These simple chia seed parfaits are perfect for an easy make ahead breakfast. They are full of sweet flavor and only take 5 minutes of prep time!
Reasons You'll Love This Recipe
- Vegan: This recipe is fully vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian because we don't use any dairy, eggs, or other animal-based products.
- Gluten-Free: This recipe is gluten-free.
- Simple Ingredients: You only need a small handful of basic ingredients to make these vegan chia parfaits.
- Great for Meal Prep: If you run short on time in the mornings this is a great option for an easy grab and go breakfast.
Oat Milk: We use oat milk as our liquid base in this recipe. You can use a flavored oat milk, plain, sweetened or unsweetened, etc. anything that you like best. I typically use unsweetened vanilla oat milk.
Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are the "body" of this recipe. When we mix them with the oat milk and yogurt they expand and become nice and plump. This is the reason we have "resting time" once we mix them so that they can properly absorb the liquid.
Yogurt: I use a plant-based yogurt alternative in my recipe and like to use a vegan vanilla yogurt. You can use any flavor or brand that you like best.
We use the yogurt twice, once in the chia seed pudding and a second time as a layer of our parfait.
Fruit: Adding fresh fruit on top is the finishing touch to our parfaits. Use any fruit that you like best!
Superfood powders: This is the not so secret ingredient that I often use to get that bright pop of color in my parfaits.
I use a wide variety of superfoods such as spirulina powder, beet root powder, dragon fruit powder, and more! I expand a bit below in the Superfood Powder section.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and quantities.
Top Tip: When you make the chia pudding portion of the parfait make sure to stir it well, wait 3 minutes, then stir it again. This will break apart any clumps that will start to form.
Substitutions & Additions
Swap out the plant-milk: This chia pudding parfait recipe calls for oat milk as its liquid base but you can use any type of plant milk you like best. Some other options are almond milk, cashew milk, or soy milk.
Use a different flavor of yogurt: I use vanilla plant-based yogurt in this recipe but if you're looking to switch things up you can use a yogurt with a different flavor.
Add protein: Making protein chia parfaits is easy by mixing in some nut butter. You can use almond butter, peanut butter, or cashew butter. Mix it in with the chia pudding or drizzle some on top at the end.
You can also mix a little vegan protein powder into your chia pudding for an extra boost of protein.
No superfood powders: You don't have to use superfood powders in these parfaits. You can either use a flavored yogurt with a pretty color or just omit it completely.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Start by making your chia seed pudding. This is going to take the longest of all the steps. Just mix together the yogurt, chia seeds, and oat milk in a container. Wait three minutes then mix it again to break up any clumps.
Cover the mixture and place it in the fridge for at least an hour so it thickens up. Note: you might need to let it sit a little longer to thicken more.
Step 2: If you're using a superfood powder mix the powder into your yogurt at this time. Stir everything until it's well combined.
Step 3: Find a jar for your parfait and start assembling it. Add a layer of the chia pudding followed by a layer of yogurt and finally fruit on top.
Step 4: You can either store these parfaits in the fridge for later or enjoy them fresh.
- Mix the chia pudding well: Follow the instructions closely and mix the pudding right away and at 3 minutes to avoid clumps. This is important for correct absorption and ending texture.
- Use fresh fruit: The biggest problem I see people have with this recipe is that the fruit on top goes bad before they get to enjoy the recipe. Use fresh fruit, and make sure it's washed and patted completely dry before assembling the parfait. You can also add the fruit when serving to avoid this.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you add a really small amount they don't usually taste like anything. Some of them have a slightly sweet flavor and some taste a little like algae (spirulina powder) if you add too much. We use such a small amount that it really shouldn't change the flavor of your parfait.
They last 3-4 days in the fridge in a covered container but three days on average. The chia seed pudding and yogurt is usually fine by days 3 & 4 but if the fruit on top isn't super fresh when you make them or if it's wet when you add it to the top it can mold and cause the parfaits to go bad sooner. One option here is to make the parfait but leave the fruit out until you're ready to serve them.
There are two ways I get my chia parfaits to have those beautiful & vibrant colors. Either by using a flavored yogurt or by adding superfood powders to vanilla yogurt or to the chia pudding.
Below are some of the top superfoods I use in my parfaits:
Blue spirulina powder: This is how we get that beautiful blue color! I only use a little but so we don't get a seaweed flavor (yum!) but a little goes a very long way.
Green spirulina powder: You'll get a vibrant pop of green by adding a small scoop to your
Dragon fruit powder: Using dragon fruit powder in your chia parfaits will give you a rich & vibrant pink color.
Beet root powder: This is another way to get that pretty pink pop of color.
Acai powder: If you're looking for a purple pop of color, this is the choice for you!
This is a link to my Amazon page where I have my top recommendations for superfoods listed: link to Superfood Powders (as an Amazon affiliate I may earn on qualifying purchases).
You can choose any topping that you like best, these are some of my top recommendations:
- Fresh fruit
- Granola (you might want to add this when serving so it won't get soggy)
- Nuts & seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Dried fruit
- Chocolate chips
- Nut butters like peanut butter, cashew butter, or almond butter
You can use any type of fruit that you like best but these are my top recommendations:
- Dragon fruit
One of the biggest questions I get asked about this chia pudding parfait recipe is what to do if your chia pudding isn't getting thick. These are my top troubleshooting recommendations:
Mix it really well, and more than once: Don't let it clump up! This is probably the number one issue I see when troubleshooting this recipe for users.
Stir the ingredients for the pudding really well and right away when making that part of the recipe. Wait about 3 minutes then stir it really well again. The chia seeds will start clumping up really quickly when they meet liquid and if they clump together they won't properly absorb.
If you're still having an issue with clumping I would stir for a third time around the 5-10 minute mark but I almost never have to do this.
Stir well and stir often.
Use fresh chia seeds: Sometimes expired or old chia seeds won't absorb the liquid (oat milk) as well as fresh chia seeds. Make sure you're using fresh ingredients.
Let it rest in the fridge longer: Every batch will be slightly different and sometimes they just need a little extra time to absorb the oat milk. Give them an extra 30-60 minutes if you're finding they aren't absorbing well. Better yet, you can leave then in the fridge overnight.
Use less oat milk: If all else fails, just use a little less oat milk the next time you make them.
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Chia Pudding Parfait
- 1 cup oat milk
- ¼ cup yogurt vanilla
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ½ cup chia pudding
- ½ cup yogurt
- ¼ cup fresh fruit
- ¼ teaspoon superfood powder optional
- Start by making the chia pudding. Mix the ingredients together in a jar or container and stir it all really well. Wait about 3 minutes then stir everything again so there are no clumps. Cover the jar and place it in the fridge for at least one hour or until it thickens.
- If you're using a superfood powder you can mix the vanilla yogurt and superfood powder together in a separate bowl until well combined.
- Assemble the parfaits by pouring a layer of chia pudding at the bottom of a jar or container followed by a layer of yogurt, then fresh fruit or any additional toppings.