Grab-and-Go Oatmeal Chia Cups

Grab-and-go oatmeal and chia breakfast cups! Top them with yogurt, fresh fruit, and nuts to make a satisfying meal. Easy to make vegan or gluten-free.

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Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

I work from home, but even though I may not be actually going anywhere, I still appreciate a quick breakfast that I can grab from the fridge.

I tend to procrastinate this most important meal of the day, sipping my coffee and checking email before plunging into work. Before long, it’s ten o’clock and hunger pangs have set in.

I love opening my fridge to see these oatmeal and chia cups waiting for me.

Grab-and-Go Oatmeal Chia CupsBut of course, if you are rushing out the door, these cups are very handy, too. In fact, I often bring them in the car when I’m traveling and don’t want to rely on fast food.

You can make as many or as few of these oatmeal cups as you like. They keep well for about 5 days in the refrigerator.

The longer they sit, the thicker the bottom layer becomes, so I suggest you mix them in a bowl if you’ve stuffed your jar to the brim. Either that, or prepare them in a larger jar so you have enough room to mix everything together when a bowl isn’t within reach.

Grab-and-Go Oatmeal Chia CupsAnother bonus with these make-ahead oatmeal cups is they’re the perfect portion control for breakfast. I’m always on some sort of, ahem, “nutritional plan” to keep from packing on the pounds (being a recipe developer has its downsides!), and so I love having these pre-portioned and pre-packaged for me.

Plus, the oatmeal and chia seeds are so filling that I don’t get hungry until lunch!

You can sweeten these to taste or use vanilla yogurt. The raisins and fruit make these satisfying enough for me, so I can save my craving for sweets for another, worthier opportunity – one will surely arise at some point during the day.

Grab-and-Go Oatmeal Chia Cups Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving (scale up for more servings)

The recipe below is for one single-cup serving. Prepare additional servings in their own jars using the same ratios. You can prepare as many servings as you'll eat within 5 days!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup milk, any kind, including non-dairy
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla yogurt, any kind, including non-dairy
  • 1 teaspoon honey, maple syrup, or sweetener of your choice, to taste (optional)
  • 1/4 cup blueberries, sliced strawberries, raspberries, or other chopped fruit of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon raisins or other dried fruit
  • 1 tablespoons chopped or sliced almonds, cashews, walnuts or other nut of your choice

Special equipment:

Method

1 Combine the oats, chia seeds, and milk in an 8-ounce or larger jar: Stir to mix the ingredients together. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken slightly.

Grab-and-Go Oatmeal Chia Cups

2 Layer the remaining ingredients on top: Once the chia and milk mixture has thickened slightly, top it with layers of yogurt, honey (if using), berries, raisins and nuts. Cover the jar with a cap and refrigerate until needed, or for up to 5 days.

Grab-and-Go Oatmeal Chia Cups

3 Enjoy! Eat your breakfast straight from the jar, mixing everything together as you go, or pour the contents into a bowl, if you prefer.

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Sally Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas is a freelance writer and the author of three cookbooks (Food for Friends, The Tao of Cooking, Ten Speed Press, and The Cranberry Cookbook). She currently writes the column The Confident Cook for The Boston Globe along with seasonal recipes for the Wednesday Food Section.

More from Sally

Grab-and-Go Oatmeal Chia Cups

Showing 4 of 10 Comments

  • Celeste Embrey

    Thank you for this recipe! I made it earlier this week and finally had the chance to grab and go with my cup this morning — delicious and so filling! I added golden raisins and sunflower seeds because that was what I had on hand. I’ll definitely be making this again. Many thanks.

  • Sandy S.

    Sally (and Emma :) thanks for including the chia in this recipe. Good choice! I have opted to use 4x4x2″ high plastic containers, as I love oatmeal and prefer to start with bites of it and add the toppings as I go.
    Also want to comment on the bit of floral print in one of the pics. This print (or very similar ones) has been around for at least 70 years. It is like seeing an old friend! I can remember it in my parents toaster cover, some kitchen curtains and a blouse. Just want you to know how much I appreciate the ‘little things’ you do!

  • Leslie

    Could I substitute cooked steel cut oats instead of rolled?

  • Nic Makim

    Inspirational food styling!! Thanks for sharing! I’m going to make it tomorrow for my family. Would love to do a collaboration with you!

  • Lea

    Can you double the oats and milk of choice and leave out the yogurt?

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