If you're looking for a way to add fiber and protein to your dishes, or to thicken a recipe but don't have any chia seeds on hand, don't worry! We have a list of the 12 best substitutes for chia seeds! There are plenty of other seeds that provide a similar texture and nutritional value that we're outlining for you.
It's tough when you run out of a kitchen staple, but having secondary options that are just as good is a must! Like keeping some of my favorite substitutes for lemon pepper, mustard seeds, harissa paste, and substitute for mint!
Chia seeds are one of my absolute favorite kitchen staples to have on hand. I add them to just about every healthy breakfast or lunch, like smoothies, oat meal, overnight oats, muffins, and even make chia pudding.
This blueberry overnight oats is the perfect recipe to use chia seeds, or alternatives from the list below.
Chia seeds are packed with nutrients from omegas, fiber, antioxidants, protein, and more.
They are usually used as a thickening agent, because of their unique ability to absorb liquid and form a gel-like consistency. Though they are an extremely versatile ingredient in various recipes from sweet to savory.
BEST SUBSTITUTES FOR CHIA SEEDS
Use these chia seed substitutes based on your specific recipe and needs, whether it's for thickening, nutrients, or texture.
When substituting chia seeds with any of these alternatives, be sure to adjust the quantity to achieve the desired texture and consistency that you're after.
SUBSTITUTES IN SMOOTHIES, OAT MEAL, AND PUDDING
Ground flaxseeds can be an excellent substitute for chia seeds in recipes that need a binding or gelling agent. They're also a powerhouse of nutrients just like chia seeds. They are packed with fiber, ALA omega-3s, calcium, and a good source of potassium.
How to use it: Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons of water to replace one tablespoon of chia seeds. Use in oatmeal, pudding, smoothies, or baked goods.
2. Hemp seeds
Hemp seeds add a similar nutty flavor and nutritional value to your dish. However, they won't be able to bind or create a gel like chia seeds can. They are still a great option that I use regularly, and they're so tasty!
How to use it: Add to smoothies, oat meal, desserts, or baked goods.
Psyllium husk powder works as an amazing binding agent and add tons of fiber to your recipes. You'll have to watch the amount you add, as it can be very effective at creating a gel-like consistency with just a little amount.
How to use it: Start with a small amount and adjust as needed in baked goods.
Rolled oats or oat bran can be used as a thickening agent in recipes like overnight oats or smoothies, but they won't provide the exact same nutritional benefits as chia seeds. Though, oats do provide a good amount of fiber and some protein!
How to use it: Use in smoothies, baked goods, or overnight oats.
Amaranth seeds can be used as a substitute in some recipes that need a bit of texture. They're small in size and have a mild flavor. They don't form a gel but can provide a bit of texture to your recipe. This whole grain breakfast porridge is full of nutrients and texture, and can be made with amaranth or chia seeds.
How to use it: To provide texture.
SUBSTITUTES TO THICKEN AND BIND
If you're looking to thicken a dessert or make a jelly-like consistency, unflavored gelatin can be used as a substitute. Follow the instructions on the gelatin package for proper usage.
How to use it: Use to thicken, or make a jelly-like consistency.
Arrowroot powder is a natural thickener that makes a great alternative in baking or sauces.
How to use it: To bind and thicken.
Cornstarch can be used as a thickener in recipes that require chia seeds for their binding properties. You'll have to watch the amount you use or how you use it, since it might alter the texture and the flavor slightly.
How to use it: As a binding agent.
9. Xanthan gum
Xanthan gum is a powerful thickening agent that's great to use in gluten-free baking.
How to use it: To replace chia seeds in recipes where a thickening agent is needed.
Glucomannan is a water-soluble dietary fiber that can create a gel-like consistency. It's an amazing product that has a ton of nutritional value, which is yet another great alternative to use.
How to use it: Use it as a thickening agent.
SUBSTITUTE FOR COLOR AND TEXTURE
11. Poppy seeds
One of the closest looking ingredients to chia seeds is poppy seeds. They can be used in recipes to replicate the look of chia, especially in baked goods. All in all they make great substitutes for chia seeds in baking!
How to use it: Use for color and texture.
Not only are black sesame seeds nutritious but they also resemble chia. They make a great substitute in baking or cooking where color and texture are key.
How to use it: Use for color and texture.
WAYS TO USE CHIA SEEDS
I like to add them to muffins, oat meal bars, or cookies! This delicious chocolate oatmeal cups recipe is perfect for a quick grab-and-go breakfast that's packed with nutrients.
Another amazing use of chia seeds that can easily be substituted are these lemon chia muffins that are the perfect bite-sized snack for on-the-go!
Chia puddings are one of my absolute favorite desserts, snacks, and breakfasts on the go. They come together fast and easily and can be made with various fruits and flavors! Try this mango chia pudding that's a refreshing breakfast option!
There's nothing better than making a healthy and easy grab-and-go breakfast. Overnight oats are just that, plus they're absolute delicious! There are a variety of great recipes that can easily use chia seed substitutes for overnight oats. Some of the tastiest are biscoff overnight oats or this banana cinnamon overnight oats recipe!
Chia is used as a binding agent when replacing eggs in baking, or corn starch in salad dressing, among many other options. One yummy dressing to use is this spicy chia dressing with carrot salad. It's a creative way to add the nutrients and binding agent of chia to every day meals.
Chia seeds don't have a strong flavor and are fairly neutral tasting. They do have a mild nutty taste to some. They tend to be close to poppy seeds' flavor profile. Because of their neutral mild flavor, they are easy to incorporate into various dishes from baked goods, puddings, dessert, and even flavor recipes, like salad dressing.
There are a variety of other seeds that provide nutrients and texture to substitute chia seeds in overnights oats. Use hemp seeds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, amaranth seeds, or poppy seeds for texture. I highly suggest trying hemp seeds as a first choice. They provide a great nutty flavor and tons of nutrients.
They are packed with nutrients, including fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins (like vitamin B), and minerals (such as calcium and magnesium).
Chia seeds can be soaked in liquid (water, milk, or juice) to create a gel-like consistency. Soaking them will thicken any liquid, making a great chia puddings with the addition of fruits or sweet spices, like cinnamon. You can also consume them dry by adding them to any recipe lacking some nutrients!
The recommended daily intake of chia seeds varies, but a common guideline is to eat around 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 grams) per day, as part of a balanced diet. You can easily add them to oatmeal, smoothies, or make chia pudding.
Yes, chia seeds are naturally gluten-free. Making them a great option for anyone with gluten sensitivities or celiac.
Yes, chia seeds can be used as an egg substitute in baking by mixing 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 2.5 tablespoons of water, and wait until it forms a gel-like consistency before using it in baked goods.
12 Best Substitutes For Chia Seeds For Every Recipe
- Use any of the ingredients above to substitute chia seeds in baking, pudding, smoothies, overnight oats, and more.
- Use in your recipe!