This Easy Banana Pudding is a no-bake recipe with layers of Nilla Wafers, fresh bananas, a rich, creamy pudding mix of sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, cream cheese and whipped topping!
Easy Banana Pudding
Growing up, my grandparents and parents owned a small, family restaurant that served Southern Food. While the main dishes, vegetables, and desserts rotated on a schedule, one of the staples that was available every day was Banana Pudding. My granny could whip up a banana pudding that couldn’t be passed up!
I was very close to my Granny, and we spoke on the phone at least once per day, for many years, when we lived hundreds to thousands of miles apart. As she got older, and less able to cook certain things she used to do with ease, she still loved to eat her Banana Pudding. This recipe is her adapted Easy Banana Pudding Recipe that doesn’t require baking or too much mixing by hand. It’s simple, classic, and delicious!
Tips for the BEST Banana Pudding:
- Make sure you use RIPE Bananas for Banana Pudding, with no spots. Save the overripe bananas for Banana Bread!
- Make sure banana slices get completely covered with pudding in each layer, so they don’t turn brown. Slice fresh bananas right before you use them for topping.
- Use VANILLA or CHEESECAKE INSTANT PUDDING. For this recipe. If you’ve never made Banana Pudding before, it might sound weird that you aren’t using Banana Flavored Pudding. Technically, you can, but it changes the flavor of the recipe and doesn’t taste as authentic, which again, sounds weird, but it is!
- Technically, you can use whatever flavor pudding you want, it’ll just change the flavor and color.
- Don’t use the COOK & EAT pudding, it changes the consistency.
- Make sure the cream cheese is room temperature, to avoid extra mixing or lumps.
- You CAN substitute Whipped Cream for Cool Whip, if desired.
- If you have time, make this dessert the day before serving. It gets better as it sets in the refrigerator (but no longer than 48 hours total)!
- The cookies can be substituted. You can use Shortbread Cookies, Butter Cookies, Vanilla Cookies, etc.
- 1 8 oz block cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 5.3 oz package instant vanilla pudding
- 2 1/2 cups cold milk (2% or Whole)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 8 oz container Cool Whip
- 5-6 ripe bananas, sliced
- 1 11 oz box Nilla Wafers
In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese on medium speed until it's smooth and fluffy.
Wrap the top of the pan with Saran Wrap to cover completely, then refrigerate for about 3 hours before serving. This allows the pudding to thicken up, the layers to set, and the cookies to soften just a bit.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 490Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 273mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 2gSugar: 47gProtein: 9g
How to Store Leftover Banana Pudding:
Keeping in mind that this recipe needs to sit in the refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving, but overnight is best, you also don’t want to let it go past the 48 hour mark or it starts to break down.
Cover the container tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.
Be sure to add any bananas you want to use on top just before serving so they don’t brown.
Can You Freeze Banana Pudding:
This recipe does not freeze well, so I would not do that. It only takes a few minutes to whip it up, so it’s better to make it fresh each time.