3 Ingredient Chia Pudding

5 from 14 votes
Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

How to make chia pudding – a healthy snack, breakfast, or dessert loaded with protein, fiber, and omega-3s! Including the perfect chia pudding ratio, how-to, variations, and FAQs for the ultimate guide to chia seed pudding!

Chia pudding in a bowl topped with mixed berries

Want to save this recipe?

Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from me every week!

What is Chia Pudding?

Along with overnight oats, chia pudding is my favorite meal prep breakfast, snack, and dessert. Simply combine chia seeds, milk (dairy or non-dairy), and sweetener, mix, and leave them to thicken. The result is a light and creamy chia seed pudding with the consistency of tapioca. And, you can top it with all your favorite toppings and enjoy it throughout the week!

Not only is it quick and easy, but this chia pudding recipe is extremely versatile and nutritious too. Eating it provides a wonderful boost of energy (perfect for breakfast or the mid-afternoon snack). It will help keep you satiated for longer, and packs in fiber, protein, and omega-3s.

A spoonful of chia pudding

Plus, with your choice of liquid and sweetener, you can easily adapt the recipe to various dietary requirements. This includes gluten-free (which it is naturally), dairy-free, vegan, keto, whole30, refined sugar-free, etc. I’ve also included options for chia pudding with yogurt instead of milk and a simple method for a protein chia pudding! However, it all starts with just three base simple ingredients!

The Ingredients

Note that chia pudding with canned coconut milk will be thicker and creamier than other milk varieties. Perfect for those who want the most decadent option!

  • Sweetener: I love to use a drizzle of maple syrup, but you could use:
  • Vanilla: (optional) I love to add a small amount of vanilla extract (or vanilla powder) for a subtle dessert-like flavor.
Ingredients for chia seeds

You could also add a teeny pinch of salt to enhance the various other flavors within the vanilla chia pudding. However, that’s 100% optional and not something I usually do. My favorite combination is coconut milk chia pudding with maple syrup.

Recipe Variations

While there are many ways to add flavor, here are just a few base recipe variations based on diet, etc.

  • Keto chia seed pudding: Coconut milk chia pudding with monk fruit sweetener would be my favorite option. However, you can use a selection of milk options, including almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, or even pea-based milk. Also, use a keto-friendly sweetener like erythritol, monk fruit, xylitol, or stevia. Adjust the amount to taste.
  • Whole30 chia pudding: Use homemade almond milk, coconut milk, or cashew milk and sweeten with date paste or unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana.
  • Vegan chia seed pudding: Use any non-dairy milk + any sweetener other than honey.
  • Protein chia pudding: Add ½ scoop (2-3 Tbsp) of protein powder to the base vanilla flavored chia seed pudding. You can use plain protein powder or a flavored option.
  • Chia seed pudding with yogurt: Use half yogurt (Greek yogurt, coconut yogurt, almond yogurt, soy yogurt, etc.) and half milk. You’ll get a chia yogurt pudding that’s thick, creamy, and has even more protein.

Once you have the “base” recipe sorted, there are practically endless possibilities for flavor variations. With the addition of fruit, cocoa powder or chocolate, nut or seed butter, matcha, etc.

How to Make Chia Pudding?

Once you know the correct ratio, it takes just a couple of simple steps to prepare this easy recipe in practically seconds.

What is The Perfect Chia Pudding Ratio?

Having experimented with several ratios over the years, this is the one that I return to time and time again:

1 1/2 Tablespoons Chia seeds + 1/2 cup milk of your choice. 

With chia seeds absorbing up to 10x their weight in liquid, this ratio is creamy without being overly thin or thick.

If you prefer a thicker pudding, use 2 tbsp chia seeds per ½ cup of milk. Either way, you’ll only need a few tablespoons of chia seeds to prepare a week’s worth!

The Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Add all the chia seeds and milk to a cup, bowl, or jar and mix well. Then add the vanilla extract and sweetener and stir once more.
  2. Then, set it aside in the refrigerator to thicken for a minimum of 30 minutes, but 2 hours is the optimal amount. I prefer to make it the night before.
Steps for making chia pudding

Give the mixture another good stir 5-10 minutes after setting it aside for the best results. This will help you avoid clumps of chia seeds.

You can blend the chia pudding before serving it for a more traditional pudding, mousse-like texture. I usually do so after thickening, but you could do it before too.

A close up of chia pudding on a spoon

Serving Recommendations

My favorite part about meal-prepping multiple jars of this easy chia pudding is thinking of all the different toppings I can enjoy with them. These include:

  • Fresh fruit: Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc), peaches, plums, chopped apple, pear, banana slices, etc.

You could also puree your favorite fruit and swirl it into the vanilla chia seed pudding for a super simple way to add flavor. I like to add them right before serving.

  • Dried fruit: A sprinkle of raisins, dried blueberries, apricot, dates, etc.
  • Nuts/Seeds: Like this omega seed blend, candied nuts or seeds, almonds, walnuts, etc.
  • Seed or nut butter: Add a drizzle of your favorite seed or nut butter (like almond butter, cashew butter, or even this coffee peanut butter). It will add healthy fats and creamy richness to the recipe.
  • Jam: Dollop or swirl a spoonful of jam into the pudding. This healthy date caramel would also make for a delicious treat.
  • Sprinkles: i.e., coconut flakes, cacao nibs, granola, puffed quinoa, chocolate chips, etc.
  • Spices: A pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, chai spice, cardamom, etc.
  • Spirulina: Boost the health benefit and achieve a fun oceanic effect.
  • Smoothie: My favorite breakfast combination was always to prepare overnight chia pudding topped with a small amount of thick and creamy smoothie.

How Long Does Chia Pudding Last?

You can store it in the fridge, covered, for 5 days, making it perfect as a meal-prep breakfast or snack.

You can also freeze it for up to 1 month! Allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight before enjoying.

I like to meal prep it in mason jars with lids for simple, mess-free storage.

Chia pudding topped with mixed berries

Top FAQs

How long does chia pudding take to set?

You’ll need to leave chia seed pudding a minimum of 30 minutes to thicken, but two hours is the optimal time. I usually prepare a large batch the evening before I want to enjoy my first portion and then enjoy the rest throughout the week.

What does chia pudding taste like?

Chia seeds don’t have a taste. Instead, they soak up the surrounding liquid. So the chia pudding ends up tasting like the milk, sweetener, and any other additions you add to the recipe.
The most standout thing about chia seed pudding is its texture. It looks a little like frog spawn and is texturally similar to tapioca pudding.

Is chia pudding healthy?

Chia seeds are packed with fiber, protein, and heart-healthy omega-3s among several vitamins and minerals, including potassium, zinc, and various B vitamins. For some exact figures:
According to Healthline, a 2 Tbsp serving of chia seeds provides:
Fiber: 11 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Fat: 9 grams (5g are healthy omega-3 fatty acids)
Carbs: 1g
The combination is beneficial for digestive health, heart health, and bone health. It also provides an energy boost, keeps you satiated for longer, and even aids in absorbing several fat-soluble nutrients.
When combined with your milk and sweetener of choice, you get even more benefits. And that’s just the base recipe with no nutritional add-ins or toppings! So it’s safe to say that, yes, I believe chia pudding is healthy!

What are chia seed pudding calories?

This will depend on the milk and sweetener used to make the pudding. However, chia seeds are around 69kcal per Tbsp, meaning roughly 105kcal per 1 ½ tbsp serving.
With maple syrup and low-calorie milk, a serving of chia pudding is around 170 calories per portion.

A glass with chia pudding topped with berries

Recipe Tips and Notes

  • Adjust the sweetness: According to personal taste.
  • If it doesn’t thicken: This usually only happens if you have old chia seeds. Certain ingredients can also affect their ability to thicken (like orange juice or other ingredients with a certain pH level).
  • For a thicker chia seed pudding: Add another ½ tablespoon of seeds per portion and leave it a further 30 minutes (at least) to thicken. Or thicken it with yogurt.
  • For a thinner pudding: Add a little more milk of your choice.
  • Adjust the texture: If you aren’t a fan of the tapioca pudding style texture, you can blend the mixture in a blender (or possibly food processor). Then you’ll get more of a smooth, creamy pudding-like, mousse texture.

More Chia Seed Recipes

If you try this 3 ingredient base chia pudding recipe, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

3 Ingredient Chia Pudding (How to, Variations + FAQs)

5 from 14 votes
By: Samira
How to make chia pudding – a healthy snack, breakfast, or dessert loaded with protein, fiber, and omega-3s! Including the perfect chia pudding ratio, how-to, variations, and FAQs for the ultimate guide to chia seed pudding!
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings: 3

Ingredients 
 

  • 4.5 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1.5 cups milk dairy or dairy-free (coconut, almond, cashew, soy, oat, pistachio, oat, etc.)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup adjust amount to taste; OR use sweetener of choice: honey, agave, brown rice syrup, date paste/syrup, monk fruit, erythritol, stevia, etc.
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract optional

Check the blog post for recipe variations and topping ideas!

Instructions 

  • Add all the chia seeds and milk to a cup, bowl, or jar and mix well. Then add the vanilla extract and sweetener and stir once more.
  • Set it aside in the refrigerator to thicken for a minimum of 30 minutes, but 2 hours is the optimal amount. I prefer to make it the night before.
    Give the mixture another good stir 5-10 minutes after setting it aside for the best results. This will help you avoid clumps of chia seeds in the pudding.
  • You can blend the chia pudding before serving it for a more traditional pudding, mousse-like texture. I usually do so after thickening, but you could do it before too.

How Long Does Chia Pudding Last?

  • You can store chia pudding in the fridge, covered, for 5 days, making it perfect as a meal-prep breakfast or snack.
    You can also freeze chia pudding for up to 1 month!

Notes

What is The Perfect Chia Pudding Ratio?
Having experimented with several ratios over the years, this is the one that I return to time and time again:
1 1/2 Tablespoons Chia seeds + 1/2 cup milk of your choice. 
With chia seeds absorbing up to 10x their weight in liquid, this ratio is creamy without being overly thin or thick.
If you prefer a thicker pudding, use 2 tbsp chia seeds per ½ cup of milk. Either way, you’ll only need a few tablespoons of chia seeds to prepare a week’s worth of overnight chia pudding!
More Top Tips:
  • Adjust the sweetness: According to personal taste.
  • If the chia pudding doesn’t thicken: This usually only happens if you have old chia seeds. Certain ingredients can also affect their ability to thicken (like orange juice or other ingredients with a certain pH level).
  • For a thicker chia seed pudding: Either add another ½ tablespoon of seeds per portion and leave it a further 30 minutes (at least) to thicken, or thicken the pudding with yogurt.
  • For a thinner pudding: Add a little more milk of your choice.
  • To adjust the texture: If you aren’t a fan of the tapioca pudding style texture, you can blend the mixture in a blender (or possibly food processor) for more of a smooth, creamy pudding-like, mousse texture.
Check the blog post for optional add-ins, more notes, and answers to top FAQs!
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Freezer friendly: 1 Month
Shelf life: 5 Days

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 184kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Sodium: 60mg, Potassium: 269mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 130IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 270mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 14 votes (13 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. Pj says:

    5 stars
    Best article/recipe I have yet to find. Really appreciated finding all options in one place

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you so much. Glad you liked it!

  2. Tracy says:

    I love how beautiful all your recipes are

  3. Jane says:

    Love this!! What do you use to cut out your hearts is it a cookie cutter or something with sharper edges? Xx

    1. Alpha Foodie says:

      I use some simple metal heart cutters that work best for me 🙂

  4. Richard Hanna says:

    Found it. Now to get ingredients and try for myself. Thanks again for the inspiration

  5. SF says:

    Really pretty!