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Southern Rice Pudding

This Southern Rice Pudding must be experienced to be believed.  It is impossibly creamy, decadent, and rich!  Pair with coconut, cinnamon, or, my favorite, brandied cherries for the ultimate in decadence!

  • Total Time: 70-80 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


Units Scale

For the Rice Pudding:

  • 316 g (2 c) arborio rice, cooked
  • 1000 g (4 c) milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 300 g (1.5 c) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 113 g (1/2 c) greek yogurt
  • 113 g (1/2 c) butter

For the Brandied Cherries:

  • 700 g (5 cups) pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 125 g plus (1/2 c) cold water
  • 125 g (1/2 c) brandy


To Make the Rice Pudding:

  1. Cook arborio rice according to package directions.  After fluffing with a fork, spoon rice into measuring cups to measure the rice.  Place in a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
  2. Add milk, eggs, salt, and sugar to a medium saucepan.  Whisk until yolks are broken up.  
  3. Heat mixture over medium-low heat (do not boil!), whisking occasionally, until the mixture is warmed all the way through, there are no more bubbles in the mixture, and the egg yolks are fully absorbed into the milk.  This takes patience (and 30-45 minutes)!  If you warm the mixture too quickly, the eggs will curdle and scramble and you don’t want that.
  4. Once the mixture is fully combined and warm, add the 2 cups of cooked rice.  Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to combine.  
  5. Continue cooking over medium-low heat until the rice pudding has a creamy, loose texture.  The rice granules should be very visible, but the mixture should look very creamy and smooth.
  6. Remove from heat and add greek yogurt, butter, and vanilla extract.  Allow the butter to melt a bit, then stir to combine.  
  7. Place in a heat-proof bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours.  Pudding will thicken upon standing.

To Make the Brandied Cherries:

  1. Add the cherries, granulated sugar, and fresh lemon juice to a 2.5-quart saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir to combine.  
  2. Once the mixture begins to bubble, stir again and reduce heat to medium-low.  Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the cherries are softened (but not mush).  
  3. Combine the water and cornstarch in a small prep bowl.  Add to the cherry mixture.  Increase heat to medium-high for one minute.
  4. Remove mixture from heat.  Add brandy to the mixture.  Use a camp lighter to CAREFULLY light the brandy.  Allow the brandy to burn off completely before stirring.
  5. Place cherries in a heat-proof container and allow them to cool completely before using.
  6. Spoon cherries over the top of the rice pudding for an extra treat.  Or, you can actually make a parfait-style rice pudding with the brandied cherries for ultimate decadence!


  • Arborio rice is a must for this recipe.  Other types of rice don’t give you the creaminess that arborio rice does, and it’s such a disappointment!
  • Author: Shani
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60-70 minutes
  • Category: Dessert