Southern Banana Pudding Recipe With Instant Pudding

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Because of its layers, at first glance, banana pudding may not seem so easy to make.

But it’s pretty simple to prepare once you know what ingredients are needed. Starting with a Southern banana pudding recipe made with instant pudding.

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe With Instant Pudding

Why is banana pudding popular in the South?

Enjoyed by generations from North to South and East to West.

Homemade banana pudding is Southern comfort food at its finest! 

Growing up in the South, I’ve had the pleasure of indulging in this sweet treat all my life.  

Banana pudding has a Southern identity stretching back over half a century. 

This dish became quintessentially Southern, probably due to the source of where it was primarily being prepared, providing the South with a more extraordinary claim to it.

Can banana pudding be made with instant pudding?

Can banana pudding be made with instant pudding?

You could make homemade pudding from scratch

But Southern cooks over the years have found that a Southern banana pudding recipe with instant pudding is just as tasty and easily accessible for anyone to quickly prepare!

What is instant pudding?

Instant pudding is a pudding that comes in powder form and thickens in only 5 minutes after being mixed with milk. 

What’s the difference between instant pudding and cook-and-serve?

The difference is in the preparation.

Instant pudding sets or thickens after stirring milk into the instant pudding mix.

However, cook-and-serve pudding requires the extra step of boiling the milk and pudding mix on the stovetop so it will thicken.

Is there banana instant pudding?

Yes, but vanilla pudding is almost always used when making Southern banana pudding the Black way!

How do you make a Southern banana pudding recipe with Instant pudding?

How do you make a Southern banana pudding recipe with Instant pudding?

Simply mix the instant pudding with milk, per the box instructions. 

Then to make an easy Southern banana pudding recipe with instant pudding, simply layer the cookies, banana slices, pudding, and whipped cream topping. 

Kitchen equipment

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Ingredients for a Southern banana pudding recipe with instant pudding

  • 3 ripe fresh bananas, sliced into banana rounds
  • 8 oz. of whipped cream (1 container)
  • 8 oz. whipped cream cheese (1 container)
  • 11 oz. box of Nilla Wafers cookies (and ¼ cup of crumbled cookies)
  • 4.6 oz. box of vanilla instant pudding mix

Pro tip: To make old school soul food banana pudding with pudding from scratch – check out this recipe HERE!

Instructions for a Southern banana pudding recipe with instant pudding

Instructions for a Southern banana pudding recipe with instant pudding

  1. Make the instant pudding according to the pudding mixture box instructions and set it aside in the refrigerator.
  2. Mix the whipped topping and cream cheese in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
  3. Line the bottom and sides of a baking pan or dish with Nilla Wafers cookies.
  4. Add a layer of banana slices over the Nilla Wafers.
  5. Using a small spatula, spread the vanilla pudding evenly over the bananas.
  6. Add a layer of the whipped topping and cream cheese mixture over the pudding layer.
  7. Repeat the above steps for a second layer of cookies, bananas, pudding, and whipped topping.
  8. Sprinkle the ¼ cup of crumbled cookies over the top layer of whipped cream.
  9. Allow the banana pudding to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  10. Banana pudding is easiest to slice after being refrigerated, then serve, and enjoy!

Wanna try this same Southern banana pudding recipe with chocolate pudding?

Check out the recipe below!

Black Folks Chocolate Southern Banana Pudding
Black Folks Chocolate Southern Banana Pudding Recipe
This chocolate banana pudding recipe is as quick and easy as the original soul food banana pudding recipe.
You simply add an additional layer of chocolate pudding and crunchy buttery Nilla Wafers for pure chocolate bliss!
Check out this recipe!

Southern banana pudding recipe with instant pudding FAQs

What kind of dish is best for old-fashioned banana pudding?

To achieve 2 layers of cookies, bananas, pudding, and whipped cream, use a 9×13 baking pan or a 2-quart round baking dish, preferably with lids.

What kind of dish is best for old-fashioned banana pudding?

Can you make instant pudding with milk?

Yes, instant pudding is made with the pudding mix combined with milk.

What is the ratio of milk to instant pudding?

The ratio is generally 2 cups of milk to approximately 4 ounces of instant pudding.

What ingredient makes instant pudding thicken?

A key ingredient in instant pudding is a dried gelatin starch that readily absorbs the liquid. 

So when the milk is added, it causes the pudding to gel and thicken.

What flavor of pudding mix can you use to make Southern pudding?

What flavor of pudding mix can you use to make Southern pudding?

Vanilla is the preferred flavor for a Southern banana pudding recipe with (or without) instant pudding.

What keeps bananas from turning brown in banana pudding?

Asked another way, why do your bananas turn black in the banana pudding?

Bananas are one of the main ingredients in banana pudding, but why do they turn black? 

The cause is oxidation. When bananas are exposed to oxygen, it causes them to turn brown or black.

Bananas oxidize faster than other fruits and vegetables. The starch is converted into sugar, which speeds up this process even more.

What keeps bananas from turning brown in banana pudding?

What to put on bananas to keep from browning in banana pudding?

Lemon juice. But I’d be hesitant to add it to banana slices for banana pudding. (Read on.)

If you toss bananas in some lemon juice, will it help keep the bananas from going brown without compromising the recipe?

I can’t say for sure that the lemon juice will not lend its flavoring to the bananas. 

How do you keep the banana pudding from getting watery?

First, make the pudding using a thickener, and then keep it cool. 

This African American banana pudding recipe incorporates cream cheese as a tasty thickener. 

Other old-fashioned banana pudding recipes include a meringue topping, heavy cream, evaporated milk with sugar, or sweetened condensed milk to thicken the pudding.

What can you substitute for Nilla Wafers in banana pudding?

What can you substitute for Nilla Wafers in banana pudding?

Part of the nostalgia for Southern banana pudding and its soul food history is Nilla Wafers cookies. 

So there are simply no substitutions. 

Not even vanilla extract, vanilla bean, and not other brands of vanilla wafer cookies.

Therefore, it’s not recommended to try substitutions for these integral cookies.

What can you add to your banana pudding to make it a little different?

This Southern banana pudding recipe with instant pudding includes another unassuming secret ingredient – cream cheese.

Enjoyed by generations from North to South and East to West. Adding cream cheese gives this Southern banana pudding a creamier texture for a delightful dessert with a rich banana flavor profile that’ll make your mouth water!

Can you make banana pudding with cream cheese ahead of time?

Can you make banana pudding with cream cheese ahead of time?

Can banana pudding be made a day ahead?

It’s OK to prepare banana pudding in advance of the day you serve it. And it’s not the cream cheese or the instant pudding to be concerned with.

I wouldn’t recommend making banana pudding more than a day ahead because it’ll be difficult to hold off the darkening of the bananas and them becoming watery after a day, making for soggy cookies.

It’s also best to only peel and slice the bananas when layering them in the pudding. 

How long does banana pudding have to stay in the fridge before you eat it?

At least 2 hours.

 Pro tip: Banana pudding is easiest to slice after being refrigerated.

What size and quantity of pudding does this recipe call for?

This recipe calls for 4.6 ounces of instant pudding to yield about 12 servings.

However, you can use the dynamic recipe card below to adjust the serving size for the proportionate amount of desired banana pudding!

Southern banana pudding recipe with instant pudding FAQs: What size and quantity of pudding does this recipe call for?

What do you think about this Southern banana pudding recipe with instant pudding?

You’ll never be able to look at other banana pudding the same way once you’ve tried this delicious Southern dessert delight!

It’s an evergreen favorite for holidays and special occasions.

Have you had it?

Would you make it? 

Comment below and lemme know. 

Then subscribe HERE for all the soul food!

The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
What is soul food? Soul food recipes are African-American recipes full of flavor! A legacy of Southern cooking the Black way. Check out this collection of the best soul food recipes!
Check out this recipe!

Like this post? Pin the below picture to your “Soul Food Recipes” Pinterest Board!

Banana Pudding Southern Recipe With Instant Pudding
Southern Banana Pudding Recipe With Instant Pudding

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe With Instant Pudding

Because of its layers, at first glance, banana pudding may not seem so easy to make. But it’s pretty simple to prepare once you know what ingredients are needed. Starting with a Southern banana pudding recipe made with instant pudding.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Refrigeration Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Servings: 12
Calories: 301kcal

Equipment

  • 9×13 baking dish (preferably with a lid)
  • Or 2 qt. glass bowl (preferably with a lid)

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas ripe & sliced into banana rounds
  • 8 oz. whipped cream 1 container
  • 8 oz. cream cheese 1 container, whipped
  • 4.6 oz. vanilla pudding instant pudding
  • 11 oz. Nilla Wafers 1 box and ¼ cup of crumbled Nilla Wafers cookies

Instructions

  • Make the instant pudding according to the pudding mixture box instructions and set it aside in the refrigerator.
    Make the instant pudding according to the pudding mixture instructions and set it aside in the refrigerator
  • Mix the whipped topping and cream cheese in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
    Mix the whipped topping and cream cheese in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
  • Line the bottom and sides of a baking pan or dish with Nilla Wafers cookies.
    Line the bottom and sides of a baking pan or dish with Nilla Wafers cookies
  • Add a layer of banana slices over the Nilla Wafers.
  • Using a small spatula, spread the vanilla pudding evenly over the bananas.
    Using a small spatula, spread the vanilla pudding evenly over the bananas
  • Add a layer of the whipped topping and cream cheese mixture over the pudding layer.
    Add a layer of the whipped topping and cream cheese mixture over the layer of pudding
  • Repeat the above steps for a second layer of cookies, bananas, pudding, and whipped topping.
    Repeat the above steps for a second layer of cookies, bananas, pudding, and whipped topping.
  • Sprinkle the ¼ cup of crumbled cookies over the top layer of whipped cream.
    Sprinkle the crumbled cookies over the top layer of whipped cream
  • Allow the banana pudding to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  • Banana pudding is easiest to slice after being refrigerated, then serve, and enjoy!
    Banana pudding is easiest to slice after being refrigerated, then serve, and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • This recipe can be made per the instructions and transferred to individual baking cups, ramekins, or mason jars.
Slice pieces carefully to preserve the banana pudding layers when transferring.
  • Want to make just half of this recipe, or need to make more or less banana pudding?
You can use this dynamic recipe card above to adjust the serving size for the proportionate amount of desired banana pudding!
Southern Banana Pudding With Instant Pudding Recipe

Nutrition

Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 236mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 402IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
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