Instant Tapioca Pudding is easy to make at home! You only need 5 ingredients and 20 minutes to whip up this deliciously sweet, smooth and creamy, yet textured pudding dessert! 

If you love a good textured pudding like me, then you’ll love my Mexican Rice Pudding (Arroz con Leche), Coconut Chia Pudding, and Oat Milk Chia Pudding recipes! 

A spoon scooping out Tapioca Pudding from a glass cup.

Why This Recipe Works

  • 5 ingredients. All you need to make this instant tapioca pudding recipe is 5 ingredients! It’s so simple.
  • Great texture. You know I love texture — and this instant tapioca pudding has a creamy pudding texture complete with the small pearl tapioca.
  • Easy tapioca pudding. Not only does this homemade tapioca pudding recipe require minimal ingredients, but it only takes 20 minutes to make. 

Ingredient Notes

Tapioca Pudding Recipe ingredients on a white marble background: instant tapioca, milk, sugar, egg, and vanilla.
  • Milk: You can use whole milk or 2%. I haven’t tried making this with almond milk or soy milk or coconut milk, but I imagine it should work just fine.
  • Granulated Sugar: This will help sweeten the classic tapioca pudding recipe. 
  • Instant Tapioca: I used Kraft Instant Minute Tapioca. Any brand of quick cooking tapioca will work. This is the main ingredient, so you’ll need it! If you want a thicker tapioca consistency, then up the amount of tapioca you use (since it’s the thickening agent for the pudding). I note this in the recipe card as well. 
  • Vanilla Extract: This will add some flavor to the instant tapioca pudding recipe. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Mix milk and egg. To a medium saucepan, add 2 3/4 cups milk and 1 large egg. Whisk to combine.
  2. Combine tapioca and sugar. Using a wooden spoon, mix in 1/3 cup white sugar and 3 tablespoons instant tapioca. Let the tapioca mixture sit for 5-6 minutes. Then, turn the stove to medium heat and bring the mixture to a full boil, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom so it doesn’t stick or burn. Remove the mixture from the heat and add in 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  3. Let sit. Let the instant tapioca pudding mixture sit for 15-30 minutes to cool. The pudding will thicken and firm up as it cools. 
  4. Serve! Serve the instant tapioca pudding warm or cold. Enjoy!
Four image collage featuring a black pot with milk, egg, and tapioca being stirred in 4 phases.

Recipe Tips

While the mixture is coming to a boil, make sure you’re scraping the bottom of the saucepan so that the pudding doesn’t stick to the pan or burn.

Let the pudding sit for 20-30 minutes, you can also place it in the refrigerator to speed up the process if you’d like. The pudding will firm up as it cools.

This pudding recipe isn’t overly thick. If you want a thicker tapioca pudding, add more instant tapioca. About 3 1/2 tablespoons rather than the 3 tablespoons called for in the recipe card.

You can enjoy this easy tapioca pudding recipe plain or with fresh fruit.

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

You can make this quick tapioca pudding recipe ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days before serving.  

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

To freeze, store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Remove and let thaw in the fridge overnight. If you’re wanting to make enough to freeze for later, I would make a double batch.

Recipe FAQs

Is tapioca pudding a healthy dessert?

If you are wondering if tapioca is good for you, there really isn’t much nutritional value. Although the starch from tapioca comes from cassava root, it’s just pure starch. 

What are the little balls in tapioca pudding made of?

The small tapioca pearls are just starch from the cassava root. 

Can tapioca pudding be frozen?

Yes. Tapioca pudding freezes really well. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. I would freeze in individual containers that way you can just thaw what you need. 

What’s tapioca? 

Tapioca is a starch from the cassava root. Cassava root is native to South America. Tapioca pudding is a popular sweet pudding dessert that is thick, creamy, and delicious! 

Tapioca Pudding in three glass cups with pink flowers in the background.

More Homemade Pudding Recipes

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A spoon scooping up Tapioca Pudding from a glass cup.
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5 from 4 votes

Instant Tapioca Pudding Recipe

With just 5 simple ingredients, you'll have a delicious and classic dessert.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 2 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons instant tapioca - See note #1
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a saucepan whisk the milk and egg to combine. 
  • Use a wooden spoon and mix in the sugar and tapioca. Let this mixture sit for 5-6 minutes. After it sits for 5 minutes, turn the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a full boil, stirring continuously (so as to not let the bottom stick or burn).
  • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. 
  • Let sit for 15-30 minutes. Pudding will firm up as it cools. 
  •  Serve warm or cold. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


If you want a thicker tapioca pudding, use 3 1/2 tablespoons of instant tapioca, rather than just 3 tablespoons. 
Recipe source: from Kraft.


Calories: 221kcal (11%)Carbohydrates: 33g (11%)Protein: 7g (14%)Fat: 7g (11%)Saturated Fat: 4g (20%)Cholesterol: 70mg (23%)Sodium: 93mg (4%)Potassium: 241mg (7%)Sugar: 25g (28%)Vitamin A: 348IU (7%)Calcium: 197mg (20%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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