Creamy lemon chia pudding layered with a quick blueberry compote for easy breakfast parfaits! Add your favorite toppings to this overnight breakfast or quick grab-and-go snack option, perfect for weekly meal prep!
Thank you to Stahlbush Island Farms for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
Tart citrus flavors and sweet blueberries are a delicious combination for a kid-friendly breakfast that can also be served as a healthy dessert!
This lemon chia seed pudding is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based, and vegan. Depending on the non-dairy milk you chose, this chia pudding parfait is also nut-free.
How to Make Chia Pudding
Perhaps the easiest healthy pudding you can make, chia seed pudding takes only a minute to whisk together and then it hangs out in the refrigerator to thicken.
To make the chia lemon pudding, simply soak the chia seeds in a liquid mixture overnight. For this recipe, we’re using dairy-free milk, some lemon juice for zip, maple syrup for a touch of sweetness and a bit of vanilla for additional flavor. Once the chia seeds hydrate, they swell and result in a pudding-like texture, not unlike tapioca pudding. Here’s a quick breakdown of how to prepare lemon chia pudding:
- Add the chia seeds to a bowl or mason jar.
- Whisk in the dairy-free milk, maple syrup and vanilla. Let sit for 15-30 minutes.
- Whisk in the lemon juice, cover the bowl or jar and set in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight to thicken. The reason we add the lemon juice after the mixture has sat for 15 minutes is to give the seeds the chance to absorb some of the milk – if you add the lemon juice to the milk directly, the milk will curdle.
Chia seeds need time to absorb the moisture, creating a gel like sack around the seed, and takes about 3-6 hours to fully hydrate which makes chia pudding a great overnight breakfast.
The Perfect Ratio of Chia Seeds to Liquid
For the perfect thick pudding texture, the ratio of chia seeds to liquids (non-dairy milk, maple syrup, etc) about 1:4. So for every cup (250 mL) of liquid, you’ll need about ¼ cup (40 g) of chia seeds. In testing, I found that the acidity from the lemon juice created a thinner chia pudding and so this lemon flavored chia pudding has more seeds in it than some other chia pudding recipes, so it’s nice and thick.
Once thickened, stir again and add a bit of milk if you prefer a thinner chia pudding. If you’d like it really thick, you can whisk in another tablespoon of chia seeds and let the lemon pudding rest for another 15-30 minutes.
The most basic chia pudding requires only chia seeds and a liquid so on it’s own it doesn’t have much flavor. Here we add a touch of sweetness from maple syrup, some zesty lemon, a pinch of salt and a touch of vanilla.
So…What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are little nutrition powerhouses which are from the chia herb, a relative of mint, native to Mexico and Guatemala. The seeds have the ability to absorb up to 10 times their weight in liquid, and have very little flavor, so will naturally take on the flavor of which ever liquid you choose to hydrate them in! If you’re curious to learn more about this functional food, check out this summary article.
How to Make Blueberry Compote
Another great make ahead breakfast option and addition to chia pudding is berry compote. Perfect for topping all the breakfast things like pancakes, waffles, smoothie bowls, etc. In this case, we’re layering the blueberry sauce with our lemon chia pudding for a delicious and nutritious combination!
Simply combine the blueberries, maple syrup or sugar, and lemon juice in a small pot, let it come to a simmer and cook for a 10-12 minutes, or until they thicken and their juices can coat the back of a spoon.
Enjoy the blueberry compote warm or store in an air-tight container and serve chilled in the morning with the lemon chia pudding.
Feature Ingredients & Substitutions
Use your favorite non-dairy milk as the base for this chia pudding. My go-to is soy because of it’s nutrient profile and flavor. If you use a sweetened milk, the chia pudding will, naturally, be a bit sweeter.
Coconut milk is delicious in this pudding and can provide additional calories for little ones, as well as a luscious, thick texture.
Chia seeds can be black or white. I used black ones because they’re more common in stores but if you’re looking to make a pudding where the seeds blend in more, seek out and use white ones.
Be sure to use whole chia seeds in this recipe, not ground chia seeds.
For a touch of sweetness, I love the flavor of maple syrup. It also provides some of the moisture for the chia seeds to hydrate.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice has the best flavor but you can use bottled lemon juice. The finely grated lemon zest is a really nice addition for flavor as well as the pretty yellow speckles in the final breakfast pudding!
I used Stahlbush Island Farms frozen blueberries in the blueberry compote. Frozen berries are great because they are easy to get year round, while maintaining their flavor and nutrition qualities.
If you have some fresh blueberries you need to use up, they will also work in this berry compote recipe. Just add a splash (3 tablespoons/45 mL or so) of water to the saucepan with them so that they don’t stick and burn to the bottom.
Other berries work well in this easy compote. Some of our favorites include strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and mixed berry!
Make Ahead and Storage Suggestions
Pre-Portion for Easy Meal Preparation, or Store Separately:
Once the chia pudding is thickened and the blueberry compote has cooled, you can layer the chia pudding with the blueberry compote for pre-portioned in small 1 cup (8 oz) canning jars, OR you can store the chia pudding and the blueberry compote separately and assemble as needed. If you’d like to use crispy toppings like granola or dried cereal, wait to sprinkle those on top at the time of serving so the cereal doesn’t go soggy.
I love to prepare the overnight chia pudding and blueberry sauce in these cute Weck tulip jars, but any mason or canning jar is great for plant-based breakfasts on the go!
Storing in the Refrigerator or Freezer:
The chia seed pudding will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container or jar for up to 5 days. The blueberry compote may last a bit longer in an air-tight container, upwards of a week in the refrigerator. If you assemble the vegan parfaits with the chia pudding and blueberry compote, they will last for about 5 days sealed in the refrigerator.
Both the chia pudding and the blueberry compote can be frozen separately or layered together as parfaits. Simply remove them from the freezer the night before and place them in the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
Serving Lemon Chia Pudding Breakfast Parfaits
To serve, layer the lemon chia pudding with the blueberry compote. One of our favorite ways to assemble these breakfast parfaits is to place a spoonful of compote on the bottom of a jar, fill the rest with chia pudding and then load on the toppings.
Sprinkle with your favorite toppings! Here are some suggestions:
- a variety of nuts or seeds
- granola, muesli, or other dried cereal
- coconut flakes
- fresh or frozen berries, or chopped fruit
- dried berries or fruits
- a dollop of nut or seed butter
- a bit of non-dairy yogurt or whipped coconut cream
- a drizzle of maple syrup
- dash of cinnamon
More Vegan Breakfast Ideas
If you make this Lemon Chia Pudding with Blueberry Compote, please give it a rating in the recipe card and leave a comment below! Follow along on Instagram where you can tag me in your creations using my recipes! You can also follow me on Pinterest for vegan recipe inspiration and on Facebook. Thank you for reading!
Lemon Chia Pudding with Blueberry Compote
Lemon Chia Pudding:
- ½ cup whole chia seeds
- 1 ¼ cup non-dairy milk of choice (I use soy)
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
- 2 cups frozen blueberries (see Notes for substitutions)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Desired toppings such as granola, seeds/nuts, nut butter, fresh fruit, etc
Lemon Chia Pudding:
- In a medium-sized bowl or a large jar, whisk together the chia seeds, milk, maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Let the mixture rest for 15-30 minutes, then whisk in the lemon juice and zest being sure to break up any lumps of congealed chia seeds at the bottom. Cover tightly and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours or overnight, until the chia pudding has thickened.
- In a small saucepan, combine the bluebrries, maples syrup, and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes or until the compote is bubbling and slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you're ready to assemble or serve the breakfast parfaits.
- To serve or to meal prep, spoon the chia pudding into small jars (I used 218 mL jars), leaving room at the top for blueberry compote and your desired toppings. If making these jars as part of your meal prep, add the granola at the time of serving so it doesn't go soggy (unless you prefer the softer texture!)
- Store the leftover chia seed pudding and the blueberry compote in separate airtight containers, or pre-assemble the parfaits in lidded canning jars or small ~ 1 cup (250 mL) containers for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
The Nutrition Information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the Nutrition Information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.
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