This Overnight Chia Pudding with Fruit is an easy make-ahead breakfast that’s packed with protein and perfect for meal prepping!
Chia Pudding has been on my list of things to make for years now, but for some reason I never got around to it.
Then one Sunday night as I was planning our meals for the week, I came across Chungah Rhee’s collection of easy, colorful overnight chia pudding recipes in her Damn Delicious Meal Prep Cookbook. It was the inspiration I needed to get to the kitchen and whip up a batch of chia pudding for myself.
I was easily able to adapt the recipe with the milk, sweetener, and fruits I had on hand. 15 minutes later I had four single serve breakfasts ready to go in the fridge! That’s some serious bang for your meal-prepping buck!
The next morning, I pulled a cup from the fridge and took my first bite. Wowza. It was rich and creamy, lightly sweet and quite filling, but not heavy.
Of course, the real test was my husband. When I told him I’d made chia pudding, he raised a skeptical eyebrow, but being the good food blogger husband that he is, he tried it anyway.
A couple of bites later he called, “Hey, I like this breakfast goop you made!” followed by, “I feel like I’m eating space food!” which may be the strangest and best compliments I’ve ever received.
Needless to say, the chia pudding was a raving success. In this post, I’ll share more about the benefits of chia seeds, and teach you how to meal prep your own healthy Overnight Chia Pudding!
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are tiny black seeds which are able to absorb 9 times their weight in liquid. Talk about space food!
The benefits of chia seeds are many, including being high in antioxidants, fiber, calcium, and omega-3s. They’re also a good source of protein, which makes them an excellent way to jump start your day.
Chia seeds’ unique ability to absorb liquid makes them a great thickening agent in Berry Chia Seed Jam or Lemon Blueberry Chia Seed Vinaigrette. They can also add crunch to things like Rosemary Parmesan Chia Crackers, or Oven Baked Chicken Tenders.
Of course, my personal favorite way to get a healthy helping of chia seeds is to turn them into a rich, creamy chia pudding!
How to Make Chia Pudding
The Chia Pudding Ratio
Chia pudding is made by combining chia seeds and liquid and letting the seeds soak until the mixture is thick and pudding-like in consistency.
There is no magic chia pudding ratio. A 1:4 ratio of chia seeds to liquid (or 1/4 cup chia to every 1 cup liquid) will make a very thick pudding. A 1:8 ratio (or 2 tablespoons per cup) will be thinner and almost drinkable. I like mine right in between, with about 3 Tablespoons of chia seed per cup of liquid. Feel free to experiment to find your perfect consistency!
Making the Chia Pudding:
Combine the chia seeds with the liquid and stir well. I like to stir it a few times over a period of 5-10 minutes to make sure the chia seeds don’t clump together.
Any kind of liquid can be used to make chia pudding. Dairy milk, non dairy milks, and yogurts are all great options. I personally like to make chia pudding with yogurt and coconut milk. Greek yogurt adds extra protein and also makes an extra creamy chia pudding.
You can also add spices, sweeteners like maple syrup or honey, vanilla extracts, and citrus zest or juice to the chia and liquid combo.
Can I Soak Chia Seeds Overnight?
Absolutely! This is actually my preferred method for making chia pudding.
Chia pudding thickens in 15-20 minutes, but I love the ease and time savings of soaking chia seeds overnight.
To make overnight chia pudding, stir the ingredients together, give it a shake or stir after 5 minutes, then seal the container and refrigerate until morning. It’s the perfect easy grab and go breakfast!
Chia Pudding Toppings
Once your chia pudding is assembled, it can be topped with anything your heart desires! I love topping chia pudding with fruit, nuts, and coconut slivers. I’ve been especially loving the combination of blackberries, kiwi, and coconut lately. It’s so refreshing!
You can also top chia pudding with jams, similar to this Apple Butter Overnight Oats recipe. Some other combinations to try include Peanut Butter and Jelly Chia Pudding, Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding, or Mango Raspberry Chia Seed Pudding.
How Long Does Chia Pudding Last?
This chia pudding recipe will last up to five days in the fridge, meaning it’s perfect for meal prepping on Sunday and eating throughout the week. I recommend adding the fruit in the morning, as certain fruits can get watery if left in the fridge too long. Nuts or jams can absolutely be added in advance.
How to Meal Prep Chia Pudding
The chia pudding recipe I’ve included below makes enough for four servings. I prefer to mix it all up in one bowl then portion it out into individual containers that can easily be grabbed on the run.
Any container with a sealed lid works well for this, but I’m partial to good old fashioned wide mouth mason jars.
Feel free to double the recipe if you’d like to make enough servings for the whole family’s weekday breakfasts.
The recipe below is my favorite Overnight Chia Pudding, but I’ve also included plenty of other variations for you! Feel free to experiment with your own favorite milks, fruits, extracts, nuts, and more!
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (I used an original sweetened version)
- 1 cup 2 % or full fat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- For serving:
- Fruit of your choice (I love kiwi and blackberries, strawberry and banana, or fresh peaches)
- Dried coconut flakes
- Sliced almonds
- In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the chia seeds. Allow to set for 5-10 minutes, stirring a few times to avoid clumps.
- Transfer the pudding into four containers, seal, and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to serve, top with your favorite fruit, coconut flakes, and nuts if desired. Enjoy!
For a dairy free version:
Use scant 1/2 cup chia seeds and one can of coconut milk (I prefer full fat).
- You can sub any milk of your choice for the coconut milk
- Fat free Greek yogurt can be used, but the chia pudding will be slightly less creamy
- Honey can be used in place of the maple syrup
- Kiwi and Blackberry Chia Pudding
- Strawberry Banana Chia Pudding
- Peaches and Cream Chia Pudding
Nutrition is calculated using sweetened coconut milk, 2% Greek yogurt, and toppings of kiwi, blackberry, coconut, and almonds.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 433Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 21gSugar: 16gProtein: 16g