I know I am a little late to the chia seed pudding trend. You will likely find a version of a chia seed pudding recipe on almost every food blog – thick and creamy, with just the slightest hint of seedy texture (similar to tapioca pudding). So, in this post, I will share three variations of chia seed pudding. The recipes are vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, nut-free, and refined sugar-free.

chia seed pudding

It’s 11:00 am, and suddenly, you’re hungry. Not just hungry, you’re famished. It’s too early for lunch, and you ate your breakfast just like you were supposed to. So, how on earth is it possible that you are hungry again?

While many factors can explain this phenomenon – dieting, excessive exercise, hormonal imbalance, etc. – an incorrect meal composition is one of the most common reasons. If your meal is missing at least one key element that plays a significant role in satiety (to stave off hunger) and satisfaction (to taper cravings), you can find yourself hungry even after a full meal.

What are these elements?

  1. Fiber: the presence of fiber is key to filling you up and keeping you feeling full. Fiber slows down sugar absorption, preventing blood sugar (glucose) levels from rising too fast. If glucose levels are too high, it triggers insulin production, increasing hunger. Fiber also increases the feeling of fullness because it takes up space in the digestive system. 
  2. Protein: besides boosting metabolism, protein is more filling than carbohydrates or fat. (1) This is partly because protein reduces the level of ghrelin (hunger hormone) and increases leptin and peptide YY (satiety hormones). (2)
  3. Healthy fats: there’s no doubt that fat is satiating. It regulates appetite through several mechanisms, including the release of appetite hormones and inhibition of gastric emptying and intestinal transit. (3

One of the best sources of all these three macronutrients is chia seeds. They are an excellent source of fiber (2 Tbsp./24 g contain 11g of fiber) and a really good source of protein and fat (2 Tbsp./24 g have 6 g of protein and 6 g of fat). So, if you’re looking for ways to suppress hunger and increase satiety, chia seed pudding is a great option.

Many recipes for chia seed pudding call for chia seeds, plant milk, and a sweetener. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you boost the amount of protein and healthy fats and leave out the sugar, you will feel satiated and satisfied for longer.

Here’s how to do it:

chia pudding

Tips for Making Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients

Base

  • Chia seeds: when shopping for chia seeds, you will most likely encounter two different kinds – black and white. Black chia seeds are a lot more common than white chia seeds, but honestly, there aren’t that many differences. Black chia seeds have slightly more protein content, whereas white chia seeds have slightly more omega-3s. The taste is practically identical. I like to use whole chia seeds for chia seed pudding, but you could grind them too. Just keep in mind that ground chia seeds make a larger volume. So, if you buy already ground chia seeds (instead of measuring whole chia seeds and then grinding them yourself), you will need to use a little more to get the same chia seed pudding consistency as if you used whole chia seeds.
  • Plant-based milk: the type of milk will depend on which (if any) add-ins you use. If I am just using chia seeds and liquid, I prefer light coconut milk because it provides a hint of natural sweetness and makes the chia seed pudding rich and creamy. Another one of my favorites is hemp seed milk, which is naturally high in protein. Other alternatives include almond milk, cashew milk, oat milk, etc. 

Protein Boosters

  • Coconut yogurt: yogurt provides an impressive amount of protein. With concentrated yogurt (Greek style), the protein content increases. Cashew yogurt is higher in protein than almond yogurt or coconut yogurt.
  • Protein powder: another way to increase protein is to add protein powder. I make my own protein powder from four seeds (and flavor it with vanilla powder and stevia), but you can use any protein powder. 

Flavor Enhancers

  • Vanilla extract: one of my favorite extracts is vanilla. It carries a sweet fragrance and potent flavor quite unlike any other. Vanilla paste and vanilla powder are also excellent.
  • Cinnamon: the magical spice cinnamon… while it doesn’t necessarily taste sweet, cinnamon contains a lot of floral compounds that carry a sweet aroma. It brings a warm, comforting flavor that everyone seems to love.
  • Sweetener: to be honest, I never add sweeteners to my chia seed pudding. I find the pudding sweet enough with just the plant milk and vanilla. I have been reducing my sugar intake for a while, so it might not be for everyone. Feel free to add a little bit of maple syrup, coconut nectar, or a less insulin-spiking sweetener, such as stevia or monk fruit. 
ingredients for chia seed pudding

How to Make Chia Seed Pudding

There are different recommendations for the best chia pudding ratio out there. I’ve made this recipe numerous times, and the ratio I like best is 1 tablespoon/12 g of chia seeds to ¼ cup/60 ml of liquid. Of course, you can play around with the measurements to find the consistency you like best. Here’s how to make chia seed pudding:

  1. Mix. Add the chia seeds, plant-based milk, protein boosters (if using), and flavor enhancers (if using) into a mason jar and stir to combine. It helps if you use a clear mason jar so you can check all around for any clumps. If the chia seeds stay clumped up together, they won’t properly absorb the liquid in the jar, making for a lumpy, crunchy chia seed pudding. Once the chia pudding mixture is well combined, let it sit for 5-10 minutes or until the chia seeds have started to gel. Then give it another stir to break up any remaining clumps of chia seeds and ensure the mixture will set. 
  2. Refrigerate. Place the chia seed pudding in the refrigerator for a few hours. The consistency will still be quite liquid-y at this point. As the chia seeds absorb all the liquid, they will thicken. Gelling chia seeds takes time – a minimum of 1 hour, but ideally 8 hours or overnight. The longer the pudding sits, the thicker it will get. Letting it sit for at least 12 hours will yield the best results. If your chia pudding isn’t thick enough after 12 hours, just add more chia seeds to the mixture and let it sit a bit longer. If your chia seed pudding is too thick, add a little bit more liquid. Some people like a thicker chia seed pudding, and some like a thinner version. There’s no right or wrong consistency. 
how to make chia seed pudding

How to Serve Chia Seed Pudding

 Chia seeds will take on the flavor of whatever you mix with them to make a fantastic pudding that you can customize. The options for what ingredients to flavor your chia pudding with are endless! 

You can serve this chia pudding with fresh fruit, fruit purees, nut butters, nuts, or seeds. You could also stir in cocoa powder (or any superfood powders you like), sprinkle the pudding with granola, or top it with cacao nibs. Another option is to swap out the type of milk you’re using to change the flavors.

How to Store Chia Seed Pudding

  • Refrigerating: transfer the chia seed pudding to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 5 days.
  • Freezing: transfer the chia seed pudding to an airtight container and freeze it for up to 3 months.
chia pudding recipe

More Chia Seed Recipes

  • Chocolate chia pudding: love chocolate? Chocolate chia pudding is one of the easiest chocolaty dessert recipes. So simple yet indulgent.
  • Chia seed jam: this jam is super quick and easy to make. It’s raw, thickened with chia seeds, and doesn’t rely on pectin or a ton of sugar to set. 

Did you make this recipe? I would love to know how it turned out! Please let me know by leaving a review and rating below.

Chia Pudding

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 (½-cup) serving
Chia pudding can't be beaten for an easy and healthy breakfast or snack. It's thick and creamy, with just the slightest hint of seedy texture (similar to tapioca pudding).

Ingredients
 

Base Recipe

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) light coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. (24 g) chia seeds

Cashew Yogurt Chia Pudding

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) hemp seed milk
  • 2 Tbsp. (24 g) chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) cashew yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) vanilla extract

Protein Chia Pudding

Instructions
 

  • Mix. Add the chia seeds, plant-based milk, protein boosters (if using), and flavor enhancers (if using) into a mason jar and stir to combine. It helps if you use a clear mason jar so you can check all around for any clumps. If the chia seeds stay clumped up together, they won’t properly absorb the liquid in the jar, making for a lumpy, crunchy chia seed pudding. Once the chia pudding mixture is well combined, let it sit for 5-10 minutes or until the chia seeds have started to gel. Then give it another stir to break up any remaining clumps of chia seeds and ensure the mixture will set. 
  • Refrigerate. Place the chia seed pudding in the fridge for a few hours. The consistency will still be quite liquid-y at this point. As the chia seeds absorb all the liquid, they will thicken. Gelling chia seeds takes time – a minimum of 1 hour, but ideally 8 hours or overnight. The longer the pudding sits, the thicker it will get. Letting it sit for at least 12 hours will yield the best results. If your chia pudding isn’t thick enough after 12 hours, just add more chia seeds to the mixture and let it sit a bit longer. If your chia seed pudding is too thick, add a little bit more liquid. Some people like a thicker chia seed pudding, and some like a thinner version. There's no right or wrong consistency. 
  • Serve. Top the chia seed pudding with fresh fruit and nuts. You can also serve it with fruit purees, nut butters, granola, coconut flakes, or cacao nibs.
  • Store. Leftover chia seed pudding keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Video

Notes

*The protein powder I used was flavored with vanilla powder and sweetened with stevia.
**Nutrition information is calculated for the base recipe only.
***Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please, feel free to make your own calculations.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 1, Calories: 205kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 15g, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 0g
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keywords: chia pudding, chia pudding recipe, chia seed pudding