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How to Make Protein Pudding

So…while you guys are working hard on your Bariatric Foodie Pledge goals for week one, I thought I’d post this little tutorial since one of my recipes this week requires protein pudding.

Many bariatric companies sell protein pudding mixes, which always makes me shake my head. It’s so easy (and way cheaper) to make it yourself!

Let’s go over how you make vanilla protein pudding.

Nik’s Vanilla Protein Pudding


  • 16 oz. milk (so there’s been some debate about whether you can use other milk besides cow’s milk. I’ve always been told traditional instant pudding won’t set with soy or almond milk – and the global collective brain…er…Google…seems to agree – and a Foodie below in the comments tried almond milk and it did not set. So…while you may use whatever type of milk you want, my official suggestion is cow’s milk of some sort. I believe you CAN use Lactaid if you are lactose intolerant)
  • 2 scoops protein powder (I used this)
  • 1 box (1.5 oz) nonfat, sugar-free vanilla pudding mix


Get out your blender (I’ll wait). If you’re using a big pitcher blender, pour both cups of milk and both scoops of protein into the blender and blend until smooth (About 45 seconds. Also, it may be slightly bubbly but don’t worry about that). If you, like me, have a Magic Bullet blender, you have to do it one cup at a time.

Once your protein and milk are blended, transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add your pudding powder.

Using a hand mixer on low speed, mix in pudding until fully incorporated (about 90 seconds). The pudding will be mostly set when you’re done. If you’ve mixed your milk/protein well, there should be no lumps! Refrigerate one hour before serving. (NOTE: My wonderful Foodie Friend, Taz, says she simply adds the pudding powder to her blender. Whichever way works, go for it! From my perspective what works about this process is mixing the lumps out of the protein with the milk BEFORE adding the pudding powder.)

This makes about 6 – 8 servings of pudding, depending on how much you can eat. If you have more than you think you can eat right away, no worries! Break out the old popsicle molds and make protein pudding pops! They keep in the freezer for a few weeks and make a nice “faux-naughty” treat.

If you’re adventurous, you can add different things to flavor this up. In the past I’ve added a splash of Davinci sugar-free Butter Rum syrup for a faux-boozy pudding. I’ve done Davinci Chai Tea Concentrate for an exotic chai pudding. I’ve even added green tea powder to make green tea pudding. The possibilities are endless.

Just remember, if you’re using flavor additives, add them to the protein/milk mixture in the blender BEFORE adding the pudding powder.

How to Make Protein Pudding
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    How to Make Protein Pudding
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      1. Stupid question…is there any reason you couldn't mix the pudding mix in the blender with the milk and protein powder? That is how I usually make it and I'm wondering if it comes out better if you use a beater?

      2. Hey Taz,

        I always get at least a few lumps when I do it that way. This way it is always completely lump free. But if mixing it all together works, go for it!!! Play with your food!

      3. I'm going to try it this way next time and see what I like best.

      4. Mixed up a batch about a half hour ago, with instant nonfat vanilla pudding – all in the blender. Mixed the protein and (unsweetened almond) milk first, for two full minutes (similar to the Triple X method, only with no ice), and I then added the pudding mix very slowly.
        It's setting in the fridge, and appeared to be lump-free.

      5. – Will have to try this again… Nik, what size box of instant pudding did you use? Not sure if there wasn't enough pudding mix, or if the almond milk may have affected it, but after 8 hours in the fridge, it was still not set. So, I did what any self-respect BF reader would do – I PLAYED WITH MY FOOD! I brought a serving to work, and put it in the freezer for an hour or two. Right before I wanted to try it, I stirred it up well – it was like eating gelato, or frozen custard! I may mix a bit of instant espresso (maybe decaf, maybe not…) in one of the other servings before I freeze and eat it – I may also stir in some gelatin to see if it'll firm up any more.

      6. Ah-HA! I feel semi vindicated. A Foodie on FB said that the pudding not setting right with almond milk was a myth (well I think she said she made it with soy), so I removed that from the post, thinking hey maybe they are right. I'm sorry your batch turned out poorly. For the record I just asked the earth's collective brain (aka Google) who agreed that generally most pudding mixes don't set right with almond or soy milk. So…I'm putting it back into the directions! But way to go for playing with your food!

      7. I've made pudding this way for years and it's great. Like Nik says, the combinations are endless when you add SF syrups. Occasionally I will have a batch that doesn't set and I've chalked it up to adding too much liquid (if I get really ambitious with the syrup). But I notice that Nik's recipe uses 2 scoops of protein powder. I've always used 1 scoop and I think that's the issue. I'm making a batch today with 2 scoops and I'll see how it goes.

      8. Hey Mary! Yep, I add one scoop of protein for every 8 oz. milk. That's my basic formula for any place I put milk/protein together. And you can even measure it down that way. If you do something that has 4 oz. milk, add half a scoop protein powder, etc.

      9. Hi Nik, Was wondering if you used skim or fat free cows milk?? I tried this last night measured everthing out and it did not set by this am? I had made it once a long time ago and it set but broke broke by the next day. Not sure if it has something to do with the addition of the protien? Anyhow I am going to freeze it like the poster above did!!

      10. Yep. I used fat-free cow's milk. What kind of milk did you use?

      11. I did use fat-free cows milk. Not sure what went wrong?? Next time I am not going to use the full amount of milk maybe only 12 oz instead of the 16oz amount.

      12. I have used soy milk with no problem. I just substitute 1 cup of soy milk for 1 cup of cow milk.

      13. I made it exactly like you said, only using choc & choc! It wouldn't even start to set up or thicken. Then I realized I made a mistake when shopping and bought the pudding mix you have to cook. So then I had to cook…It was by far better than any instant pudding ever was. It took a couple of minutes longer and a dirty pan to clean, but was worth it. Just try it sometime. It was delicious, creamy, fudgey…

      14. I'm late to the game having only found this recipe today. Decided to give it a try but I used chocolate protein & SF pudding with raspberry Torani. Mixed the milk & protein for a couple minutes in the blender then added the pudding and blended a couple minutes more. Yummy! Doing it that way gave it a mousse like texture. Made the mistake of letting my DH & DSs try it and then I had to share. :-/ would make a good chocolate cream pie if I could find a wls friendly Graham cracker type crust 🙂

      15. Instant pudding mix definitely does not set up with almond milk! I should know—I have a 6 year old waiting right now for her vanilla pudding to set while I search the internet for a way to fix what we have mixed up: Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding and 2 cups of almond milk. Wish I’d known sooner that it does not work! Am frantically trying to fix it as we speak by adding extra corn starch before I lose the Best Nana Award!

        • I’ve never tried this but I’d think dry milk might do the trick if you have some. Use the DRY amount equivalent to the amount of milk you were supposed to put in. I’d beat it with a hand mixer to avoid lumps. Let me know if you try that and if it works out!

      16. I just tried this using 2% cows milk, but I used a protein that was not whey based and it is not setting at all!!! I will try it with whey protein in the future to see if that helps. Its not lumpy, but it is basically drinkable which isn’t what I had hoped for.

        • Hi there, Erin. The type of protein should not have affected it setting. Have you refrigerated it for an hour? Is it still soupy? If so, it may be that you got a bum package of pudding (that’s happened to me before!) or it may require less liquid and you might just have to play around with it, but I wanted you to know that using non-whey protein does not affect a pudding’s ability to set. The only thing that (theoretically) affects the ability to set is the type of milk you use. If anything, the protein should make it set faster and firmer.

      17. Nice to know that you use “Pure Protein” brand as well!

      18. Good for you trick with the pudding ? I used almond or coconut or even cashew! Add some oat fiber to your pudding!! Each teaspoon adds 3 grams of fiber and carbs? to your pudding, I use a 2 tablespoon per box of sf pudding. I double dog dare it not to set!!!? usually within 5 minutes!!!!

      19. Alright, i started out with 1 question and it turned into several.

        1. Is there a reason why you use 2 cups milk instead of the 3 it calls for? Setting is what i figured.

        2. My scoop is 33.3g of powder, ( protein ). Should i add milk for that reason?

        3. Set time: My shakes are about 2dys in the fridge. I’ve pushed 3 but it changes a lil & not as tasty.

        4. Being as there is protein, do you think it would be an issue having it in a ready use graham cracker crust?

        Thank you! I look forward to hearing from you!
        Thank you,

        • Hi Jon. Sorry to take so long to reply! My computer needed an exorcism. Ok let’s tackle these questions:

            My pudding box 2 cups. Your mileage may vary. I’d suggest using whatever is on your box!
            That’s a pretty standard size scoop so I would not add any additional milk to what the box says.
            My pudding sets without me putting it in the fridge. When in the fridge, 30 minutes max. Protein shakes and pudding are different (mostly b/c pudding has egg in it to help it set).
            I don’t believe in issues with recipes except with what YOU are comfortable eating! I mostly do Fiber One crusts because I like Fiber One and I struggle to get enough fiber so it’s a win-win. Run the numbers on a graham cracker crust and see how you feel about it. If you’re ok with the numbers, go for it! They are yummy!
      20. Have used silk almond milk, chocolate flavor and the 30 cal/cup variant, and pudding set fine in the fridge over night. 1 scoop chocolate muscle milk protein powder at 25g protein and 155 calories, brings 2 cups of pudding to around 315! Very delicious dessert indeed! Oh, and I just make sure to blend the protein powder with milk before adding the pudding. No lumps

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