The search for a delicious and healthy breakfast stops here with homemade Banana Chocolate Chia Pudding. It’s easy to make and can be prepped overnight for a grab-and-go meal. With rich chocolatey flavor and plenty of fiber and protein, this banana chocolate chia pudding has become a new favorite in my meal rotation. Make it part of yours as well!
I have other recipes for more indulgent breakfasts, such as Vegan Full English Breakfast or Vegan Japanese Milk Bread, but during the weekdays I prefer something lighter. Made from nutritious chia seeds, mashed bananas, cocoa powder, and a touch of maple syrup, this creamy and decadent pudding is the perfect way to treat yourself while staying healthy.
The chia seed is small but mighty. In just 1 measly tablespoon, you can find:
- Fiber (4g)
- Protein (2g)
- Omega-3 fatty acids (2g)
- Calcium (80mg)
- Antioxidants galore!
Most of the world only discovered this superfood in the last few decades, but in Central and South America, where the chia seed is native, people have recognized its importance for millennia. The word “chia” comes from the Nahuatl word chian, which means oily or greasy, referring to the fat content of the seeds which made it a valuable nutrition source.
One traditional Mesoamerican recipe is chia fresca, where chia seeds are mixed with water or juice to create a refreshing beverage. Other drinks that use chia are atole and pinole, both from Mexico.
Our modern chia pudding was likely inspired by some of these early culinary feats!
What Makes the Best Banana Chocolate Chia Pudding
When it comes to the humble chia pudding, math matters. Too much chia seed with not enough liquid? Your seeds won’t be fully hydrated and you’re left with a dry and unsatisfying mush. Too little chia? A soupy mess. Too much cocoa powder? Bitter. Not enough cocoa? You’ll miss the rich chocolatey taste.
I had to run my own experiments to decide for myself what the best. After testing the recipe dozens of times with varying ingredient ratios, I found what I think is the perfect combination. This chia seed pudding is:
- Single serving (makes enough for one light meal or large snack)
- Sweet but not overwhelmingly so (best for a healthy breakfast)
- Big banana flavour (surely that’s why you’re searching for chocolate banana chia pudding?)
- Chocolatey as hell (between the cocoa powder and chocolate chips, we’re doubling up on the chocolate here)
- Made right in the mason jar (less dirty dishes is always a good thing)
- Most importantly: THICK (no one likes a soupy pudding)
What You’ll Need
Let’s take a look at the ingredients for this chocolate chia pudding. You’ll only need 6 ingredients to make it:
Chia seeds — Because of their high fiber content, chia seeds become gelatinous when hydrated and are able to absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid! That makes them ideal for thickening up recipes like this chocolate banana pudding. They are also documented to promote a feeling of fullness, which is perfect for satisfying your morning hunger.
Cocoa powder — I prefer Dutch processed cocoa as it has a stronger cocoa flavour, but natural cocoa works a treat too.
Banana — Use the smallest banana you got, that’s enough for this recipe.
Maple syrup — Just a tiny amount to bring it to the right sweetness. You won’t taste much maple flavour in the final product. You can use any other sweetener you’d like: I’ve made this pudding with granulated stevia, pekmez, brown sugar… you name it.
Milk — I use Homemade Soy Milk, but you can use your favourite milk here. Chocolate milk would go over fantastically here.
Chocolate chips — Personally I like sweetened chocolate chips for a little extra hint of decadence, but I’ve also made this with semisweet “baking chocolate” chips. Cacao nibs are another good option. Or even try a chopped-up chocolate bar.
For a full list of ingredients and quantities, refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- For the ultimate wake-me-up breakfast, mix 1 tsp of instant coffee or espresso powder into each jar.
- If you’re more into maple than banana, replace the mashed banana with 1/2 tbsp of maple syrup. Top off the pudding with maple cream instead of sliced bananas.
Here are some creative topping ideas for making your banana chocolate chia pudding unique. (I recommend adding the toppings right before eating so they don’t have a chance to get soggy.)
- Granola or trail mix
- Toasted Coconut Flakes
- Homemade Peanut Butter
- Pumpkin seeds or Roasted Pumpkin Seed Butter
- Maple cream
- Crumbled bits of Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chopped Roasted Nuts
- Your favourite cereal
If you have a tasty flavour variation or topping for chia pudding, please let me know! Post a comment so I can add your idea to this post and help future readers.
I recommend making this recipe in a half-pint mason jar (8 ounces or 1 cup capacity). It’s just the right size to hold the pudding. You can assemble the ingredients right in the jar to minimize cleanup.
Step 1: Mix together the chia seeds and cocoa powder. It’s important to mix really well to eliminate any lumps in the cocoa. Once you add the wet ingredients, those lumps become so difficult to get out.
Step 2: Add in half of your banana. Mash it right in the jar by squishing it against the bottom and sides of the glass (the riper the banana, the easier this is). A rough mash is fine; no need to get it super smooth.
Step 3: Next, add the maple syrup and stir to combine everything in the jar.
Step 4: Pour in milk and stir to make sure everything is distributed evenly and there are no clumps stuck on the bottom of the jar.
Step 5: Refrigerate for at least four hours, or—if meal prepping—up to two days. The chia seeds will hydrate and swell, thickening the chia pudding into a firm gel.
Step 6: When ready to eat, take the remaining half of your banana and cut it into slices. Top with banana slices and chocolate chips… and enjoy!
Make Ahead & Storage Tips
This chocolate banana chia pudding is safe to keep in the fridge for five days, but is best consumed within two days. Any longer than that, and I find the banana flavour isn’t so fresh anymore.
Did you make this recipe? Please consider leaving a rating below to let me know how you liked it.
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Banana Chocolate Chia Pudding
Use Imperial/Metric buttons below to toggle between volume vs weight measurements. I recommend weighing out your ingredients for best results.
- Half-pint mason jar (= 8 oz or 1 cup capacity; I like these Ball jars)
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- ½ tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 small banana
- ½ tbsp maple syrup *can sub with sweetener of your choice
- ½ cup Homemade Soy Milk *can sub with any milk of your choice
- 1 tbsp chocolate chips or cacao nibs
- In a mason jar, add 2 tbsp chia seeds and 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder. Mix until there are no lumps to be seen.
- Roughly mash half of the banana into the jar. Add 1/2 tbsp maple syrup and mix well with the chia seeds and cocoa powder.
- Pour in 1/2 cup of soy milk. Stir until everything is well combined, with nothing stuck at the bottom of the jar.
- Cover the jar with a lid or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least four hours, or up to two days.
- When ready to eat, top with remaining banana slices and chocolate chips (see
for more ideas). Toppings