Vanilla Chia Pudding
Published Jul 01, 2021, Updated Apr 10, 2023
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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 information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
A message from Holland! 😀
I made this last night, refrigerate all night, but this morning it wasn’t thick like a pudding. I used 4 tablespoon chia seed and 250ml almondmilk. It tasted like I was chewing on seeds. What did I do wrong? How do I get the pudding consistency ?
Hi, Tamara. I’m not sure what could have gone wrong. Is it possible that the chia seeds are old? I’m so sorry this happened!
I have been making this chia pudding ever since I first made it, which was over a month ago!
I tried many other variations of this recipe, but this is my favorite one. It’s so simple, delicious and I look forward to eating this every night 💗
Yay! I am so happy to hear that you are enjoying this recipe, Samantha, it means so much to me. Thank you so much for sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it.
Could not be easier and delicious. The vanilla elevates this from a basic chia pudding to something that feels fancy. I made in a large mason jar and scooping out as needed to make parfaits with granola, fresh pears, and jam. I used unsweetened plain almond milk.
Woo! I am so glad that you are loving this recipe, Shelley. Love the different variations you pair it with as well. Thank you for your review + star rating, I so appreciate it!
Paleo recipes? Healthy low sugar recipes? Dinner recipes chicken fish no red meat
Hi Nancy – Are you looking for these types of recipes?
This recipe is very tasty and I will make it often. The first time I made it I didn’t have ground chia so it was a little crunchy. Now I will use ground chia. I will put the chia in a small coffee grinder. I have a question though would I put the pudding in a blender after it is set or right after I mix it together? I want to try it both ways, in the blender and just without being blended. It is so good I see myself eating this every day with different amounts of sweetener. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Hi Nancy – I would recommend putting all the ingredients into the blender and mixing it in the blender. Glad you’re enjoying this recipe. Thank you for your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!
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