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Chef John's Classic Rice Pudding

Rated as 4.74 out of 5 Stars

"For whatever reason, rice pudding is usually not near the top when people list their favorite desserts, but despite that, it's a proven crowd-pleaser, and quite easy to make, especially using this simplified, one-pot method."
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3 h 35 m servings 235
Original recipe yields 4 servings


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  1. Place rice, salt, and water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat; sprinkle with sugar and pour in milk. Stir with a whisk until until the thin layer of cooked-on starch at the bottom of the pan is cleared and incorporated into the mixture, 2 or 3 minutes.
  2. Place pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it reaches your desired of level of doneness and creaminess, 8 to 10 minutes. The longer it cooks, the thicker and stickier it will be. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and cinnamon. Very quickly whisk in the egg yolk (to prevent it from cooking). Whisk for about 1 more minute. Add butter and dried cherries; stir thoroughly.
  3. Transfer warm pudding to serving dishes. Cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, 3 to 4 hours.


  • Chef's Tips:
  • If you're nervous about adding the egg yolk to the hot pudding, you can also place the yolk in a bowl, add a small amount of pudding to it, and whisk together. Transfer mixture to the pudding.
  • Serving ideas: Simply dust top with cinnamon or fresh fruit. Or finish it like a crème brulee: Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of sugar onto the pudding. Melt the sugar with a chef's torch until crisp and dark brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 235 calories; 5.7 39.6 5.4 65 180 Full nutrition

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  1. 77 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

EXCELLENT! I watched the video. It made it so quick and easy to make. The amount of sweetness was just right. My only change was that I used vanilla bean paste. It was the perfect finish t...

Most helpful critical review

Made it to recipe, turned out well. Set fine, looks good. The taste is just meh. Not sure why but it tastes artificial. With a minimal list of ingredients we can't figure out why. Used unsweete...

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Most positive
Least positive

EXCELLENT! I watched the video. It made it so quick and easy to make. The amount of sweetness was just right. My only change was that I used vanilla bean paste. It was the perfect finish t...

Made it exactly like the recipe and loved it.

Sweet, creamy goodness perfect for that sweet tooth! It had been awhile since I had made any dessert and I was craving something sweet. I didn't want to make cookies or cake or pie so I thou...

Love, love, love! I used about a cup of leftvoer white rice we had from Chinese food! We always have plain white rice left over from Chinese take out. This is a great, easy way to use it! And...

I've made this recipe several times now, and it is the best rice pudding I've ever had. I will pretty much only use this recipe from now on. Comes out very creamy and rich. It's also super easy ...

I made this and I didn't cook the rice long enough - my bad. But the flavor was incredible. I plan on making it again soon. It is a bit time consuming as you have to continuously stir which alwa...

Delicious and simple. I used golden raisins and will try the cherries next time. There will definitely be a next time.

Oh my goodness, this is the BEST rice pudding! I didn't realize how much I missed it! So good that I doubled the recipe and made the doubled recipe three times in one week (I shared, I swear). I...

Put dried coconut on top for garnish.