The Boba Smoothie is a thicker and more nutritious version of a classic milk bubble tea. Made with frozen fruit of choice, milk (regular or plant-based) or coconut water and served over shiny black boba pearls, this fun smoothie can have many different versions. I present you with three of my favorites: strawberry milk, tropical mango and green, spinach-based smoothie.
I am absolutely obsessed with bubble teas - I'll take it over any fancy Starbucks drink, but they tend to be high in sugar. I wanted to create a version that was healthier and nutrient-dense and these 3 smoothies are exactly that!
There is something SO satisfying about slurping down chewy boba pearls through a wide straw. Adding boba to your smoothie makes it unique and super fun, not to mention all the health benefits that comes with drinking smoothies on a regular basis.
This bubble tea smoothie is a perfect refreshing beverage for hot summer days and an easy breakfast full of wholesome, nutrient-rich ingredients. Pick one of 3 flavor variations below or make all of them and have a fun taste test session with your family!
If you love making smoothies or smoothie bowls, here are some more easy and healthy recipes to try:
- Spinach Cucumber Smoothie (super hydrating and balances)
- Nutella Smoothie Bowl (perfect as an indulgent but healthy vegan dessert)
- Coconut Vanilla Smoothie Bowl (like vegan vanilla ice-cream)
- Blue Spirulina Smoothie Bowl (mesmerizing blue bowl with hidden veggies)
What are boba pearls?
Boba pearls are small chewy tapioca balls typically used in bubble teas and some South Asian desserts. Tapioca is a starch made from cassava root. Bubble tea is a sweet milk tea served with these fun black (or sometimes other color) pearls commonly called boba.
Boba pearls don’t have much of a taste of their own but they are typically soaked in sweet syrup to make them sweet and chewy, and to prevent them from sticking to each other. They are added to drinks for their chewy texture.
How to prepare boba pearls
Making boba pearls at home is very easy. All you need is a pot of boiling water and a couple minutes. To prepare one serving of boba pearls, boil 3 cups of water, then slowly add the dry tapioca pearls and wait for the pearls to float on top. Turn the heat down, cover with a lid and cook for 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pearls steep for 2 more minutes. Drain and rinse on a sieve or colander.
Transfer the cooked boba pearls to a small bowl and add ½ teaspoon of pure maple syrup. Mix with a spoon and set aside until ready to use.
If you’re making more than one smoothie, cook as much boba as you need (¼ cup of tapioca pearls per serving), increasing the amount of water accordingly.
Traditionally, boba is soaked in sugary syrup, which sweetens the pearls and keeps them soft and separated from each other. I found that just a bit of maple syrup does the trick, too!
Boba Smoothie Ingredients
- Cooked boba: I buy these brown sugar flavored boba pearls on Amazon
- Frozen fruit: strawberries, mango and banana to make one of my 3 versions
- Liquid of choice: I like using plant milk, such as unsweetened oat or almond milk but cow’s milk will also work great. Creamy smoothies work well with boba because they have a similar vibe to a milky bubble tea. Coconut water or plain water can be swapped, too, if you don’t like milky smoothies
- Sweetener: to sweeten smoothies naturally, I recommend pure maple syrup, honey or agave
- Protein add-ons: this is totally optional but if you want your smoothie to be a more substantial snack, add some hemp hearts, chia seeds, neutral tasting protein power or nut butter of choice
Strawberry Milk Smoothie
This creamy strawberry boba smoothie is inspired by every kid’s favorite drink – strawberry milk. This healthier version only uses 3 ingredients and it’s absolutely delicious! Hands down my kids’ favorite smoothie recipe and adding boba makes it super special.
You will need:
- Frozen strawberries
- Milk of choice (dairy or plant-based such as almond, coconut or cashew or oat milk)
- Honey (or maple syrup or agave)
This strawberry milk smoothie is a bit thinner than a regular smoothie because it’s meant to emulate strawberry milk. If you prefer a thicker smoothie, increase the amount of frozen strawberries or add a couple of ice cubes. When I make this smoothie for my kids, I tend to use whole milk which is high in protein and dairy milk is what they like best!
Tropical Mango Boba Smoothie
Bright and sunny, this refreshing and delicious vibrant yellow smoothie is a perfect way to start your day. Coconut water makes it super hydrating and Greek yogurt gives it a boost of protein.
You will need:
- Frozen mangoes
- Coconut water (or milk of choice)
- Greek yogurt or skyr (Icelandic yogurt high in protein)
- Maple syrup (as sweetener)
If you don’t have any yogurt, replace coconut water with oat, almond or soy milk. Adjust the amount of liquid to make the smoothie as thin or as thick as you like. I don't recommend using fresh mango as it won't give the smoothie the right consistency. If that's all you have, freeze mango chunks on a baking sheet. It won't take long!
Green Goddess Boba Smoothie
This healthy green smoothie is the least sweet but super delicious! It’s pretty basic, naturally sweetened with banana. The addition of peanut butter adds some great flavor, healthy fats and protein!
- Baby spinach
- Frozen banana
- Peanut butter (or nut butter of choice, such as almond or cashew)
- Milk of choice (dairy or plant-based)
If you prefer sweeter smoothies, add more banana or sweeten it with honey or maple syrup. Milk can be swapped for coconut water in this smoothie. I like serving the Green Goddess Smoothie with a couple ice cubes to make it extra cold. For a more fruity green smoothie, use fruit juice such as pineapple or orange juice in place of milk.
How to make a boba smoothie
Making a boba smoothie is not much different from a regular smoothie! Here is how to do it:
STEP 1: Cook boba pearls. Use my tutorial above or use package instructions.
STEP 2: Place all smoothie ingredients in the jug of a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste and adjust
STEP 3: Place cooked boba in a tall glass. Pour the smoothie in, add a couple ice cubes (if you want it extra cold) and serve immediately.
You can store leftover or extra smoothie in a jar or airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
You can also freeze the smoothie (without boba) in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge, then add freshly cooked boba.
The only thing you truly need to make a boba smoothie is a high speed blender. If you're contemplating getting a Vitamix blender, I highly recommend it, especially if you think you'll use it often. Ninja Nutri Pro is a great bullet style blender that I also really like and have used for years. It's not as powerful as a Vitamix but it will easily make any of the 3 smoothie variations without a problem!
Boba smoothie, much like a classic bubble tea, tastes best through a boba straw. This wide straw can be metal, plastic or silicone - there are plenty to choose from online. My favorite is this set of gold metal boba straws.
I buy mine on Amazon but if you have a local asian market, it likely has boba, too!
They don't really have much of a taste on their own. However, they're usually soaked in sugar syrup (or in our case in maple syrup) which makes them slightly sweet.
Boba pearls don't really have much nutritional value but they are a super fun addition to a milk bubble tea or a boba smoothie. Though boba pearls are not really nutrient dense, all 3 smoothies in this post sure are so you should feel good about drinking boba smoothies! They provide a good dose of vitamins, fiber and protein and boba makes them a bit more filling.
If you try my Boba Smoothie recipe be sure to leave me a comment and give this recipe a rating. I would love to hear from you and see how it turned out for you! You can also share and tag me on Instagram!
This post includes affiliate links.
- ¼ cup dry tapioca pearls (boba) I use black brown sugar flavored boba
- 3 cups water
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup or agave
Strawberry Milk Smoothie
- 11/4 cup frozen strawberries sliced or whole
- 1 cup milk of choice dairy, almond, oat, coconut, soy or cashew
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup or agave
Tropical Mango Smoothie
- 1 cup frozen mango
- ¾ cup coconut water or milk of choice
- ¼ cup skyr or Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or maple syrup or agave
Green Goodess Smoothie
- 11/5 cup baby spinach packed
- 1 frozen banana sliced or cut into chunks
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter or nut butter of choice
- 1 cup unsweetened plant milk of choice or dairy milk
- To make the boba pearls, bring 3 cups of waterto a boil. Add dry boba slowly, stir gently and once the pearls come to thetop, turn the heat down, cover and boil for 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat andlet the boba steep for 2 minutes. Drain on a sieve and rinse under cold water.Transfer to a small bowl and stir in maple syrup.
- To make the smoothie: add all ingredients in thejug of a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste and addmore sweetener if the smoothie is not sweet enough. Check the consistency andadd more frozen fruit or a couple ice cubes if you prefer thicker smoothies.
- To assemble the boba smoothie, add ½ cup cookedboba to the bottom of a tall glass. Pour the smoothie over and serveimmediately. Add ice, if desired.