Vanilla Chia Pudding

I love a good make-ahead breakfast, especially these days. I’ve gone back to work at the hospital and getting myself and everyone out the door on time and fed in the morning takes a bit of planning. Anything we can do the night before (or several nights even, in this case) we do: bags packed, clothes picked, breakfast and lunches made.

Chia puddings are perfect to make ahead for the week and have for either breakfast, or a snack. I like to make small puddings to pack as a snack for my daughter and parfaits with yogurt and fruit for me. If you’ve never tried chia pudding before, the chia seeds absorb liquid and swell creating a pudding-like texture that’s similar to tapioca (only the chia seeds are much smaller than tapioca). If you don’t like the texture of chia seed pudding, you can always through the ingredients in a blender and let stand for a couple hours before serving – it will thicken up, but the pudding will be smooth.

This recipe allows you to customize your chia pudding to meet your preferences. There’s a list of suggested toppings to add, and it scales up well. Don’t let my suggestions limit you either – feel free to add whatever you think you will enjoy with your chia pudding.

Let me know if you try the recipe – and be sure to take a picture and tag it #vancitynutrition on Instagram. I’d love to see what you make from it!

Vanilla Chia Pudding

A quick and simple make ahead breakfast, snack or dessert.
PREP TIME10 mins
Resting Time2 hrs
TOTAL TIME2 hrs 10 mins
COURSE: Breakfast, Dessert
CUISINE: American
KEYWORD: Make Ahead
YIELD: 1 large pudding (or 2 small)


  • 1 cup unsweetened milk of choice
  • cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp maple syrup, optional
  • Optional toppings, see below

Topping Suggestions

  • Diced fresh fruit
  • Fruit compote
  • Granola
  • Plain or vanilla yogurt
  • Hemp hearts
  • Grated coconut
  • Dried fruit
  • Nut or seed butter


  • In a medium mixing bowl, add all ingredients (except toppings if using) and whisk together well. Let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes. In this time it will start to thicken up.
  • Stir again to redistribute the chia seeds evenly. If you plan to portion out into smaller containers and add toppings, do so now. Let the pudding set for at least 2 hours or up to overnight before adding toppings. You can also leave the pudding in the mixing bowl and spoon into serving bowls just before eating.
  • Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

For Parfaits

  • Choose as many toppings as you would like to customize your chia pudding parfait. My personal favourite is layering yogurt on the bottom, followed by chia pudding, then topping with fruit compote.


Use chocolate milk of your choice for a sweet chocolate chia pudding.

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