Creamy, dreamy, and bursting with sweetness and a hint of cinnamon! This luscious vegan rice pudding is easy to make and delicious hot or cold. You’d never guess it was dairy-free!
I waited tables at a few different restaurants when I was in college. I was a vegetarian by then, and most of the places I worked at had very little available for me to eat.
One restaurant in particular though, literally had nothing vegetarian on the dinner menu. Not even a salad! All their salads had shrimp or chicken or something else I couldn’t eat.
What’s a girl to do? I guess in hindsight I could have made a salad myself without the chicken or shrimp. But I chose the more sensible thing: I ate dessert.
Seriously, I ate dessert for dinner many nights back then. Of course, I didn’t eat death by chocolate. I went for, what seemed to me, to be the healthiest dessert, which was rice pudding.
Honestly, that rice pudding was far from healthy. It was loaded with sugar and heavy cream and who knows what else. But it was gooooooood. I had previously thought that rice pudding sounded kind or boring, but this stuff was anything but.
I decided it was time to create a vegan rice pudding that was as rich and creamy and delicious as my old dinner favorite.
Vegan Rice Pudding Ingredients
So, how do you make dairy-free rice pudding that’s just as rich and creamy as the non-vegan stuff? Use the right ingredients!
Coconut milk. This is what we’ll use in place of the heavy cream that was in my old favorite. You want the full-fat variety, from a can.
Non-dairy milk. We don’t want to use all coconut milk, or our pudding would be too heavy. So we’re also including some soy or nut milk to balance things out. Go for an unsweetened and unflavored variety.
Maple syrup. For sweetness and a touch of maple flavor.
Rice. I like to use a medium grain white rice for this recipe.
Raisins. For little bursts of sweetness! Feel free to leave them out if you’re not a fan of raisins in your rice pudding.
Spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg for that deliciously cozy flavor.
Vanilla. This goes so nicely with the spices.
Orange zest. For a burst of bright flavor.
Salt. Often overlooked, but so necessary. This will bring out the flavor in your pudding.
Vegan butter. This is totally optional, but it’ll give your pudding that perfect silky texture.
How to Make Vegan Rice Pudding
Rice pudding is one of the easiest things in the world to make! Place all of your ingredients except for the salt and butter into a large pot. Heat it up slowly and bring it to a simmer.
Let everything cook at a low simmer. Stir the pot often and make sure to scrape the bottom with your spoon when you do, otherwise you’ll end up with burned bits of rice stuck to it.
Cook the pudding until it gets thick — as thick as you like your rice pudding! It should be done somewhere around the 20 minute mark.
Let it cook a bit and either serve it warm, or chill.
Vegan Rice Pudding FAQ & Tips
- Can you taste the coconut from the coconut milk? I could not, but if you’re sensitive to the flavor of coconut you may be able to.
- Can I substitute another variety of milk for the coconut milk? Yup! Feel free to simply use an extra cup of whatever other non-dairy milk you’re using.
- Is this recipe gluten-free? It sure is!
- Can I use a different type of rice? You can, but it may alter the texture of your pudding. You also may need to change the cook time and possibly use some extra milk. Varieties such as brown rice generally take longer to cook, and since the liquid will continue to reduce over time, you’ll need to use a bit more of it.
- This rice pudding will keep for about 3 to 4 days in a sealed container in the fridge.
- Feel free to play around with the flavors. Add your favorite spices, swap out the orange zest for lemon, or try including different types of dried fruits and nuts.
Creamy Vegan Rice Pudding
Creamy, dreamy, and bursting with sweetness and a hint of cinnamon! This luscious vegan rice pudding is easy to make and delicious hot or cold. You'd never guess it was dairy-free!
- 3 cups unsweetened and unflavored non-dairy milk (such as soy or almond)
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can)
- 1 cup medium grain white rice
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Place the non-dairy milk, coconut milk, rice, raisins, maple syrup, vanilla, orange zest, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a large pot.
Stir the ingredients together and place the pot over medium heat.
Bring the liquid to a boil.
Lower the heat and allow the mixture to cook at a low simmer, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot with a spoon to remove any rice that sticks.
Allow the mixture to cook for about 20 minutes, or until it reaches your desired thickness.
Remove the pot from the heat.
Stir in the vegan butter, if using, and salt.
Taste test and add more maple syrup if desired. Adjust any other seasonings to your liking.
Let the pudding cool for a bit. Chill for later or serve warm.