Creamy, chocolaty, and packed with nutritious ingredients, this Chocolate Chia Pudding is the perfect breakfast, snack, or dessert! It’s easy to make ahead and can be topped however you please.
Why You’ll Love This Chocolate Chia Pudding Recipe
- It’s Incredibly Healthy. Chia seed pudding is really good for you. This recipe is made of super simple, natural ingredients that you can pronounce. It offers protein, fiber, and healthy fats and will keep you full and satisfied. Chia seeds contain antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and high levels of protein and fiber.
- It’s Versatile. Thanks to an array of toppings, you can eat chia pudding every morning and never tire of it! It’s equally as suitable for breakfast as it is for dessert. Top it off with a handful of chocolate chips and whipped cream (or whipped coconut cream if you’d like it dairy free), turn on your favorite playlist, and be transported to a mini chocolate escape.
- It’s the Ideal Meal Prep Recipe. Since it is prepped the night before and can last several days in the refrigerator (similar to this Overnight Steel Cut Oats Recipe), you can mix up a big batch of chia seed pudding and have healthy breakfasts at the ready all week long.
5 Star Review
“I’ve made several chia pudding recipes and this one is by far the best!”— Michelle —
What Does Chocolate Chia Pudding Taste Like?
For those who haven’t had it before, the taste and texture of chia seed pudding can be hard to visualize (taste-ualize?).
Here’s how I’d describe it.
- Chia pudding is creamy with just the slightest hint of seedy texture (similar to tapioca pudding).
- Once the chia seeds puff up and absorb the liquid they’re stirred together with, they will no longer be crunchy or hard.
- The chia seeds themselves have no flavor and take on the flavor of whatever items they’re mixed with. For this recipe, the chia pudding will have a deliciously rich chocolate taste. YES.
Looking for chia seed recipes that are not pudding? Check out all my delicious options here.
How to Make The Best Chocolate Chia Pudding Recipe
- Chia Seeds. The most essential ingredient. They are wonderful because there are so many nutrients packed into these tiny, low-calorie seeds. They also have the delightful effect of plumping when they absorb liquid, which creates the pudding consistency. Chia pudding is the best way to eat chia seeds!
- Almond Milk. You can make chia seed pudding with dairy milk, but I prefer to make almond milk chia seed pudding. Its more neutral, mildly nutty flavor and creaminess are made for chia pudding.
- Yogurt. I prefer my chia seed pudding with yogurt, as the yogurt adds additional protein to the recipe, making it even more filling. For a dairy-free option, use a coconut milk-based yogurt.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. For that intense chocolate flavor. As the recipe is written, this pudding is quite chocolatey. If you’d like to add more, do it very slowly (1/2 teaspoon at a time). A little goes a long way!
- Espresso Powder. Adding a bit of espresso powder to any chocolate dessert intensifies the chocolate’s flavor (it won’t make the dessert taste like coffee, unless you add a substantial amount). You can buy espresso powder at most major grocery stores or online here.
- Pure Vanilla Extract. To give the pudding complexity (plus vanilla chia seed pudding is delicious!).
- Sweetener of Choice. I used pure maple syrup. I prefer its flavor with chocolate more than other natural sweeteners, but you can certainly swap honey or agave. This recipe uses a very moderate amount. I recommend starting with the recipe as written, then adding more to taste if you’d like it sweeter.
- Pinch of Kosher Salt. A key ingredient, even in sweet recipes, to give the flavors balance and pop.
- Start Combining Ingredients. Mix the cocoa powder, espresso powder, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt.
- Whisk in the Milk and Yogurt. It should be smooth.
- Add the Chia Seeds. Chill the mixture for about 4 hours or overnight.
- Stir. Add desired toppings and serve!
Chia Seed Pudding Toppings
- Fruit. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries would be great with this recipe. A banana chia pudding would also be scrumptious.
- Nut Butter. Add a dollop of peanut butter or almond butter on top.
- Granola. Try Gluten Free Granola, Pumpkin Granola, Healthy Granola, Gingerbread Granola, or Chocolate Granola.
- Nuts. Chop your favorite nuts and sprinkle them on top.
- Maple Syrup. For added sweetness. Honey would be tasty too.
- To Store. Cover leftovers in a bowl or in small glass jars, and store them in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
- To Freeze. Yes, you can freeze chia seed pudding! Freeze it in small, airtight freezer-safe containers for up to 2 months. Let thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Meal Prep Tip
Chocolate chia pudding can last 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Mix some up on Sunday night, and you are good to go until Thursday or Friday.
What to Serve with Chocolate Chia Pudding
- Fruit. Pair your chia pudding with fresh fruit or this delicious Fruit Salad.
- Muffins. From Yogurt Muffins to Chocolate Muffins, you can’t go wrong!
- Eggs. Instant Pot Boiled Eggs, Egg Muffins, or Crustless Quiche would be tasty with this pudding.
- Smoothie. Serve your chocolate chia pudding with a Green Smoothie, Date Shake, or Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Small Whisk. This smaller-scale whisk is so much better at stirring ingredients together without them splashing all over the counter than standard whisks. So much so that I bought two and almost never use a standard-size whisk anymore.
- Cute Little Jars. Not necessary, but they do make breakfast and dessert more fun. A mason jar will work too.
- Clear Mixing Bowls. I love the variety of sizes in this set, that they stack for easy storage, and when I keep them in the fridge, I can see exactly what’s in them.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Use the Espresso Powder. Even if you don’t enjoy coffee, you will want to use espresso powder in this recipe. It truly intensifies the chocolate flavor and makes it even more scrumptious.
- Stirring Matters. After mixing all the ingredients together, you must make sure to stir everything together well. If the chia seeds aren’t evenly distributed throughout the pudding, clumps can form.
- Have Fun With Toppings! While this chocolate chia pudding is delightful on its own, toppings can really help take it to the next level (and allow you to personalize it!). See the blog post above for some of my favorite topping ideas.
- Use Yogurt AND Milk. While you can just add chia seeds to yogurt, I think incorporating milk helps the pudding reach the perfect consistency.
Chocolate Chia Pudding
For The Pudding:
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus 2 additional teaspoons
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup plus additional to taste
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder optional; will yield a more intense chocolate flavor
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or any milk you like
- ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- Fresh fruit whipped cream (YUM!), chocolate chips, granola, nuts, anything you like!
- Sift cocoa powder over a medium mixing bowl to remove any lumps. (I know–sifting is the worst, but you don’t want any lumps in your pudding.)
- Add the maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and espresso powder, and whisk slowly to combine. The mixture will seem very dry at first but will come together eventually and resemble a thick, fudgy sauce.
- Pour in a few splashes of the milk and stir gently to create a paste (this will help prevent lumps from forming). Then add the rest of the milk, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the Greek yogurt until smooth.
- Add chia seeds and whisk to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate overnight, or at least 4 hours, until the mixture thickens into a pudding-like consistency. I find it helps to whisk it once about 30 minutes in to make sure the chia seeds stay distributed in the mixture.
- Once set, stir the pudding once more. Scoop out your desired portion, and enjoy with any toppings. You can also portion the mix into jars and store them in the refrigerator for 4 additional days.
- TO STORE: Cover your chia seed pudding and place in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- TO FREEZE: Place your chia seed pudding in small, airtight freezer-safe containers and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Place your pudding in the refrigerator to thaw the day before you want to eat it.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Chia seed pudding is made by combining chia seeds—a tiny seed often considered a “superfood” for its impressive levels of fiber and protein—with a liquid (usually some kind of milk, either dairy or non-dairy), plus other optional flavor mix-ins. Overnight, the chia seeds plump as they absorb the liquid, and the mixture thickens into a pudding-like consistency. It’s culinary magic!
Chia seed pudding is generally served cold, BUT, you can also serve chia seed pudding warm! Before serving the pudding warm or cold, give it a big stir, then add any of your favorite toppings and mix-ins.
To Serve Warm: If you’d like to warm it up, place it in a microwave-safe container and gently microwave until warmed to your liking. You can also warm your chia pudding over low heat on the stove. I recommend adding in a splash of milk and stirring regularly.
This recipe can be scaled up or down, whether you’d like to make a big batch or just a few servings.
In general, I recommend the following chia seed pudding ratio:
– 1 part almond milk + ½ part yogurt + ½ part chia seeds, scant ¼ part sweetener.
For a serving of 4, use the following chia seed to milk ratio:
– 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice) + ½ cup yogurt + ½ cup chia seeds + 3 tablespoons sweetener
Try adding an additional 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. The extra amount will soak up more liquid and thicken the pudding further. Note: As you can see from the pictures, this pudding is already quite thick, but if you want it super solid, up the chia seeds in your chocolate chia seed pudding with Greek yogurt. If your pudding has already rested overnight, you’re ready to eat it, and you’d like it thicker immediately, add more Greek yogurt.