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Leftover Rice Pudding

This rice pudding with leftover cooked rice is a delicious classic. We also like to dress it up with English toffee bits, chocolate and toasted coconut. —Laura German, North Brookfield, Massachusetts
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total TIme: 25 min.
  • Makes
    4 servings


  • 2 cups cooked long grain rice
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: whipped cream, cinnamon and dried cranberries


  • In a large saucepan, combine the rice, milk, sugar and salt. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until thickened, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Spoon into serving dishes. Serve warm. If desired, top with whipped cream, cinnamon and dried cranberries.

Leftover Rice Pudding Tips

How do you thicken rice pudding?

Rice pudding will thicken as it cools, but if you prefer your pudding thicker, you can whisk in a beaten egg while the pudding is warming and continue cooking until it's thickened. To thicken cooled, cooked rice pudding, fold in whipped cream.

Where was rice pudding invented?

Rice pudding originated in England in the late 1300’s and was primarily made for the elite classes because rice was an expensive import. At first, rice pudding was created as a savory side dish, similar to what we know as risotto today. In recent years, rice pudding has fallen back into favor as a classic, nostalgic dessert and it’s a bit sweeter, too.

What else can I do with leftover rice?

Cooked white rice can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for four to six days and used in a variety of dishes. Some of our favorites are fried rice, omelets> or any of these other white rice recipes.
Nutrition Facts
2/3 cup: 221 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 127mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 0 fiber), 6g protein.

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  • Jenn
    Oct 7, 2020

    I used 1 cup skim and 1 cup heavy cream. I added 1 whole whisked egg, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp nutmeg!! Yummy!!

  • Sheila
    Jul 1, 2020

    I used white rice from Chinese food order. Substituted splenda for the sugar. Delicious and so easy!

  • Tracey Davies
    Jun 23, 2020

    Super easy and i was so impressed how it thickened but it took a bit longer. Justvwhen i was begin to worry it started to thicken up. I let it go for another 5 minutes and it thickened right up to the just like mom's point

  • Diane
    Jun 12, 2020

    I used leftover basmati rice. Followed the directions with 1 exception, I used half brown sugar and white sugar. I think it came out delicious. Nice and creamy. So easy to make.

  • Wynter
    May 30, 2020

    Made with BBQ Pork Fried Rice, don’t reccomend. No lol, I am just kidding. I made it with about a cup of leftover rice, coconut milk, and coconut sugar (i am vegan) and it turned out amazing!! Love it, thank you!!

  • bethgorm
    May 12, 2020

    I just made this tonight and it turned out perfectly! I had to use skim milk because that was all I had. I also added cinnamon and nutmeg. Everybody loved it! It was ready exactly at the 20 min mark too, just as the recipe states. We will be using this recipe again!

  • Arika
    Apr 25, 2020

    Just finished making this, used 1 and 1/2 cups of rice and a little less than 2 cups of a mix of cream and milk. Used 2Tbsps of brown sugar and one of white sugar. Added cinnamon and raisins. The leftovers after making equal portions went to me the cook and it was amazing. Perfect ratio of pudding to rice and not too sweet. I will definitely use this recipe next time I have much leftover rice.

  • Ruth
    Apr 18, 2020

    I always have trouble cooking rice pudding on top of the stove because it never thickens enough. I left it on for 25 minutes and followed the directions completely except I doubled it. I thought I would try this but the same thing happened again. I hate to waste everything but can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong. Too much milk, not enough rice? Help. Oh wait I just took it off the stove and let it sit in the bowl to cool and it seems to be thickening up. It is delicious but why doesn’t it seem thick enough after I’ve cooked it for the time required? Too much information?

  • Wendy
    Apr 15, 2020

    This is the best rice pudding recipe I have ever made. Followed the directions exactly. Beautifully thick and tastes great!

  • Cheyenne
    Apr 3, 2020

    Rice pudding thickened up for me with no issue. It took a lot of will effort to not stir it continuously, but just every so often. It started thickening up around the 15 minute mark. Also, I didn’t have vanilla extract, but I used maple syrup and added cinnamon and nutmeg. So yummy!