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This vegan rice pudding is irresistibly creamy, not overly sweet, and flavored with plenty of vanilla! A classic, family-friendly dessert that requires affordable and easy-to-find ingredients. Plant-based and just 20 minutes!

Rice pudding topped with shaved chocolate.

⭐️ Why You Should Try It

  • Rich and creamy. The simplicity of this dessert does not make it less awesome! It’s so creamy with perfectly tender rice and a fresh vanilla flavor.
  • A classic crowd-pleaser. From grandparents to the kids, I am sure everyone will love this dessert. It’s a true classic that never gets old. Plus, you can switch up the flavors if you feel like it by adding spices, dried fruits, etc.
  • Prepared with easy and cheap ingredients. The main ingredients of this dessert are pantry staples you most probably already have on hand: rice, milk, sugar, and vanilla. You don’t even have to use vanilla beans to get a delicious rice pudding!

📘 What Is Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is a classic dessert that is prepared with rice, milk, sugar, and flavorings like vanilla extract, rum, or dried fruits.

Its origins are unclear as rice puddings can be found all over the world with different names and slightly different ingredients. The Mexican version, for example, called “Arroz con leche”, includes cinnamon as well as raisins and orange or lime peel. The French version, “Riz au lait”, is only flavored with vanilla and rarely includes dried fruit. Rice pudding can also be found in Asia, where sticky rice will be used in place of short-grain rice.

🍚 Ingredient Notes

This delicious rice pudding recipe requires just 5 ingredients. Here is what you will need:

  • Rice – Preferably short-grain white rice like Arborio. It’s the same kind of rice that is used in risotto.
  • Almond milk – Use your favorite unsweetened plant-based milk. Almond milk works great, but so does soy or cashew milk!
  • Sugar – While you could use coconut sugar or maple syrup to sweeten this pudding, I advise against it. The reason is that it would alter the fresh vanilla flavor. Feel free to half granulated sugar, and half vanilla sugar for even more vanilla deliciousness!
  • Vanilla – In this recipe, I am using both: vanilla extract and half of a fresh vanilla bean for an intense vanilla flavor. However, for a more affordable version, omit the vanilla bean and stir in an extra 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract at the end of cooking.
  • Coconut cream – Or plant-based creams like soy or oat cream. It adds richness and a buttery mouthfeel to the pudding.
  • Salt – While optional, I believe a pinch of salt helps enhance the overall flavor.
Ingredients like arborio rice, sugar,

🥣 How to Make It

Before starting to cook the pudding, soak the rice for 30-60 minutes. Not only does it shorten the cooking time, but it has two other benefits. The first one is that your rice will be more evenly cooked as the grains already soak up some liquid. The second advantage is that it helps remove some of the starch, resulting in a pudding that will not turn into a gooey mass.

Once the rice has soaked, it’s time to cook the rice pudding. To do so:

  1. Add the drained rice to a saucepan. Cover with the milk and add the sugar, salt, and vanilla.
  2. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and let it simmer for 15-17 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula. Stirring will not only prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan, but also prevents a skin from forming on top of the milk.
  3. Once the rice is tender and the pudding has slightly thickened, remove it from the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes while stirring regularly. The pudding will thicken more as it cools down.
  4. Finally, add the coconut cream (or your favorite plant-based cream) and stir to combine.
  5. Transfer to a bowl or individual ramekins and cover with plastic wrap to the touch to prevent skin from forming.

You can enjoy the rice pudding still slightly warm or let it cool completely in the refrigerator. Personally, I love this rice pudding served chilled!

❄️ Freezing

This vegan rice pudding freezes well. Once completely cool, you can transfer it to a freezer-safe container (or smaller containers) and keep it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

🍫 What to Serve It With

You can serve this pudding as is or topped with:

  • Chocolate: Use chocolate chips to add some crunch or shaved chocolate for decoration.
  • Salted caramel: If you want to add extra sweetness and a rich caramel flavor, drizzle the pudding with vegan caramel sauce.
  • Nuts: Chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, or even pine nuts!
Close-up of a spoonful of rice pudding.

📔 Tips

  • Use good-quality vanilla extract. Quality vanilla extract makes all the difference, especially if you are not using fresh vanilla beans.
  • Do not omit to soak the rice. It takes just 1 hour and will give your pudding a superior texture.
  • Flavor it to your liking! This rice pudding is so versatile. Feel free to add lime or orange zest, dried fruits like raisins, chopped dates, or spices like cinnamon or cardamom!
  • Adjust the sweetness to your liking. If you have a sweet tooth, add an additional tablespoon of sugar.
  • Do not overcook it. After 15-17 minutes of cooking, you should start to see the grains of rice floating on top of the milk. At this point, cook for one more minute and remove from heat. The rice will continue to absorb some of the milk and will thicken.

💬 FAQ

Which type of rice works best for this recipe?

I personally prefer short-grain rice in puddings as it yields a slightly chewier texture, but most types of rice can be used. Be aware that if you use a different type of rice, you might have to adjust the amount of liquid.

Can I use cooked rice?

I do not recommend using cooked rice as you will not get the same creaminess. The rice must be cooked in milk.

How long does this vegan rice pudding keep?

You can keep this rice pudding in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Rice pudding in a small ramekin.

I hope you are going to love this grandma classic! It’s a super quick dessert that is fresh, not too sweet, and SO creamy!

⭐️ Did you like this recipe? Let us know in the comments below, and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest!

Rice pudding topped with shaved chocolate in a ramekin.
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Recipe

Creamy Vegan Rice Pudding

5 from 2 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
This vegan rice pudding is irresistibly creamy, not overly sweet, and flavored with plenty of vanilla! A classic, family-friendly dessert that requires affordable and easy-to-find ingredients. Plant-based and just 20 minutes!
Prep Time : 5 minutes
Cook Time : 15 minutes
Soaking Time : 1 hour
Total Time : 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 184 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 5 tbsp uncooked short grain rice
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk or soy milk
  • 3 tbsp sugar adjust to taste
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 vanilla bean split in half
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut cream or plant-based cream

Instructions
 

  • Soak the rice. Add the rice to a bowl and cover with cold water. Soak the rice in for about 1 hour. Drain the rice.
  • Cook the rice pudding. Add the drained rice, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and let it simmer for 15-17 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula.
    Stirring will not only prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan but also prevents a skin from forming on top of the milk.
  • Once the rice is tender and the pudding has slightly thickened, remove it from the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes while stirring regularly. The pudding will thicken more as it cools down. Remove the vanilla bean if you used one.
  • Add the cream. Finally, add the coconut cream (or your favorite plant-based cream) and stir to combine.
  • Let cool for at least 30 minutes at room temperature before transferring to a bowl or individual ramekins and covering with plastic wrap to the touch to prevent skin from forming.
  • Enjoy chilled topped with shaved chocolate or sprinkled with cinnamon!
  • This rice pudding will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature.

Notes

  • Use good-quality vanilla extract. Quality vanilla extract makes all the difference, especially if you are not using fresh vanilla beans.
  • Do not omit to soak the rice. It takes just 1 hour and will give your pudding a superior texture.
  • Flavor it to your liking! This rice pudding is so versatile. Feel free to add lime or orange zest, dried fruits like raisins, chopped dates, or spices like cinnamon or cardamom!
  • Adjust the sweetness to your liking. If you have a sweet tooth, add an additional tablespoon of sugar.
  • Do not overcook it. After 15-17 minutes of cooking, you should start to see the grains of rice floating on top of the milk. At this point, cook for one more minute and remove from heat. The rice will continue to absorb some of the milk and will thicken.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 184 kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.1 g | Protein: 2.4 g | Fat: 6 g | Saturated Fat: 3.4 g | Sodium: 124 mg | Potassium: 172 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 12.9 g | Calcium: 206 mg | Iron: 1 mg
Course : Dessert, Sweets
Cuisine : Asian, French, Mexican
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

Learn more ➜

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Can you use short grain brown rice in this recipe?

5 stars
Thomas, we only eat brown rice. Can Short grain brown rice be used instead of white? Does the amount of plant milk need to be adjusted for brown rice? If so, what adjustment would you recommend, please?Thanks very much!

5 stars
Looks amazing. I’ll try this on weekend. Thank you.