If you’re looking for an easy and satisfying breakfast idea that can be prepped ahead of time, this chia seed pudding recipe is a great option. This simple 4-ingredient breakfast is filled with fiber and protein to help keep you full for longer. You can make it the night before so your mornings are simpler and easier.
If you’re anything like our home, mornings are crazy, so when I can create more calm and ease in my life, I’m here for it! Pajamas flying off while kids get ready for school, breakfasts being made and eaten, lunches being prepped and trying to get two little and often distracted boys out the door to get to school on time can be a lot.
By the time I get home, I feel like I’ve been up for hours, even though it’s only been 1—ha! I love having a simple and nutritious breakfast that I can quickly grab and sit down to eat, instead of having to make something and get the kitchen dirty all over again.
What I love about this recipe is how simple it is to make. No cook time, just some pouring, stirring and waiting as it sets up. It only requires 4 ingredients for the base and then you can top it with whatever you want. Chia pudding is also packed with omega-3s, in fact, they actually contain more omega-3s than salmon. They’re also high in fiber which is amazing for gut health! The creamy texture makes it so satisfying.
Plus, pudding for breakfast? Who could say no to that?
Key Ingredients for Chia Pudding
Chia seed pudding is a nutritious and delicious treat that can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a snack, or even as a dessert. The essential ingredients for this chia seed pudding recipe are chia seeds, maple syrup, almond milk, and vanilla extract.
- Chia seeds are the star of the show in this pudding, as they provide a good source of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Maple syrup adds a sweet flavor and a hint of caramel
- Almond milk (coconut milk, regular milk or your own milk of choice) provides a creamy and dairy-free base for the pudding with no added sugar (make sure to use unsweetened almond milk)
- Vanilla extract enhances the overall flavor with its warm and aromatic notes, if you are using vanilla flavored almond milk, you can skip this ingredient
Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are packed with health benefits. They are rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body from cell damage caused by free radicals. They are also an excellent source of high-quality protein, good fats (omega-3 fatty acids), and fiber. These nutrients can help support heart health, reduce inflammation, and aid in weight management.
Chia seeds have been used for centuries, with origins traced back to the Aztecs and Mayans. These ancient civilizations used chia seeds as a source of sustainable energy, often consuming them before long journeys or battles. They also used them for medicinal purposes and as offerings in religious ceremonies. I was first turned onto them after reading Born to Run!
Chia seeds can support healthy digestion due to their high fiber content. They can help regulate bowel movements and promote a healthy gut, and I’m always excited about anything that promotes a healthy gut.
Overall, these little seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients that offer a wide range of health benefits, including their ability to support heart health, aid in digestion, and provide sustainable energy.
4-Ingredient Chia Seed Pudding Recipe
With just a few simple ingredients and minimal effort (seriously, it’s so easy and quick you’ll be wondering why you didn’t try this earlier), you can create a delicious and nutritious breakfast or snack that leaves you satisfied. This recipe is plant-based, but is delicious whether you’re following a vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free diet. I also love that it’s incredibly versatile. The chia seed pudding is simply a base. Add whatever toppings you want to make it your own.
Step-By-Step: How to Make Chia Seed Pudding
Since there’s only 4 ingredients, this is pretty easy—you’ll need 1/4 cup chia seeds, 1 cup of milk (dairy or non-dairy), sweetener of your choice (maple syrup is my go-to, but you can also use honey or agave nectar), and vanilla extract.
Mix All Ingredients
In a small to medium bowl, mix the chia seeds, milk, maple syrup and vanilla together. Stir well to make sure the chia seeds are evenly distributed. Cover and put in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. As it sits, the chia seeds will absorb the liquid and go from a soupy consistency to a pudding consistency.
Stir Again & Chill
After 20 minutes, stir the mixture again to break up any clumps. Recover and return to the refrigerator for another 30 minutes, or overnight. After 30 minutes it should reach a pudding-like consistency.
If you want a thicker pudding, wait another hour, or let it sit overnight.
Stir, Top & Enjoy!
When you’re reading to eat, give it a good stir to break up and clumps again and then finish with your favorite toppings like fresh fruit, nuts, granola and shredded coconut flakes. If you want it a bit sweeter, add a drizzle of honey to the top. Enjoy this yummy treat!
Chia Seed Pudding Recipe
- 1/4 cup whole chia seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or light coconut milk
- 1-2 tsp real maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2-1 cup favorite fruit—berries, kiwi, mango, pineapple, etc.
- 1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
- Mix chia seeds with almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla in a small bowl or jar. Mix well to combine or shake vigorously if using a jar with a lid. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, use a fork and mix the chia seed pudding well to break up and clumps. If using a jar, shake again. Cover and let sit for another 30 minutes or overnight.
- Before eating, stir one final time and add topping like fresh fruit and shredded coconut to the top.
Popular Substitutions, Additions & Variations
To change up the flavor of your chia seed pudding, you can tweak or add some of the ingredients like adding your favorite milk, or different ingredients to give it a totally different flavor profile.
You can use your favorite milk here in place of almond milk. That could be full-fat canned coconut milk, light coconut milk, dairy-milk and any other type of milk you have and love! Essentially you just need a good creamy liquid you like to make this healthy pudding.
Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
For a chocolatey flavor, add cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder can be added to the chia pudding to provide a rich chocolate flavor, making it a popular choice for chocolate lovers.
Pureed Fruit for Berry Chia Pudding
The addition of fruit puree, such as mashed berries or bananas, can not only add natural sweetness but also contribute a vibrant fruity flavor to the pudding. Adding mashed berries gives it a bright color and extra flavor. You may need less liquid because you’re adding more liquid from the berries. Also, make sure this pureed fruit doesn’t include any added sugar to keep the sugar content low.
Nut butter, like almond butter or peanut butter, can be mixed into the pudding to create a creamy and nutty taste, and also add more protein to your snack.
How Long will Chia Seed Pudding Keep in the Fridge?
If you like to meal prep, you’ll be excited to hear that chia seed pudding can last in the fridge for up to five days. You can prep it in airtight containers or glass jars for individual servings. Prep it early in the week and eat it for several days.
The chia seeds in the pudding absorb the liquid and will thicken over time, so make sure you stir your pudding before eating. If it ever gets too thick, you can simply pour in a little bit more non-dairy milk to loosen it up. Make sure that you keep it in the refrigerator so it doesn’t spoil! It’s so nice to have easy, healthy things on hand to grab when your day is moving fast. It definitely helps me to make better choices throughout the day.
More Yummy Chia Seed Recipes
Chia seeds are a great way to get in more fiber and protein which can help you feel full and satisfied for longer. Here are a few more recipes that include chia seeds that I think you guys will love:
More Healthy Breakfast & Snack Recipes
If you need some more easy breakfast and snack recipes that are healthy, I wanted to share a few more I think you’ll love:
Healthy Homemade Granola: perfect on an acai bowl or on top of Greek yogurt with berries.
Peanut Butter Cacao Smoothie: a quick and easy smoothie that tastes like a peanut butter banana milkshake, but is packed with so many healthy ingredients.
Healthy Green Smoothie Bowl: perfect when you have the time to sit down and enjoy your meal, I love these in spring and summer. Tip: freeze your bowl for 30 minutes before so your bowl stays thick and creamy
Blueberry Oatmeal Bowl: delicious, filling and warming—perfect for cold days!
Homemade Fiber Bars: better than store-bought because you control the sugar—my kids love these!
This chia seed pudding recipe makes for an easy, healthy breakfast or snack and I hope it’s one you try soon. Perfect for meal prepping and taking on the go, plus it only requires 4 simple ingredients!