How to make simple chia pudding

I made an impulsive purchase the other day. It wasn’t a bar of chocolate or a box of cookies, but rather a bag of chia seeds. Yep, this former chef-turned-food-blogger sampled chia seeds for the first time.

I’m not sure if I should sheepishly admit that I haven’t used chia before now, or be proud that I held out on this health food trend for as long as I did. Either/or, it is safe to say I’m completely hooked now.

Chia seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients, containing omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and minerals including calcium- up to three times more than a serving of milk. Unlike flax seed, they don’t have to be ground in order for you to absorb the nutrients. Superfood? Perhaps.

I’m sold on this new-to-me ingredient and have taken steps to stock my pantry with a few bags. I buy chia seeds at my local natural foods store, but have also seen them in pretty much every grocery store, and of course on Amazon.

I hear chia can be used as an egg substitute in baking (which sounds kinda complicated) or merely sprinkled into smoothies (much simpler), but I’ve been enjoying them daily in a chilled, creamy pudding.

Simple Chia Pudding on

Thanks to Stacie of One Hungry Mama, who whipped up a chia pudding on a recent vlog, I decided to try chia pudding as my intro to the healthy seed. It was an instant, love-at-first-bite reaction.

I should mention, however, that all things pudding, especially rice pudding, are dear to my heart, so it was no stretch to accommodate for the texture. I can see how some may find it unpleasant; I found it fascinating.

Not only does the delicious chia pudding offer plenty of health benefits, but it comes together with incredible ease and makes for a convenient snack. 

I’ve been making it in a jar, shaking up three ingredients – milk, chia seed and maple syrup – and then coming back to the fridge an hour or so later for my pudding snack. Bingo!

The seeds absorb up to ten times their weight in water and expand in the tummy to give you a satisfied, full feeling – and a shot of energy! Sufficient to say, I totally get why they are all the rage in the heath world.

Simple Chia Pudding on

Clara is on board with chia pudding, as is Noah. Mateo says it’s not his favorite, but I plan to win him over soon – perhaps with a chocolate variation. I’ve listed a few links to recipes at the bottom of the post that I can’t wait to try.

My favorite flavor combinations so far are:

  • Maple, pears & almonds (almond milk)
  • Honey, orange segments & pistachios (milk)
  • Toasted coconut, agave, and banana (coconut milk)

Here is the basic recipe. Feel free to swap in any milk that suits your fancy.

How to make simple chia pudding
4.9 from 15 reviews
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves/Yield: 2
Not only does the delicious chia pudding offer plenty of health benefits, but it comes together with incredible ease and makes for a convenient snack.
  • 1/3 cup white chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a pint jar. Cover the jar with a lid and give it a vigorous shake.
  2. Chill for about an hour, then return to the jar and shake it up. Let chill for at least 4 hours and overnight is even better.
  3. Chia seeds will expand and turn into pudding the consistency of applesauce (it won't get really thick).
  4. Serve cold with sliced fruit or toasted nuts on top.
I find that maple syrup dissolves much easier than honey into the milk, but you can substitute the maple with runny honey or agave and get the same great taste.

 Pudding Party:

Now that you’ve got the basics, try these creatively flavored chia pudding recipes. These are the ones I’ve bookmarked to try soon:

Want to learn more about chia seeds? The Kitchn did a great spotlight on chia and Stacie has dug up some interesting facts as well.

Have you spooned up chia pudding yet? Would you try it?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Can’t wait to try this!

  2. I so need to try chia now!

    • Kevin, you seriously need to pick up a bag today. I can’t wait to see your twist on a chia pudding!

      • Hi Amy! Have you ever tried grinding the chia seeds into a powder and then making pudding? I’m about to experiment with this and some cocoa powder… I think it will work!

        -The Kosher Kannoli

  3. How fun! I gotta try this!!

  4. I think this is going to be like the green monster smoothie for me. Put off trying it forever, and now LOVE them. You’re inspiring me to go try this finally!

  5. I actually have a bag of chia seeds in my cupboard and I have never known what to do with them- this looks great! thank you!

  6. Okay, you have convinced me to get over the expense and buy some chia seeds! I am hoping my toddler will like the pudding too, since we’re moving toward weaning but still trying to stay dairy free.

  7. This looks so easy, delicious and very healthy! I may try it with cinnamon and apples

  8. Soooo fun! Love the texture of chia!

  9. I honestly was expecting more in the directions and ingredients but I LOVE how easy this is!! I didn’t even realize it 🙂 love this recipe!

  10. OMG! I tried this and hate the whole jar….is that bad? Delicious!!!

  11. Ok, I’m sold! I love that they don’t have to bevground like flax seeds. I will be getting some SOON! Thanks for the recipe and post

  12. Chia seeds, huh? Is that at all like tapioca? I’m intrigued!

  13. Divine! We love chia pudding especially with coconut milk — yum!

  14. TJ Gilbertson says:

    Just got on this same bandwagon 🙂 It is AMAZING AND QUICK! Love the no fuss shake it and throw in the fridge. Choc is the bomb. I was thinking maybe a pb2 version as it would be easier to mix vs peanut butter or almond butter. Great with cinnamon or pumpkin for nice fall touches:) Im feelin the fall season

  15. We heart chia seeds here! I regularly put them in oatmeal, pancakes, and all baked goods.
    Our Costco carries them sporadically, so I stock up whenever I see them.
    I assume you can substitute black chia seeds for the white (maybe not as pretty, but same result)?

  16. I’ve tried it before, it’s just not my thing. The texture squicks me out. I love them mixed into my granola & yogurt, though.

    • I totally get it! It’s a little strange. 😉

    • Kaitlin Jenkins says:

      Me too! I am so sad. I love chia in my smoothies, yogurt etc but tried this chia pudding last night and could not stomach it.

      I did let it soak overnight which perhaps was not the best idea, however that is what many of the recipes recommend AND was easier 😉

      Plan to try the ‘just an hour or so’ method mentioned here. I love tapioca pudding, so it wasn’t really the texture just the overwhelming not good flavor? I used almond milk so maybe I need to switch that us as well?

      Ai yai yai, can’t wait to see further versions as I plan to keep on trying it. I always feel great on the days I add it to my smoothies.

  17. I love this pudding, especially with some almond milk, oh wow. Can’t wait to try it.

  18. This looks beautiful. Thanks for linking my recipe above, I hope you enjoy it when you get a chance to make it. I’m looking forward to following your site, your food and photos look divine!

  19. For anyone interested, I recently posted a pretty thorough chia vs. flax comparison (nutrition, etc.) + a few chia recipes on my blog:

    Aime, whip up a batch of our “Berry Cherry Chia Jam” – it’s now a family favorite and might make a chia convert out of Mateo! 😉

  20. In the fridge right now! 🙂 I am looking forward to seeing how it comes out. I am also going to look for a less expensive source for chia seeds!

  21. Aimee this is genius! I love chia and this pudding is so purty!

  22. Today at the restaurant I whipped up chia pudding with seabuckthorn berries, coconut milk, lots of fresh ginger and maple. Super yum! It’ll be on the new fall menu. And it’s coincidentally my breakfast most mornings 🙂

  23. I’ve made an overnight oatmeal breakfast “pudding” for the kids and they really like it. Basically it’s oats, yogurt, water or milk, chia seeds, sweetener (jam, syrup, etc.), and then fresh fruit added in the morning. They really like it and it’s so easy to put it in the fridge the night before to have it ready in the morning. I’m not sure if they would dig the seedy-ness of this pudding, but the chia hide well in the oatmeal.

  24. For more information about chia seeds, and some recipe ideas, check out my website:

  25. Hello Aimee!!

    I love this! I have a bag of chia seeds a doctor recommended I purchase for my severe exhaustion but I haven’t found a recipe to use it. He said you can put it in yogurt or almost anything since it has a very neutral taste. I am addicted to Synergy drinks which are Kombucha based drinks and they have ones with Chia seeds that are amazing! It’s my energy boost, I’ve ditched the coffee!

    Have a great one! I will be trying this tonight!

  26. Looks different to what I’d usually go for – I may have to give it a try, giving the indisputable health benefits from the chia seeds. 🙂

  27. Isabelle Laplante says:

    Hello Aimée

    I’ve tried this recipe with black chian seeds and the texture didn’t turn out great. It was still pretty runny with big lumps in the bottom. Do you think it has to do with the color of the seeds? I am really looking for new breakfast ideas (now that I am gluten free and refined sugar free!) and was truly hoping this would become a new favorite! Thanks

    • Hi Isabelle,

      Good question. Sounds like it didn’t get a good enough stir at the beginning. Although I haven’t used black chia, I have made this recipe with brown and have achieved the same results.

      The next time, leave the bowl or jar out on the counter for about 30 minutes, and give it a whisk every once in a while when you pass by. Once you see the seeds starting to swell and gel, give it a final stir and place it in the fridge.

      It won’t ever be *really* thick, like rice pudding, but it should be spoonable. 🙂 I’ve taken to adding two big spoonfuls of pumpkin puree to mine and it makes it nice and thick.

      Good luck and congrats on your new food changes.

  28. Oooh, I’ve seen these floating around everywhere online and I now I’m thinking it’d be the best way to get rid of the leftover passion fruit pulp from NYE dessert 🙂 Think I’ll use coconut milk, though – let’s stick to a tropical theme. Thanks for the measurements! And I love your food photography 🙂

  29. Georgina says:

    Can I use soy milk instead?

  30. Great recipe, and perfect for non-dairy types of “yogurt” or pudding! I’m trying to do something different for the sweeteners…I used almond milk, almond extract and dried cranberries (about 1/4 cup)–fabulous! The sweetness of the cranberries melded perfectly! I’m guessing most dried fruits would have the same effect.

    Choco almond milk, cocoa powder and coconut is great too! (I did add some maple syrup to this 😉 )

    And using a flavored almond milk cuts the need for a sweetener altogether.

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