Italian rice pudding is the ultimate creamy rice pudding that is made with arborio rice, milk, butter and sugar. It is the ultimate Italian comfort food dessert and really easy to make. This simple rice pudding recipe is cooked on the stovetop and is made in less than 30 minutes. If you love rice pudding, you must try this arborio rice pudding recipe. We know you will love it!
Italian rice pudding is very popular during the cooler months when you want a nice comforting dessert but it is also great served all throughout the year.
When I am looking for comforting Italian desserts, this Italian arborio rice pudding, my Italian lemon ricotta cake, Italian panna cotta, creamy Italian hot chocolate, and my Italian brownies are what I turn to! Pure deliciousness.
This arborio rice pudding makes a great dessert to entertain with at the holidays and can be made ahead of time too. Make it just for yourself to eat throughout the week or for a group. Either way, you will love it.
The ingredients in this Italian rice pudding are very simple. Here is what you will need:
- Arborio rice. You can find this in any grocery store. It is an Italian short-grain rice. If you have made my pancetta risotto, it is the same rice this recipe uses.
- Whole milk.
- Unsalted butter.
- Granulated sugar.
- Vanilla extract.
- Cinnamon for topping. Optional.
These are all simple ingredients! I almost always have all of these ingredients in my house. It makes a great quick dessert when I am craving something sweet.
TIP: If you like raisins in your rice pudding, you can add those to the recipe at the end. Just make sure you soak the raisins in some warm water for about 20 minutes and drain them before adding.
How to make Italian rice pudding
When you make this Italian rice pudding, you only need one pot and a spoon to make it over the stovetop. The key is stirring every few minutes to get that creamy rice pudding texture that everyone loves.
Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan.
Cook while stirring often for about 20 minutes until thick and sticks to spoon.
This arborio rice pudding is very simple and the only thing you need to do is stir it while it cooks on the stovetop. It doesn't take long to make, just about 20 minutes.
The reason this Italian rice pudding is so creamy is because of the arborio rice. If you have had risotto, it is the same idea as that except you add all of your ingredients into the pot at once.
The arborio rice used to make this Italian rice pudding will have a nice chew to it which I really love.
Arborio rice pudding cooking tip: To make sure you have really creamy rice pudding, only cook it until it coats the back of the spoon and the rice is tender. The pudding will continue to thicken as it cools.
How to serve rice pudding
Traditionally, rice pudding is served cold but you can certainly serve this warm too. This is just a matter of preference.
If you do want to serve the Italian rice pudding warm, allow it to cool for a few minutes after coming off of the stovetop.
You can also just pour the rice pudding into one large container and scoop it out into individual bowls when serving.
Don't forget to top the rice pudding with a little cinnamon before eating!
If you do not have arborio rice, you can certainly use any short grain rice for this recipe. I do recommend trying it out with arborio rice if you can.
I make this arborio rice pudding (Italian rice pudding) the way I like it without raisins and with cinnamon and vanilla.
Here are some ideas of ways to change it up:
- Add lemon - You can add the zest of one lemon to this rice pudding recipe and it will add a beautiful background lemon flavor.
- Add raisins - I chose to omit these in this recipe but you can add about ½ cup of raisins for a rice pudding with raisins.
- Egg yolks - If ultimate creaminess is your preference, you can add 2 egg yolks to the rice pudding. Just allow the rice pudding to cool a little bit before adding it in.
How to store rice pudding
I find that Italian rice pudding is best stored for no more than 2-3 days in the fridge. When storing rice pudding in the fridge, it is a good idea to place plastic wrap over the rice pudding making sure it touches the pudding so a skin does not form on the top.
Yes. Arborio rice is an Italian short grain rice and very starchy making it a great rice to use in rice pudding.
Italian rice pudding is rice pudding made with arborio rice, milk, sugar, butter and sometimes raisins.
If you love this Italian rice pudding recipe, you will also love:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with this Italian rice pudding:
Italian Rice Pudding
- 1 medium sauce pan
- 3 ¼ cup Whole milk
- ¾ cup Arborio rice
- ½ cup Granulated sugar
- ¼ cup Unsalted Butter
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- pinch of kosher salt
- Ground cinnamon for topping
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add all of the ingredients and mix well.3 ¼ cup Whole milk, ¾ cup Arborio rice, ½ cup Granulated sugar, ¼ cup Unsalted Butter, ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract, pinch of kosher salt
- Bring to a simmer.
- Once simmering, reduce heat to low and keep cooking and stirring for about 20 minutes or until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon and the rice is fully cooked.
- When rice pudding is fully cooked, remove from the heat and pour into 5-6 individual ramekins or a large serving bowl. Remember, the pudding will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Allow to fully cool.
- Once cool, cover with plastic wrap making sure the plastic wrap touches the top of the pudding.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 3 days.
- Dust with ground cinnamon before serving.Ground cinnamon for topping