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Stovetop Rice Pudding

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When you’re craving the warm, creamy taste of your childhood, look no further than this classic Stovetop Rice Pudding. It’s a simple, no-fuss recipe your entire family will gobble up in no time.



After searching all over (and lots of trial runs of so many recipes) I can assure you, this creamy rice pudding is the absolute BEST rice pudding recipe you are going to ever eat.

It’s like being hugged by your grandma. Everyone needs that. And it’s so EASY!


Rice Pudding - creamy cooked rice in pot


What is Stovetop Rice Pudding?

Rice pudding is a mix of rice cooked and milk, frequently made with cinnamon, vanilla, possibly eggs or other spices and add-ins.

It can be eaten as a dessert or a breakfast food, hot or cold, and it can be cooked on the stove or in the oven. And really, there are almost as many variations to this recipe as there are people cooking rice pudding!

And just to tell you how delicious homemade rice pudding is: it is made everywhere around the entire world! That’s pretty popular!


Rice Pudding - sugar and vanilla added to creamy rice pudding


What Ingredients are in Stovetop Rice Pudding?

For this recipe, your ingredients could not be more simple! Only 5 pantry ingredients!

  • Milk: You’ll want to use full fat milk in this recipe to achieve maximum creaminess! Feel free to experiment with other full fat milks like coconut if you want but be prepared for that coconut flavor!
  • Rice: You can use any type of rice here! Short grain, long grain, medium grain, all are good options. My personal favorite is Jasmine. I love that sweet Jasmine flavor.
  • Sugar: Um, yes! A dessert with no sugar is no bueno! Here’s another place you can experiment if you want. Maple sugar, coconut sugar, or brown sugar are all going to give you a different flavor. I use plain white sugar in this recipe.
  • Vanilla: The vanilla is the star of this show! Delicious!
  • Cinnamon: Go easy on the cinnamon. Let that vanilla shine!


Rice Pudding - creamy rice pudding in pot ready to dish up


How Do You Make Rice Pudding?

  1. Boil the milk.
  2. Stir in the rice.
  3. Cook covered 40 minutes – 1 hour.
  4. Stir about every 15 minutes.
  5. Add sugar and vanilla
  6. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
  7. Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  8. Try not to eat it all yourself!

Pro Tips:

  • Rinse your rice. Rice is starchy! Too much starch is going to give your rice pudding a glue-like texture and consistency. Yuck! Put your rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly 2-3 times.
  • Don’t use instant rice. Instant rice is a different beast than any other rice and I have no idea how this would turn out with instant.
  • Serve it warm or cold. Is it hot outside? Let it cool down! Is it cold outside? Eat it warm! Are you a rebel? Eat it any way you want!
  • Mix ins! You can serve this with raisins, cardamom, nutmeg, chocolate chips, jam, toasted nuts, lemon zest, chocolate or caramel drizzle, or syrup are all popular around the web and the world. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but just know, this recipe is good as is too!


Rice Pudding - rice pudding in two bowls with cinnamon sprinkled over the top


How Do You Store Stovetop Rice Pudding?

Old fashioned Rice pudding will stay good when stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. You can eat it either heated up again or cold. When stovetop rice pudding gets cold it will thicken. If you want, you can add just a touch of milk (about a teaspoon) to make it a little creamier.

Can You Freeze Stovetop Rice Pudding?

You can! An airtight container in your freezer should keep your rice pudding good for about 3 months. Keep in mind that the longer it’s in the freezer, the less flavor it will have. Also the rice pudding tends to separate once frozen so be sure to mix well upon thawing.


Rice Pudding - close up of bowl full of rice pudding with a spoonful close to camera lens


How Do You Thaw Frozen Rice Pudding?

You’ll want to take your rice pudding out of the freezer and put it in the fridge and let it thaw overnight before reheating.

I like to reheat my stovetop rice pudding on the stove on medium-low heat and add a little bit of milk – again just a teaspoon will do!

Mix well due to the separation and serve. If you are planning on microwaving, I recommend adding a small bowl of water in the microwave while reheating. Stir well.

Of course you can always just eat it straight from the fridge without reheating also but it will need to be stirred.

Can You Use Leftover Rice for this Stovetop Rice Pudding?

Sure! The recipe is going to need to be tweaked just a bit but it’s actually fairly simple!

Since your rice is already cooked you are not going to need as much milk. Use 1 cup whole milk and 1 cup of half and half (or use 2 cups of whole if that’s all you have!) And keep all other ingredients the same.

Cook it 20 minutes at a low simmer until you’ve got a creamy, beautiful and dare I say, extremely easy rice pudding.


Rice Pudding - bowl of rice pudding with a scoop on a spoon sitting next to bowl



Is Rice Pudding Gluten Free?

All rice is naturally gluten free so yes! Rice Pudding is completely gluten free. Helpful if you’re bringing your homemade rice pudding to a family get together with allergies!

Can Dogs Eat Rice Pudding?

Rice pudding is not toxic to dogs, but (although I’m no dog expert) I recommend not feeding this to your dog.

First of all: Hello! This rice pudding is so rich and flavorful, you aren’t going to want to share. Secondly: Dogs probably shouldn’t be eating rice and sugar for their own health. I’d stick to foods actually made and meant for dogs.

Is Rice Pudding Healthy?

Rice pudding is typically eaten as a dessert for a reason. It’s rich, comforting, and delectable! Probably don’t eat it for every meal but everyone needs a dessert and as far as desserts go, this one isn’t that bad!


Rice Pudding - close up of spoon of rice pudding - side view


Other Stovetop Dessert Recipes You’ll Love…


Rice Pudding - zoomed out image of two bowls of rice pudding with cinnamon on top


More Rice Recipes You’ll Love:

Stovetop Rice Pudding is super duper simple and incredibly luscious! It comes out perfect every time! So try it for breakfast or dessert (or any other meal/snack time!) and let me know what you think!

Yield: 4 Servings

Classic Vanilla Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding - close up of bowl full of rice pudding with a spoonful close to camera lens

When you’re craving the warm, creamy taste of your childhood, look no further than this classic Stovetop Rice Pudding. It’s a simple, no-fuss recipe your entire family will gobble up in no time.

Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 3 cups of whole milk 
  • 1/3 cup of uncooked Jasmine rice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 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 low heat,
  4. stirring every 15 minutes or so.
  5. Mixture should be thickened.
  6. Add sugar and vanilla and stir.
  7. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow sugar to dissolve and flavors to blend.
  8. Spoon into dishes and sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon.
Originally Posted: May 19, 2016

Text & Photos Updated: September 14, 2020

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Donna Huther

Tuesday 19th of September 2023

I have a very simple recipe for rice pudding stovetop. It is 1 half gallon whole milk 1 cup white long grain rice (not minute rice) 1 cup sugar Add all ingredients to pot. After rolling boil, decrease to low heat and boil 45 minutes stirring often. Should be very thick. Transfer to fridge. When chilled, whip one cup whipping cream and fold into chilled pudding mixture. Serve with sprinkle of cinnamon.

add raisins and vanilla if desired


Friday 22nd of September 2023

Sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing Donna!

Ariel Paz

Saturday 21st of May 2022

I do not rinse my rice. It is the starch that helps the pudding thicken. Also I use short grain rice because of that fact. The longer grains have less starch and therefore will not create the thickness that you want in a rice pudding. For a different flavor, tonight I added orange zest and how deliciously different!


Wednesday 13th of July 2022

Great tips Ariel! Love the one about orange zest. I can't wait to try it!


Thursday 19th of May 2022

So I ended up with burnt milk scrapings...maybe more stirring or added butter could have avoided this .. Needless to say I never got to taste the final outcome


Wednesday 13th of July 2022

If your rice pudding burnt, your stove is cooking too hot. Do you have a smaller burner that you could use instead? My stove has a specific burner for simmer or low cooking, which is great for rice. I'm sorry it didn't turn out for you.


Monday 18th of April 2022

Omg, this is the best rice pudding recipe ever!!! I used Japanese short-grain rice and 2% milk. Personally though, I feel like it needs to be stirred more often. I had my temperature set to low and still ended up with a brown film on the bottom of the pot. I hope I never lose this recipe, I’m definitely making it again!😋 Thank you for sharing!


Wednesday 13th of July 2022

Thank you so much! On my stove I have different burners and one is for cooking something low and slow so that's the burner I use. Otherwise I would get a burnt spot as my other burners cook hotter. I love your tip for stirring more often if your stove cooks hot.


Tuesday 1st of December 2020

I had a recipe from an old friend and lost it and have been looking for a recipe close to hers and this recipe might just work. For ppl that are having problems with it being to runny maybe u can try the way my friend taught me she would put it on the stove till it got warm enough to where is was steaming then she would put it in the oven on 200 degrees and cook it till it started to get thick stir ever 10 to 15 minutes. So looking forward to making this.


Sunday 13th of December 2020

Great tip! Thank you Hope!

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