This post is sponsored by Inmar Intelligence and Midwest Dairy. All opinions are mine alone.
Rich and creamy, this simple vanilla rice pudding is a pure comfort food. Paired with fresh fruits, it makes a fabulous breakfast, as well as a great dessert!
If you know anything about me, you know I was born and raised in Mongolia, where dairy plays a huge part of Mongolian diet. We, Mongolians, believe:
- a glass of hot milk with honey is a great cold remedy
- a bowl of unsweetened yogurt at night promotes good sleep
- and munching on dried curds is a secret to healthy teeth
As you can tell, Mongolians take their dairy seriously! And in my culture, dairy is a health food.
Benefits of Dairy
And that’s true! There’re so many benefits of having dairy in your diet. To name just a few benefits:
- Dairy is packed with nutrients, like vitamin A and D.
- Promotes healthy digestion and immune system.
- Also, it’s a great source of calcium!
It’s quite normal for our family to go through a gallon of milk a week! And running out of milk qualifies for an emergency drive to town! (We live in the middle of nowhere, so it’s a big deal. 😉)
Anyway, today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite breakfasts growing up: creamy rice pudding. We simply called it milk and rice in Mongolia.
Rice pudding is one of those foods that instantly takes me back to my childhood in Mongolia:
- Chilly winter morning behind frosted windows.
- Pot of rice pudding boiling on the stove.
- Mom preparing breakfast in the kitchen.
It was our weekend tradition, and it was quite a treat, especially on chilly winter mornings.
And later, when my husband travelled to Mongolia, of course, my mom made a batch and he tried it as well. He said that it tastes just like rice pudding his mom makes. That’s how I learned that this delicious dish isn’t just Mongolian food. As it turns out, it’s quite diverse! And now it has become our family’s favorite too!
Why you’ll love this rice pudding recipe:
- Easy one-pot stovetop method
- Not too sweet
- Super creamy
- Easily customizable – You can easily adjust the sweetness and creaminess to your taste!
All you need is super simple ingredients to make this rice pudding.
You can use either whole or 2% milk for best taste.
Typically, you want to use medium grain rice, because it yields ultra-creamy pudding. But long grain rice, like jasmine rice, works just fine.
How to make vanilla rice pudding:
There’re different ways to make a rice pudding, and I believe my method is the easiest and quickest.
- Mix milk, sugar, vanilla bean and salt and bring it to almost a boil.
- Add rice and cook it, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes.
- Once the mixture is thick and creamy, stir in raisins.
- Serve with additional milk and sugar on the side.
Don’t worry if it seems like there’s too much liquid. The mixture will thicken while cooking.
Don’t forget to stir every 4 or so minutes, so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Vanilla Rice Pudding
- 4 cups milk more for serving (Note 1)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar more to taste
- 1 vanilla bean (Note 2)
- ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- ½ cup rice (Note 3)
- ¼ cup raisins
- Cinnamon powder optional
- In a medium saucepan (at least 2.5qt), combine milk, sugar, vanilla bean and salt. Bring it to almost a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.
- Add rice and reduce heat to medium low. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the rice is cooked through and the mixture is thick and creamy, about 25 minutes. (Note: Initially, it’ll look like way too much liquid, but trust the process and let it cook. It’ll thicken and turn so creamy! Don’t forget to stir every 4 or so minutes, so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.)
- Once the mixture is thick and creamy, discard vanilla bean and stir in raisins and cinnamon, if desired.
- Serve along with additional sugar and milk on the side. To thin out the rice pudding, simply stir in some milk.