creamy brown rice pudding

About six months ago, we purchased a 12-pound bag of organic short grain brown rice from Costco.  We’d rarely eaten brown rice up to that point, and I was hopeful that I could transition the family from our beloved white jasmine rice to the healthier brown variety.  I had tried short grain brown rice before and found it more palatable and less chewy than long grain, so I figured it wouldn’t be a difficult transition.

I was wrong.  Serving the evening meal — especially when it is Asian-inspired food — on a mound of brown rice seems to bring the dinnertime blues to my family.  Even if they love the dish, everyone (including me) has a hard time finishing off the rice.  After a few attempts, I went back to the white stuff and wondered what in the world I was going to do with the gigantic bag of brown rice in the pantry.

Then, last week, the weather turned cold.  And along came my seasonal craving for warm, creamy, comforting pudding.  I usually make this slow-cooker tapioca recipe, but I had the idea to try turning the rejected brown rice into something delicious.

And it worked!  The kids apparently love brown rice pudding as much as I do, and I ended up making this recipe three days in row last week.  It’s a 1.5-hour process from start to finish, but there’s very little work involved.  I’m excited to have a semi-healthy dessert option, and I’ll be adding this recipe to my breakfast rotation too!  (I get up around 6:30 and the older kids sleep until at least 7:30, so the longer prep time works for our breakfast.)

{I made the first batch with just milk and half & half, and with the other two batches I used a combination of half & half, coconut milk, and almond milk.  They all turned out great, although the pudding made with coconut and almond milk wasn’t quite as creamy as the first batch.}

Brown Rice Pudding (adapted from this recipe)

1 1/4 c. water

1 1/4 c. half & half (OR milk OR cream OR almond milk OR coconut milk)

1/2 c. short grain brown rice

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 c. raisins or dried cranberries

2 egg yolks

3 T. sugar

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground ginger (OR ground cardamom)

1 T. butter, optional

In a medium to large saucepan, combine water, milk, rice, and salt.  Heat to boiling, stir once, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 75-80 minutes (or until most of the liquid is absorbed.) 

Stir in raisins or cranberries and cook on low 15 more minutes.  Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, and spices.  Whisk egg mixture gradually into rice.  Cook on low 6-8 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes, until pudding is thickened. 

Remove from heat and stir in butter if desired.  Serve warm or cold.

{Yields ~4 servings}


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6 Responses to creamy brown rice pudding

  1. Katya says:

    Have you ever made BAKED rice pudding? Growing up, my mom’s version was always a baked on – very similar ingredients, but you mix them all in a large pyrex baking dish and bake in the oven for about an hour. It is less creamy and more like an English “pudding” that you can cut into squares, but it was a favorite in our house. I thought all rice pudding was baked until I recently found a recipe for the stovetop version. It was good too, just different than what I was used to. Your recipe looks better than the one I made. I look forward to trying it! Rice pudding makes a great breakfast…or lunch…or dinner…..or snack! 😉

    • Abby says:

      Yes! My mom and I used to make baked rice pudding when I was a kid. When I was browsing around for rice pudding recipes the other day, I found mainly stovetop versions. That was surprising to me, too! I wonder if brown rice pudding would turn out ok if it was baked… I might have to try that sometime.

      • Katya says:

        I made your stovetop version the other day (unfortunately I was out of brown rice, so I made it with white) and it turned out really good! AND I found a great timesaving trick, if you’re making it often. I accidentally added WAY too much rice, almost double, so once it had cooked for about an hour, I took out half the rice and put it in a container in the fridge, and then made the rest of the rice into pudding according to your recipe. Then today I pulled out the extra rice, added a little more milk, and cooked it for about 10 more minutes…then added the raisins and the egg mixture and finished it up normally, and it turned out really good, maybe even better than the first batch! I might be doubling all my recipes from now on just to save some for a busy day.

        I should ask my mom if she ever made her baked pudding with brown rice…I’m almost sure she has…

        • Abby says:

          I love that idea! My kids prefer warm pudding to cold, so I don’t like making extra to store in the fridge…but this is a great way to make it ahead and still have it warm. Thanks!

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