Easy Rice Pudding Recipe

5 from 19 votes

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This simple and delicious Rice Pudding Recipe will have you coming back for seconds. Vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg scented pudding with big arborio rice grains. 

Try throwing this little rice pudding recipe into the mix on colder, wetter days when all you want to do is sit under a blanket and read a book by the fire! Yes, those are the days I usually turn to soup or homemade bread (or both!) but this recipe is my comfort food to the max.

Rice Pudding

But first, What is Rice Pudding?

Rice Pudding is a dessert made from a mixture of rice and water or milk. Other ingredients are added like cinnamon, nutmeg, and even whole raisins to flavor the dish. Sugar is also added to further sweeten.

I’ve been making rice pudding for years and I love it. But so many of you on Instagram voted against my beloved rice pudding saying you did not like it which was both baffling and shocking because I thought most people loved it. Apparently, that is not the case. For all of you 45-percenters who fell under the love it category, this recipe is for you!

Rice Pudding Recipe

Here’s everything you’re going to need to make the creamiest, yummiest rice pudding out there:

  • Whole Milk and Half & Half – using both of these ingredients has to do with fat content.
  • Arborio Rice – short-grain rice originating from Italy. Most rice puddings are made with this rice variety.
  • Granulated Sugar – to sweeten. Alternatively, you could use Truvia or Splenda for a sugar-free option.
  • Salt – to balance the sweet and bring out all of the other flavors.
  • Cinnamon and Nutmeg – this combination is the best!!! Do you see those gorgeous flecks in the rice?
  • Vanilla – for flavor.
  • Butter – to help thicken and add flavor.
  • Egg – this is a stabilizer and helps further thicken the mixture.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – more creaminess! Yum!

Rice Pudding

How to Make Rice Pudding

Believe it or not, this recipe is relatively easy to make…it just takes some time because we’re using arborio rice. For the full recipe with more detailed directions and increments, scroll down to the printable recipe card.

  1. Stir milk, half & half, rice, sugar, and salt together in a cold pot.
  2. Place over heat and bring to a simmer and reduce heat down to medium-low to gently cook until rice is soft or cooked to your liking.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and butter.
  4. Crack an egg into a separate dish and whisk into hot pudding mixture quickly to thicken without cooking.
  5. Stir in heavy whipping cream and serve warm.

Rice Pudding Recipe Pro Tips

Good rice pudding and great rice pudding live very close to each other. Use these tips to make this amazing dessert!

  • Rice. I based this recipe around arborio rice being cooked in dairy. Arborio rice is traditionally used for risotto but fluffs up so nicely as it cooks in the milk and half and half. I found cooking the rice in the ‘pudding’ made a better-finished product. If you don’t have arborio rice, you can use regular long-grain white rice. Just reduce the milk and half & half by 1/2 cup each.
  • Don’t Like Nutmeg? I add in cinnamon and nutmeg because that to me is the epitome of delicious. If nutmeg is not your thing, just omit. No big deal.
  • Salt is Important. Don’t forget the salt! It makes a big difference. Also, using salted butter really makes a velvety and yummy difference.
  • Other Add-Ins. I do not add raisins because GROSS, but if that is your thing, have at it. You are the master of your domain.
  • Don’t Scramble the Egg! I whisk in a beaten egg to help thicken the mixture. Be sure to remove the pudding from the heat and stir in the other ingredients before adding in the egg to help prevent scrambling. It’s all laid out in the directions.

How to Make Rice Pudding

Leftovers

If you happen to have leftovers (not likely because this recipe is THAT good), you can store this rice pudding recipe in the fridge for up to 4 days! Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

Some people like this recipe served cold. As it cools and is refrigerated, it will start to thicken. If you’d like to serve it cold, stir in some extra cream or half & half to thin out to the consistency you’d prefer!

More Recipes to Try!

Printable recipe card is below!

Have a great day!

5 from 19 votes

Rice Pudding Recipe

This Rice Pudding Recipe will have you coming back for seconds. Vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg scented pudding with big arborio rice grains. 
servings 8 servings
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half
  • 1 cup arborio rice rinsed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream plus more as needed (see instructions below)

Instructions

  • Stir milk, half & half, rice, sugar, and salt together in a cold pot. Place over heat and bring to a simmer and reduce heat down to medium-low to gently cook until rice is soft or cooked to your liking, about 30 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and butter. Crack an egg into a separate dish and whisk into hot rice pudding quickly to thicken without cooking.
  • Stir in heavy whipping cream and serve warm.
  • As rice pudding cools and is refrigerated, it will start to thicken. If you'd like to serve it cold, stir in some extra cream or half and half to thin to the consistency you'd prefer.

Nutrition

Calories: 288kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 173mg | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 470IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 1.2mg
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to make rice pudding, Rice Pudding, Rice Pudding Recipe
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Recipe Rating




66 Responses
  1. Jane

    I can’t imagine who wouldn’t want to try this! It sounds so rich, creamy and delicious! I have never made rice pudding, but this will definitely be on my list for the near future. Thanks, Lauren!

  2. Kathi

    5 stars
    Hi Lauren,
    This recipe looks delish!!! Only question I have is adding a raw egg and not cooking it, is that ok/safe!?

    P.S. Love your little family and your stories on Instagram and so jealous you’re living in New York City!!!

    1. Lauren

      Since you’re stirring it in hot and it thickens the pudding, it has basically cooked. If you’re worried about it, use a pasteurized egg.

    1. LISA MARIE

      You definitely can! I’ve made rice pudding with coconut milk plenty of times and it’s so good!! I’ve even used cream of coconut and coconut milk and its absolutely delicious!

  3. Kelly

    Phew! I was afraid you were going to be swayed by those non-rice pudding loving crazies and not share the recipe! Lol! I can’t wait to try this!!

  4. Ethnea Guiney

    I love rice pudding and this recipe looks so good and simple to make,
    However I am super sensitive to dairy products so obviously not for me
    But will make for grandchildren when they come home this summer
    so at least I can sneak a taste . Will let you know results. Can’t see how
    it can go wrong.

  5. Annie

    see that Lauren has two versions of this recipe. One calls for 5 T. of heavy whipping cream, and one doesn’t call for it . Which one should I use to make the best rice pudding.

  6. Alexandra Robertson

    Rice pudding was my grandma’s specialty. This has me craving a bowl of it and now I’m going to have to whip this up to show my husband how amazing it tastes! He is not convinced lol.

  7. Marcia S.

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! My mom & grandma made great rice pudding, but there was never a real recipe. This pudding will bring back great memories!

  8. Brittany Gilson

    This takes me back to college! My friends and I use to eat rice pudding all the time. We’d get different toppings like Andes mint pieces or health pieces and mix them in. I’ll have to try this! ❤️

  9. Stephanie M

    5 stars
    Just made this on Saturday because my husband loves rice pudding. I haven’t been a fan. But wow, this recipe is so good!!!

  10. Cindy Denison

    5 stars
    This looks great, I am definitely going to try it. My grandmother used to make the best rice pudding. We were the only ones in my family that would eat it. She has been gone for years now, and I haven’t had rice pudding since. I never could find her recipe, but this looks like it might be very close. I may have to eat it all by myself, but that is okay too 🙂

  11. Kresti Lyddon

    5 stars
    This looks amazing, and one of my favorite desserts is rice pudding – you’re right – totally comfort food! Can’t wait to try it, and your recipes are always well-written and easy to follow.

  12. Kasse

    I love Rice Pudding, but have never found a recipe that I wanted to try. It looks so yummy….this may just be the one.

  13. Cassidy mickelsen

    There is something so comforting and homey about rice pudding. It makes me feel loved! I think because my mom only made it if we were really, really sick or after a surgery. It was the special goods! I can’t wait to try this recipe to share with my kids, even without them being sick!

  14. Anita Sharp

    Yummmmm!!!!!
    I love rice pudding almost as much as I love Tapioca pudding !
    I’m going to give this recipe a whirl tomorrow !
    Thanks for sharing !

  15. Jessica Womeldorf

    I love rice pudding! It is a my family’s tradition to have rice pudding and Swedish cookies for dessert on Christmas Eve. I will have to give your recipe a try!

  16. Samantha Ann

    5 stars
    Made this Monday Night…we are all in love with it.. My husband more then anyone else, he took the left overs to work so we couldn’t eat it on him. And my toddler LOVED IT (P.S. he and Eddie share the same birthday).

  17. Anne Pik

    Because rice pudding is one of my all time favorite food to eat (and I’m a raisin lover) I am going to make this one too! I so enjoy your recipes (thanks for making them completely doable & tasty), and love your blog & posts.

  18. Marisa

    I have the most warm and beautiful memories of Rice Pudding as a child. It will always be one of the most comforting desserts for me, I’m 44 and I still beg my Mum to make hers for me every now and then. I can make it, but it’s never ever the same! Thank you so much for the recipe, I look forward to trying it out even if I fear that I shall disappoint you with my love for sultanas (though, soaking them in Brandy overnight makes it a whole new experience) 🙂
    ~Marisa~

  19. Anita Sharp

    Hi Lauren!
    I’m in the process of making this deliciousness now, and I’m wondering…. Do you simmer it with or without a lid?
    I’m so looking forward to tasting this!
    Thanks!

  20. Stef Kuhn

    Love love love rice pudding! Haven’t had it in a very long time, but when I used to live in New Jersey I found this cute little place in the city called Rice to Riches. It’s a rice pudding place all different flavors – yum!

  21. Nery Enriquez

    I love rice pudding and just recently got brave enough to make my own. I definitely have to try your recipe. Looks so very creamy! 😍🤤

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