Why buy overnight oats when you can make this super easy and delicious Trader Joe’s Overnight Oats Copycat Recipe? It’s packed with sweet vanilla flavor and sweet dates, totally vegan and gluten-free, and can be made in 5 minutes!
💫 Mika's Highlight
I love to prep overnight oats because everyone in the household enjoys them and they take literal minutes to whip up and then are ready to g the next morning. These are extra delicious because of the sweet dates and nutty almond butter, making them taste just like Trader Joe’s vanilla overnight oats!
why these oats are better
- Make & serve in the same mason jar or other tupperware. This makes for less cleanup (love that for us!) and makes it great for a grab-and-go breakfast.
- Low maintenance is the name of the game for this recipe. It takes 5 minutes to whip up and then you just have to let it sit. That’s it!
- Tried & true recipe that’s been tested 7 times to make sure it’s just like the original (if not a little bit better, but don’t tell Trader Joe’s!)
ingredients and substitutions
All substitutions are a 1:1 substitute unless otherwise noted. See recipe card for quantities.
- Dates: These should be finely chopped or blended. Maple syrup or honey can be used but will not make these oats taste like Trader Joe’s.
- Almond Butter: Use almond butter with a creamy texture and without added sugar if possible. You can use any nut butter (like peanut butter) you have if you don’t mind if it doesn’t taste just like the original overnight oats.
- Rolled Oats: Rolled oats or old-fashioned oats work best for overnight oats but quick oats can be used too.
- Vanilla: Vanilla paste or extract can be used. Vanilla paste has a sweeter flavor while the alcohol in vanilla comes through quite strongly.
- Water & salt: Nut milk or dairy milk can be used in place of water for extra creaminess. This will decrease the shelf life of the oats in the fridge though.
- Toppings: Overnight oats can be topped with so many tasty things. Some favorites for these vanilla almond butter oats are additional almond butter, cacao nibs, and bananas. Other tasty ideas would be blueberries, strawberries (or other fresh fruit), hazelnut butter, chocolate chips, dried fruit, and granola.
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
recipe testing notes
Throughout our testing of this easy overnight oats recipe, we learned what worked and didn't work. Here are the key takeaways!
- Maple syrup vs dates: I tested this recipe with both sweeteners. Both taste great and maple syrup is a bit easier to mix in. But, as a copycat recipe, the dates were clearly the winner because it tasted just like the original.
- Vanilla extract vs paste: I also tested both extract and paste for these vanilla overnight oats. The extract tasted more like the original but the vanilla paste tasted a little bit better in my opinion. I’ll let you decide on this one!
how to make this Trader Joe's Overnight Oats
Be sure to scroll to the recipe card for the full overnight oats recipe!
Step one: chop or blend the dates
This ensures that the sweetness is mixed throughout. You can also blend them with the water and almond butter.
Step two: mix
If you aren’t using a blender, it helps to heat the almond butter up for easier mixing. Mix everything in your jar (or jars).
Step three: wait
Let the oats sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight. The longer they sit, the more flavor that develops. And if you're looking for what to enjoy it with, check out our post on 25 side dishes to serve with oatmeal.
prefer to watch how to make overnight oats?
- Use a blender: Chopping dates is a bit of a mess so if you have a blender, it is much easier to blend the dates with the water and almond butter.
- If you don’t have a blender: Chop the dates very very small. Heat the almond butter in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to soften it. This makes it much easier to mix everything together.
Any kind will work, but medjool dates work best. They are very sweet and easy to find in the grocery store.
You can use rolled oats, old-fashioned oats, or quick oats. Steel-cut oats will not work because they won’t soften and instant oats won’t work because they turn to pudding.
A serving is 4 oz so 4 oz jars work great. But, if you are a bit messy (like me) and like toppings, I prefer to use a larger 6 or 8 oz jar. This makes it easier to mix and leaves more room for toppings.
This is up to personal preference, but I prefer them warmed up for about 1 minute in the microwave. But, I also love them cold, especially when running out the door quickly. If you want to heat them, you can also make a double or triple batch and heat them on the stove in the morning to feed a crowd.
This wouldn’t be a copycat recipe if I didn’t give you the instructions to make all of Trader Joe’s overnight oats!
Pumpkin Overnight Oats
To make this seasonal variation, use maple syrup as the sweetener. Add 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt and 1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree to the mixture. You can also add ¼ of a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.
Blueberry Overnight Oats
For their other seasonal flavor, mix in frozen wild blueberries, blueberry sauce (or jam), or fresh blueberries. If using fresh, mash a few of them in to really infuse the blueberry flavor.
Almond Butter Overnight Oats
I know it’s confusing but Trader Joe’s sells vanilla and almond butter overnight oats. The difference is that the almond butter oats use sweetener almond butter and twice as much of it. So to make this, leave out the dates and mix in twice as much sweetened almond butter. Cinnamon almond butter is a great option for this!
Protein Overnight Oats
While not a Trader Joe’s recipe, I love making protein overnight oats. To make these almond butter chia protein oats, I add 1 teaspoon of chia seeds and ½ a scoop of vanilla protein powder or collagen to the oats.
storage and meal prep tips
Fridge: These keep for 5 days in the fridge in sealed jars or an airtight container. The longer it sits, the more the flavor develops. You may need to give them a good stir before eating as the liquid tends to come to the top.
Reheating: You can heat individual servings in the microwave for 30-60 seconds or on the stovetop till heated through. If making a large batch, I find it easier to reheat it on the stove in a saucepan.
Meal prepping: If making these oats for the entire week, I recommend making a big batch mixing everything in a large bowl, and then dividing it evenly into individual jars.
more oat recipes
Did you try this and love it? Leave us a ⭐️ rating, we would love to hear from you!
- 1 8 ounce mason jar 4oz or 6oz will also work but it will be very full
- 1 date finely chopped, or 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon almond butter creamy
- ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup rolled oats or old-fashioned
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- If using a blender: Blend the dates, almond butter, and water until creamy. Transfer to jar.If not using a blender: Heat the almond butter in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften it. Whisk together the finely chopped dates, almond butter, and water until fully combined. This can be done directly in a jar or container.
- Add all the other ingredients to the jar and mix to combine. Cover and set in the fridge to thicken for at least 2 hours.
- Enjoy plain or topped with bananas and cocoa nibs.