Old-Fashioned Creamy Rice Pudding

Rice pudding with cinnamon sticks and mint
Photolibrary/Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 2 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
167 Calories
5g Fat
24g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 167
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 16mg 5%
Sodium 70mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 17g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 187mg 14%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 225mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Since rice is one of the most ubiquitous ingredients in the world, right alongside pasta and flour, there's no wonder why sweet rice pudding mixtures pop up in pretty much all cuisines around the world. Many variations exist for rice pudding, using different cooking liquids, spices, sweeteners, and toppings, but all share the commonality of providing comfort and warmth to whoever eats it. Our easy 4-ingredient recipe is the perfect basic recipe for rice pudding and makes a creamy and delicious preparation that you can spruce up to your taste adding a pinch of cinnamon or some chopped nuts on top. Use it as a warming breakfast topped with fresh berries and granola, or eat it as a dessert, adding a few chocolate shaves or a dollop of sweetened whipped cream.

Some rice puddings do use eggs to give the pudding a custardy consistency and a pretty yellow hue, but our recipe doesn't and simply uses the natural starch of the long-grain white rice to make a creamy mixture. The fat of the whole milk also helps with the texture, but if you need a dairy-free preparation, choose plant-based milk that is high in fat like coconut milk (from a carton and not from a can), hazelnut, or full-fat almond milk. There is no wrong way of eating rice pudding, as each household or cook has a favorite recipe, but if you are a novice then this recipe is for you as it makes a traditional and perfectly sweet preparation that you can adjust to suit your preference. Besides, it cooks in the oven. It can't get easier than that.

Rice is a budget-friendly pantry staple that cooks easily in sweet and savory recipes. It is a nutritious addition to your diet, so if you aren't a friend of steamed rice as a side dish, perhaps sweet rice might be right up your alley. A third of a cup of uncooked long-grain white rice, like we recommend you use for our recipe, has 4.6 grams of protein, just 228 calories, and less than 1 gram of fat. Add raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dates, figs, walnuts, pecans, or pistachios to add additional sweetness and texture. Serve with warm fruit compote or fresh fruit.


  • 1 quart whole milk, scalded

  • 1/3 cup uncooked long-grain white rice

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat oven to 300 F. In a 1 1/2 quart baking dish, combine all ingredients.

  3. Bake for 2 1/2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. This will give the pudding a creamy texture.

  4. Enjoy.

How to Scald Milk

To scald milk, pour it into a heavy pan and place the pan over medium heat. Heat the milk, stirring frequently. Scrape the bottom of the pan often to ensure it is not scorching or sticking. When it begins to steam and small bubbles form around the edge, remove it from heat. If you use a thermometer, look for a temperature of around 182 F (83 C).

Recipe Variations

  • Add about 1/2 cup of granulated sugar for a sweeter pudding.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg for a lightly spiced rice pudding.
  • Add 1/2 cup of raisins or dried cranberries to the rice mixture and add a pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Replace the granulated sugar with packed light brown sugar.
  • Add 1/4 cup of chopped dried apricots, 1/4 cup of raisins, and a pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg.