This simple warm chia seed pudding is made using only 5 ingredients, loaded with nutrients and all done under 5 minutes. Great for breakfast, snacking or as a light healthy dessert that you can flavor the way you want!
This quick and easy warm chia pudding is such a nutritional powerhouse! You will love its sweet, warm and creamy consistency, but what's even more amazing about this recipe is the heaping serving of good-for-you fiber, plant-based protein and healthy omega-3 fats that come with this treat. Plus, this version is made vegan, dairy-free and is naturally gluten-free!
But, you might already know how much I LOVE chia seed recipes. One of my favorite ways to enjoy them is in overnight oats or to make fruit chia jams. And more recently, I have been including them in lemon water to make a super tasty chia fresca. Add them to smoothies, breads, granola... and the list goes on. I even use them when making vegan burger patties! These tiny seeds are impressive in nutrients, but also super versatile and so fun to use in the kitchen.
So here is a simple vegan pudding using chia seeds that you will want to make over and over again. I do make chia seed puddings often by soaking the seeds in cold milk for a few hours, but this time I speeded up the process by "cooking" the mixture, which thickened the pudding within minutes. Plus, it delivered a cozy and warm chia porridge perfect for the fall and winter.
Have fun garnishing your bowl with all your favorite toppings and enjoy for breakfast, snack or even as a healthy dessert!
What is warm chia pudding
Let's do a little refresher on what are chia seeds to be able to understand how chia puddings work.
Chia is a tiny little seed found in the flowering plant from the same family of mint called Salvia Hispanica. It originates from Mexico, but now is harvested throughout Central and South America.
Its most impressive characteristic is that it can swell up to 10-12 times its weight when exposed to any liquid!
Once done soaking in a liquid, these seeds will then turn into a gel-like consistency or simply thicken the liquid to a degree that will depend on how much seeds you use.
This can be useful to make all sorts of pudding-like mixture that are loaded with powerful nutrients, but also in vegan baking to help keep baked goods moist and tender without using eggs.
Ingredients you'll need
- Chia seeds: any kind will work; the black, white or a mix of both.
- Plant-based milk: I used oat milk to make this pudding as it is naturally sweeter than other milks, but simply use your favorite kind! Try to use an unsweetened and unflavored kind so you can add your favorite flavoring ingredients yourself.
- Sweetener: I added maple syrup, but agave nectar or brown syrup would work too. I think any granulated sugar would work as well.
- Vanilla extract: adds such an amazing flavor to this creamy pudding, try not to omit it. If you end up using a flavored milk, then you might want to taste the pudding before adding vanilla.
- Cinnamon (optional): you don't have to add it, but I love cinnamon when making a warm pudding. It adds so much more warming vibe to my treat! 🙂
How to make it
In a small sauce pan, whisk together the chia seeds and plant milk until combined. You want to break up the clumps of seeds as much as you can.
Then, warm up on medium-low heat while whisking often. Keep on a low simmer for 3-5 minutes or until thickened to your liking, then remove from the heat.
Add your flavoring ingredients (vanilla extract, cinnamon and sweetener) and whisk well. Taste and adjust sweetener and also add more milk if needed to thin it out.
Garnish and serve
Divide the pudding in between 2-3 bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings such as fruits, seeds, granola, etc (see below for more ideas). Serve right away while still warm!
Watch how to make it
- This pudding thickens more as it rests. So, depending on your taste and also how quickly you eat it after it has simmered, then you might need to loosen up the consistency with more milk.
- I like to first simmer the chia + milk and then flavor it. I find it easier to get to the right consistency first before adding more ingredients.
- Don't over simmer the mixture. Not only will it get super thick, but the milk can also curdle if cooked too much.
Once you get the right ratio of milk/chia seeds, then there are so many ways to flavor it. Here are a few ideas:
- Warm chocolate chia pudding: Add 1.5 tablespoons of raw cacao powder (or more) and whisk well. You will also have to add a little more sweetener since cacao powder is pretty bitter naturally. Feel free to add a few vegan chocolate chips as well for a delicious dessert.
- Warm banana chia pudding: mash a whole banana on a plate using a fork and stir in the pudding. This will add lots of flavor, but also some natural sweetness. Add a splash of extra sweetener if needed. This version would pair well with the cinnamon and vanilla extract as well.
- Warm coconut milk chia pudding: swap the regular plant milk for canned coconut milk. This would give you a chia pudding that's more rich in fat and much creamier, but SO flavorful. Pair with diced pineapple and topped with shredded coconut for a nice tropical pudding.
- Matcha chia pudding: Add about ½ tablespoon of matcha powder and whisk well. Adjust sweetener to your taste.
- Very berry chia pudding: add about ½ cup of frozen (or fresh) berries to a medium pot with about ¼ cup of water. Keep uncovered and bring to a simmer to allow the fruit to thaw and soften (you can use the back of a spoon to crush the fruits as they simmer). Then, add the milk and chia seeds, stir and keep simmering for 3 minutes until thick. Taste and add sweetener to your liking.
Don't underestimate the garnishes! They add flavor, but also tons of fun texture to an otherwise soft pudding. There are endless ways to garnish your bowl, but here are some ideas for inspiration:
- Nut or seed butter: I love it with pumpkin seed butter, but good ol' peanut butter is great too.
- Fresh fruits: this pudding pairs so well with berries, such as raspberries, strawberries or blueberries. Thawed frozen fruits work as well if you don't have fresh fruits.
- Granola: I love topping this chia pudding with my homemade vanilla granola or my superfood turmeric granola.
- Chocolate chips or a drizzle of melted chocolate: amazing if serving as a dessert. In that case, top with bananas and chopped hazelnuts.
- Nuts or seeds: for a nice crunch. I used pistachios this time, but try chopped or slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, etc.
- Jam or marmalade: store-bought or chia jams are great to add more sweetness.
- Tahini caramel: for more sweetness, especially if serving as a dessert. This caramel sauce is done without cooking and within 2 minutes!
This recipe is great for meal-prep! You can make a big batch (keep it unflavored) and simply warm up individual portions with the flavoring ingredients of your choice. This way, you can vary the way you serve it throughout the week.
Store any leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 4 days. Keep in mind that the pudding will keep thickening while resting, which can easily be adjusted by adding a little extra milk before serving.
Also, you don't have to reheat the leftovers, eating it cold is perfectly fine! Perfect on-the-go healthy snack or even breakfast.
More vegan pudding recipes
- Avocado chocolate pudding
- Coconut pineapple chia parfait
- Flaxseed pudding
- Vegan raspberry mousse
- Barley porridge with strawberry compote
- Blue chia pudding
- Kiwi chia pudding
I hope you like this warm chia pudding as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Warm Chia Pudding
- 1¼ cup plant-based milk of your choice - I used oat milk
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1-2 tbsp sweetener (such as maple syrup) - or to taste
- In a small pot, combine the plant-based milk with the chia seeds and bring to a low simmer. Keep cooking for a 3-5 minutes while whisking or until thickened to your liking. Then, remove from the heat.
- Add the sweetener, vanilla extract and cinnamon and whisk to combine.
- Garnish with fruits, seeds, nut butter and granola and serve right away.
- Keep leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 4 days. Eat leftovers cold or reheat on the stove. Keep in mind that the pudding will keep thickening while resting, which you can adjust by adding more milk.
- Other ways to flavor the pudding:
- Chocolate: add 1.5 tablespoons (or more) or raw cacao powder and a little more sweetener to balance the bitterness.
- Banana: easy way to skip on adding any sweetener. Mash a banana on a plate using a fork and stir in the pudding.
- Tropical: use canned coconut milk instead of regular plant milk. Combine with chopped pineapple and shredded coconut.
- Matcha: add about ½ tablespoon of matcha powder and whisk well. Pairs well with vanilla extract.