This easy banana chia pudding is SO simple to make with just 4 ingredients! Everything comes together in a jar so all you have to do is shake it up & let it sit in the fridge. A great make-ahead quick healthy breakfast or sweet snack.
🍌 Reasons to love this recipe
I don’t know about you but when it comes to the first meal of the day, I am always in a low effort kind of mood.
And this banana chia pudding made with just 4 ingredients checks ALL the simple-breakfast boxes for me - it’s easy, sweet, and oh-so delicious.
It tastes like a cross between creamy tapioca pudding and banana cream pie but is naturally sweetened and packed with good-for-you ingredients.
The best part is all you have to do is add everything to a jar, shake it up, and let it soak overnight (or at least 2 hours) - that’s seriously it!
This recipe is already naturally gluten free, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian, refined sugar free and paleo but can easily be made nut free and whole30 friendly with a few simple ingredient swaps (all listed for you below!).
🥛 Ingredients you need to make it
Banana: Fresh bananas work best for this recipe, the riper the better (since they’ll be naturally sweeter!). But you could also use frozen bananas in a pinch. Just be sure to microwave them enough so they’re fork-smashable.
Chia seeds: A must have for chia pudding, the chia seeds are what will gel up and thicken the almond milk into a proper “pudding” like texture.
Almond milk: I used unsweetened almond milk but any other plant-based milk will work with this recipe - including cashew milk, oat milk, coconut milk, soy milk and hemp milk.
Vanilla extract: All you need is a little splash of vanilla to amp up the dessert flavors. You can also shortcut it by using vanilla almond milk.
Maple syrup: The banana adds natural sweetness to this chia pudding but you can also add a sweetener like maple syrup, honey, agave or liquid stevia drops. It's totally optional, but I love the extra maple flavor, so I always add it!
Cinnamon: The cinnamon is also entirely optional but helps lean into more of a banana bread chia pudding vibe if you’re into that!
For an even thicker and creamier version, try using full fat coconut milk in place of almond milk to really lean into the banana cream pie flavors!
💭 Top tips
Use a ratio of at least ¼ cup chia seeds for every 1 cup of milk: One of the biggest complaints I see about chia pudding is when it doesn’t turn out thick enough. So be sure you’re using the right amount of seeds for the texture you want.
Let them soak overnight if possible: Or if you’re short on time, let them soak for at least 2 hours in the fridge so they have enough time to gel up and soak up the almond milk.
Blend them for an even smoother texture: I love the tapioca pudding type of texture and light crunch that chia seed puddings have. But if you want a smoother pudding texture, you can either blend them (before or after soaking, either works). Or simply start by using ground chia seeds instead.
🍓 Toppings & ways to serve it
Fresh fruit: More sliced bananas, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, mango.
Nut or seed butter: Peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter, nutella.
Fun extras: Chocolate shavings, chopped peanuts, slivered almonds, drizzle of maple syrup, shredded coconut, jam or jelly, whipped cream (traditional or dairy free).
You can also layer this chia pudding with Greek yogurt and fruit to create a fruity, high protein chia pudding parfait!
For a boost of protein: Mix in some vanilla protein powder before letting them soak overnight (if using a sweetened protein powder, you may not need the maple syrup).
For a boost of healthy fats & fiber: Add a spoonful of nut butter or seed butter on top, or stir in some ground flaxseed.
For a lower sugar version: Omit the maple syrup entirely or use liquid stevia drops.
For a nut-free version: Use a nut-free milk like oat milk, coconut milk, hemp milk or soy milk.
For a chocolate banana version: Mix in 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and some chocolate chips before letting soak overnight.
For a chunky monkey version: In the morning, top with chocolate chips, peanut butter and walnuts.
🧊 Storage, Freezing & Meal Prep Tips
Chia pudding will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days in a tightly sealed and lidded container, so they’re a great make ahead meal prep staple!
Double the recipe to make 4 days of quick breakfasts or sweet snacks ready in the fridge all week. Either portion them into easy grab-and-go containers or just keep them in one large bowl so you can dish what you want the day-of.
Since they’re so easy to make, I prefer to prep and enjoy them in the same week but you can also freeze them for 1-2 months and thaw them in the fridge when ready to eat.
💬 Answering your chia pudding FAQ’s
Is chia pudding a good nighttime snack?
- Since chia seeds are a good source of healthy fats, fiber and protein they can be a great healthy snack for after dinner or anytime you’re craving something sweet. I also find that when I have something with protein and fat at night that it can help support healthy sleep habits.
What are the benefits of chia pudding?
- Chia seeds are filled with healthy fats, fiber and protein (all helpful for balancing blood sugar) - so chia pudding can be a nice option if you’re looking to add more of any of those to your daily diet.
Why didn’t my chia pudding get thick?
- Make sure you use the right ratio of chia seeds to liquid (in my testing that’s ¼ cup chia seeds for every 1 cup of almond milk) to be sure it gels up enough, and give it enough time to thicken in the fridge. If possible let it soak overnight or if you’re short on time, at least 2 hours.
Banana Chia Pudding
- Mason Jar
- 1 banana smashed with a fork
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- pinch of cinnamon
- Add your ingredients to a small lidded jar and shake until well combined (or if making in a large bowl, whisk together until well combined).
- Let soak in the fridge overnight (or for at least 2 hours), and enjoy chilled with all your favorite toppings.