3 Ingredient Banana Pudding

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In the South, pudding is a must-have dessert. It’s simple to make and even simpler to put together – you just need a few ingredients! This 3 ingredient banana pudding recipe is perfect for those summer nights when you want something sweet but don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

3-ingredient banana pudding with cool whip.

Are you looking for a simple recipe to take along to summer potlucks and family functions? If so, you’ll love this easy pudding recipe. It’s made with just 3 common foods.

To make this 3 ingredient banana pudding, you’ll need bananas, instant pudding mix, and Nilla wafers. The dessert is usually served chilled with a dollop of non-dairy whipped topping on top. In fact, one cool whip recipe variation skips the vanilla wafers and uses the whipped topping instead.

There are many different variations of this super easy recipe. But all are delicious, especially if you love banana pudding.


Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to make the dessert.

3 ingredients for banana pudding.

For this recipe, you’ll want to have the following on hand.

  • Bananas – One bunch of five to six medium sized bananas are sliced and layered into the dessert. Make sure the bananas are fully ripe!
  • Vanilla wafer cookies – The popular Nilla wafers are a classic cookie to mix into 3-ingredient banana pudding.
  • Instant pudding mix – Vanilla flavored pudding is preferred. You can use banana flavor, but you’ll get that flavor from the fresh banana slices. To make the pudding, you’ll need milk or a milk substitute.


This pudding is easy to make and only requires three ingredients: bananas, instant vanilla pudding mix, and Nilla wafers.

The pudding can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until you are ready to serve it. Once the instant pudding is made, just layer the ingredients like a trifle.

Add cookies

The crunchy wafer cookies are the first layered at the bottom of the serving dish. I like to use a 9×13″ glass baking dish. But the dessert can be layered in a large bowl or trifle bowl instead.

nilla wafer bottom layer.

Add bananas

Sliced bananas are then layered over the cookie wafer layer. Simply slice the bananas over the dish. The layers are then repeated one or two more times, depending on the size of the dish.

I like to reserve some cookies and sliced bananas to use as garnish.

banana slices on top of nilla wafers.

Pudding topping

Once your initial layers of vanilla wafers and sliced bananas are complete, top it off with the prepared instant pudding.

pudding topping added.


Garnishing is optional but it makes the dessert look a lot better. Simply add some crushed cookies over the top and then sprinkle on reserved banana slices.

cookie crumb garnish over banana pudding trifle.


  • Assemble just before serving. The vanilla cookies will get soft quickly and the banana slices can turn brown quickly. So don’t layer the dessert more than an hour or two before serving.
  • Use a little lemon juice. You can toss the banana slices in a little lemon juice. The acid will help prevent them from turning brown.

Serving suggestions

Banana pudding is a classic dessert that can be enjoyed any time. It tastes best topped with Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream.

For those who want a simple and quick banana pudding, serve it straight out of the fridge. However, for those who want a creamier and more indulgent version, let the pudding warm up to room temperature before serving.

If you want to make the pudding extra-special, top it with whipped cream, crushed Nilla wafers, and or chocolate shavings. You can even spike it and serve it with jello shots!

No matter how you choose to serve it, banana pudding is always a delicious dessert option!

banana pudding in casserole dish.

Banana pudding variations

This easy banana pudding recipe is delicious and perfect for a quick dessert. But sometimes you might want to change it up a bit. Here are some suggestions for variations on this classic recipe.

One way to change up the recipe is to use different types of milk. You can try almond milk, soy milk, or even coconut milk. If you want to make the pudding a little bit healthier, you can use skim milk or low-fat milk.

Another option is to add different flavors to the pudding. You can add cinnamon, vanilla extract, strawberries, chocolate chips, or even drained crushed pineapple. This will give the pudding a new and unique flavor that everyone will love.

If you want to make the pudding more interesting, you can also add different toppings. Some ideas include whipped cream, nuts, chocolate syrup, or berries on top. This will give the dessert a fun and festive look that everyone will enjoy.

3 ingredient banana pudding with scoop missing.


Before getting to the printable recipe below, I wanted to address some questions others have asked about the recipe.

How do you keep bananas from turning brown in banana pudding?

To keep bananas from turning brown in banana pudding, you can coat them in a mixture of lemon juice and sugar. This will help to preserve their color and flavor.

What are the ingredients for a 3 ingredient banana pudding?

The ingredients for this layered banana pudding are: bananas, vanilla wafers, and pudding mix.

How long will banana pudding with fresh bananas and Nilla wafers keep?

Banana pudding with fresh bananas and vanilla wafers will keep for about 2-3 days in the fridge.

banana pudding on small rimmed white plate.

Related recipes

This quick and easy 3 ingredient banana pudding is sure to please. For more simple summer desserts, take a look at these recipes.

3 Ingredient Banana Pudding

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword 3-ingredient banana pudding, banana pudding, banana pudding trifle
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 97kcal


  • 5-6 bananas
  • 1 box nilla wafers Keep a few nilla wafers in the bag to use as a garnish later.
  • 3 cups vanilla pudding
  • Cool whip



  • Layer nilla wafers in the bottom of a 9×13 ” baking dish or large bowl or trifle bowl.
  • Next slice a banana to create a second layer.
  • Repeat to create 2-3 layers.
  • Top with vanilla pudding. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  • To garnish, crumble remaining cookies in the bag that they came in and spread over the top or arrange whole cookies and banana slices over the top.


Although the prepared banana pudding will keep for a couple days in the refrigerator, it’s best to layer it no more than an hour or two before serving. The vanilla cookies will get soft after mixed in with the pudding and the banana can turn brown after slicing.
You can toss the banana slices in a little lemon juice. The acid will help prevent them from turning brown.


Calories: 97kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 266mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 47IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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