Apple Pie Overnight Chia Pudding

~ The whole idea of Overnight Chia Pudding is to create a super-fast, make-ahead breakfast you can whip up the night before. Great for meal prepping so you’ve got grab-and-go breakfasts all week long, too! Brilliant! But be warned: this Apple Pie Overnight Chia Pudding is such a deliciously decadent variation – you might just find yourself craving it for dessert, too! ~

This Recipe Is:     Make Ahead    Vegetarian  

collage of two of the recipe photos, with text overlay between that reads "Apple Pie Chia Pudding"
one little jar of the finished breakfast recipe, with text overlay reading "Apple Pie Overnight Chia Pudding" and a spoon next to the jar

small Weck jar filled with this chia pudding, with crumbled graham crackers and cinnamon-dusted apple wedge for garnish

Apple Pie … for breakfast? Hey, why not?!?

I mean, we’ve done it before. (With our 10-Minute Apple Pie Oatmeal. Or, really even with our Healthy Apple Cobbler Muffins – cobbler and pie are pretty much kissing cousins, after all.)

So why not leverage all the fiber, antioxidants, protein and omega-3 goodness of chia pudding, and give you even more pie-filled, make-ahead breakfast opportunities?

This super-easy Overnight Chia Pudding recipe is loaded with:

  • grated apples (gotta have apples for “apple pie”!)
  • cinnamon, of course
  • graham cracker crumbles for that pie crust vibe

Yep. Pie … for breakfast. We’re here for you like that. We’ve got your back.

Even better? It’s make-ahead breakfast pie. (You’re totally winning here!)

overhead of three little jars of meal prep chia pudding, garnished in three different ways with cut apples, graham crackers and cinnamon

By now, you probably know that chia pudding is somewhat of an obsession for our family. We spent last summer like mad chia-pudding-scientists in our kitchen laboratory, testing and retesting … and concocting all sorts of delicious variations. Our super-customizable Easy Chia Seed Pudding Recipe was one of the results. So was our beloved Chia Pudding with Coconut Milk and Berries (our First Watch copycat recipe!) and our decadent “Candy Bar” Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

Seemed about time to unveil yet another of our mad-chia-scientist creations: this Apple Pie Overnight Chia Pudding! Ta-da!

What’s So Great About Chia Pudding?

Chia pudding is really cool because it’s both healthy and also very delicious. Those little chia seeds are often touted as a superfood, and they’re full of nutrients with lots of health benefits.

jar of chia seeds with a scoop full of chia seeds in front of it, gently spilling chia seeds from the scoop across the counter

(If you’re new to chia pudding, you can read more about what it is in our Basic Chia Pudding recipe post.)

But, the super-awesome thing about chia seeds is that, when you mix them with water, milk, juice, or any other liquid, they soak up the liquid … and expand. Talk about a cool science project! It’s kinda like an antioxidant-, fiber-, and protein-packed version of those magic growing toys you had as a kid. Just put ’em in water and watch ’em grow!

Chia basically makes ultra-healthy jello (or … well … pudding, actually).

But how?

Well, chia contains a thick, gluey substance (which almost all plants produce – chia just has a lot of it) called mucilage. Chia’s soluble fiber and mucilage work together, allowing chia seeds to expand impressively into tapioca-esque pearls (approximately 10 times their original weight) as they turn the surrounding liquid into a “gel.”

So, when it comes to making pudding, chia does the hard work for you. All you have to do is add your flavorful ingredients and liquid …

mixing bowl and whisk combining the ingredients, with a measuring cup full of chia seeds pouring chia into the bowl

… and stir. The chia seeds will naturally swell over the next few hours.

Poof! You’ve magically got pudding! (Thanks, little chia seeds!)

So how do you make our “Apple Pie” version? Easy peasy! Check out our pictorial walk-through …

How to Make This Apple Pie Chia Pudding

At this point, it’s probably pretty easy for you to guess how you’d go about making apple pie-flavored chia pudding, right? Super quick and simple. Blink and you might miss it, actually.

Ready???

Step #1

Mix your chia with cinnamon, maple syrup, brown sugar … and a liquid, of course.

whisk combining cinnamon into pudding mixture that's in a glass mixing bowl

Here, we’re using coconut milk, but as we discuss below, you’ve got plenty of other options you could choose, instead. Chia pudding is crazy-adaptable. Grab whatever milk you happen to have in the fridge.

Stir thoroughly.

Step # 2

Set the bowl aside and wait a lil’ bit (about 10-15 minutes is good – see more details below about preventing clumping).

While you’re waiting, it’s the perfect time to grate some apple.

Honey Crisp apple that's been partially grated, sitting on cutting board next to a box grater and a small pile of grated apple

We like the texture of grated apples in the chia pudding – instead of large chunks – but, as you can see in some of our photos, we sometimes garnish with a few crisp, fresh little chunks of apple for serving.

What type of apple you use is up to you, but we generally reach for Honey Crisps because they’re our favorite and we’ve always got some milling around in the crisper drawer.

After your pudding has been sitting for a bit, stir it again. Be really sure to break up any clumps of chia seeds that are still stuck together.

And then, mix in your grated apple.

glass mixing bowl with all ingredients mixed together except for the grated apple, which is pile on top and ready to be mixed in

Step #3

Now it’s decision time. (But don’t worry – this isn’t a hard decision!)

You can either choose to leave your entire batch of pudding in a large serving bowl, so you can scoop some out whenever anybody is hungry. (Hint: this also makes it really easy to dip in a sneaky little spoon for a quick bite any time you happen to walk by the fridge. Just sayin’. I speak from experience.)

But you can also opt to divvy your pudding up into single-serve containers, so it’s ready for breakfasts on the go. (We love using the cute Weck jars you see in our photos. They’re the perfect single-serving size and so pretty!) 

Cover and refrigerate.

overhead of a bowl filled with this chia pudding recipe, with cinnamon sticks, a red-striped towel, an apple and a serving spoon nearby

Your chia pudding will actually be soft-set and totally edible after only about an hour. But, if possible, we recommend waiting at least 2 hours before eating it, until the pudding is creamier and more fully set. Or, you know … since this is supposed to be overnight chia pudding … you can just go on ahead and get cuddled in for a good night’s sleep … and then wake up to find breakfast waiting for ya!

Step #4

Add some toppings!

Definitely gotta have crumbled graham crackers to give you some “pie crust” flavor. You can also go for small apple wedges or bits of chopped apple, and even a pretty dusting of cinnamon. Up to you!

For a really fun, snazzy presentation, you can even layer some graham crackers and apple chunks in between layers of pudding, like this:

closeup of one jar of the pudding, served in layers with crumbled graham crackers and chopped bits of apple in between pudding layers

But note that if you wanna go for the layered look, the graham crackers should only be layered in between the chia pudding right before serving (so they don’t get soggy overnight). If you’d prefer to spoon your pudding into cute little jars ahead of time, then definitely wait to sprinkle the graham crackers on top at the last minute – instead of attempting layers.

And now for the best part …

Step #5

Eat up!

That’s it! That’s all there is to it. Well … almost

If you’ve never made chia pudding before, or you’re a total food science geek like we are at my house, here are some useful tips to get truly great, life-changing, perfect Apple Pie Chia Pudding every time …

How to Prevent Clumping

Okay. As I mentioned, the chia can clump up, which certainly isn’t the worst thing in the world. But, clumping can cause the chia to take longer to set up … or it can leave the pudding with pockets of unappetizing, crunchy chia that didn’t expand quite right and got all stuck together.

If you ever find that this has happened, simply break up the clumps, stir, and put your pudding back in the fridge for a little longer. The chia that couldn’t soak up liquid will now be able to expand.

But, it’s really easy to avoid the problem altogether in the first place. That’s why we tell you to:

  • Stir together the chia seeds, milk, and flavorings … but don’t put the bowl in the fridge to fully set up just yet. Instead, leave the bowl on the counter or somewhere you won’t forget. 

“Hey, Alexa. Set a timer for 15 minutes.”

  • Come back 10-15 minutes later – the chia will be just slightly starting to expand. Stir or whisk it again and break up any stubborn clumps that you can see forming.

mixing spoon in bowl of just-mixed chia pudding, showing how to break up clumps

  • Now, cover it and pop it in the fridge so it’s ready for later, free of the fear that your chia will be clumpy (egads!). As I suggested above, you can store the whole batch in the mixing bowl, or portion out smaller servings for meal prep.

Flavor Perfection Tips

In order to make your chia pudding journey as yummy as possible, we’ve spent lots of time in our mad-scientist kitchen lab (happily eating lots of chia pudding!). And, we’ve fine-tuned our Apple Pie Overnight Chia Pudding recipe to a point of extreme deliciousness.

Here are a few tips and preferences we’ve learned along the way!

  • Chia to milk ratio:

Most recipes that I’ve seen suggest a ratio somewhere between 1:2 and 1:4 (that’s 1 part chia to 2 or 4 parts liquid – or somewhere in between).

After our testing, we recommend starting with ¼ cup chia seeds to 1 cup of liquid (a 1:4 ratio). 

For my family, that creates the ideal texture and pudding-y thickness.

But, if you’d rather have a thinner pudding, you can add more liquid or decrease the amount of chia. On the other hand, if you want your pudding thicker, you can cut back on the liquid or increase the amount of chia.

  • Choosing your milk:

There’s no “wrong” choice of milk, but they all have slightly different flavor profiles.

We’ve decided that coconut milk is our favorite for this recipe because it has a very subtle flavor that combines well with our other ingredients. 

But, chia will absorb any liquid you throw at it.

various jars of ready-to-eat, make-ahead chia pudding breakfasts, with a spoon at the ready and a few crumbles of graham cracker nearby

We’ve also tested: 

Dairy (cow) milk, which is creamier but doesn’t taste quite as good as coconut milk with this specific recipe.

Cashew milk, which is the darkest, richest and nuttiest of the milks.

And Almond milk, which is very similar to cashew milk but is lighter in flavor.

  • Choosing your sweetener(s):

We’ve tested honey, maple syrup, white sugar, and brown sugar with our various chia pudding recipes.

For this recipe variation, we enhanced the “apple pie vibe” and created a richer flavor by using a half-and-half mix of brown sugar and pure maple syrup (the real stuff – not the pancake topping). 

(For a more detailed explanation of Chia to Milk Ratio, Milk Options, and Sweetener Preferences and Options, check out our Easy Chia Seed Pudding recipe.)

So basically, you should feel absolutely free to put on your own mad scientist lab coat and tweak your chia pudding mixture to your heart’s content. Chia pudding is a really forgiving recipe and works with all sorts of ingredient mixtures and combinations!

Overnight Chia Pudding: The Perfect Make-Ahead Breakfast!

Since chia needs a few hours to set up, you definitely can and should consider making this ahead of when you actually want to eat it.

Overnight is truly perfect.

We like to think of it as being very comparable to making overnight oats. (Psssst … if you like overnight oats and all their make-ahead-ability, check out one of the many recipes we’ve posted. My personal favorite is “5-Minute Blueberry-Almond Oatmeal.”)

closeup of one serving jar, with other jars in background

No doubt, chia pudding is terrific for meal prep! (BTW … we talk more about this in our “basic” Overnight Chia Pudding recipe.) So here are a few thoughts to cheer you on to discovering the morning joy of meal prepping:

  • Consider whipping up a huuuge batch.

We’ve found that chia pudding lasts for at least 3 days in the refrigerator. Depending on what type of apples you choose for this particular version – and how well they hold up – you can probably even stretch it to 5 days.

Make a huge batch, and you’ll feed a small army – or, at least your ravenous kids (what’s the difference, really?) – for an entire workweek.

  • Save yourself time in the morning!

As a sleepy teenage boy, I have to admit that time management is not my strongest skill, especially when it involves an early morning, an alarm clock, and a snooze button.

My mom (she’s the best) usually makes me breakfast before school, or at least helps. But, on the days that she can’t, I don’t always leave the time to make a full breakfast. 

But on days like that, if I find my hero – chia pudding – in the refrigerator, all prepped from the night before and ready to gobble down in seconds … well that’s seriously awesome!

So guess what! No surprise: We like to keep a bowlful in the fridge for exactly those types of mornings – and so should you!

overhead photo of an antique spoon dipping into one of the serving jars

Grab a little container of chia pudding and a spoon, and head on out the door!

Chia pudding packs in both convenience, and some serious keep-you-full nutrition.

  • Don’t stress – remember that chia pudding is really, really low maintenance.

My teenage cooking skills are kinda mediocre {ahem} “still in development”, and following a long, complicated recipe sheet of instructions isn’t how I like to cook. Trust me – if I can make this, you definitely can, too!

As I keep emphasizing, chia pudding is perfect because it’s just so forgiving. You can play with every aspect of the recipe, and make it exactly how you prefer it.

No stress. No worries!

The Perfect Dessert Chia Pudding, Too!

For sure, this yummy chia pudding is totally at home as a super-healthy breakfast or brunch. Of course – that’s obvious, right?

But how about as a virtuous dessert?

Sure! With a name like APPLE PIE Chia Pudding … well, you really just might find yourself sneaking some of this pudding for a guilt-free dessert treat, too!

Better yet? Don’t sneak it.

Scoop it out proudly and fearlessly … and nosh with abandon. This is one dessert you can truly feel great about!

If you haven’t fallen head-over-heels in love with all the wonders of Overnight Chia Pudding … today is definitely your day!

trio of serving jars with various garnishes, next to a cutting board, a red-striped towel and a messy stack of graham crackers

Give this one a try! And be sure to keep an eye out for more upcoming chia pudding recipes. I’m totally not kidding when I tell you how much we adore ’em, and how much you will, too!

And hey – we’d love to have ideas for our next mad-scientist-chia-experiements (and more reasons to eat chia pudding)! We’ve actually got a whole list of 30 amazing Chia Pudding Recipes, with all sorts of creative flavors, but we’re always looking for the next one to try, the next one to “invent.” Let us know down in the comments section what you think of this recipe, and what new flavor of chia pudding you want to see next!

Apple Pie Overnight Chia Pudding

Apple Pie Overnight Chia Pudding

Yield: 2 1/2 cups
Prep Time: 9 minutes
Wait Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 9 minutes

This is a super-fast, make-ahead breakfast you can whip up the night before – or make a batch for quick breakfasts all week! Great as a healthy dessert, too!

   Make Ahead    Vegetarian  

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (the lower-fat refrigerated kind, such as Silk – not canned) or other milk of choice (see note)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup of unpeeled, grated apple (from about 1 medium apple – we use Honey Crisp apples)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup of crumbled graham crackers (we like low-fat cinnamon)
  • additional graham crackers, cinnamon, and chopped or thinly sliced apple for garnish, if desired

Instructions

  1. Mix coconut milk, chia seeds, brown sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a medium bowl with a spoon or whisk, stirring thoroughly to combine.
  2. Set aside briefly and stir or whisk again after about 10-15 minutes to break up any clumps of chia seeds. Stir in grated apple.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least an hour or two, or overnight. At this point, you can divide it into 4 single-serve containers such as the adorable Weck jars we used in our photos, or leave your pudding in a large serving bowl to portion out later. The pudding will be soft-set after about 1 hour. But, if possible, we recommend waiting at least 2 hours before eating, until the pudding is creamier and more fully set.
  4. When ready to serve the pudding, if it's not already divided into single-serve containers, portion out 4 equal servings. As you do this, you can layer some crumbled graham crackers in between the layers of chia pudding if you'd like, or simply sprinkle the graham crackers on top. (We don't recommend layering the graham crackers with the pudding overnight, however, as the graham crackers will become soggy.)
  5. Serve immediately, topped with additional graham crackers, cinnamon sprinkles, and apples as desired.

Notes

Milk options: As we mention in the post, we've tested Chia Seed Pudding recipes with various milks, including coconut, almond, cashew, and dairy. All of them work just fine, and although there are slight variations in flavor, those differences are minimal in this recipe. Use whichever you prefer, or whichever best meets your dietary needs (such as vegan or nut-free).

Make-ahead and meal prep: The base for this Overnight Chia Pudding keeps well, covered in the refrigerator, for at least 3 days. You might want to make a double batch for quick, grab-and-go breakfasts (and even snacks) all week long. We recommend waiting to add the toppings until just before serving, however, so the graham crackers are crunchy and any additional apple topping is fresh and crisp.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 servings Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 29mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 5gSugar: 12gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.

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overhead of one little jar of this pudding, garnished with a graham cracker and an apple wedge

20 thoughts on “Apple Pie Overnight Chia Pudding”

  1. I would love to wake up to this for breakfast! Overnight breakfasts have been a favorite of mine for the past few months! Thank you.

    Reply
  2. This has become a new breakfast staple! Besides being super tasty, I love how it keeps me full throughout the morning, and I love that I can get my day started quickly since it’s prepared the night before.

    Reply
  3. Ah, this pudidng is amazing. I mean it looks amazing and uses the ingredients I love the most. I can only imagine how great it is to start a day with something as delicious as this pudding!

    Reply

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Published on
Updated on August 1, 2021
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