Rice pudding is a popular holiday dessert, but we believe in proper indulgence year-round. Of course, having an Instant Pot makes this easy. The more you can use it, the better. We all know about magically delicious cheesecakes courtesy of the IP, but that’s not the only sweet treat potential it has. If you need an excuse to make something tasty that your family and friends will love, rice pudding is a lovely idea.
Skip the fun-sized, store-bought cups in favour of making your own at home. You can control the sweetness, the flavor profile, and the quality of the ingredients that go into it. Plus, the secret ingredient? It’s love.
The basic Instant Pot rice pudding recipe
Ideally, you want to begin with high-starch, medium grain rice such Arborio rice – the same type of rice you use for risotto – or sushi rice. You can often find ‘rice pudding’ labelled rice as well. When cooked, its texture lends itself exceptionally well to creamy bases whether it’s cheese or milk. In the curious case of rice pudding, it allows you to skip the heavy cream which can be good if you want a healthier option.
Of course, if you’re in a pinch, you can always use plain white rice or brown rice which are a pantry staple for many. Either way, you’re in for a treat.Print
If you want to cut back on sweetness, you can sweeten to taste. You might choose to add in honey, molasses, or brown rice syrup at the end instead, too. If you opt for dairy-free, use a full-fat coconut milk or something richer than it is watery – a common problem with commercial almond milk. Dairy-free versions will work best with Arborio rice.
- 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
- 1 cup medium-grain white rice or Arborio rice
- 2 cups milk (whole milk or coconut milk for dairy-free will work best)
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar (can substitute with coconut sugar or honey)
- 2 eggs
- Optional add-ins: 1/2 cup raisins, 1/3 cup nuts, 1-2 tablespoons shredded coconut, spices (cardamom, cinnamon, etc.)
- Turn the Instant Pot on and press the ‘Sauté’ button. Add the butter or ghee until melted.
- Add in the rice and “toast” it, stirring it around and coating it in the oil until fragrant.
- Pour in 1 cup of milk and all of the water, plus any extracts, sea salt or spices you will be using.
- Stir all ingredients to combine. Press ‘Keep Warm/Cancel’ to stop the Sauté function.
- Close the lid and make sure the valve is closed, then set the pressure cooker to ‘Manual’ on ‘High’ for 14 minutes. After 3 beeps the IP will start building up the pressure.
- In the meantime, whisk the egg with the remaining milk, and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Set aside.
- Once the Instant Pot finishes cooking, naturally release the pressure for 3-4 minutes, then use quick release to let off the rest of the steam. Open the lid.
- Press the ‘Sauté’ button again and now whisk in the egg and milk mixture.
- When the mixture has bubbled for 30-60 seconds, turn the Instant Pot off or ‘Keep Warm.’
- Serve hot or cold with desired toppings! We like fresh berries, orange zest, a dash of cinnamon, or whipped cream.
10 delicious Instant Pot rice pudding variations
Want to spice things up? The recipe above is pretty basic (and pretty tasty), but there are so many ways to make rice pudding, we wanted to share some inspiration.
1. Chai Spiced Rice Pudding from Instant Pot Eats
Warm chai spices make this variation unique. With inspiration from Indian cuisine, you’ll find tucked away in each bite a zesty and spicy blend of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and clove. It’s got texture for days, and this is one cosy, unique dessert or breakfast to tuck into.
2. Arborio rice pudding from Pressure Cooking Today
This is a variation that uses eggs to thicken things up and add that creamy texture without relying too heavily on dairy, and instead, leaning on Arborio’s uncanny ability to thicken up while cooking. Typically, Arborio rice needs stirring, but the Instant Pot eliminates the duty to tending the stove.
3. Cinnamon brown rice pudding from April Go Lightly
If brown rice is your preferred rice, this one’s for you! It features a mix of water and heavy cream, so it’s ultra rich, but you get to use less cream because a little goes a long way. Cinnamon and raisins bring it all together in this “totally-healthy-enough-for-breakfast” dessert! Pack it in a mason jar for serving.
4. Rice pudding brulee from Krumpli
What if you combined creme brulee and rice pudding? Well, someone thought to do it, and we’re quite thankful for the discovery. You can always simply use your oven broiler for the final and most important step – caramelisation – but we totally recommend getting a blow torch. A true kitchen prowess has an Instant Pot and a wand of fire.
5. Buckwheat porridge from Veggie Primer
Buckwheat is an extraordinarily healthy substitution for rice, as it has a similar texture when cooked to Arborio rice. It’s also inherently gluten-free, and it’s more heavily loaded with vitamins and minerals. It tends to stick together well, so you’ll get a nice, thick porridge totally suitable for breakfast out of this recipe. Plus, it has a delightfully nutty flavour.
6. Cannoli cream rice pudding from The Washington Post
Do you like cannolis? Yes? The answer is a resounding ‘Yes.’ Cream-filled pastries are unanimously loved among most, but they’re often reserved for a special treat. Besides, it takes finding the best cannoli at the best bakery in town for a worthy pursuit. Instead, make this IP recipe with a flavour reminiscent of cannoli, complete with both anise and citrus in the mix.
7. Pumpkin date brown rice pudding from Pressure Cooking Today
Autumnal cravings for pumpkin spice everything need more attention than a Starbucks latte. Behold – pumpkin rice pudding! Sweetened with dates and made with brown rice, this is a pretty healthy variation of the beloved dessert. We’re on board with that! Indulgence you can feel good about.
8. Vegan rice pudding from 80 Twenty Nutrition
Talk about healthy! This coconut milk rice pudding is both free of dairy and refined sugar (using maple syrup to taste instead), so this is great for those watching blood sugar, following a modified paleo diet, or eating a vegan diet.
9. Forbidden black rice pudding from Pressure Cooking Today
If you’re feeling particularly indulgent, perhaps you’ll opt for black rice instead – otherwise known as forbidden rice. The taste isn’t changed much from the classic version, but it does give it a rather standout look! It’s also boasting some dried cherries – kind of like a black forest cake.
10. Vanilla rice pudding with jam from Recipe This
Jam is the perfect easy topping for rice pudding. Plus, you can make it in the Instant Pot! Take some inspiration from our favourite pressure cooker berry recipes, and then whip up a batch of this vanilla-infused treat.
Which variation are you most excited to try? If you enjoyed learning about this Instant Pot tutorial, make sure to share it so your friends with a sweet tooth can test the waters, too!