Low carb and low calorie, this easy protein pudding recipe tastes like a real dessert, yet it’s as healthy as a protein shake. Protein pudding is the perfect base for all kinds of low carb sweet snacks!
I learned this protein pudding recipe many years ago from a personal trainer I had at the time, who included it in my weight loss meal plan. It has since become a healthy go-to recipe from breakfast to late night dessert and everywhere in between.
Protein pudding is perfect for when you want to:
- Lose weight
- Eat a healthy dessert
- Use protein powder but are tired of shakes
- Cut carbs
- Have a quick high-protein meal
- Eat late at night
For me personally, I admittedly love going to my local frozen yogurt shop and piling up a bowl with candy, pretzels and hot fudge, but getting creative with how I make my protein pudding bowls has really helped me kick that bad, high sugar habit.
3-INGREDIENT PROTEIN PUDDING
EASY PROTEIN POWDER RECIPE
This 3-ingredient protein pudding recipe is:
Thick & creamy
Low carb (5g/serving)
High in protein (26g/serving)
EASY and quick to make
All you need to make this protein pudding is protein powder, almond milk and sugar-free pudding mix.
It’s easy to throw together because you just mix everything in a blender. (I use a nutribullet – no high power mixer necessary!) After blending, the protein pudding will have the creaminess of melted (real) ice cream. This will set to a pudding after a couple hours in the fridge.
This protein pudding is perfect for anytime of day (I even have it for lunch, sometimes!), but the secret that makes it ideal for a late-night snack is the type of protein powder: 100% casein.
Using casein protein (not whey) is KEY to creating a thick and creamy pudding.
CASEIN VS WHEY PROTEIN
The key ingredient that makes this into a protein pudding and not a protein shake is 100% casein protein powder.
Mixed with liquid, casein protein will naturally “set” into a pudding-like consistency; it’s much thicker than whey protein. (We add the little bit of sugar-free pudding mix to the pudding recipe for its flavor and gelatin to help round out the setting process for a perfectly creamy pudding result.)
Main difference between Casein and Whey
Like whey, casein protein is also derived from dairy, and both proteins are equally great to support weight loss and improve body composition. So, what is the difference? The main difference between whey and casein is the time it takes your body to absorb.
Casein protein is a slow-releasing protein that is slowly absorbed by your body, making it the ideal protein to have at night before sleep or during the day as a meal replacement. (Luckily those are the two times of day I want a healthy sweet treat like protein pudding the most!)
BEST CASEIN PROTEIN
I am very picky about what protein powder I use. I want my recipes to taste GOOD without any weird “protein” taste.
My favorite casein protein is Dymatize Elite Casein in the Smooth Vanilla flavor. We have been using this protein for YEARS. My husband and I both make protein pudding so often that we buy it in the 4-pound tub, but it’s also available in a 2-pound size.
I like using vanilla because it’s a versatile base to add pretty much any flavor of sugar-free pudding mix including pistachio, white chocolate, cheesecake and butterscotch.
We order it on Amazon, and looking at the over 500 reviews (4.5 stars), we are not the only ones obsessed with this casein protein! Review after review says how much they LOVE the taste. I couldn’t agree more!
The Amazon listing also includes some other casein protein recipe ideas. I want to try the Coconut Cake Balls!
PROTEIN PUDDING TOPPINGS
Protein pudding is totally great by itself, but it’s the toppings that take it over-the-top.
Get inspired by your favorite frozen yogurt toppings bar, and tweak the ideas to fit your lifestyle. There are tons of options to keep it super low carb and even more if you don’t limit food groups – all are healthy!. These are some of my go-to favorite toppings for the ultimate bowl of protein pudding:
Promix Protein Puffs
These unflavored, crunchy little puffs are the secret to getting that cereal-like crunch but for no carbs! One generous serving is only 50 calories, 0.5g fat, 2g carbs and 10g protein. Since they don’t have a flavor (sort of like the “crunch’ in a Nestle Crunch Bar), they go great with any mix of toppings. These are a must in my protein pudding bowls! Check them out on Amazon.
Chocolate Nibs or Chocolate Chips
I enjoy the flavor and crunch of unsweetened cocoa nibs, but if you like things on the sweeter side shop for stevia-sweetened chocolate chips like the kind by Lily’s brand.
Chopped Dark Chocolate
Try Lindt 90 or Trader Joe’s Montezuma 100% dark chocolate bar.
A generous 3/4cup (100g) of fresh strawberries only have 5g net carbs, which make them easy to include even for keto and low carb dieters! Fresh raspberries are also low sugar and pair great with dark chocolate.
I like fat free Reddi Wip because two tablespoons is only 5 calories…and I like a lot of whipped cream! (Regular has 15 calories/2T.) If you want the fat without any sugar, make homemade whipped cream and sweeten it with stevia.
SmartSweets Gummy Candy
Gummy candy is my go-to at the froyo bar and what I miss the most when I’m avoiding sugar, so I’m happy I found SmartSweets. A serving of SmartSweets gummy bears has only 3g net carbs and no artificial sweeteners. Most important, they’re good! I’ve enjoyed the gummy bears so far but they also have knockoff sour patch kids and swedish fish. Check out all of the options on Amazon.
Toasted almonds and crushed peanuts are especially good to get those old-fashioned ice cream sundae vibes going.
Look for unsweetened, and for extra flavor, toast it!
Mix it with a little extra water to make a peanut butter sundae-style sauce. Find on Amazon.
If you’re not watching calories, nut butter is divine with protein pudding! For an extra protein boost and fun flavors, try nut butters like High Protein Peanut Chocolate Maple Pretzel Spread, Pecan Pie Flavored Almond Butter (No Sugar Added) and Salted Caramel Walnut Butter.
This is great to double the size of your dessert for practically no extra calories! Make it at home and cut into cubes to add to your protein pudding, or for those extra lazy days, just use one of those remade cups from the grocery store. The sugar-free flavors are usually stocked in the refrigerated section. So easy!
Healthy Cookie Dough
My dream is to find the perfect healthy cookie dough recipe to recreate that “cookie dough ice cream feeling” in a protein pudding. I’m currently experimenting with recipes (like this one), so please let me know if you have one you love!
Just check out this bowl of vanilla protein pudding with peanut butter + chocolate chip protein cookie dough, protein puffs and PB2. Yum.
PROTEIN POWDER FOR BREAKFAST TO DESSERT
With endless options for toppings and several choices for pudding flavors, protein pudding is an easy way to get a serving of protein powder anytime of day from breakfast to dessert.
Go “breakfast” with mix-ins and toppings like cinnamon, berries and cereal.
Get a high protein snack to fuel the rest of your day by adding nuts and protein puffs or protein cookie dough.
Finally, treat yourself and stay on your weight loss plan with a late-night bowl of cheesecake flavored protein pudding with a few low-sugar berries and dark chocolate.
You’re only limited by your imagination!
MORE PROTEIN POWDER RECIPES
Healthy Berry Crumble
This easy 15-minute recipe transforms protein shake ingredients (frozen berries, protein powder, oats and almonds) into a warm, drool-worthy dessert. It makes a wonderful breakfast!
Low Carb Everything Bagel Crackers
Recipe coming soon!
Wonderful White Blender Bread
This blender recipe makes perfect white and fluffy, VERY low carb “bread” every time! The main ingredients are protein powder, egg whites and nonfat greek yogurt.
Find it in one of my favorite weight loss cookbooks (gets a solid 5 stars on Amazon!), the Trim Healthy Table Cookbook. Lots of great recipes to make, even if you don’t follow the diet. (I don’t.)
Related: My favorite recipes from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook (lots of good protein powder recipes in this book!)
Want more protein powder recipe ideas?
Follow my Protein Powder Recipes board on Pinterest!
I also pin healthy recipes, meal prep ideas, home workouts and the best weight loss tips.
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- 1 scoop Dymatize 100% Casein Protein (33g)
- 1.25 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1/2 tbsp Sugar-free, Fat-Free Pudding Mix (4g)
- Add all ingredients to a blender (I use a Nutribullet) and blend for 10-15 seconds.
- Pour into serving bowl, cover and place in fridge for at least an hour. (preferably 3+ and even overnight)
- Add optional toppings and enjoy!
TRIED THIS RECIPE? LET ME KNOW!
Leave a comment and tell me your favorite toppings. I love to try new combinations inspired by people’s favorite desserts!