Vegan Rice Pudding – This dairy-free rice pudding recipe might be simple, but it’s always special. Don’t miss all the yummy ways to flavor it below! (Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, Vegan)
Rice pudding is definitely a humble dessert. What it lacks in flashiness, it makes up for in with all its benefits. It’s inexpensive, easy to throw together, doesn’t require any baking, and can be flavored in endless ways.
It only takes a few ingredients and about 25 minutes to prepare and makes a delicious, simple dessert for the holidays or anytime your sweet tooth comes calling. Here’s all it takes to make this dairy-free rice pudding…
HERE’S WHAT GOES INTO OUR VEGAN RICE PUDDING RECIPE:
It only takes a few simple ingredients to make this easy dairy-free rice pudding. You’ll just need:
- ARBORIO RICE. Arborio rice is my favorite rice for rice pudding. This short-grain rice has nice, plump grains that are the perfect texture for rice pudding! (See the FAQ for other varieties that work!)
- DAIRY FREE MILK. You can use your favorite. I like 1 cup of coconut milk + almond milk for the rest. (This combo is creamy without the coconut flavor taking over.) Feel free to use what you like and drink!
- PURE MAPLE SYRUP. Maple syrup won’t make the pudding taste “maple-y” but will add some subtle sweetness. Feel free to swap in sugar if you prefer.
- CINNAMON (OPTIONAL). I love cinnamon in my rice pudding, but you can totally omit it if it’s not your jam (or you’re going to use one of the other flavor combinations in the next section!)
- A PINCH OF SALT. Don’t skip it! A little salt really balances the flavor of this vegan rice pudding.
- VANILLA. At the end of the cooking time, you’ll stir in a little vanilla. It’s so lovely here!
- OPTIONAL: A LITTLE CORNSTARCH OR ARROWROOT TO THICKEN. The natural starch in arborio rice helps thicken the liquid in this pudding (kind of the same way it works for risotto), but if you like it a little thicker and richer, you’ll want to add the optional cornstarch or arrowroot. (See the recipe card for how!)
CHANGE IT UP! HERE ARE A FEW FLAVOR OPTIONS FOR VEGAN RICE PUDDING:
The beauty of this vegan rice pudding recipe is it’s a perfect canvas for all sorts of flavors. For the photos, I styled it with raspberries, pistachios, and a few mini chocolate chips, but here are some other ideas:
- RAISINS. Add 1/4-1/2 cup raisins in the last few minutes of cooking.
- SAUTEÉD CINNAMON APPLES. Cinnamon apples make a great option in the fall or winter!
- CANNOLI-STYLE. Try adding a little orange zest (a little goes a long way!) + chocolate chips + pistachios
- VEGAN CARAMEL. Swirl in or drizzle on a little bit of your favorite vegan caramel sauce.
- FRESH BERRIES. Add a few of whatever berries look great at the market!
- BERRY COMPOTE. Cook 2 cups of fresh or frozen mixed berries with a drizzle of syrup or sugar and 1/4 tsp. cornstarch until it’s thick and bubbly.
- COCONUT. Top with a little sweetened or toasted unsweetened coconut (and/or add a few drops of coconut extract)
- EGGNOG. Use a little of your favorite vegan “eggnog” for the milk portion, or add 1/4 tsp nutmeg along with 1/2 tsp. cinnamon to the rice pudding.
- CRANBERRY SAUCE. A little homemade orange cranberry sauce can be delicious spooned over this dairy-free rice pudding!
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR VEGAN RICE PUDDING:
DO YOU SERVE RICE PUDDING WARM OR COLD? It’s totally a personal preference. I’ve enjoyed it both ways, though I’ve got to say I prefer cold with raspberries or warm with raisins. It’s up to you!
A NOTE ON COLD RICE PUDDING. The rice will continue to absorb liquid as it sits, so you’ll likely want to add a bit more liquid to the pudding if you plan to chill it. (Same thing goes for re-heating rice pudding!)
CHOOSE YOUR RICE CAREFULLY. Long-grain rice typically doesn’t do super well for rice pudding, as they often disintegrate and turn mushy with prolonged cooking. Medium and short-grain rice (arborio, sushi, etc.) do better. If you can’t find arborio, I’d choose a short-grain or sushi rice instead. Note: when I tested this with sushi rice, I ended up adding a little extra liquid.
PRO TIP FOR PERFECT RICE PUDDING: Add a little more liquid than you *think* you need. Not tons. But if it looks totally done after adding 3 1/2 cups of milk, think about adding at least another 1/4-1/2 cup to compensate for the way the rice will continue to absorb milk.
LOVE THIS RICE PUDDING? YOU’D PROBABLY LOVE:
- The BEST Vegan Chocolate Pudding
- Healthy No-Bake Cookies
- Dairy-Free Chocolate Fondue
- Fruit-on-the-Bottom Chia Pudding
HELPFUL FOR THIS RECIPE: