This incredibly creamy rice pudding (aka Milchreis in German and arroz de leche in Spanish) is an excellent meal-prep staple that stores well in the fridge and can even be frozen. Flavored with almond butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and a generous serving of maple syrup and slivered almonds, this rice pudding makes a nourishing breakfast, easy snack, or simple dessert. Gluten and egg-free, this easy recipe works for a lot of diets. Slow cooker and Instant Pot instructions included.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Meal-prep friendly
- Can be enjoyed hot or cold
- Makes a great breakfast as well as a dessert
- A few ingredients are all you need
If you like this traditional recipe, make sure to check out my sourdough bread pudding, earl grey lavender cake, and tiramisu overnight oats as well.
- Arborio rice – This short-grain rice makes not only a creamy risotto but is also a great choice for rice pudding. You can use white long-grain rice if needed.
- Milk – Full-fat or skinny cows milk both work for this recipe. This recipe can also be made with oat milk and other plant-based milk options.
- Sugar – Brown sugar adds sweetness and richness to the rice pudding. You can substitute it with raw, or white sugar.
- Salt – A pinch of sea salt balances out the flavors.
- Cinnamon – Ground cinnamon gives the rice pudding warmth and extra flavor. You can omit it or substitute it with other variations suggested in this article.
- Vanilla – Vanilla extract, essence, or fresh vanilla beans all work well for this recipe.
- Almond butter – I add a tablespoon of smooth almond butter to the pudding from the start for a nutty flavor but you can omit it. The slivered almonds add more texture and nuttiness as a topping.
- Maple syrup – It is a delicious topping and works incredibly well in combination with cinnamon and vanilla.
How to make rice pudding on the stovetop
- Rinse the arborio rice.
- Add all ingredients to a heavy-bottom pot.
- Bring everything to a boil while stirring and reduce it to a simmer for 40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Serve the rice pudding with your topping of choice.
- Choose a heavy-bottom pot and keep stirring the rice pudding every 5 minutes to prevent it from burning.
- Keep an eye on the rice pudding while you’re bringing it up to temperature to prevent the milk from boiling over.
- If the pudding gets too thick while cooking, simply add more milk.
- Rice pudding thickens over time so don’t be alarmed if it is rather liquid after the cooking time.
Variations & Toppings
You can easily adapt the recipe by swapping the vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup, and almond butter for the following variations and/or toppings:
- Salted caramel
- Rum and raisins
- Orange and date
- Biscoff flavored
- Peanut butter and jam
- Carrot cake
- Maple syrup and pecans
- Baked rice pudding
- Honey stewed apples and pears
- Honey lavender syrup
- Berry compote
- Amarena cherries
- Fresh berries
- Cacao nibs or chips
- Roasted nuts
Slow Cooker & Instant Pot Instructions
To cook this rice pudding in the slow cooker, simply add all ingredients to the pot and cook it on HIGH for 2 1/2 hours. Let it rest in the slow cooker for another 30 minutes before serving.
This recipe works really well in a pressure cooker too. To prepare it in an Instant Pot, simply increase the amount of milk by 1 cup to 3 cups in total and add all ingredients to the pot. Close the lid and pressure valve and pressure cook it on MEDIUM for 7 minutes. Let it release naturally as the rice will continue to cook during this time.
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Creamy Rice Pudding (Milchreis)
- 1 cup arborio rice rinsed
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup water filtered
- 1 tbsp almond butter smooth, optional
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon optional
- 4 tsp maple syrup optional
- 4 tbsp slivered almonds optional
- Add the arborio rice to a colander and rinse it with cold water.1 cup arborio rice
- Add all ingredients to a large pot and thoroughly combine them.1 cup arborio rice, 2 cups milk, 1 cup water, 1 tbsp almond butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 pinch salt, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat down to a gentle simmer. Cook the rice pudding for 40 minutes until the rice is softened. Stir it every 5 minutes to make sure it doesn't burn at the bottom of the pot.
- Remove the pot from the stove and let it cool down for 15 minutes. It will continue to cook and absorb the oat milk so don't be alarmed if it seems too liquid.
- Serve it with a topping of your choice. A generous serving of maple syrup, slivered almonds, and some more cinnamon are my favorite. Enjoy!