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.

keto chocolate chia pudding in glass jars

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:

  • fast
  • budget-friendly (have you seen the price of those boxed mixes??!!)
  • nutritious
  • delicious

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!

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.

Equipment Needed

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.

Grinder

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.

Jars

Of course you can use whatever you like, but if you like the jars in the photos, here is where to get them.

ingredients for chocolate chia pudding

Ingredients Needed

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:

chocolate chia pudding with whisk in glass bowl

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.

keto chocolate chia pudding in glass jars with whipped cream

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:

chocolate chia pudding in glass cups with spoon

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)

keto chocolate chia pudding in glass jars

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. 

Sweetener Notes

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.

Dietary Options

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!

chocolate chia pudding in glass jar

Keto Chocolate Chia Pudding

This Keto Chocolate Chia Pudding (2 ways--blended and not) is rich, delicious and nutritious and also dairy-free! The perfect start or end to your day.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, Sugar-Free, THM:S, Vegan
Keyword: keto chocolate chia pudding
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 348kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

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.

Nutrition

Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 447mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 6mg | Net Carbs: 7g

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.

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139 Comments

    1. I agree - I guess folks have an issue b/c of the processing and the digestive upset that some experience.

  1. I have been reading about zero calorie, healthy sweeteners and wondered if you have seen this one. https://www.lakanto.com, it is a monk fruit zero calories sweetener. It is so hard to sort it all out. I was reading all of the info about the reformulation of the stevia you recommend and trying to figure out what is good.

    Thanks for all of your help.

    1. Hi there. Yes, I have seen that. I think it's a good sweetener and I trust Donna Gates. It's pricey though. I think I should work on a DIY version :).

  2. 2 questions and I'm sorry if it's up there already and I didn't see it.
    How many carbs per cup?
    Has anyone tried this in a ninja?

    1. Hi there. Sorry but I don't provide nutritional info since I always have substitutions in my recipes and it would be too hard to do it for all the options. I haven't tried it in a Ninja - maybe someone else has?

  3. I LOVE your recipes, and print many to keep in a notebook. However, is there a way to add the picture of the recipe to the printable file so I can have the picture to go with each recipe. Thanks for all you do for us low carbers.

    1. Hi Sharon. Thanks for the suggestion - we'll see if we can do that. We've been looking at a different way to do recipes - I think one person didn't want this b/c it used more ink but I think it would be useful - thanks!

  4. Doesn't erythritol function the same as xylitol for blood sugar control without the possibility of digestive upset?

    1. It is my understanding that xylitol has a glycemic index of 7 and erythritol's is zero. Typically folks have more digestive upset w/ xylitol than erythritol.

  5. This and lots of others look so delicious! I'm going to have to put a big hunk of time on my schedule to come back and look through your recipes. I think we're in a similar boat. Thanks for posting and saving me the work of figuring things out for myself. ;D

  6. Hi, thanks for all the hard work you do putting these together...love reading your posts. Just made this in my Cuisinart. Processed the seeds for at least a minute and then combined sea salt, vanilla, organic dutch cocoa, NuStevia pure stevia extract, Erythritol and unsweetened Almond milk. Processed for a minute or two....almost consistency of pudding, tastes JUST LIKE CHOCO PUDDING, BUT.....mine has lots of chia "seeds". I don't know how much more this could be processed and a Cuisinart HAS to be better than a blender??? Wish I had a Vitamix!!!

  7. Hi I made this last night and for some reason it never set!! We ended up drinking it this morning! Which was a yummy way to start the day but I was looking forward to eating it. I used milled chia as that is what I have at home, could this have been the reason why it never set? And how long are you suppose to blend for? Great to have alternative desserts to give to smalles n grown ups alike. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Odd. Sorry about that. I used whole chia - perhaps that is the reason? I used milled the other day to make another chia and it seemed to need more to set.

  8. Thanks for the great idea! I just blended 2 1/2 cups of silk dark chocolate almond milk with 1/2 cup chia seeds. It doesn't get much easier!

  9. I am a new Vitamix owner. How long do you need to blend and at what speed to get it completely smooth? I just made it. It tastes great, but it still has a little chia texture.

    1. I just blend it until it is smooth - I've never calculated it. Just try for maybe 1 minute on high - and keep blending until you get what you want - let me know!

  10. We are eating this for dessert tonight and it is SO good! I didn't have any stevia, so I just used 1/4 cup of coconut sugar, but I really didn't want to add any more, so I tossed a ripe banana in and sprinkled with some cocoa nibs. Yum!

  11. So I finally tried this again tonight and it still didn't work in my Kitchen Aid food Processor 🙁 I did the whole amount and I let it run for probably 10 min total. Oh to have a vitamix!

    1. Oh shoot. Here's an intermediary idea....grind the chia first and then make the pudding. But get a Vitamix :). I'm trying to get a giveaway. Trying.....

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