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Learn how to make The Best Tapioca Pudding with these easy steps. Creamy, delicious and this pudding is made in less than 30 minutes.

A clear bowl of tapioca pudding
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Make this classic pudding recipe with simple, pantry ingredients. This starts with tapioca pearls to create a delicious and creamy pudding recipe. This homemade tapioca pudding recipe is better then store bought and taste just like my mom made.

This side dish recipe compliments many different recipes. If you love making homemade pudding recipes as much as I do, try this Easy Homemade Chocolate Pudding Recipe.

What is Tapioca Pudding?

Tapioca is a starch from the cassava root and is often used as a thickening agent in stews, gravy and soups. You will find that Tapioca pearls come in different sizes and can be dyed like they use in Boba Teas.

Feel free to use different brands of Tapioca pearls from your local grocery store.

Ingredients: 

Ingredients needed for Tapioca Pudding - Tapioca Pearls, water, milk, half and half, salt, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract
  • Small Pearl Tapioca (not instant) 
  • Water 
  • Whole Milk 
  • Half and Half 
  • Salt 
  • Large Eggs (beaten) 
  • Granulated White Sugar 
  • Vanilla Extract 

For the full list of ingredients and recipe, scroll to the bottom for the recipe card.

Variations Ideas:

  • Chocolate – You can make this Tapioca Pudding have a chocolate flavor. You can add in cocoa powder to the mixture. We usually start with about a tablespoon.
  • Fluffier Texture – If you prefer a lighter and fluffier rice pudding, separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Mix the egg yolks into the pudding and beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Then as the pudding has a thick pudding consistency, fold in the egg whites.
  • Dairy Free – We used regular whole milk in this recipe. Feel free to mix in coconut milk or almond milk as an easy substitution.
  • Add-ins – For a delicious, fun texture add in raisins, chopped nuts or slice almonds. Cranberries is also a great addition.

Step by Step Instructions: 

Soaking the Tapioca Pearls in a saucepan

Step 1 – Place the small tapioca pearls in a saucepan.  Cover them with the water.  Let them sit for 20-45 minutes until the tapioca pearls have soaked up most of the water and become plump.  Drain any excess water from the soaking pearls. 

Stirring the Tapioca mixture with the milk and cream in a saucepan

Step 2 – Stir in the whole milk, half and half and salt.  Bring the mixture to a very low boil.  Watch it closely so it does not over boil.  Stir constantly the cook tapioca. Then stir in sugar and simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Mixing eggs in a bowl with a saucepan of tapioca mixture

Step 3 – Place the whisk eggs in a separate bowl.  Stir in a few tablespoons of the tapioca mixture into the egg mixture.  Do this 2-3 more times.  This is an important step to bring the eggs to a warm temperature without scrambling them. 

A wooden spoon with a serving of tapioca pudding with a saucepan of pudding in the background

Step 4 – Pour mixture to the beaten eggs into the saucepan with the remaining tapioca mixture.  Increase the temperature on the pan to medium heat.  Stir and heat (but do not boil) until it continue to thicken the mixture and can coat the back of a wooden spoon. 

  • Step 5 – Remove the pan from the heat.  Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes.  Then stir in the vanilla extract into the slightly thicken mixture.  
  • Step 6 – Continue to stir the pudding while it cools so that a skim does not form on the top of the pudding mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.  Enjoy!  

Recipe Tips:

  • Choosing the right Tapioca Pearls – Read the package when choosing the right tapioca pearls. Some maybe instant tapioca or have to be soaked overnight. We like the Bob Red Mill brand.
  • Cooking the Ingredients – You want the mixture to be a slight simmer. You do not want it to be a rapid boil as the eggs and pudding mixture could curdle. Make sure to continue to stir as you are combining the mixture.
A white bowl of tapioca pudding with a spoon

Serving Suggestions:

This pudding can easily be served cold or warm. We usually serve it cold but I also a enjoy a spoonful right after it is done cooking hot tapioca. You may even love to serve it with whipped cream.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to Store Leftovers:

Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.  

Can I Make in Advance?

Yes, you can prepare in advance especially if you like serving it cold. Place in the fridge covered with piece of plastic wrap until ready to serve.

How to Freeze:

We do not recommend freezing this pudding. When the pudding thaws the surface of the pudding will separate.

A white bowl of tapioca pudding

More Easy Pudding Recipes:

We love to hear from you. If you make this Tapioca Pudding, please leave us a comment or a star review.

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Tapioca Pudding

5 from 2 votes
Learn how to make The Best Tapioca Pudding with these easy steps. Creamy, delicious and this pudding is made in less than 30 minutes.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Let Sit 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 208

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the tapioca pearls in a saucepan.  Cover them with the water.  Let them sit for 20-45 minutes until the tapioca pearls have soaked up most of the water and become plump.
  • Drain any excess water from the pan.
  • Stir in the whole milk, half and half and salt.  Bring the mixture to a very low boil.  Watch it closely so it does not over boil.  Stir constantly.
  • Then stir in the granulated sugar.  Cook on a low simmer for 5-7 minutes until the pearls continue to get plump and the mixture thickens slightly.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Place the beaten eggs in a separate bowl.  Stir in a few tablespoons of the tapioca mixture into the eggs.  Do this 2-3 more times.  This is an important step to bring the eggs to a warm temperature without scrambling them.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the remaining tapioca mixture.  Increase the temperature on the pan to medium heat.  Stir and heat (but do not boil) until the mixture has thickened and can coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.  Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes.  Then stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Continue to stir the pudding while it cools so that a skim does not form on the top of the pudding mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories 208kcal, Carbohydrates 33g, Protein 5g, Fat 6g, Saturated Fat 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0.01g, Cholesterol 71mg, Sodium 163mg, Potassium 172mg, Fiber 0.1g, Sugar 22g, Vitamin A 282IU, Vitamin C 0.2mg, Calcium 134mg, Iron 0.5mg

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Eating on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you cook delicious meals without busting your budget. Together we are going to cook real food… for real families!

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