If you're in the mood for dessert but don't want something that's difficult to make, pudding is your best bet! There are a ton of flavors to choose from, from classic vanilla and chocolate to tangy key lime and lemon. Plus, the wide variety of options means you can find a pudding for every diet, whether you're vegan or watching your sugar intake.
Among all the popular pudding mixes on the market, Jell-O's Sugar-Free Instant Pudding Sampler is our favorite. This sampler has nine distinct flavors for you to enjoy, and all of them are crafted without any sugar. If you're curious about other pudding mixes on our 10 best instant pudding mixes list, keep reading! Also, for more information, check out our buying guide reviewed by a professional chef.
If you need some extra help to make a decision, this buying guide will come in handy. Remember to take into consideration crucial factors such as the flavor of the mix, the ingredients, ease of preparation, and your dietary restrictions.
If you're after something more decadent, pistachio or chocolate pudding is rich and delicious. If you're a chocoholic, opt for a chocolate fudge flavor for more indulgence.
Fruity flavors can be good if you're looking for a taste that is more refreshing. Lemon, orange, or key lime pudding provides a tangy kick to surprise your taste buds, while banana is sweet and comforting. The flavor options are limitless, so follow your taste buds!
Instant pudding mixes are convenient. Most products simply need you to add some milk and stir. This type of pudding will usually set in about five minutes. However, some may require beating the milk in using an electric or handheld mixer. Some people comment that they find instant pudding gritty if not mixed very well.
Another type to consider is the cook-and-serve kind. Some products can be prepared with a microwave, and other mixes can be cooked on the stove. These still may not take much time to cook, usually boiling for a few minutes is all that's needed; but they will require time to cool down. Chilling in the refrigerator for an hour or two is often recommended.
Pudding mixes help you easily whip up a yummy dessert, but they might not taste natural if they use artificial additives. A mix containing only natural, basic ingredients, such as cornstarch, sugar, and natural flavors like vanilla extract or cocoa won't have an off-putting aftertaste.
You might also want to consider a certified organic mix. Organic products have been carefully inspected by a certification body and must meet stringent standards regarding manufacturing and safety. They don't contain artificial additives, so you know the taste will be natural.
If you have dietary restrictions, it's important to screen the ingredient list and "may contain" label to ensure that the mix doesn't contain anything that can trigger an allergic reaction or jeopardize your diet.
Pudding mixes might contain allergens like egg, milk, or soy. You should also keep in mind that even if a product is made without your allergens, it might still be cross-contaminated from being processed in a shared facility.
If you don't see any cross-contamination warnings on the packaging and want to be on the safe side, contact the manufacturer.
If you are trying to limit your sugar intake, you can still enjoy pudding! Some mixes are sugar-free and sweetened with zero-calorie sweeteners such as aspartame or stevia extract. These products won't raise your blood glucose levels and are generally safe for those who are following a low-sugar diet, including people with diabetes.
Here are our 10 best picks for pudding mixes. Our choices are influenced by flavor variety, ingredient quality, ease of preparation, and various dietary preferences or restrictions.
*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Jim Quast. For more on our selection process, check out our editorial policy. Prices were gathered from respective EC sites on August 17, 2022.
Sugar-Free Instant Pudding Sampler
Natural Instant Vanilla Pudding
Sugar Free Keto Pudding
Lemon Pudding and Pie Filling
Hawaiian Haupia Luau Pudding Squares
Tapioca Fat-Free Pudding
Oreo Instant Pudding Mix
Pistachio Instant Pudding Mix
Banana Cream Instant Pudding Mix
Butterscotch Instant Pudding Mix
Best Sugar-Free Flavor Variety
Best for Natural Vanilla Flavor
Best Chocolate Pudding Free From Sugar and 8 Allergens
Best for Tangy Lemon Flavor
Best for a Tropical Twist
Best for Tapioca Enthusiasts
Best for Oreo Cookie Lovers
Best for a Rich, Nutty Flavor
Best for a Creamy Banana Delight
Best Butterscotch Instant Pudding
|Flavor||Vanilla, chocolate, chocolate fudge, white chocolate, butterscotch, lemon, banana cream, cheesecake, pistachio||Vanilla||Chocolate||Lemon||Coconut||Tapioca||Oreo||Pistachio||Banana cream||Butterscotch|
|Main ingredients||Modified corn starch, artificial flavor, salt, aspartame||Starch, plant-based soluble fiber, stevia extract, natural vanilla flavor||Starch, erythritol, organic Dutch cocoa, stevia||Corn starch, sugar, modified food starch||Cane sugar, coconut powder, cornstarch||Sugar, tapioca, cornstarch||Sugar, wheat flour, chocolate||Sugar, modified cornstarch, almonds, pistachios||Sugar, dextrose, modified cornstarch||Sugar, dextrose, modified cornstarch|
|Dietary considerations||Sugar-free||Gluten-free, sugar-free, lactose-free, kosher||Sugar-free, lactose-free||-||Lactose-free||Not listed||Contains gluten||Contains almonds, pistachios||-||-|
|Amount||0.9 - 1.4 oz. each||1.7 oz.||1.7 oz.||2.75 oz.||8 oz.||3 oz.||4.2 oz.||3.4 oz.||5.1 oz.||3.4 oz.|
|Flavor||Vanilla, chocolate, chocolate fudge, white chocolate, butterscotch, lemon, banana cream, cheesecake, pistachio|
|Main ingredients||Modified corn starch, artificial flavor, salt, aspartame|
|Amount||0.9 - 1.4 oz. each|
|Main ingredients||Starch, plant-based soluble fiber, stevia extract, natural vanilla flavor|
|Dietary considerations||Gluten-free, sugar-free, lactose-free, kosher|
|Main ingredients||Starch, erythritol, organic Dutch cocoa, stevia|
|Dietary considerations||Sugar-free, lactose-free|
|Main ingredients||Corn starch, sugar, modified food starch|
|Main ingredients||Cane sugar, coconut powder, cornstarch|
|Main ingredients||Sugar, tapioca, cornstarch|
|Dietary considerations||Not listed|
|Main ingredients||Sugar, wheat flour, chocolate|
|Dietary considerations||Contains gluten|
|Main ingredients||Sugar, modified cornstarch, almonds, pistachios|
|Dietary considerations||Contains almonds, pistachios|
|Main ingredients||Sugar, dextrose, modified cornstarch|
|Main ingredients||Sugar, dextrose, modified cornstarch|
There are various ways to make your pudding mix taste more special. Curious? Check out our tips!
Want to make your pudding mix taste homemade so that no one knows it's store-bought? You can do so by adding a few extra ingredients.
Let's talk about some potential additions that can enhance the flavor of your mix. Chopped nuts, fruits, or chocolate chips go well with many flavors and will make the texture of your pudding much more interesting. These additional ingredients will give your pudding more depth and complexity as well.
Spices like cinnamon or nutmeg are other great choices. They will take basic flavors, such as vanilla, to another level. However, be careful about putting in too much spice, as it might overpower the other flavors. If you want something fun, use sprinkles to add more color and sweetness to your pudding.
If you're hosting a party, alcohol-infused puddings are likely to be a hit! Some popular options include Irish cream, vodka, and Kahlua.
Another tip that will help you elevate your pudding mix is to substitute some of the required ingredients. Most products will ask for water or milk, but to make your pudding more creamy and indulgent, try evaporated milk, half-and-half, or even heavy cream.
If you can't consume dairy, coconut milk and coconut cream helps thicken your pudding mix. Plus, they bring a delicious tropical twist to the main flavor. You might also try other non-dairy alternatives, such as almond or oat milk.
Keep in mind that some non-dairy alternatives such as almond, soy, and rice milk have a thinner consistency than cow's milk. Completely substituting the required amount of cow's milk in the recipe with a non-dairy product might make your pudding less thick or slightly runny.
If you're using non-dairy milk, it's better only to use half the amount of milk stated in the instructions. Or, you might want to check reviewers' comments for some suggestions.
Want something rich and indulgent to satisfy your sweet tooth? We've got you covered. Check out our articles for more tasty treats!
If you need more ideas about which instant pudding mixes will fit your taste buds and lifestyle, you can check out Amazon's list of best sellers.
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
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