Rice Pudding

This Rice Pudding is simple to make, uses only six ingredients, and is incredibly luscious and delicious!

Rice Pudding is easily one of the best desserts ever, with all the flavors of a rich vanilla ice cream but with more texture.

Rice Pudding - In a Small Blue Bowl with Vanilla Pods in Background

That’s my more PC way of saying what my husband says when he eats it, which is: “Mmm…this tastes like chunky vanilla ice cream.”

Either way you put it, it has sweet and rich dairy flavor with fragrant vanilla, and each spoonful is creamy but textured from the rice.

Let’s go through all the checkpoints for making the best version possible, from scratch.

Because if you’ve only ever tasted store-bought rice pudding, or if you’ve never had freshly made rice pudding before, it’s truly incredible. 

5 Tips for Making the Best Rice Pudding:

#1. Use Uncooked Rice

I’m not a fan of rice puddings using pre-cooked rice. 

You want the flavor of the milk and the vanilla to go inside the rice, not just floating around it.

Cooking the rice from a raw state ensures this cohesiveness.

#2. Don’t Rinse the Rice

Additionally, starting with uncooked rice lets us use it in an unwashed state, which helps in thickening the pudding naturally.

This is particularly helpful since we aren’t using egg yolks here, keeping the recipe and process very simple. 

Because of this, I highly recommend using a quality organic rice. I use long-grain.

#3. Use Organic Dairy (it makes a HUGE difference)

Using organic milk and cream here is highly recommended. 

There very well may be some decent quality non-organic milk out there, but I’ve noticed that organic dairy has tremendously more flavor than the typical inexpensive standard milk.

If you are skeptical, go buy a carton of each and do a taste test side by side. We’ve even found that when purchasing shredded mozzarella cheese for pizzas, the conventional cheese has no flavor but the organic cheese has sweet and rich pronounced flavors.

In short: make sure the milk and cream you’re using actually taste like something.

Rice Pudding Recipe - Served in Small blue Bowls with Spoon Scooping

#4. Use a Vanilla Bean (I know they’re expensive right now, but it’s important)

Using an actual vanilla bean here will make for the best rice pudding of all (and if you can, use a Grade A vanilla bean [affiliate] over Grade B).

The flavor of true vanilla from the bean is unmatched and the vanilla specks give the pudding subtle textural interest.

In the past I’ve used vanilla paste, but a fresh scraped bean is superior.

#5. Use a Splash of Heavy Cream at the End for Lusciousness

It’s nice to finish the rice pudding with some extra richness at the end. 

I see butter commonly used, but I think cream is better.

I find the butter to be too heavy/greasy, while the cream has a luscious fluid richness to it. It keeps the rice pudding “milky.”

Okay, let’s dive into the process!

How to Make Rice Pudding:

In a saucepan, combine long-grain rice, a scraped vanilla bean with the seeds and pod thrown in, granulated sugar, and whole milk.

Long Grain Rice, A Scraped Vanilla Bean, Sugar, and Whole Milk in Saucepan

Stir well to combine, then bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. The vanilla specks should be distributed after a little whisking:

Rice Pudding Mixture Simmering in Pot with Whisk

Cook the rice pudding for about 35 minutes, stirring or whisking every few minutes to prevent sticking, until the rice is tender and the milk has cooked down considerably.

You want to adjust the heat on your stove so that it never comes to a full rolling boil, but maintains a gentle simmer. This is usually medium low or medium heat.

When the rice is soft, turn the heat off and add the heavy cream:

Pouring Cream into Simmered Homemade Mixture

Stir through the heavy cream, until it’s evenly distributed:

Fully Cooked Mixture with Cream Stirred In, with Whisk

The mixture is a lot more fluid now.

I noted in the recipe box that the amount of cream you add can be increased if you want a more fluid and milky rice pudding. Just keep in mind that as the rice pudding chills, it will thicken a little bit.

Refrigerate the rice pudding for at least 4 hours to completely chill it before serving:

Easy Rice Pudding - In Small blue Bowl with Spoon on Side 

Creme Brulee is another one of my favorite minimal ingredient desserts.

Ditto with this Butterscotch Budino and Panna Cotta. Enjoy!

Rice Pudding - In blue Dish with Vanilla Beans in Background
Print Pin
4 from 1 vote

Rice Pudding

This Rice Pudding is simple to make using only 6 ingredients, but with an incredibly delicious flavor and luscious texture.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword homemade rice pudding, rice pudding
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Chilling Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 333kcal
Author Joanne Ozug fifteenspatulas.com

Ingredients

  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup long-grain white rice (organic recommended)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3.5 cups whole milk (organic highly recommended)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (organic highly recommended)

Instructions

  • Split the vanilla bean using a paring knife and scrape all the vanilla seeds out from the inside.
  • Place the scraped seeds AND the empty vanilla bean into a medium saucepan, along with the rice (do not rinse the rice beforehand), sugar, salt, and milk.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce to medium low and cook for 35-40 minutes, stirring every couple minutes to prevent sticking, until the rice is soft and the liquid has cooked down a lot. Try to ensure it never comes to a full rolling boil (if it does, turn the heat down).
  • Turn the heat off and stir in the heavy cream. Note: if you'd like more cream, you can double or triple the amount you add here, per personal preference. Keep in mind the pudding will thicken more as it cools.
  • Chill the rice pudding for at least 4 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

Note: I leave the vanilla bean in the pudding while it chills and also if storing leftovers. It's not meant to be eaten, so do not serve it in the bowl. 

Nutrition

Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 244mg | Potassium: 320mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 563IU | Calcium: 257mg | Iron: 1mg