Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding
However… I’ve never made rice pudding from scratch. Those recipes were made by combining leftover cooked rice with a simple pudding mousse. It’s an easy and simple method, and I always assumed making it from scratch would probably involve burning rice and milk onto the bottom of my pot. So I avoided making rice pudding from scratch for a very long time.
Recently, RiceSelect asked me to create a recipe using their brand of rice. And I figured–why not give it a go? Rice pudding seemed like a perfect fit for this project; and I found a simple-enough-looking recipe from Giada De Laurentiis that had me feeling pretty confident.
I tweaked her recipe a little bit (and then a little bit more), and I’m really in love with how it turned out…
It’s fluffy and creamy, wonderfully sweet, and flecked with vanilla beans all over.
Yeah. That vanilla bean is about as subtle as a shotgun. It’s a major flavor player, and it’s major good.
For the most part, the ingredients are pretty simple. There’s nothing too crazy going on in here– milk, rice, and sugar. The only thing you may not have on hand is vanilla bean paste or a vanilla bean (I used paste, because it’s so easy to use and produces SUCH great flavor), but vanilla beans are readily available at most grocery stores. And vanilla paste can be found on Amazon, at Williams-Sonoma, and at many other specialty kitchen retailers.
If you want to eat the pudding warm, those are the only ingredients you need (and ohmigosh, it’s soooo good warm). But I also really like to eat my rice pudding cold. And I like it to be reeeeaaaallllllllly creamy. So I add something a little different to mine after it’s chilled overnight: Cool Whip.
Trust me on this: It makes this dessert AMAZING. Seriously. It takes it up to an entirely new level that you are not going to want to miss out on. Without the Cool Whip, the chilled rice pudding is a little lumpy, and clumpy, and sticky. The flavor is still great, but if you want something creamy and decadent here–don’t skip adding the Cool Whip! And if you really just don’t like the stuff or it’s not available to you, be sure to check out my DIY Homemade Cool Whip recipe!
Here’s another secret to making the perfect rice pudding: using a really good quality rice. Like RiceSelect Texmati® White Rice.
A perfectly tender and chewy rice will make all the difference in pulling this recipe together well. Texmati® White Rice is a great option for this recipe, because of it’s nutty aroma and flavor (yum!), unique texture, and easy cooking characteristics.
I also fell in love with the RiceSelect Arborio Rice. Just take a look at how perfectly plump these little kernels are:
There’s a rice that’s just begging to be made into a rice pudding!! *swoon*
Even if you don’t think you’re a rice pudding fan, I hope you’ll give this recipe a chance! It’s incredibly delicious and decadent, perfect for serving to dinner guests or for sneaking spoon-fulls out of the fridge. I think it redefines comfort food, and I, for one, am completely smitten by it. This is definitely a new staple in our home!
- 5 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups Texmati® White Rice
- 2 tbsp vanilla bean paste or two vanilla beans*
- 3/4 cup sugar
- For chilled rice: 8 ounces Cool Whip
- Over medium-high heat, combine the milk, rice, and vanilla bean paste* in a medium saucepan.
- Stir continually (scraping any rice that sticks from the bottom of the pot) until mixture reaches a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep rice from burning at the bottom of the sauce pan.
- Mix in the sugar and allow to simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator to chill over night.
If serving chilled:
- After pudding has chilled all the way through, use a wooden spoon to break it up a bit (it will be sticking and clumping together). Mix in the Cool Whip (you'll need a little elbow grease here, but it's worth it) until completely incorporated and mixture is easy to stir.
- Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 2 weeks.
*If using vanilla beans instead of the paste: scrape the inside of the bean into the pot with the milk and rice. Add the bean for the duration of cooking and remove before serving or chilling.
I had a blast working with RiceSelect on this recipe, and I really came to appreciate and believe in their product. All RiceSelect products are grown, milled, and packaged in the USA and are produced from non-GMO proprietary seed. It’s quality through-and-through, which will make all the difference in how your dishes taste.
RiceSelect working to redefine the way America thinks about rice. Rice is a versatile grain that’s essential in many cuisines but more often than not, rice takes on the role of the humdrum side dish. RiceSelect is challenging foodies everywhere this fall to Rethink Rice. For people who are passionate about food, RiceSelect can be used in a variety of innovative ways to create a culinary adventure away from the ordinary, everyday meal.
I know I’ve already mentioned the Texmati®White Rice and Aborio Rice above, but it’s also worth noting that RiceSelect has a couple of other great flavors including: Arborio Blend® with Jalepeno– yes, please!!– and Aborio Blend® with Mushrooms.
Bonus for you:
Be sure to sign up for RiceSelect’s monthly newsletter at the RiceSelect Rethink Rice campaign site where you will receive exclusive access to fresh new recipes and a $2-off coupon just for signing up, and a chance to win a free Aroma 6-cup rice cooker. Use #RethinkRice #sweeps to show your recipe creation for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.
What’s your favorite rice recipe? Tell me in the comments below for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.
The RiceSelect Hosted Sweepstakes ends/ended at midnight on December 18th.
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