This vegan banana pudding is a healthier take on the classic pudding. It’s made creamy with chia seeds and coconut milk and sweetened with maple syrup! All you’ll need is 8 simple ingredients and 10 minutes of hands on time!
When I first started developing this recipe, I was thinking of going a much more classic banana pudding recipe. If you’ve never had classic banana pudding, it is DELICIOUS. Fluffy, sweet, banana-y, and very custard like. It’s a Southern favorite – Read about how it became an iconic dessert here!
The downside is it’s usually made with a LOT of sugar, butter, heavy cream, and eggs.
Although I definitely enjoy an indulgent dessert now and then, I wanted this banana pudding to be a healthier alternative that was without a lot of processed sugar and oil!
Why This Recipe Works
- Soaked and blended chia seeds turn into the perfect creamy, pudding texture!
- Canned coconut milk makes this pudding extra rich and dessert like without heavy cream.
- A bit of maple syrup sweetens this recipe without the need of refined sugars.
What You’ll Need
- Chia seeds – For that magical pudding texture. There is no other substitute.
- Canned coconut milk – For the rich, creamy taste! If you want something less rich of lower in fat, use any other plant milk.
- Ripe banana – The riper the banana, the richer the banana flavor will be.
- Salt – Balances out the sweet in this recipe!
- Vanilla extract – Gives this classic vanilla pudding flavor without artificial flavoring. You could also use vanilla paste or a vanilla pod! A little goes a long way.
- Banana slices, coconut whip and vanilla wafers – If you want this dessert to feel like a classic pudding, you’ll want to finish off your pudding with these on top! Leave it out if you want something sweet but healthier!
Step by Step Instructions
Although this recipe only requires about 10 minutes of hands on prep time, it does require thinking ahead. Just like my Pumpkin Chia Pudding, this pudding is prepared the night before or at minimum two hours ahead. The chia seeds need time to absorb the liquid!
- Mash the banana directly in a 16 ounce jar.
2. Add in the coconut milk, plant-based milk, maple syrup, salt, vanilla extract and chia seeds overtop the mashed banana.
3. Whisk the ingredients together until all the chia seeds are fully coated in the liquid. If they clump together or are not whisked in well enough, they will not be able to absorb as much liquid as needed and you may have a thinner pudding. Next, store the pudding in the fridge overnight or for a minimum of two hours.
4. After soaking overnight, the texture will have changed dramatically and thickened!
5. Transfer the pudding to a high speed blender.
6. Blend pudding until completely smooth. At this point it will resemble the texture of thick pudding! Delicious!
Note: It is normal for the pudding to get a lot darker in color after blending! The flavor is fantastic.
Lastly layer, the pudding back in your single serve jar just as you would layer a classic banana pudding. One layer of pudding, a layer of banana slices, layer of wafers and repeat! Then top with coconut whip and a sprinkle of cinnamon! Enjoy!
FAQs and Expert Tips
Your chia seeds might be too old. Just like with using old baking soda and baking powder, using old chia seeds can be ineffective. Chia seeds generally have a long shelf life due to their high antioxidant powers, but they can go bad faster if not stored in an air tight container or stored in the sun. Chia seeds do very well in an airtight jar in the fridge and freezer!
No, they contain milk and eggs. Fortunately, the vanilla wafer cookies at Whole Foods are vegan friendly are are what I use in this recipe!
Yes, this pudding stores well in the fridge for up to 5 days. If you want to make this pudding ahead of time, I would store the pudding separately and layer the pudding right before serving.
Yes! This recipe is easily doubled and tripled.
- Blend the pudding! Although you can certainly eat this pudding without blending it, blending the chia seeds is what creates that pudding, mousse like texture.
- Don’t try to substitute the chia seeds. Chia seeds are key here for the texture and thickness of the pudding.
More Vegan Desserts to Try
- Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding
- Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
- Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats (no-bake)
- 3 Ingredient Chocolate Nice Cream
Vegan Banana Pudding
- In a 16 ounce jar, mix together all of the banana chia pudding ingredients until well incorporated. Make sure all of the chia seeds are covered in liquid so they can absorb liquid and become gelatinous.
- Transfer to fridge and refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 2 hours.
- Optional: After refrigerating overnight, transfer mixture to a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Add layer of banana pudding to bottom of your 16 ounce jar, then add layer of vanilla wafer cookies and lastly a layer of banana slices. Repeat until jar is full.
- Top with cocowhip, cinnamon, and more cookies and banana slices.
- Storing: Store this pudding in the fridge for up to 5 days. Cookies will soften over time. Do not freeze.
- This is a large single serving! You may find it more appropriate for two people.
- If you like the texture of chia pudding without blending, you absolutely can skip step 3.
- If you do decide to blend it and own a newer wider base Vitamix, you will need to make a minimum of 2 servings of this chia pudding at a time or there will not be enough liquid in the canister to blend. If you have the older Vitamix model that is thinner or are using a single serving blending cup, 1 serving should blend just fine!
- I used these jars for this recipe. The price fluctuates a ton on Amazon so if you like them, just watch them for a good price!
General note about salt
Please pay attention to the type of salt called for in the recipe (if applicable). Not all salts are made equal and cannot be substituted 1 for 1. If you are substituting table salt for kosher salt, you will need to cut the amount called for in the recipe by at least half.
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.
This recipe was originally published October 16, 2020 and has been updated on March 17, 2021 to include new photographs, step by step instructional photos, FAQs and tips. The original recipe remains the same.