Vanilla Chia Pudding Recipe made with only 4 ingredients and the perfect creamy consistency! Make it and let sit overnight, then enjoy for healthy breakfast or snack for 5 days.

Love chia? Be sure to try our chocolate chia pudding and banana chia pudding.

Vanilla chia pudding with goji berries and coconut flakes in a glass with a spoon.

This vanilla chia pudding is so easy and simple. It takes less than 5 minutes to prep and then settles overnight in the fridge.

You can make a few chia seed puddings at a time. I like to make ahead 5 servings for Monday till Friday for easy grab-and-go breakfast or snack.

In the morning, grab a jar, top with your favorite toppings like nuts, berries, fruit or coconut flakes and you are good to go. It’s genius!

I also love to meal prep this almond flour banana bread and almond flour banana muffins for a week of easy healthy breakfasts.

Ingredients for Vanilla Chia Pudding

This vanilla chia seed pudding recipe consists of a mix of 4 ingredients. It couldn’t be more simple!

Chia seeds, almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  • Whole chia seeds: Black chia seeds are tiny seeds yet expand up to 9 times their original size. You want to use whole and not ground seeds to avoid bitter taste and unpleasant texture.
  • Milk: I use unsweetened almond milk. You can use any dairy-free milk from a carton like rice, soy, oat or cashew milk. Dairy milk works too. Adjust sweetener depending if you use unsweetened or sweetened milk. To use canned coconut milk, try this coconut milk chia pudding.
  • Liquid sweetener: I prefer maple syrup because unlike thick honey it dissolves better in cold milk. But honey works as you can tell from my video.
  • Vanilla: To add that vanilla flavor. I like to use pure vanilla extract.

How to Make Vanilla Chia Pudding

Here is a quick overview how to make vanilla chia pudding. You can find full recipe card down below.

Chia seeds added on top of almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract in glass jars.

Add ingredients in this particular order: Almond 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 taste reasons. I have to say if you like toppings, use bigger 16 oz Mason jars.

Four mason jars with stirred vanilla chia pudding.

Stir well: Stir with a fork or a small whisk and let it sit for 1 minute. Chia seeds will start expanding immediately and you will see them 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.

A spoon in a jar of overnight chia pudding.

Refrigerate overnight: The next morning stir well then eat as is or add your favorite toppings! See down below for ideas.

Tips for Best Results

  • 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: It means you didn’t stir well or a few times before refrigeration. It happens. Just stir it with a fork and maybe add a splash of milk.
  • Too thick chia pudding: Add a little bit of milk and stir.
  • Too runny chia pudding: Next time, use 4 tablespoons chia seeds with 3/4 cup milk. It could be the type of chia seeds or milk that causes this issue.
  • Chia pudding didn’t thicken at all: Some brands are better than others, also age of chia seeds matters. Your chia seeds might be not as fresh and have trouble absorbing liquid. I would try a different brand next time.

What Is the Perfect Chia Seed to Liquid Ratio?

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

I find the best chia pudding consistency is to use 3/4 cup milk with 3 tablespoons of chia seeds. Once you let mixed ingredients sit overnight, they form tapioca like pudding.

Person holding a spoon with vanilla chia seed pudding over a jar of chia pudding.


I like vanilla chia pudding, so all I add for flavor is pure vanilla extract. You could also add:

  • Sweet spices: Like cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Or just make this pumpkin chia pudding.
  • Berries: Blend fresh or frozen strawberries, raspberries or blueberries with your milk before combining with sweetener in a jar.
  • Citrus: Add some orange, lime or lemon zest for a bright burst of citrus.
Chia pudding in a glass with coconut flakes, goji berries and spoon.

Toppings Ideas

When ready to eat, give vanilla chia pudding a stir and top with your favorite toppings. 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.
  • Nuts: Toasted nuts are tastier although they lose a bit of their nutritional value. Raw nuts or nut butter works too!
  • Coconut flakes: Again toasted are yum but I think we are getting very fancy.
  • Granola: Look for a low sugar one or make healthy granola at home.
  • Jam: Use your favorite.
  • Greek yogurt: I always have this on hand from making Instant Pot yogurt.

How to Serve and Meal Prep

Store: Put this vanilla chia pudding together while making dinner the night before! Refrigerate overnight and breakfast is ready for the next day.

It’s also perfect for meal prep as it stays fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days. It actually doesn’t go bad after 5 days, just will not be as fresh.

You can meal prep chia pudding in individual mason jars or in one big bowl and then distribute between your favorite leak proof containers.

Serve: During cooler months, you may like to try it warmed up. Just heat on the stove or in a microwave with a splash of milk.


Is chia pudding good for you?

According to WebMD, chia seeds are a complete plant based protein, full of soluble fiber that is both gut friendly and helps slow digestion so you feel satiated. Chia seeds contain Omega-3 fatty acids which is great for brain health.

Chia has more antioxidants than any other whole food, even blueberries and is an excellent source of essential minerals like calcium, manganese, selenium, iron and magnesium to name a few.

How long does chia pudding take to thicken?

While the chia seeds do start absorbing liquid immediately, to get to a thick gel like consistency you need to wait at least 6 hours before consuming.

I find the best consistency is after 12 hours, which is why I recommended to let it sit overnight in your fridge.

What does vanilla chia pudding taste like?

Chia seeds do not actually have any taste, so they will absorb whatever liquid or sweetener you have added. If this is the first time trying, you may find that the texture resembles a thick smooth pudding.

More Chia Pudding Recipes

Other Pudding Recipes to Try

Vanilla chia pudding in blue and white bowl with toppings.
Overnight chia pudding in a glass with dried berries, chocolate chips and coconut flakes.

Vanilla Chia Pudding

Vanilla Chia Pudding made with only 4 ingredients and the perfect creamy consistency! Refrigerate overnight and enjoy for 5 days.
4.97 from 174 votes
Servings 1 serving (8 ounces jar)
Calories 265
Diet Gluten Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Chilling Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 5 minutes



  • 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).
  • Stir well with a spoon or fork, let sit for 1 minute and stir 2 more times. This will prevent lumps.
  • Then refrigerate overnight.
  • When ready to eat, stir well and top with favourite toppings: nuts, berries, fruit, coconut flakes etc.



  • Store: Refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  • 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. I do not recommend to use canned coconut milk because after a few days in the fridge pudding will taste “soapy”. 
  • Best order of ingredients: It is important to add liquids first and then chia seeds for easy mixing.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 250mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 17g
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: North American
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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  1. 5 stars
    As someone who has a very limited dietary menu…THIS is such a treat and helps me acheive much of the nutrients needed. Since I have discovered chia seeds I am never without a batch of this in my ‘fridge. Also, it is fun to experiement with many different flavors besides just vanilla. YUM…YUM!!

  2. This is probably a silly question, but can I substitute Fair life (cow’s milk) for nut milk due to allergy?

  3. 5 stars
    I’m so happy I discovered Chia Pudding and this recipe. It’s nutritious, a great source of fiber, and delicious. I’ve made it many times and absolutely love it with fresh fruit. I do add 1 tsp cinnamon. It turns out perfect every time.

    1. So glad to hear that! I have strawberry chia pudding coming up in a few days. You will love that one too!

  4. 5 stars
    omg this was sooo good!! i added some peanut butter in one batch, and protein powder (ump brand) in the other and they were both amazing! i would have to say the batch w protein powder was better though

  5. 5 stars
    Great and easy recipe! I use sweetened vanilla oat milk and omit the maple syrup/honey. Topped with mixed frozen fruit, whatever nuts/seeds I have available and hemp hearts. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Can this be done with sugar free syrups? I would like to use sugar free maple syrup or even sugar free coffee syrup. Thanks!

  7. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe and I have used it multiple times. The pudding starts to thicken within 5 minutes so I am not sure why some people are having issues. Thanks for this recipe Olena.

  8. My husband and I followed the directions and everything looks exactly like it did when we went to bed. We are thinking maybe we should have left the lid of the mason jar off? All the ingredients are brand new from the store yesterday.

    1. Are you sure you have chia seeds? It is impossible for them look the same after soaking in liquid overnight. Lids have nothing to do with it.

  9. 3 stars
    Mine didn’t thicken up at all! I added a LOT more chia seeds and let it sit for a few more hours and I can now eat it with a spoon but it’s still basically liquid. Tastes great though.

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