This easy banana pudding recipe is the perfect, southern-est, no-bake summer dessert!
Prep Time 15 minutes.
Cook Time 0 minutes Chilling Time 2 hours Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
1 box vanilla wafers
1- 3.4 oz box vanilla instant pudding mix
2 cups cold milk
3-4 large ripe bananas, thinly sliced (plus extra for garnish)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE PUDDING
Prepare pudding according to package instructions. Refrigerate and set aside.
Thinly slice bananas (about 1/8 of an inch). Squeeze half a fresh lemon over banana slices to keep bananas from turning brown.
Arrange vanilla wafer cookies in a single layer on the bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. I used about 24 cookies for each layer. Put broken ones on bottom.
Use a spatula to spread half of the prepared pudding (approximately 1 cup) over the cookies.
Top pudding with a single layer of banana slices.
Repeat layers, starting with cookies.
Top final layer of banana slices with meringue and toast meringue per instructions below.
Refrigerate at least one hour (preferably closer to 3 hours), or until ready to serve. Just before serving, garnish with extra vanilla wafers and sliced banana, if desired.
FOR THE MERINGUE
Separate the egg whites and yolks into separate bowls; set aside the whites to come to room temperature.
Add the egg whites to a glass or metal mixer bowl and beat on low speed until egg whites begin to look frothy.
Add in the cream of tartar, increase speed to medium and beat until soft peaks begin to form.
Continue beating on medium, slowly adding in the sugar a little at a time. Beat until stiff peaks begin to form, and meringue is soft, but stiff enough that if you turn the bowl upside down, the meringue will not leave the bowl.
Spread the meringue all over the top of the banana pudding.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. This makes enough meringue to cover a pie or banana pudding. Double it if you want the mile high effect.