Eat Smart  |  Posted 12.23.14

Creamy Rice Pudding

Creamy Rice Pudding

This classic dish is the chicken soup of desserts. It can usually make you feel better, regardless of the symptom. This version tastes rich and lush but is actually make with low-fat milk and no eggs or cream. As the mixture cooks, the rice gradually absorbs the milk, becoming thick and creamy.

The pudding needs to be stirred frequently, but otherwise requires little effort. It can easily be prepared while you are in the kitchen getting dinner or lunch ready.

After most of the milk has evaporated, monitor the rice closely, stirring constantly and tasting for tenderness. Add milk as necessary until the pudding is velvety and the rice is soft but still has some texture.

If desired, add raisins, dried cherries, or other dried fruit. For added flavor, increase the amount of finely grated lemon or orange zest to 1 teaspoon.

This version is not cloyingly sweet. However, if you are sensitive to sweets, reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup and add more to taste midway through cooking if necessary.

If your mouth is very sensitive, add milk until the rice if very soft and omit the dried fruit and lemon or orange zest.

Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes or less
Total Time: 1 hour or less


  • 1/2 cup white rice or Arborio rice
  • 3 to 4 cups low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon or orange zest, optional
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup raisins or dried cherries, optional
  • ground cinnamon


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the rice, 3 cups of the milk, sugar, zest, and salt to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and keep the mixture at a gentle simmer for 35 to 45 minutes, stirring frequently, until the pudding thickens and the rice is tender. If the milk begins to form a skin on the surface of the pudding, just stir it in. If the pudding thickens and the rice is still too firm, add more milk 1/4 cup at a time, until absorbed and the rice softens.
  2. Add the vanilla and raisins and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until creamy and tender, stirring constantly. Serve warm or transfer to individual bowls and chill. Just before serving, sprinkle with cinnamon.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories 230; Total Fat 2 g; Total Carbohydrate 44 g; Dietary Fiber 0 g; Sugars 26 g; Protein 8 g; Sodium 115 mg

Source: What to Eat During Cancer Treatment, American Cancer Society