This Easy Rice Pudding Recipe is rich and creamy with a subtle floral aroma from rose water and nutty crunch from pistachio.
When you think of rice pudding, what do you think of?
Pre-packaged store-bought tapioca-style rice pudding for school lunches that’s always a little bit on the bland side? Or maybe diner-style rice pudding, laced with cinnamon and studded with raisins, served warm with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
When I lived in the Middle East, I was inundated with a variety of delicious puddings, including a couple versions of rice pudding, called Roz bil Haleeb.
This Easy Rice Pudding Recipe is made entirely on the stovetop with cornstarch as the thickener. Medium-grain rice adds texture, and the starch from the rice lends creaminess.
The sweetness level is just right, striking the perfect balance and not at all too sweet. It’s subtly scented with rose water and orange blossom water, and a little pistachio on top adds nutty crunch.
Pro Tip: If the floral aroma of rose water and orange blossom water isn’t your thing, use vanilla or cinnamon instead.
Easy Rice Pudding Recipe
Ingredients for Rice Pudding:
- Medium-grain white rice
- Rose water (optional)
- Orange blossom water (optional)
How to Make Rice Pudding From Scratch:
- Make a cornstarch slurry by mixing milk and cornstarch.
- Partially cook rice.
- Heat milk and sugar.
- Combine the partially cooked rice and milk/sugar mixture and cook them together.
- Stir in the cornstarch slurry and cook a little longer.
- Add any flavorings, such as rose water, orange blossom water, vanilla, etc.
- Pour into individual serving cups, cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate to chill.
- Serve chilled, garnished with nuts.
What Kind of Rice is Best for Rice Pudding?
Medium-grain or short-grain rice works well for rice pudding. The difference is not only in the grain size, but the shorter the grain of rice, typically the more starchier it is.
Starchy rice is good for making rice pudding because it lends a creamy texture.
More Easy Homemade Pudding Recipes:
- Nutella Pudding
- Butternut Butterscotch Pudding
- Homemade Vanilla Pudding
- No Sugar Added Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding with Easy Cherry Sauce
- Peanut Butter Pudding
- Toasted Coconut Cream Pudding
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Easy Rice Pudding Recipe
- Whisk together 1/2 cup of milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl; set aside.
- Bring the rice and water up to a boil in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cover the saucepan, turn heat down to simmer, and cook 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the rice cooks, combine the remaining milk and sugar in another medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and the milk starts to steam, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat.
- When the rice is cooked, add the warm milk, cover the saucepan, and bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the cornstarch/milk mixture, bring to a boil, and boil uncovered 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the rose water and orange blossom water.
- Pour into 6 individual serving cups, cool to room temperature, then refrigerate to chill.
- Serve chilled, garnished with the pistachios.
- Vanilla Rice Pudding: Omit the rose water and orange blossom water. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract (or 1/2 a pod of vanilla).
- Cinnamon Rice Pudding: Omit the rose water and orange blossom water. Add 3/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
- This recipe from my cookbook An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky; Tuttle Publishing (2012).
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