Dairy-Free Vegan Tapioca Pudding

Vanilla tapioca with blackberries

Dorling Kindersley: Charlotte Tolhurst / Getty Images

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • Soak: 2 hrs
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
190 Calories
10g Fat
24g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 190
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 8g 42%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 69mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 1g
Calcium 180mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Traditional tapioca pudding is prepared with milk and eggs and sometimes cream. This vegan variation uses cornstarch as a thickening agent and coconut milk as well as almond milk in place of dairy-based milk or cream. The result is a cleaner taste and texture that's more satisfying over time.

Small pearl tapioca is usually found in the same section of the grocery store as other dry pudding mixes. You might also see flakes, coarse meal, or sticks, but these are to be avoided for this recipe. Small pearl tapioca is not the same as "minute" tapioca, which is pre-cooked tapioca combined with soy lecithin that is just not as tasty.

The key to delicious tapioca pudding is all in the effort; tapioca pudding is hard work as there is a lot of stirring involved, but it is well worth the muscle. You can expect to stir up to 15 to 20 minutes to get the consistency right for the perfect tapioca. Enlist help if you need it, but it's more about patiently stirring consistently than it is about stirring hard or fast.


  • 2 cups almond milk (divided)
  • 1/3 cup small pearl tapioca (not "minute" tapioca)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (canned)
  • 1/3 cup sugar (unrefined cane sugar or white granulated sugar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine 1 cup of almond milk and the tapioca and let the mixture soak for 2 hours to overnight in the refrigerator.

  3. Whisk the remaining almond milk, coconut milk, sugar, and salt into the tapioca mixture. Add to a saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.

  4. After you've brought the mixture to a full boil (after about 10 to 15 minutes of stirring), turn down the heat. Continuing to stir often, let the mixture simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes.

  5. Once the tapioca beads are translucent add the cornstarch mixture, stirring constantly until combined. Turn up the heat to medium, add the vanilla, and cook for just a few minutes more, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.

  6. Remove from heat and let the pudding cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

  7. Serve warm or cold. If serving cold, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding before placing in the fridge to prevent a skin from forming.

Recipe Variations

Tapioca pudding can be served by itself as a simple comfort food dessert. But also think of dressing it up with fresh or canned fruit. You can layer it as a compote in a dessert glass and garnish with a mint leaf for a lovely presentation. It goes very well to cap a dinner of Thai food as tapioca pudding is a traditional Thai dessert.