Will Boxed Pudding Set With Almond Milk?

We put boxed pudding mixes to the dairy-free test.

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Photo by: ac_bnphotos / Getty

ac_bnphotos / Getty

Looking for a dairy-free version of boxed pudding, like Jell-O?

We aimed to make this a reality by experimenting with setting classic boxed pudding with almond milk. To get the best results, we tried both instant pudding and cooked pudding, using shelf-stable almond milk and refrigerated almond milk. Of the four versions, only one yielded creamy, perfect pudding.

To get great pudding using almond milk, you’ll need to choose Cook & Serve (not instant) pudding, and refrigerated (not shelf-stable) almond milk. The trick is to adapt the measurements and to be patient. We tested with vanilla-flavored pudding, but our method for almond-milk Jell-O pudding can be interchanged with other flavors. The recipe is below.

First, the failures: We started with shelf-stable unsweetened almond milk. Neither the instant, nor cooked puddings yielded a successful result. All were thin and runny, way too loose to be eaten as pudding.

Next, we turned to refrigerated unsweetened almond milk, with better results. The instant pudding still did not work. The box instructions called for a "soft set" of five minutes, but after setting for 5 minutes and some time in the refrigerator to coax it along, the pudding was loose and liquidy.

So if you want to make boxed pudding with almond milk, opt for Cook & Serve pudding and a perishable almond milk, which has fewer additives, and will yield a thicker texture. Here is our recipe:

To make Jell-O pudding with almond milk, whisk the Cook & Serve pudding mix into 2 cups of refrigerated unsweetened almond milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium heat, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and let sit untouched for at least 5 minutes. We found that if you mixed the pudding within that 5-minute window, it became lumpy, so it’s important to let it sit for the full 5 minutes. Serve warm or chilled.

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