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How to make rice pudding

This creamy, comforting and Old Fashioned Rice Pudding recipe is easy to make on the stovetop. It’s a cozy, quick-fix snack or dessert that’s perfect for chilly afternoons!

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Creamy Homemade Rice Pudding

If you’ve never tried rice pudding, you really should. Rice pudding is so nice served warm. It’s full of cozy flavors from the cinnamon and brown sugar! When the weather warms up, rice pudding can be served cold to become a sweet and refreshing summer treat.

I personally love the texture that the rice gives to this pudding! Letting it simmer slowly allows it to puff up and be more dessert-like. The combination of texture and flavor is delightful.

I gave some to the twins as a treat. Ashton has the sweet tooth and Brooks actually prefers fries over sweets pretty much every time. Brooks is like his daddy. But when Ashton took a bite, he immediately said “Mmmmmmm,” and repeated it with every single bite! I was right there with him.

It was so cute to see his reaction! And it confirmed what I knew all along – this rice pudding is fantastic!

Pudding Ingredients

Nothing fancy is needed to make this classic dessert!

  • Egg: Not all rice pudding recipes call for an egg, but I 100% recommend it. It adds a richness that is so worth it. Plus, it helps to thicken the pudding without having to cook it a ton. Ultimately, that gives the pudding a creamier texture.
  • White or Light Brown Sugar: Both are delicious, but the brown sugar adds some really nice flavor, so I prefer using that.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Whole Milk
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: I always use a combination of whole milk and heavy cream. You could use all whole milk, but this pudding is meant to be creamy, and the cream really adds that lovely richness.
  • Short Grain White Rice
  • Salt

How to Make Rice Pudding

There’s virtually no prep time for this recipe – you just have to combine your ingredients and cook! The pudding comes together on the stove in about 30 minutes.

  1. Combine Egg, Sugar, Vanilla & Cinnamon: Whisk together the egg, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat Remaining Ingredients: Add the milk, cream, rice and salt to a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Simmer: Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20-25 minutes. Stir frequently to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add Rice to Egg Mixture & Whisk: Slowly add about half a cup of the hot rice mixture to the egg mixture, whisking quickly to temper the egg mixture.
  5. Finish Combining Until Thickened: Add the egg mixture to the saucepan with the remaining rice mixture. Stir everything together and continue heating on low heat for about another 5-10 minutes, or until thickened. Don’t boil. It will thicken quickly. Keep in mind that the mixture will continue to thicken as it cools, so you don’t want it to be too thick before you take it off the heat. A touch soupy still is ok.
  6. Serve: Remove your pudding from the heat and serve it warm.

Tips for the Best Rice Pudding

  • Use Short Grain Rice: You want to use a short grain rice, like Arborio rice. It’s more starchy than long grain rice, so it helps to thicken the pudding nicely and gives it a better texture.
  • Slowly Add Rice Mixture to Egg Mixture: When adding half a cup of the rice into the bowl with your egg mixture, do it slowly and whisk constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
  • Don’t Let it Boil: Once you’re finished combining your mixtures, don’t let the pudding come to a boil. If you do, it’ll curdle. You just want to keep it over low heat until it starts to thicken. Remember that it will continue to thicken as it cools.
  • Add Raisins: Rice pudding and raisins go together like bread and butter. To make this dish even more classic and flavorful, add some in!

Can You Make Rice Pudding Ahead?

Though it’s definitely best fresh, you can cook your rice in advance if you’d like to save even more time on this recipe. Let it cool, store it in the fridge a day or two ahead of time, and bring it back to a simmer on the stove before continuing with the recipe as usual.

How to Store Leftovers

Keep leftover rice pudding in an airtight container. Once cooled completely, store it in the fridge. Rice pudding stays fresh for 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. If you store it in the freezer, thaw it in the fridge overnight before eating or reheating.

Some people like cold rice pudding, but you can easily warm up your leftovers on the stove if desired. Do so over low heat and stir continuously. Add a little bit of milk at a time to thin out the pudding until it’s reached your desired consistency.

I know what you are thinking…rice pudding? I had never heard of it until I married my husband. This rice pudding is a family recipe that has been around for years. It was a recipe from my husband’s great-grandmother who always made it for breakfast not dessert although traditionally people now eat it as dessert. It’s great hot but we like to eat the leftover rice pudding cold. It’s the best rice pudding recipe.

In fact a couple of interesting food choices surfaced when we were first married. John loves Grape Nuts with straight cream on them…something his mom grew up doing. When we didn’t have fresh cream he would put a generous shot of whipped cream out of the can on top of his cold cereal. I about gagged the first time I saw him eat chicken livers and smelly oysters. It doesn’t stop there. John’s dad enjoyed peanut butter and Miracle Whip sandwiches. I love peanut butter anything but even I have my limits!

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THIS CREAMY RICE PUDDING RECIPE

  • It uses cooked rice. A great way to use leftover rice.
  • People eat this for breakfast or dessert.
  • Raisins are optional although we prefer it with.

INGREDIENTS

This recipe uses basic ingredients you can find at the grocery store.

  • CINNAMON
  • WHOLE MILK
  • VANILLA EXTRACT – you could use vanilla bean paste if you have it.
  • LONG GRAIN RICE – It doesn’t really matter what type of rice you use but what texture you like. If you like medium grain rice better that would work.
  • EVAPORATED MILK – This is one of those old school classic recipes which is why it uses evaporated milk. You could replace this with coconut milk if you like.
  • SALT
  • CORNSTARCH
  • SUGAR
  • EGGS
  • NUTMEG
  • RAISINS
  • OPTIONAL: serve with a little bit of brown sugar or a drizzle of maple syrup for serving.

RICE PUDDING WITH COOKED RICE

That’s right. The very first step is to cook rice. If you have leftover rice you are much closer to the final product.

It’s hard to resist the delicious flavors of this Classic Minute Rice Pudding dessert made with warm milk infused with cinnamon, sugar and vanilla.

Classic Minute Rice Pudding

Ingredients

  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup Minute® White Rice
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients

  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup Minute® White Rice
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Try our favorite and most-requested rice pudding recipe — our Classic Minute Rice Pudding. Creamy and sweet, everyone will want to indulge in this dessert. For a classic flavor, make sure to use our Minute® Instant White Rice.

Step 1--Combine milk, rice, raisins, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. On medium-high heat, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 2

Beat eggs and vanilla together in a small bowl. Stir a small amount of hot mixture into eggs.

Step 3

Stirring constantly, slowly pour egg mixture back into the hot mixture. Stirring constantly, cook on low heat for 1 minute, until thickened. DO NOT BOIL.

Step 4

Remove from heat. Let stand for 30 minutes. Serve warm. Store any remaining pudding in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap.

Recipe Tips
Create flavorful new varieties of rice pudding by replacing the raisins with different types of fresh or dried fruits, such as dried cherries, dried apricots, chopped pineapple, peaches or dried, sweetened cranberries.

To make this dish vegan, simply substitute the milk with your choice of plant-based milk, like almond or coconut, and leave out the eggs. Note that if the eggs are left out, you may need to cook the pudding over the heat for a minute or two extra, to help it thicken. It will also thicken up once cooled in the refrigerator.

New Twist on a Classic

Rice pudding is a classic dessert, found in many different countries and cultures around the world. It’s hard to resist the delicious, comforting combination of creamy, custardy rice and warm milk infused with cinnamon, sugar and vanilla.

Times are changing and now, with the help of Minute® Instant White Rice, you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen to get the same delicious, old-fashioned flavors of your grandmother’s recipe. Like this classic rice pudding or dinner staple egg on rice.

Use the extra time you gained by cutting down on the cooking time by using Minute® Rice to decide how you want to present your delicious dessert. Try plastic goblets from the local dollar store or adjust the dish to the theme of your next family gathering or night with friends. For a tropical theme, garnish each dish with shredded coconut. For a kid’s party, use sprinkles or chocolate chips. Let your imagination take over!

Rice pudding is by far one of the most creamy and delicious desserts out there, so much so that it is used as inspiration for a wide variety of other sweet treats ranging from Key Lime Rice Pudding Pie to Rice Pudding Milkshakes. However, before you can delve into making those variations, we recommend you master the classic version first!

Although rice pudding is part of many cultures ranging from Latinamerica to Asia and everywhere in between, our recipe is inspired by the traditional South American version of Arroz con Leche — rice pudding, in English. Each component of this recipe plays a role in the final result, so make sure to take notes so you too can make a show-stopping rice pudding dessert.

What is Rice Pudding?

In order to make the perfect rice pudding, first we need to understand the dessert and its components. Essentially, rice pudding is a rice-based dish cooked in water and milk with other ingredients. It is most commonly served as a dessert, so sugar is added to give it a sweet flavor.

Components of Rice Pudding

As we stated previously, each ingredient added to rice pudding plays a part in the final result starting from the rice all the way to the garnish.

As its name suggests, this recipe is a rice-based pudding and therefore it is essential to use the right variety of rice when making this dish. Some recipes might focus on different varieties or flavors, but traditional rice pudding uses White Rice.

Although this dish is most commonly made using long grain White Rice (some would even use Thai Jasmine Rice, many would argue that, to achieve a balance between consistency and flavor, aromatic Basmati Rice should be used as it contains starch.

When heat and liquid are applied, that starch is released giving the dish its texture and ensures that you’ll get that creamy and slightly solid consistency. However, both rice varieties can be used for your rice pudding recipe.

When the rice is combined with the water and whole milk, it becomes creamy on its own without needing to add in additional thickening agents such as eggs or cornstarch. The milk and starch from the rice give this treat its creamy texture.

Flavor

Since we are preparing a dessert, the sugar works to give the dish a sweet touch. We suggest white sugar, if you use other sugars like brown sugar, just be aware that it will alter the taste and possibly the texture.

Chocolate Rice Pudding with Whipped Cream

For flavor, try using fresh cinnamon sticks to add a stronger, earthy and fresher taste to the dish. The lime zest brings an added touch of citrus that, when combined with the milk, makes for a heavenly combination. Additional ground cinnamon can be used as garnish along with raisins if desired.

Rice Pudding FAQ

Before preparing our rice pudding, let’s tackle a few questions that might come up.

Can I Use Leftover Rice?

One of the most common questions surrounding rice pudding is if you can use leftover rice to make it. Yes, it is possible but you’ll need to adjust the water ratios, so we suggest sticking with freshly cooked rice.

Should I Rinse the Rice Beforehand?

You might have also heard that you should or should not rinse the rice beforehand. Although we don’t normally suggest washing the enriched White Rice or Basmati Rice, for this recipe we do as it helps to wash off excess debris and added starch. You might be scratching your head as to why we would be removing the very thing that gives this dish its creamy texture, but if too much starch is mixed in, it might lead to the dish becoming overly mushy and surpass that perfect creamy texture.

Classic Rice Pudding Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Mahatma® Basmati Rice or White Rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cup raisins (optional)
  • ground cinnamon (optional)

Instructions

Step 1

Rinse rice in cool water until the water runs clear. Drain any excess water. After, in a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil.

Step 2

Stir in the rice, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered. Then, add milk, cinnamon sticks, lime zest and sugar.

Step 3

Return the pot to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. When rice is done, remove the cinnamon sticks.

Optional: Can be served both warm or chilled, and garnished with raisins and ground cinnamon.

Additional Varieties

Once you’re a pro at making our specialty rice pudding, you can add some of your favorite ingredients including anything from fresh or frozen fruit to chocolate or even your favorite fall Pumpkin Spice flavor.

Chocolate Rice Pudding

For all of you chocolate lovers out there, this Chocolate Rice Pudding hits the spot, made with chocolate milk, a touch of vanilla extract and White Rice! Top with anything from whipped cream, pecans and coconut to chocolate shavings and a cherry.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Rice Pudding

Don’t just enjoy your favorite fall seasoning in a drink, make it a dessert or special snack! This Pumpkin Spice Latte Rice Pudding uses water and a bit of vanilla and coffee alongside creamy milk, pumpkin spice and just a bit of your favorite pumpkin puree. But, don’t limit yourself to one season, enjoy your favorite flavors any time of year!

Rice pudding is a classic British dessert that never seems to fall out of favour. This traditional version, as seen on the BBC2 series Mary Berry Everyday, is guaranteed to hit the spot.

Mary Berry Everyday

Mary Berry Everyday

120 simple yet delicious recipes for everyday cooking

All the recipes from the BBC TV series

Classic favourites the whole family will enjoy

Introduction

Serve this with a bit of cream or a dollop of jam or syrup. Or just enjoy on its own – it’s delicious as it is!

Ingredients

butter, for greasing
75g (3oz) pudding rice
900ml (1½ pints) full-fat milk (see tip)
1 heaped tbsp caster sugar
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

Essential kit

You will need: a 1.6-litre (2¾-pint) wide-based ovenproof dish

Method

1. You will need a 1.6-litre (2¾-pint) wide-based ovenproof dish, well greased. Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/Gas 3.

2. Tip the rice into the dish. Heat the milk in a saucepan (see tip) and pour over the rice, then add the sugar and stir to combine.

3. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Stir gently and sprinkle with a dusting of nutmeg, if you like. Continue cooking for a further 1¼–1½ hours until a golden skin has formed on top and the rice is soft and tender underneath. Serve hot.

MARY’S EVERYDAY TIPS: Full-fat milk gives the best rich flavour, though semi-skimmed would be fine too. If you only have semi-skimmed, add a little less and make up the full amount with cream.