Protein Chia Pudding
If you’ve been searching for a sweet (but still protein-packed breakfast option), then have I got the recipe for you! Packed with protein and super-fast to prepare ahead, this protein chia pudding makes an easy, breezy protein snack or breakfast perfect for wherever your day might take you. The best part is that everything comes together in just a mason jar (pretty much the simplest meal prep situation ever, with no cooking required).
about this protein chia pudding recipe
Around here, we are big fans (dare we say, THE biggest fans?) of easy meal prep recipes but the ones that require absolutely zero cooking hold an extra special place in our hearts.
Bonus points if they involve very few prep steps, easy to find ingredients and minimal clean up.
If you’ve found your way here, then I have a hunch you might feel the same way!
Today, I’m sharing my favorite protein chia pudding recipe with you – it’s one of those glorious, low-effort recipes that we find ourselves making again & again.
Much like our go-to protein overnight oats recipe, this simple breakfast chia pudding comes together with just a few minutes of hands-on prep before being placed directly in the fridge to get nice and thick and delicious.
Since the topping combinations are truly endless (think: fresh cut seasonal fruit, crunchy granola, nut butter, seeds, toasted coconut, a drizzle of honey, mini chocolate chips, you name it!) – you can make it week after week without tiring of it!
process & tips
The beauty of this recipe is that everything comes together in just a mason jar.
Simply add your ingredients, shake everything up, and let it sit in the fridge overnight (or at least 3 hours to let the chia seeds thicken up and create their signature pudding texture).
As they sit in the fridge the chia seeds soak up the liquid from the almond milk, plumping up and gelling the chia seeds until you have a thick and creamy consistency.
Because this recipe requires a few hours to chill in the fridge, this protein pudding makes for the perfect quick one-minute meal prep activity.
That’s why I intentionally wrote this recipe to serve one, so you could make it directly in a mason jar.
This way you can easily make as many jars as you need for just one serving, or for an entire week of breakfasts or snacks to-go (for yourself or your family)!
why make it in a mason jar?
I love making whatever I can in lidded mason jars – including meal prep breakfasts and snacks like this!
Since you mix up the chia pudding in the same jar as you store it in, you can skip dirtying extra dishes or having to clean a blender or food processor.
This chia pudding can also be made ahead & stored (covered and refrigerated) for up to 5 days,
You can also freeze it in the same mason jar and store it in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to several months.
Tip: I recommend freezing without any toppings for best results! To serve, allow the chia protein pudding to thaw in the refrigerator overnight (or run under warm water until thawed).
how to make high protein chia pudding without protein powder
This chia pudding contains multiple sources of protein, so if you don’t want to use or can’t find protein powder in your local store – you can still make this recipe!
One tablespoon of chia seeds contains roughly 2 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, making it naturally high in plant-based protein.
For this reason, even if you skip the protein powder and just use chia seeds in this protein pudding, you’ll still get 4 grams of protein per serving.
Top your chia pudding with one tablespoon of nut or seed butter like peanut butter, and you’ll get an additional 4 grams of protein, making the total grams of protein for one serving of this chia seed pudding without protein powder 8 grams.
to sweeten or not to sweeten?
Most commercial protein powders contain sweetener, so be sure to taste the pudding before adding any additional sweetener.
The type of protein powder you use will determine the grams of protein and carbs in this recipe, so choose one that aligns with your dietary preferences.
I personally use an unsweetened collagen peptide protein powder for this recipe, and allow the blueberries and strawberries to add just a touch of natural sweetness.
ingredients & modifications
Chia seeds: The chia seeds are the star ingredient in this recipe and help the chia pudding thicken & set. Plus they add a good amount of plant-based protein!
Almond milk: Any non-dairy milk will work great in this recipe, so if you don’t prefer almond milk you can use any other milk you like. For a nut-free option, try hemp milk or oat milk instead.
Protein powder: You can use any protein powder you like the taste of. To keep this recipe vegan friendly, be sure to use a dairy-free, plant-based protein powder.
Liquid sweetener of choice: The sweetener is totally optional in this recipe. I’ve used pure maple syrup before to make this recipe refined sugar free, but you could also use another liquid sweetener like honey, agave, coconut nectar or date syrup in its place.
If you want to make chocolate protein chia pudding, you can add 1 tablespoon of cacao powder (or cocoa powder) to the mix in step one of the recipe card below! You can even add dairy-free mini chocolate chips on top and turn it into a dessert if you like.
this recipe is…
Dairy FreeGluten FreeNut FreePaleoVeganVegetarian
Protein Chia Pudding
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk, or milk of choice
- 1 scoop protein powder , of choice
- 2 teaspoons liquid sweetener of choice such as maple syrup or honey, (optional)
- 1 tablespoon nut or seed butter, fresh strawberries, fresh blueberries
- To an 8-ounce wide mason jar, or other jar with tightly fitting lid, add 2 tablespoons chia seeds and one scoop of protein powder, stirring with a fork to combine.
- Add the milk and sweetener, if using. Secure the lid, then shake vigorously until all the ingredients have combined and protein powder dissolves.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then shake vigorously again.
- Allow to sit an additional 5 minutes, shake vigorously, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 5 days, covered.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature, with nut butter and fresh berries if desired.
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Super easy and tastes great. I tried it with a scoop of Cacao Powder and a splash of vanilla as well and love how simple and easy this recipe is! Thank you for sharing this Robyn!
Yay, so happy to hear you enjoyed this one, Kendra. Thanks so much for leaving a review!
Loved the pudding! Thank you for the recipe. Nutrition information is calculated per serving (8-ounce jar) or per 100g?
Hi Linda, this recipe makes one serving, so the nutrition information is for the entire recipe. If you decide to divide it between jars, just divide the nutrition information accordingly. Keep in mind the protein total can very based on the type of protein powder you use. Hope that helps!
Hi, can you freeze this recipe?
Kate, yes, once made you can freeze in individual containers, then just defrost in the fridge overnight and you’re good to go. I hope you enjoy!
Hi. Love the idea of this recipe. My consistency seems to be off. I used one scoop of Vega Sport Premium Protein Chocolate powder (30g) and unsweetened coconut milk plus the flaxseeds as suggested. I could not shake it even the first time. I could stir it. The scoop for this brand is a large scoop. Any suggestions?
Hi Kate, happy to help trouble shoot this one. First, are you using unsweetened coconut milk from a can, or coconut milk beverage from a box or bottle in place of the almond milk?
Hi! I tried making this last night with a scoop and a half of whey protein powder and it didn’t set up at all – do you think it was too much protein powder? Thanks!
Hi Brie, if it didn’t set up it’s probably because the ratio of liquid to chia seeds was off, or because the chia seeds clumped at the bottom and since they weren’t equally distributed they weren’t able to properly thicken. Not a big deal, you can still salvage it! If they are clumped just give them a good shake or stir with a fork and then refrigerate again. Or add another teaspoon of chia seeds, shake, refrigerate, and see if that does the trick. You can keep adding chia seeds until you get the desired consistency. I hope that helps!