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 chia seeds create and their ability to help keep you full.
How to Make Chia Pudding (3 Steps)
The process of making chia pudding is so easy! The first step is to stir together your chia seeds and milk in a mason jar or bowl. I start with 3 Tablespoons of chia seeds to 1 cup of liquid, but if you want a thicker chia pudding I recommend using 4 Tablespoons to 1 cup of liquid.
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” for 1-2 hours or overnight.
The chia pudding should be nice and thick, not liquidy. If it’s not thick, just add more chia seeds (1 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon), stir and refrigerate for another 30 minutes or so.
Chia Pudding Chia to Liquid Ratio
I’ve found the perfect chia pudding consistency is 3-4 Tablespoons of chia seeds to 1 cup of liquid.
The type of liquid is up to you and will vary based on preference and dietary restrictions. I love using plant-based milks like almond milk, cashew milk 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 thickness and make a really filling breakfast, snack or dessert out of the chia pudding. It’s also a great option if you follow the paleo or keto diet.
Chia Pudding Didn’t Set/Troubleshooting
If you’re having trouble getting your chia pudding to set or turn out correctly there could be a couple things going wrong. Here are a couple tips that might help!
Make sure you’re using chia seeds and not some other type of seed! There are white and black chia seeds and both work for chia pudding, but no other seeds will work. Also, check that your chia seeds aren’t old and maybe try switching brands. I’ve heard complaints from several people that the Trader Joe’s chia seeds don’t absorb as much liquid as other brands. If you’re having trouble with chia seeds from Trader Joe’s, try buying another brand.
Make sure you give your chia pudding a good stir about 5-10 minutes after you initially mix it together. This breaks up any clumps of seeds and helps ensure the mixture will set. If you don’t do this, sometimes all the chia seeds will clump at the bottom and you’ll be left with lots of liquid on top instead of a well combined, creamy pudding.
If your chia pudding isn’t thick enough, just add more chia seeds to the mixture and let it sit a bit longer. You can also use a thicker milk. Full-fat canned coconut milk creates an ultra thick and creamy chia pudding.
If you hate the texture of chia pudding, try blending it in a high powered blender like a Vitamix. Once blended, the mixture will be smooth and creamy like a regular pudding instead of a bit seedy like tapioca pudding.
What Does Chia Pudding Taste Like?
Chia seeds have no flavor so the pudding will taste like whatever liquid and sweetener 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.
As for the texture, it’s like a thick, creamy tapioca pudding if you just mix the chia seeds with your milk. If you’re looking for a smooth pudding texture you can blend the mixture in a high powdered blender until smooth. I do this for the chocolate chia pudding and pumpkin mousse recipes.
I’m a big fan of maple syrup for sweetness so my 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 or use a sugar substitute like stevia. The vanilla is optional, but something I like to add for a little extra sweetness. For a chocolate version, check out my chocolate chia pudding recipe.
How Long Does it Take to Thicken?
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 recommend 1 -2 hours or overnight.
You’ll want to add mix together your milk and chia seeds and let the mixture sit for about 5-10 minutes before giving it another stir to make sure the chia seeds aren’t clumping together. Then go ahead and let the pudding sit in the fridge for an hour or two. If you’re in a rush you can eat it within 20 minutes, it just won’t be as thick. Another great option is to meal prep a big batch for the week or make it the night before you want to eat it and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
Meal Prep Chia Pudding
Chia pudding is an awesome meal-prep option because it will stay good in the fridge for 5-7 days! 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.
If you try this recipe for chia pudding please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turned out. Your feedback is super helpful for the EBF team and other readers.
This 3-ingredient chia pudding is creamy, satisfying and loaded with protein, fiber and omega-3s. It’s also vegan, gluten-free, paleo and keto.
3–4 Tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup milk (I like unsweetened coconut, almond or cashew milk)
1/2 Tablespoon maple syrup, honey or sweetener of choice*
1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
Toppings of choice: fresh berries or other fruit, granola, nut butter, etc
Mix: In a bowl or mason jar, stir together chia seeds, milk, maple syrup and vanilla, if using. If you’re using a mason jar, you can put the lid on and shake the mixture to combine everything.
Give it time to set: 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” for 1-2 hours or overnight. The chia pudding should be nice and thick, not liquidy. If it’s not thick enough, just add more chia seeds (about 1 Tablespoon), stir and refrigerate for another 30 minutes or so.
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 top the pudding with berries and enjoy.
How to store: Chia pudding can be stored for up to 5-7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Dairy milk, almond milk or cashew milk will make a light, creamy chia pudding. Canned coconut milk will make for a rich and thick pudding.
For a low-sugar version you can skip the sweetener or use a sugar substitute
Nutrition facts calculated with unsweetened almond milk and no toppings