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High Protein Vanilla Chia Pudding

Author - Alyssa Rimmer

This vanilla chia pudding makes the perfect breakfast – packed with protein (18g) but without the use of protein powder. Clean, healthy + delicious!

Protein Vanilla Chia Pudding - without the protein powder! 18g of protein per serving - and much healthier too!Chia seeds are a miraculous little ingredient.

For one, they make great house pets. And second, they make even better pudding.

If you haven’t jumped on the chia seed train yet, let me take a moment and try and convince you. Chia seeds are one of the most amazing foods that you can add into your diet. Not only are they packed with fiber, but they’re rich in antioxidants, protein and healthy fats. Plus, I’m tempting you with vanilla pudding so that can’t hurt, right?

Chia seeds, and chia pudding for that matter, seem to have taken the health community by storm. They’re everywhere and in EV-ER-Y-THING! When I hopped on Pinterest and typed in “chia” there were so many recipes it was incredible – and totally awesome at the same time. Hooray for the chia revolution!

But I digress. Let’s get back to the heart of today’s post. This super duper, crazy delicious vanilla chia pudding. 

Protein Vanilla Chia Pudding - without the protein powder! 18g of protein per serving - and much healthier too!

This isn’t any old chia pudding though. This is the SQ twist on a chia pudding. Because rather than just chia, nut milk and some sweetener, I added in…QUINOA. ← ding, ding, DING!

As I was thinking about this recipe, I realized that by adding quinoa I was not only getting more protein into the dish, but I was also moving it more from dessert land into the dessert-for-breakfast realm, which yes, I am completely okay with.

Okay so chia pudding for breakfast…that got the wheels turning again.

How to Make Chia Pudding - plus a protein-packed variation

One of the things that I know many of you struggle with is getting adequate amounts of protein into your breakfasts. Sure, you can opt for plant-based protein powders (and I do from time to time) or make eggs, but those aren't always the best options. That’s why quinoa and chia seeds are both great additions to any healthy breakfast – they really amp up the protein content of your meal. 

After calculating the nutrition for my quinoa + chia pudding, I realized that the protein count wasn’t as high as I wanted it to be. Basically, my goal here was to create a meal that had equal (or more) protein in it than your typical scoop of protein powder. My magic number that I was going for was 18 grams. (not really sure why)

With my initial test I was hovering just around 11 grams. Good, but not great. And then it hit me: HEMP HEARTS!

Another one of my latest obsession (aside from chia seeds) has been my discovery of hemp hearts. They are amazing – they don’t have much flavor, add a little crunch to things like salads and smoothie bowls AND they are seriously packed with protein. I put them pretty on everything.

How to Make Chia Pudding - plus a protein-packed variation

By adding just two tablespoons of hemp hearts to this pudding, I was able to up the protein content to around 17 grams. Granted, this may fluctuate depending on the type of milk you use, but I was content.

And my belly was content too. This pudding is bomb and mega good for you too. We’re talking crazy amounts of fiber, protein AND good for you fats. Yep, it pretty much turned into the most epic breakfast/dessert ever.

More Chia Pudding Recipes

Protein Vanilla Chia Pudding - without the protein powder! 18g of protein per serving - and much healthier too!
4.26 from 27 votes

High Protein Vanilla Chia Pudding

 Chia seeds are one of the most amazing foods that you can add into your diet. Not only are they packed with fiber, but they’re rich in antioxidants, protein and healthy fats. Plus, I’m tempting you with vanilla pudding so that can’t hurt, right?

Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword chia pudding, high protein, pudding, vanilla
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 1 serving
Calories 258 kcal
Author Alyssa



  1. Add all ingredients to a jar and stir together. Tighten lid and place chia pudding in the fridge to set, about 2 hours (or more).
  2. Remove and top with desired toppings. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts
High Protein Vanilla Chia Pudding
Amount Per Serving
Calories 258 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 123mg5%
Potassium 79mg2%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 155IU3%
Calcium 54mg5%
Iron 4.9mg27%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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High Protein Vanilla CHIA PUDDING - made without protein powder. This healthy pudding recipe has 18g of protein per serving and is made with all natural, gluten-free ingredients. It's quick, easy, delicious and vegan too!

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  1. Thank you for the high protein Chia seed pudding recipe, just curious how does it go to being 13 g of protein in the nutritional breakdown from the 18 new “in the article ? Xxxx

  2. Hello Alyssa. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I am planning to make it today.
    I have to ask, how did you calculate the carbohydrates for the finished product? I noticed that you listed 13 grams for one serving.
    The quinoa I purchased from Trader Joe’s is listed as 30 grams of carbs per quarter cup.
    Thanks for your help 🙂

  3. The Nutrition Facts insert on your recipe shows only 13 grams of protein although you mention 18 grams in your write-up. Why the disparity??

    • Hi Ginette, I’m not sure! I don’t use WW points on my site, but you can plug in the ingredients to any online calculator and it should give you that info 🙂

    • Vanilla powder is actually just ground vanilla bean – a spice not a protein powder. You could either leave it out or you could try vanilla extract but it might give it a little of a bitter aftertaste since the extract is uncooked.

      • Thanks for the awesome recipe. Just for reference for anyone who reads this in the future, I always use the extract and have never noticed a bitter aftertaste. It’s the same thing with cookie dough, it’s so disbursed, the bitterness is gone and the vanilliey-goodness is all there, unless you use too much.

        • If you have a store that sells spices in bulk, that would be your best bet. If not, I’d say Whole Foods over TJs–look in the spice aisle. If you can’t find it there, I know they sell it on Amazon! (I buy the one from Frontier Spices) xo

  4. Oooh! I’m excited to try this! Does it keep in the fridge for a few days? Could I potentially make a week’s worth of breakfast ahead of time?

    • I am also wondering this. Thinking about making 5 single servings on Sunday to eat Mon-Fri. Do you know if it would stay good in fridge that long? Can it be frozen?

      • I think they would…! I suggest only 2 – 3, but I don’t think they’d go bad in the fridge as long as you have them sealed up nicely. And I haven’t tried freezing, so I’m not sure about that one.

  5. One note about the hemp hearts, some people test positive on a UA while eating them. My brother lost a job over it.

  6. This looks so good! I’ve never actually tried hemp heart but I see them in recipes all the time. Where can you find them at a grocery store?

  7. WOW! That is one power packed dessert! Love it! Great for me at this point in marathon training! I love that you made it vanilla too, so simple, but one of my favorite flavors 🙂

  8. I wonder if they ever had hemp heart pets?! Lol! Jk! And um…. Yum! And whoops, I signed in with my husbands Disqus account. Just FYI it’s really Lindsay here. Haha

  9. Second chia pudding I’ve seen this morning…..I still need to make it and I think this might be the one! I like that it’s much more “filling” than just chia seeds!

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