Rich Chocolate Chia Pudding (vegan & keto)
This decadent keto chocolate chia pudding is rich and delicious, plus it's vegan, dairy-free, and sugar-free. It's so healthy, you can have a rich dessert-like treat for breakfast--anytime!
Not a fan of the texture of regular chia pudding texture? Never fear! I've included a delicious creamy smooth blended chocolate chia pudding option for you as well.
Who doesn’t love Chocolate Pudding? I loved it as a child--either the yumminess that came out of those small white boxed mixes or even the small snack packs. But those ingredients--yuck!
I'm older now (much!), and while I still love chocolate pudding, I needed to find a recipe for my family that fit our lower-carb healthy eating lifestyle. For sure, sugar-laden boxed mixes don't ever show up in my kitchen.
While I hope to develop a traditional style keto chocolate pudding soon, this chocolate chia pudding really fits the bill for the rich chocolate goodness that I loved.
Plus, you can make it the traditional chia pudding way, or blended smooth to avoid that "chia feel" making it almost like a traditional chocolate pudding--just much healthier.
What Makes Us Love Chocolate So Much?
Chocolate makes everyone happy--myself included. One bite (or several!) can totally turn your mood around.
There's actually a scientific reason for the warm and fuzzy feelings you get from indulging in chocolate. Chocolate contains psychoactive components (notably tryptophan and phenylethylamine) that trigger endorphins and serotonin in the brain. So it literally makes us feel good!
There's nothing wrong with wanting to feel good--but this pudding can get you all the good feels without all the sugar and carbs.
Can You Eat Chocolate on a Keto or Low-Carb Diet?
It's not easy to enjoy chocolate on a keto or low-carb diet since most chocolate is full of sugar and carbs. The good news is that if you’re fond of dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher), you can typically have a bite of chocolate, and still stay on plan, but if you want more than a bite, you need something different.
That's where a dessert like this chocolate chia pudding comes in. With just a few ingredient swaps and some creativity you can totally indulge.
This keto-friendly chocolate pudding is so lusciously rich and satisfying you’ll never know it's keto!
Why I Love This Keto Chocolate Chia Pudding
I'm always looking for recipes that are:
- budget-friendly (have you seen the price of those boxed mixes??!!)
This pudding is all of the above.
It's super fast, inexpensive, and delicious. It's nutritious partially because you can make it without sugar but also because its main ingredient is --
Chia is an amazing nutritional powerhouse that you really should get to know.
Benefits of Chia
Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin A, calcium, protein, and more.
Like I mentioned in my Mixed Berry Chia Pudding post (another excellent chia pudding, btw!) just 2 tablespoons of chia makes the medicine go (er--ahem) has:
- 4 grams of complete protein
- 4.5 grams of omega 3 oils
- 5.5 grams fiber
- 9% RDA calcium
- 7% RDA iron
In fact, just 3 tablespoons of chia seeds have 233 mg of calcium, almost as much as a glass of milk (299 mg)!
And it's super filling. And these are just the nutritional basics of chia. Believe me when I tell you that chia has been underrated over the last twenty-five years.
No longer is chia the focus of late-night commercials for goofy house plants (think ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-........I better not finish that because on this bag of ground chia, it says that lawyers have said not to finish the song, so I won't either!)
Chia is now a superfood we’ve only just begun to take advantage of!
Where to Buy Chia
You can easily find chia seeds in your local health food store, possibly at your local grocery store, or online. Nutiva is a great brand and this brand is a great value.
The following pieces of equipment are needed only if you are making the blended version. Otherwise, you don't need anything special--pretty much just a bowl and a spoon. And maybe a spatula to scrape all of the goodness out of said bowl.
However, if you're going to make the blended version of this pudding, you'll need one or both of the following.
Blender / Food Processor
While you can use a standard blender, a high-powered blender like a Vitamix is preferred for a truly ultra-smooth texture.
If you don't have a higher-end blender, you can still mimic that silky smooth pudding mouth feel by buying ground chia or grinding your chia really well before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
You can grind chia in a coffee grinder (this is the one that I have) for a finer powder or you can use your food processor or a standard blender. Just make sure that whatever container you use is dry before grinding or you'll have chia mash stuck to the container.
Of course you can use whatever you like, but if you like the jars in the photos, here is where to get them.
Only six ingredients needed:
- coconut milk (or any dairy-free alternative)
- chia seeds (white or black)
- cocoa powder
- stevia extract powder
- low carb sweetener (like Lakanto)
- vanilla extract
- salt (optional)
How to Make Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
Here are two ways to make this pudding:
For Typical Chia Pudding
Add all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
Stir until well-combined.
Place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. Stir again and put in serving bowls, topping as desired.
For Blended Chia Pudding
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Process thoroughly until well-blended.
Add more sweetener to taste, and more dairy-free milk if your mixture is too thick.
Spoon the pudding into serving bowls or a storage container (preferably glass.)
When serving, add toppings like coconut shreds, chopped nuts (preferably soaked), regular or coconut whipped cream, berries, cocoa nibs, or store bought or Homemade Sugar-free Chocolate Chips.
Here's what a blended chocolate chia pudding looks like:
More Chia Pudding Recipes
Chia pudding is so easy and nutritious (and filling), I think you'll love serving it often. Here are some other great recipes to try:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding (a fun parfait-like treat)
Pumpkin Chia Pudding (like pumpkin pie in pudding form!)
Berry Chia Pudding (super refreshing)
Blueberry Chia Pudding (loaded with blueberry flavor)
Recipe Notes, FAQs, and Substitutions
Do I Have to Use a Vitamix to Make Blended Chia Pudding?
Not necessarily, but you could overheat some blenders / food processors if your mixture is too thick. My Vitamix handles it easily. Use whatever you like, but take care not to overwork your machine.
Cocoa Powder Substitute
You can use organic carob powder instead of cocoa to avoid the stimulants in cocoa. That will add carbs, however.
How Long Does Chia Pudding Last in the fridge?
Chia pudding has a shelf-life in the refrigerator of up to 5 days. Just make sure to store any leftovers in an air-tight container.
Can You Freeze Chia Pudding?
Yes! Chia pudding is perfect for freezing. Store in individual serving-size containers in the fridge and pop one out to thaw whenever you feel like you need a chocolatey dessert--or remove from the freezer the night before for an easy breakfast on the go!
Can You Make Warm Chia Pudding?
If you prefer to serve your chia pudding warm (I've never had it this way, but yes it's a thing), simply transfer the mixture to a saucepan and heat on medium-low heat until the desired temperature is reached. Just be sure to stir to avoid overheating since it's a thick mixture that's likely to burn. You may need to add a splash of your preferred milk if it becomes too thick.
This recipe is very forgiving. You can use whatever sweetener you like, making adjustments for its sweetness. Combining sweeteners works great in low-carb desserts as mentioned in this post on 6 Tips to Like Stevia. Doing so gives any low-carb dessert more of that "regular sugar" taste.
Coconut Milk Alternatives
My Easiest Coconut Milk is a great make-your-own option for coconut milk. You can use any dairy-free milk or regular milk instead of coconut milk. Anything will work, including my Easiest Almond Milk.
THM: This recipe will fit in as an "S" for those on the Trim Healthy Mama plan.
AIP: Since chia is a seed, this recipe can't be AIP. However, if you are on AIP reintro, or you can handle seeds, then you can use chia and try it with carob and an AIP friendly sweetener like honey or maple syrup or coconut sugar.
This chia pudding is great easy healthy recipe that's big on taste and easy on the budget too!
Oh, one last hint--my family wolfed down all of my taste-testing versions in a flash, so you might want to make at least a double or triple batch!
Keto Chocolate Chia Pudding
- Coffee Grinder
- 1 cup chia seeds
- 4 cups coconut milk (or other dairy-free milk of choice)
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup low carb sweetener, or to taste (or other sweetener of choice)
- cacao nibs, coconut shreds, whipped cream optional toppings
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (optional but necessary in my opinion)
Traditional Chia Pudding Version
- Place all ingredients in medium-sized bowl. Stir to combine.
- Spoon into bowls or mugs and serve with toppings of choice.
- Store leftovers in glass container in fridge for up to 5 days.
Blended Chocolate Chia Pudding Version
- If desired, grind chia seeds in coffee / spice grinder ahead of time.
- Place all ingredients in food processor or blender.
- Blend or process until smooth, adjusting sweetener / liquid amount as needed.
- Spoon into bowls or mugs and serve with toppings of choice.
- Store leftovers in glass container in fridge for up to 5 days.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
Note: This post was originally published on September 28, 2011 and was republished with a new version and new images on 7/3/2021.
Are the measurements correct? It says 2 cups "milk" and 2 cups chia seeds? That seems a bit heavy on chia seeds.....usually the liquid is at least twice the amount of the chia seeds to allow for swelling.
Hi Carol! Gosh I don't know what went wrong there. I just updated the post. Thanks for catching that! Stranger things have happened. You have just saved many from an unfortunate chia pudding debacle ;).
Hi thanks for the recipe. I thought I would halve it to see if I liked it lol. I ground my chia but ended up using all quantities of everything else the same as the whole recipe. It was still really solid so added more water then about a cup of blended up raspberries - lovely 🙂
Thanks for all your hard work putting these recipes together.
Aww thank you! I'm so glad you liked it. I need more time to do more but more are coming. So about how much water did you need? If you are so inclined, we really appreciate 5 star reviews - helps others find good recipes and helps us as well. Thanks in advance :).
Hi Adrienne, Thanks so much for your post! 🙂 A few questions:
1. Are the plastic lids for the jars you posted BP free? Couldn't find that info on Amazon. Someone else on Amazon had asked that as well.
2. It says is serves 8, can you please tell me the serving size? Is is 4 oz or more?
Thanks kindly! 🙂
So sorry - if the information isn't there I don't know! Silly they are saying the glass is BPA free - maybe they are referring to the lids?!?!
Adding the ingredients together is about 5 cups so should be a little over 1 for each serving. Hope that helps!
I grind chia seed in an expresso coffee grinder and keep on hand for extra creamy smoothies and it worked well for this pudding too. Haven't tried whole seed yet, but love this recipe so much! Used heaping tablespoon of honey, and 1/2 the stevia.
So glad you liked it!! Yes, we started grinding up some chia this week too! I'm going to do some whole seed recipes coming up soon -- including revamping this one!
I modified this recipe and loved it! I’m not a fan of fake sugars so I used a bit of regular honey instead and added goji berries pecans coconut and coconut whipped cream on top to compliment the nice bitterness of mainly cacao powder in the pudding!!! Delicious thanks so much
Ooh that sounds lovely!!!! So you added all of those things to the pudding and then put the whipped cream on top?
I made the pudding put it in a little mason jar and then topped it with those things and then the whipped cream! I didn’t want to mix it in because I knw I would add too much and also I wanted them in chunks and I didn’t want the blender to make em small!
I am SOOO going to do this!!
I 100% recommend it!! Also can’t wait for you to hopefully make a banana pudding recipe! :))
Ooooh now I'm thinking about it! Do you need a low carb version?
Yes please! I love when banana pudding has lil chinks of pie crust and idk what to subbthat for!!
Oooh fun - so I'm looking around and it seems most banana puddings are in a big pan with cookie / cake and only a few are just pudding in a dessert cup. Are you thinking the first? Excited to do this!
Hi wow I just saw I never answered this! I would do it in a jar like a pudding !! It would be more controlled with the amount of crust and more stuck to seving sizes lol. I really like banana pudding but I feel like it’s much too sweet now at bakeries so I’d like to find a way to make it healthier at home.
Yum - I will make a note about this!
Do u have to soak the chia seeds first? Or can I use them right from the bag?
You can use them right from the bag. Enjoy!
I eat a similar Chia pudding recipe and love it topped with a few frozen sweet cherries! Chocolate & cherries, yum!
What a great idea! The chocolate part of this one is even better in my opinion: https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/chocolate-peanut-butter-chia-pudding/
this recipe sounds great. i am gathering the ingredients to try it. i was wondering if i could use only xylitol and no stevia? (based on what i have on hand and also because i have baked using only xylitol) What is your opinion on that recipe change?
Hi there - thanks! You can do that for sure!
do you think i need to add more xylitol than the original recipe calls for?
I would convert the stevia to xylitol but you might be fine without it. Here is my post on the topic--it has conversion information that should help.
what is the nutricional value ?
Hi there--we finally got that on the blog. We've been working through the recipes as they do take quite a bit of time to do. Thanks for reading and hope that helps!
Would dates or date paste work as an alternative sweetener?
I have calculated17.32 net carbs fper serving of 4 how is this Keto friendly? It is delicious but too high!
Hi there--sorry for the late response. I missed your comment. So basically we have some issues w/ the nutrition facts system so I would just check it in one that you trust. I am considering going with another one that is a paid service. Hope that helps--there really shouldn't be many carbs in this. It's possible that the sugar alcohols weren't calculated properly.
Sorry, but we didn't realize that we had not yet calculated the nutrition for this recipe and that you were talking about nutrition that you calculated yourself. So, did you by any chance remove the sugar alcohols from the carb count? If not, that would explain the issue.
I added 2 tbsp of almond butter tasted yummy
Nice addition! You would probably like this as well: https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/chocolate-peanut-butter-chia-pudding/
OMGoodness. I am so excited to try this out this weekend. The Big C store had Chia Seeds on sale and it was under $5 for a bag, and I like to try new foods and thought, well I will just get a bag and search online for a recipe and yours popped up. It looks fairly easy and I have a Ninja to blend it in and already have several different alternative sweeteners to use, not using stevia as the bitter taste after ruins it for me, but monk fruit I like and Xylitol.
Hope you like it! The chocolate in this one is really good too - in fact I like it a little better. Chia is soooo good for you! https://wholenewmom.com/recipes/chocolate-peanut-butter-chia-pudding/
I do not have a blender or food processor. So I buy the chia seeds already ground. Should I use the same amount? Or less as it is ground up?
Hi there - sorry for the late response. About 1 T of seeds = about 2 tsp of ground.
Does this use coconut milk from a can or carton? Can I do half coconut milk and half rice milk?
You can for sure do that. I use this Homemade Coconut Milk all the time but you can use store bought as well.
Do you have to add the Stevia and the Xylitol? I don't like the taste of either... was wondering how it be if you omitted both?
I would add some kind of sweetener. What do you typically use? The post has suggested alternatives. Hope that helps!