Arborio Rice Pudding

What could be more comforting than a dish of homemade rice pudding? And if it’s made with arborio rice, well, than it’s Italian Comfort Food! Rice Select Arboria Risotto Rice — 36 oz

The perfect rice pudding should not have rice kernels that are al dent. Sorry, save that for macaroni. I’ve had rice pudding at some diners that you were chewing the rice long after you swallowed the pudding. Not good. I want my rice pudding to be velvety  smooth, rich and creamy. There are different ways you can flavor your rice pudding. You can add raisins or cinnamon. I prefer vanilla. If you can get vanilla bean, all the better. If not vanilla extract is OK.

Many years ago, about 30, I bought rice pudding from a local deli in Pearl River. It was the best rice pudding I had ever eaten. It took me months, but eventually I got the recipe. I was amazed on how simple it was. It only contained rice, milk and sugar. That’s it. Over the years I have added my own touches and came up with this recipe that produces the most smooth, rich and creamy rice pudding you can make.

Rice pudding takes time to make and needs attention throughout the cooking process, so carve out an hour or so from your day to make this fine dessert. It’s a great way to relax and contemplate your day as you stand over the pot and stir the mixture up. In the end, it will be worth the time and effort.

Arborio Rice Pudding

  • 8 1/4 ounces (240 grams) of Arborio Rice
  • 53 ounces (1500 grams) of whole milk
  • 25 1/4 ounces (720 grams) of heavy cream
  • 8 1/2 ounces (240 grams) of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or 2 vanilla beans split and seeds scraped out

In a medium size pot add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the rice and cook, uncovered, for 6 minutes. Strain the rice well, discard the water. There is so much starch in arborio rice if  you didn’t take this step the pudding would be too firm.

In a large heavy pot pour in milk,  par boiled rice, cream, sugar and vanilla. Set on medium high heat. Stir while mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Continue stirring and simmer for about 40-45 minutes, or until thickened. After about 40 minutes you will notice the pudding really thickening. Hang in there. Continue stirring for the remainder of the time. Remove from heat and allow to slightly cool  before placing in a container to store covered in refrigerator. Rice pudding will thicken further when chilled.

Leave chilled overnight before serving.

About Peter Bocchieri

Peter was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and is a second generation Italian-American. He has a degree in Journalism from Long Island University and is an avid photographer, gardener and pet owner. When Peter is not out selling, he is relaxing at his home in North East Pennsylvania and cooking for his sons, Michael and Joseph, family and friends. Peter's passion for food was inspired by his Mother's and Grandmother's cooking, but at the age of 10 Peter felt he could do it better himself, so he did.
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17 Responses to Arborio Rice Pudding

  1. marianna ricci-wilson says:

    many years ago, when our mothers & G-mothers were young housewives,trying to feed a family on a strict budget, they spent 75% of their time in the kitchen…slicing, chopping, stirring, baking, preserving etc….the other 25% was spent house cleaning, doing the laundry & ironing, sewing & mending, etc. there were no “soccer moms” who ran in a restaurant after practice to pick up ready prepared meals, no driving to gym lessons, music, dancing, ballet, etc. recipes like this one that requires attention, was feasable b/c the kitchen was the hub of the home. my mother used to make a rice pudding that was very much like this one. as us kids got older, we were given the chore of doing the constant stirring! the rice pudding was a good way to have a sweet that was not very expensive, but was also healthful. mama served it w/ sliced fresh strawberries in summer & spring & a dried fruit compote in the winter. produce was seasonal in those days…we didn’t see a berry in the market until may/june! this lovely, nostalgic recipe might be the very thing to serve to a few special guests. it would be worth the effort to prepare it. sorry for the “essay” i always get carried away when responding to your recipes! marianna.

  2. Louise says:

    Yes Mary…. TIMES SURE HAVE CHANGED. Sometimes I like it… at times I don’t.
    Peter I have 2 requests.
    When trying to follow your instructions of ingredients…. I go nuts trying to figure out the amount in ounces. I’m used to 1/2 CUP…. 2 tablespoons, !/4 stick of butter… Is there anyway you can make it simple for me and those like me?The other one…
    I wish there was a way to Print up your recipes without using 3 pages.
    AND THE RICE PUDDING RECIPE………………….. is our Sicilian FAMILY RECIPE TOO. My Aunt Eliza and Uncle Gus used to make this on a Sunday afternoon, on a whim… as we all played some Italian card game… beingn taught by other aunts and uncles. No TV in those days.
    After the pudding cooled down…. my uncle would add CHOPPED DARK CHOCOLATE over everyone’s pudding. There was always a huge pot of this dessert … so we could have seconds.
    Now usually every Sunday… the family would gather where they lived… on Wilson Ave… Bkly…and we’d catch up with each other. At that time some of the families started leaving Brooklyn and were relocating in Nassau or Suffolk…. IN THE COUNTRY HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
    I am so so glad I found YOU Peter. Keep us drooling… and enjoy all those moments in time.
    WHEN IS YOUR COOK BOOK COMING OUT?????????????????????
    Louise Cardone Calabrese

    • Louise, a small inexpensive electronic kitchen scale will make your life much easier. Most measure in ounces, grams and fluid ounces. One of the advantages is you can measure everything in the same bowl by weight and return the scale to zero before adding your next ingredient. Saves cleaning up extra spoons and measuring cups. Here is an approximate for this recipe:
      1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of arborio rice, 6 1/2 cups milk, 3 1/4 cups cream, 1 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Hope this helps you.

      • Louise says:

        Not ready for electronic kitchen haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
        Thanks for breaking the ingredients in measures for me.
        I have the ingredients in… ready to start making this delicious dessert.
        We’ll be enjoying it tomorrow. BOY WHAT MEMORIES … like
        the fountain of youth…. going back to being a kid again.
        Thanks for sharing…. and bringing back these very down to earth recipes.
        SOOOOOOOO when is the book coming out?

  3. Louise says:

    Okay, I just might look into a small electronic scale 😉
    PETER…. this pudding recipe is a rich dream of a pudding. It’s already chilling in the refrig for dessert tomorrow……….. GOOOOOOOOOOOO GIANTS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    My cousin found the our Giaccone Family Rice Pudding Recipe, I just got it and want to share it with you. Very simple…easy…not as rich… but very good.
    1 cup cooked rice (they used whatever they had)
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla
    1 qt milk (regular)
    Chopped chocolate

    boil milk – add to cooked rice, sugar and vanilla. – cook for 15 minutes – chill.
    When serving dust with cinnamon & netmeg. Or sprinkle each dessert dish with chopped chocolate I prefer it with the chocolate.

    • Louise, thanks for sharing your recipe. I’ll have to give it a whirl!

    • Louise says:

      YOUR RICE PUDDING RECIPE…… if absolutely a trip to heaven.
      It’s not my family recipe………….. 🙂 BUT MOMMA MIA….. it sure will be one we’ll be eating a lot more of.
      Delicious……….. creamy…. perfect…. all of it. Also, it goes down toooooo easy.
      The want for more is hard to deal with.
      Peter…. since you got me thinking about getting a scale…. I remembered I had a little one fomer WEIGHT WATCHER days……………. It’s works, just as you suggested it would.
      Who said you can’t teach an old horse ( mare ) new tricks 🙂
      Have you ever frozen this pudding… ? Wondered if it got watery when thawing.
      AGAIN………….. thank you for another winner .

  4. Gary says:

    Hi Peter, If you are boiling the rice for 6 minutes, straining and draining in order to get rid of the heavy starches, would it not just make more sense to use a rice with less starch?? This way you can skip this step. Or is there a specific reason for using the aborio rice? The texture maybe? Would love to know your thoughts….

    • Gary, I have made rice pudding with Carolina long grain rice with great results, using just whole milk and sugar. The arborio rice does give the pudding a different texture. It holds up better and has a certain “chew” to it. I like it either way, but different rice gives it a different end result texture.



  6. Barbara, by all means you can cut this recipe in half.



  7. Patty Teare says:

    Hello Peter,
    Thank you for posting your recipe for Arborio Rice Pudding. Your recipe looks like the best one that I have read, and I purchased all of the ingredients and I am ready to make it. Some of the recipes that I have read list egg yolk(s). One recipe included this as their secret ingredient that makes a big difference in the outcome. Can you please explain why or why not to add egg yolk and if so, how many do I add to your recipe? I enjoy learning about food ingredients and their effects when added in a recipe. Thank you for your time and expert advice.

    • Patty, egg yolk makes the recipe richer and adds more fat. I honestly don’t think this recipe needs it. The Arborio rice gives this rice pudding a silky smooth rich taste on its own. Try it as is.

  8. Louise Cardone Calabrese says:

    So good to find you in my mail box. Have missed you. How is Pa treating you ? And…. I agree… the Arborio sure give this pudding the best texture…. and makes the flavor even better. Glad you posted it again, Ciao Peter

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