The best basic chia seed pudding recipe and info about the proper ratio of chia seeds to liquid. Start with this basic recipe and then experiment with your own variations to enjoy for breakfast, as a snack or dessert. Vegan, gluten-free, paleo and keto-friendly.
Let’s talk chia seeds. These tiny little seeds are amazing and I’ve been hooked on them for years. Check out my post about the health benefits of chia seeds to see why.
Chia seeds are a staple for those of us in the health and wellness space, but I know there are a ton of people out there who haven’t tried them yet. The one benefit of getting into chia seeds now is that they’re super accessible and almost all grocery stores carry them. A few years ago they were a bit harder to find and usually only sold at natural food stores or online.
There are a TON of chia seed recipes out there (and I have dozens posted here on EBF), but if you’re chia newbie, chia pudding is an awesome first-timer recipe because you’ll get a real sense of their absorption power, the gel-like texture they create and their ability to help keep you full.
Chia seeds can absorb 9 times their weight in liquid, but for making chia pudding I like to stick with a 1:6 ratio. So I do 3 Tablespoons of chia seeds to 1 cup of liquid for a single serving and 6 Tablespoons (or about 1/3 cup) of chia seeds to 2 cups of liquid for a double batch.
The liquid is up to you and will vary based on preference and dietary restrictions. I love using plant-based milks like almond, cashew and coconut milk. They give the chia pudding a creamy consistency that’s really nice. Full-fat canned coconut milk is great if you’re looking to increase the creaminess and make a really filling breakfast, snack or dessert out of the chia pudding. It’s also a great option for people who follow the paleo or keto diet.
As for the texture, it’s like a thick, creamy tapioca pudding. And chia seeds have no flavor so the pudding will taste like whatever liquid and mix-ins you’re using. If you want the pudding to have a bit of sweetness you can add sweet spices like cinnamon and cardamom, vanilla extract and your sweetener of choice. I’m a big fan of maple syrup so this basic chia pudding recipe has vanilla and maple syrup added. Honey is a great option if you’re paleo and if you need a sugar-free option, just skip the sweeteners all together. For a chocolate version, add some cacao powder to the mix.
In terms of timing, the chia seeds start to absorb the liquid pretty quickly, but you do need to give the pudding a bit of time to build the gel-like consistency. I usually add the liquid, give it a good stir, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, give it another stir to make sure the chia seeds aren’t clumping and then let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two, but if you’re in a rush you can eat it within 20 minutes or so, it just might be a little liquidy. Another great option is to make it the night before you want to eat it and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
Chia pudding is an awesome meal-prep option. Make a batch on Sunday to have in the fridge for a quick breakfast, healthy snack or dessert. It’s loaded with fiber, protein and healthy fats, low in sugar and super filling! Plus it works with so many different dietary preferences. Depending on the mix-ins chia pudding can be made vegan, gluten-free, paleo and keto.
Basic Chia Seed Pudding
- 6 Tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut, almond or cashew milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup, honey or sweetener of choice (optional)
- blueberries and strawberries, for topping
- In a bowl or mason jar, mix together chia seeds, milk, maple syrup and vanilla. If you’re using a mason jar, you can put the lid on and shake the mixture to combine everything.
- Once the chia pudding mixture is well combined, let it sit for 5 minutes, give it another stir/shake to break up any clumps of chia seeds, cover and put the mixture in the fridge to “set-up" for 1-2 hours.
- You can also prep you pudding the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight if that’s easier. When ready to serve, divide the mixture between two bowls, top the pudding with berries and enjoy.
More chia pudding recipes:
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Chia Pudding <– Perfect for Valentine’s Day!