Rice Pudding Recipe – The Recipe Critic


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Rich, creamy rice pudding is delicious warm or cold, and lightly spiced with just a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s the coziest, most comforting dessert of all! We love it with plump golden raisins!

It’s so easy to make homemade rice pudding and a great way to use up leftover rice as well! If you love pudding-type desserts, be sure not to miss our Magnolia Bakery Banana PuddingCoconut Bread Pudding, and Pistachio Pudding Salad!

Top-down view of rice pudding served in white bowls with raisins as a garnish.

Homemade Rice Pudding

This old-fashioned dessert is a classic that is the ultimate in creamy comfort in a bowl. Serve it warm, and it’s perfect for cold winter nights. You can also chill it in the fridge for a wonderful warm weather treat! You’ll love having this recipe in your back pocket for when you’re craving something creamy and sweet.

I like to add just a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg to flavor the rice pudding, but I’m not heavy-handed with the spices since it could easily overpower the classic flavors of this dessert. More cinnamon and nutmeg can be sprinkled over the top of each serving as a garnish, if desired. No matter how you choose to serve it, one thing is for sure- this rice pudding will be a hit with the whole family! And if you love homemade pudding as much as I do, try this vanilla or chocolate pudding next!

Ingredients Needed

Rice pudding is one of my go-to desserts when my family is craving something sweet. It’s so easy to make and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand. You can leave the raisins out if you’re not into them. But there is something wonderful about the bursts of sweet plump golden raisins in the creamy rice pudding that I love, despite not being a huge raisin fan otherwise.

  • Cooked Rice: I used white, medium-grain rice. See my tips below on how to quickly cook some if you don’t already have some on hand!
  • Milk: I recommend using whole milk to make your rice pudding extra creamy.
  • Sugar: Just regular granulated sugar works great to sweeten up the pudding.
  • Salt: A pinch is all you need to boost the overall flavor of your rice pudding.
  • Beaten Egg: This gets beaten into the pudding mixture to add creaminess and a smooth texture.
  • Butter: You can’t go wrong with butter! This adds the best rich flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract: For the best flavor, I recommend using pure vanilla extract if you have it! Vanilla bean paste works, too, if you want a stronger vanilla flavor.
  • Spices: I used ground cinnamon and nutmeg for a hint of spiced flavor.
  • Sweetened Whipped Cream: (Optional) If you want extra creamy rice pudding, you can mix this in once it’s done.
  • Golden Raisins: (Optional) I love adding these as a garnish!

Can I Use Leftover Rice to Make Rice Pudding?

Yes! Definitely go ahead and use leftover rice when making rice pudding! It’s a great way to avoid food waste and use up leftovers in a new and different way. Medium-grain rice makes for the creamiest, best rice pudding, in my experience, but you could make rice pudding with long-grain rice, basmati rice, or even brown rice if you wanted to.

4-photo collage of pudding being prepared.

If You Need to Make Rice…

If you don’t have leftover cooked rice to make this rice pudding, bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add ¾ cup medium grain rice, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. You can also quickly make rice with an Instant Pot. Find my full recipe here!

How to Make Rice Pudding

Cooked medium-grain rice is simmered with milk and sugar, then egg yolks are tempered with some of the hot liquid and added back in to thicken things up and make the pudding extra creamy and rich. You’ll never go back to store-bought!

  1. Add Ingredients to Saucepan: Combine the cooked rice with 1 ½ cups of the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir for about 15 minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken slightly and become creamy. 
  2. Add Egg and Spices: In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with the remaining milk. Gradually whisk 1 cup of the hot rice and milk into the egg mixture to temper the egg. Add the tempered egg to the rice mixture, stirring to combine. Stir in the raisins if using, as well as cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Cook and Thicken: Continue to cook for another 2 minutes stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
  4. Serve and Enjoy: Serve warm, at room temperature, or chill and serve cold. For an extra creamy version, mix 1 cup of sweetened whipped cream into the chilled rice pudding.
A bowl of rice pudding with a spoon in it.

How Long is Rice Pudding Good For?

Homemade rice pudding makes great leftovers, and can be served both hot and cold!

  • In the Refrigerator: You can keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Just let it cool completely to room temperature, then store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Does Rice Pudding Freeze Well?

Yes, you can freeze rice pudding, but honestly, it’s best when it’s freshly made. The pudding will tend to separate a bit and not be as creamy after it thaws. If you like eating it cold, I recommend adding a little sweetened whipped cream to improve the texture a bit if you decide to freeze leftover rice pudding. Or you can reheat the thawed pudding on the stove a bit and stir to help it come back together.

Closeup of rice pudding served with cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins on top.

A Reader’s Review

I’ve made this several times over the last few months and it’s always perfect. Thanks for a great, stovetop rice pudding recipe!

Deb


  • Combine the cooked rice with 1 ½ cups of the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir for about 15 minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken slightly and become creamy.

  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with the remaining milk. Gradually whisk 1 cup of the hot rice and milk into the egg mixture to temper the egg. Add the tempered egg mixture to the pan with the hot rice and milk, stirring to combine. Stir in the raisins if using, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

  • Continue to cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.

  • Serve warm, at room temperature, or chill and serve cold. For an extra creamy version, mix 1 cup of sweetened whipped cream into the chilled rice pudding.


Originally posted January 29, 2020
Updated on December 27, 2022

Serves: 4

Serving4gCalories411kcal (21%)Carbohydrates70g (23%)Protein9g (18%)Fat12g (18%)Saturated Fat7g (35%)Cholesterol72mg (24%)Sodium243mg (10%)Potassium402mg (11%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar39g (43%)Vitamin A447IU (9%)Vitamin C1mg (1%)Calcium172mg (17%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dessert

Cuisine American

Keyword rice pudding, rice pudding recipe



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