Brown rice is undoubtedly the healthier big sister to white rice, because it’s a whole grain, and whole grains are fantastic. This brown rice pudding pudding is made with leftover rice (or cooked just for this), which is then cooked again with a can of full-fat coconut milk.
This isn’t the milchreis I grew up with, which my mom cooked in cream and usually served with homemade applesauce and cinnamon. She folds in whipped cream sometimes, which would be a great idea with coconut whipped cream. It’s often made with orange zest in parts of Italy, and orange is a natural pairing when it’s in season.
While it may seem less traditional, rice pudding has many iterations and you can make it however you like – this dairy-free version tastes lovely with the combination of coconut milk, orange, and vanilla.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Coconut milk: this is the easiest option and tastes great, but if you don’t like coconut, you can use another type of cream. See page 237 of my cookbook for some nut/seed ‘cream’ recipes (cashew is good here) or use whatever you like the most. I haven’t tested this with dairy cream but of course it would work well (I’d recommend half cream, half milk).
- Vanilla: the recipe calls for vanilla paste for a stronger flavour, but you can substitute vanilla extract or powder.
- Sweetener: both maple syrup and honey add nice additional flavour notes to the pudding, but you can use sugar if preferred.
Short grain brown rice is the most similar whole grain rice to arborio, which is the best rice for pudding. Arborio rice has a high starch content, which creates the creamy texture of risotto, and is ideal for rice pudding. Short grain brown rice is the closest we can get and it works well. Cooking the rice beforehand, then a second time in the coconut milk, helps to imitate the starchy texture.
How to Store
Storage: rice pudding is best served immediately, as the rice will continue to soak up the milk as it sits. To store, keep it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days, and either eat cold or reheat with a splash of milk to thin it out.
Freezing: you can freeze rice pudding! Simply transfer cooled pudding to an airtight container and freeze for up to three months (without any fruit or additional toppings). Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat as usual.
- Stir often: the coconut milk will stick to the pot and burn if given the opportunity, so make sure you’re stirring frequently and getting right to to bottom of the pot.
- Sweeten to taste: the sweetener is added after the pudding is cooked. Add however much you’d like, based on personal preference, and remember that people can add more to their bowls if they’d like.
More Simple Desserts
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Orange Vanilla Brown Rice Pudding
- 400 grams cooked short grain brown rice
- 400 ml canned full-fat coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste*
- Zest of an orange
- Pinch sea salt
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey to taste
- 1 orange sliced
- Add the rice, coconut milk, vanilla, orange zest, and salt into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to low and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes. The rice should have absorbed most of the coconut milk and have a creamy consistency.400 grams cooked short grain brown rice, 400 ml canned full-fat coconut milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla paste*, Zest of an orange, Pinch sea salt
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the maple syrup or honey. Serve the rice pudding warm, topped with orange slices. Add a little extra coconut cream and cinnamon if desired.2-3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey, 1 orange
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.