Rice Pudding

May 10, 2020

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Homestyle Rice Pudding – A delicious, old fashioned recipe just like Grandma made! It only requires 5 basic ingredients, plus sweet cinnamon and raisins if you prefer them.

Looking for more old fashioned classics? Try my Bread Pudding recipe or Oatmeal Cake.

Rice Pudding in a small wooden bowl. It is garnished with cinnamon and strawberries.

A rich and creamy, easy to prepare dessert that young and old alike will love! It is such a nostalgic treat.

There are so many different flavors and mix-ins you can add too, for ideas see below.

What is rice pudding?

It is a well known dish common in many countries around the world. It is made up of white rice, milk or water, sometimes thickeners like eggs are added and a fat like butter to make it richer. And when made as a dessert it’s usually sweetened (with something like sugar) and often flavored with cinnamon and raisins.

It is a great dessert to make year round with pantry staples!

What does it taste like?

It has a simple yet unique and delicious flavor – a very rice rich flavor complimented by a nice level of sweetness. And with added cinnamon maybe something like horchata to find a familiar flavor.

Rice Pudding Ingredients

The staple ingredients you’ll need for this recipe include:

  • Whole milk: I like to make this rich so I go with whole milk for the best richness, consistency and flavor.
  • Granulated sugar: I don’t like this super sweet but you can add more sugar to taste. Brown sugar works great too.
  • Long grain rice: Other types of rice will work well too, such as jasmine rice or medium grain rice.
  • Salt: Just standard table salt or sea salt will work great here.
  • Vanilla: This gives it a great background flavor and adds more of a dessert taste.
  • Ground cinnamon (optional): It can be definitely be made without but I prefer the flavor with. If you love cinnamon feel free to double up the amount.
  • Raisins (optional): If you aren’t a fan of raisins then feel free to leave this out. Brown, red or golden raisins work great.

Image of ingredients used to make rice pudding. Shows whole milk, long grain rice, sugar, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and raisins.

How to Make Rice Pudding

  1. Mix ingredients in saucepan: In a medium non-stick saucepan whisk together milk, sugar, rice, salt and cinnamon.
  2. Simmer uncovered: Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat then reduce to low and let simmer, uncovered until rice is tender and mixture has thickened, stirring frequently, about 30 – 35 minutes.
  3. Mix in raisins if using and vanilla: Remove from heat, stir in raisins and vanilla let rest a few minutes before serving. Note that it will thicken more as it cools, thin with a little milk if desired.

Milk being poured into a saucepan with rice, cinnamon, sugar and salt.Rice pudding simmering in pan on stovetop.

Can it be made with cooked leftover rice?

Yes. To prepare with cooked rice:

  • You’ll need 3 cups cooked rice for this recipe.
  • Simmer for about 20 – 25 minutes.
  • Sweeten to taste with more sugar.

How to Cook it in the Slow Cooker

Another option to make this rice pudding is to cook in a crockpot, to do so:

  • Pour 2 Tbsp melted butter into 4 quart slow cooker.
  • Mix in 3 cups milk, 2/3 cup long grain rice, 1/3 cup sugar (or more to taste), 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 cup raisins and 1/4 tsp vanilla.
  • Cover and cook on low heat about 4 – 5 hours.

Rice pudding shown once finished cooking in saucepan with raisins added.

How long does rice pudding keep?

It should keep well in the fridge for about 3 days.

Can it be frozen?

Yes. It can be frozen in an airtight container up to 3 months. Thaw overnight.

How to Reheat

To rewarm you can reheat in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally and thinning with more milk.

Overhead image of three small bowls of homemade rice pudding.

Is rice pudding healthy?

A common question people want answered is whether or not rice pudding is healthy. I think it’s a good dessert choice. And it’s definitely a smarter option than say a slice of cake, which is usually jam packed with sugar and refined white flour.

It’s not a health food but I think it’s a better option.

It still has added sugar. To make it healthier you can sweeten it with something else like a few tablespoons honey or maple syrup, and also consider switching to low fat milk.

Is rice pudding gluten-free?

This recipe is naturally gluten-free just be sure to use ingredients that are labeled gluten-free to avoid cross contamination in facilities that may produce or package other products that have gluten.

Close up image of rice pudding in a small bowl, garnished with strawberries and cinnamon.

Possible Variations

A traditional way to prepare it here in the U.S., Mexico and other countries is to add cinnamon and raisins but there are so many variations on this treat. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add coconut and coconut extract. Replace half of the whole milk with canned coconut milk.
  • Finish with fresh fruit like diced mangoes, strawberries, bananas or cherries.
  • Drizzle with a fruit sauce.
  • Flavor with citrus (lemon, lime or orange zest).
  • Use other spices like nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, anise, cloves, allspice or try with a whole cinnamon stick.
  • Sweeten with other things like date syrup, brown sugar or honey.
  • Try it with nuts like pistachios, almonds or walnuts. Adding at the end or garnishing servings.

More Delicious Desserts to Try

Rice Pudding

A delicious, old fashioned recipe just like Grandma made! It only requires 5 basic ingredients, plus cinnamon and raisins if you like them! It's rich and creamy and so easy to make.
Servings: 4
Prep10 minutes
Cook40 minutes
Ready in: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups (770ml) whole milk
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp (45g) granulated sugar*, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup (100g) long grain white rice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp (heaping) salt
  • 1/4 cup (45g) brown or golden raisins (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • In a medium non-stick saucepan whisk together milk, sugar, rice, salt and cinnamon.
  • Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat then reduce to low and let simmer, uncovered until rice is tender and mixture has thickened, stirring frequently, about 30 - 35 minutes (note that mixture will thicken more as it cools).
  • Remove from heat, stir in raisins and vanilla let rest a few minutes before serving. Dust servings with more cinnamon.

Notes

  • *Another sweetener may be substituted like brown sugar, honey or maple syrup.
Nutrition Facts
Rice Pudding
Amount Per Serving
Calories 323 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 19mg6%
Sodium 229mg10%
Potassium 398mg11%
Carbohydrates 58g19%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 32g36%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 311IU6%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 233mg23%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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9 Comments

  • Marsha

    Hello
    I do not have a non stick sauce pan. I do have non stick frying pans. Can I use the pan, and would I need to alter anything. Funny I never needed a non stick pot. Maybe now is the time to buy one. Both my husband and I love rice pudding, but like it as plain as possible. No spices, raisins. This is usually bought. Looking forward to making it.
    Thank you for all your great recipes. We are loving the coleslaw, and other recipes you provide.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      An uncoated pan would work fine too just use a spatula to scrape up along the bottom and stir occasionally.
      Love to know you’ve been enjoying my recipes Marsha!

      • Marsha

        Thank you for the reply. I am going to make the rice pudding now.
        Be well.
        Xxxxooo

  • Mari

    Can I use jasmine rice or basmati rice?
    Looks so yummy 😍😍

  • Jean

    Soooo delicious! Thank you! Tasted just like from the restaurant I worked at as a teenager (I used to sneak spoonfuls whenever I had to make one for a customer!!)

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I’m so glad you liked it Jean! Thanks for leaving a review!

  • Margaret Cachia

    I’m dairy intolerant so can use coconut or almond milk instead?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Yes either should work great. If using canned coconut milk I would maybe blend with half coconut milk beverage or water.