Easy 4-Ingredient Chia Pudding

Chia pudding is the perfect healthy breakfast or snack to meal prep for the week. It’s creamy, satisfying and loaded with protein, fiber and omega-3s. Vegan, gluten-free, paleo and keto.

Let’s talk chia pudding! If you haven’t tried this healthy breakfast recipe before, now it the time!

It starts with chia seeds, tiny little seeds that are packed with nutrition… see all the health benefits of chia seeds here.

Chia pudding in mason jars with blueberries and strawberries on top.

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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Pouring almond milk into a mason jar with chia seeds to make chia pudding.

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.

A mason jar with chia seeds just after being stirred together with a spoon for chia pudding.

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Chia pudding in small mason jars with berries on top.

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.

Chia pudding in small mason jars with berries on top.

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.

Chia pudding in mason jars with blueberries and strawberries on top.

Easy Chia Pudding

Brittany Mullins
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. 
4.73 from 77 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 271 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.
    Mason jar with chia seed pudding and a gold spoon, overhead shot
  • How to store: Chia pudding can be stored for up to 5-7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Notes

  • 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.
  • 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

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 271kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 10gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11gSodium: 248mgFiber: 16gSugar: 6g
Keyword chia pudding
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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.

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Recipe Rating




    237 comments
    1. Emily
      May 3, 2021 AT 8:42 am

      5 stars
      This is the best chia pudding recipe I’ve found. It works great every time and it’s a great base to customize however you would like. I usually add a little cinnamon and cardamom.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        May 3, 2021 AT 9:45 am

        Thank you so much, Emily! You’re the best. So glad you’re loving this chia pudding recipe.

    2. Arlene Quinones
      April 19, 2021 AT 8:46 pm

      5 stars
      I tried something very similar at a restaurant and wanted to try at home. I found this recipe and it is spot on! Can’t wait to experiment with toppings! I saw someone tried it with matcha. I love matcha and want to try it!!! Thanks!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 20, 2021 AT 3:31 pm

        Let me know how it turns out, Arlene 🙂

    3. Jessica Kerr
      April 14, 2021 AT 12:07 pm

      5 stars
      Easy to follow. Simple. Thoughtful suggestions.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 14, 2021 AT 1:52 pm

        So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Jessica!

    4. Rena Herskowitz
      April 13, 2021 AT 9:34 am

      5 stars
      What size mason jars were used for this recipe please?

    5. Ludde
      April 1, 2021 AT 6:13 am

      1 star
      3-4 tablespoons for one serving?
      Health advisors (and my package of chia seeds) specify that you should only eat 1,5 tablespoons of chia seeds a day. Other amounts is not healthy…

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 1, 2021 AT 7:24 pm

        You can definitely turn this recipe into two servings if you want!

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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