​​You Only Need 10 Minutes To Prep These Heart-Healthy No-Knead Overnight Oat Buns

Photo: Stocksy/Gillian Vann
Whether you’re the type to reach for something hearty for breakfast or are looking for a new way to spruce up your sandwich game, it might be in your best interest to give homemade oat buns a spin. To make this culinary mission easier in terms of prep work, I’d like to introduce you to this overnight oat buns recipe by New York Times bestselling cookbook author and plant-based recipe developer Carleigh Bodrug of PlantYou.


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It’s vegan-friendly, packed with heart-healthy nutrients, and provides the opportunity to sneak in a few extra veggies for good measure. The icing on the cake (or rather, the seeded sprinkle on the buns)? There’s absolutely no kneading required. Ahead, discover why these warm and delicious treats deserve a spot in your oven and your tummy, stat.

Experts In This Article

Why we love this overnight oat buns recipe

This recipe for overnight oat buns includes a variety of ingredients that make for a balanced meal or snack. (Not to mention the fact that baking up a tray or two of these buns will be infinitely more rewarding—in terms of nutrition, taste, aromatics, and beyond—than toasting up a frozen bagel or standard sandwich bread.)

Oats are a rich source of fiber, which doesn’t only promote perks for digestive health but also for energy stability and mood balance. In addition, the beta-glucans (main source of soluble fiber) in oats have proven cholesterol-lowering effects, which is one of the reasons why it’s a staple in cardiologist-approved breakfasts. But that’s not all: Oats offer three grams of protein per quarter-cup. Contributing to the recipe’s plant protein content are sunflower seeds, pumpkin, seeds, and poppy seeds. Small yet nutritionally mighty, they also offer an impressive amount of healthy fats (which, too, are crucial to support cardiovascular health) as well as some fiber.

Perhaps the most surprising additions to this recipe are zucchinis and carrots. Bodrug says these two veggies are optional but highly recommended to make your buns extra soft and moist. Textural considerations aside, both are rich in vitamin A and offer a decent amount of vitamin C, among other micros—plus even more gut-friendly, heart-healthy fiber.

Tips and modifications to ace this recipe

  • Bodrug reiterates that zucchini and carrots are optional, but well worth including to maximize the nutritional profile and melts-in-your-mouth texture alike. You can also make do with only one or the other. After you’ve nailed the original recipe, you can experiment as you’d like with similar veggies.
  • The same “anything goes” mentality applies to whatever seeds you’d like to include. While Bodrug suggests opting for sunflower, pumpkin, and poppy seeds, the more variety, the merrier. Flax, sesame, hemp, caraway, and chia seeds all get her stamp of approval.
  • You can substitute coconut yogurt with your unsweetened vegan yogurt of choice.
  • Be sure to cover the mixing bowl with plastic, wax cloth, or a damp kitchen towel to allow the dough to rise without drying out. For optimal texture, keep it in the fridge for eight to 12 hours.
  • Enjoy your buns toasted with jam or nut butter for breakfast, as a sandwich bun or alongside soup for lunch, or on its own as a satisfying grab-and-go snack.

No-knead overnight oat buns recipe

Yields 12-14 servings

1 1/4 cup coconut yogurt
2 cups cold water
2 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup carrot, grated, optional
1/4 cup zucchini, grated, optional
1 3/4 cup oatmeal
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
4 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp salt

Large mixing bowl
Colander and cheesecloth (if using zucchini)
Baking sheet
Parchment paper
Cast iron pan

  1. If using grated zucchini, first add it to a colander with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, and then using a cheesecloth or strainer, strain as much liquid as possible out of the zucchini.
  2. Combine the yogurt, water, yeast, carrot, zucchini, oatmeal, whole grain flour, white flour and salt to a bowl, and using a wooden spoon, carefully stir until a dough is formed.
  3. Pour the seeds over top, then cover and set in the fridge overnight, for at least 8 hours.
  4. When ready to bake, set the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Using a large spoon, divide the dough into 12 to 14 buns, and place on the baking sheet (you will want to do this 6 at a time).
  5. Place the buns in the oven on the center rack.
  6. To ensure crisp buns, place a cast iron pan in the bottom of your oven, and quickly pour in 3 to 4 cups of warm water into it. Quickly shut the door to trap in steam, which will make the crust of the buns crispy.
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until browned on the bottom and top. Remove and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing. Store in a sealed container on the counter for up to 4 days.
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