Vegan Chocolate Protein Pudding (Two Ways!)

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Fresh strawberries behind two cups of our Vegan Chocolate Protein Pudding made with your choice of cashews or black beans

What’s more amazing than chocolate pudding? A healthier, protein-packed version!

We’ve been pudding fans since forever and chocolate is our absolute favorite (obviously). But any time we can make a dessert healthier without compromising flavor, we’re in!

With more than 10 grams of protein per serving, this naturally-sweetened, 6 ingredient, 1 blender protein pudding is a winner. Plus, we created two versions: one with cashews and one with black beans!

Let’s do this!

Tray with ingredients for making our delicious Vegan Chocolate Protein Pudding

There are lots of reasons to love this pudding, but one of them is its simplicity. It starts with soaking then draining the cashews, or rinsing and draining black beans (yes, beans in dessert again!).

Blender filled with ingredients for making our vegan chocolate protein pudding recipe with black beans

Next, the black beans (or cashews) are blended with nut milk, cocoa or cacao powder, sweetener, and sea salt until smooth and creamy. Then the pudding goes in the refrigerator to chill.

Freshly blended Vegan Chocolate Protein Pudding made with black beans

Once chilled, the texture is more like chocolate mousse (!!) than pudding. Swoon!

How to Make Nut-Free Vegan Pudding

We wanted to make sure those who are nut-free could join in the vegan pudding fun, too, so we made a version with black beans instead of cashews. And we can easily say both are delicious and undetectably healthier than standard pudding options.

Though it maintains a tiny bit of graininess in texture compared to the cashew version, the black bean pudding is lower in fat and higher in protein. And it’s secretly our favorite…shhhh!

Overhead shot of a bowl of our Vegan Chocolate Protein Pudding with a fresh strawberry and coconut whipped cream

We hope you enjoy this healthier dessert as much as we do! It’s:

Naturally sweet
Rich
Chocolaty
Simple
Healthier than your average pudding
& SO Delicious

Into pudding? Check out our 5-Ingredient Vegan Peanut Butter Pudding and Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Pudding!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Overhead shot of two bowls of Vegan Chocolate Protein Pudding topped with coconut whipped cream, a strawberry, and shaved chocolate

Vegan Chocolate Protein Pudding (Two Ways!)

Rich, chocolaty vegan pudding made two ways: with cashews or black beans! Naturally-sweetened and made with just 6 simple ingredients.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Close up shot of a bowl of our homemade vegan Chocolate Pudding recipe
4.78 from 18 votes
Prep Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 2 (Servings)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 scant cup raw cashews OR use 1 cup (185 g) cooked unsalted black beans* in place of 1 scant cup cashews
  • 3-4 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk or light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (or sub more dates)
  • 2 pitted Medjool dates (or sub more maple syrup)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil (for healthy fat, creaminess + firmness // optional)

FOR SERVING optional

Instructions

BLACK BEAN PUDDING

  • To prepare the black bean pudding, simply drain and rinse black beans and add to a blender with remaining ingredients. Blend until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust sweetness as needed by adding more maple syrup or dates.
  • There will be little bits of beans in the pudding. To remove those, simply pass through a fine mesh strainer and you’re good to go!

CASHEW PUDDING

  • To prepare the cashew pudding, add raw cashews to a mixing bowl and cover with boiling-hot water. Let soak for 1 hour, then rinse and drain thoroughly.
  • Add to blender along with remaining ingredients and blend until creamy and smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Add more almond or coconut milk if it has trouble blending, but add only as much as is necessary to help it blend. You want it pretty thick! Taste and adjust sweetness as needed by adding more maple syrup or dates.

SERVING & STORAGE

  • Scoop pudding into serving containers and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator until cold and thickened — at least 2-3 hours. Serve as is or with coconut whipped cream and strawberries or bananas! A drizzle of peanut butter would be a delicious addition.
  • Both puddings will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days. We haven't tried freezing these but would suspect they would freeze for up to 1 month.

Video

Notes

*If adjusting the serving size of the black bean pudding, be sure to manually adjust the called-for amount of black beans.
*The black bean pudding does maintain a tiny bit of graininess in texture, as opposed to the cashew pudding which is completely smooth. However, I slightly preferred the flavor of the black bean pudding and the texture didn’t bother me. Also, considering how low in fat and high in protein it is, I’d have to say the black bean version is my favorite!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated for the cashew version using the lesser amounts of almond milk and maple syrup and without optional ingredients.
*Nutrition information for 1 of 2 servings of the black bean pudding was calculated with the lesser amounts of almond milk and maple syrup and without optional ingredients: Calories = 234, Fat = 2.2 g, Saturated fat = 1.0 g, Carbohydrates = 51.3 g, Sugar = 22.6 g, Sodium = 57 mg, Potassium = 672 mg, Protein = 10.3 g.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 servings Calories: 459 Carbohydrates: 49.4 g Protein: 13.8 g Fat: 28.6 g Saturated Fat: 5.6 g Sodium: 63 mg Potassium: 771 mg Fiber: 7.6 g Sugar: 25.7 g

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  1. Lyndsey says

    This recipe is delicious!! I used the black bean recipe and end up putting in more milk to make it smoother. I add milk until i’m happy with the consistency and don’t see little bits of beans . It also helps get rid of the grainy texture and I blend until smooth. You don’t have to strain it this way either. Meegwetch for sharing your delicious food with us!

  2. Emily says

    This turned out so well for me using a combination of black beans and soaked cashews. I tweaked the ratio slightly, not that it matters too much, to 1 cup black beans and 1/2 cup cashews. I think the coconut oil really helped it become velvety smooth and rich. Wow, those adjectives are my favorites. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Gia says

    By the way, I’ve been a fan for a long time! It’s killing me that I can’t eat your Healthy Brownie Granola Bars! ? You are also very well known and respected in a couple of FB group to which I belong. We are Orthodox and have certain dietary restrictions (vegan) when we have to fast from certain foods at different times of the year, as well as Great Lent before Easter. Many of your recipes are perfect for that. I want to thank you for that also! ??

  4. Gia says

    I have a question that pertains to what Maliya asked September 12, 2019. I have to be on the low FODMAP elimination diet and cannot have cashews, dates, or beans. Can you please recommend any substitutes? I would greatly appreciate it! Thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Gia, maybe macadamia nuts in place of the cashews? It won’t be quite as creamy though. You may also want to look into using activated (soaked) cashews as it is our understanding that small amounts of those are permitted on the low FODMAP diet. Hope that helps!

      • Gia says

        Thank you SO. very much for getting back to me so quickly! I just double checked and I can only have the following amounts of each.
        Macadamia nuts 20 nuts; 50 g
        Activated Cashews 10 nuts; 15 g
        Wouldn’t that be too few for the recipe?

        • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Gia, This recipe calls for 105 g cashews, so a very small serving (1/7 of the recipe) should be able to be enjoyed =) Or try macadamia nuts for a larger portion size.

  5. Jessica McLaws says

    I made the black bean version and love it!! I doubled the ingredients and followed the recipe as written using the higher amounts suggested. I had no grainy texture from the beans, but it was definitely thick; I could have frosted cupcakes with it! Should I just add more milk next time or maybe use less dates?
    I plan on making this weekly as a replacement for chocolate almond yogurt that I eat every day. This is cheaper, healthier and will save me from buying things in plastic containers.

  6. Lexi says

    I love this. It came out great (cashew version). I used flax milk in place of the almond, cacao butter for the coconut oil, and the lower end of the range for the maple syrup, since I like things not too sweet. Thank you for this recipe!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kim, we haven’t tried it, but think it might work! Let us know if you give it a try! We’d recommend starting with 1/2 the amount of cashew butter as it’s usually 2-3x more dense than whole cashews.

  7. Janice Oppegard says

    Good stuff! I made the black bean version without dates. And my blender was not powerful enough to get it super smooth, but who cares!? So, so good. I stretched it into 3 servings to prolong the delicious experience.

  8. Cassie Autumn Tran says

    To be completely honest, I expected a super simple recipe of mixing tofu, almond milk, and cocoa powder. Heck, even just a scoop of vegan protein powder with almond milk was a possibility! But you really took your creativity to the next level and integrated beans! WOW, what a fabulous idea! Black bean brownie batter is such a guilty pleasure of mine (or not so guilty, you decide). It’s nice to have a recipe where you can enjoy it without being judged now! LOL!

  9. Naomi VW says

    Hello, I was reviewing the recipe + comments & have a question. I’m thinking of going the graham crust pie route as one reviewer mentioned for my neighborhood Halloween party. Your notes mentioned that while you haven’t frozen the pudding it should freeze fine. My point & ? Is : if I do freeze this as a pie, do you think it would be fine to leave out in 78 degree FL weather as is – frozen & wait for it to come to fridge temp / consistency before serving ? or should I keep it on ice ? Apologies for the drawn out story ☀️?☠️

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh, I think that should be fine! If it’s frozen and then you let it thaw it should be fine, even at a warmer temperature.

  10. Mamatha says

    This was delicious. I made the cashew variation with dates only. So much better then the tofu pudding I have made in the past! This will now be my go to recipe! Thanks!

  11. Donna says

    I forgot to add the dates. Oh bother! That will make a difference to the sweetness for sure. I am not a fan of black beans but I wanted to try the lower fat version. I strained the pudding through a sieve to remove the bean bits. My verdict? Not bad for a black bean pudding although the texture is a little grainy. It isn’t fair to judge it yet as I messed up with the dates. I will make it again and let you know if I change my mind.

  12. Lisa says

    I’ve been looking for ways to get more beans in my body and this is one of the best yet! I’ve made this twice so far and I know I’ll make it again. I made the black bean version, left out the coconut oil and I tossed in a small handful of cashews just for a little healthy fat. The first time I made it I tossed in a handful of vegan chocolate chips as well. So good either way! I make your golden milk recipe often and wonder if you can make a golden milk pudding — with white beans maybe? Might have to give that a try after I gobble up this batch! Thanks again for all of your awesome recipes! Xo

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Lovely! So glad you enjoyed it, Lisa. As for the golden pudding, we haven’t tried that yet! But if you do let us know how it goes! Love the idea.

  13. Lena says

    I had a chocolate craving and had a can of black beans in the pantry so I made this with a few substitutions – 2 tbsp of coconut sugar and 1 tbsp of raw honey because thats all I had. it was perfect, not too sweet. also I did 1 tbsp of melted cocoa butter instead of coconut oil ;) honestly it was absolutely delicious as is but next time I think ill add some espresso powder or a tbsp of cold brew coffee in there to jazz it up a little. it came together in about 3 minutes and satisfied my sweet tooth. thank you!

  14. Joshua Howard says

    Wow! The best pudding ever! I made it with raw cashews and almond milk. The taste was perfect! Thank for this recipe and clear instructions!

  15. Roshini says

    I just made the cashew version, and it turned out so well. Thanks so much for the recipe! *SWOONS*
    Only thing I did differently was add 2 extra dates for sweetness & topped it with mini peanut butter chips. :)
    I honestly will not be sharing the 2nd serving with anybody. ;)

  16. Kelly says

    I love this pudding–even though I inadvertently left out the coconut oil–which I’m sure would make it even creamier. Even though I’ll gladly make it again for myself, I gave it 4 stars because the rest of my family was somewhat underwhelmed by it. They couldn’t get over the idea of black beans in their pudding, while I think the black beans are the beauty of this recipe! Keep the healthy, planty recipes coming! :)

  17. Chris says

    Surprised my wife with this when she got home from a trip and she was blown away! I made the “black bean edition” and it didn’t need any oil or anything (we don’t use oil but occasionally I’ll use coconut oil for baking, because it’s delicious), just another tablespoon or two of almond milk to get the consistency juuust right.

    The only downside is that I want to make this every day now and my life feels empty and without meaning without it. Upside is it improved my marriage! Thanks Dana!

  18. Molly says

    I made the black bean pudding for my very picky 11 & 9 year old kiddos. It passed as a “thumbs up” dessert! Love the sneaky protein!

  19. Nicole says

    I made the black bean version, it was really yummy! It definitely needs the chill step, I ate the first portion right away in a chocolate-craving frenzy and the taste was good but texture not so much, but round 2 the next day was lovely on both fronts. I’ll try the cashew version sometime too. It’s pretty crazy to eat a dessert knowing there’s half a cup of black beans hidden in there (a bit weird psychologically but awesome).

  20. Ania says

    I made a cashew version today. Had to add more than 1/4 cup milk to thin it down but the result is fantastic! served with a pomegranate molasses drizzle, divine!

  21. María says

    I love this recipe! It was one of the bonus ones way back when email subscribers got extra recipes. The black bean version didn’t turn out for me. However, the cashew one is A++

  22. maliya says

    i’m super excited to try this out! Although I must mention that people who are nut free can’t usually have beans because they are in the same family (as someone with siblings with the allergy) So while I can have either version i’m curious of more ways it could be made for them to indulge:)) Thanks!

  23. Kristi says

    This sounds delicious!! I’m wondering if you think it would work to use cashew butter, in place of the cashews?
    Thanks!

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooh, SMART! I think so yes! Let us know if you give it a try! I’d recommend starting with 1/2 the amount of cashew butter as it’s usually 2-3x more dense than whole cashews.

  24. Anne says

    Wow! Every once in a while I have a meal that has lots of veggies but is a little lighter in protein.. I’ll just have this for dessert! Anxious to try the black bean version.. it’s a little more budget friendly too….