Best-Ever Rice Pudding

I have made lots of rice puddings.  The first time was from a Spanish cookbook and required four hours of cooking time.  (I would never have time for that now.)  The result was burned rice on the bottom...the top half was good though.

Obviously the time spent on that recipe was not necessary. This pudding is fabulous after 25 minutes of cooking.  Using a vanilla bean really gives it a nice flavor. You will love this recipe!!

On a side note...the pudding will look a bit loose when cooked and still warm, it will thicken to the perfect consistency upon cooling.


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Best-Ever Rice Pudding

Recipe from: | Serves: 6


  • 4-2/3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup white rice, such as Carolina long grain, basmati, jasmine or arborio
  • 7 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 three inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 large egg yolks


  • In a 4-quart saucepan, combine 4 cups of the milk with the rice and sugar. With a pairing knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and add them to the pan. Add the scraped vanilla bean and the cinnamon stick and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring frequently but gently, until the rice is completely tender, about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in about 1 cup of the hot rice mixture. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan, add the remaining 2/3 cup milk, and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended. Put the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, just until the mixture begins to boil, about 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the rice pudding to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on its surface. Set the bowl in an ice bath to cool the pudding quickly. When cool, discard the cinnamon stick and the vanilla bean. Divide the pudding among 6 small bowls or ramekins, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

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14 Comments and 2 Replies

  1. Kim in MD 1

    I have a confession…I have never had rice pudding! I think your recipe is going to change that and fast, Cathy! Your rice pudding look delicious, and your photo is stunning! :-)

  2. Lex 2

    I still swing by you from time to time – more so lately. It’s nice to read your recipes again! I had to extend a HUGE THANKS for this recipe! Like you, I’ve tried several different rice pudding recipes and a couple of them did call for at least 2 hours, not including prep.

    I will absolutely use this recipe because all of us love rice pudding here! Well, my husband doesn’t love it, but it’s a dessert we all enjoy!

    I also want to tell you, your lemon ricotta pancakes w/blueberry sauce have been a huge hit with several of my friends. & they are my favorite!! Since I haven’t been here in a while, I had to let you know!

  3. This looks so good, and exactly what I wish I had. Right. Now.

  4. nina 4

    It is comforting to know that although I haven’t been around for such a long time, the food is still so incredibly good. Love rice pud and yours look deliciously creamy!

  5. Becki 5

    I Looove Rice pudding. This looks like a great recipe because its simple with great ingredients – I bet it tastes really custard-like..yum!

  6. I always stayed away from Rice Pudding at the family parties, though I think it was because my Aunt just wasn’t a very good cook. But my Dad is a huge rice pudding fiend. Maybe I’ll give it a second chance and be a nice son too.

  7. Cathy, thank you for sharing this recipe. My recipe for rice pudding takes 4 hours in the oven and while it’s delicious, not gonna happen in the summer! I can’t wait to try this, love rice pudding!

  8. Always wanted to make rice pudding and this looks delicious!

    link to

  9. Sarah 9

    I Saw this and thought it looked great and it was pretty simple. I JUST finished making this recipe and its now in the fridge.

    I’ve tasted this through the process and its fantastic! Its creamy, has a great custard taste, and its not too sweet.

    I did make some adjustments to the recipe. I didnt have whole milk so I used 4 cups of 2% and 2/3 of Heavy cream. Also I didnt have fresh vanilla so I just used a cap of extract.

    I calculated my recipe at 1593 calories for the whole batch and 265 calories for one serving.

    Thanks for sharing this Recipe!


  10. Hannah 10

    I wanted to try this recipe the minute I saw it in Fine Cooking but now I am completely convinced because of this post!

  11. Maryann 11

    I finally got around to making this recipe today.One word…Amazing! Thank you for sharing!

  12. Amber 12

    I needed a rice pudding recipe for an event, and while searching came across this one. It is delicious and everyone said it was great. It needs some adjustments when doing a large quantity. But it’s definitely a keeper!

  13. Vicky Stauffer 13

    I am starting the 100 Days of Real Food and will eventually be cutting out refined sugar. I think honey would work in this recipe, what do you think?

  14. Jo 16

    In England we tend to eat it warm, and it’s great with raisins added :). This recipe sounds so much better than mine .


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