You may have already tried my chocolate avocado pudding, but if you’re not a fan of avocado, this Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding is for you. It’s quick & easy to prepare, and has a rich chocolate flavor!
Is Chia Seed Pudding Healthy?
This pudding reminds me a little bit of tapioca pudding, only this one is made with chia seeds, which are loaded with antioxidants, plant-based protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber.
They have so much fiber, in fact, that a 1-ounce serving of chia seeds has only 2 “net” carbs. (Net carbs are the total carbohydrate count minus the fiber.) This pudding also has 8 grams of plant-based protein per serving.
Benefits of Chia Seeds
What’s so great about chia seeds? Here are a few reasons why I love them.
- Chia seeds are high in fiber, with a 1-ounce serving containing 10 grams. A 2015 study suggests that eating 30 grams of fiber daily may help with weight loss, when compared to following a more complicated diet routine.
- Chia seeds are high in antioxidants, which may help prevent free radical damage in the body. (source)
- Chia seeds also contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which may help to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. (source)
- Chia seeds are a good source of calicum, and contain no cholesterol.
Thanks to that fiber, chia seeds can leave you feeling full longer, so I think they make a great addition for breakfast or a healthy snack.
How to Make Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
Making this pudding is incredibly easy. All you need to do is stir together the chocolate milk ingredients— almond milk, cacao powder, maple syrup, and a splash of vanilla– and then pour that over the chia seeds.
Use a whisk to make sure the chia seeds will get evenly coated with the chocolate milk mixture, then transfer the pudding mixture to the fridge to thicken up! The pudding should be ready to serve in roughly 15 to 20 minutes, but you can also keep it in the fridge for several days, as an easy make-ahead meal.
How to Thicken Chia Pudding
If you have a chia pudding that won’t thicken up, or has a runny consistency, there are a few ways to fix that. Hopefully the following tips will prevent it from happening in the first place!
- Use a whisk to stir the pudding. For some reason, the whisk does a better job of breaking up the chia seeds. A whisk will make sure the seeds get evenly coated with the liquid, so that they can gel and expand.
- Use the proper liquid ratio. Some chia pudding recipes will call for too much liquid. I like using a ratio of of 1 tablespoon of chia seeds for every 1/4 cup of liquid. (Not including flavorings, like maple syrup.)
- Add more chia seeds and stir again. If you have a runny chia pudding, you can always add more chia seeds to help it thicken up! Make sure you use a whisk again to stir it together, then wait for it to thicken.
- Blend the pudding. If your chia pudding didn’t thicken up, add it to a blender and blend until smooth. It will be thicker that way, with a more authentic, smooth pudding texture.
If you don’t love chocolate pudding, try my easy make-ahead chia pudding recipe or vanilla chia pudding as an alternative, too.
Tips for Blended Chia Seed Pudding
If you don’t like the texture of chia seeds, you can blend chia pudding to create a smooth consistency. Just add all of the ingredients to a blender, including the chia seeds, and blend until smooth.
Note: One thing to keep in mind about blended chia seed pudding, is that the blending process makes the chia seeds have a stronger flavor. I like to add an extra tablespoon of maple syrup to help combat this, when making the blended version, and you might want to add a little extra cacao powder, too.
How to Make Chia Seed Pudding without Added Sugar
In the recipe below I’ve made it as easy as possible to prepare this pudding by using maple syrup. It’s easy to measure and takes just minutes to stir together.
However, I’ve also made this pudding with dates instead, for a 100% fruit-sweetened option. You can replace 1 tablespoon of maple syrup with 2 dates, and then make the chocolate milk in a blender before pouring it over the chia seeds, to make sure the dates are totally broken down.
I think it’s important to note that studies have classified dates to be a low-glycemic food (source), and have found that even diabetics can consume them without significant glucose spikes (source). I personally find date-sweetened desserts to leave me feeling more balanced after I eat them, too– in other words, I can enjoy a portion, but don’t feel like binging on more sweets later!
Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding (only 4 ingredients!)
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (almond, oat, hemp, etc.)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup (see notes for date substitution)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- In a mixing bowl (with a pour spout, if possible) combine the milk, 2 tablespoons of cacao powder, and 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Taste the mixture, and add more cacao powder or maple syrup to taste. Keep in mind that the chia seeds will dilute the chocolate milk flavor slightly.
- To make two individual servings, pour 2 tablespoons of chia seeds into two separate storage jars that have lids. Divide the chocolate milk between the two containers, and then use a whisk to mix well. (Alternatively, you can add the chia seeds to the chocolate milk mixture to stir well, then pour the chia pudding into the storage containers-- it's totally up to you!)
- Transfer the pudding to the fridge to thicken up, for at least 15 minutes, but it will get even thicker the longer it chills. You can make this pudding up to 3 days in advance as a make-ahead meal option, as long as you store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
Chia pudding nutrition info above is for one serving, using 2 tablespoons of maple syrup.
- You can make this chia pudding recipe with almond milk, oat milk, hemp milk with great results.
- If you’re not vegan, you can replace the maple syrup with honey, instead.
If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it! And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too. We can all benefit from your experience.
Reader Feedback: Have you tried chia pudding before? This chocolate version is a great way to get kids to try it, too!
Questions and Reviews
That is really helpful to know – I was not sure about the sugar content of dates but had never bothered to research it – thanks for saving me a job:) This looks lovely – does the bits of chia seed disappear after blending?
Absolutely, I’ve avoided medjool dates because I thought they were loaded in sugar and would just cause me problems (I’m hypergycemic). When I consume too much sugar, I feel dizzy and like I’m going to faint. Not good! Tried various spins on puddings with the avocado’s but I can’t warm to them. Love how this chocolate pudding leaves them out! So eager to try and with the medjool dates ~ I’m getting over my fear that it will spike my blood sugar. Thanks!
Fibre and fat curb the insulin spike induced by high-glycemic/sugar foods.
If you eat an apple by itself, for example, your blood sugar would rise more than if you ate that same apple with a few spoonfuls of nut butter.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but this is the reason behind the notion that eating a croissant is better than eating a piece of plain, white bread for blood sugar. The fat in the former curbs the insulin spike more than in the latter, which has no fat (or fibre).
That is also a good reason to go Paleo, being a Diabetic is not a disease, it is a condition you can get rid of! 🙂
ONLY if you’re Type 2!
I just made it and it was amazing! It’s the best chocolate pudding I have eaten. And yes, the chia seeds disappear after blending. Thanks for the recipe!
Wow! that looks so good and I have everything to hand. I eat dates in moderation because they are loaded with fiber and promote healthy bowel movement.
I love dates, but they are so loaded with sugar that whenever I eat them I start shaking. Whenever I eat too much of any sugar…ore than 10 g at a time, I get a major reaction. Because dates are so loaded with sugar they always cause quite a big reaction. No dates for me. I stick to using bananas to sweeten things, and stevia too.
Can I use almond milk or coconut milk .. Would it still be good
yes, I used almond milk…it was yummy!
if it’s a real creamy pudding texture I will try it. Everytime I have tried to make chia pudding the chia makes is vey thick and it makes me wanna gag because pudding is supposed to be smooth and creamy and nothing else. So nervous to try
I was wondering how you got it to look so creamy. I do not like the seedy, grainy texture of some chia pudding recipes. This sounds fabulous and looks decadent.
I just made this with maple syrup as I did not have dates at hand – it was GREAT! I also added some dark chocolate to have that “chocolate chip” texture. Growing up, i loved snack pack but now that i know what’s in that thing, I could never have that again although i did miss the texture and taste of it from time to time. THANK YOU for the recipe – it was great!
Delicious. Thank you.
Made this today and served it up with fresh strawberries. Its been forever since I had a good chocolate pudding! Kids ate it up and asked for more. Thanks for another great recipe Megan!
Made this last night. It amazes me how something so easy and healthy is as good or better than any pudding I’ve ever had. My kids loved it! Good to know about the dates. They are my favorite sweetener.
Made this last night! Was delicious! Thanks.
I love chia seeds and have been wanting to try a pudding for a long time now, but all the recipes I’ve seen look like lumpy tapioca-type puddings- what a good (and probably obvious) idea to put it in the blender! Thanks for the recipe!
Never thought to blend a chia pudding after letting it set to make it smooth! And ugh— I hear all the time from clients “grapes are too high in sugar” or “bananas spike my blood sugar!” And yet they will still eat an Oreo! It’s just an excuse to not eat fruits in my opinion.
Ohh this looks delicious, I can’t wait to make it! I’ve stayed away from chia seed puddings in the past because I didn’t love the texture, but love that this is blended! And that it uses dates as a sweetener because I’m off of all refined sugars right now!
Just made this and its yummy! I used coconut milk and added an extra tablespoon of cocoa to a doubled recipe. I made it with my food processor because my nutribullet can’t handle the dates unless they’re pre soaked. I may try soaking the dates and chia seeds in the coconut milk overnight before I make next time. What I love about making vegan desserts is it’s always safe to lick the bowl!
Hi there – just tried this and added 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries … delicious!!! Thank you 🙂
I just made this and although I love all the ingredients independent, as a pudding it had a very strange taste. One son and my husband liked it and one son and myself didn’t. It had such an off flavor that I’m guessing was the chia seeds. My friend made it also and had same thoughts.
I noticed a bit of bitterness. I think it comes from blending up the chia seeds. This is my first time blending chia seeds and my first time combining them with chocolate. I’ll have to try making them whole with chocolate and see if it still feels a little bitter on the tongue. Still very good though. Didn’t stop me from licking all the spoons and dragging the blender for any goodness left:))))
Sometimes I think the cacao is a bit bitter and along with blended seeds might make it even more bitter.
This is so delicious!!! My 12 month old loves it also!!! It was a yummy treat for her
Just made this and it’s absolutely yummy! I had delget dates, not sure if they are less sweet than the ones in the recipe, but thry are perfect! I put it all into my nutribullet and it was whipped up in no time. It’s in the fridge now chilling for af ter dinner.
this is my first recipe I’ve made from the site and I’m looking forward to making more. I’ve recently changed eating habits and it’s sites like these that make the change less confusing and much easier. Thank you thank you thank you!
I am making this today but am using organic raisins. No worries. If anything has chocolate or a faint hint of sweetness, it’s good to me. 🙂
I made this last night and loved it. I used almond milk. I also made a raspberry sauce simply by taking a handful of fresh raspberries and pushing them through a small stainless sieve with the back of a spoon. The tartness of the raspberry juice made a great combination with the sweetness of the chocolate. I also added a handful of cacao nibs to the blender while the pudding was mixing. FANTASTIC
Oh my God! This is so delish!
I made this pudding tonight and it was delicious. Although I like the texture of unblended chia seed pudding this blended recipe is better. I will definitely make it again.
If you are using a nutribullet (like moi), I recommend doing the extra step where you soak all the ingredients together for at least 30 minutes. My little blender wasn’t quite up to blending the chewy dates and crunchy little seeds very well so next time I’ll take that precaution. Also had to add extra date, cocoa and vanilla to really combat that oily/flaxy chia taste (am I the only one that loathes it?).
I’ve made this pudding twice now. The first time I made it exactly as described and both my husband and I had a taste. We both agreed it needed a little honey (perhaps we have more of a sweet tooth than we thought!) I made this again last night and again added honey, and then, to make it even more decadent, added a tablespoon of all natural peanut butter. I put both bowls of pudding in the freezer to get them nice and cold, which made this almost like ice cream! I wasn’t able to get the consistency/texture quite as smooth as the pictures show, but that might be because my blender is on its last leg. Regardless, this recipe is super quick and easy and has a nice rich flavor.
I’ve tried this over and over again and can’t get rid of the bitter taste. I guess it’s the chia seeds. What should I do?
It would be the cocoa powder try adding some more dates or sweetener in.
This is the best chai pudding I’ve tried!
Is this something you could freeze?
Hmm… I’ve never tried that so I can’t say for sure. It’s probably worth a shot!
Looks delicious! Also, do you mind sharing where you got those perfect, little glass serving cups/bowls?? 😀
I bought them at Sur la Table. 🙂
made this on a whim and was surprised how good it was! I let the dates sit out of the fridge for about an hour or so and soaked them before mixing them with the other ingredients in my nutribullet. i did add a tablespoon of honey and it is so delicious! a must try.
This looks fab!! But, I stopped consuming dates because dates are very high in fructose. That’s the type of sugar I’m trying to avoid. I’d definitey replace dates with something with low/no fructose
The fructose in fruit is very different from the fructose used in lab studies. (To isolate the fructose for research, they must use man-made fructose such as table sugar or HFCS.) Research that looks at dates, rather than just isolated fructose, have shown HUGE benefits to including them in your diet, including benefits for diabetic patients, those trying to improve fertility, and amazing benefits for pregnant women. I aim to eat 4-6 dates a day, and I have less sugar cravings than ever and all of my blood work has improved.
Thank you for your reply, Megan!! There are lots of conflicting articles out there, confusing everyone including myself! I get my dates back in my diet! Thanks again!
I threw this in my Popsicle mold to make fudgcicles… And I’m telling you. It’s a close rival to your avacado based Fudgesicles! So good! I hope you try it. This pudding recipe is really versatile!!
This was delicious! And I love desserts where I don’t have to cook anything – especially in summer. I decided to try adapting this to a butterscotch flavor tonight with the following changes: omit cacao powder, doubled rest of ingredients, added 1 tablespoon almond butter, pinch of salt, teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract, reduced coconut milk by a couple tablespoons. Turned out pretty good.
This is by far my new favorite snack/desert/breakfast! I threw in some nut butter and it was so tasty!
What a great idea to crush the Chia seeds in a high speed blender! That’s the way I really like Chia pudding. Next time I’ll try a banana instead of dates, I am sure that this is also very tasty! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!
Can I add a tbsp of nut butter? How do you think it will taste then? I really want to put it but I’m scared if it’s gonna be good or not D:
I don’t think you’d notice the flavor of the nut butter if you totally blend it with the other ingredients, but maybe you could “swirl” it in at the end? I think that sounds good!
I LOVE this recipe! It tastes just like a regular chocolate pudding. I just tried an experiment to make lemon chia pudding based off of this recipe and it worked wonderfully! I used 1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice and the zest, 1/2 cup soy milk, 60 g medjool dates (about 3 large), 2 tbsp chia seeds, and vanilla bean paste. The lemon flavor is strong enough that you don’t taste the chia seeds at all and it tastes comparable to a rich cashew-based pudding. So creamy and delicious! Thanks for the recipe!
I love lemon desserts! Thank you for sharing. I’ll have to try that soon!
Incredibly tastey – made it with coconut cream and 5 dates and even my daughter loved it . Thanks for a fabulous dessert pudding . I used the Ninja and had no problems whatsoever.
Yum. I added a teaspoon of honey for the pudding for my son. I added cayenne pepper to mine because I love dark chocolate and chilli. Will be making this again. Thanks for sharing.
I absolutely LOVE this recipe and always double it, and this week added 1 Tblsp. of raw cacoa nibs and just when I thought it could not get any better it did! Thank you for the amazing recipes!
***** Made this today as is .. Yummy! Did soak Chia in Almond milk Succes with all !! Served and he loved as much ss I did & he’s of the ‘ol fashioned school’ lol😊 Awesome thank you again – next time I’ll add chopped pineapples..(sweetness texture)
I just made this recipe. I love It! I actually enjoy the chia seed texture, so I wasn’t worried about blending it smooth, just mixed and the date broke down.
I chopped up 2 figs and a tbs or so of almonds and added them on top. It was so good. Reminded me of Rocky Road ice cream.
Delicious! I doubled the recipie and used a full can of reduced fat coconut milk, added a hint of cinnamon too. Dates are amazing, thank you!
I made this according to the recipe vita mix but also let everything soak for 20 minutes before blending. An hour later and the flavor is good but it’s still runny. Any idea why mine is and everyone else seems to have thicker results? Thank you!
I was wondering if i’d be able to substitute the chia seeds for flax seed?
Yes, I think so– but I think the flavor might be different, so feel free to adjust that to taste as you go. And I think flax seed might have to be ground to “gel” the way chia seeds do. I use a coffee grinder to do that!
Omg! I must admit i was a little skeptical when i read this, but it is so yum! It seriously tastes like chocolate yogo/custard, and i dont have to feel guilty for eating it. Thanks! 😊
Thank you Megan !
This recipe is awesome! Thanks so much! I made it today for the 2nd time as a Valentine’s Day treat. This time, I had put everything but the dates in the blender, and then I realized someone in my house had eaten the last of our dates! Fortunately, I had date paste in the fridge, so I put in 2 TBSP of date paste instead of the 4 Medjool dates. I was a little worried it might mess with the consistency, but it was perfect! I also added a little bit of sea salt, and that was a nice addition. I think I like this batch better than the first one, which I didn’t think was possible!