Learn how to make chia seed pudding without a recipe. In this step-by-step tutorial, discover the chia pudding ratio for seeds to milk, fruit and toppings for a satisfying breakfast.

Devon O'Brien
July 27, 2017
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As a mason jar breakfast lover who often gets into ruts of eating the same thing every day, chia seed pudding is saving my life. So what is chia seed pudding anyway? It's ...

1. Crazy easy to make–just a mix of chia seeds and nut milk, soaked overnight to turn into a creamy pudding sort of like tapioca pudding, no cooking necessary.

2. Not actually pudding, despite its name. It's more reminiscent of a healthy breakfast parfait similar to fruit and yogurt or overnight oats (my breakfast go-tos, until now!).

3. A surprising mix of textures from the creamy chia pearls that offer a surprising crunch from the seed at the end.

4. Perfectly portable-just layer it up in a mason jar in the morning for a packable breakfast or snack for work.

Follow these simple steps to see just how easy it is to make delicious breakfast combos of your own without combing through chia pudding recipes.

Step 1: Ch-ch-ch-chia!

You can't have chia pudding without chia seeds. One serving starts with just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, so don't let the cost of a bag of chia seeds turn you away-that bag of chia will go far. Plus, this superfood packs in 3 more grams of fiber and 4 more grams of healthy omega-3 fats per serving than oatmeal.

Pictured recipe: Apple Cinnamon Chia Pudding

Step 2: Liquid

This is where the true beauty of chia pudding comes in–it fits into most diets. If you're vegan or dairy-free you can use nut milk, if you have a nut allergy you can use rice or soy milk and if you are a dairy-loving freak like me, you can use dairy milk and even a little bit of Greek yogurt. Really 1/2 cup of any liquid should do the trick. Just be aware that some milks set up more than others due to varying protein and fat content, so you may get away with just a 1/4 cup of liquid or you may need to add just a little more to achieve the texture you like best. These are our favorites:

  • unsweetened almond milk
  • unsweetened coconut milk
  • unsweetened cashew milk

Pictured recipe: Chai Chia Pudding

Step 3: Flavor up!

If chia pudding becomes your new go-to grab-&-go breakfast, don't be afraid to get away from the same old sweetener of your choice. It's so easy to add a little bit of sweet and spice to your milk and chia mixture for an ultra-flavorful pudding. If you use a flavored milk like vanilla almond milk, you may want to skip this step, otherwise, sweeten things up with just 2 teaspoons of the following:

  • pure maple syrup
  • honey
  • sugar
  • brown sugar
  • jam

To take the flavor punch to the next level, add up to 1 teaspoon of one of these boosters:

  • vanilla extract
  • almond extract
  • coconut extract
  • cocoa powder
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground cardamom

Stir this combo together in a bowl, then pop it in the fridge overnight. In as little as 8 hours, your chia pudding will be thick, creamy and ready for topping.

Pictured recipe: Mango Coconut Chia Pudding

Step 4: Top it off!

After soaking, chia seeds make a pudding with a dynamic creamy texture. Now, add some toppings to create even more delicious flavor and add heft for a satisfying breakfast or snack. Mix up the soaked mixture and layer it-in a jar (to take on the go!) or in a bowl-with chopped fruit, to sweeten up the mixture even more without extra added sugars, and a sprinkle of toasted chopped nuts for crunch and a little extra protein. Mix and match 1/2 cup of fruit, such as:

  • raspberries
  • blueberries
  • blackberries
  • sliced banana
  • diced apple
  • diced mango

And try 1 tablespoon of nuts, like these:

  • sliced almonds
  • chopped pistachios
  • chopped pecans
  • flaked coconut

Now that you have the only chia seed pudding recipe you'll ever need, you can make as many flavor combinations you can think up!