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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.

Chia Pudding, blackberry in coconut shellTolimir/Getty Images

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.

melissa nieves pumpkin spice chia puddingCourtesy Melissa Nieves

Pumpkin Spice Chia Pudding

Nieves’ chia seed pudding recipe combines good-for-you chia seeds with coconut milk, pumpkin spice, and brown sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients in a mason jar or other container, combining well. Cover and refrigerate at least four hours or overnight. 

Chia seed puddingWhitestorm/Getty Images

Quick and Easy Chia Pudding

This pudding recipe, via Woolbright, couldn’t be easier. It can be made with either soy milk, almond milk, or rice milk, as well as with your favorite fruit toppings.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups unsweetened soy milk, almond milk, or rice milk
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

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.

Erin Palinski Wade Chia PuddingCourtesy Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE

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!

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup 2-percent cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup light prune juice
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds

Instructions:

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 Chia PuddingCourtesy Institute for Integrative Nutrition

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.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 2-3 tsp. pure maple syrup

Instructions:

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 chia seed pudding by susan bowermanCourtesy Susan Bowerman, M.S. RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Instructions:

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.

julie harrington chia seed puddingCourtesy Chef Julie Harrington, RD

Black Forest Chia Pudding

This pudding recipe, via Julie Harrington, RD, tastes so decadent you’ll forget it has health benefits, too.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Instructions:

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. 

adrienne raimo chia seed puddingCourtesy Adrienne Raimo, Integrative & Functional Nutritionist with One Bite Wellness

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Instructions:

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.

maria adams chia seed puddingCourtesy Maria Adams, MS, MPH, RDN

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!”

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Instructions:

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.

Sources
  • 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

Nadine Jolie Courtney
Nadine Jolie Courtney is an LA-based journalist covering travel, beauty/spa/health, lifestyle, family, and royalty. Her work has appeared in Oprah Mag online, Town & Country, Robb Report, Cosmo, Vogue online, Vanity Fair online, Harper's Bazaar online, and Angeleno, among many other publications.

A former beauty editor at Lucky, Ladies' Home Journal, and FHM, Courtney also spent years teaching blogging and social media classes through Mediabistro and FIDM. She is the author of ALL-AMERICAN MUSLIM GIRL, ROMANCING THE THRONE, BEAUTY CONFIDENTIAL, and CONFESSIONS OF A BEAUTY ADDICT.