How to Make Chia Pudding

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Chia pudding is a creamy, delicious, and healthy breakfast or snack right at your fingertips. Not only is it super easy to make, but it’s also endlessly customizable with a variety of fruit flavors!

Two jars of chia pudding with fruit
Photo by: Gayle McLeod

Many of you know that I’m a big fan of overnight oats when it comes to breakfast. But, there’s no denying that chia pudding will always remain my number one healthy breakfast option. I’ve been making chia pudding for over a decade (which you can see in my Youtube video below) and I keep the recipe interesting by constantly changing up the toppings and flavors. 

Chia pudding is perfect for when you need a light meal or on-the-go option that’s surprisingly filling. Plus, it highlights my favorite powerful and nutrient-dense little chia seeds – and who can resist those?

There’s no denying that chia seed benefits are significant. But to sum it up — they pack a hefty nutrient punch with Omega-3’s, antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats. That means they’re great for digestion (and keep things moving), they’re great for heart health, they help balance blood sugar and they’re great for bone health. Long story short, they’re good for you!

Ingredients for making chia pudding on a table

Chia Pudding Ingredients

Just two easy ingredients are all you need, plus a little sweetener if you’d like. Chia pudding is astoundingly easy to make!

  • Chia Seeds: While black chia seeds are the ones you’ll find most often at the market, you can use either black or white chia seeds. Both offer similar nutritional benefits!
  • Milk: You can use your favorite milk, whether that’s dairy or dairy-free. I personally like to use my homemade cashew milk, almond milk, or oat milk.
  • Sweetener: A splash of maple syrup (or honey) and vanilla extract gives the chia pudding base a lightly sweet flavor.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below

How To Make Chia Pudding

I wasn’t kidding when I said this is the easiest recipe to make. Just make sure to have some jars on hand if you plan on meal prepping chia pudding for the week! Here’s how to make it.

Stir the pudding. Stir together the chia seeds, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract either in a large bowl (for one large batch) or individually in jars. Let it sit for 10 minutes, so it can start to gel. Then give it another stir. 

Whisking chia pudding in a large bowl

Let the pudding chill and thicken. Cover the bowl or jars and allow the pudding to thicken for at least a few hours (or overnight) in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve it up, top it with your favorite fruits and nuts, or even layer a fruit puree at the bottom (like I did in the video below!).  

Assembling chia pudding with bowls of ingredients

Chia Pudding Tips

  • Watch the portion size. It’s easy to go overboard on chia pudding and make it “Instagram-worth” (I’m guilty with these pics as well). But in doing so, you’re likely consuming a much larger portion. Try to stick to 1/2 cup milk to 2 tablespoons chia seeds.
  • Adjust the ratios to suit you. Some people like a thicker chia seed pudding and some like a thinner version. Feel free to add more milk to make a thinner version.
  • Get creative with toppings. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon, cardamom (chai spices) or cacao powder (for chocolate chia pudding). Use seasonal fruit both in whole pieces and in purees and don’t forget nuts and seeds. See more ideas below!

How to Store & Meal Prep

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll frequently see me meal prep chia pudding for the week. I’ll make the exact ratio in the recipe below, stir it all together in individual Weck Jars, top with frozen berries and then freeze.

It will last for several weeks (if not longer) in the freezer. Then, when I want a healthy breakfast I’ll just thaw it in the fridge the night before. So easy!

Two jars of chia pudding and fruits

Chia Pudding Variations

As you might expect, the first few times I made chia pudding it was just the basic recipe – chia seeds, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract – soaked overnight. And not that there’s anything wrong with that, I still make it plain all the time.

But chia seed pudding can be an amazing and creative piece of breakfast artwork. It’s like an adult coloring book. Except there are no lines and the flavor combinations are endless! Here are few delicious ways to jazz it up.

Helpful tip: Chia pudding has the texture of tapioca pudding. But if you don’t love that texture, you can blend up all the ingredients in a high-powered blender for a smooth texture. Check out the chia pudding mousse recipes listed above!

More Chia Seed Recipes You’ll Love

A bag of chia seeds really does go a long way! Here’s what else you can make with them. 

If you haven’t hopped on the chia pudding wagon, now’s the time to do so. Once you give it a try, let me know your thoughts in a comment below!

Jars of chia pudding with a spoon

How to Make Chia Pudding

4.98 from 82 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

Chia pudding is one of my favorite healthy breakfasts and snacks. Bonus — it's super easy to whip up. Watch how I make it in the video below!

Video

Ingredients 
 

Individual Serving

Larger Bowl (4 servings)

Instructions 

  • Add the chia seeds, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla to a bowl or jar and stir together. Let sit for 10 minutes, then stir again once the seeds have started to gel. 
    Making chia pudding in a bowl with a whisk
  • Cover the bowl or jar and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Chia seeds can also be made overnight for breakfast the next morning.
    Chia pudding in a large glass bowl
  • Stir the chia pudding before serving and add your favorite fruit, nuts, seeds and spices.
    Glass jars of chia pudding with a spoon

Lisa’s Tips

  • The nutritional information is for an individual serving.
  • If you notice your chia seeds aren’t starting to gel and thicken after 15 minutes, you may have dud chia seeds. This can happen in they’ve been sitting in your pantry a while. Just grab a new bag of chia seeds
  • You can always add more milk for a thinner texture, if you feel your chia pudding is a bit too thick. 
  • I layered my chia pudding on top of a strawberry fruit puree, which was simply fresh strawberries pureed in my food processor. That’s it! 

Nutrition

Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 167mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 13IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 309mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chia pudding, chia pudding recipe, Chia Seed Pudding
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Recipe originally posted August 2016, but updated to include new information. 

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




268 Comments

  1. the best recipe for chia pudding i’ve ever had! i made it exactly as written and it was creamy and perfect the entire week for an afternoon snack!5 stars

    1. I have not tried this Chia pudding but my daughter swears by it. I mean the link was sent while I was still talking to her. Sooo, I am going to have to try it. Need to get ingredients and get going.5 stars

  2. Made it with purée of berries. Will make it for a week worth of breakfasts. How long would they last in the fridge? Thanks!

  3. I made 3 of your recipes for Christmas morning brunch with my 3 adult children and their families, and they loved everything! This was my first time eating chia pudding, let alone making it. Everyone loved it. I had a build your own bar with homemade granola, fresh fruit, and fruit purees. I will definitely be making this often for make-ahead quick breakfasts in the morning or to take for a mid-morning snack at work. Thank you!5 stars

    1. Thanks so much for making my recipes, Janell! So happy to hear you enjoyed this chia pudding for the first time. It’s one of my personal favorites for breakfast. :)

  4. I bought the overnight jar with the spoon. They are adorable. I am making the chia pounding and I can’t wait to taste it. I love your website . Every videos are so well done. Another great recipes!
    Thanks for sharing!5 stars

    1. Oh wonderful! I love those jars, and they’re perfect for both chia pudding and overnight oats. And thanks for the compliment, Carole. :) Enjoy!

    1. I love how customizable this recipe is. I like to meal prep it for a few days worth of breakfasts.
      Easy and delicious!5 stars

  5. Hi Lisa,
    Can you meal prep the fruit purée or do you find it needs to be made fresh each day? Also do you know if it freezes well?
    Love the chia pudding!
    -H

  6. Hi Lisa,

    I made this Chia Seed Pudding and loved it! I really felt like I was eating something healthy and full of nutrients but was also delicious. I am trying to follow a low carbohydrate diet for weight loss and was wondering about the the carbohydrates in this pudding. Your Nutrition Information Section indicates one serving has 16 gr. of carbohydrates. Would that be net carbs because there is also 9 gr. of fiber which is usually subtracted from the amount of carbs?5 stars

    1. The carbs in the chai seeds cancel out because they have the same grams of fiber. So only carbs will come from what you add to the seeds4 stars

    1. This is 100% the perfect chia pudding recipe. Made it a few times now, and I think I’m a bit obsessed :) My favorite version is using coconut milk 🥥 and honey 🍯.5 stars

  7. Great recipe. Simple and delicious. You need to try. I’ve made it many times, but this last time I found myself needing a lot more chia seeds than the recipe called for. I think because they are older and didn’t thicken as fast. Nonetheless, give it a go5 stars

  8. This recipe is refreshing and delicious for breakfast. I have been following the recipes on this site for 3 weeks and food is quite delicious. 5 stars

  9. Chia pudding is a great way to make morning time easier. Such a healthy and tasty recipe that sticks with you. This recipe can be customized from the type of milk you use to the amount of maple syrup to the toppings.5 stars

  10. This recipe is soooo good!!! I make a large batch and eat a portion with some Okios high protein vanilla yogurt (or plain yogurt) and top with pumpkin seeds, Goji berries and some fresh or frozen berries! I love it!!! 5 stars

  11. Made this without the maple syrup and topped with coconut smiles for a little sweetness in each delicious spoonful. Love your recipes.5 stars

  12. Freezing chia pudding is so convenient because i can make a massive batch and eat it over the course of a few weeks. One thing that I don’t like as much is the fact that the berries thaw at different rates to the chia pudding. I’ve making just the chia seed pudding and adding fresh berries only when i’m about to eat it.5 stars

  13. The photograph shows a bottom layer of orange and am having a hard time rationalizing where in the recipe this comes from.  Was there an omission?

    1. That is just a berry puree, where you blend raspberry or strawberry in a food processor! I show it in the video :)

    1. Hi Trishe – I like to use my 1/4 Liter Weck Jars for perfect individual servings. You can reference that in my “Meal prep chia pudding” post!

  14. Hi, where can I find the jars you are using? The jars listed are not the same ones….Thanks:) Love the recipe!!!

  15. can I use frozen mixed fruit with overnight chia pudding if so would putting it at the bottom of container better than on top of chia pudding

  16. Love a good Chia Seed pudding! This looks delish! I have a question: where did you get that wall hanging with the herb buckets? I love it! 5 stars

  17. Many times before, I had chai pudding but didn’t care for it because I felt it tasted like dirt. Lisa, you’ve won me over! This was incredible! I used 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1/2 cup of vanilla almond milk, and 1 teaspoon of pure maple syrup to make the base. I added 1/2 tbsp of almond butter and 1/3 cup of fresh blueberries after it had had time to set, which for me took two days. This will undoubtedly be incorporated into my routine meal preparation schedule! I’m grateful.

  18. I tried chai pudding so many other times, and disliked it because I thought it tasted like dirt. Lisa, you have converted me!!! This was amazing! I made the base using 1/2 cup of vanilla almond milk, 2 tbsps chia seeds and 1 tsp pure maple syrup. After it set (which took 2 days for me) I added 1/3 cup fresh blueberries and 1/2 tbsp of almond butter. This will definitely be a part of my regular meal prep rotation!! Thank you!5 stars

  19. HI!

    I was incorrect in my previous comment and misheard the video. However, I did follow the basic recipe of 1/2 cup almond milk and 2 tbsps chia seeds. I stirred really well, then again after the 10 minutes and then refrigerated it overnight. However, my pudding isn’t nearly as thick as yours. I just bought the seeds 2 weeks ago, so they are new and I am not sure what went wrong.

    1. Interesting! The seeds should gel up after a few hours in the fridge. This may be because you bought a bad batch of seeds.

  20. Terrific. Thank you. So easy. Going to make cashew milk & use that instead. You don’t find the Weck jars to be annoying? The 2 pieces you have to put in & remove annoy me so I don’t use them. Mason jars are easier for me. Thank you!5 stars