|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 11g||14%|
|Saturated Fat 6g||32%|
|Total Carbohydrate 55g||20%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 34g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||2%|
|*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.|
If you've got leftover rice, sure, you can make a fried rice for dinner with any and all ingredients that you have at hand. But leftover rice can also be used to make either a lightly sweet dessert or a breakfast rice pudding. Depending on how you serve it and the additional toppings you offer, the dish can be one or the other.
Rice is often overlooked as an ingredient for sweets, as home cooks most commonly use it in savory dishes. But most cuisines have some form of rice pudding, from Portuguese arroz doce to Greek rizogalo to German milchreis. And there's a bonus to making dessert with rice: It packs essential nutrients. Just one cup of enriched cooked white rice contains 4 grams of protein along with iron and several B vitamins, including folic acid. While the fiber content of brown rice is significantly higher (3.5 grams versus .6 grams in white rice), brown rice is usually not enriched with vitamins and minerals, but provides several nutrients, including magnesium, thiamin, and niacin.
Although rice pudding can be baked into a casserole form, it's faster to cook it on top of the stove, or if you're pressed for time even the Instant Pot can make a great pudding. Experiment with add-ins for your rice pudding, such as golden or regular raisins, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, crystallized ginger, pepitas, or granola. If using raisins, you can soak them overnight in brandy or bourbon for a little extra kick. Try out different sauces for the rice pudding, such as a salted caramel sauce, raspberry jam sauce, or fudgy chocolate sauce. Or eat it with fresh fruit on top, as you'd eat a bowl of cooked oatmeal.
Gather the ingredients.
Place 1 1/2 cups of the milk in a medium (3-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Warm the milk until bubbles start to form around the edges, but don't let it boil.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the cooked rice and sugar. Let the mixture simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir in the remaining milk, egg, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and raisins. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the rice pudding thickens.
Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and serve immediately, or let cool and refrigerate until needed.
Make Ahead or Bake in the Oven
Here are your options when preparing the pudding ahead of time or choosing to bake it instead:
- The rice continues soaking up liquids as it sits. Therefore, if you're making it ahead of time, add another 1/2 cup of milk before transferring the pudding to the fridge.
- If baking, preheat the oven to 325 F and grease a 9-inch baking dish. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and then spoon it into the prepared baking dish. Add 2 cups of water to the pan and bake for 90 minutes until the mixture is set. Cool and cut into squares to serve.
Additions and Substitutions
Choose from these additions and substitutions to change the flavor profile of the pudding:
- To make an Indian-inspired kheer, use long-grain rice, such as Basmati, and eliminate the egg and vanilla extract. Replace the whole milk with the equivalent amount of coconut milk and add 1/4 cup raisins, 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoons rose water, and 1/4 cup chopped pistachios.
- For a Thai version, use Thai sweet rice and eliminate the egg and butter. Replace the milk with 2 cups of coconut milk and increase the sugar to 3/4 cup. Add 1/4 teaspoon each of ground nutmeg and ground cloves, as well as crushed peanuts and toasted coconut flakes for garnish.
- For a decadent cheesecake rice pudding, add 6 ounces of cream cheese and 2 more tablespoons of sugar to the mixture.
- To make a chocolate rice pudding, add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1 additional tablespoon of sugar. For extra chocolate flavor, stir in 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips.
- For a vegan version, skip the egg and replace the milk and butter with plant-based options. If you'd like a thicker pudding, mix 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornstarch with the last 1/2 cup of plant-based milk. The cornstarch will thicken the pudding without the need for eggs.