This 3 ingredient banana pudding is the perfect last-minute dessert for parties, potlucks, and when you’re craving something simple and sweet. Creamy ripe bananas, instant pudding mix, and Cool Whip are blended to make the BEST banana pudding! The vanilla wafers are optional but certainly recommended!
Meet your new favorite dessert recipe for ripe bananas! This 3 ingredient banana pudding tastes like classic Southern banana pudding but making it requires much less work!
Making banana pudding usually requires whipping sweetened condensed milk and making whipped cream from scratch, but this simplified version uses instant pudding mix and Cool Whip as a shortcut.
When Cool Whip, pudding mix, and ripe bananas are combined, the result is a thick, creamy, and irresistibly sweet banana pudding. The mixture needs 1 hour to chill before it’s ready to quickly transfer to parties, cook-outs, potlucks, and more. So grab your three ingredients, and let’s get started.
❤ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- No baking! Banana pudding is a great way to use ripe bananas without turning on the oven.
- This is the perfect fuss-free dessert to throw together when you’re short on time.
- Homemade banana pudding is delightful, but with this 3-ingredient version, banana pudding is easily accessible whenever you want something sweet.
🍌 Ingredients You’ll Need
- Bananas – The bananas must be ripe. Opt for ones that are just beginning to soften and develop brown spots. If your bananas are ripened past that point, they’re better suited for banana bread.
- Instant pudding – You can use vanilla or banana-flavored instant pudding mix. For a more pronounced banana flavor, use banana instant pudding.
- Cool Whip – For satiny smooth and fluffy banana pudding, be sure to use full-fat Cool Whip. If available, you can use a store-brand tub of whipped topping, but I do not recommend subbing canned whipped cream.
🥣 How To Make Banana Pudding with 3 Ingredients
1️⃣ Puree two bananas. Add two ripe bananas to a food processor, and pulse until they become a smooth banana puree consistency
2️⃣ Combine. Fold the banana puree and the pudding mix into 8 ounces (1 container) of Cool Whip until combined.
3️⃣ Assemble dessert. Spread the banana pudding on the bottom of a serving dish or fill individual dessert cups. Slice the remaining two bananas and layer the slices on top.
4️⃣ Chill and serve. Transfer to the fridge to chill for one hour, then top with the remaining 4 ounces (1/2 container) of Cool Whip. Top with a layer of vanilla wafer cookies if you like, and enjoy chilled.
👩🏻🍳 Chef’s Tips
- The banana must be ripe. They won’t break down and puree in the food processor if they are not soft enough.
- Buy two tubs of Cool Whip. It’s sold in 8-ounce tubs, so you will need one full tub for the pudding and half of the second tub to layer on top.
- Let the pudding chill for at least one hour. This helps the pudding set properly and improves the density.
- Do not overprocess the pudding. Otherwise, the Cool Whip will destabilize (deflate) and lose its signature fluff.
Wafer cookies: Southern-style banana pudding includes layers of crisp “nilla” wafer cookies. Feel free to add a layer of wafers to your pudding. Alternatively, you can serve the wafers on the side to dip directly into the pudding. If you can get your hands on a box of chocolate wafer cookies, by all means, use them!
Flavored extracts: As is, 3 ingredient banana pudding has a bold banana-y flavor (especially if you use banana instant pudding). To add another element of flavor, you can mix in a teaspoon of flavored extracts like vanilla, almond, lemon, coconut, or maple.
Food coloring: To improve the presentation and deepen the banana yellow hue, feel free to add a few drops of yellow food coloring.
More layers of flavor: Get creative and upgrade your banana pudding with added elements of flavor and crunch. Check out the list below for ideas.
- Thinly Sliced Strawberries
- Blueberries, Blackberries, or Raspberries
- Sweetened Toasted Coconut
- Chopped Graham Crackers
- Crushed Oreos
- Silvered Almonds
- Chocolate Shavings
- Heath Bar (toffee) Bits
♻ Storing & Freezing
Storing: This banana pudding is good for up to 4 days in the fridge. Be sure to keep it in a shallow, glass, airtight container.
Freezing: I do not recommend freezing this pudding.
If stored properly, the bananas should be okay for a couple of days, but to prevent the risk of discoloration, you can brush lemon, orange, or pineapple juice over the sliced bananas before covering them with whipped cream. But, again, use as little as possible to not affect the flavor.
The bananas in this recipe add flavor to the luscious, creamy texture. You can use a small amount of banana-flavored extract, but the density won’t be the same.
If the bananas, instant pudding, and Cool Whip are over-mixed, the ingredients may not combine and thicken properly, so be sure not to fuss with the mixture more than you need to.
🍮 More Easy Sweet Treats
- Gluten-Free Texas Sheet Cake Cookies
- Air Fryer S’mores
- 3-Ingredient Nutella Brownies
- Keto Canolli Cream
- No Bake Pumpkin Pie Bites
3 Ingredient Banana Pudding
- food processor
- 4 bananas ripe
- 3.4 ounce instant pudding vanilla or banana flavored
- 12 ounce Cool Whip 1 ½ containers of 8 ounce Cool Whip
- vanilla wafer cookies optional
- Add 2 ripe bananas to a food processor, and pulse until they become a smooth banana puree consistency.
- Fold the banana puree and the pudding mix into 8 ounces (1 container) of Cool Whip until combined.
- Slice the remaining two bananas.
- Spread the pudding out in the bottom of a serving dish or individual dessert cups, and layer the sliced bananas on top.
- Transfer to the fridge to chill for one hour.
- Top with the remaining 4 ounces of Cool Whip and vanilla wafers (optiona). Serve chilled.