I’m sharing my new go-to breakfast recipe today—chia pudding. I’ve not been a big fan of chia puddings in the past (this creamy blended treat being the sole exception).
This citrusy version completely changed my mind about chia pudding. This vanilla-orange chia pudding tastes like sunshine in a bowl.
Now, I wake up craving chia seed pudding. Which is awesome, because I can make individual servings of chia pudding today, and enjoy them for the rest of the week. Breakfast is ready!
The Best Chia Seed Pudding
Fresh citrus, vanilla and honey are a perfect match for chia seeds. Especially when you’re using a base of creamy homemade cashew milk. You can also use store-bought almond milk or coconut milk, but I really love the rich, neutral flavor and creamy texture that cashew milk provides.
This easy recipe doesn’t require any cooking at all; it just needs an hour-long (or overnight) rest to give the chia seeds time to plump up. The resulting tapioca-like pudding tastes similar to a Creamsicle or an Orange Julius.
Watch How to Make Chia Pudding
My #1 Chia Seed Pudding Tip
You must stir the mixture early on to prevent clumps from forming. After you initially mix it together, let the mixture rest for about 15 to 20 minutes. Once the seeds have begun to gel, stir again.
Here’s why: As the chia seeds absorb moisture, they gel up and become somewhat sticky. If they stick together in a clump, they won’t plump up, and you’ll end up with a very disappointing clumpy-hard-but-wet mixture. So, just remember to stir!
How to Serve Chia Pudding
Enjoy this chia pudding for breakfast, dessert, or as a snack. It’s a creamy, filling, and healthy treat, no matter how you serve it.
Chia seeds are high in fiber and Omega-3’s. In fact, Aztec warriors relied on them for energy. This chia seed pudding will keep you going for a while!
More Chia Seed Recipes to Enjoy
- Creamy Chia Pudding
- The Easiest Berry Chia Jam
- Overnight Oats (Recipe & Tips)
- Toasted Oatmeal with Strawberry Chia Jam and Coconut Whipped Cream
- Tropical Acai Bowl
As always, please let me know how you like this recipe in the comments! I love hearing from you, and your star ratings encourage other readers to give this recipe a try.
My Favorite Chia Seed Pudding
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes (Plus 2+ hours' resting time)
- Yield: 1 serving 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Overnight
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
This creamy chia seed pudding recipe tastes like a creamsicle! You’re going to love this healthy gluten-free treat—enjoy as a snack, dessert or breakfast. Recipe yields 1 serving; multiply as necessary or see recipe notes for how to make 4 servings all together.
- 1 cup homemade cashew milk, almond milk or light coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon orange zest, preferably from an organic orange
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract, more to taste
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- Recommended toppings: drizzle of honey or maple syrup, sliced bananas, fresh or defrosted berries or my berry chia seed jam, shredded coconut, toasted chopped nuts…
- In a small jar (these are perfect) or bowl, combine the milk, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Taste, and if you’d like a more pronounced vanilla flavor, add another ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract. Be sure to measure out the extra vanilla extract rather than just pouring more in—it’s easy to go overboard.
- Whisk in the chia seeds. Let the mixture rest for about 15 minutes, then whisk the mixture again to break up any clumps. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or overnight), until the chia seeds have absorbed enough moisture to achieve a pudding-like state. If you think of it, give it a stir sometime along the way to break up any clumps of chia.
- Before serving, stir once again to break up any clumps of chia seeds. Serve with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup on top and any additional toppings you might like. This pudding will keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for about 5 days.
Make it vegan: Drizzle maple syrup on top instead of honey.
Make it nut free: Use a nut-free milk, and don’t top with nuts.
Change it up: I haven’t tried yet, but I bet this recipe would be tasty with other varieties of citrus zest as well.
To make 4 servings at once: Combine 4 cups milk, 2 teaspoons orange zest and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. Add up to ½ teaspoon more vanilla extract for a more pronounced vanilla flavor. Whisk in ¾ cup chia seeds, whisk again after about 15 to 20 minutes, and refrigerate overnight.
Recipe update 3/15/17: My recipe originally included orange juice for extra orange flavor, however, it’s come to my attention that the acidity level of orange juice can prevent chia seeds from plumping up—this depends on the pH of the orange juice and the other liquid involved. I’ve edited the recipe from the original ¾ cup milk, ¼ cup orange juice, and ¼ teaspoon orange zest to the recipe you see above. It’s just as good and more reliable! My sincere apologies to anyone who had trouble with it before—what you see up there now is actually how I’d been making the pudding in the first place, and I’ve verified that it works with all of the milk options provided above.
Emily T Huynh
I accidentally added too much zest–a whole orange worth. Could that be the reason my chia pudding is bitter?
Hi! That could be. You could try adding some salt and a little sweetener.
Make sure your zest doesn’t contain any of the white under the skin, only the orange part. The white is very bitter and will ruin the flavor of your zest.
Thought it was strange that this recipe just called for zest. Then I saw your explanation as to why. Have you tried it with the 3/4 cup milk and allowed the chia seeds to plump, then add in 1/4 cup orange juice? Just curious.
I made this salad this week and I’m already addicted to it. It’s so delicious!!! I love everything about it. I love arugula and I like beets, never thought of putting them together. Love the crunch of the pistachios and the radish, and the creaminess of the goat cheese. The dressing, amazing!
Perfect Chia Seed Pudding recipe! I’ve tinkered with many different ratios and your ratios are perfect! 1 tbsp chia seeds to 1/3 cup milk. My chia seeds from Nutiva never fails me. Gels up perfectly every single time.
It fully expanded when I checked after 3.5 hours, but I do like keeping them overnight. I love the orange zest here. I will be adding orange segments to top off my chia pudding – it’s citrus season after-all. Extra sunshine in a bowl :)
Thank you, CeeCee! I’m glad you loved it. Thanks for sharing your variation.
So I made your one serving chia seed pudding, it was very good! I used vanilla almond mild (didn’t have any extract). My only question is mine wasn’t as congealed as others in the past. Is it supposed to be runny or thick like actual pudding?,
Hi! Did you stir it at all in the chill process?
I made a bunch of this for my vegan food swap (6 individual jars and a tasting portion of a 3-serving recipe), and I found that 3 tablespoons of chia was too much chia proportionately–the pudding was too thick. Fortunately, an easy fix was available: adding whatever mylk I had on hand and stirring very well. Additionally, for the orange flavor, I added a heaping spoonful of frozen orange juice concentrate to the already set pudding and stirred it in. It was lovely! I will absolutely use this recipe again with my augmentations. Thanks Kate! (I’m going to do this again with frozen lemonade and either lemon extract or meyer lemon zest. Can’t wait!)
Loved it thanks so much ❤
I love this. Do you. Have a nutrition breakdown?
Hi Cath! The nutrition information can be found below the notes section of the website.
Yum! I made this with coconut cream and lime zest. It was delicious!
I’m happy you liked it, Nicky!
Do you think this recipe will work with oat milk? And if I use coconut milk, do. you recommend from the can or bought in the milk-style containers?
Looking forward to making this! I love your blog and cookbook – We rely on it for so many meals!
I didn’t try it with this, but you can try it. Let me know what you think!
Totally addicted – and that’s a good thing!
I love it! Thank you for your review, Kris.
In your recipe for 4 servings, it states 4cups milk to 3/4 cup of chia. Is this the right quantity of Chia seeds? I’m new to Chia puddings.
Hi, yes that would be correct if you were increasing the recipe amount x4. I hope you love it!
Can you add protein powder to this? And if so, do you add it before it sits overnight or do you stir it in when ready to eat?
Hi Eileen, I haven’t tired it so I can’t say for sure.
A tip on acidity … if you add a tiny punch of bicarb it will cut the acidity and the mix will gel perfectly.
I learned this when I owned a cafe and needed to cut the acidity in coffee to prevent soy milk curdling. I experimented with OJ and chia seeds with perfect results.
Thanks for the advice to go back and stir: I don’t usually do that and my chia pudding are always a bit more liquidy than I’d like. Will let you know how it turns out :-) Already giving 4 stars for your very clear instructions and for the “creamsicle flavour” idea: can’t wait to taste this!
Lovely recipe!! Made a smaller size for a snack (1/3 cup milk + 2 tbsp seeds) and the texture is perfect! Thanks for the tip to mix after it has started to gel, i think this is why my previous attempts were a but too liquidy. The taste is amazing: just like CreamSicles, I never thought of this flavour combo, it’s brilliant!!
I’m glad it was a great recipe for you, Annie! Thank you for your review.
Absolutely delicious! Easy to make ahead of time. I’ve used cashew as well as almond milk varieties, such as honey vanilla. I like extra vanilla and sometimes add a little orange blossom water and a touch of pink salt. Yum!
I’m glad you love it, Kelly! Thank you for your review.
I’m not a huge fan of zesty tastes so I added dessicated coconut and hazelnut coffee syrup instead. Served with chopped walnuts and banana………I’m hooked!!! My family love the original recipe so happy days! Thank you from the UK ❤
Great to hear, Tracy! I appreciate your review.
I made this to take to work the next day..it is delicious. This is my new go to. The orange zest is the best taste.
Excellent breakfast or brunch! I replace the zest with whatever fruit extract flavoring I have available (I have had success with high quality Orange, Lemon, and Lime extracts). I also break up the clumps every 5 minutes (up to 3 times) using a mini whisk as this gives me the desired consistency and result.
Thanks for the great recipe!!
I am thinking of making this, but only have cows milk at the moment. Should this be ok to use?
I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure. If you try it, let me know!
I tried this receipe and it didn’t form into a pudding texture. Did I do something wrong? Should I not put a lid on it? It was left over night and still milky with no thickness. The chia seeds also didn’t form into expansion.
Hi, did you stir it during the time you let it set at all? What milk did you use and were your chia seeds older?
I used cashew milk. I did stir it an hour later or so and repeat as o checked on it. It’s been about 20 hours now and the chia seeds finally expanded but not much. It’s still very liquidy. I tried it again today with regular 1% I hope this works. I was very excited to try this. Fingers crossed. Thank you
This is a great basic chia seed pudding recipe to build on using one’s own favourite flavour combinations! The texture was great so the ratio of milk and seeds is perfect. I’m not a fan of the orange zest flavour, though, so I will try a different one next time. Thanks for this great new staple in my breakfast rotation!