Pumpkin chia pudding is a perfectly spiced healthy seasonal treat made with pumpkin puree, almond milk, and chia seeds. Layer your pumpkin chia seed pudding with sweetened coconut yogurt for an easy-to-make plant-based tasty treat.
I’ve never really been a fan of chia seed pudding…in theory! You see, I had never actually braved the “slimy” little chia seeds – or at least what I assumed were slimy little seeds until I was at a restaurant one night CRAVING for dessert and the only vegan option on the menu was chia seed pudding. So I forced myself to give it a try- even if I had to choke it down!
And just like Sam I Am with his green eggs and
(vegan) ham, I was shocked to find that I actually liked chia seed pudding! No weird sliminess at all! In fact, the texture reminded me a little bit of tapioca pudding – which I’m definitely a fan of.
So I had to get busy developing my own chia puddings like blueberry chia pudding and tropical and delightful Mango Chia Pudding! Once I realized how useful chia seeds could be to thicken vegan recipes, I discovered how perfectly they worked to set up jams and jelly with this blueberry chia seed jam.
Chia seeds aren’t just for puddings and jams though. You can find chia seeds in baked and cooked goods like creamed corn casserole and healthy oatmeal cookies – anything that needs a little extra substance.
Why you will love this pumpkin chia pudding recipe
Fall is the perfect time to explore vegan pumpkin recipes – both savory and sweet. Sweet pumpkin recipes go beyond the classic pumpkin pie. Vegan pumpkin mousse made in the Instant Pot is as healthy as it is sweet.
When I’m looking for more savory ways to use fresh and canned pumpkin, I make pumpkin fries in the air fryer, pumpkin gnocchi, black bean pumpkin soup, or my personal favorite – pumpkin pasta with a savory walnut sage sauce.
If you crave the flavors of pumpkin pie, spice, and everything nice, then I think you’ll really love this pumpkin chia pudding too. It is:
- super quick and easy to whip up
- pumpkin pie flavor
- great for a tasty breakfast, snack, or dessert
- a healthy dessert (or delicious breakfast or snack) with wholesome ingredients like pumpkin puree, plant milk, and chia seeds
Ingredients (and substitutions) needed to make pumpkin chia pudding
- pumpkin puree – make your own or used canned pumpkin puree. Added bonus – you won’t be using the whole can and should have plenty of leftover pumpkin puree to make my no-bake pumpkin cookies!
- almond milk – You can use another plant milk of your choice. I usually use either almond milk or oat milk because that’s what I typically have on hand. The flavor of the milk will affect the flavor of the finished pudding so choose wisely.
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup – You may find the three tablespoons of maple syrup to not be enough. If you would like to make your pumpkin pudding sweeter, then don’t add any more maple syrup – your pudding will be too liquidy. Add either coconut sugar or a sweetener like monk fruit. ALSO, if you don’t want the calories from the maple syrup, then feel free to substitute monk fruit or another low/no-calorie sweetener. Taste and add as you go. I’m sorry, I don’t do those types of sweeteners so I don’t really know how much you should use.
- ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice – If you can not find pumpkin pie spice at the grocery store, you can make your own pumpkin pie spice or find pumpkin spice on Amazon.
- vanilla extract
- chia seeds – You can use either black or white chia seeds. There is no difference in flavor or texture. Use what you have. I thought white chia seeds might look nice and so I wanted to give them a try. It’s easier to find black chia seeds at your grocery store. You can find white chia seeds on amazon if you’d like to try them.
- coconut yogurt – You can use any plant-based sweetened vanilla, plain, or coconut-flavored yogurt. If your yogurt is not sweetened, then you will want to sweeten it because plain sour tasting yogurt will not taste very good with the pumpkin pudding. A 5.3-ounce container is about half a cup and so you will need to buy two containers so that you will have enough for the middle layer and for topping the pumpkin pudding cups.
How to make pumpkin chia pudding
The exact ingredients with measurements can be found in the recipe card below along with more concise abbreviated instructions. Read on for more details, tips, and tricks so that you will feel confident making this recipe.
Step 1: Mix ingredients
Mix everything except for the chia seeds in this first step. I like to mix everything up and then take a little taste to see if my pumpkin pudding is sweet enough. Then I add the chia seeds.
Whisk together the pumpkin puree, maple syrup (or another sweetener), cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, almond milk (or oat milk), and vanilla extract until well combined.
Make sure that the cinnamon is fully incorporated. Powdery, dry, ground cinnamon sometimes takes an extra strong couple of whisks to fully blend in.
Step 2: Add (optional) sweetener
At this point, I give my pumpkin pudding mixture a little taste and decide if I want to add more sweetener or not. This pumpkin chia pudding recipe is not terribly sweet as written. If you have a sweet tooth or are making this recipe for a child then you will most certainly want to add in some more sweetener.
If you decide you’d like to add more sweetener, do NOT add more liquid sweetener or you risk making the pumpkin pudding too runny. I usually add some coconut sugar to taste. Remember, you can always add more, but it’s really hard to take an overly sweet taste away.
If you don’t want to add more calories to your pumpkin pudding mixture then you can use monk fruit or another similar low/no cal sweetener. Start with a small amount and then add more to taste.
Step 3: The chia seeds
Stir in the chia seeds, making sure they are all well mixed in and dispersed throughout the pumpkin mixture.
Refrigerate and allow to sit for 30 minutes while the chia seed coating develops a gel-like consistency that will thicken the pudding. This chia seed pudding will not be as thick as traditional puddings are, but you’d be surprised just what the mighty (tiny) chia seed can do for your pumpkin mixture!
Step 4: Layer the pumpkin chia pudding
You will be using four small containers or small glass jars that are about 3/4 cups each in volume. If you are a fan of the Oui yogurt with its cute glass jars (which are the perfect size), you might have a drawer full of them like I do! You can even buy lids on Amazon to fit the small glass containers.
Any small glass jar or glass will do. Today I used some small juice glasses I had in my cupboard.
Start by layering a scant 1/4 cup of chia pudding in the bottom of each container. Spoon in a layer of yogurt followed by another layer of pumpkin chia seed pudding. Top with more yogurt and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
Serving and saving
You can eat this yummy pumpkin pudding right away, or cover it and set it in the refrigerator for up to five days. The pudding will thicken slightly on resting. (But again, keep in mind that it will never be as thick as traditional pudding.)
I just made yummy pumpkin spice granola and sprinkled some on top for added texture and a pop of flavor.
The printable recipe card
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Pumpkin Chia Pudding
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup almond milk or other plant milk of choice
- 3 Tablespoons maple syrup see notes
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice see notes
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- optional additional sweetener to taste see notes
- 4 Tablespoons chia seeds see notes
- 1 cup coconut yogurt see notes
- Whisk the pumpkin puree, maple syrup (or other sweetener), cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, almond milk, and vanilla extract until well combined. Taste and see if it is sweet enough for you. If you'd like a sweeter pudding then add in granulated sugar, coconut sugar, monk fruit, or another dry sweetener. You should not add any more liquid.
- Stir in the chia seeds, mixing well. Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes or until the chia seeds have begun to release their gelled coating and the mixture has thickened.
- After the mixture has thickened, layer the pumpkin chia seed pudding mixture with the coconut yogurt. Top with a little extra yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon.