view of table with different-sized bowls with oats, shredded zucchini, figs, blueberries and cocoa powder

How to make overnight zoats

  • Grate or shred your zucchini as finely as possible, making sure no larger chunks are left.
  • Combine oats with flax seeds and spices in a bowl. Add the shredded zucchini and give it a stir.
  • Add soy milk and water and mix until well-combined. You can also stir in a tablespoon of nut butter for added creaminess or maple syrup to make your zucchini oats sweeter!
  • Divide between two jars or food containers and place them in your fridge until you’re ready to devour them.
  • Add toppings like fresh fruit, nuts, nut butter, granola or any of your favorite fixings just before eating them!

Hot or cold?

Enjoy them cold during summer in the morning with a more crunchy texture from the raw zucchini or heat your zoats to make them creamier!

They can be cooked on the stovetop or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes – this doesn’t just give you a warm breakfast, but the cooking process also makes for softer, creamier oatmeal that will disguise the grated zucchini even further.

Storage & serving

When making overnight zoats, you should let them soak for at least 4 hours so they become soft and well-combined. 

You can prep them up to 4 days in advance — just give your zoats a stir when serving them cold in the morning and let them warm at room temperature for a bit if you like.

Make the overnight oats a bit creamier by adding a splash of almond creamer and top them with crunchy nuts, seeds, dried fruit, yogurt, cocoa nibs, dark chocolate, berry chia jam or date caramel!

white bowl with a mixture of oats, shredded zucchini and cocoa powder in which some almond milk is being mixed with a spoon

Tips & FAQs

What are zoats?

Zoats are rolled oats that are mixed with shredded zucchini and either served cold in the form of overnight oats or cooked on the stove to create creamy zucchini oatmeal. So, zoats are a recent trend in the health food world, not a typo.

Some recipes for zoats are made with egg whites, which are meant to help bind the ingredients together. As vegans, we skip that part and just use some healthy flax seeds instead.

Which oats do you use for zoats?

To make overnight zoats, you traditionally use rolled oats because they soak up the liquid while still offering some texture.

For smoother overnight oats, go for instant oatmeal. If you cannot tolerate gluten, make sure to check for the gluten-free label on your oats.

woman in jeans jacket grating some zucchini into a white bowl

How much water or milk to use

This depends highly on your desired consistency. The ratio for our overnight zoats is 2:1.5 – this is because the shredded zucchini will lose some of its liquid overnight. Some recipes call for a 1:1 ratio, which makes for some really dense overnight oats.

For a porridge-like consistency, stick with a 2:1 ratio of liquid to oats – using too much water or dairy-free milk will cause you to end up with oat soup.

Basic overnight oats formula

The sky’s the limit when it comes to zoats. To give you an idea of the many delicious combinations you can create, we wanted to share with you this basic overnight oats formula.

two glass jars of overnight zoats with sliced banana, figs and blueberries next to a linen towel

Which jar or container should I use?

You can make overnight oats in pretty much any jar or food container that’s large enough for your servings. 

If you don’t have several small ones, go for one big container and take out a portion in the morning, place it in a bowl, and add your toppings of choice.

Glass jars look extra pretty, of course, but any container will do the job. Extra points for a lid that fits, because you’ll definitely want to cover your zoats in the fridge.

Do overnight zoats work for meal prep?

You betcha! They are the perfect meal prep-friendly and super healthy breakfast choice.

We recommend making 3-4 servings in one batch (Sunday evening is a great meal prep time) and storing them in the fridge for easy grab-and-go breakfasts.

How long do overnight oats last?

Depending on your add-ins, overnight oats can keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.

The longer you prepare them in advance, the softer your oats will become – which might be an advantage to you if you dig that texture.
Also, you’ll need to give them a stir before eating as the liquid tends to separate from the oats after a few days.

More vegan breakfast recipes

From meal prep-friendly to high-protein or beginner breakfasts, we have lots of recipes on the blog to check out next!

Did you try our zucchini oats and like them? Feel free to comment below and rate our recipe! You can also Pin it for later.

Vegan Chocolate Overnight Zoats

by Alena Schowalter
Prep Time 8 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Chocolate overnight zoats are the healthiest breakfast you'll make all week! They are filled with fiber and essential nutrients, easily customizable and so meal prep-friendly. Top with seasonal fruit, nuts or nut butter and enjoy this grab-and-go recipe.
Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup rolled oats 120 g
  • 1 tsp flax seeds
  • 1 small zucchini grated
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups soy milk 360 ml, unsweetened
  • ½-1 cup water
  • 1 banana sliced
  • 2 medium figs sliced
  • ½ cup blueberries 75 g

Instructions

  • Mix oats, flax seeds, zucchini, cocoa powder and cinnamon in a glass bowl. Pour in the soy milk and water, then stir until well-combined.
  • Divide the mixture between two glass jars and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Use regular bowls if you don’t have jars – just make sure they are covered.
  • In the morning, you can decide whether you want to eat your overnight zoats warm or cold. Either just top them with some fresh fruit and nuts and enjoy them right away or, if you’re up for a warm breakfast, you can heat up your zucchini oats. This will make them creamier and offer a softer consistency, too.
  • Add a splash of water to the chocolate oats and place them in a microwave set on high power for 30 seconds. Then, stir the oatmeal and microwave for another 30 seconds. You can also heat your zoats on the stovetop.
  • Let them cool slightly, then top with banana, figs and blueberries. Stir in some nut butter if you like and enjoy!

Notes

  • These overnight zoats keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Try delicious add-ins such as almond or cashew butter, dried fruit, shredded coconut or cocoa nibs!
  • Feel free to use any plant-based milk you like!
  • If you want sweeter oats, add maple syrup or chopped dates to your mixture before putting it into the fridge.
  • Find many more tips in the article above!
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Chocolate Overnight Zoats
Amount per Serving
Calories
436
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
10
g
15
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Sodium
 
128
mg
6
%
Carbohydrates
 
85
g
28
%
Fiber
 
14
g
58
%
Sugar
 
30
g
33
%
Protein
 
18
g
36
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed.
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Hi, I'm Alena Schowalter — a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with my husband, I founded nutriciously in 2015 and have been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages toward a healthy plant-based diet. I enjoy discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature, and creating new recipes. Read more about us here.

8 Comments

  1. I can’t agree more about veggies for breakfast. A few years ago, I was lucky to take the Vegan cruise to the Caribbean sponsored by Holistic Holidays at Sea, I think it was. Drs. Colin Campbell, Neil Barnard, Caldwell Eselstyn, Michael Greger and many others are the speakers year after year. The food was fabulous and they introduced us to a grain, veggies and a fruit for breakfast every day. I got used to it and cannot imagine leaving out veggies for breakfast. How else can we get it all the amounts that are recommended every day. Now, I make up a batch of veggies (red and white cabbage, kale and a bit of red onion) in a huge container to keep in the fridge. In the am, I grab one or two handfuls and throw in a steamer basket and cook till wilted and the onion is cooked. I toss it with umeboshi vinegar in a bowl and serve on the side with my amarynth or oatmeal, raisin toast with avocado or whatever I am eating for a grain. The veggies are also good left in the basket until the lunch meal and then incorporated into corn tortillas with hummus and toasted walnuts. Such a veggie combo is full of what we need to eat every day. The only thing missing is a cut up mushroom which I don’t always have on hand. It is a great way to start the day.

    Reply
    • wow you’re really going all-in with the veggies! so good for you, I can totally see the benefits of starting your day that way :) great for your blood sugar levels, too. thanks so much for sharing and I am so happy for you that you were able to see all of those great pioneers speak!

      Reply
  2. 5 stars
    I didn’t think that you really cannot taste the zucchini so this is awesome! we added some almond butter and put them in the microwave before eating.

    Reply
  3. That sounds so good. I have done this for over 20 years now, but slacked off since I retired, but will start again. Thank you Patty Evans for reminding me. My breakfasts will be so much better

    Reply

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