Instant Vanilla Chia Pudding – No Cooking Required!


Several years ago, I won a social media “freaky fruits” giveaway from Melissa’s Produce. The bounty they sent was so gorgeous that I had to whip up a sweet, healthy recipe to accompany the vibrant fruit. I decided on dairy-free vanilla chia pudding. Back then, chia pudding was just starting to become a thing. And although its popularity has waned a bit since the peak, I think it’s time to give this everyday recipe an update!

Instant Dairy-Free Vanilla Chia Pudding Recipe - No Cooking Required! Healthy, vegan, paleo allergy-friendly, breakfast or snack.

Vegan Vanilla Chia Pudding – No Cooking Required!

I’m a big fan of chia seeds for both nutrition and versatility. Here are a few things you might not know about these tiny seeds:

  • High in Calcium – Just two tablespoons (1-ounce) of chia seeds provides a whopping 179 milligrams of dairy-free calcium.
  • Balanced with Magnesium – One big problem with calcium consumption, is it’s often not balanced with other nutrients for proper absorption. Chia seeds actually deliver that touted 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium.
  • Rich in Omega 3 – That same 2 tablespoons of chia seeds contains a full 5 grams of omega 3 fatty acids. They’re actually one of the riches plant sources of those “healthy fats.”
  • Seriously High Fiber – Each servings of chia seeds has 11 grams of fiber! They’re actually low carb, because almost all of the carbs in these tiny seeds are fiber.
  • Egg Substitute – Yes, gelled chia seeds work great as a vegan substitute for eggs in many recipes.
  • Instantly Useful – You don’t have to grind or cook chia seeds to use them. When water is added, they soften and create a gel around each seed. I grind them in this vanilla chia pudding recipe for faster thickening, and to create more of a pudding texture, but you can simply stir the chia seeds in, if preferred.

Instant Dairy-Free Vanilla Chia Pudding Recipe - No Cooking Required! Healthy, vegan, paleo allergy-friendly, breakfast or snack.

Special Diet Notes: Vanilla Chia Pudding

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, optionally paleo, and generally top food allergy-friendly. Be sure to choose the sweetener that suits your dietary needs.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Dairy-Free Instant Vanilla Chia Pudding
Prep time
Total time
This scrumptious vanilla chia pudding can be made thicker or thinner and easily sweetened to taste. Simply see my notes below.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 3 servings
  • 1 cup lite canned coconut milk
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup white chia seeds (can sub black chia seeds; see Chia Seeds note below)*
  • ¼ cup water, or as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • Generous pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice, or to taste (see Sweetener note below)
  • Cut fruit of choice, for garnish or parfaits (optional)
  1. Place the coconut milk, chia seeds, water, vanilla, lemon zest, and salt in your blender, and whiz until relatively smooth.
  2. Blend in the sweetener, to taste. Blend in more water, as desired, to thin the consistency.
  3. If desired, let the mixture chill for a couple of hours or overnight, it will thicken more.
Chia Seeds: Use more or less chia seeds depending on your desired thickness. If making instant vanilla chia pudding, then you may want to use ⅓ cup and add water only as needed, since it won't have significant time to thicken. White chia seeds provide a light tan color. If using black chia seeds, it will affect the color, but not the taste.

Sweetener: Raw honey (paleo), agave (vegan), maple syrup (adds a maple-y flavor), or plain sugar all work great in this recipe. But to keep the added sugars down, I sometimes use 1 tablespoon honey + 20 drops vanilla stevia.

Lite Coconut Milk Alternatives: I use lite canned coconut milk because it's cheap, convenient, natural, and has a good half and half consistency. You can substitute your favorite dairy-free creamer or milk beverage. If using milk beverage, omit the water, or only add it as needed. The pudding won't be as rich. You can alternatively use full-fat coconut milk, or use ½ cup full-fat coconut milk + ½ cup water in place of the 1 cup lite coconut milk.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅓ recipe Calories: 188 Fat: 12.3g Saturated fat: 4.4g Carbohydrates: 24.8g Sugar: 11.7g Sodium: 71mg Fiber: 8.4g Protein: 6.1g

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Cherry Chia Jam Recipe and the Best Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Breakfast Toast

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Chocolate, Chia, Raspberry, and Acai Smoothie Bowl

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No Bake Power Cookies Recipe - rich in healthy vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free ingredients (freezer-friendly!)

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. That is a look to die for! Just amazing. I am not sure Mrs Siloye can get this recipe right but will try. For now i must attempt it on my own first. Thanks for this

  2. Pingback: Don’t let milk spoil your breakfast! Lactose Free breakfast ideas! | brekkieandthebeast

  3. Pingback: Vanilla Chia Pudding | All Gluten-Free Desserts...All the Time

  4. Wow mouth watering. Just wish I could find all the fruits. Looks just fantastic. Vanilla cia pudding very easy and a real quick way for desert. Have to use other fruits but still very intresting. Used watermelon prickly pear kiwi and strawberry. Thanks so much!

  5. Elizabeth Lund on

    We are allergic to coconut and almond milk. Would rice milk work or can you think of another than would work better?

  6. I’m buying that dragonfruit next time I see it at the market! The colors in these photos are just fantastic. And have you tried dehydrated papaya? The sweetness really comes out that way–I find it much tastier. 🙂

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