Classic Vanilla Rice Pudding

Truth: I have spent most of my adult life looking for a good {and easy} Classic Vanilla Rice Pudding.

I’m not kidding, I really have. 

I have tried so so SOOO many recipes for rice pudding and really have been disappointed with all of them. 

Some Classic Vanilla Rice Puddings were soupy, others a lump of mush. 

Some had eggs others did not.  

Some were bland and some were a bit odd tasting.

Because of this, I’m ALWAYS on the hunt for a good recipe and ask everyone if they have a good rice pudding recipe.


Disclaimer: EVERYONE thinks they have a really good rice pudding recipe – which is why I’ve tried countless recipes and never quite been satisfied.

I wanted to find a simple on the stove recipe that didn’t require hours of baking and had zero eggs.

Really, milk and rice when cooked together will give a good pudding consistency so no need to add eggs. 


Finally I tried this recipe.  The recipe was a PERFECT pudding consistency (not liquid or glue) and it was incredibly easy to make. 

This recipe highlights vanilla as the main flavor component, though you could add raisins or nutmeg or heaps of cinnamon to match your preferred childhood memory.  

I however like the simpleness of the vanilla.  

It’s not dramatic, or over the top or flashy.  

It’s classic, elegant and delicious.

This recipe was a winner in our house and I hope it will be in your house too!  

There really is nothing better than a bowl of classic vanilla rice pudding to put you in a nostalgic mood full of childhood memories.

I will point out one thing though, I think this tastes better warm than cold.   So if you have leftovers, store them in your fridge and nuke them the next time you want a tasty treat!

Other Recipes Using Rice…

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Classic Vanilla Rice Pudding
Classic Vanilla Rice Pudding

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4 Servings


  • 3 cups of whole milk - a full fat milk like whole will give the best results - anything low fat will be thin and runny.
  • 1/3 cup of uncooked rice (we used Jasmine)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • cinnamon


  1. In a sauce pan, bring milk to a boil.
  2. Add rice and stir well.
  3. Cook covered with lid cracked for 40 minutes - 1 hour over medium heat, stirring every 15 minutes or so.
  4. Mixture should be thickened.
  5. Add sugar and vanilla and stir.
  6. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow sugar to dissolve and flavors to blend.
  7. Spoon into dishes and sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon.


41 Comments on “Classic Vanilla Rice Pudding

  1. Rhonda

    I have had the same problem making rice pudding…Is the rice in your recipe any type of white rice? Will long, medium or short rice all work? Thanks!

    1. Janelle

      Rhonda I need you in my life! Great question! I’ll update the recipe to reflect the answer. I used Jasmine rice. It’s the only kid I ever use and I use it for everything. I love the flavor of it and it works great in every dish I’ve ever made and it’s a pretty common rice. I hope you give it a try. I’d love to know what your thoughts!

    1. Janelle

      Hi Brianna! 1 Pint equals 2 cups of liquid. So 2 cups of half and half. I’ll update the recipe to show the cup measurements. At the store though, if you are in the US, you’ll want to look for a pint carton of half and half. They don’t list “cups” on the carton just 1/2 pint, pint & quart. 🙂 I hope this helps!

      1. Lisa

        your recipe says 3 cups milk.. then this says 2 cups???? I am making this now, but I went with the 3 cups of milk and 1/3 cup rice…. hope this is right???

    1. Janelle

      Sheryl, I’m so happy to hear this! Cooking time completely depends on the heat you use but if it doesn’t thicken in the amount of time written, always cook a bit longer like you did! I’m so glad you loved it! You’ve made my day!

  2. Jane

    I have been craving rice pudding lately and like you, I just couldn’t find one I liked. Then I tried this recipe….it cant get any simpler and its soo creamy! Though I did make a couple changes, one out of necessity – turns out I didn’t have enough milk in the house so I used a can of coconut milk and then added milk to get to the 3 cup mark. When I took it off the heat, since I used coconut milk I added coconut extract instead of the vanilla to boost that flavor and finally added half a teaspoon of butter for a touch more richness. I think this might be the only rice pudding recipe i use from now on. Thanks!! Craving is now satisfied lol

    1. Janelle

      Jane you’ve made my day! I’m so glad you loved it! Love the idea of adding coconut milk and turning this into coconut rice pudding! Yum! I’m sensing a future Num’s recipe right here!

  3. Nancy Johnson

    This sounds like the same recipe my X mother-in-law used to make. She would put it on a oven safe platter and spread butter on it sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar then put it under the broiler to carmelize the sugar. Yum. I have never found the recipe. Thanks for sharing I can’t wait to try it.

  4. Sara

    It looks yummy!!! I ve a question , if I wanna add Nutella or peanut butter to make many flavored, at which step shoul I add the Nutella or the peanut butter?? And the quantity ???
    Another question pls, if I used the normal rice, should I use the same quantity ???

    1. Janelle

      Hi Sara! I’m not sure what you mean by normal rice? Any rice (aside from Minute Rice) will work. As far as the Peanut Butter or Nutella, I don’t know. I’ve never tried to make Peanut Butter or Nutella Rice Pudding. However if you do, let me know how it turns out.

  5. Angela

    Love this recipe! I needed to use up the rest of some half and half and cream. I used 2% milk to make the rest of the 3 cups. I cooked it a little longer and added some nutmeg with the cinnamon on top. So good! Keeper!

  6. Sarah

    I used whole milk and regular white rice and after over 40 minutes I was left with hot milk and cooked rice with no thickening. I added the sugar and a bit of cornstarch (as the liquid was about what I use in another pudding recipe) and it thickened right up and turned out perfect. Any trick for getting the milk and rice to actually thicken on their own?

    1. Janelle

      Sarah cook it longer next time. I’m actually going to be playing with the recipe this next week as I’ve had a few people tell me it’s not turned out for them and loads of others say it has. So I’m going to see if I can figure out why it’s working for some and not others. Just cook it longer next time until it does thicken. Eventually it will.

  7. Diana


    I tried this recipe and it was actually delicious but I would like to maybe mention to first timers who are making this recipe a few things.

    Firstly, don’t cook this on high because it burns everything…If you bring the milk to boil then add your rice and turn down to a medium low heat (or simmer) then the heat is sufficient enough to cook the rice and milk together.

    Secondly, the method calls to have the lid on the pot while simmering the ingredients for 30-45 minutes. If you do this milk will just boil over causing you a mess. I had to opt for having the lid half on and off so steam can escape the pot. It becomes a mess when you don’t do this and I think stirring more than once is important because everything just sticks to the bottom of the pan when you don’t stir often.

    Thirdly; serving suggestion says 4 but it’s really only enough as a treat for 2. If you wanted a generous serving for a family of 4 maybe double the batch? This is just a suggestion.

    Other wise yummm – I will be using this recipe again it’s really creamy and full of flavour 🙂

  8. Katie

    I was really excited about the simplicity of this pudding. I used 1/3 cup of Jasmine rice and cooked for 40 minutes covered and the milk didn’t thicken much at all. I just have hot milk with rice in it 🙁 What did I do wrong?

    1. Janelle

      Katie did you use a full fat milk like whole milk? It is key to use a HIGH fat milk or it will be soup. Also some people have said they’ve had to cook it up to 90 minutes before they got the thickened results but it was worth it in the end. Sorry it was more soup than pudding for you!

  9. Lene

    I’m from Denmark where rice pudding is very common.
    I use pearl rice
    190 grams
    1 liter milk whole milk is best
    1 cup water

    Water in a pot bring to a boil add the rice and boil for two min.
    Add milk little by little while stirring
    When you see bubbles come set heat on low and put on a lid.
    Stir often….you will know when it is done.
    Don’t scrape the bottom.
    Add a pinch of salt.
    We eat it with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar with a dollop of butter in the middle….yummy!

  10. Rebecca

    Mine didn’t seem to thicken up as much as I was expecting. What stove top temp did you keep it at? Simmering for 30 to 40 mins or mid high heat??

  11. Linda

    This pudding is delicious!!! I’ve made it more than once, cooking time for me (I’ve used different types of rice) has always been at least 90 minutes. Cooked over med/med low heat on a gas stove, using All-Clad cookware… So glad I ran across this recipe, yummy!!

    1. Janelle

      Hi Linda! Thanks for letting us know! Cooking time I’m learning depends on the cookware you use as well as the fat content in the milk. But it’s nice to know that in an All-Clad pan it takes about 90 minutes.

  12. Jess

    Diana’s comment includes essential tips.

    Despite using all those modifications, my milk kept boiling over. I kept adjusting and adjusting, and ended up cooking it over low, stirring constantly. For the last five minutes I left it on low heat, covered. A thin layer of rice ended up stuck to the bottom…

    Not sure how others were successful in leaving it covered on medium/low heat for 15 minutes without stirring?

    Mine still turned out delicious by the way. Thanks for the recipe.

  13. Denise

    I found the rice pudding a little too sweet for me so the next time I make it I’ll add less sugar. Other then that, it was easy to make and tasted great.

  14. Deb

    I too have been searching for the “perfect” rice pudding recipe, and honestly had given up! I then stumbled across your recipe while searching for Jasmin rice side recipes.
    I, as well as others had a “boil over” mess while bringing the milk up to a boil, but no worries, corrected that mess in a hurry.
    Although it took me about 50 mins cooking time and another ten for sugar/vanilla to meld, at the end of the day it was well worth it. (as another reviewer mentioned, I left the lid cracked and stirred every 6-8 mins)
    The only suggestion I will offer and for sure will try next time is to use a non-stick teflan (Tefal) pan.
    Great find for me and thanks for sharing!!

  15. Amy

    I like this recipe. Used 1 cup of heavy cream and 2 cups of 1% milk and it came out really good. Would probably only use about half the sugar next time though.
    Thanks for the recipe!!


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