Protein Chia Pudding
Published Apr 10, 2023, Updated Sep 18, 2023
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This protein chia pudding packs in about 20 grams of protein and has only 3 grams of sugar per serving. It’s so easy to whip up and is the perfect healthy breakfast or snack to meal prep for the week.
I’m always looking for easy ways to increase the amount of protein in my diet so one day I added vanilla protein powder to my 4-ingredient chia pudding and the end result was this protein chia pudding recipe!
Just like all of my chia pudding recipes this one is super easy to whip up and perfect for meal prep, but it’s packed with about 20 grams of protein to keep you full and satisfied longer!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Super easy to whip up and requires only 4 main ingredients.
- Packed with 19 grams of protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids!
- Great for meal prep!
- Perfect for breakfast or a post-workout snack.
Chia Seed Health Benefits
Chia seeds are powerful little seeds! When you add them to liquid, they absorb the liquid and form a gel-like consistency.
Why are they so healthy? For starters, they are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation and have been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases. They’re a good source of antioxidants, plant-based protein and fiber! Learn more here: health benefits of chia seeds.
- vanilla protein powder – my favorite protein powder is Nuzest. It’s a vegan protein powder that has simple ingredients and tastes great! Use code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order!
- almond milk – I like to use unsweetened almond milk, but feel free to use another non-dairy milk like oat milk, cashew milk or coconut milk for a creamier texture! You can also use dairy milk if that’s what you prefer.
- chia seeds – both black and white chia seeds work for this recipe. Make sure your chia seeds are fresh or they may not absorb the liquid as well and your chia pudding won’t turn out. My favorite brands of chia seeds are Navitas and Bob’s Red Mill.
- maple syrup – my personal favorite for this recipe, but you could also use honey, agave or any sugar substitutes like stevia or monk fruit for a low sugar option.
- Greek yogurt – for a creamy and delicious optional topping with an addition boost of protein. I prefer full fat whole milk Greek yogurt, but feel free to use your favorite variety of yogurt!
- toppings – feel free to get creative here, but my go-to toppings are fresh berries, granola and nut butter.
How to Make
In a bowl or mason jar, whisk together almond milk and protein powder until protein powder has dissolved. If you’re using a mason jar, you can put the lid on and shake the mixture to combine.
Add chia seeds, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir or shake mixture until well combined. 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.
When ready to serve, portion chia pudding into two glasses with layers of granola, if desired. Top with ¼ cup Greek yogurt each, fresh berries, additional granola and nut butter or toppings of choice.
Why Add Protein?
Protein is like the superhero of nutrients. It’s the muscle-building powerhouse that helps repair and grow tissue in our bodies. So, when you add protein to your chia pudding, you’re basically turning it into a muscle-building, energy-boosting breakfast of champions!
Chia seeds are already a great source of protein, but adding protein powder takes chia pudding to the next level. Plus, there are so many delicious protein powder flavors out there (like strawberry, chocolate, cookies and cream, etc.) so you can turn your chia pudding into a flavorful treat.
And let’s not forget about the satisfaction factor. Protein keeps you feeling full and satisfied for longer, which means you won’t be reaching for the snacks by mid-morning.
Chia Pudding Topping Ideas
Once the chia pudding has set, you’re ready for the best part… the toppings! The base recipe definitely makes a difference, but the toppings are where it’s at. Here are my go-to toppings:
- Fresh berries: Add a pop of color and flavor to your chia pudding with a handful of fresh berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or blackberries.
- Other fruit: Don’t stop with berries! Add any other fruit you like to the top of your chia pudding. I love adding sliced bananas, peaches or mangos but any fruit works!
- Nut butter: Drizzle some creamy nut butter like almond butter, peanut butter or cashew butter on top of your chia pudding for a deliciously rich and satisfying taste. Use tahini or sunflower seed butter for a nut-free option.
- Granola: I love topping this chia pudding with granola and also layering granola in between the pudding so I get some crunch with every bite! Try my hemp granola for something new and different.
- Other toppings: Shredded coconut, cacao powder, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, seeds and/or spices like cinnamon are all great options!
Chia Seed Troubleshooting Tips
If you’re having trouble getting your protein chia pudding to set or turn out correctly, there could be something going wrong. Here are a couple of tips that might help!
- Check your seeds – like I mentioned above, older chia seeds might not absorb liquid as well so make sure you have fresh seeds! You can also try switching brands… I’ve heard complaints from several people that Trader Joe’s chia seeds don’t absorb as much as other brands.
- Stir before letting sit – Before you place your chia pudding in the refrigerator to set up, make sure you give it a good stir! I like to stir initially and then a second time about 5-10 minutes in. This breaks up any clumps of seeds or protein powder and makes sure all of the seeds aren’t resting on the bottom with the liquid on top!
- Add more seeds – If your chia pudding isn’t thick enough, you can add more chia seeds and let it sit a bit longer!
- Add more milk – Some brands of chia seeds absorb more liquid than others so depending on the brand you use you might need to add a bit more liquid to your pudding if it’s too thick.
- Try different milk – If you want a thicker chia pudding, try thicker milk! Full-fat canned coconut milk results in an ultra thick and creamy pudding.
- Don’t like the texture? Try blending it in a high-powered blender! Once blended the mixture will be smooth and creamy like traditional pudding. I do this with my chocolate chia pudding and it’s amazing!
How to Store
Chia pudding is an awesome meal-prep option because it can be stored for up to 5-7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I like to make and store chia pudding in 16-ounce wide-mouth mason jars. Make a batch on Sunday to have in the fridge for a quick breakfast, healthy snack or even dessert throughout the week.
More Chia Pudding Recipes
- Easy 4-Ingredient Chia Pudding
- Peanut Butter Chia Pudding
- Pumpkin Chia Pudding
- Strawberry Chia Pudding
- Raspberry Chia Pudding
- Vanilla Chia Pudding
- Banana Split Chia Pudding
- Chocolate Chia Pudding
More Protein Packed Recipes
- Protein Balls
- Protein Pancakes
- How to Make a Protein Shake
- Protein Brownies
- Protein Cookies
- Oatmeal Raisin Protein Cookies
- Protein Waffles
- Protein Baked Oatmeal
Protein Chia Pudding
- 1 scoop (25 grams) vanilla protein powder
- 1 ¼-½ cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk, plus more as needed
- 4 Tablespoons chia seeds
- ½ Tablespoon maple syrup, honey or sweetener of choice
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- ½ cup Greek yogurt (or non-dairy yogurt)
- Granola, for topping
- Toppings: fresh berries, granola and nut butter.
- In a bowl or mason jar, whisk together almond milk and protein powder until protein powder has dissolved. If you’re using a mason jar, you can put the lid on and shake the mixture to combine.
- Add chia seeds, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir or shake mixture until well combined. 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.
- When ready to serve, portion chia pudding into two glasses with layers of granola, if desired. Top with ¼ cup Greek yogurt each, fresh berries, additional granola and nut butter or toppings of choice.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.