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Classic Rice Pudding

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Serves four.

When using a vanilla bean, I like to leave it in the pudding and then scrape out the seeds after the pudding has cooled. The seeds scrape out more easily from the softened bean, and the pudding gets an additional boost from the extra time the bean sits in it. This pudding is great as is, but can also be dressed up in dozens of ways (for a few ideas, see Coconut Rice Pudding with Mango, Coffee Rice Pudding, and the variations below).

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup raw medium-grain white rice
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, or 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Dump the milk, rice, salt, and split vanilla bean into a large, heavy saucepan (if you're using vanilla extract, don't add it yet). Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Uncover and continue simmering, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and the pudding is reduced to about 3-1/2 cups, about 8 minutes. It's important to let the pudding simmer gently, not boil, and you'll need to stir constantly toward the end of cooking to prevent scorching.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract (if using). Slowly add the cooked rice mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, making sure to scrape the bowl. Set the pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of the spoon, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the pudding to a bowl or serving dish and lay a sheet of plastic wrap right on the pudding's surface to prevent a skin from forming. If you've used a vanilla bean, fish it out when the pudding has cooled, scrape out the seeds, and stir the scrapings into the pudding. Discard the empty bean. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Variations

Swedish-Style Rice Pudding: Whip 3/4 cup cold heavy cream until it forms medium-firm peaks. Gently fold it into a batch of the chilled rice pudding.
Raspberry Parfait Rice Pudding: In four small wineglasses or parfait cups, alternately layer the chilled rice pudding and fresh raspberries, starting with the pudding and finishing with a few raspberries. (For a special touch, garnish with a nasturtium or another edible flower.)
Rice Pudding Soufflé: Heat the oven to 400°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a shallow 2-qt. baking dish; dust with sugar. Whip the whites of three large eggs until foamy. Continue to beat on high speed while gradually adding 2 Tbs. sugar. Beat the whites until they form medium-firm peaks. Gently fold the whites into a well-chilled batch of rice pudding. Spoon into the prepared dish; bake until puffed and golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 330; Fat (g): fat g 11; Fat Calories (kcal): 100; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 6; Protein (g): protein g 11; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 47; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 200; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 140; Fiber (g): fiber g 0;

Photo: Scott Phillips

I just made this 2 hours ago & I followed the directions exactly how they are on here... The rice pudding never thickened at all... I even followed some of the reviews & cooked it a extra ten minutes... It's all liquid the rice is still sitting at the bottom of the bowl... I was thinking maybe after I let it cool down like other puddings it would thickened... Picked this recipe since it had all good reviews... I was afraid a half cup of rice wouldn't be enough with 4 cups of milk... Sorry I can't give this more then two stars... I should only give it no or one star since all my money was just wasted on a horrible recipe that won't even thicken up like any rice pudding I've ever ate is thick... I thought maybe a little creamier the Kozy Shack which was fine with me... I like Kozy Shack I just don't like they don't make it with cinnamon without Raisins... I can't eat Raisins but love cinnamon in my Rice Pudding... The best Rice Pudding I still have ever ate is Royal Farms Rice Pudding... Just gets expensive since they're little one serving size & are $1.79 a piece... I usually have too buy all they have which is 10-12 at a time & they last me about 5 days... I'm really addicted too their rice Pudding so figured I would make my own too save money... Well not with this RECIPE I WON'T BE SAVING MONEY... Unless someone can tell me how too thicken this RICE PUDDING UP SO I DON'T HAVE TOO THROW THIS WHOLE BATCH AWAY NOW... If not I will tell everyone I know not too use any of these recipes since this is the 2nd Rice Pudding Recipe I have made in two weeks & didn't turn out... Thanks

There is another recipe on this site called "Best-Ever Rice Pudding." It is not! THIS one is. Creamy, subtle sweetness, easy, and relatively quick. I have made it twice, and will toss out most of the other rice pudding recipes I've accumulated. I did on the second go-round sub in some half-and-half for half of the milk, for some additional decadent richness. Delicious, but not necessary.

A wonderful version of an old fashioned favorite. I used Sushi rice, and refrained from adding cinnamon, and it was simply delicious! The ingredients & cooking process were spot on. We tried with some macerated strawberries in Balsamic vinegar over the top. I had the berries on hand. However my review is sans berries.

Made this for a large crowd and multiplied it several times. I got fav reviews from everyone. Did use a little less sugar. Excellent.

I've made rice pudding several times before, but this is my first time making this recipe. Let me say, YUM! I took a substitution from one of the "alternative" versions and used coconut milk (full fat) for some of the milk as I love the subtle flavor it gives in the background, used real vanilla bean (completely worth the hefty price tag in a dish like this), and added a bit more rice as I like my rice pudding more "meaty" and thick than most. That's just personal preference and no fault of the recipe at all. It is a bit sweet, but I grew up on kozy shack before I learned to make my own, so it didn't throw me off at all. If you like a less sweet pudding, use 1/4c sugar. Again, this is a personal preference. The method and ratios given by this recipe are spot on and delicious, and easily tweaked for those who like it a little more this or a little less that.

I doubled this recipe and simmered a bit longer than it called for and also added ground cinnamon for enhanced flavor and color. I Substituted 2% milk. It is absolutely delicious!

Good, solid, easy recipe but the 1/3 cup sugar was too sweet for such a small recipe. In the future, I would reduce the sugar a bit unless you like really sweet rice pudding.

Delicious and straight forward. I used 2% milk instead of whole milk and added a cinnamon stick to add a bit more spice to it.

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