Vanilla Chia Pudding

DF GF V VG LC

An easy recipe for vanilla chia pudding that’s lightly sweetened with maple syrup and topped with fresh berries and granola. Perfect for meal prep!

As you probably know, I am a big chia pudding fan! I already have a basic chia pudding recipe but I wanted to share another staple recipe: vanilla chia pudding.

Jar of chia pudding topped with berries and granola. More granola and berries are scattered on the table around the jar.

I love the subtle vanilla flavor paired with maple syrup and fresh berries. It’s the perfect healthy breakfast recipe to meal prep in advance for a filling and delicious breakfast all week!

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.

Bottle of plant milk, jar of vanilla, bowl of maple syrup and a measuring cup of chia seeds.

Here’s What You Need:

  • 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.
  • almond or oat milk – I like to use use unsweetened almond milk or oat milk, but if you want a creamier chia pudding, try using coconut milk.
  • liquid sweetener of choice – I recommend maple syrup or honey, but you can also use sugar substitutes like stevia or monk fruit for a low sugar option.
  • vanilla extract or vanilla beans – this where the vanilla flavor comes in! If you’re feeling fancy, you can also use vanilla bean paste from the inside of a vanilla bean pod for the vanilla flavor. Vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste can be used interchangeably at a 1:1 ratio.

Here’s the Simple Process

Making vanilla chia pudding is so easy! Just whisk the chia seeds with your milk, sweetener of choice and the vanilla. Let it set up for 5 mins, give it another stir and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours to set up completely.

Four photos showing the process how to make chia pudding by whisking the ingredients together in a bowl, and letting the pudding thicken up in jars.

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’s what I usually reach for:

  • fresh berries – fresh berries are almost always topping my chia pudding! Use a mixture or whatever you have on hand.
  • 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 but any fruit works!
  • granola – add extra crunch and flavor with granola. Try my hemp granola for something new and different.
  • nut butter – drizzle any nut or seed butter on your chia pudding for added protein, fiber and creamy flavor.
Two glass jars with chia pudding topped with fruit and granola. Strawberries, blueberries and spoons are on the table around the jars.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you’re having trouble getting your chia pudding to set or turn out correctly, there could be something going wrong. Here are a couple 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 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!
  • Try different milk – If you want a thicker chia pudding, try a 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!
Four glass jars with chia pudding topped with fruit and granola.

How to Store

One of the best things about chia pudding is how well it stores! Chia pudding can be stored for up to 5-7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Like I mentioned before, it’s great for meal prep because of this!

More Chia Pudding Recipes

Vanilla Chia Pudding

5 from 24 votes
An easy recipe for vanilla chia pudding that's lightly sweetened with maple syrup and topped with fresh berries and granola. Perfect for meal prep!
Jar of chia pudding topped with berries and granola. More granola and berries are scattered on the table around the jar.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Soak Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups plant-based milk
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup, honey or sweetener of choice
  • ½ Tablespoon vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste
  • Toppings of choice: fresh berries or other fruit, granola, nut butter, etc

Instructions
 

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Store any leftover chia pudding in the fridge in a covered container for 5-7 days.

Notes

  • Low sugar option – to keep this recipe lower in sugar feel free to use a sugar alternative like stevia or monk fruit to sweeten. Every sweetener is different so I recommend just adding these to taste. 
  • Protein – to make the chia pudding more filling, feel free to add a little protein powder to the recipe. I recommend  stirring 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder into the mixture during the first step. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1without toppings Calories: 169kcal Carbohydrates: 16g Protein: 5g Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 7g Sodium: 95mg Potassium: 212mg Fiber: 10g Sugar: 3g
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vanilla chia pudding

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    37 comments
    1. Lilly Streech
      August 22, 2021 AT 3:02 pm

      Hi! Chia seed pudding has been recommended to me by many friends and I’ve decided to try it! I was wondering if you can make this recipe with dairy-based milk?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 23, 2021 AT 12:17 pm

        Hey Lily- Yes, you can make it with dairy-based milk. Let me know how it turns out!

    2. Linda
      July 20, 2021 AT 4:50 pm

      5 stars
      Just made the chai pudding added banana and blueberries.. delicious

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 21, 2021 AT 11:10 am

        Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed this chia pudding, Linda! Thanks for the review 🙂

    3. Charley
      July 19, 2021 AT 9:57 pm

      5 stars
      This is a simple and delicious chia pudding recipe that I’ll definitely make again!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 20, 2021 AT 10:27 am

        Yay!! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this vanilla chia pudding, Charley! Thanks so much for making this recipe and I so appreciate the review. It means so much to me!

    4. Susan Morrison
      July 13, 2021 AT 6:56 pm

      5 stars
      I made this chia pudding recipe as a fun, quick dessert. It was super easy, tasty, and complimented the fresh berries.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 14, 2021 AT 11:15 am

        Yay!! So glad this chia pudding was a hit. Thanks for the review, Susan! I really appreciate it 🙂

    5. Megan
      July 11, 2021 AT 10:53 am

      5 stars
      I love this recipe. Being gluten free has been difficult to find good recipes that are both good for you and tasty. And this one is both! Thank you Brittany for creating such a wonderful recipe.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        July 12, 2021 AT 11:04 am

        I’m so glad this chia pudding was a success, Megan! Thanks so much for the review. I really appreciate it!

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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