by Olena

Chia Pudding

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Olena Osipov
5 from 108 votes

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Chia Pudding recipe made with almond milk, chia seeds and liquid sweetener is the perfect creamy consistency and only 4 ingredients. Eat as is, or top with chocolate chips, coconut shreds, granola or dried fruit. It’s an easy, make-ahead gluten-free, dairy-free breakfast idea for a busy week or try it for a high protein, high fiber, omega-3 filling snack!

Love to meal prep? Make banana muffins, waffles or banana bread on Sunday to enjoy all week.

Chia Pudding

Easy Chia Pudding Recipe

This chia pudding is so easy and simple. It takes less than 5 minutes to prep and then “cooks” itself overnight in the fridge. You can make a few chia seed puddings at a time and even add some variety with a chocolate or banana chocolate one, too! I like to make-ahead five for Monday till Friday for easy grab-and-go breakfast or snacks.

When meal prepped in advance, in the morning, grab a jar, top with your favorite toppings like nuts, berries, fruit or coconut flakes and you are good to go. Literally, out of the door with your chia seed pudding in hand. It’s genius!

And what about protein cookies or gluten free banana muffins? See, not only lemon water is good for you first thing in the morning.

Why This Healthy Chia Seed Pudding Recipe Works?

  • 4 ingredients means this is simple to make – chia seeds, milk (I use almond milk), maple syrup/honey and vanilla extract.
  • Meal prep friendly so you can sleep a little longer knowing that breakfast is ready, in the fridge and also good for 5-7 days!

Pro tip: Put this easy chia pudding recipe together while making dinner the night before! Refrigerate and breakfast is ready for the next day.

  • Chia seeds are nutrient dense – they contain omega-3 fatty acids, are a complete plant based protein, are filled with soluble fiber and contain the vitamins magnesium and potassium.
  • Naturally gluten-free and when using a plant based milk this chia pudding almond milk is dairy free too!
  • Easy to change the flavor for variety! Never get tired of eating the same chia pudding recipe because there are so many ways to ‘flavor’ your chia pudding. See below for ideas.
Chia Pudding topped with goji berries, coconut flakes and chocolate chips

Ingredients for Chia Pudding

Chia pudding recipe consists of a mix of chia seeds with liquid, usually any kind of milk (I make chia pudding almond milk), and sweetener.

  • Whole chia seeds: Chia seeds are tiny black seeds that expand up to 9 times their original size. You want to use whole and not ground chia seeds to avoid bitter taste and unpleasant texture.
  • Milk: Best and popular choice is plant-based milk from a carton like almond, rice, coconut, soy, hemp, oat etc. Adjust sweetener depending if you use unsweetened or sweetened milk. Dairy milk works too, as long as milk has watery consistency. I do not recommend to use canned coconut milk because after a few days in the fridge pudding will taste “soapy”. Save coconut milk for chicken curry or mango ice cream.
  • Liquid sweetener: I prefer maple syrup because unlike thick honey it dissolves better in cold milk. But honey works too as you can tell from my video (Costco run was overdue).

Once you let mixed ingredients sit overnight, they form tapioca like pudding. Overnight chia pudding has similar consistency to a rice pudding, hence the name.

How to Make Chia Pudding

  • Add ingredients in this particular order: Milk, maple syrup, vanilla and chia seeds. This order is easy to mix, no mess and quick. Any glass container works and I prefer it to plastic for health and taste reasons. I have to say if you like toppings, use bigger Mason jars.
  • Stir well with a fork or small whisk and it let sit for 1 minute: Chia will start expanding immediately. You will see it settling at the bottom.
  • Stir 2 more times after 1 minute: Stirring a few times will prevent lumps. If you don’t, not all chia seeds will expand and many will lump at the bottom. Make sure to stir maple syrup on the bottom – it settles fast.
  • Then refrigerate overnight: Technically, your chia pudding is ready in 6 hours. But I find consistency is more smooth after 12 hours.

Optional Add-Ins and Variations

  • Dairy milk: I personally have not tried but a few readers have reported successfully making chia pudding with dairy milk. And I don’t see a reason why not?! You might have to add a bit more milk in the morning as dairy milk is a tad more thicker than plant-based.
  • Warm it up: By heating it up in a microwave or on a stove with a splash of milk.
  • Whipped: It is possible to make a whipped chia pudding, but proceed with caution! When chia seeds are ground to a powder, you need to add extra sweetener to offset the bitterness. If you are in a hurry and want your pudding with chia seeds quickly, this method might be for you.
  • Strawberry: Blend fresh or frozen strawberries (or use any berry just like in our easy raspberry vinaigrette) with your milk before combining with sweetener in jar.
  • Peanut Butter: Blend natural PB with your milk, then combine with sweetener in jar. Make it a PB & J chia pudding by topping with your favorite smashed berries or low sugar jam.
  • Pumpkin spice: Add a pinch of pumpkin spice seasoning, pumpkin puree and top with toasted walnuts or pecans!
  • Matcha: Just a pinch of matcha tea powder goes a long way!
  • Orange: Add the zest of an orange for an orange creamsicle version of chia pudding almond milk.

Tips for Best Chia Pudding Results

  • Best order of ingredients: It is important to add liquids first and then chia seeds for easy mixing.

To evenly distribute your chia seeds before refrigeration, stir, rest for a minute, then stir 2 more times. Now your chia seeds are ready to ‘expand’ in the fridge into a pudding.

  • If your chia pudding is lumpy in the morning: Stir it well with a fork. It happens.
  • Too thick: Add a little bit of milk and stir.
  • Too runny: Next time, use 4 tbsp chia seeds with 3/4 cup milk. It could be the type of chia seeds or milk that causes this issue.

FAQs

What is the perfect chia seed pudding ratio?

The most important part for best chia pudding is the ratio of chia seeds : liquid. Most people like chia pudding neither soupy nor so thick that it’s dry. We all want “normal” pudding.

I find the best ratio is 3/4 cup milk : 3 tbsp chia seeds.

How long will chia pudding stay good for?

Healthy chia seed pudding stays fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days. It will not go bad after 5 days, just will not be as fresh.

Is chia pudding healthy?

Chia seeds are high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids equivalent to tuna and salmon. Also high in complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. They also boast an impressive antioxidant profile more than any other whole food, even blueberries. Low sugar and low calorie, too!

Is pudding with chia seeds thick?

If your seeds are not expired and you follow this recipe, your pudding should turn out a thick consistency.

Can you eat too much healthy chia pudding?

I am a huge believer in variety being the spice of life so I like to rotate healthy chia pudding into our breakfast menu along with other make ahead items such as overnight oats and banana pancakes.

Do chia seeds make you poop?

Sensitive subject that may make us giggle, but in all seriousness it might help you do exactly as the question asks because it is good source of soluble fiber.

Is chia seed pudding similar to tapioca?

Many readers have reported that this is a great substitute when craving tapioca due to the similar thick pudding texture. Chia seeds actually have minimal to no flavor, so it really depends on the liquid and sweetener you are using to flavor it and how that mimics the tapioca pudding you might be used to consuming.

Chia seed Pudding in a glass with toppings and spoon

Serving Recommendations and Toppings Ideas

When ready to eat stir and top with favorite toppings: nuts, berries, fruit, coconut flakes etc. Sky is the limit.

  • Fruit: I like to add fresh or frozen fruit and berries. Who am I kidding?! It’s frozen fruit 95% of time because money.
  • Nuts: Toasted nuts are tastier although they lose a bit of their nutritional value. Raw nuts work too!
  • Coconut flakes: Again toasted are yum but I think we are getting very fancy. Working mom here surviving off of Instant Pot recipes for dinner.
  • Granola: Look for a low sugar one or make homemade quinoa granola or use crumbled granola bars.
  • Low sugar jam

You can also enjoy chia pudding as part of a brunch spread!

  • Parfait station: Use the above mentioned topping ideas, make a larger batch of pudding, scoop into small individual cups and family or guests can customize to their tastes.
  • Charcuterie board: Add small bowls of chia pudding to your charcuterie platter along with fruits and nuts for toppings.
  • Traditional brunch items: Pancakes, potatoes, eggs, coffee cake, healthy muffins – as long you are making a brunch spread might you as well go all the way in!

Making Chia Pudding Almond Milk Recipe in Advance

Storing: Healthy chia seed pudding stays fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days. It will not go bad after 5 days, just will not be as fresh.

More Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Chia Seed Pudding
Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding {Perfect Consistency}

Chia Pudding recipe made with almond milk, chia seeds and liquid sweetener is the perfect creamy consistency and only 4 ingredients. Eat as is, or top with chocolate chips, coconut shreds, granola or dried fruit. It's an easy, make-ahead gluten-free, dairy-free breakfast idea for a busy week or try it for a high protein, high fiber, omega-3 filling snack!
4.97 from 108 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Refrigeration: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving (8 oz jar)
Calories: 265kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup almond milk unsweetened
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or honey*
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • Nuts berries, fruit, coconut flakes for topping (optional)

Instructions

  • In any glass container with a tight seal lid, add ingredients in the following order: milk, maple syrup, vanilla and chia seeds. If you would like to add toppings in the morning, use bigger jars, otherwise use smaller jars (pictured).
    Chia Pudding
  • Stir well with a spoon or fork, let sit for 1 minute and stir 2 more times. This will prevent lumps.
    Chia Pudding
  • Then refrigerate overnight.
  • When ready to eat, stir well and top with favourite toppings: nuts, berries, fruit, coconut flakes etc.
    Chia Pudding

Store: Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

    Video

    Notes

    • Whole chia seeds: You want to use whole and not ground chia seeds to avoid bitter taste and unpleasant texture.
    • Milk: Best and popular choice is plant-based milk from a carton like almond, rice, coconut, soy, hemp etc. Adjust sweetener depending if you use unsweetened or sweetened milk. I do not recommend to use canned coconut milk because after a few days in the fridge pudding will taste “soapy”.
    • Dairy milk: I personally have not tried but a few readers have reported successfully making chia pudding with dairy milk. And I don’t see a reason why not?!. You might have to add a bit more milk in the morning as dairy milk is a tad more thicker than plant-based.
    • Best order of ingredients: It is important to add liquids first and then chia seeds for easy mixing.
    • If your chia pudding is lumpy in the morning: Stir it well with a fork. It happens.
    • Too thick: Add a little bit of milk and stir.
    • Too runny: Next time, use 4 tbsp chia seeds with 3/4 cup milk. It could be the type of chia seeds or milk that causes this issue.
    • Warm it up: By heating it up in a microwave or on a stove with a splash of milk.
    • Fruit: I like to add fresh or frozen fruit and berries. Who am I kidding?! It’s frozen fruit 95% of time because money.
    • Nuts: Toasted are even better although they lose a bit of their nutritional value.
    • Coconut flakes: Again toasted are yum but I think we are getting very fancy. Working mom here…
    See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1g | Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 250mg | Potassium: 147mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 17g | Calcium: 452mg | Iron: 3mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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