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Rice Pudding with Cooked Rice

If you have extra rice from last night’s dinner, you have to try this rice pudding with leftover rice.

This easy rice pudding recipe is wonderfully thick, creamy, and loaded with flavor.

And since it’s hearty, you can also serve this dessert for breakfast.

Rice Pudding with Cinnamon and Raisins
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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.

Leftover Rice Pudding

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

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 cold 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.

*If the cooked rice was made in well-salted water, you probably won’t need the extra salt. I recommend leaving it out and tasting the final dish before adding any more.

Tips for the Best Rice Pudding 

  • 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.
  • Add warmth with a pinch of nutmeg and ginger. Or go bright with a splash of lemon.
  • Try other add-ins. 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 warm water for 10 minutes.
  • Stir the mixture every 5 minutes to avoid scorching the bottom.
  • If the pudding is too thin, just keep cooking. Stir for up to 30 minutes, and it should thicken. If not, mix in a teaspoon of cornstarch with cold water.
  • Add coconut. Replace the milk with coconut milk! Then, top it with fresh ripe mangoes for a delicious tropical breakfast.

To Store: Cover cold leftovers with plastic wrap and store them in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. 

To Freeze: Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stove with a splash of milk.

Bowl of Rice Pudding

What Kind of Rice Can You Use for Rice Pudding?

Rice is obviously the primary ingredient in this dish, so it’s important to use the right kind.

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

Just be sure to use cold, cooked rice. If you use freshly cooked rice, it will be mushy.

More Creamy Desserts You’ll Love

Frog Eye Salad
Glorified Rice
Chocolate Covered Bananas
One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream

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Rice Pudding with Leftover Rice



Prep time


Cooking time





If you have extra rice from last night’s dinner, try this rice pudding with leftover rice. It’s wonderfully thick, creamy, and loaded with flavor.


  • 2 cups cold, cooked rice (or 1 1/2 cups water + 3/4 cup uncooked white rice)

  • 2 cups milk, divided

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 2/3 cup golden raisins

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a large saucepan, mix the cooled, cooked rice with 1 1/2 cups of milk, sugar, and salt. Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for 15 to 20 minutes or until thick and creamy.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with the remaining milk. Slowly pour the egg mixture into the saucepan, whisking constantly to keep them from scrambling.
  • Add the raisins and stir until thick. Then, take the pot off the heat, add the butter and vanilla, and stir until the butter melts.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!


  • To make the rice: Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan and add the rice. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Drain away any excess liquid and set aside to cool.
Rice Pudding with Leftover Rice

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author avatar
beautyeval - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm beautyeval. 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 :)

6 thoughts on “Rice Pudding with Cooked Rice”

  1. I loved this recipe it was delicious. My husband thought it was salty I used the exact amount the recipe called for I didn’t find it salty at all. When I make it again which I definitely will, can I omit the salt or will that do something to the recipe. Yummy

    • Hi Doris! So glad you like the recipe. Salt enhances flavors and actually draws out sweetness. It’s a terrific ingredient for balancing food. But if the cooked rice is already salted, you probably don’t need to add the extra salt in the recipe. It will be just as tasty without it! If you want, you can leave it out and taste the final dish. Then, if you think it’s missing something, just mix a small pinch into your portion. Hope this helps!

  2. It was easy to make. I used Mexican vanilla and added nutmeg to make it more flavorful Also, we like it cold topped with whipped cream

    • Hi Linda!
      I brought some Mexican vanilla home from vacation a few years ago and was amazed at how much tastier and fragrant it is!!
      I bet it made this extra delish 🙂 So glad you liked it!


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