Italian (Arborio) Rice Pudding


A very rich, smooth, and creamy rice pudding with a hint of lemon. Pudding will thicken as it cools, but it's best served at room temperature or slightly warm.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 25 mins
8 servings


  • 2 cups water

  • 1 cup Arborio rice

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 3 cups half-and-half

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 (1 1/2 inch) piece lemon peel, or more to taste

  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon, for garnish


  1. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan; add rice, butter, and salt. Place a cover on the saucepan, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook rice at a simmer until the rice is tender and the moisture is mostly absorbed, about 20 minutes.

  2. Stir half-and-half and sugar into the rice until the sugar dissolves; add cinnamon stick and lemon peel. Bring the mixture to a boil and remove from heat.

  3. Place a large stainless steel bowl atop a pot of simmering water. Pour the rice mixture into the top of the double boiler and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 45 minutes.

  4. Pour rice pudding into a serving dish. Remove and discard cinnamon stick and lemon peel from pudding; let cool slightly before garnishing with cinnamon to serve.

Cook's Notes:

I try to get the double boiler simmering before the mixture is ready to be added.

For a more subtle cinnamon flavor, add the cinnamon stick after putting the mixture into the double boiler.

Other risotto type rices will work, but Arborio and Carnaroli are the best.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

319 Calories
12g Fat
50g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 319
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 122mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 103mg 8%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 122mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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