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Rice Pudding with Leftover Rice

Have a ton of extra rice from last night’s Chinese takeout? With this rice pudding with leftover rice, you’ll never even think about throwing out leftovers ever again.

Rice pudding is wonderfully thick, creamy, and loaded with flavor. Since it’s very hearty, you can also serve this dessert for breakfast.

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Rice Pudding with Cinnamon and Raisins

It’s perfect when cold, but even more phenomenal when warm! It’s such a fantastic cozy treat on a cold day.

If you like rice, this pudding will make you fall in love with it even more!

Also, it’s just one of many leftover rice recipes that you can try when you have extra on hand.

Rice Pudding with Leftover Rice 

Some people find rice boring. Look, I get it. It’s definitely not the type of side dish you can eat on its own.

But with this recipe, you can transform bland rice into a stunning dessert packed with flavor.

It’s sweet and spiced with cinnamon, and ridiculously rich and creamy. It’s just like custard, only heartier!

It also gets bonus points for being insanely easy to make! Trust me, even inexperienced cooks won’t have trouble pulling this off. 


  • White Rice – Since we don’t all have cooked rice waiting in the fridge, the recipe below gives instructions for uncooked rice. But if you have cooked rice, you’ll need 2 cups. 
  • Milk – Any kind works! That’s what I love about rice pudding. Whether it’s full-fat, 2%, heavy cream, half-and-half, or non-dairy, your pudding will still be creamy. Personally, I like using evaporated milk because it yields a creamier pudding. 
  • Granulated Sugar – The recipe calls for 1/3 cup of sugar, but if you’re not a sweet tooth, I suggest you start with 1/4 cup. 
  • Salt – It contrasts the sweetness, giving you a perfect balance of flavors.
  • Egg – The binding agent that makes the pudding thick and creamy.
  • Golden Raisins – For added flavor and texture. Regular raisins, sultanas, and dried fruit work, too.
  • Butter – For extra richness.
  • Vanilla Extract – Just a splash of it intensifies the pudding’s flavor.

Tips for the Best Pudding 

  • You can use one saucepan for the whole process for easier clean-up.
  • Adjust the sugar to taste. You can also use Splenda for a diet-friendly version. Other sweeteners such as brown or Muscavado sugar will work, too. Don’t use liquid sweeteners, as they will thin out the pudding.
  • Add more warmth to the pudding with a pinch of nutmeg and ginger. 
  • A splash of lemon extract will also add another layer of flavor.
  • Aside from raisins, you can use dried cranberries and sultanas as well. Stir them in 5 minutes before you add the eggs if you want them softer.
  • Use room temperature egg, otherwise, it might curdle in the pudding mixture. If you forgot to take it out of the fridge, just submerge it in hot water for 10 minutes.
  • If you’re worried the egg won’t cook right, you can always temper it first. Whisk the beaten egg with a small amount of the milk pudding mixture before adding it to the pan.
  • Use a large pot and watch it as you bring the milk to a boil. You won’t want that spilled milk all over the stove!
  • Stir the mixture every 5 minutes to avoid scorching the bottom.
  • If the pudding is too thin, just keep stirring for up to 30 minutes. If it still doesn’t thicken, cornstarch is a perfect fix. Just mix in a teaspoon of cornstarch with cold water, and stir it into the pudding.
  • If the pudding gets too dry, cook it with milk, to saturate it.
  • Top pudding with fresh ripe mangoes for a delicious tropical breakfast.
  • Speaking of tropical flavors, replace milk with coconut milk! It’s pudding heaven!  
  • Cover any leftover pudding with plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. 
  • You can also freeze rice pudding for up to 2 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight and reheat it on the stove or the microwave. If it’s dried up, stir in half a cup of milk to thin it out.
Bowl of Rice Pudding

What Exactly Is Rice Pudding? 

Rice pudding is a rich, custard-like dessert made of, surprise – rice. It’s made extra thick and creamy with milk and eggs.

It’s usually flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, and raisins, but other spices and mix-ins can also be added.

It can be enjoyed either warm or cold, on its own, or with toppings such as ice cream and fruit compote. 

What Kind of Rice Can You Use for Rice Pudding?

Rice is obviously the primary ingredient in this dish, so be sure to use the best kinds. 

Medium-grain white rice is the most ideal for a super creamy rice pudding.

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When cooked with milk, the rice becomes wonderfully soft and creamy, but without being mushy. 

Risotto or arborio rice is also a good option, but take note that it cooks longer and needs more liquid.

Jasmine and short-grain rice come in third. These varieties yield even softer pudding than medium-grain rice does.

If you like your pudding with a bit more texture, go for long-grain rice.

The firm grains contrast with the creamy sauce, which is preferred by some.

Just be sure not to over-cook the rice, because the rice will get too unpleasantly mushy. 

Long-grain white rice is best, but black is also okay. I don’t recommend brown rice as its grains are way too firm for pudding.

Rice Pudding with Leftover Rice



Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1 1/2 cups 1 1/2 water

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 uncooked white rice (or 2 cups of cooked rice)

  • 2 cups 2 milk, divided

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 salt

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 2/3 cup 2/3 golden raisins

  • 1 tablespoon 1 butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 vanilla extract


  • In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the rice. Cover the saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • In a separate saucepan, combine the cooked rice, 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 15 to 20 minutes or until thick and creamy.
  • Pour the remaining 1/2 cup milk, beaten egg, and raisins and stir for 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in the butter and vanilla.
Rice Pudding with Leftover Rice

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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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