8 Chia Seed Pudding Recipes Nutritionists Love
Here's how to make homemade chia seed pudding with delicious and healthy recipes from registered dietitians and nutritionists.
What are chia seeds?
It’s no wonder that nutritionists love chia seeds. As protein- and fiber-packed nutritional wonders, chia seeds are a source of omega-3 fatty acids and high in antioxidants. They’re also full of bone-strengthening calcium, magnesium, and manganese.
“These tiny seeds pack a powerful punch,” says Akua Woolbright, PhD, national nutrition director for Whole Cities Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Whole Foods. “They can be blended into smoothies, stirred into yogurt, and used to make breakfast bars, cereals, or chia pudding. They can be sprinkled on salads, added to soups, stir-fries, and other cooked dishes. And they can be mixed into breads and a variety of baked goods, used as an egg replacer, and added to teas, lemonades, and other beverages.”
In short, chia seeds can be used in an almost endless combination of ways.
Chia’s nutty but subtle flavor makes them particularly good for blending into recipes. “Chia seeds are extremely versatile since they’re easily incorporated into many different types of foods without significantly altering the flavor,” says Melissa Nieves, RD, a registered dietitian at Kemtai, a personal trainer app. Chia seed pudding is an especially great way to eat chia, and the recipes are numerous.
Here are eight great chia seed pudding recipes you’ll love, courtesy of registered dietitians.
Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
Mix all ingredients in a mason jar or other container, combining well. Cover and refrigerate at least four hours or overnight.
Quick and Easy Chia Pudding
- 2/3 cup chia seeds
- 2 cups unsweetened soy milk, almond milk, or rice milk
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
In a mason jar, mix chia seeds; unsweetened soy milk, almond milk or rice milk; and vanilla extract. Screw the lid on tight, shake well and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, stir in dried fruit, unsweetened coconut flakes, cacao nibs, or fresh fruit.
Four-Ingredient Low-Carb Plum Cheesecake Chia Pudding
This dessert recipe satisfies your sweet tooth without added sugar, courtesy of Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, a registered dietitian in Hamburg, New Jersey, and author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet. And talk about easy. It calls for only four ingredients!
- 1/3 cup 2-percent cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup light prune juice
- 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
In a small food processor or high-speed blender, blend together the cottage cheese and strawberries until they are smooth. Slowly blend in light prune juice on a low speed until fully incorporated. Transfer the mixture into a lidded container (like a mason jar) and add in the chia seeds. Mix evenly and cover. Refrigerate for 24 hours to set. Serve chilled and enjoy.
Coconut Cardamom Chia Pudding
“I love this recipe because it is super supportive for gut health,” says Sheri Vettel, RD, a registered dietitian with Summerfield Custom Wellness. “Not only does it pack in fiber from chia seeds, it includes cardamom—a spice that has been traditionally used to provide relief from gas, nausea, and indigestion.”
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 1 tsp. ground cardamom
- 2-3 tsp. pure maple syrup
Soak the chia seeds in coconut milk for at least 10 minutes. Place the chia seed and coconut milk mixture in a blender along with the cardamom and maple syrup. Blend until smooth, approximately five minutes. Enjoy immediately or cover and chill in the refrigerator until cool before serving.
Mango Coconut-Lime Protein Pudding
This fruity, tropical-style pudding, courtesy of Susan Bowerman, RD, combines mango, coconut flakes, and lime juice with chia seeds and coconut milk for a healthy and refreshing snack. It works equally well as breakfast or as dessert.
- 3 tbsp. vanilla protein powder
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup light coconut milk
- 1½ cups mango chunks
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- 2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
- 4 tbsp. chia seeds
- Fresh fruit, for topping (optional)
Place all ingredients except chia seeds and fruit in a blender and blend until smooth. Stir in chia seeds. Divide mixture among two pint-sized mason jars. Cover with mason jar lids or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least four hours to allow pudding to set. Top with fresh fruit, if desired.
Black Forest Chia Pudding
This pudding recipe, via Julie Harrington, RD, tastes so decadent you’ll forget it has health benefits, too.
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 2 tbsp. raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder)
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (such as almond milk)
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1/2 cup frozen dark cherries, thawed
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 tbsp. cacao nibs
In a small bowl, whisk together chia seeds, cacao powder, almond milk, and maple syrup. Divide mixture into two containers. Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight for the mixture to thicken. Top each serving of chia pudding with 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup cherries, and half tablespoon cacao nibs.
Spiced Vanilla Chia Pudding
Courtesy of Adrienne Raimo, RDN, an integrative and functional registered dietitian nutritionist with One Bite Wellness, this almond milk-based recipe includes delicious spices and ingredients like vanilla, maple syrup, and cinnamon, making it the perfect snack for cold autumn days by a roaring fire.
- 2 cups almond milk
- 6 tbsp. chia seeds
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 1/4 cup fruit (raspberries, strawberries, and kiwi work well)
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or until set. Garnish with cinnamon, fruit, cacao beans, and a drizzle of honey if desired.
Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
Shared by Maria Adams, RDN, this vegan chocolate chia seed pudding makes a fun dessert or snack. Made with chia seeds, cocoa, and dates, it’s a great way to add extra fiber to your diet. It’s also kid-approved. “This chocolate chia seed pudding will satisfy your chocolate craving and the kids’ request for dessert,” says Adams. “You don’t have to tell them it’s actually kind of good for them!”
- 3/4 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
- 1½ cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other milk)
- 4-6 pitted Medjool dates (or 2 tbsp. maple syrup)
- 2½ tbsp. unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- Fresh berries, coconut whipped cream, vanilla cashew cream, unsweetened coconut flakes, or cacao nibs for topping (optional)
Combine first five ingredients in a blender until dates are completely blended. If using maple syrup, whisk by hand. Mix in the chia seeds, blending until just combined. For a smoother pudding, blend until chia seeds are broken down. Divide among four glasses or bowls. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or up to two days.
- Akua Woolbright, PhD, national nutrition director for Whole Cities Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Whole Foods
- Melissa Nieves, RD, based in Puerto Rico and virtual personal trainer company Kemtai
- Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, a registered dietitian in Hamburg, New Jersey, and author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet
- Sheri Vettel, RD, a registered dietitian with Summerfield Custom Wellness
- Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND, senior director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training, Herbalife Nutrition
- Julie Harrington, RD, a registered dietitian and chef in New Jersey
- Adrienne Raimo, RDN, Integrative & Functional Nutritionist with One Bite Wellness
- Maria Adams, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist and founder of Halsa Nutrition