Vanilla and chocolate chia seed pudding recipes - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Vanilla and chocolate chia seed pudding recipes

Have you ever bought something that you heard people talking about, that you thought you should start eating and would figure out how to get it into your diet soon but never did, only to have that something sit in your pantry forever?  That would be a scenario with me and chia seeds a few years ago.   I kept reading about these little nutritional powerhouses and I was easily convinced about all their benefits and that I should be incorporating them into my diet, but I hadn’t the slightest idea how to actually eat them.  Chia seeds are super high in Omega-3 fats (which many of us don’t consume enough of) and antioxidants.  They have almost double the fiber of flaxseeds, as well as lots of protein, calcium, iron and magnesium.  What is unique about chia seeds is their gel-like consistency when they are soaked in liquid.  They become thick like tapioca and that gel actually helps to keep everything moving very smoothly throughout our bodies.

Most suggestions that I originally encountered for consuming chia seeds were to “sprinkle” them on food, such as oatmeal or yogurt.  That was fine for me, but the kiddos and Mr. Picky Sr. weren’t going for it.  My next idea was to add chia seeds to cookie dough, which did make for a delicious almond butter and chia seed cookie.  But a cookie isn’t going to give you a heck of a lot of chia seeds/nutrition.  Finally I heard about chia pudding – an instant, raw, thick and silky pudding of chia seeds soaked in a barely sweetened liquid.  Sold!  Not only is chia pudding even easier to make than tofu chocolate pudding, but I think it’s even more delicious!

I have two versions to share with you because even though I love the plain Jane vanilla version, Mr. Picky thought it looked like tiny eyeballs and wouldn’t try it.  So I added a little cocoa powder to make it chocolate-y and less like, well, eyeballs.  Both versions are great.  I eat vanilla chia seed pudding for breakfast with berries or diced banana on top and it fills me up for a good long while.  Mr. Picky and his buddies love the chocolate pudding after school with lots of different toppings like coconut, raspberries or sliced almonds.  Check out the video I did below for The Chalkboard on how to make this delicious concoction.  Naturally I used date-sweetened Pressed Juicery almond milk to make it, but you can follow the recipe below.

Now that we’re hooked, I’d love to hear your favorite way to eat chia seeds!


Vanilla and Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
Serves: 2
  • 1 ¼ cups almond milk
  • 3 pitted dates or sweetener of choice, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-2 ½ Tablespoons raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder (if making chocolate pudding), depending on how chocolaty you like it
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  1. Place almond milk, dates, vanilla and cacao in blender and process until dates are pulverized. A Vitamix does a great job with this. If your blender leaves the dates too chunky, you can strain the mixture before adding it to the chia seeds.
  2. Pour chia seeds into a medium container and add almond milk mixture. Stir immediately to combine otherwise you may end up with blobs of chia seeds. Allow to sit on countertop and stir every 5 minutes. After 15 minutes, it should have thickened.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. I usually do this the night before. Stays in the fridge for as long as your almond milk would. Fun to add toppings like fresh fruit, coconut or chopped nuts.

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  1. Hi! Would this recipe work if I mixed it in a bowl and covered with Saran Wrap or does it have to be a container?

    • ABsolutely! It will work in any container with any cover on it, whether it’s a lid, saran wrap, aluminum foil or whatever.

  2. I am going to try this pudding, however I am going to put it all in my NutriBullet and see if the chia breaks down and thickens up as it mixes. Just starting Wheat Belly and am really looking forward to finding more great receipes like this. Will let you know how it turns out.

    • It will thicken it up really well if you blend all the seeds, but it makes the pudding a weird grey color, FYI. 🙂

  3. hi pamela loved your recipe .Maybe if people don’t like dates they could use honey.Me and matthew tryed it and it was delicous.

    • Hi Eva!!! Thanks for your comment. You make a great suggestion about using honey! Next time I’m in NY, let’s cook together!

      • That would be great.I am so looking forward to it.and I love your recipes because they are healthy and easy to make.Oh and did I tell you that this week I am making dinner for my family.This week is the basics ,next week is gourmet .

        • Eva, your family is so lucky! I was just like you when I was your age. 🙂 xoxo

      • Hi again. I love making this pudding for dessert at parties. On everyday life I love making it for breakfast because it’s easy to make at night for the morning.

        • And it’s so so good for you! Healthy and tasty — win-win!

  4. I too am glad I came across this recipe and such a great way to introduce Chia seeds into my diet.
    Because I am watching calories at the moment, I weighed everything as I was making it and entered into my calorie software. I followed the recipe to a T, except added in 20g of soaked cashews for added creaminess and flavor (though can probably do without).
    The entire recipe (with 20g of cashews) is 843 calories or 421.5 calories per serving (if you are splitting the recipe into two servings). Or, 732 calories for the entire recipe and 366 per serving (if divided into two). (whole recipe add’l info: Fat = 32.3g, Sat Fat = 5.4g, Protein = 18.5g, Carb = 31.2g, Fiber = 20.6g, Sugar = 17g, Calcium = 17.1mg)
    Does this sound right to you? I guess it can be ‘guilt free’ because of all of the goodness that comes with chia seeds but certainly something people should take into account if watching your calories? (and thinking of adding other items to it…)
    Thank you again for inspiring me to make this. Texture, consistency and flavor were perfect!

  5. omg, thank you so much for posting this! It is going to help when I research Chia Seeds at the market! So Crazy!

  6. I made this last night using 1/4 cup of trader joes chia seeds and 1 cup coconut milk and it is not think like yours, should I add more seeds?

    • When you wrote the word “think,” I’m not sure if you meant thin or thick? But since you’re asking if you should add more seeds, I’m assuming you want the pudding to be thicker. I’ve made chia seed pudding with the exact measurements listed here probably about 80 times and it has never come out thinner than the pictures. Hmmmm……did you let it soak overnight? Did you stir it well so the chia seeds don’t clump together? Not sure what else it could be.

      • I meant thick, sorry. Yes I stirred it well and it wasn’t clumpy. I let it soak over night and it still was thinner than what I would consider a pudding consistency. I actually used less liquid than what you have listed here. Maybe it’s the brand of seed. I will use less liquid next time.

        • Then I think it’s just a personal preference. Try using more chia seeds or less liquid and you’ll probably have a texture that you like better. Still good for you no matter what the ratio! 🙂

  7. I tried this with chia seeds from Trader Joe’s. I soaked 1 tbsp. in 1 cup of almond milk for at least 18 hours, and the seeds softened up, but I wouldn’t say they “set” or became like a pudding. Different amounts perhaps? Thanks.

    • You got it. Different amounts led to a different result. It’s all about the right proportions. The ratio I use is 1 part chia to 5 parts almond milk. You used 1 part chia to 16 parts almond milk. Big difference! If you only want to use 1 Tablespoon of chia, to make a “pudding” you only need 5 Tablespoons almond milk. (Although that doesn’t make much pudding.) Hope that makes sense!

  8. As someone who is gluten intolerant and does not eat dairy and hates eggs…..this has been a lifesaver! Now breakfast is enjoyable again and über healthy! I’m so glad my gym mates have shared this idea and so excited to come across your blog while searching for new ways (read flavors!) to prepare this I love that this can be made the night before and is a quick easy way to start the day. Just throw some fruit on it and viola ….breakfast in 5 minutes 🙂

    • I know! Isn’t this the best? I add stuff to the pudding too, like coconut, bananas, strawberries, mango. So easy and good!

  9. Thank so much for this recipe. I just got my first packet of chia seeds this weekend and actually called my husband from work to tell him about a new recipe I am gonna try for dessert tonight after dinner. Will post a reply again after I try it. Thanks again

    • Yes, I must know how it goes!

  10. Would this recipe work with soymilk instead of almond milk?

    • Sure!

  11. Pamela, thanks! This pudding is fantastic. I pour it over fruit– raspberries, blueberries, banana, etc. I love it!

    • Isn’t it the best? I’m so glad you love it, too!

  12. Thank you for reminding me of the Chia seeds that I had in the pantry.
    I never really knew what to do with them before and this pudding recipse is super delish….
    Plus when I eat it I can truly feel all the nutrients entering my body! It’s a sweet dessert that is basically guilt free !

    • Just ate it for breakfast this morning — totally guilt-free!

  13. Thank you so much for this recipe. It’s easy to do and very delish. I made it with almond milk, xyletol for sweetener and good cocoa. Had it for breakfast this am with blueberries. It definitely needed to thicken overnight in the fridge. I follow the Wheat Belly way of eating and I look for things to have for breakfast. This is on the top of my list!

    • I’m so glad it works for you. It’s really nutritious to boot. As far as breakfast ideas, don’t discount leftovers from dinner, including soups and stews!

  14. I have tried making chia pudding before but it never set. So glad that I was inspired to try again by your post. It turned out perfect.

    • Once you get the right proportions, that chia is like magic!

  15. Hi Pamela…
    Can I make this with regular whole milk? You are inspirational as always.

    • You’re sweet, Delilah. I haven’t tried it with whole milk, but I don’t see why you couldn’t. Let me know how it turns out if you do. Thanks!

  16. I was wondering how long does this keep in the fridge and how should one store it? I definitely want to try making this, I too have a “Mr. Picky” when it comes to things like chia seeds and wheat germ and flax and things like that, so I jump at recipes where I can find ways to sneak healthy things into his diet

    • I know the feeling! The pudding will stay fresh as long as your almond milk. Since I make my own almond milk, the pudding only lasts about 3 days in the refrigerator. Hope he enjoys it!

  17. I will admit, I was a skeptic about this one. I just made it and added an extra date (woops) and a big pinch of sea salt and it is delicious!

    • PS the quantity fits perfectly in an old nut butter jar…

      • You know how I love reusing those nut butter jars!

    • I know what you mean. It looks weird! Glad you gave it a try 🙂

  18. Made the chocolate version today and it was a hit, will try the vanilla next.

    • Great! Once you get the basics down, you can start playing around with coconut milk, banana, and even pureed pumpkin with spices. 🙂

      • I would love to hear your different versions – with bananas? pumpkin? specifics.. like how much bananas? I am sure to screw it up 🙂

        • I haven’t made it with pumpkin yet, waiting for the fall! I tried pulsing some (4-5 large?) ripe strawberries with the almond milk and blending that with the chia — very delicious, although I was surprised that I still needed the dates to sweeten. Just mash up a ripe banana and fold that in if you like banana. You could also use half almond milk half coconut milk and fold in a handful of toasted coconut flakes. To that you could add a cup of diced mango for a tropical chia pudding. That sounds good right now.

  19. I made this tonight for the kids for an after dinner treat and it was a hit! Matthew was mad that I had added spinach to the sauce I made tonight so he claimed he deserved a dessert after dinner. So I knew I could find something on your website that would make him and I both happy. This was perfect. I had pretty much everything the recipe called for and the chocolate version suited him because he doesn’t like seeing the seeds either. He loved it and so did Eva. Another winner with the kids! Thank you!

    • I love that we can get away with calling this a treat for the kids when it is uber-good for them! So cool that your kids enjoyed it!

  20. I am making the pudding for my girls for an after school snack. I can’t wait to try it. My Whole Foods only had Salba. Will it work in this recipe? Thank you!

    • Yes! Salba is the same thing. Hope the girls like it 🙂

  21. Thank you so very much for this recipe; I’ve been using chia seeds for years in my morning shake which I’m getting bored with. Thanks to my dear friend Jo Fusco and certain literary works by Adriana Trigiani, I’m switching to other simpler, nutritional breakfast choices non of which include (and which I greatly value) chia seeds! So this is perfect!
    Molto grazias!!


    Can’t wait to try it

    • This is super simple, Katherine. Hope you enjoy!

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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